Kormanj Rugs, Kurdish people live all over the Iranian plateau. In Khorasan in the Northeast, Kurds have been the warriors of northern mountains for at least the last five centuries.
Safavid Kings settled them there to be a shield against Uzbek invaders. But there are still shreds of evidence in Persian administrative texts referring to Kurds alongside Khorasan’s mountains before this period. This article tells you about the priceless traditional artworks of this tribe: Kormanj Rugs.
Who Are Kormanj People?
Kormanj people are a tribe of Kurdish people who originally lived in southern Turkey and southern Syria. But today, the majority of Iranian Kormanj people live in the highlands of the Northeast, Khorasan. Nowadays, they are the principal inhabitants of Bojnurd, Quchan, Shirvan, and villages around.
Sofra Kordi, Tablecloth, and Rug at the Same Time!
The word Sofra or Sofreh roughly means tablecloth. It is a fine-woven Kilim with multiple usages and the main woven piece attributed to these folks. People also use these “Kurdish Tablecloths” as rugs on floors and wall coverings and wrappers for preserving bread.
After Sofra Kordi, tribal area rugs could be mentioned. The locals sell them under the term Quchan because of the small size of the local bazaar of the city.
Kurds are goat herders who use goat hair in Sofra Kordis (as the main foundation) and in rugs (as warp). Rugs are primarily double-weft, and wefts are of woolen yarn. Knots are mainly symmetrical, and looms are horizontal.
The total structure of Kormanj rugs is somehow floppy with coarse knitting. Most sizes are available, but tiny pieces are not common. Kallegi (a large and long runner) is the most common size.
Characteristics of Kormanj Rugs
Kormanj women put on vivid, colorful clothes, and their hand-woven pieces enjoy the same superior skill of coloring. Usually, they don’t use loom drawings. They follow their own worn pieces’ motives and random schemes for coloring, reflecting weavers’ momentary emotions.
Tones of red serve as basic colors for Kormanj rugs and Kilims. A wide range of yellows and greens are also favored. Brown, dark and light blue, white, and even black are used as well as purple and orange.
In tribal rugs, tones of colors depend mainly on natural colorants of where the tribe lingers during the dyeing process.
In the 20th century, the Soviet regime banned Iranian tribes from using their northern pastures. That led to darker red tones in comparison to antique pieces.
Northern Khorasan is a meeting spot for various cultural aspects of different peoples. One could see the intermixture in languages, foods, and, not surprisingly, in rug designs.
Initially from Caucasia’s snowy mountains, Kurd weavers still follow their ancestors’ motives and designs. Still, the influence of other neighboring tribes and towns is also not difficult to recognize. Beluchs and Turkmens are the most important influencers.
An expert could also pick out some traces of Mashhad’s town workshops. But if so, those pieces could be unoriginal due to the tribal nature of these rugs. Most of all, bordering indicates weavers’ Caucasian origin with borders that are typically completed with flat selvages.
Lozenges are the main motives: tiny ones separated or interwoven, medium and big ones filled with linear patterns. Large hexagons and octagons make a design called Howzi, which means pool or pond. There are simple animal and human-shaped patterns as well as floral motifs, all rectilinear, as is inherent in Kormanj rugs.
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