Re: Nomads, Pastoral and Otherwise

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Posted by Patrick Weiler on April 01, 1999 at 21:53:35:

In Reply to: Re: Nomads, Pastoral and Otherwise posted by Steve Price on April 01, 1999 at 15:18:19:

: Dear Tom, Maude, and anyone else that's listening,

: I don't mean to be argumentative about this matter which, ultimately, is going to be just semantics. And I understand exactly what you're saying and have not a moment's doubt that your description of how certain groups of people live is accurate.

: Having said that, let me quote the text of the American Heritage College Dictionary entry undr "Nomad":
: "1. A member of a group of people who have no fixed home and move according to the seasons from place to place in search of food, water, and grazing land.
: 2. A person with no fixed residence who roams about; a wanderer."

: As I said, I don't think we have any difference of opinion beyond the correct definition of the word "nomad", and I agree that the notion of somebody joyfully spending his life sleeping under the stars in a different spot every night does not apply to the people whose weavings we find so fascinating.

: Regards,

: Steve Price

A book you may find fascinating is NOMAD A Year In The Life Of A QASHQA'I TRIBESMAN IN IRAN by Lois Beck.
It follows the travels of Lois Beck in 1970/1971. She describes the daily life, migration, modern complications, settled relatives, intrusive government, overpowering tribal heierarchy and family life of Borzu Qermezi of the Darrehshuri Qashqa'i.
There is a particularly sad scene when his daughter finishes weaving what she means as a dowry rug that is sold to support the migration. It is a wistful, powerful look at the reality of nomads in the last half of the 20th century.
It brings to life the emotions woven into the works of art that we now collect.
I suspect that many of the weavings we have in western collections were plunder taken from families forced out of their homes, such as during the Azerbaijan/Armenian conflict and forced settlement of Iranian tribes.

Patrick Weiler

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