Kurdish Rugs: Notes on Kurdish Rug Weaving
First Day of Migration
Migrating on camel back. A Kurdish woman of “Qahremânlu” clan on the path of “Jargalân” region, at autumn migration.
Old and Antique
In the lesser Caucasus the Kurds tended to be the people of the high country. At this point I suspect that many of the so-called Northwest Persian are actually Caucasian Kurds.
Kurdish Dragon Bags
Alberto Levi in articles and lectures over a number of years delineated a cohesive group of Kurdish rugs. It is not truly Proto as in coming before because the weavers were Kurdish and there were generations of Kurdish rugs before this group. what is interesting about these early Sauj-Bulagh type rugs is they are the first rugs from this Kurdish group after they were driven out of the Caucasus by the Russian and resettled in the Sauj-Bulagh/Mahabad region.
Warps: wool, natural off white.
Wefts: wool, 2 shoots, rust red.
Weave: fine with little or no warp depression (flat back)
Handle: soft, pliable.
Colors: yellow, red, light and dark blue and aubergine often on a dark brown background, more rarely on a yellow background and very rarely on an ivory background.
The wool is invariably long and silky and the colors brilliant jewel tones.
Quchan is an important collection point for Kurdish and Afshar tribal and village rugs. The rugs share designs with Northwest and Caucasian Kurds and Afshar.
Abbas Safavi Shah ruled Iran from 1588 - 1629 at the beginning of his reign Persia was in serious trouble. The Ottoman Turks had taken Tabriz and most of Northwest Persia. Abbas Safavi Shah made a treaty with the Ottoman and Persia was forced to pay tribute. While on the eastern front the Uzbek came as far west as Mashad. Abbas used Kurds and Afshar to retake Mashad and gave those Afshar Turks and Kurdish mercenaries land in the Quchan area as a reward for service and as a line of defense against the Uzbeks and their Turkmen vassals. The descendents of those Kurds and Afshar live in the Quchan area and produce rugs.
Kurdish Rugs: Kurdish Khordjin with Videos - I am tying a new format with the videos. There seems to be a good bit of interest in in-depth looks at pieces so I grouped 4 videos together with some still pictures as a start.
Thanks and best wishes,
J. Barry O'Connell Jr.
O'Connell 2004 - 2006.