Caravans, Covers and Containers

Iran, Shahsevan Tribe
19th Century
Wool, soumak (weft-wrapping)
53.3 x 60.9 cm (21 x 24 in.)
Bruce and Olive Baganz

This weaving is likely the face of a small bag; it has rare decorative appeal, with six colors in a kaleidoscopic series of variations that challenges the viewer to find any two the same. The main motif is quite archaic and widespread, enjoying currency among both nomadic and settled weavers. Current opinion attributes this weaving not to the Shahsevan of Mount Sabalan and Moghan (where the greatest concentration of Shahsevan have pastures), but to weavers of the same community to the south and east, whose pastures are on Mount Sahand near Hashtrud.


Below – Loaded camels arriving at a campsite on Mount Sabalan, where the spring grass is lush and flowers are in bloom. Various woven containers decorated in typical Shahsevan style are visible. May 1966

Shahsevan Bag Face