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Tribal rugs have been woven in the Near East and Central Asia for millennia, and they form one of the earliest and most enduring modes of human expression. In short, tribal rugs are rugs that were woven by nomadic or semi-nomadic tribal weavers. The tribal people most often associated with weaving rugs are the Turkmen, the Belouch, the Kurds, the Qashqai to name just a few. Although wool is used to create felts for tents and flat woven textiles throughout Central Asia, it is only the more western tribes that appeared to develop the more complex knotted pile technique. The Mongols of the east (although very similar) never used the knotted pile weave as opposed to neighbors to the west; Kirghiz, Kazakh and Turkmen.

The tribal weavers of the Caucasus and the western half of Persia were particularly prolific and artistically inspired. Their antique tribal rugs are prized by modern audiences for their elemental simplicity, exceptional inventiveness, and a timeless mastery of balance and harmony that appears equally fresh and immediate in contemporary settings. Tribal rugs express a symbolic meaning as they represent global cultures and a multi dimensional art form that defines the rug making artistry. The Tribal rugs feature various designs and usually demonstrate beauty in its simplest forms. Tribal rugs are recognizable by their more geometric motifs as opposed to the curvilinear and floral motifs of city rugs.

Up until the 19th century, not much was known about the Tribal rug weaving. Even the term, “Tribal” was slackly used. The story goes, that many tribes who once were nomads and roamed around from place to place had settled into villages’ centuries ago. There were other tribes that led semi nomadic lives, traveling from place to place with their flocks. The weaving of the Tribal carpets portray a strong local essence as they feature traditional and heraldic motifs and designs which change over the course of centuries. The designs were passed down from generation to generation. However, the identity of the weaving groups and the pride of the weaver’s family were expressed in the objects of personal expression as the rugs weren’t meant for commercial business. In a typical tribal rug one can easily see the playful details that a weaver improvised in a layout fashion and expressed their sense of individuality

Tribal carpets and rugs are many things but their most common appeal is their tribal style patterns and designs that feature the complex nature of design motifs. These intricate designs are graphed onto a piece of paper to help the weavers replicate the difficult patterns. A typical Tribal rug, however, is often seen to be built up of several repetitive motifs in a given field with different combinations of color palettes. Due to this fact, the tribal weavers of rugs were able to memorize the motifs and were able to manufacture the carpets without any help or aid from professionals or samplers.