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Baluch Rugs the O'Connell Guide

Guide to Antique Baluch Type Rugs of Zabol Iran 

Many Baluch rugs come from a large body of rug weaving Baluch in Sistan-Balouchestan Province. Zahedan is the Administrative Center (capital) of Sistan-Balouchestan Province and is a center of political and administrative activities. In the south the port of Chabahar is a free trade and industrial zone with a growing importance as a port for fisheries and shipping. Zabol, is the main city and market center of the agricultural area of Sistan-Balouchestan Province.

Photo www.Columbia.edu - Pritchett

Sistan-Balouchestan Province

  • Many Baluch rugs come from a large body of rug weaving Baluch in Sistan-Balouchestan Province. Zahedan is the Administrative Center (capital) of Sistan-Balouchestan Province and is a center of political and administrative activities. In the south the port of Chabahar is a free trade and industrial zone with a growing importance as a port for fisheries and shipping. Zabol, is the main city and market center of the agricultural area of Sistan-Balouchestan Province.
  • Iranshahr is the main industrial city of Sistan-Balouchestan Province.
  •   The coral colored area represents the Baluch area and the white crescent indicates that the Baluch are Sunni.

    The coral colored area represents the Baluch area and the white crescent indicates that the Baluch are Sunni.

    Detail - Iran_ethnoreligious_distribution_2004

    Zabol Baluch

    The majority of the Baluch live in Pakistani occupied Baluchistan. There is a large population of Baluch in the Iranian province of Sistan Baluchistan. Mixed in with the Baluch are a group of related Sistani tribes including the Sarbandi, Shahraki, Sargazi, Zamir-Farsyoon, Shahraki, Mir-Arab and Sanjarani. Iranian Ethnic Groups - Baluch.

    Never being particularly shy I have proposed to the nice folks at Summers Institute of Linguistics a new language classification for inclusion in the Ethnalogue:

    Sistani, alternate name Zaboli. It should show up as one of the 11 Persian languages i.e. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Persian. It is spoken in Sistan Baluchistan in Iran and the dialects are Sarbandi, Shahraki, Sargazi, Zamir-Farsyoon, Mir-Arab and Sanjarani. Large percentage bilingual in Western Farsi.

     

    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 much of 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

    Sources include both my old and new Rug Notes, Sotheby's archive, and a number of other sources noted as appropriate through out the individual pages. Special mention of two sources that were instrumental in my understanding of the Zabol group:

    From The Horse's Mouth - Talking ‘Baluch’ with Jerry Anderson
    An Interview with Jerry Anderson, transcribed, edited by Tom Cole

    The study of so-called ‘Baluch’ tribal weaving has reached a watershed. While on the one hand Baluch rugs have cast aside their misleading stereotyped image as derivative Turkoman bastard cousins, on the other we still find in the marketplace the promiscuous use of little understood attributions and terminology founded upon ‘scholarship’ that too often fails to rise above the level of dogma. Loosely based on the sometimes unreliable accounts written by European travellers in the region during previous centuries, or drawing on subjective interpretations of Asian myth and ethnohistory, such popular ascriptions are seldom grounded in properly conducted research or first-hand experience of eastern Iran and Afghanistan...... read more
    Pile Rugs of The Baluch and Their Neighbors -
    by Dr. Dietrich H. G. Wegner (from Oriental Rug Review, July-Dec., 1985)

    Pile rugs are an important part of the material culture of Central Asian peoples. The attraction that emanates from these textiles inspires us to learn more about the people that produce them.

    Traditional patterns and colors, the way to combine them, as well as the material and the techniques of production are often determined by the ethnic origin of the weavers. This background also explains the way in which man and his product reflect foreign influences. This aspect for the Baluch and their rugs shall be studied in the following series......... read more.


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