(Posted on 15/04/14)
Boteh: The boteh design derives its name from Persian word for 'a cluster of leaves', which it only partially resembles, and is familiar in the west as the primary motif of the paisley design. Its origins are extremely obscure and there is still considerable debate as to whether it was first used in Persia or India. Equally contentious is its inspirational source, and experts have suggested that it represents a stylized version of such diverse object as a pine cone, a cypress tree, a leaf, a foetus, a male sperm and the Zoroastrian flame. It is composed of a single almond-shaped form curling at its narrowest point into a loop or tail and is employed as a repeating motif in either allover or medallion-and-corner formats. The size and shape of the individual motifs vary considerably, but as a general rule, they tend to be larger and bolder in village and nomadic rugs, and smaller and more delicate in workshop items. The most frequently encountered variation of the boteh is known as the mir or mir-i-boteh design, so named because the village of Mal-e-Mir, in the Serabend district of west central Persia, was renowned for fine quality rugs in this design. It consists of numerous off-set rows of tiny botehs arranged to create the illusion of symmetrically fallen leaves. Rugs employing the boteh design were made until recently by several workshop, village and nomadic groups in Persia, but with the exception of a small number of examples from Serabend, Quoom and Kerman, the vast majority are now made in India and usually marketed as Indo Mirs.
(Boteh or Mir design rug)