About the Antique Rugs of the Future Project

Sheep Breeds of Azerbaijan

Sorting, Washing, Carding, Spinning

"The advantages of handspun yarn to machine spun yarn"

Rediscovery of Ancient Natural Dyes
Our Natural Dyestuffs


Difference between synthetically and naturally dyed rugs

Weaving and Finishing Steps

Galleries of ARFP Caucasian Azerbaijani Rugs

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Antique Derbend prayer rug with the eight pointed star medallions, 2nd half 19th century, 97 x 147 cm

The so-called "Lesghi star" is a complex, unique and easily recognized motif based on the eight-pointed star. It appears throughout the Caucasus on pile rugs and, equally frequently, on the flatwoven sumakh bags of eastern Caucasia. This rug is a rare example of the motif's successful integration into a prayer rug design. It features one green and two large ivory stars on an indigo field, with a smaller and somewhat distorted green star wedged under the prayer niche. 'Memling' motifs adorn the spandrels, and the ivory-ground border features the 'kotchaks" (horns) usually identified with Akstafa rugs. The sections piled in brown are deeply corroded.

How the Lesghi star became identified as the signature symbol of the Lesghi people is not known. The star may at some time have been a totemic svmbol but this is a subject for speculation. East Caucasian pile weavings with the Lesghi star motifs were most probably woven in Daghestan, Shirvan or even Kuba.


published Ralph Kaffel's Caucasian Prayer Rugs, plate 67
lit: published Ralph Kaffel's Caucasian Prayer Rugs, plate 67