(Posted on 22/05/14)
Hatchli (hatchlu): A design often found on enssi rugs, which were traditionally used as door-hangings in the nomad's yurt (tent); it is quiet common for any rug woven in this design to be referred to as an enssi, or Bokhara with an enssi design. There are a number of interpretations of this scheme, but all share certain characteristics. The most fundamental of these is for the field to be divided into quadrants by a central cross, and for each of these segments to be decorated with the same design. Infill decorations may vary, but often feature rows of tiny Y-shaped motifs, resembling double-armed candlesticks; stylized leaf, frond or other vegetal motifs are also common. The symbolism of the hatchli design is a source of considerable debate among carpet scholars. Some authorities argue that it is a variation of the more traditional prayer rug symbolism, and hatchli rugs are sometimes referred to as 'husband and wife' prayer rugs. Others believe that it reflects the shape of the yurt itself and symbolizes security and the home. Perhaps the most interesting theory states that the physical door-hanging represents the spiritual doorway to the Islamic heaven, which has four gardens at its innermost core. Hatchli designs are found on Afghan village and workshop rugs, as on those woven by nomadic tribes.
(An antique Hatchli rug)