Nomadic bag

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A Nomadic bag is a bag woven by various nomadic tribes of the Middle East and Central Asia for utilitarian and decorative purposes.

The nomadic tribes of the Middle East and Central Asia are perhaps more known for the hand knotted carpets and hand woven kilims (flatwoven textiles) that they made. These tribes include but are not limited to the Baloch, the Turkmen, the Afshars, the Bakhtyari, the Qashqai, the Kurds and many others. The bags that they wove were done in the same techniques as the larger rugs they also made. The most common technique is hand-knotted pile, but many tribal bags were also done in the various flat woven techniques including plain weave (kilim weave), soumac technique and other less common techniques.

These bags were used for various purposes. Often they were used for transporting goods while on migration. They also served as storage containers to be used in the tent or yurt. There are also specialized bags such as bags for carrying mirrors, bags for carrying the Qur'an, bags for carrying tent stakes and more. Often the bags are known by specific names based on the function they served. Some common bag names are "cuval" (camel bag), "khorjin" (double-sided donkey bags) and "mafrash" (bedding bag) to name just a few.

Often, the back panel of a bag will have little or no design. Generally on bags with knotted pile faces, the back of the bag will be executed in a plain woven kilim technique.

Although there are still some tribal weavers weaving nice bags, it is the antique bags and bag faces that are the most prized and the most collected.

Bag face[edit]

From the collectors point of view, the front or the face of the bag is much more interesting and more collectible. Often, with antique bags, the backs of the bag have been separated and discarded at some point and only the bagface remains.


See also[edit]