(Posted on 15/12/18)
Brief history of Beluch rugs
Well made rugs, produced in a wide variety of designs, that consistently combine tribal authenticity with a delightful, if somewhat primitive, decorative charm. The Belouch, or Baluchi, are a large tribal grouping who roam the vast border region between eastern Persia and western Afghanistan, and not, as the name would imply the province of Baluchistan in south east Persia, although some tribes have been known to drift into Pakistan. The vast majority of Belouch rugs are made by the nomadic tribesmen, but a small number are woven i the villages around Firdaus in central Khorassan, by people of Arab extraction. However, all Belochs are produced in the same way and can justifiably be referred to as nomadic rugs. They are normally woven on woolen foundations, although cotton has been used in recent years, with between 60 and 100 Persian knots per square inch; the pile wool, although not particularly lustrous, is generally of excellent quality. Belouch designs are usually confined prayer rugs and repeating allover geometrical motifs, although some figurative compositions, often referred to as “figurative” or “presentation” rugs, are sometimes produced. Within this limited repertoire, a wide variety of motifs and decorative schemes may be found. In prayer rugs, the most common field decorations are highly stylized tree-of-life, leaf, vegetal and geometric scheme, but architectural boteh and gul like patterns are also employed. In repeating allover compositions the motifs may be either vegetal inspired or entirely geometric, but they are nearly always highly abstracted. These allover compositions are similar to those of the Beshir, but a Belouch can usually be recognized by a tendency to enclose motifs within a lattice, and by the use of strong white or yellow ochre outlines, particularly in the border. The Belouch palette is dominated by shades of red and blue; camel and beige are also employed, either as pigments or by using natural, undyed wool.