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September 4th, 2016 06:58 PM
Rich Larkin Hi Patrick,

Quote:
Gleaning from the few rugs that show up as Kurmanji, Kelardasht and Mazandaran on an internet search, it does not appear to have supported a substantial rug weaving industry.
That observation begs the larger question we may be asking here, i. e., whether the collective information out there is reliable.

Quote:
Which does mean that something like the little brown bag could easily have been woven there, hiding out surreptitiously amongst the cotton-single-wefted crowd like a wolf in sheeps clothing.
Right!!

Quote:
Still searching for a definitive attribution....
BTW, good luck looking. I take it as given there are many wolves in sheeps' clothing lurking in NW Iran. More power to them, too!!

Rich
September 4th, 2016 05:33 PM
Patrick Weiler
Kurmanji

Egbert,

We discussed rugs from the area of northern Mazandaran in post 48, mentioning that Mazandaran is mostly Persian. The Kelardasht rugs are thought to be Kurdish, often using a cotton foundation and single wefting.
Here is what Spongobongo says:
"Kalardasht is in Mazanderan province near Roodbarak. The area has an enclave of Northern Kurds. Northern Kurdish is also called Kurmanji, KurmancÓ, KirmancÓ, KermancÓ, Kurdi, or KurdÓ."
Wikipedia says: "The population is overwhelmingly Mazandarani, with a minority of Azerbaijanis, Georgians, Armenians, Circassians, Turkmen and others."
I assume that "others" includes some Kurds. Burns only mentions Kurmanji as the language and tribal designation, not the region in Mazandaran, and shows no weavings from there in his Kurdish book. Gleaning from the few rugs that show up as Kurmanji, Kelardasht and Mazandaran on an internet search, it does not appear to have supported a substantial rug weaving industry.
Which does mean that something like the little brown bag could easily have been woven there, hiding out surreptitiously amongst the cotton-single-wefted crowd like a wolf in sheeps clothing.

Still searching for a definitive attribution,

Patrick Weiler
September 4th, 2016 04:07 PM
Egbert Vennema
bag with replaced ends..

Hi guys, in my humble opinion, there is an area in the Northern part of Mazandaran province where there are Kurds living ...... it s called Kumanji. Best, Egbert
September 4th, 2016 02:22 PM
Rich Larkin Hi Patrick,

Quote:
With some dark blue and some red, single wefts, compared to yours with dark, double wefts, they likely weren't made by the same tribal group, although both may be Kurdish.
You can make an analogy to the far more common 'Jaff' type of storage bag, with the diamond grid pattern. They come in a variety of weaving styles, not to mention palettes. Clearly, a good many discrete groups wove them, presumably Kurdish (excepting the odd outlying copy...which have never struck me as Kurdish when I've found them). It seems the general similarity between your square and Chuck's is too great to be coincidental, given the oddness of the format. Perhaps the weaving of such pieces was customary among the Kurds, though not nearly as frequent as the storage bags, nor as likely to make it to the market.

I might speculate that the squares were practice pieces for young weavers for the specific purpose of training them on some typical Kurdish design elements. Your observation that they have the character of a wagireh in that regard is an astute one. But the weaving itself from the standpoint of a fabric seems very competent in both pieces. Anyway, that square canvas with the undyed field for the display of essentially one decorative item (or one repeating field pattern in your piece) certainly looks like common practice. I wonder whether any more can be found.

It's always great to get an insight into what the rural Kurdish weavers were thinking!

Rich

P. S.
Quote:
A little more digging turned up this little piece....
Migawd!! There really is a bunker!
September 3rd, 2016 11:52 PM
Patrick Weiler
Bagged it!

Chuck,

A little more digging turned up this little piece which, from the front, looks a lot more like your little bag. I located it in a drawer, in the drawering room.

The skeletal field motifs look as though they are almost a wagireh or sampler of tiny motifs found in various Kurdish weavings.



It is 10" x 10" (25cm x 25cm) with 9h x 10v symmetric knots for 90kpsi.
It also happens to be single wefted. Here is yours to compare:



And the back:



With some dark blue and some red, single wefts, compared to yours with dark, double wefts, they likely weren't made by the same tribal group, although both may be Kurdish. Neither seem closely related to the infamous Brown Bag. But hey, it's always nice to view some interesting, old tribal weavings and toss around questionable attributions, right?

Patrick Weiler
September 3rd, 2016 06:44 PM
Patrick Weiler
Kelardasht bag

Egbert,

You suggested Kelardasht as a possible source for the brown bag.
Here is a rug ascribed to Kelardasht, from Spongobongo:



Here is a complete storage/transport bag that most likely originated in the Kelardasht region of Mazandaran province, with the same gul motif, minor white-ground border and the same major border as the rug except minus the arrow motifs between the flowers:



Notice the "handles" sewn near the opening at the right.
Here is the inside of the bag, with more handles sewn on.



This tells me that the bag was "convertible" and could be used with the face out when stored in the tent, or turned inside-out when used to transport goods, so as not to damage the pile perhaps. Most of these Kelardasht bags have had the pile face cut out of the bag and the handles removed, to be sold as decorative mats. I think it is rather unusual to find one complete like this one.



This view of the weave, from the back, shows a dark weft and thick symmetric knots similar to the brown bag, but with a more depressed warp and distinctively ribbed appearance.
Granted, the brown bag is more "sophisticated", although the reason could be that it was more of a village piece and the Kelardasht bag here was more likely a rural or nomadic piece. Mazandaran Province is settled by Persians and not Kurds. I think placing the brown bag in Mazandaran Province would be a stretch, but I am still looking!

Patrick Weiler
September 3rd, 2016 03:57 PM
Joel Greifinger
Quote:
The boteh rendering on your second piece shouts Kurdish to me, yet the borders make me wonder - not a typical Kurdish design (to my limited experience) Afshar maybe, or something Azerbaijani ?
Hi Chuck,

The particular meander border on Rich's bag below puts in a more than occasional appearance on Kurdish pieces:



On this 'Kurd Bijar' rug, the weaver starts out with that border, but then has an evident change of heart:



Joel
September 3rd, 2016 05:30 AM
Rich Larkin Very interesting pieces, Chuck, each one cool in its own way. Quite a riot of color along the bottom of the second one when you really look at it.

Rich
September 3rd, 2016 05:18 AM
Chuck Wagner Hi Rich,

The boteh rendering on your second piece shouts Kurdish to me, yet the borders make me wonder - not a typical Kurdish design (to my limited experience) Afshar maybe, or something Azerbaijani ? Do you have any specific info on that quite attractive piece ?


Hi Pat,

I really like that yellow chanteh; it's the sort of work I would expect after the person who wove mine had another 5-10 years of weaving experience. I see what you mean, I think, in particular the meanders in the border. Here's a few more images of mine, for completeness. It's in rough shape, and as suggested above, has the appearance of something borne out of a rustic and unsophisticated weaving setting. I suspect either quite young fingers, or quite old.







Regarding the array of bags from a few posts above, the beat-up one has some additional charm when observed more closely; here the back, and the pile bottom. The pile at the bottom of the front is clipped short, but was left long around the bottom and on the back:






Regards
Chuck
September 3rd, 2016 02:53 AM
Rich Larkin Hi Folks,

Not to go too far afield of the subject of the thread, but on the side issue of open boteh vs. closed, or sharply outlined versions, I'd like to point out that there is a spectrum of styles in that regard. Here are two sort of in the middle.
At least one of them, if not both, must be Kurdish.





Rich
September 3rd, 2016 02:38 AM
Rich Larkin Patrick,

That yellow and red chanteh is an absolute hummer!!

Rich
September 3rd, 2016 01:55 AM
Patrick Weiler Chuck,
Here is a chanteh which is probably Kurdish. There are even some offset knots.



It reminds me somewhat of the one you posted:



The dark grey weft in yours looks similar to the weft in the brown bag.
This one, with a red two-shot weft, is 8" x 17" (20cm x 43cm) with symmetric knots and no warp depression.



The colors are not like my brown bag, but the construction is similar.

Egbert, Kelardasht are often single wefted and can be either symmetric or asymmetric knotted. I have a couple of their bags around here somewhere. I will put on a headlamp and climbing shoes and head down to the bunker to see if I can find them.

Patrick Weiler
September 2nd, 2016 11:05 PM
Rich Larkin Hi Joel,

Are you suggesting that Kurdish-appearing rugs with single wefts are probably Kolyai?

I have often wondered whether the oft-repeated assertion that rugs produced in the greater Hamadan weaving area are single-wefted was completely accurate. With several hundred villages (according to Edwards) in on the action, it seems implausible that all of them would hold to that policy. The basic maxim seems to have much of the self-fulfilling prophecy about it.

In a different vein relative to the general 'Hamadan' output, I've read that a significant number of the contributing villages had substantial to majority Kurdish populations. Typically, when encountering what appears to be a Hamadan region rug that is a bit wilder and woolier than the norm, I chalk it up to the Kurds. Perhaps that is not a sound approach.

Chuck, I have to say, I like that selection of pieces from your collection. My kinda rugs! I'm a sucker for those ones with the Kurdish shrubs all over the field.

Rich
September 2nd, 2016 07:11 PM
Egbert Vennema
Bag with replaced ends.

Hi guys ,to me it looks a little like a piece from the Kelardasht region. Best, Egbert.
September 2nd, 2016 04:18 PM
Patrick Weiler
Boteh Quota?

Chuck,

I really like your little chanteh. I will rummage around through the bunker to see if I can find one like it.
Meanwhile, speaking of the skeletal boteh form, here is one from a runner of likely NW Persian origin. Rugs like these were probably as ubiquitous as the American Sarouk from the 20's to the 50's.



But instead of resting quietly in the little-used living room, they were on the front lines of wear and tear; the corridors, entryways and halls, trodden upon daily, wasting away to threads and discarded as they outlived their usefulness.
The basic design is similar to the brown bag, with a "vase" at the bottom from which springs a "tree", with globes or buds rising along the sides to the crest at the top with a lazy, drooping tip.
This runner also has side borders with the now-familiar single two-color dashed column minor border on either side of the main border, of symmetric knots with no warp depression. This minor border transitions along the top and bottom to the double-dashed lines seen here - no there are no offset knots. As I conjectured earlier, this bag may have derived from the workshop weavers "day job" of making rugs and runners. I have seen small pillow-sized Bijar pieces made by the families who weave the larger rugs, made for personal use. A local rug cleaning business owner visited Iran a decade ago and acquired one of these pillow faces. It would not be unlikely for professional rug weavers to make pillows or bags for use at home, which would be a reasonable explanation for the remarkably good condition of the small brown bag.

Patrick Weiler
September 2nd, 2016 02:33 AM
Chuck Wagner Hi Joel,

OK, thank you for clarifying. I guess I haven't knowingly handled any pieces from that area. Sorry I cluttered up the thread. Please post am image or two if you have one handy.

Regards
Chuck
September 1st, 2016 07:01 PM
Joel Greifinger
Quote:
In the section on storage bags he explicitly notes Kurd bags as single wefted, a tradition brought in from the western Kurd construction (without an external reference, so presumably from personal observation).

This comment confused me. My comment was based mainly on my own experience; I have about a dozen Kurdish pieces, including the Varamin piece. All are double wefted.
Hi Chuck,

When Tanavoli wrote, "Single-wefting was probably introduced to Varamin by the western Kurds", I interpreted it to refer specifically to its origin in Kurdish groups in the area near Kermanshah (Kolya'i and others) that typically weave single-wefted rugs. Two of the Kurdish clans in Varamin originated in Kermanshah.

Other than the single-wefted but also quite distinctive Senneh rugs, other Kurdish pile weaving tends to be double-wefted.

Joel
September 1st, 2016 03:42 PM
Chuck Wagner Hi Joel,

I saw that in his Varamin book. He does reference Craycraft in his comments about pile rugs. In the section on storage bags he explicitly notes Kurd bags as single wefted, a tradition brought in from the western Kurd construction (without an external reference, so presumably from personal observation).

This comment confused me. My comment was based mainly on my own experience; I have about a dozen Kurdish pieces, including the Varamin piece. All are double wefted. The two Bakhtiari-Lor Varamin bags aren't really comparable in my opinion, because the symmetrical knots at the bottom are tied into the plainweave base fabric. However, if Craycraft and Tanavoli included such examples in their statistics, that would explain a lot.

Here are a few of mine; note that the knots on the third example are barely packed together at all:














Regards
Chuck
September 1st, 2016 01:03 AM
Joel Greifinger
Quote:
I suspect that, particularly with Varamin Kurds and Bakhtiaris, double-wefted would be the rule rather than the exception.
Chuck,

My assumption was based on Tanavoli's statement that the pile weavings of all the Varamin weaving groups were typically single-wefted. In addition to his own field work, I think that he might have based this on a survey of 113 Varamin weavings that Michael Craycraft had published in Oriental Rug Review in which 83% of the pile pieces were single-wefted. My own small sample of a few Varamin pieces are single-wefted, too.

Joel
August 31st, 2016 11:15 PM
Chuck Wagner Hi Pat,

Here are a few images of another Jaf Kurd bag with similar, but larger, dashed minor borders (yours are from a single knot; each dash on mine is four). The weave has some similarities but the knots are packed down harder on mine. I have to admit that when I first saw the dashed borders I first thought NW Persia/Caucasus. The pile on this one is much shorter and flatter than on yours, even where it's not worn.

I am accustomed to seeing long pile on Kurdish rugs, but not so used to it on bags (maybe a personal problem), which is another reason I have been leaning toward Afshar. Still, similarities in borders and palette are clear (note brown medallion outlines and details on mine). And, the brown wefts are a consideration, but not unknown on rustic Afshar work. You could buy me a beer or two and then I'll could easily sway toward Kurd again.











Also, for Joel, a Varamin Kurd bag for his perusal:



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