TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Baluch? Boteh Balisht
Author  :  Patrick Weiler mailto:%20theweilers@home.com
Date  :  09-25-2001 on 10:56 a.m.
Daniel and Marla,

Upon reading your salon, I commenced an exhaustive search for pieces in my collection with offset knots. Other than the common Jaf Kurd bagface, I found nothing. I even looked under the bed.

Then I took a closer look at this old, raggedy Baluch balisht.
It is a bit "tatty", with rewrapped selvedges, missing top end and some moth damage.
The condition is appropriate to the appearance; a bit crowded, sharp abrash, clashing (but good) colors, uneven in size and with uneven lines. In other words, a piece with personality.

Lo and Behold ! Offset knots !

A careful look at the back of the border shows a few white knots offset from the darker brown knots:

A look at the front shows a little of the asymmetry caused by these offset knots:

This caused me to look more carefully at the boteh designs. There are offset knots at both sides of the top outline of the center boteh here and the upper left boteh has a dark blue border with some offset knots at the bottom right corner.

The appearance on the front is one of sloppiness, as opposed to rigid geometric symmetry that most weavers aspire to. You can see at the upper right the irregularity produced by the offset knots in the blue border of the boteh, and also the funky, bulbous appearance of the boteh top in the center:

There is another detail about this rug which will interest those who study Baluch weavings; it is symmetrically knotted, instead of asymmetric.

So, is it Baluch? Kurd-Baluch? Arab-Baluch? It is obviously from the Baluch balisht tradition, but is unusual in so many ways.

This weaving seems to counter the expectation that offset knotting was often used to reproduce flatweave designs. It also does not appear that the weaver used offset knots to steepen the lines, since there are many botehs without them. And if John likes weaving with a "finished" appearance, he won't find it here. Is it likely, as has been speculated, that weavings such as this were not saved because they weren't at the pinnacle of their type? That there may have been many more of these but they were "used up" ? I am unaware of any closely related pieces, but that doesn't surprise me!

Patrick Weiler

Subject  :  Re:Baluch? Boteh Balisht
Author  :  Marla Mallett mailto:%20marlam@mindspring.com
Date  :  09-25-2001 on 02:15 p.m.
Dear Pat,

Thanks for this example! Very interesting—the shaping on the botehs. I’d agree with you that this instance does not represent a transfer from another medium, but the weaver’s attempt to better articulate the form. Successfully, I’d say. I did not, during the course of this study, look at any Baluch pieces, so I hope others who have them will do so.

I am definitely not attuned to the subtleties of Baluch attributions, and so do not understand where or how symmetrically knotted pieces fit the larger picture. We sometimes hear these called Kurdish Baluch, which seems a bit strange to me. It would be interesting to know if offset knotting appears in any other pieces of this group. If so, it might help to substantiate a Kurdish attribution.


Subject  :  Re:Baluch? Boteh Balisht
Author  :  Christoph Huber mailto:%20huber-ch@pilatusnet.ch
Date  :  09-30-2001 on 01:22 a.m.
Dear Patrick and Marla

Here you can see a detail of the only surviving normal, regular knotted band just above my ak chuval elem.

The yellow arrow points to a warp which the weaver has missed. This little imperfection transforms some 13 knots to the right the intended rectangle into an offset knotted lozenge.
How can we tell that the offset knots on the Baluch aren’t “faults” as well?
Best regards,

Subject  :  Re:Baluch? Boteh Balisht
Author  :  Patrick Weiler mailto:%20theweilers@home.com
Date  :  09-30-2001 on 01:58 a.m.
Dear Cristoph,

The number of offset knots in the balisht would argue against a few missed warps. They abound throughout the weaving. I only showed a few photos because I did not want to overwhelm the bandwidth. I am "on the road" until next week, otherwise I would post a few more photos.
Your realization that one missed warp has caused an offset lozenge (or was it the other way around and the "missed warp" was the weavers correction to the offset knot?) points out a topic raised in another thread in this salon: does offset knotting cause irregularities at the borders and transition areas of some weavings such as the Jaf Kurd bagfaces?
The more examples that I see which have smooth resolutions at these areas convince me that the disjointed irregularities are only an opportunity for the weaver to add a bit of spontaneous individuality to the weaving; an individuality that proliferated within the Jaf Kud design tradition.

Spontaneously yours,

Patrick Weiler

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