About the Antique Rugs of the Future Project
Sheep Breeds of Azerbaijan
Shearing, 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
to "An Educational Guide to Antique Shirvan Akstafa rugs & carpets" main page
Antique Shirvan "Akstafa" Qushlu (bird) rug, Southern Shirvan Region, Salyan (Saliani) District, Azerbaijan. 19th century. 125 x 300 cm.
The dark-blue central field displays four medallions alternating in red and
white. The ten enormous fabulous birds symmetrically arranged in counterset
positions at the four corners of the medallions are characteristic. It is
because of these birds that this group is termed Kushlu Salyan (Bird Salyan).
Birds are depicted for various reasons: for instance, one Sufi sect regards
the peacock as its holy animal and emblem, and according to L. Kerimov, the
weavers call these birds tavus or taus (peacock). Innumerable small and
large patterns fill the entire remaining field. A further characteristic of
this group of rugs is the light-ground main border with its row of squares
with hooks in varying colours. In Persia, this border is called hashiye
bazubandi, meaning "armband", a term with a deeper significance: women used
to place a dua (amulet) in a small square leather pouch and fasten it around
the upper arm of their husbands or, more often, their sons. This was thought
to bring good luck and to ward off all evil, especially any threat to life.
Warps: Wool, Z3S, light ivory