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Saturday, January 31, 2009

 Small South-Persian Tribal Weavings”

Ann Nicholas & Richard Blumenthal
Independent Researchers and Collectors, Boston

South Persian nomads were among the most prolific of weavers, of both pile pieces and flat-weaves. The many small, colorful utilitarian bags and trappings that enhanced their lifestyle are extremely charming and collectible. Ann Nicholas and Richard Blumenthal will share their enthusiasm for these weavings, which they have been acquiring for twenty years. They began researching the historical and ethnographic literature, interviewing people who had experience with the South Persian nomads, and searching for photographs of nomadic life showing weavings in use. They found thousands of photographs, many unpublished, in rare and out of print books, university and museum archives, and personal collections of ethnographers. This work confirms many ideas about nomadic weavings; however, some commonly-held notions need to be re-examined, especially those about piled saddlebags. Now the Blumenthals have two collections: small south Persian tribal weavings, and pictures of their nomadic life. Their talk is illustrated with pieces from both collections, and will review south Persian nomadic life with emphasis on nomadic weavings, and then cover the conditions in 19th century Persia that fostered the weaving of piled saddlebags.

Ann Nicholas and Richard Blumenthal are long standing members of the New England Rug Society. Ann has written articles for its newsletter and exhibition reviews for HALI magazine. Their collection of small south Persian tribal weavings was exhibited at ACOR 8, where they gave a focus lecture on the south Persian nomadic life and weavings. Recently they have given talks to several rug societies and published two articles in HALI, “South Persian Tribal Weavings: Their Use in Nomadic Life” (HALI 150, 2007,) and “The Mystery Unraveled: Knotted-pile Saddlebags” (HALI 151, 2007.) . Ann and Richard will bring some of their small south Persian weavings, and they encourage TMA/SC to bring examples from their own collections for show & tell.



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