Before I begin my rant I guess I should explain somethings to you so you don't misjudge me whilst reading this post. I am not racist, nor do I care what religion you are. I do not care if you are black, white, red, green or purple. I do not care if you are a christian, muslim, hindu, buddhist or jewish. I judge people based on how they treat me. I am not biased. Nor will I be accused of any of the above-mentioned things after you have read this post and are unhappy with what I've written.
Now, moving on to the interesting part of the rant.
I am sick to death of people messaging me and telling me that Oya is Armenian or *shock horror* "Greek." I am also sick to death of people messaging me about the Armenian genocide, or how Turks killed greeks and therefore because Turks had everything, "Oya" is owned by either Armenia or Greece. Please, save me your political bullshit. I am not Turkish, nor do I know anything about any genocide. I never started this blog to be inundated by people of Armenian and Greek heritage telling me "oh my grandmother did this in her village its not Oya its whatever."
Being that Oya is my craft of choice, I think I'd know a little bit about it. So I'm here to set some things straight and hopefully, just HOPEFULLY you people who want to claim something that you know nothing about, will leave me be and just read my blog for inspiration and not to throw around such ludicris claims.
Lets face it: Type in "greek lace" or "armenian lace" into google, and not much comes back. Most of its crochet anyway. However if we type in "Oya" then a whole database of pictures and information comes up. If Oya really was greek or armenian, why is it not as popular there as it is in Turkey? Why is it every time I see someone put up a picture of an Oya lace doily or whatever, its apparently "armenian" or "greek?" You'll notice that armenians and greeks don't make oya flowers or scarf edgings because OYA isnt THEIRS to know how to do that, and ontop of that, I didn't know christians wore scarves anyway?
I'd be pretty stupid to rant on like this without some sort of source to quote right? Ok lets begin. Moorad Alexanian says on an internet site that the oya knot was first used in Arabia and spread to Turkey and then Armenia and other countries, he then goes on to say: "But reminding Armenians of that is likely to get an angry response, said Kliot, because of ethnic tensions. ``One woman said to me, `You do not put `Turks' and `Armenians' in the same mouth!'' -Please...Armenians and Turks in the same mouth? Are you kidding me? So because of some ethnic tensions, that entitles you to claim something as your own? Good try, but no win. I'm lebanese, and we've had problems with Turkey in the past too, but that doesn't give me the right to say that oya is now miraculously lebanese just because I'm pissed off with a whole race of people, does it? I tend not to believe that the oya knot was even created IN arabia, due to this source of information: "It is natural that Turkish decorative arts before and after Islam have influenced many decorative traditions in many geographical regions especially where there was Turkish rule" (turkcebilgi.com, Onuk 1988) Mind you this information comes from a PROFESSOR who has studied the history of Oya, so as if we're going to argue with her, right? Lets look at it from another perspective: Hummus is the arabic word for chickpeas, everyone knows that its a middle eastern dip. Greeks and Turks also call it hummus and claim it to be theirs, even though the NAME is ARABIC- so does this make it Middle Eastern, Greek or Turkish?
I had a "LOL" moment in my local library the other day. I was looking for a popular embroidery book when I came across a book called "mediterrainian knotted lace". I thought I'd have a look through it and see if it was Oya, since Turkey is in the mediterrainian. As soon as I read the preface, I laughed and put it over the Automotive section 4 rows away from where it was. This is what I read from the book: When asia minor fell to the Turks, Greek "refugees" took their craft to mainland greece and taught it wherever they settled" She also goes on to say "She believes therefore that greeks can and should claim ownership of knotted lace, being of greek ancestry (which she isn't by the way, her deceased husband was) I too would like to claim it as being greek." Now, type bebilla or dandella into google and you hardly find anything about OYA. This woman has obviously made herself out to be a woman of knowledge and therefore we should all believe the crap shes written. Does anyone else find what she's written stupid and without reference? I mean in her actual references shes lists ARMENIAN lace books? And the other funny thing is that she says that this lace has no names for the stitches, where as in Turkish every stitch has a name. What she calls bows are called Seytan Bacagi in Turkish. What she calls a raised stitch is called Tavsan Kullagi in Turkish. So basically shes written crap down and tried to make herself sound like a historian. Please. Greeks don't like Turks, thats why her mother in law told her its greek.
Now come on- Turkish people are well known for handcrafts, and yet other people need to argue over an inanimate object made by a needle and thread! Plus theres huge differences between the way turks make igne oyasi, and the way that armenians and possibly even greeks make it. Its fine to do something a different way, but that doesn't mean you get the right to claim it.
Now I would not be going on this rant if some uneducated people didnt message me telling me that its not oya its whatever. And yes, I put the tag "armenian lace" on my blogs because some people are misinformed and type that in to google. I know by writing this I have offended some people, but as I said before, I'm not racist and I'm not biased.
Now for a picture of a laughing horse to make everything better.