TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  A "Common" Kurd
Author  :  Patrick Weiler mailto:%20theweilers@home.com
Date  :  01-08-2001 on 04:36 p.m.

It is a very fascinating objective (and a valiant attempt) to try to distinguish the authentic Kurdish weavings from the not-so-Kurdish weavings. It appears that Kurdish weavings are getting a bit more respect that they did in the past.
I have a "common" rug I would describe as Kurdish:

It is 6' long and 45" wide at the bottom, but 41" wide at the top. This must be due to weft ease as Marla Mallett has described. It appears to have been woven early in the 20th century and includes 10 or more colors, including an aubergine that is not faded at all, red, green, pink, blues, yellow, browns, white and probably more.
There are 8v x 7h knots per square inch and the weave is loose, with the symmetrical knots not beaten down very heavily between the two wool wefts - one red, the other brown. The warps are twisted brown and white.
The top, front:

The bottom end is a twisted heading cord and an inch of flatweave with a row of two-color 4-span twining. This, Marla indicates, shows a more likely home-woven rug rather than a roller beam commercial loom. The top shows oblique interlacing, then flatweave with the same two-color 4-span twining.
The top, back:

I suspect it was woven somewhere in the Kurdish heartland, but could not say with any certainty where. The catch-all NW Persian category seems to fit.
Several things about this rug point to Kurdishness:
The 3 and 1/4 medallions; the off-center placement of the arrows pointing from the sides into the center of the rug; the "disintegrating" floral forms at the sides that mimic the flowers/stars in the centers of the medallions; the similarity to Karabagh rugs from "farther North", the "carelessness" of the drawing; the whimsical birds placed randomly in the rug and even a couple of botehs with legs near the top of the rug. Would you call this a Kurdish rug?

Patrick Weiler

Subject  :  Re:A "Common" Kurd
Author  :  Daniel Deschuyteneer mailto:%20daniel.d@infonie.be
Date  :  01-08-2001 on 08:06 p.m.
Dear Patrick,

It’s here already 02 A.M and as I am too much tired I can’t fully answer to your posting. Nevertheless my feeling is that your rug isn’t Kurdish. At least not what I call an authentic Kurdish rug. Things will be perhaps more clear after Steve will have posted my last message.
My first guess is that your rug has been woven in North Azerbaidjian, most probably in the Hashtrud area. There Turkish Shasavan tribes, Kurdish Shahqaqi tribes and Haji-alili having moved from the Karadagh area are so much mixed that it’s impossible to know who weave what.

Congratulation for your structure analysis. It seems that more and more of us are learning to speak the same language.

Thanks for your interest and your participation.


Subject  :  Re:A "Common" Kurd
Author  :  R. John Howe mailto:%20rjhowe@erols.com
Date  :  01-08-2001 on 09:40 p.m.
Daniel (and Michael too, if you're reading this) -

I'm struck by the surety of the responses you are giving concerning the pieces being offered. And you may well be right, but I'll just share a thought that occurs to me.

How ethnically homogenous is the "Kurdish heartland." Is it nothing but Kurds or are there other ethnic group members living in close quarters in this area? I remember that Wright/Wertime mapped some Caucasian areas closely in terms of ethnicity and found that different groups lived in very close proximity. And Gayle Garrett reports that she has encountered weavers in Western Turkey living side by side and using quite different structures in their weaving.

I know it's really the best basis we have for such distinctions but I begin to wonder whether (and not just about Kurdish weaving) we are not kidding ourselves at bit sometimes.

Just a thought that makes me a bit uneasy from time to time.


R. John Howe

Subject  :  Re:A "Common" Kurd
Author  :  Daniel Deschuyteneer mailto:%20daniel.d@infonie.be
Date  :  01-09-2001 on 07:20 p.m.
Dear Patrick,

Looking to your rug at 02 A.M. is certainly not the best way to do accurate attribution or to write useful contribution. Next time I will first go sleeping.... Now I am awake.

The design of your rug is in fact typical of Sard Rud rugs, woven North of Hamadan, and is related to one rug illustrated in Cecil Edwards’ book – The Persian Carpet – plate 89 page 106.

I don’t know why I didn’t recognize it directly because I have had one some years ago. Will try to find back the photo and will post it you at home.

While the design is characteristic some structure details, you cite, are disturbing.
1/ As you know most of village weaves from the Hamadan area have all cotton foundation while your rug has cotton warps and wool wefts.
2/ another distinguish characteristic of the Hamadan weave is that only one weft is inserted between rows of knots. Nevertheless, C. Edwards recorded city rugs from this area having two wefts between rows of knots.
3/ Last according to C. Edwards, the Hamadan people are a mixture of Persian, Turkish, Arab and Mongol strains and speak Turkish.
I would expect not to see an oblique WRAPPED (it is NOT oblique interlacing) END FINISH in your rug as I am feeling that this structure is distinctively Kurdish.

East of the Sard Rud district are the Kolyai, Senneh and Bijar Kurdish areas. So my guess is that your rug has been woven in the East outskirts of the Sard Rud district, where Kurds and Hamadan people were certainly mixed during the first half of the 20th century. This would at least explain the mixed structure.



Subject  :  Re:A "Common" Kurd
Author  :  Patrick Weiler mailto:%20theweilers@home.com
Date  :  01-09-2001 on 10:00 p.m.

This rug does have WOOL warps AND two wool wefts, a flat back with no warp depression and the selvages are two 4-yarn warp units with weft interlacing and aubergine overcasting. In some areas, both wefts are red.
It is a "fun" rug, with a playful design and no pretensions to sophistication. At the same time, it is not as "pedestrian" as a mass-produced Hamadan or Saruk with washed and painted colors to appeal to the Western market.
I will check my references for Sard Rud, since it is not a name that I am familiar with. At least the Going Out Of Business Sales do not advertise 50% off all Sard Ruds, today only!


Patrick Weiler

Subject  :  Re:A "Common" Kurd
Author  :  Daniel Deschuyteneer mailto:%20daniel.d@infonie.be
Date  :  01-10-2001 on 04:01 p.m.
Dear Patrick,

Gulp…… I said East of the Sard Rud district are the Kolyai, Senneh and Bijar Kurdish areas …. It’s West naturally!

Before seeing my patients this afternoon I will get a quick look at my notes:
The heart is at the LEFT side ……..Gulp!

I came across two other rugs related to yours in PRJ Ford’s book “Oriental Carpet Design”. Plate 498 and 499. I can post you the photo if you haven't the book.

One is labeled Kolyai (Kurdish) and the other one Chenar in the Hamadan area close to the edge of the Kurdish area. Ford adds that a further variant of this basic design is made in the village of Faizabad in the Ferahan district.

C.Edwards tells that the design is typical of Shar Rud (North Hamadan area)

So, I think that all the pieces of the puzzle are now on the table we just need to assemble them.

Against a Hamadan (Shar Rud or Chedar ) attribution are the all wool foundation of your rug and the two wefts inserted between rows of knots, so it may be rejected.

In favor of a Kurdish Kolyai attribution is the structure and the wrapped end finishes, but Kolyai rugs have normally only one weft between rows of knots….….

Who said that it was easy?

I am sure now where it has been woven :

“Somewhere” ……

near the Hamadan and the Persian Kurdistan border.



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