A charming and very unusual example of tribal weaving. The animals are obvious celebrations of their nomadic culture but we can’t know exactly what the dozens of intriguing little talismans. 1st half 20th century.
Salt bags were used by shepherds to carry salt for their sheep when out grazing. They are intricate and powerfully artistic expressions by the weaver, usually women.
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In one of the best books on the subject, Parviz Tanavoli, renowned collector, artist and sculptor, says: “These practical objects are steeped in folkloric narratives and myths, each a unique expression of their makers. Mainly woven by women, the bags are used by shepherds to carry salt for their livestock while grazing. Not only are the traditional bags a reflection of the material culture of the tribes of the Iranian Plateau, they also signify the deep social significance salt has held since prehistoric times. Like bread, the concept of salt permeates Iranian culture both historically and today through many sayings, proverbs, rituals, and social interactions”