Nomadic rugs part 2
(Posted on 23/07/13)
Authentic nomadic weaving is now confined to Persia,Afghanistan and Anatolia (of the major rug-producing areas), although its influence can be found in the workshop items of other regions, particularly the Soviet Union. Although most nomadic tribes have a long history of weaving rugs specifically for trade, a number of items coming onto the Western market may well have been made originally for personal use.Nomadic designs are woven from memory and are usually characterized by their overall compositional boldness, simplicity of colouring (sometimes employing only 3 or 4 hues to create a dramatic yet dignified effect) and the use of mainly geometric motifs and forms.Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic is the frequent presence of strong totemistic elements, ranging from a variety of traditional symbols for warding off the 'evil eye' to specific tribal motifs (usually of plant or animal derivation) which act as both identifying 'insignia', and 'talismen' to protect and increase the power of the tribe. Whether the weavers of today are aware of the symbolic meaning of their designs- or whether they simply reproduce them out of a general reverence for tradition - is a matter of considerable debate, but there is no doubt that the symbols potency of nomadic designs is one of the major reasons for their growing popularity in the West.When assessing a nomadic rug do not be too concerned with technical perfection, variations in colouring (abrashes) or a lack of symmetry in the overall composition. Occasional discordances in the form of individual motifs are relatively commonplace and often help to give the rug its particular charm. Equally, do not expect to find the same fineness of knotting in a nomadic item as in a rug of workshop origin, although some nomadic rugs are surprising finely knotted and consistent in their designs.