Re: [rug-fanatics] Mafrash -
The plural word for Mafrash is 'Masharef'- at least in the Technical and Quranic Arabic meaning- where the word oroiginally comes from. With the little Farsi I've learned from the Iranian community here in Kuwait (Iranians represent 25% of the gross population in Kuwait), they hardly pluralize nouns. In Farsi, One can say 'I bought several or one Mashraf'. I suppose you can say Mashrafs to make it easier for English Pronounciation. My father who travelled to Iran frequently said to me that the term 'Mashraf' is the equivelant to 'Sourfreh' and 'Haseer' and 'Bosat', depending on where you originally come from. Us, in the other side of the Persian Gulf, use both Haseer and Bosat, which mean exactly the same as "Mashraf' and Soufreh. The Iranians still use the old Quranic terms which are not used any more in the Arab nations. Sorry to take long, but, I thought this is a piece of information that many non Arabic speakers don't really know.
As far as the quesiton : "Are the pieces just routinely being disassembled in order to sell more separate pieces?", I've bought a large quanitiy of Bag faced, Camel saddle and salt bags, and wall hangings, and they date back to late 19th century. After long disucussions with some of the Afghan/Iranian dealers in the market, they've informed me that a lot of these weavings are made from Old rugs, mashraf and other weavings due to their (carpets and Kilims) original bad and defect state- Nomads moving them from one cliamte to the other and some were eaten by turmites. I, myself, also bought some old Yilam (north of Iran) Kilims, disassembled them, cut them in large pieces and turned them into cusions and bags to sell them faster. I've noticed some of the two faced bags that you've menitoned DO look like old carpets and rugs I've seen in Antique carpet stores in Dubai, Iran and Pakistan. So I presume one must have an eye open for disessembled material off carpets and kilims (woven or embroirdered) to make into very expensive salt bags or wall hangings or a simple hand bag. I've noticed that most of the hand woven camel/salt/hand bags that are available in middle end antique stores have been disessmbled in order to sell more separate pieces. I suppose they're classified into 'gift items' rather than 'Collector items'. Nowadays, and quite popular in the Damascus, Turkish and Iranian souks, most dealers do make cusions, materesses and suit cases out of old carpets and kilims. This proves the fact that carpet and Kilim dissesmbly to make into bags do exsit amongst Afghan and other Tribal weavers.
Almost all tribes running through the Persian (Qishqais and Luris), Kuridistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Uzbikistan and Turkomnistan, do make saddle, salt, kilim bags to suit their nomadic nature, decorate their tents, and put dried fruits and foods as they travel. The same applies to the Arabian Area- It is obvious that Sadu weaving makes wall hangings and water bags for tent and survival purposes.
To me, I am very much geared towards, Tymani (Afghan) weavings (they make beautiful saddle, salt, hands bags and wall hangings. My second best would be the Uzbek and Turkuman weavings- very detailed peices and have rusty and very profound colors. The type of weaving in the Afghan, Uzbek areas are sometimes referred to 'Gorjee' weaving- I suppose the equivelant to 'Sadu' weaving in the Arabian Gulf region.
This is it for me, take care and God Bless, Chris
Mr. Talal Abdulla
Natalie Blacher & Christopher Warren <nfb1@...> wrote:
Thus far, although I've gradually learned a little bit about other
weavings, I've only purchased and been really interested in rugs.
However, of late, as I look through books, I find myself increasingly
drawn to some of the mafrash I see (can't quite guess at what the proper
plural form is - is it still just mafrash?). Anyway, I have a few
questions for anyone who can answer. It's potentially a lot of info.
I'm looking for, so please don't anyone think you need to address
everything. Any answers or suggestions would be appreciated.
1. In doing a little looking around, I mainly see references to mafrash
panels or "bag faces," in describing what is for sale. Are the pieces
just routinely being disassembled in order to sell more separate pieces?
Does most of the market seem to want just the flat weavings (for wall
hangings, perhaps)? I'd think that defeats the whole purpose.
2. What are some good books/sources for information on mafrash?
(Barry, I see you have some space mapped out on the subject, but that
you haven't covered that yet).
3. Are there certain tribal or village origins that are considered
especially desirable? (I see quite a few references to Shahsavan and
3. In displaying such a piece, I've seen pictures which look as if they
are often placed over a box of some type that is sized and fashioned to
fill out the piece, (almost making it look like a very small bench). I
assume that is to really display it better. Any thoughts or comments on
that practice? I assume the bottom panel then is usually on top,
4. Any especially good sources for an older intact mafrash?
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RE: [rug-fanatics] Mafrash -
Dear Mr Talal Abdulla and all,
Your posting made me want to share with you some of my observations regarding the migration of some terms belonging to the culture of carpets.
Here are a few examples. Please correct me if I'm wrong about the sources.
soufreh (Farsi) - the cloth on which food is served. The French word 'soufragerie' derives most probably from it, meaning dining room
torba - (Turkic languages) - bag. In Romanian it changed to 'tolba', also meaning 'small single bag'.
purdah (Urdu?) - curtain - in the Caucasus 'peredjik', in Romanian 'perdea'
karpet (Armenian) - no need to comment
yatak (Turkish) - bedding cover. The archaic Romanian word 'iatac' took the meanings of 'bed, bedroom'
(and many more)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: talal Abdulla [mailto:talalkw@...]
> Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 9:58 AM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: [rug-fanatics] Mafrash -
> Dear Chris,
> The plural word for Mafrash is 'Masharef'- at least in the
> Technical and Quranic Arabic meaning- where the word
> oroiginally comes from. With the little Farsi I've learned
> from the Iranian community here in Kuwait (Iranians represent
> 25% of the gross population in Kuwait), they hardly pluralize
> nouns. In Farsi, One can say 'I bought several or one
> Mashraf'. I suppose you can say Mashrafs to make it easier
> for English Pronounciation. My father who travelled to Iran
> frequently said to me that the term 'Mashraf' is the
> equivelant to 'Sourfreh' and 'Haseer' and 'Bosat', depending
> on where you originally come from. Us, in the other side of
> the Persian Gulf, use both Haseer and Bosat, which mean
> exactly the same as "Mashraf' and Soufreh. The Iranians still
> use the old Quranic terms which are not used any more in the
> Arab nations.