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The Luri Tribes of Iran and Their Weavings


Patrick Weiler

Private Collector and President, Seattle Textile and Rug Society

Iran is the historical homeland for numerous tribes, many of which are nomadic or transhumant. This means that they practice the transfer of livestock from one grazing ground to another, as from lowlands to highlands and back, with the changing of the seasons. One of the oldest Iranian tribes is that of the Lurs. Their history in Iran goes back over 3,000 years and they, along with the Kurds, are considered the original inhabitants of the land. The name of this tribe can be spelled Lur, Luri, Lor or Lori and many of them still live in the Iranian province of Lurestan. As James Opie wrote, “The romantic mental picture that rug collectors in the West developed regarding tribal weaving traditions is more appropriate to Lurs than to any other group.” However, that mental picture in the minds of rug collectors usually does not include this small and often remote tribe. Their more well-known neighbors include the Kurds, Qashqa’i, Khamseh and Shahsavan. And often, Luri weavings are mistaken for those of their more famous nearby tribes. This program will include a basic history of the Luri tribes, their environment, their influences and their weavings.

Patrick Weiler is the current President of the STARS (the Seattle Textile and Rug Society, and has been collecting mostly tribal rugs for over twenty years, with a particular emphasis on Luri pieces. He will bring examples from his collection, and he invites TMA/SC members to bring examples of Luri rugs and trappings for show & tell.


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