TRIBAL BAGS.

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TRIBAL BAGS. 3.

 

TRIBAL BAGS and trappings are probably the most unspoiled, genuine, weavings of many tribal and pastoral groups throughout Central Asia and North Africa.

They are woven in many shapes and sizes and fulfill the storage function needed in tents and huts.   Small ones are for jewelry and precious personal items, also salt, spices, dried fruits, mirrors and cosmetics.  Medium sizes are pillows at night and cushions by day and are also used to store food, tools, clothing and household items.      There are even very large sacks for the storage of grain and textiles when not in use.  These double as beds for children.

Most bags are woven using only local wools, goat and sometimes camel hair.  Embellishments, both superstitious and religious, are frequent.   Durable goat hair is used for closing loops and for selvedges.

TURKOMAN STORAGE SACK which is very rare and dates from the first half of the 20th century. The bag is the work of Turkoman weavers from the village of Labijar in the far north of Afghanistan on the border with Turkmenistan. There are two villages separated by a canal which forms the border. The decorative work on both front and back of the bag (shown here) is very fine, varied and detailed. The original fastening loops at the top are present as is the top kilim border with its slits which allow the loops to close the bag when full. This will make an outstanding contribution to a collection of Turkoman work - I know of no similar piece and can not find anything in the rug literature which is related. Bought from a primitive rug shed on the Quetta to Kandahar road near Chaman in the mid 1980s. Reference 0297. Size 154 x 96 cms., or 5ft. 1ins. x 3ft. 2ins. Euros 1850.

THE BAG IS WOVEN IN ONE LONG PIECE AND THEN FOLDED OVER, stitched along two sides but leaving the top open for filling with goods.

THIS OUTSTANDING BAG was found in a shack belonging to a Turkoman dealer on the road between Quetta and Kandahar in the early 1980s.

MOROCCAN HIGH ATLAS BERBER KILIM. Prepare for a surprise! Although this looks like a carpet, and can serve as one, it is a giant storage bag. At one end the tying loops are an integral part of the end finish and at the other there is a row of corresponding slits through which the loops will go once the carpet is folded in two. In the small interiors of Berber huts and tents multi-purpose items are often made. When folded and secured as a giant tent bag it would be used for storage of grain or filled with other weavings and serve as a bed at night and a divan for day time seating. This rare piece is from the Ait Bou Ichaoen Berbers in the extreme eastern end of the High Atlas Mountains. A carpet with a similar weave and almost identical colours is shown in `Maroc - Tapis du Tribus` in the section of pages 87 to 96. Ref. 2188. Size (opened) 239 x 150 cms, 7ft 10ins x 5ft. Euros 475.

When folded and secured as a giant tent bag it would be used for storage of grain or filled with other weavings and serve as a bed at night and a divan for day time seating. This rare piece is from the Ait Bou Ichaoen Berbers in the extreme eastern end of the High Atlas Mountains. A carpet with a similar weave and almost identical colours is shown in `Maroc - Tapis du Tribus` in the section of pages 87 to 96. Ref. 2188. Size (opened) 239 x 150 cms, 7ft 10ins x 5ft. FOLDED OVER AND SECURED FOR USE AS A STORAGE BAG.

BALOUCH/BELOUCH STORAGE BAG which is the work of the Taimani people who live in North West Afghanistan. It is a genuine piece which has been used for many years but is still in very good undamaged condition. The original loops used for inserting through the holes opposite as part of the fastening process, are present. They display evidence of use. The wool for the knotted pile has developed a sheen and is lustrous to the touch. Reference 3535. Size 102 x 70 cms., or 40 x 28 inches. Euros 85.

CLOSE UP OF THE CLOSING SYSTEM OF THESE TRIBAL AND NOMADIC BAGS. Loops on one side are threaded though a slit on the opposite side and then a rope, usually of goat hair which is tough, is threaded through the protruding loops and drawn tight before being tied off. The system is so good it is still used today in some rural weaving.