It is great that you have your digital camera clicking away for the benefit of those of us unable to attend ACOR.
The Wertime straps (one shown on page two of your report) have a design that is reminiscent of Bakhtiari or Luri flatweaves. They often use the swastika or pinwheel design and the stepped-look of these pile weave bands or straps appears to have been derived from a slit-weave tapestry piece.
I have a Luri early 20th century kilim, 12' long and 5' wide, with these pinwheels in the corner spandrels:
This weaving is interlocking tapestry, so there are no slits and it is "double sided" in that either side can be face-up with no ridges that are noticeable in Bakhtiari double-interlocking tapestry weaves.
I would guess that these pieces are animal pack bands or multi-purpose bands.
These bands are in full pile and not very long at all. Maybe a foot at most and only a couple of inches wide. I don't know what they are but they're pretty short for my own picture of pack bands.
I'll try to ask next time I'm on dealers' row.
R. John Howe
Pat et al -
I almost bought one of these straps the last day but decided on another small piece.
I did ask the dealer what his understanding of them was: how were they used.
He admitted that he was not sure, but said that one thing he had heard is that they are knee decorations (possibly also protections) for children.
He said there is a kind of game of tag in which a person who is "it" tries to touch others in the game on the knee with a kind of switch.
It seems pretty romantic, but I remember hearing of a similar (boy-girl) game in Eastern Europe once described to us by a grade school teacher.
Anyway, that's his suggestion.
R. John Howe