Awhile back I noticed that the use of low contrast in adjacent colors to
sort of fool the eye was a characteristic of some Belouch group weavings.
I wondered whether this might relate in some way to the importance of
secrecy in some tribal cultures, and raised this issue for discussion.
There appears to be no reason to believe that the two are related, but
some interesting things did come up. Yon Bard pointed out that this use of
low contrast that "hides" some elements of the design occurs in older
Turkmen weavings, too, usually in very good ones. Tom Cole reminded us
that this is almost a defining characteristic of Mamluk rugs, and offered
the opinion that the tradition was probably carried on and then eventually
lost among the Turkmen, but retained by the Belouch until fairly late, as
the Belouch tended to retain older traditions longer than the other
central and western Asian weaving groups. Maybe this was all old news to
some of our readers, but I learned something from the exchange, and I
suspect that I was not alone in this.|