Pelengî and Şâhî Benek in Turkish Ornamentation Art, or the Illusion of Çintamani

Although Pelengî and şâhî benek (royal spots) are the most frequently mentioned ornamentations in our archives, Western researchers has confused them with çintamani, which is Buddhism's sacred pearl. This confusion has then affected the native scholars as well. Şâhî benek is composed of either a single or three spots, whereas pelengî is made of a single or two lines in lip form. These ornaments are drawn under the inspiration from the spots on tigers and leopards. Both ornaments have been used together or separately. Contrary to Buddhist leanings, the principle behind spot ornamentation in the Turkish embellishment art stems from strong and tough animals that are the symbols for strength and vigor. Şâhî benek, körkle monçuk, and çintamani are all different motifs, and although they have similarities in form, they are different in terms of their origin and their philosophy. Aziz DOĞANAY
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