Handbags!

Looked at geometrically, the handbags combine the figure of a hemisphere on their upper side with that of a square on their lower side, and so conjure ancient cosmological themes of above and below and of squaring a circle.

In ancient cultures from Africa to India to China, the figure of a circle was associated symbolically with concepts of spirituality or non-materiality, while that of a square was often associated with concepts of the Earth and of materiality. Consequently, various approaches to squaring a circle came to symbolize the act of reconciling the non-material and material aspects of creation

Each of these perspectives on the symbolism of these baskets shapes as they were understood in ancient times lends credence to the notion that a basket represented a cosmological symbol, one that likely also reflected the importance of actual woven baskets in the life of an everyday person. Looked at from our modern perspective it may be hard to remember that a basket was, in its own way, as impactful a technological development as a thumb-drive has been to modern society. As such, it became a powerful icon for meanings that relate to cosmology and knowledge

http://lost-origins.com/perspectives-on-ancient-handbag-images/

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