Carpets and Textiles in the Service of Religion
Multiple Niche Prayer Rug
Western China, Xinjiang Province
19th Century, Wool pile
680.7 x 116.8 cm (268 x 46 in.)
This piece has the format of a communal prayer rug, and numerous mosques throughout the Islamic world are furnished with rows of such rugs. The width of the niches is, however, rather narrow, and it is odd to have a half-niche at one end. It is therefore possible that its intended use was as a wall hanging, a known practice in the region of Central Asia, Xinjiang, where it was made.