Original Research

“Gestures of approach”: aspects of liminality and labyrinths

Tony Ullyatt
Literator | Vol 32, No 2 | a14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v32i2.14 | © 2011 Tony Ullyatt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 June 2011 | Published: 22 June 2011

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Tony Ullyatt, Research Unit: Languages & Literature in the South African Context, Potchefstroom Campus, North-West University, South Africa

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The purpose of this article is to explore some matters of liminality relevant to labyrinths. To this end, the discussion opens by considering some implications of the way liminality is defined before moving on to an examination of labyrinths in terms of their two- or three-dimensionality. The liminal implications of these labyrinths as designs and structures are then discussed in some detail, together with their symbolic/metaphorical aspects. In the course of this discussion, a taxonomy of the labyrinth walking process is presented. The article concludes with a brief consideration of the liminal significance of the Knossos Labyrinth’s location on the island of Crete.


Knossos; Labyrinth; Liminality


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