Re: pile rugs and pastoral nomads

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Posted by Yon Bard on July 29, 1999 at 17:08:31:

In Reply to: Re: pile rugs and pastoral nomads posted by Wendel Swan on July 29, 1999 at 14:25:42:

: Dear Yon,

: You posted, in part:

: : The argument that Turkomans were sedentary because they preferred pile to flatweave is rather circular: You posit that nomads don't make pile rugs, therefore those who do are perforce not nomads.

: The relationship between pile weaving and nomadism is not a question of preference, but of utility. In essence, nomads cannot afford the extra weight of pile, which is also more expensive to weave and somewhat less adaptive in use. I commend to you Thomas Barfield's book Nomadic Pastoralism for a broad view of nomadic life.

: Elsewhere in this thread, Marla has posted her experience with the nomads of Anatolia and their limited or non-existent pile weaving. Mike Tschebull and I have wrangled for years over whether the nomadic Shahsavan wove pile and, assuming they did, how much and what. Whether we agree entirely or not, we both believe that pile production among the Shahsavan was very limited, due to the reasons I have stated.

: I am not and will not pretend to be an authority on Turkmen weaving, but those who are and whose opinions I respect tell me that many of the Turkmen have been essentially sedentary for a long time. Based upon the lack of pile weavings by other nomadic groups, the large amount of Turkmen pile is consistent with being sedentary.

: Your example of an okbosh is a perfect one to illustrate that nomads can and do weave at least some pile. But a lot of pile is not consistent with the nomad's life.

: Now I will again call on John Howe to step into this fray. Turkmen are not my bag.

: Regards,

: Wendel

Wendel, too bad you weren't there a few hundred years ago when you could have convinced the Turkomans that kilims would have been more convenient for them. It would have saved them a lot of unnecessary trouble, and me and those other maniacs a lot of money.

Regards, Yon

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