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Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra

Woven into the Household – Literally. Central Asian Tent Bands

The fact that fabrics are necessary in our lives is stating the obvious. Textiles are an integrated element in our households.

But some are decorated – to the extent that they could just as well be classified by alien cultures as “works of art” rather than “objects of utility”.

One such textile that is integral to the household to the extent that the house might fall apart without it, and is also a sublime work of art and craft, is the tent band used by the various nomadic groups of Central Asia.

These textile bands are tied around yurt frames over the main fabric walls to provide structural stability.

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These could well have been left as purely functional textiles – plain weavings with no decoration. But NO!

The users decided that these long bands needed to look beautiful … and so we, the rest of the world today are the beneficiaries of these cultural-textile artworks!

The decoration provided in the form of rug-like pile weavings is created in patterns that are signatures of the identity of the creators. Today, a hundred years later, these patterns offer collectors clues to the origin of the textile.

A picture of an exhibition of tentbands held by Tehrani [Hamburg]

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As I looked for soulful pieces it was impossible to avoid falling for one of these

Complete Turkment Yolami Tent Band

Complete Turkment Yolami Tent Band

This piece is not destined for museums nor will articles be written about it. It is just an ordinary tent band.

But it is an old textile that was integrated into the lives of people. It has probably witnessed their joys, their hardships, their anguish and perhaps the souls of those lives have become infused in it. AND the best part is that it is A “complete” superb condition pile+flat weaving that is full 14 meters long (not including the long fringes).

And so for these reasons it will still be an honor to have this tent band decorate the walls of my home.

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More pictures on wovensouls.com soon

Read more about Yurts and Tent bands on  Karakalpak.com

jm

June 2015

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