Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Confusing Central Asian Carpets

My favorite section of the Peterson's Guide to North American birds has always been the "confusing fall wrabblers" section. The name of this section sounds funny indeed, but the truth is that there are always those "confusing fall wrabblers" in almost any categorization of anything (figuratively speaking). For Central Asian carpets, this usually falls into the "mid-Amu-Darya" category. This is one of those categories where people seem to lump alot carpets that are not easily categorized into set groups. Also, presumably, these carpets come from the middle area of the Amu Darya river (which covers most of what is today Uzbekistan). The carpet pictured here is indeed confusing.

It has a border common to certain Turkmen designs (especially Ersari--see previous post), but the colors and the middle "gul" design do not look all that Turkmen. I bought it in Bukhara about seven years ago, and even the salesman was at a loss in terms of categorizing it (something one rarely witnesses in Central Asia). I am not sure what it is, but I like it--probably because it defies most usual categories. Anybody have an opinion on what it is? Perhaps, it is yet another example of the "mid-Amu-Darya" category...


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