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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.

Uzbek Rugs.jpg


Shaggy Long Pile Tribal Nomad Rugs

Filtering by Category: Baluch Bedding Rug

Taimani or Baluch Long Bedding Rug

Robert Cobcroft

  Massive Long Baluch Bedding Rug

Taimani or Baluch Long Bedding Rug - This One's Huge!

The design elements used in this very long Taimani or Baluch bedding rug are almost identical to the Baluch bedding rug presented in the previous post. With exception of the acanthus leaf border.

Measuring 14 feet 4 inches x 6 feet 2 inches, this rug with two long panels stitched together - must have been made for a special purpose and is unusual.  This is exactly twice as long as any Taimani two - piece bedding rug. Perhaps it was specially woven for a mud walled village or town situation. If these were meant to be sleeping rugs, why make one so large. This example suggests a rug meant for seating on the floor or the ground inside a massive tent. The Taimani were known to stay in Villages and Towns during the winter. 1 "Perhaps meant for the "mehman-khane", the room where guests were welcomed with nomad rugs. 2

Vase and Moon Motif Baluch

In The Carpets Of Afghanistan, Parsons shows a two - piece rug which he describes as "Farah" from Farah Province. Parsons notes that the rug has a rough feel due to "the use of over spun yarn, a characteristic of the Farah production". 3 Eiland also states in Oriental Carpets, A Complete Guide that “Apparently these same nomadic Baluchis also produce the curious two-piece Baluchi rugs, woven in narrow strips and sewn together along the vertical axis. Some of these resemble Mushwani work, but it is likely they are woven by a number of nomadic groups, whose looms are too small to accommodate a large rug”. 4 Production would have extended South and West of Ghowr Province towards the Iranian border into Farah Province.

Pile Baluch Rug

When I enquired with Arlette Bollag of NOMADENSCHÄTZE she made the following observations: "We know Taimani rugs from our first travels to Afghanistan in the late seventies, early eighties. At the time, there was a boom and a flourishing new production of little Taimani prayer rugs, none of them at that time older then maybe 20 years. The market was aflood with them, in the last 10 years we have hardly seen any. They had the same colour scheme your rug has, natural indigo, faded chemical dyes. (The little Baluch in the previous post) At the time, they were considered poor copies of Baluch prayer rugs and consequently sold very cheaply. Their charming naivete was appreciated by the public, but not by specialists, who insisted on the fact, that this was a rug without any tradition. In 1981 though, in Quetta, Pakistan, we found a Taimani rug that was more than a hundred years old, wonderful colours, wonderful wool. It was a little prayer rug, that unfortunately we sold in our last Baluch and neighbouring tribes exhibition. We have never seen a second example since 1981. It proves though, that there was a rug weaving tradition, maybe only existing in a small sub-tribe, that has old roots. Flatweaves attributed to the Taimani are very refined and elaborately designed. As far as we know, there is no specific literature on the subject. Old books still throw the two tribes together and call everything Baluch, and there are no known publications yet that concentrate on the subject. Maybe you will be the author of a comprehensive outlook??"

One more reason why I embarked on this project - I took Arlette's advice on board.

In conclusion there is evidence that these rugs were produced  from Ghowr Province into Farah Province and possibly across the border into Persia. Woven by more than one group there are variations in design, although the weave is similar. In Afghanistan a tradition exists of weaving rugs in two separate strips, both long pile, short pile and kilims - then stitching the two pieces together.

Long Taimaini or Baluch rug collection The Author.

1 Winch. P Guide To Oriental Rugs Kangaroo Press 1991. 25

2 Wegner. Dr, D. H .G Pile Rugs of The Baluch and Their Neighbors, Part 2 Translated from German by Lola Froehlich, August, 1981. Reviewed by Dr. Wegner, May, 1985 Oriental Rug Review, Vol. 5, No. 4, July 1985

3 Parsons, R.D: Oriental Rugs Volume 3: The Carpets of Afghanistan Suffolk 1990 (1994)

4 Eiland, Murray L. Jr andMurray Eiland 111: Orientals Carpets, A Complete Guide Boston 1998. 138

Baluch Weave

Recumbent S

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