From several manuscripts on the history of Tibetan Tiger Rugs, the first documented purchase was in 1979 by the Newark Musem in New Jersey. The Museum displayed it with the title of “Flayed Tiger Skin Rugs” used as sitting rugs by Tibetan lamas, representing the taming of a Buddhist’s wild ego-centred mind. The rugs replaced actual tiger skins being used earlier in Tibet. Showing a bold cartoon-like rug has the deep wool pile and bright colour of traditional Tibetan weaving.
Several parts of Asia was once denned by Tigers, with various subspecies. It somewhat shows that Tibet was well inhabited by Tigers at a pioneering period. These rugs were given as gifts to lamas–a title for a Dharma teacher in Tibetan Buddhism; It is also associated with Tantric Meditation–relating to the alchemy of transformation. The tiger skin motif was believed to be some sort of protection for people who meditate, keeping away snakes and other insects.
Tibetan Tiger Rugs are evident in paintings of wrathful Tibetan gods, and were also utilized during Tibetan New Year dances. Having Tiger pelts and rugs were a symbol of power since Tiger symbolizes bravery, ferocity, and status. It can be seen on Ritual Thrones, Warrior garments and graves, and on paintings.
According to Persian Carpet there are three primary classification of Old Tibetan Tiger rugs:
- First, “Flayed” tiger rugs, pelts with arms, claws and head depicted.
- Second, abstract representations of the tiger stripe design
- Third, tigers working in pairs–representing Yin and Yang
The vibrant color orange common in these rugs is distinctive from its very source: the madder root–a herbaceous perennial plant used commonly for dying, also called “dyer’s madder“. The Tibettan knotting system is quite more complicated than several Mediterranean knotting; As stated by the Madalas Life Nepal, it can take many months to finish the knotting on rugs, since it is done by hand. “Rugs come in three primary quality levels, 60 knots per square inch, 80 knots per square inch or 100 knots per square inch. Finished carpets can have 500,000 knots overall, each painstakingly knotted by hand. “
The combination of workmanship, iconography, and designs from the different regions, abstract colours, and artistic statements shows the richness of its essence. These rugs represent the Tibetan culture, as it continually embraces the evolution adopted to popular demands. If you want to know more about the Tibetan Tiger Rugs, check out Homeless Penthouse True Origin: Tibetan Tiger Rug.