Posted by Patrick Weiler on 05-25-2003 04:50 PM:



I certainly could not take on the whole bunch at once, so I will start with #3.
It seems to have the colors associated with what are called Seistan weavings. Hazara also comes to mind when seeing these colors. Are Hazara found in the Seistan area?
My feeling is that a map of the "Baluch" weaving areas, with the various weaving groups, as far as they are known, placed appropriately would be very helpful. Maybe when all of the correct attributions are determined, a location map would be enlightening.
You may very well have stumped the whole Turkotek audience with this eclectic mix of pieces!

Patrick Weiler

Posted by Tom Cole on 05-25-2003 07:08 PM:

Patrick... Not sure how the "hazara" attribution came into being regarding this group of rugs, but rest assured, it is probable Hazaras did not weave them. It is doubtful that Hazaras exist in this region (if they do, not in sufficient numbers to have woven the corpus of material extant), have never read or heard of them in Seistan and as far as I know, and as far as the Hazaras from Afghanistan with whom I have had conversations know, they do not weave pile rugs in the Baluch style. According to Jerry Anderson who travelled extensively in Seistan, there are no Hazaras there weaving pile rugs and he attributed these Baluch style rugs to other groups who originally migrated from other regions, including the Caucasus. Refer to HALI 76, "From the Horses Mouth"

Posted by Patrick Weiler on 05-31-2003 08:58 PM:



I will attempt a guess at #7. It appears similar to rugs I have seen with an Aimaq attribution. They are said to be from the Herat area of NW Afghanistan.
The latch-hook design is almost universally designated Mushwani. A lot of research will be needed to separate and categorize this group into their actual provenance.

Patrick Weiler

Posted by Keith_Rocklin on 05-31-2003 09:04 PM:

someone wrote in that he read in opie that latchhook diamonds in mushwani belouches might have been brought about by contact with kurds in the north.

this inspires me to comment on a frequent mistake often made in grouping all belouches with these motifs together. for example, in diehrs first book, treasured baluches, he attributes a so-called "kurd-belouch" to the mushwani. but his example is not mushwani, differing in its distinctively more colorful palette and most importantly in the turkish knot used.

one group that uses the latchhook design probably is descended from kurds relocated to khorrasan. whether they thought of themselves as kurds is unknown, but generally they wove rugs similar to belouches except for the turkish (symmetrical) knot used in all virtually kurdish rugs. and they frequently - but not in the majority of instances - used the latchhook design. the mushwani, a more indigenous group probably, wove much darker rugs with the assymetrical knot only and almost always used this design.

superficially the two look like the same type, but are easily distinguished by the features mentioned above and others.

keith rocklin

Posted by Chuck Wagner on 05-31-2003 10:40 PM:

Hi all,

I think it would be aggressive to automatically assign any of the "latch hook medallion" rugs to the Mushwani, although it's a common practice by dealers. That pattern is more correcty associated with the weaving groups in and around the Adraskand area, which include a number of nomadic Baluchi and non-Baluchi transhumants as well as settled tribal groups.


Chuck Wagner

Posted by Tom Cole on 05-31-2003 11:26 PM:

This latch hook design is seen in both Afghanistan and Seistan. The "Mushwani attribution" is a 'false' one... merely a marketplace name to identify a design type. The reality of the "Mushwani" attribution is fantasy, not based in fact. The latch hook design seen in #7 is a CLASSIC Seistan region rug, a detail from a main carpet. As is #3, another classic pattern seen in Seistan.

Better for EVERYONE to confine their comments to provenance... as this is not meant to be a discussion of tribal attributions. At least that is not the intent. Mixing supposed attributions with provenance will only confuse matters....for those who engage in it and those who are reading it.

Posted by Keith_Rocklin on 06-01-2003 04:03 PM:

in regard to the latchhook design in belouches, my point is that there are two different groups that use it. one is sometimes called mushwani, rightly or wrongly (as tom says), and the other is the turkish knotted variety, sometimes called kurd-belouch. this distinction is seldom made and as a result the two types are often confused.
so whoever wove them there are at least two completely different groups, and this has been missed by all the literature and commentary.

Posted by Tom Cole on 06-01-2003 11:16 PM:

Missed by SOME of the literature... DeWitt Mallary identified this group a long time ago.. the symmetric knotted group which he calls "Bahluli", a tribal group that actually does exist and weaves pile.. unlike some of the other tribal groups that have been named at times and identified with rugs they never wove.

Posted by keith_rocklin on 06-02-2003 10:38 AM:

tom - i think you misunderstood me. i didnt say the turkish (symetrically) knotted group hasnt been identified in the literature.
it was recognized long before dewitt mallory hypothesized the bahluli group, which im not sure was inclusive of all turkish knotted belouches anyway (ill ask him). its been estimated that about 5-10 % of all belouches have turkish knots.
ten years before dewitts theory the distinction was pretty clear among the collectors and dealers who were interested in belouches - if not before.

again, my point was that those with latchhook designs are divided into two distinctive groups with different knots, but they are confused with each other all the time (as in diehrs book).
also, obannon wrote a piece in hali on one of these - it was turkish knotted and once belonged to me - but im not sure if he discussed the distinction. keith rocklin

Posted by Chuck Wagner on 06-02-2003 02:49 PM:

Certainly Not Baloch, In Any Event


Mushwani = Mashwani = Muswani = Maswani, all Anglicizations of the Pahkto name of a Pashtun tribe with elements along the Afghan/Balochistan border, and in Kunar province in east central Afghanistan.

Not to put too fine a point on it, because you're actually quite RIGHT about latch-hook designs and Mushwani attributions, But, think of how much quieter Balochistan will be when these people realize they don't exist:

Three killed in tribal clash

DERA GHAZI KHAN, Feb 20: Three people were gunned down in a clash of tribesmen of Khosa clan's two rival branches
in Lakha tribal area, some 60km from here in the west on Suleman Range, on Friday. Till the filing of this report,
the firing which started at 9 am was on.

Mehrani and Maswani tribes have an old enmity that started some 40 years ago when a Mehrani woman eloped with a
Maswani man.

According to the Baloch customs, the couple was killed. This gave birth to a never-ending tribal rivalry. However,
when both sides got murdered some of their rival tribesmen, elders of the area reconciled the issue.

But recently one Gazan Khan Mehrani, 20, reportedly abducted a woman of Maswanis. This again brought the old rivals
at daggers drawn. However, Jirga again defused the tense situation and it was decided that Gazan should avoid coming
before his rivals otherwise he might be killed.

On the day of incident, Gazan came across the Maswanis who opened fire at him. He died on the spot. At this, both
the tribes started firing on each other.

From 9am to 3pm, both the groups exchanged fire without break. The area is manned by the border military police
(BMP) but its incharge of the Lakha post told Dawn that with only five constables he could not stop such a heavy
cross-firing. When two men -Budha (20) and Bangal Khan (35)- of Maswanis fell prey to the tribal enmity, some people
belonging to other tribes begged for ceasefire so that the dead could be buried. Bodies have been brought to the
District Head Quarter hospital, Dera Ghazi Khan, for autopsy. The case has yet to be registered.

Local administration has sent the Baloch Levies and more BMP officials to Lakha to avert further clash.

(from the newspaper DAWN)


By the way, that tan & rose pink runner I posted in the other thread is woven with a Turkish knot. Does that make it a "Bahuli" ? (I confess ignorance regarding this term)

On the issue of Hazaras and weavings: The "classic" Hazaras are in the central mountains of Afghanistan (Sar-i-Pol, etc). They make a lot of kilims with bold designs and leaky dyes, but I've never heard of a pile carpet being attributed to them. But there is a moderately large group known as Hazaras in the Quetta area of Balochistan, only loosely connected to the others, that (I suppose) may have woven pile goods in the past.


Chuck Wagner