Auspicious Carpets: A Tibetan View of Aesthetics
11: Snow Frog
One of the most common Tibetan designs, included here because of its importance. Tibetans know it as belak or frog's feet. Since frogs are thought to be unknown, this has led to endless speculation. Kuloy (1982) thought it might be a stylized norbu - leading others to repeat the theory. Tibetans say the norbu would never be corrupted; they think the design represents track of the frog in the snow, or "snow frog", a creature found in several typically bawdy Tibetan legends. It is considered an auspicious design and may have come from a stylized leaf (See Figure 13).
photographs by George Mann
carpets from the Archives of Bob van Grevenbroek