Harald Bohmer

Nomads in Anatolia - Their Life and Their Textiles:

Encounters with a Vanishing Culture.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Emmet Eiland Gallery

1326 Ninth Street (near Gilman), Berkeley

Refreshments at 6:30 p.m. Presentation at 7:15 p.m.

The lifestyles and textiles of the nomadic peoples of Anatolia evolved from a long tradition, beginning with the first immigration of the Turkmen tribes from Central Asia into Asia Minor in the 14th century. These pastoral peoples changed the farmland of the Byzantines into pastureland. They created a variety of woven objects for both daily and ceremonial use, including many kinds of portable housing, as well as trappings for animals and the storage of their household possessions. In some areas of Turkey, camel trains were a still a common sight up through the late 20th century.

For many years, Dr. Bhmer, along with his colleague, ethnographer and photographer Josephine Powell, traveled with these nomads, collecting and photographing their textiles. Dr. Bhmers talk, in conjunction with his book, The Nomads of Anatolia, will cover specific tribes and give an overview of their daily lives, their historic winter and summer migration routes and encampments, and the textiles that they wove, including kilims, saddle and storage bags, bands, and felts. He will also discuss their current settled situations, and the future of nomadism in Anatolia.

A native of Germany, Dr. Harald Bhmer is a renowned international expert in natural dyes, and was instrumental in re-introducing their use in the revival of naturally-dyed carpet production in the 1980s in Turkey and other carpet-producing countries. While teaching chemistry at the German high school in Istanbul, Dr. Bhmer became fascinated with the colors in antique carpets in local museums. Under the auspices of the German National Development Service he researched and tested organic dye sources. He has been a guest lecturer at Marmara University in Istanbul, head of the Marmara Universitesi Laboratory for Natural Dyes, founder of the DOBAG natural dye carpet project, and General Adviser to the DOBAG project. He has presented many papers at specialist conferences, created videofilms on nomads in Turkey and natural dyes worldwide. He has published numerous articles and three books: "Rugs of the Nomads and Peasants in Anatolia" (in cooperation with Werner Brggemann), 1982; "KOEKBOYA - Natural Dyes and Textiles - A Colour Journey from Turkey to India and Beyond, (in cooperation with Nevin Enez, Recep Karadag and Charllotte Kwon), 2002; and "Nomads in Anatolia - their Life and their Textiles - Encounters with a Vanihsing Culture (in cooperation with Josephine Powell and Serife Atlihan), 2008.

Dr. Bhmer invites SFBARS members to bring examples of natural-dyed nomadic Turkish kilims, carpets, trappings and textiles for show and tell.

Whats Ahead for SFBARS in 2008-2009

November 12th. S.Peter Poullada, Weavings of the Middle Amu Darya Turkmen: New Findings from the MAD Research Project. I hope to schedule this at Krimsa (Paul, please note!)

December 7th. Annual Dinner and Silent Auction of the John Sommer Collection, tentatively scheduled forSunday evening at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco.

February 4 or 5, 2009. A visiting Speaker in conjunction with the Tribal Arts Show. Topic will be weavings of the Bakhtiyari and otherSouth PersianTribes. (We will coordinate the date with the Textile Arts Council and deYoung Museumto avoid conflicting with the Jones Memorial Lecture.)

March 10, 2009. New Acquisitons Show and Tell and Moth Market. Members will have the chance to show off their pieces and, if they wish, offer them for sale or trading. To be held at Eilands in Berkeley.

Mid-April. Joint event with the Armenian Rug Society at Simonian Gallery in San Mateo. Speaker to be arranged in coordination with the ARS.

End of May (probably the 24th). Annual visit to Jim Dixon's carpet palace in Occidental.

ACOR 9 Registration

ACOR 9, in St Louis, is April 30 May 3, 2009, less than eight months from now, and registration is coming up shortly. Scheduled speakers include Dennis Dodds, Michael Franses, Sid Goldstein, Tom Hannaher, Fred Ingham, Bob Mann, Peter Poullada/Eric Risman, David Reuben, Pete Stone, Wendel Swan, Mike Tschebull.

On or about September 20 SFBARS will receive a bulk quantity of registration packets that will be available to our members at the September 23 meeting. This is in keeping with ACORs commitment to give member rug societies a 30-day window in which to register before registration is opened to the general public.

Registration for ACOR 9 will begin on September 15, meaning that you can register on the ACOR website ( beginning on that date if you prefer not to wait for the registration packets.