Posted by Patrick Weiler on 07-30-2002 12:06 AM:



The second rug shown in the Salon, listed as #20, is identified as a Kagizman.
It looks a lot like the "typical" Karachoph Kazak design, but with the typical brick reds and delicious browns characteristic of Kagizman rugs.
Eiland notes that "...Armenians may have woven a kind of rug that is usually associated with Kurds. One published example not only shows a design characteristic of east Anatolian Kurdish rugs, but also the structural features-the edges, dark wool wefts, and braided ends-of certain Kurdish pieces."
Now, I am not suggesting that this rug is not Kurdish, but I wonder if the majority of "Kagizman" rugs are attributed to Kurds, even when the designs are similar to Kazak rugs from Armenian traditions.

I have inserted the image for convenience. Steve Price

Patrick Weiler

Posted by Michael Wendorf on 08-05-2002 07:05 PM:

blue wefts

Dear Patrick:

I cannot comment much on Kazaks from Armenian traditions. Perhaps Mike Tschebull can.

I have heard Armenian dealers state with great conviction that all Kagizman rugs are Armenian. This is probably no more true than it would be to say that all Kagizman rugs are Kurdish. A number of Anatolian specialists have examined this rug, including Harald Bohmer and some knowledgeable pickers who have seen many rugs from this area. What seems to be characteristic of Kurdish weavings from this area is the blue wefts amd flat blue selvedge as well as the skirt (weft faced plain weave therefore blue like the wefts) and the end finishes. (Most Kazaks would have red or perhaps brown wefts.) The coloration of the rug generally is also more Kurdish than anything I would think of as Armenian.

There are some other characteristics that separate this from the typical Karachov Kazak beyond those above. Among these are the distinctive main border, the one seen here on the vertical sides. This group tends to have this border and I have not seen it on any other rugs. In addition, the way the ground color and a simple stripe is used to create a minor border on either side of the main border. Some of the scatter/filler motifs seem to me to be distinctively Kurdish as well.

To really apprecaiate this rug, one must handle it. The wool and colors remain alive today.

I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply, I was called out of town and have just returned. Thanks for the post and your patience.

Best, Michael

Posted by Daniel_Deschuyteneer on 08-15-2002 01:02 PM:

Hi Michael and Patrick,

I don’t know for sure which group of weavers woven this extremely nice and highly praised group of rugs, that I love very much. I offer here photos of two other very good examples. The first one, showing a close-up of a very well drawn main border typical of this group

and the second one showing once more the typical design and colors but with another less typical but nice variation of it.

Look how this main border has been drawn with opposed half-hooked diamonds and its "leaf and calyx" version in the top and bottom main border. This is a border that Wendel will like very much.

In my experience, this group of rugs don’t seem to have a long tradition, and all of the pieces I have handled were most probably woven during the last quarter of the 19th when the Kars Kagizman area was under Russian control and, according to Eaggleton, inhabited by Kurds, Armenians, Turks and Caucasian Terekeme.

All these rugs are tightly and very regularly woven with a flat back, and were most certainly woven in a workshop which stopped its production at the end of the last century.

If they are very Kazak Caucasian in spirit (Karatchov design and more squarish sizes) I agree with Michael that the darker color palette as well as the often use of "ton sur ton" is in favor of a Kurdish attribution.

I disagree with you about the structure of these rugs. The blue wefting and the flat blue selvages are to my knowledge not a characteristic of Kagizman rugs.

I can show here at least one more example of the same group. All three having dark gray-brown wefts (singles, 3-5 shots) typical of Eastern Anatolian rugs. Nevertheless, I have a Kars rug with a typical "Karabagh chelaberd" design with blue wefting that, according to Eagleton, would have been woven by Caucasian Terekeme. So what to do with these blue wefts?

The "flat" selvages, with the ground wefts interlacing the selvage warps, is the "usual selvage construction" seen in Eastern Anatolian rugs and it's normal that we find this construction in Kagizman rugs.

Variations appear, the way these selvages are reinforced with additional wool yarns to create bands of several colors or as in the second rug I show, a reinforced selvage with a two color parallel wrapping


Deschuyteneer Daniel

Posted by Michael Wendorf on 08-16-2002 10:01 AM:

blue wefts and workshops in NE Anatolia

Hi Daniel:

Thanks for the posts and images of two more beautiful rugs. The second I assume is the former Adil Besim piece? Good to see again.

I tend to agree with you about any tradition behind this group of rugs, particularly if we are talking about the Kurdish weaving tradition as potentially being historical. No thousand years of tradition I think. However, I do not think that all of these rugs are late 19th century. By way of example is the rug in the Vakliflar that Yetkin published as plate 98 in Early Caucasian Rugs in Turkey Volume I. This rug was published in full color by Balpinar and Hirsch in Carpets/Teppiche of the Vakliflar Museum (Inv. No. 100) plate 82 on page 342. The Vakliflar rug is closely related to my rug in colors, drawing and scale. I have seen other rugs such as an example that Krikor Markarian had at ACOR in Santa Monica - now in a German collection. These must be quite a bit older than late 19th century. In addition, we both know rugs from Divrigi that seem somehow related that go back several hundreds of years.

I am not certain what you mean about the rugs being "tightly" woven. Yes, they have a flat back and a relatively regular weave. In handle, however, they tend to be floppy and loosely knotted.

I do not see rugs such as mine or the Vakliflar piece as workshop pieces. Actually the opposite. By workshop I understand that you mean a highly organized commercial workshop with rugs being made, often per a cartoon, for sale into the market with a division of labor. Less organized would be village/cottage industry and least of all tribal/nomadic. If my rug is a workshop piece it is a fiasco, a disaster. It lacks internal symmetry, in fact it is a monument to asymmetry with even the central medallion closer to one vertical border system than the other. There is also a total absence of border resolution or even the attempt of a border resolution. The scatter or filler motifs are almost random in their placement. There are bold and abrupt color changes from reddish brown to violet and back again. All of these attributes are the antithesis of workshop weaving. The Vakliflar rug shares some of these attributes and has very prominent lateral extensions drawn into the field almost like stabilizing elements we would expect to see in a kilim.

I did not state that blue wefts are a characteristic of Kagizman rugs, I wrote that blue wefts seem to be a characteristic of Kurdish rugs from this area. Kagizman tends to be a generic term that encompasses a number of weavings from probably several groups. Klingner wrote an article about these rugs in Hali Issue 81 in which he also referenced Eagleton as well as Boehmer and Brueggermann's Rugs of Anatolia. The yellow is a characteristic color of the area together with the reddish browns and absence of cochineal. Klingner makes no mention of blue wefts but Boehmer has discussed this a bit. In Rugs of Anatolia in fact they specifically call plate 106 Kurdish rather Eastern Anatolia on the basis of blue wefts. Elsewhere they emphasize how difficult it is to associate a particular rug to a specific weaving group. In addition, Mr. Boehmer examined my rug after the Philadelphia ICOC and told me that he felt very clearly that the rug was Kurdish in part due to the blue wefts. I should also add the William Eagleton has had the opportunity to examine my rug and also thought it to be Kurdish. I believe, although I do not recall it exactly, that he considered the blue wefts in this area typical of Kurdish weaving. In his book, Eagleton does not really address this issue of blue wefts directly so far as I recall.

I agree with you about the flat selvedge. Normal and most closely associated with Turkic weavings - but here blue.

About Terekeme, so little is known. Wertime and Wright discuss this area in Caucasian Carpets and Covers around pp 150 - 154 and mention Terekeme. They also make the point that even when Kurds made up a minority of the population they seem to have been responsible for a majority of the weaving.

Regards, michael

Posted by Michael Wendorf on 08-16-2002 04:35 PM:

Vakliflar rug

Dear Readers:

Here is an image of Vakliflar Inv. No. 100 from Balpinar and Hirsch's Carpets/Teppiche from the Vakliflar referenced above. It is also depicted in Yetkin's Early Caucasian Carpets in Turkey Volume I, as referenced above. Note that this carpet does not appear to have the distinctive yellow of the other carpets on the group, a color discussed at some length Rugs of Anatolia as being typical of the Kagizman area. It would also appear that the wefts in this rug are light red rather than blue or brown.

Thanks to Marla Mallett for supplying the image.


Posted by Daniel_Deschuyteneer on 08-18-2002 08:16 AM:

Hi Michael,

Not easy to express your thoughts, using what is for me, only a third language.

First, when I told in my previous post that this group of rugs were “tightly” woven, I wanted to say in fact, that they were “more tightly” woven than tribal/nomadic Kurdish rugs, and I agree with you that these rugs are according to their structure floppy.

Twice, speaking of workshop product, I was thinking to a village/cottage industry.

You said some of the scattered motif on the field were typically Kurdish. Of which motif are you speaking?


Posted by Michael Wendorf on 08-18-2002 11:29 AM:

scatter motifs

Hi Daniel:

You are doing pretty good with English as a first language, but as a third it is remarkable. Whatever, the words or occasional confusion, I think everyone understands you just fine. And now we are clear about what you meant.

The scatter motifs I referred to are the blue diamonds with the hooked elements that are very similar to the elements we find on the many Jaf Kurd bags and brocades. Six of these are seen quite clearly near the bottom of the rug.

Thanks for your efforts to share your thoughts with us in English.

Best, Michael

Posted by Michael Wendorf on 08-19-2002 10:52 PM:

Divan covers

Dear Readers:

I was reminded by a reader that the Anatolian Kurdish divan covers - divan covers that may also arise out of a Holbein tradition - are also often woven with blue wefts. It is assumed, however, that these divan covers were woven further west than the Kagizman area.

Regards, michael