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Baluch Rugs the O'Connell Guide

Baluch Rugs: Guide to the Baluch Balisht and Pushti

A Video Look at a Baluch Balisht

Baluchi balisht North West Afghanistan C. 1900 Lot 187

Guide to the Baluch Balisht and Pushti

Closely related to Baluch Rugs a balisht was originally a grain or storage bag. A secondary use was as a cushion. Over time the use as a cushion supercedes the original. Balisht seems to be a Persian word because in Afghanistan the backs are more often called Pushti. My experience indicates that Afghan Pushtis have a heavier handle than Persian/Iranian balishts. I believe that the Balisht and Pushti have the same origin in use as the Turkish Yastiks.

Here is a sampling of several different types of balisht.

Antique Balisht (Pillow) Baluch tribes Sistan,
http://www.samarkand.co.uk/s2367_baluch_tribes.htm
South East Persia, Last Quarter19th century

 
 

The Herat.com Baluch Balisht, C. 1880-1910

Baluch Group Sistan Province

The first time I ever saw one of these it was a piece from Tom Cole. Over the years I have seen a number of these and as often as not it was from Tom. Quite often there is some use of a good green. So when I started this section I called Tom and he said Baluch Group, Sistan Province Iran. I suspect that this group is the Shahraki Sarbandi.

Structure

Here is a bag that I got from Tom Cole several years ago. I think the structure is normal for the Sistan group.

Size: 1 foot 8 inch by 3 foot 5 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. 7 knots per horizontal inch and 8 knots per vertical inch. 56 per square inch (868 per square decimeter)

Color: Navy blue, aubergine, red, forest green, ivory, brown.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply tan wool.

Weft: 2 shots brown wool.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 3.5 inch plain weave with .5 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 1 cord plain brown wool.

Handle: Soft, light, pliable

Antique Persian Baluch Balisht

Persian Baluch balisht C. 1900 W&W lot 318

Afghan Pushtis

In the mid to late 1990s I saw a good number of these bags for sale and I bought and sold them. They tended to have a much heavier handle then the Sistan type. They were represented to me as Chahar Aymaq from Northwest Afghanistan. The late George O'Bannon identified a related piece as Yomut in The Turkoman Carpet. page 67 A. That was an early effort for George and he recognized them as in the Baluch group later.

The construction is heavy and the older ones tend to have thick opposing loop goathair closures. These are often confused with the loop and slit that we see in other bags from the area. On the newer ones the loops are much thinner indicating that they were never intended for serious work.


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