Bird - Kus

  Back to Motifs

In Anatolia there is no other motif carrying so many different meanings than the bird motif. While birds like owls and ravens imply bad luck. Doves, pigeons and nightingales are used to symbolize good luck. Bird is the symbol of happiness, joy and love. It is the soul of dead. It is longing, and expectation of news. It stands for power and strength. It is the imperial symbol of various states founded in Anatolia.

In Çatalhöyük birds resembling eagles and vultures are described as animals attacking human beings. The eagle called Horos in the language of Hittites later assumed a legendary meaning. There is a relief of an eagle with two heads on the sphinxes standing at the two sides of the entrance door of Alacahoyuk. The theme of a double headed eagle holding a couple of hares in its claws was later used on the sign of the Seljukian State.

In his lines "We took off, became birds and flew, Thank God!" mystic poet Yunus Emre is expressing the feeling of getting near to God. He describes death by the words "The bird of life has flown off". Ministrel Karacaoglan states that the bird flying away from off". Ministrel Karacaoglan states that the bird flying away from its cage is death by saying "Life is a bird in its cage".


Various bird motifs used on Anatolian weaves are illustrated below:

Bird motifs

Bird motifs

Bird motifs

Bird motifs