Daghestani Carpet Making

by Nathan Hamm on 7/29/2004

Though it’s not quite what it used to be, Daghestanis are clinging to carpet making. Unfortunately, many have moved away from using natural dyes and other traditional techniques (that make the rugs longer-lived and more beautiful). There also seems to be a lot of portraiture in their rugs.

There is an effort to revive traditional methods though.

The Museum of Visual Arts in Makhachkala, Dagestan’s capital, is trying to revive the traditional skills, with help from a grant from the Soros Foundation, but with limited success.

Isayeva’s daughter-in-law, Lyudmila, an ethnic Russian from a Cossack stanitsa in the northern lowlands, makes carpets on a neighbor’s loom.

Like so many other townswomen, she no longer makes the ornate wall rugs the Tabasaran people are famous for, weaving practical seat covers instead. A set of six will sell for 1,000 rubles ($35) in Derbent, 35 kilometers away on the Caspian coast.

“It’s a sad thing,” Lyudmila said. “Most people make carpets for themselves or as gifts, because there is nobody to sell them to.”

It’d be nice if they were able to find an outlet like Afghans have with Overstock.com.

(Via RugNews.Net)


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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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