Why Did Navajo Culture Traditionally Include Deliberate Imperfections? Find Out Here • illuminaija
illuminaija

Why Did Navajo Culture Traditionally Include Deliberate Imperfections? Find Out Here

   
   

Why Did Navajo Culture Traditionally Include Deliberate Imperfections? Find Out Here

Did they do so because only Allah was perfect? Some people are perfectionists, going to great lengths and through punishing routines to

achieve the perfect figure, the perfect score, the inimitable . But there are cultures around the world that have learned to

abandon this rigid and obsessive behaviour and embrace the concept of imperfection. Artists and craftsmen of such cultures would

deliberately introduce flaws into their works to remind themselves that flaws are an integral part of being human.

In Navajo culture, rug weavers would leave little imperfections along the borders in the shape of a line called ch’ihónít’i, which is translated

into English as “spirit line” or “spirit pathway. The Navajos believe that weaving a rug, the weaver entwines part of her being into the

cloth. The spirit line allows this trapped part of the weaver’s spirit to safely exit the rug.

Why Did Navajo Culture Traditionally Include Deliberate Imperfections? Find Out Here

   
   

The Navajos also believe that only is perfect and that humans cannot achieve the same perfect level. So they make sure to leave little

imperfection in anything they create. Usually, one has to look very close to finding the imperfection, so it does not detract from the beauty

of the item. It might be a loose piece of yarn or a coloured bead.

According to them, God is perfect and humans are not is also one of the main principles of Islamic architecture. The beautifully decorated

vaulted ceilings of many mosques in the Arab world appear symmetric, but often have minor irregularities imperceptible to most visitors.

Even the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, has several small architectural flaws that have been

attributed to an apocryphal medieval custom that sought to illustrate that only God can be perfect. The ceiling that arches over the main

aisle of the cathedral do not meet at the centre, but is slightly off its axis. The choir-stalls along the nave of the church are also not aligned.

Why Did Navajo Culture Traditionally Include Deliberate Imperfections? Find Out Here

In the Punjab region of India and Pakistan, an embroidery technique called Phulkari, which literally means flower work, is highly popular.

Intricate patterns using brightly coloured threads are woven into shawls and head scarfs and other garments by women for their own use or

for their family.

Most Phulkari patterns are highly regular, but sometimes women introduce small colour or pattern changes into their work. Some are

added to protect the shawl’s wearer from the evil eye. Others are stitched to mark important events that occurred during a textile’s creation,

such as the joy of a baby’s birth or grief over a relative’s death.

In Japan, incorporating deliberate imperfections is a necessary ingredient of art. This aesthetic concept is known as “Wabi-sabi” and has

been practised since at least the 16th century. Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, roughness, and simplicity, and

appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes. The wabi-sabi aesthetic can be seen in certain pottery styles,

such as Hagi ware, originating from the town of Hagi in Yamaguchi. Ceramics made in the Hagi styles have shapes that are not quite

symmetrical, and colours or textures that appear to emphasize an unrefined or simple style. Often tea bowls would be chipped or nicked at

the bottom.

The wabi-sabi concept is also seen in the robes worn by Buddhist monks. Known as “kesa”, these robes draped diagonally across the

   
   

body feature a small patchwork construction as a reminder of the humble patched garment worn by the Buddha.

These concepts, aside from paying homage to God, reinforce the idea that there is beauty in imperfections, and beauty itself is imperfect,

impermanent, and incomplete.

   
   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.