90 | Srbija » Serbia R I TAM SRBI JE / RHYTHM OF SERBIA Kao potomak tkalja, odmalena sam zadojen ljubavlju ka toj igri magičnih niti i simbolima koje pirotski ćilimu sebi nosi, kaže Marko / As a descendant of weavers, I was weaned on a love for that dance of magical threads and the symbols that the Pirot rug carries within itself, says Marko er, equally difficult, but happier. Both looms, with their shuttle tools, combs, spindles and all the material, are preserved in the house as a kind of relic and talisman of the home. As a descendant of weavers, I was weaned on a love for that dance of magical threads and the symbols that the Pirot rug carries within itself,” says Marko. Jocić, who’s actually an ethnologist by profession, points out that the productionof aPirot rug is itself impressive, and that woven around it like a net is a miraculous story filled with interesting details. Our interlocutor alsopoints out that being familiar with, and interested in, our own tradition is one of theways of preserving our national identity. “The production technique of kneeling beside a loom is fascinating. That handcraft is something that can be unreservedly dubbed art.Without a front or reverse, identical on both sides, the Pirot rug is uniquearoundtheworld.Runicwool from the Balkan Mountain, thick weaving, the existence of 115 patterns, each carrying its own symbolismand story, represent something that leaves you breathless,” stresses our interviewee, before continuing to evoke the atmosphere that the Pirot rug brings… “The rug complements a space, ennobles it and gives it wonderful energy – because, according to tradition, such a rug was unable to be wovenbysomeone if theydon’thave pure and good thoughts. This wonder, which only emerges after a full two months of handcrafting while kneeling, for just one rug - is a genuinemasterpiece, whichwe, as a nation, can and must be proud of! It absolutely belongs among the ranks of Anatolian, Persian, Cossack and Chinese silk rugs.Wemust preserve and love our own, because tradition is an indivisible part of the identity of the nation to which we belong, and a nationwithout origins disappears and is extinguished, which is why wemust return to our roots…” The Pirot rug contains precisely 115differentpatterns, eachofwhich has its own authentic, beautiful story. The motifs used for Pirot rugs are ancient and derived from various cultures - from ancient Greece to the first early Christian motifs, such as turtles, fish, flames, chandeliers, doves etc. Pirot rugs were produced for palaces and courts, but also for prominent diplomats and members of society. In a consumer society, where trends change as though on a conveyor belt and things quickly lose value and are sold for next to nothing, it isn’t easy to find your own place under the sun and to stand out in a sea of cheap trinkets that attract people with their low price. Due to the low standard of living in our country and some less fortunate times, it may come as no surprise that the Pirot rug has had to wait in the corner for such a long time before returning to the path of its old glory... But it is now heading in that direction once again, though with small but solid steps. “Interest amongpeople is ever-increasing andwe are overjoyed by the fact that people are slowly but surely returning to thatwhich lasts eternally and will serve generations in a family. The prices of Pirot rugs vary and depend onwhether you’re buying an oldantique rugor one thatwaswoven in recent times. Apart from that, the price is also influenced by the complexity of the production technique, the number of colours woven into it and, most of all, by the degree of rarity and complexity of the catalogue pattern. Some prices range from250 to 1000 euros,” explains Jocić, before adding that these rugs are unrivalled when it comes to quality and can be used actively for 100 years, being left behind for generations yet to come.