Posted by Steve Price on 04-21-2006 12:11 PM:

Yon Bard's Salor(?) trapping(?)

Hi John

Some questions about Yon Bard's mystery piece, in your report on Day 0:

What are the dimensions? If the wall tag is typical size, the piece looks to be about 12 inches on each side. Is this estimate about right? Is the region in the center an opening with some fabric backing sewn behind it, or is it part of the weaving? If the latter, is it pile or unpiled foundation material (it actually doesn't look like either one on my monitor)?

Thanks for doing the reporting, by the way.


Steve Price

Posted by R._John_Howe on 04-21-2006 05:35 PM:

Steve -

This piece of Yon's is about the size you suggest and is full pile. And I didn't examine it closely but think the "hole" is for some reason back with another material.

It seemed possibly to be a collar for a child's costume when I first looked at it but Yon and I agreed the center hole is too small for a child's head.

He said one more thing, I think about its being finished all around.

I can look at it again too.

Anyway, he waiting for someone to make this ACOR worthwhile to him.


R. John Howe

Posted by Steve Price on 04-21-2006 06:42 PM:

Hi John

Surgical drape for a circumcision?


Steve Price

Posted by Lavergne Philippe on 05-21-2006 01:46 PM:


I saw today, in my friend Wali's house ( Wali is from Afghanistan) a piece not exactly similar, but with sides a little more polygonal , and the same hole. the piece about 15 - 20 inches sides.

The piece I saw is also symetrical, and very nice looking.

Wali told me it is, without any doubt, a bib ( french "bavoir" from "baver" which means, by the way of the dictionnary, to dribble, to drool ).
He told also that, very often little things (amulets I guess) were picked on it to protect the baby.

"Bavoir " is , in french , a very common word, and thing, but not so pretty;nevertheless it can be seen bavoirs with nice brocades.... or plastic ones.

" en baver" means too suffer very much owing to something.

If the hole is big enough, it is a bib ! The diameter of a baby's skull is about 45 to 50 cm divided by pi : 6 or 7 inches .

The (very pleasant) hypothesis of circumcision is a dream for a very big "thing" ; ( freudian dream?)

Très amicalement to Steve and every body.


Posted by Lavergne Philippe on 05-21-2006 02:30 PM:

About bibs:

there is one , named bib01 (!!) on ( no copyright !) with this text
" The piece is 19" across. Side-to-side width of the hole in the center is 7 1/4", but less front-to-back. It looks like it will accomodate an object about 5 1/2" across without stretching the stitches. The distance across the lower horizontal row of white spirals in the first photo is 5 1/8". The distance left-to-right across the last image is 3 1/4". The width of a chain stitch band is about 1/20th of an inch"
and on ( it is not a pub )

with dimensions:
Origin : Central Asia, Turkmenistan
Width : 1'1'' (35 cm)
Length : 1'2'' (37 cm)
Material : silk embroidery
Foundation : cotton


Note: I have taken the liberty of putting the image file into our server and inserting it into Phil's message. It is from Seref Ozen's "Cocoon" site, but we have no input into when and how he rearranges what's there, so the link is likely to become defuct sooner or later. Seref has always been very gracious about allowing us to use his images, even without attribution, so I'm sure he won't object here. Steve Price

Posted by Tim Adam on 05-21-2006 03:06 PM:

Hello all,

This piece is made in one piece. No hole that is backed by something else. I don't know about the attribution, but it did not even look Turkman to me. Is the Turkman attribution accepted wisdom, or is that also under condieration?


Posted by Steve Price on 05-21-2006 04:27 PM:

Hi Tim

Am I correct in assuming that you'e talking about Yon Bard's "Salor"(?) piece? I ask only because there are several other things shown in the thread now.

Is it Turkmen? It looks Turkmen to me. The field design is common on the skirt of many ensi, the colors look Turkmen, and the single border reminds me a lot of the borders at the two upper sides of Yomud pentagonal asmalyks. Do you have an alternative suggestion?

At the time of weaving, it had to be all one piece (the undecorated middle continuous with the foundation of the rest of the weaving). If that region was intended to be an opening, it would be cut out later. The fact that it was not cut out suggests, but doesn't prove, that it wasn't intended to be an opening.


Steve Price

Posted by Tim Adam on 05-21-2006 05:05 PM:

Hi Steve,

Yes, I was talking about Yon Bard's piece. I agree that the field design is part of the Turkmen design repertoir, but the way it is used here does not strike me as Turkmen, and surely not as Salor. I can't really articulate why, and I am also not at all sure. I also don't have any idea what else it could be. So, mine is just an unsubstantiated feeling, and I was wondering whether other people might have had similar reactions.


Posted by Sue Zimmerman on 05-28-2006 11:46 AM:

Conversations with one of the 72, (yes, actual head count), nurse's aides I've hired to help care for my mother over the years might shed some light on Yon's "trapping". I hope so, as I feel indebted to Yon for photos he provided that helped me.
The nurse's aide, L, is from Lithuania, land of rains. She was telling me about the time she took her very ill, and pronounced "medically incurrable" husband, who was suffering the consequences of participating in the Chernobyl cleanup, to a "shaman" who's cured him by sprinkling him with water the shaman had "put energy into" .
This story reminded L of my interest in Turkmen weavings and she went on to tell me about the time she and her husband had traveled to Turkmenistan to visit a Turkmen her husband had befriended when, years earlier, they met while spending time in compulsory Soviet armed service.
The Turkmen and his wife had, in the meantime, gone on to become medical doctors. That, complicated with the problem of their both being from upper-class families had led them, according to L, to feel the need to call in higher powers for protection in their community which is why they wore what I am going to call "amulets" because L could not translate into English, she said, what they were really called.
L said there are no better hosts than Turkmen and the need to afford L and her husband similar higher protection due to their being different and foreigners their first local trip, on arriving in Turkmenistan, was to a shaman for protective "amulets".
While L was not allowed into the actual presence of the shaman she was quite animate that the shaman had "put energy into dirt" just as had the Lithuanian shaman, years later, put "energy into water" to cure her husband. My line of questioning irritated L. because to her it was crystal clear that in the land of rains the shamen put energy into water and that in the land of dirt shamen put energy into dirt. Then we found out that I didn't know yet, what everyone knows, that Lithuania means "land of rains".
L said the dirt was energized and then folded and sewn into a cotton pouch that ends up shaped like a triangle. I showed her the photo on page 50 of Jon Thompson's "Oriental Carpets" book and pointed to the thing on the little girl's hat and asked "like that?" She said "exactly like that, that's it".
What I'm thinking is that Yon's weaving looks like a perfect fit and a good and practical place for a shaman, after putting a piece of dirt filled cloth in the weaving's center area, to put the yet to be energized dirt for making these "amulets". The cloth that holds the dirt can then be folded into shape, sewn up, removed, and then onward to the next energizing. I hope Yon reads this just in case I'm right. Sue

Posted by Steve Price on 05-28-2006 11:55 AM:

Hi Sue

Many thanks. Your explanation seems to me to be very likely to be correct, and also explains the extra thickness of the center part. The catalog description of the piece (which can be found by following the link provided by Robert Alimi for the New England Rug Society's on-line presentation of the exhibition) includes the following sentence:

The warps and wefts are uninterrupted through the unpiled area in the center, and reinforcing wefts have been added.

In light of Sue's information, reinforcing the center because it is a container makes perfect sense.


Steve Price