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Traveler's Reports Our readers are invited to report on their interesting rug-related voyages here. No Marco Polo tall tales, please.

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June 13th, 2018 01:51 PM
Alain Bueno Hi Rich
As a contribution to what you wrote I am sending these pictures. I took them in Northwest Iran many years ago not far from Tabriz. Between them the family spoke Azerbaijani.On the floor a cheap Heriz upon others tribal weavings. They worked with the tipical Tabriz hooked knife. On the loom a 50 raj (5.000 knots per square decimeter) part silk carpet. The father told me he bought the sketch in the Tabriz bazar.He found the French pattern very attractive !!! The wools and the silks came from the neighborhoods bought already dyed.
As I asked the young boy how he knew the number of knots or the colors to be used he could not give me an explanation. However the girl told me that after two weeks working she knew by heart exactly what to do.Her skill was amazing. Unfortunately I was not authorized to speak with the woman.
As you said it is very complex to fully understand oriental weaving art. A lot of experience is required, gathering informations years after years but as Chomsky wrote “never reaching the Pic du Canigou”.

Best regards
June 10th, 2018 05:51 PM
Steve Price Hi Rich

You observe that both weavers were men. The Kaschan and Tabriz riugs are both urban workshop products, and it's been my impression that urban workshop carpets were woven by men and by women.

Steve Price
June 10th, 2018 05:18 PM
Rich Larkin Hi Alain,

I am late in seeing this thread, but I must agree with Patrick that your two experiences as reported give a fascinating insight into the subject we are chasing, often in frustration. There are several interesting angles to the stories, including that in both instances, the weavers were men. It should remind us as we look into the question of the origins or related circumstances of various rugs we encounter that, though most will fall into one of the 'usual' categories, the full range possibilities is much more complex than we are thinking.

April 12th, 2018 07:40 PM
Alain Bueno Hi Patrick
Something similar occured to me in Tehran during one of my many trips to Iran.Although I knew there was no weaving tradition in the capital, one day a friend of mine told me about a master weaver working near the Bazaar. I rushed to visit him. In a very modest house, with very weak light, an old man was weaving a splendid rug.Immediatly my attention was caught by the fact he was working with the tipical Tabriz hooked knife.He answered my question with an hardly understandable "farsi" full of Turquish words. Although from Azeri origin his family moved to Tabriz when he was very young. He later settled down in Tehran where he kept weaving as he learnt in his youth. The piece on the loom was the finest woollen Tabriz I ever seen around 8.000 knots per square decimetre.

April 10th, 2018 08:03 PM
Patrick Weiler Alain,
Thank you for this fascinating view. It reinforces the research showing that what weavers learned in their youth travels with them to wherever they later call home. Many tribes have been moved by authorities from place to place; some moved as a group to find better living conditions and others joined larger confederations and became incorporated into their cultural and weaving traditions. In the case of northeast Iran, several hundreds of years ago, tribes of Kurds were moved there from the west to be a Border Patrol for keeping Turkmen tribes at bay. They brought their motifs, structures and colors with them - which we now call Quchan Kurds. In more modern times, individuals have traveled afar for family reasons and better jobs - and as with this man, he brought his rug weaving tradition with him.

Patrick Weiler
April 9th, 2018 01:46 PM
Alain Bueno
A kaschan in akhangan ?

In the seventies I decided to visit Ferdowsi's mausoleum in Tus. The manager told me,since I was interested in art, to visit a tower not far from Tus, in timurid arquitecture style. It was very interesting. On my way back I stopped at a small village Akhangan. Asking about rug weaving a young woman in black chodor kindly offered herself to take me to a man who was weaving a rug in his house. To my surprise, on the loom, I could see a tipical Kaschan rug. The man told me he was born in Kaschan and that was the only way he knew how to weave a rug.
It is not important where a rug was woven, the important is who wove it.

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