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Antique handmade, long piled nomad rugs are rare and unique. Primitive Rug reveals the stories of the nomadic people who wandered the deserts and mountains of Central Asia and beyond, leaving behind these woven works of art. In our store you will find an exclusive selection of old, nomad made rugs. 

These primitive hand woven rugs are from the Amu Darya in the north of Afghanistan, Samarkand in Uzbekistan, the Afghan Pamirs, eastern Turkey, Iran, Spain, eastern Europe, and the mountainous regions of central Afghanistan.


Shaggy Long Pile Tribal Nomad Rugs

Baluch Bedding Rug

Robert Cobcroft

  Baluch Two Piece Bedding Rug

Baluch two - piece bedding rug - Afghanistan.

Although this two - piece “bedding” rug resembles those usually attributed to the Taimani, this example differs significantly. None of the following attributes can be found in Taimani two – piece, piled bedding rugs.

A very crude interpretation of the vase motif is repeated in the field - along the borders and surrounding the "Mah" or Moon motif. Wegner describes the use of the moon motif and the vase motif by the Sistan Baluch. 1 Although this rug is probably from Central Afghanistan purchased from Baluchi nomads in the Hindu Kush in the late seventies. 2

Vase motif variations including inverted version expressed as rams horn

Bennett describes a loose and coarse Baluchi type with “Russett Colours” from further East in Afghanistan. 3 Meaning Ghowr province, the Hindu Kush. This rug has an eight pointed star main border, not usually found in Taimani bedding rugs. The original kilim ends on this rug were approximately six inches wide with weft substitution weave, uncommon for  two – piece Taimani bedding rugs.  Both Wegner and Bennett describe wide and decorated kilim ends as being early. This is the only rug of this type which I have found with a herring bone black goat hair selvedge . 4 Selvedges on Taimani bedding rugs  not usually being goat hair. The size and shape is smaller - almost square whereas Taimani’s are rectangular. This Baluchi type is 6’2” x 5’11” as opposed to the largest one which is 14”8” x 6’2”. Usually the Taimani bedding rugs are approximately 8’ x 5’6”. I’ve read theories that Baluch bedding rugs were produced by the Baluch across the border in Iran. Wegner indicated that the vase and moon motifs were used by the Sistan Baluch. Maybe these bedding rugs were more widespread than the range of the Taimani in Ghowr province and extended South and West into Iran with a more typical Baluchi type.

Three features remain constant between this Baluch type and the Taimani.

1.Running mouse secondary borders surrounding the rhomboid medallions of the field.

2.All types share recumbent S minor borders.

3. Coarsely woven symmetrically knotted and no warp depression.

The predominant rug type is Taimani with a possible regional Baluch interpretation. Given that the Baluch readily borrowed designs it could be possible that this small square rug was a Baluch interpretation of the Taimani originals. Also the Taimani are also a Baluch related group. 5

Weft substitution weave

The pile of this rug was originally long. Natural colours are black goat plus a tan brown, white, light brown, and dark brown. Naturally dyed colours are orange, light orange, aubergine, blue, dark blue, indigo, orange – brown, cream. Warp and weft all wool.

Moon motif with repeated vase motif

The weaver of this Baluchi rug used a primitive styled vase motif in some panels and in others inverted the flower heads into rams horns. The joy with which this weaver has expressed herself is evident in the choice of colour and design.

Latch hook medallions, rams horns motifs and simplified variations of the vase motif along with recumbent S borders define this group of long – piled rugs from central Afghanistan no matter who made them.

Several more interesting examples will be presented in upcoming posts. Comments are left open and discussion is encouraged.

1 Wegner. Dr, D. H .G Pile Rugs of The Baluch and Their Neighbors, Part 3

Translated from German by Lola Froehlich, August, 1981. Reviewed by Dr. Wegner, May, 1985 Oriental Rug Review, Vol. 5, No. 4, July 1985

2 Peter Winch told me this: Taimani is a Baluch related tribe and a closer link to an origin, I had thought about them also - see page 25 of my book for a picture (Winch. P Guide To Oriental Rugs Kangaroo Press 1991)- but the weaving style was little different and the pile still shorter on the one in the book.

This came from Leigh and Alexandra Copeland. Alexandra always called this a Baluch sleeping rug. They spent sometimes a year at a time in Afghanistan buying rugs, travelling around and researching. She used to be able to speak three different Afghan languages and usually went by what the Afghans told her the rug was, as she could question them quite closely. She said it was actually purchased by them in the Hindu Kush so I am pretty certain of that as a geographic origin and I believe it is rare to find Baluch people there but not impossible and Alex seemed convinced it was Baluch.

Also the one I saw at the exhibition in Bruxelles was also called Baluch so I was always happy with that as a description, especially as that is what I thought it was as well.

3 Bennett. I Rugs and Carpets of The World Quarto Publishing 1977; 177

4 Wegner. Dr, D. H .G, loc. cit. Part 2 The finish of the selvage is very characteristic: It is twined two to four times with black goat's hair and shows sometimes a "herring-bone" pattern.

5 Winch. P Guide To Oriental Rugs Kangaroo Press 1991; 25

Baluch Two Piece Bedding Rug Back


Baluchi Stars