Posted by Michael Wendorf on 08-23-2002 05:30 PM:


Dear Readers:

This Salon ends after nearly a month with more than 160 posts in 15 threads. Steve Price advises that among the benefits of presenting a Salon is the right to post a Summary and have "the last word" so to speak. In conceiving both this Salon and the ACOR presentation on which it is based, I hoped to commence a discussion of Kurdish weaving that might reexamine the place of Kurds as weavers and create a framework for anyone interested to broaden their, mine and our understanding of what Kurdish weaving is and any tradition behind it. Consistent with this, I hope this Salon is not the last word but rather a beginning.

The Salon itself began with a thread called "About Kurdish Rugs." The views of many people concerning Kurdish weaving were neatly summarized there by the thread's originator - that Kurdish weaving is mostly copies with no unique character or rote translations of earlier weavings made by groups totally unassociated with them, even though there may be geographic similarity. A spirited discussion followed thereafter within that thread that exposed some important but barely known carbonized fragments dating to about 5900 B.C. and excavated at Catal Huyuk. These include fragments in a technique called weftless transverse soumak. I made lengthy and repeated arguments that one might infer a connection between these fragments which predate the modern loom and modern wool with utilitarian weavings made by Kurdish weavers in wool and in the same technique that are much later.

In other threads we discussed and made some progress understanding Jaf diamond bags and there they might come from as well as specific motifs such as the Shikak motif. We also discussed Kagizman rugs, abrash, undyed wools and how lattice and grids on Persianate rugs may have evolved. A number of keen insights were made by Daniel D., Guido Imbimbo, John Howe, Filiberto, Patrick Weiler, Bob Kent and others on these subjects. I will let them all speak for themselves and hope the discussion continues. In the meanwhile, it has been my privilege to present my views on Kurdish rugs to you. I hope they are seen in a new light by some of you.

Thank you to everyone who posted and participated.

Michael Wendorf
August 23, 2002