TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Felt Bohcha
Author  :  Kenneth Thompson mailto:%20wkthompson@aol.com
Date  :  05-23-2001 on 08:52 a.m.

Most of the Turkoman bags we have been discussing are either pile weavings or sophisticated flatweaves. Here is a departure: a felt bohcha of uncertain age, but probably early 20th century. It measures approximately 14 " by 15" without the tassels, and is made of natural colored felt that has turned a smoky yellow on the back. I had thought that this was from cooking smoke, but a knowledge Central Asia hand thought it more likely oil and sweat from being carried on a horse. The lady who sold it to me bought it on the Iran-Turkmenistan border, near the Caspian sea. (Yomud, pehaps?)

The diagonal ribs, ending in "ram's horns", are decorated with alternating
overcast segments of red and blue wool, with triangles of red and green cotton cloth sewn onto the felt to produce a serrated pattern. A braided cord has been sewn around three sides of the bag and ends in hanging loops at each corner. There is no fastener to keep the top envelope flap closed.

Although there are a lot of felt "okbashis" coming out of the region these days, this is the first felt bohcha that I have come across. Have any of you had any experience with these?

Best regards,


Subject  :  Re:Felt Bohcha
Author  :  Steve Price mailto:%20sprice@hsc.vcu.edu
Date  :  05-23-2001 on 09:08 a.m.
Dear Ken,

The thing that the marketplace usually calls a bohcha (or bokche) is an unsewn textile that folds into the shape of your felt piece. It is believed to be a container for presentation of bread at a wedding. The sewn bags like yours (although I've never seen one done in felt) are usually called Koran bags.

Whether these attributed uses are accurate, of course, is another matter. I don't know whether they are or not.


Steve Price

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