Namakdan with war imagery

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saltbag1_500

Here’s an unusually archaic form on which to find the imagery of war. Namakdan (or salt bags) are rarely made these days. This example was found recently in Herat. The weapons suggest the technology of the post 2002 international intervention. The only other example we know of is in Max Allen’s Battleground exhibition, at this link. However that example was made in two pieces, front and back, the front presumably cut down from a damaged war carpet. Any other examples out there?

5 Responses to “Namakdan with war imagery”

  1. Luca Brancati Says:

    Referring to the Max Allen one, I think that is possible that this peace could also be a vaghireh, a kind of repertoir-mat.

  2. Rugs Bunny Says:

    Very interesting! I didn’t know they made Namakdons with rugs. Did they use these pieces to store salt or used it around the kitchen and while eating? cheers!

    • Nigel Lendon Says:

      Well this one (and another similar) was made recently to order ( a dealer’s idea, apparently) in Herat. The front panel is pile, wool on wool, the back flatweave, as conventionally constructed for a pile-front bag. In this sense, not made to be used, other than as an item for sale… Thanks for the comment.

  3. Rugs Lady Says:

    I wonder what a salt bag means! bags used to store salt? why then do they have to be beautifully designed and made to look more like decoration accesories rather than things of utility meant to be used in the kitchen? If this is a rug, it is the most unusual and beautiful rug I have ever seen.

  4. Nigel Says:

    We’ve only seen two of the “salt bag” format with war imagery. They were recently commissioned by a dealer in Herat, probably because I have a finder in that city who does the rounds asking for war carpets… They’re made for shepherds to carry (on a staff, over their shoulder) so that their flocks keep up their salt intake. Probably also a way of gathering the flock together? As such, in the past, it is said that they were made by mothers for their sons, and so have particular personal meanings. So they say. I’ll find the full Parviz Tanavoli reference and post it.

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