Antique Tribal Bags and Bag Faces - 1

       From the collection of Marla Mallett
Some of the most engaging tribal textile art from the Middle Eastern Oriental rug world appears in the form of saddlebags, storage sacks and bedding bags. The small scale of these items encouraged experimentation, and traditional nomadic weavers used a wide variety of patterning techniques. Yörük and Turkmen nomads in Anatolia excelled with brocading, while Shahsevan groups in northwest Persia and the Caucasus used intricate soumak weaves. Go to Basic Weaves if you would like to read about the structures.  For a discussion of tribal bags, go to The Varieties of Tribal Bags and Panels

As nomads gradually settled into village life and turned to more standard Oriental pile rug production, the output of flatwoven ethnographic objects slowed dramatically. Recent fine examples are rare. When the backs of sacks and bags became badly worn, they commonly were removed and the lavishly ornamented faces kept as family heirlooms. Included in our gallery collection are unusual antique Anatolian bags and bag faces -- pieces that have not yet been well documented in rug literature.  Some of these are sturdy enough to serve as small rugs.  

Click on the inventory numbers below to see full views of the pieces.
Check out our Tribal Textiles and HOME pages for kilims and other gallery offerings. You may wish to take a look at More Early Kilims for a discussion of restoration and conservation issues, or read our essay,  Criteria For Selecting Tribal Textiles.

Malatya/Sinan Saddlebag
Eastern Anatolia
Circa 1900
Wool and cotton.  27"x 57"
Slit tapestry

Yuncu Ala Cuval
Northwest Anatolia
Circa 1900
Wool.  30½"x 51½"
Reciprocal brocading and
complimentary-weft weave

Karabagh Mafrash End Panel
Late 19th century
Wool and cotton. 19"x 18"

Pair of Borchaliu Mafrash Panels
Late 19th century
Wool and cotton

Yağcebedir Ala Cuval
NW Anatolia
Circa 1900
Wool.  30"x 45"
Reciprocal brocading and
slit tapestry

Kutahya Yoruk Apron
Western Anatolia. !910-1920
Wool and cotton. 23½"x 50½"
Twill weave with brocading

Bergama Ala Cuval
Northwestern Anatolia
Circa 1900
Wool.  29"x 43"
Brocading; card-woven straps

Go to Bags & Bag Faces - Page 2 or  Page 3  

The Varieties of Tribal Bags and Panels

Tribal Textiles Main Page


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