An Introduction to the
by Mark Hopkins
disdained as drab in contrast to the more colorful
legions of ethnographic pile weavings, “Baluch”
artistry is nevertheless noteworthy for both the
skillful subtlety of its colors and the bold
creativity of its forms and motifs. Here we share
some examples of that with you.
of these pieces originate from either northeastern
Iran or northwestern Afghanistan. None, despite the
claims of early writers in the field, comes from the
Baluchistan region of Pakistan, where weavers do not
produce pile weavings.
of these pieces are truly from Baluch weavers; others
are from nomadic and settled groups weaving “in the
Baluch tradition.” Much has been said about the
tribal groups responsible for these weavings; the
contributions of D.H.G. Wegner, Siawosch Azadi, Jerry
Anderson, Michael Craycraft and other worthies have
bequeathed the rug world with a dazzling array of
tribal nomenclature, the precision of which, owing to
a general lack of agreement, is not particularly
convincing. So while others bandy about such
mouthfuls as Taimani, Timuri, Jamshidi, Bahluli and
Yacubkhani, I preserve my sanity by thinking of them
all as Damdifinoni and concentrating instead on the
wonderful textile art that they – whoever they are --
have bequeathed us.
age of these rugs is also subject to much speculation,
simply because we have so little to go on. I suspect
half or more are from the 20th Century and
a few may precede 1850. But as you will note in the
captions, no guesses are ventured here.
is visual art that thrives, in or out of context, on
its own merits. Its colors, its forms, and its
integration of the two into wonderful creations, are
simply here to be savored. So enjoy.