Joel Greifinger January 13th, 2014 12:52 AM

Border Variations
Hi all,

One of the features of some star-in-octagon bags that adds to their allure is the juxtaposition of an unusual border or one that may be more common on other sorts of weavings. While the first of these bag faces has a drawing of the "animal/bird" figure that I find quite appealing, what really struck me was the border. This is made up of motifs that are sometimes found on 'Baluch' trappings (and some Uzbek weavings) but I have not seen it on other bag faces. It is called Kutschkorak (breeding ram motif) by Powischer and Klieber.

Here it can be seen on this pile trapping from Treasured Baluch Pieces (TBP):

and here done in flatweave techniques in a 'Baluch' trapping from western Afghanistan:

Another bag where the unusual border adds considerable interest is this one that also appeared in TBP. Diehr calls this border "Greek frieze":

It provides a great frame for the mixed star and khaf outer field where the stars seem to pop out of the red/blue contrast.


Joel Greifinger January 25th, 2014 07:04 PM

Crossing the border
Another feature that adds to my attraction to this bag that I posted in the mini-salon is across the border, its 'skirt'.

There I wrote that I haven't seen such a panel of stars on other pieces. What I meant was that I haven't seen it on other star-in-octagon bags. It does appear on some 'Baluch' rugs, one of which is among the earliest with known provenance, purchased by the V & A in 1883:

and this one, posted online by a collector who occasionally shares images of pieces in his collection :clap::

I'm aware of a few other 'Baluch' rugs where there is a 'skirt' (albeit, not with stars) only on the bottom. Here are a couple:

In all of these cases, I find the 'skirt' enhances my visual interest and pleasure, but I imagine that some might find some or all distracting or discordant.


Joel Greifinger June 18th, 2014 10:17 PM

Sharing the breeding rams
Unsurprisingly, given their propensity to share designs with the 'Baluch', the other weaving group that makes use of the 'breeding ram' border featured on the star-in-octagon bag in the thread opener:

is the Kurds of Khorasan. They have versions done in soumak on kapans (camel covers):


and grain bags:

Commenting on the pile trapping published in TBP (#68, included the opening post), Frank Diehr wrote: "The border design and the red wefts might both indicate the mixed tribal background of the weaver."


Dinie Gootjes June 19th, 2014 01:06 AM

Hi Joel,

The border on those Baluch pieces first reminded me of the border you often see on Luri rugs, both piled and flat weave, like here:

Do you see them as basically different?


PS: internet picture

Filiberto Boncompagni June 19th, 2014 10:44 AM

Let's not forget the pre-Columbian Inca textile

already discussed here: :groucho:



Joel Greifinger June 22nd, 2014 07:40 PM


Do you see them as basically different?
Hi Dinie,

I think Peter Stone gets it right when he refers to what he terms the "triangle and ram's horn" as "a ubiquitous border motif". In addition to the Lurs, weavers from the Khamseh Confederacy and east Anatolian Kurds all made use of fairly similar varieties, as in this common type of east Anatolian prayer rug:

Marla Mallett convincingly argues that the common ancestor of all of these iterations is to be found in characteristic warp substitution motifs that then migrated to technically less restrictive structures. (Thanks, Filiberto, for the link and the prescription that it contains for periodic re-readings of Marla's "Tracking the Archetype"). :clap:

My comment on the similarity between the 'Baluch' examples and the Kordi ones was provoked by having noticed that the style of the "triangle and ram's horn" in them was similar to each other and somewhat different from the rendering in the other weaving groups of which I was aware. :p


Patrick Weiler June 24th, 2014 02:49 AM

Go West Young Man
May as well throw in a Moroccan version:

Definitely something "fishy" about this rug.
Patrick Weiler

Joel Greifinger June 30th, 2014 09:18 PM


I didn't mean to imply that the 'Baluch' don't also make use of a version of the more widespread rendition of the "triangle and ram's horn", as in this bag face from a two-sided piled chanteh: