Tribal Carpets of Afghanistan
(Posted on 11/06/19)
To write effectively and intelligently about afghan carpets from the tribal areas of Afghanistan and the former central Asian States, would require many years of experience and personal knowledge of these carpet making regions. Unfortunately, we don't qualify in any of these areas, but I do have a number of reference books written by experts in the field- and the following is a compilation of observations from these volumes.
This clause will only serve to help put the background of the carpet making areas in central Asia in some perspective, and to help identify some of the more recognizable afghan rug designs and characteristics of carpets from these areas. When one considers the source of carpets from Afghanistan, one must realize that the tribal peoples of the mountains really don’t comprehend or honour modern geopolitical borders. Specific tribes exist on both sides and across the modern borders as if they didn't exist. The Baluchi tribes for example, extend from Eastern Iran through Western Afghanistan and into Pakistan. Similarly, the Turkoman tribes extend all across the northern borders.
Herat, in the Western part of Afghanistan, has a history of over two thousand five hundred years and was once occupied by Alexander the Great, and subsequently invaded by Mongols led by Genghis Khan and then Tamerlan in the 13th century. Herat was considered part of the Persian Empire, and the Persian influence in carpet making in Herat is still seen.