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May Newsletter 2008

Next Meeting

In conjunction with the Armenian Rug Society

A Zagros Mountain Showdown:

Tribal Carpets from South Persia

May 14, 2008

Reception at 6:30 p.m.

Showing of Film on Bakhtiyari Migrations,

“People of the Wind,” at 7:15 pm

Tribal Carpet Show and Tell, 8:15-9:00 pm

Simonian Oriental Rugs

939 N Amphelett Blvd., San Mateo

Telephone: (650) 343 0929

Directions from website:

For our next-to-last event of this season, we are happy to team up again with the fun-loving and energetic Armenian Rug Society to take a hands-on look at the weavings of the tribes of Iran’s Zagros Mountains. After a warm-up social hour we will show the movie “People of the Wind,” about the arduous migrations of the Bakhtiyari tribe. Like the other tribal nomads of South Persia, the Bakhtiyari practice what is known as trans-humant pastoral nomadism, which refers to the seasonal movement of the tribe and their flocks between low-lying winter pastures (called “garmsir” or “qishlaq”) and their high-mountain summer pastures (known as “sardsir” or “yaylaq”). All of the major tribal confederations of the Zagros, the Luri, Khamseh, Qashgai, Bakhtiyari, and Afshar, followed these migration routes (known as “il-rah”) creating a complex network that often required negotiation between competing tribes by their leaders or khans. In fact, in

the nineteenth century, under the Qajar dynasty, political control of the tribes was managed through manipulation of these khans, who were known as Il-Begi. For example, in the case of the Khamseh, the Qajars actually created them as a new tribal confederacy in line with their divide and conquer strategy toward the Qashgai.

After watching the movie (running time estimated as 45 to 50 minutes) we will launch into a members’ Show and Tell. In order to make this a successful event, you need to bring examples of your own South Persian weavings. We will start with examples of saddle bags from the Luri, Qashgai and Afshar, but we also want to show off carpets from the Khamseh and Bakhtiyari. Be ready to stand up and help display your piece and talk about where you bought it, what you think it is, and why you like it.

You can count on a fun evening of good food, good company and good carpets!


S. Peter Poullada


We still have not received dues renewals from about 40 members. We will be sending out final reminders shortly. If you are not sure if you have renewed or not, please contact our Membership Director, Jacqueline Van Lang, at the email address provided below. We will send out the announcement to everyone for the next event in June, but starting in September we will only be sending newsletters to members who have paid their dues.




June 22. Annual picnic at Jim Dixon’s carpet palace in Occidental, California. Once again this will be a pot-luck. Please contact Nancy Sheppard, 415 315 8285 or, to volunteer a dish

(appetizer, main course, dessert, etc.).




Saturday, September 6. Symposium on Turkmen Culture and Ethno-history. Co-sponsored with the de Young Museum. Announcement with details to follow.



September 22 or 23. “The Weavings of the Tribal Nomads of Anatolia.” Speaker: Harald Bohmer. Location and details to follow.

Dr. Bohmer’s latest book, Nomads in Anatolia. Encounters with a

Vanishing Culture, with contributions by Josephine Powell and Dr. Serife Atlihan, newly published in English, may be obtained from Samy Rabinovic, 110 S. Front Street, Unit 500, Philadelphia, PA 19106, Price for rug society members is $140 plus $14 for shipping and handling.


Kensington (London) Oriental Rug and Textile Symposium. June 6 – 9, 2008. Lectures on Turkoman clothing, resist dyed felts, Tibetan carpets. Dealer fair with specialists in Turkoman, Balouch, Caucasian Tibetan and Chinese rugs. For further information, contact Rupert Smith

Members: If you know of upcoming lectures, exhibitions, etc. of potential interest to the SFBARS membership, please send the information to

SFBARS Board Members

Peter Poullada President

Jon Eldan Secretary

Pat Leiser Treasurer

Jacqueline Van Lang Membership

Elizabeth Shedd Newsletter

Hillary Dumas Website

Jim Dixon

Renee Rausin

Sandra Whitman

Bob Dunn

Murray Eiland Emeritus

John Sommer, M.D. Emeritus

Members may contact Peter Poullada at

The San Francisco Bay Area Rug Society is a nonprofit organization whose publications and events are supported by your subscriptions. Individual subscriptions are $40 annually, $60 for two people at the same address. Please send renewals, address changes, or subscriptions to Jacqueline Van Lang, SFBARS Membership, 6 Muir Ave., Piedmont, CA 94610. For more information about SFBARS, including information about membership, an archive of past Newsletter articles, rug pictures and other features, please explore the SFBARS website at

San Francisco

Bay Area

Rug Society

6 Muir Avenue
Piedmont, CA 94610