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-   -   A Beluchi balisht (http://www.turkotek.com/VB37/showthread.php?t=4868)

Marvin Amstey May 30th, 2018 08:18 PM

A Beluchi balisht
I know that a lot of Beluch lovers frequent this site; hence the reason for this post. This rug has outstanding, wonderful wool and some of the most saturated colors I have seen on this genre.
This balisht has 7(h) x 12(v) asymmetric, open right knots. I believe that the camel color is dyed wool and not camel hair. There is a 2 cord selvage wrapped in a figure-8 fashion with coarse brown hair.



Zooming in x2 or more may give you a sense of the wool quality

Joel Greifinger May 30th, 2018 09:48 PM

Hi Marvin,

That's a beauty. :thumbsup:

The configuration of the Tree of Life field design reminds me of this one, in the Boucher collection, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art:


Joel Greifinger

Marvin Amstey May 30th, 2018 09:52 PM

LOTS of similarities - an extra border or two.
Thanks for the image

Chuck Wagner May 31st, 2018 05:05 AM

Hi Marvin,

That's a nice one; I like the rosette main border very much.

You are fortunate; your piece has led pretty comfortable life so far, as did the Boucher piece.

Mine, on the other hand, apparently had to work for a living.

The critters, a less common feature, caused me to overlook its woeful condition.

Wool quality is actually quite good, and this one still has its back.





Marvin Amstey May 31st, 2018 01:29 PM

Sorry to hear about all of the hard work to which it was subjected :deadhorse:- looks like "slave labor". But the great graphics still are clear!

I also note the white (wool?) while mine is clearly dark brown hair. Is this a measure of age, location, or anything else???
Thanks for the image

Chuck Wagner May 31st, 2018 07:22 PM

Hi Marvin,

By "white (wool?) while mine is clearly dark brown hair" I presume you are talking about the selvage ?

Mine had hair selvage as well, but most of it is now missing.

Here's a picture of what remains (lower left):


And for completeness, a shot of the intact back:


As for age, tough to judge, as with most oldish Baluch pieces. If we give some credence to Craycraft's thoughts, the simpler borders on yours are somewhat indicative of a nomadic rather than settled weaving environment. That assertion may have some reliable research behind it, but I am equally inclined to view simpler borders as possible age indicators as with Turkmen pieces.

Either way, both pieces have some appeal.


Marvin Amstey May 31st, 2018 07:56 PM

Sorry, I should have specified: I was asking about the weft.
Yes: both are attractive; unfortunately, mine is missing the back.

Chuck Wagner May 31st, 2018 09:51 PM

Oh, OK, wefts.

On mine the wefts are two shots of medium brown wool, both very loosely twisted. Knotting is asymmetric.

I will be interested to see if Joel has anything to say; he focuses on Baluch work.

While on the topic of balishts, take a look at this one, which I found several years ago. I assume it is Baluch.

The knots are symmetrical, making me think this is from eastern Persia somewhere. Warp and weft are ivory wool. The selvage is made up with 4 cords, with variable colored wool and hair wrapping. Some of the orange is tip-faded. It has a few pale blue silk knots in some of the white gul center detail. I like the white ground panel at the bottom:




Joel Greifinger May 31st, 2018 10:54 PM

Symmetrically-knotted balishts
Hi Chuck,

Interesting that this last balisht of yours is symmetrically-knotted. Until recently, I figured that SY-knotted 'Baluch' balishts were as uncommon as SY-knotted 'Baluch' khorjin. And then I started noticing them. :wizard:
I had found seven of them. Yours is the eighth. :clap:

I have these two:


Here is the surviving back:


And another tree-of-life style:



Marvin Amstey June 1st, 2018 12:05 AM

I like the wide borders on both Chuck and Joel's, and particularly the skirt on Chuck's.
On the topic of Sy knotted Baluch work, I have read somewhere that it is commonly seen on "Arab Baluch" work. Not knowing what "Arab Baluch" meant, I did a little homework. I learned that there are Baluchi people in Yemen, but I would be surprised if there are weavings from Yemen Baluchi's. So who are Arab Baluchi's, and is the statement about Sy knotting from them accurate??

Joel Greifinger June 1st, 2018 03:31 AM

Arab Baluch

On the topic of Sy knotted Baluch work, I have read somewhere that it is commonly seen on "Arab Baluch" work.
Hi Marvin,

In terms of weaving, 'Arab Baluch' generally refers to a group of rugs woven in the southern Khorasan area near Ferdows. While most 'Baluch' pile weaving is asymmetric open left, and some from Khorasan are symmetrically-knotted, many 'Arab Baluch' rugs are knotted asymmetric open right. I don't know of any rugs that are thought of as 'Arab Baluch' that are symmetrically-knotted.

Another feature of rugs from the Ferdows area is that some older, 19th century rugs are woven on cotton warps, unlike any other group of old 'Baluch' rugs. They often incorporate a number of characteristic motifs (e.g. the 'mah' or moon motif) and border designs. In this archived Turkotek thread, there is a discussion and images of these rugs starting at post #50 by Jack Williams: http://www.turkotek.com/misc_00123/beluch.htm


Marvin Amstey June 1st, 2018 01:23 PM

Thanks for the summary.

Marvin Amstey June 1st, 2018 07:04 PM

On further thought, why 'Arab' if they are in Khorason province in Iran??:felix:

Chuck Wagner June 1st, 2018 07:27 PM

Indeed. The term Arab Baluch never made any sense to me, either. I suspect it is a rug lore term from the distant past, likely a response that was substituted for "I don't know"...


Joel Greifinger June 1st, 2018 07:48 PM

Arabs in Khorasan

why 'Arab' if they are in Khorason province in Iran??
The Arab settlements in Khorasan began with the garrisoning of troops there in 651 and continued throughout the Omayyad and Abbasid Caliphates. Some villages in the area around Ferdows in southern Khorasan maintain a sense of separate Arab identity even as they also identify as Baluch. This dual identification is not unusual, as a variety of other groups who are not descended from the Baluch have also become integrated into Baluch social structures. Brian Spooner has written quite a bit about this over the last few decades, including this: https://repository.upenn.edu/anthro_papers/96/

For a good short overview of the ethnic make-up of Khorasan, see http://www.iranicaonline.org/article...-ethnic-groups

for more detail specifically about Arabs in Khorasan, see:


Marvin Amstey June 1st, 2018 10:40 PM

You are a storehouse of information on the Baluch:applause:
Thanks much

Chuck Wagner June 2nd, 2018 02:50 PM


So, what does all that boil down to in terms of identifying a particular piece as "Arab Baluch" ?

Ethnicity is one thing, an identifiable class of weavings is another. I guess I should have been a bit more specific; I have been aware of the presence of ethnic Arabs in eastern Persia for a long time, but have never seen a satisfying reading source on their weavings.


Rich Larkin June 2nd, 2018 05:16 PM

Hi Chuck,

No doubt you have seen what Edwards said about 'Arab' rugs within the greater 'Baluch' matrix. He implies a distinction between such rugs and 'true' Baluch rugs, but he doesn't do much more to inform the analysis. He also provides several of his familiar black and white illustrations, including a half dozen or so which he tags as Arab, but they don't help (me!) very much.

A prominent issue that must be recognized regarding commentary on Baluch rugs by the estimable Mr. Edwards is the few but significant errors committed in the book, such as that Baluch rugs (including the Arabs) are single-wefted, or that the warps (and wefts) of the older ones were mostly black, until they moved over to cotton. It is difficult to reconcile these lacunae with the otherwise generally excellent work of the author.


Rich Larkin June 2nd, 2018 06:38 PM


You are a storehouse of information on the Baluch
Yes, yes! :cheers:

Joel Greifinger June 2nd, 2018 08:03 PM


So, what does all that boil down to in terms of identifying a particular piece as "Arab Baluch" ?
Hi Chuck,

There are a number of features that occur often, but not always and not necessarily together, in rugs that are generally called 'Arab Baluch'. Unlike other 'Baluch' rugs, many are asymmetrically knotted open right (ASR). Also, there are some motifs that are characteristic, particularly the 'mah' (moon) motif, as Wegner terms it:


The most common border is a sort of flower/rosette meander. Often, some of the wool is camel colored. This rug has all of these features:


This one has another common field design and has what are called 'half-moons' as the main border, another typical element.


A whole other type attributed to Ferdows, and often also called 'Arab Baluch' are these rugs with herati patterns that are usually woven on cotton warps. 'Arab Baluch' rugs are the only group of seemingly older 'Baluch' rugs that were sometimes woven with cotton warps.


'Arab Baluch' bags aren't all that plentiful, but there are some around, like this one:


And, since the thread started with a balisht, let me say that I've never seen an 'Arab Baluch'-looking balisht. :rofl:


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