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Antique Baluch Khorjin - a Donkey Saddle Bag

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The Khorjin (alternate spellings of this Afghan word are Khourjeen, Kharjin, Khordjin, Khorjun and Khurdzhin) is a pair of joined saddle bags either knotted and piled or flat woven. A complete Khorjin is comprised of two bags - when pairs are separated, the halves were normally used as small mats, carrying bags or cushion covers. Rug dealers often still call these halves a "Donkey Bag" or a "Saddle Bag" though they were usually carried by a man or a woman over the shoulder and used as a fascinating brand of  shopping basket.

The Khorjin bags were made by the tribal nomads weavers throughout Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Beluchistan - the Bakhtiari (aka Bakhtiyar), the Yomud, the Saryk and the Baluchi groups to name just a few. The beautiful bag presented here, was made by an extremely talented Baluch group of weavers from the area of Mashhad and it represents the choicest best quality of small pieces of Beluchistan weave that are of rich yet subdued colors and. This rug possesses the character and sheen of the great old masterpieces nomad rugs. Read more about the Baluch rugs weaving culture.

חורג'ין Khorjin (שק נוודים בלוצי עתיק ששימש כאוכף של חמור או סוס והיה בשימוש השבטים הנוודים במרחבי פרס, אפגניסטאן ובלוצ'יסטאן) - אריגה עבה וחזקה של צמר משובח, בתחתית השק "אזניים" לקשירה. במרכז החלק הקדמי (ה"פנים" של החורג'ין) מלבן ובתוכו מעויין בדוגמת צלב עם חיצים, מעל המעויין ומתחתיו ציור / עיטור של שיירות של חמורים, הרכב הצבעים מרהיב: שחור, אדום יין וכתום. במרכז המלבן כמה נגיעות של משי בצבעי בז' בהיר וירוק פוספורי. מתחילת המאה העשרים. מתאים - גם אם אין לך חמור.
 

The Face of the Baluch Khorjin Donkey Saddle Bag - Click to Zoom

Antique Baluch Khorjin Antique Baluch Khorjin - Central Asia Nomads Donkey Saddle Bag


The Back of the Baluch Khorjin Donkey Saddle Bag

 

This brightly colored beautiful Khorjin has two "hanging rings" and is made of best quality wool with touches of silk in the phosphoric green and pale beige cross of arrows ornament in the middle of the front side (the face) of the bag. The back of the Khorjin is made of thick pink wool executed in a plain woven kilim technique. The origin of production is probably Baluch clans in the area of Mashad in Iran which is known for its best quality wool and its beautiful looking carpets.

Donkeys on the upper part of the Khourjeen

A row of cute stylized little creatures (donkeys?) standing in the field of the Beluch Khorjin

Great and refined aesthetic sensibility is shown in this Baluch Khorjin bag face. For me it is the standard against which similar pieces are measured - the drawing, balance and graphic presence of this piece are rarely surpassed. The dominating single, bright arrow-cross gull  with the surrounding eight donkeys and four eight-point stars are in perfect harmony. I call these animal figures "donkeys" but they can also be horses or dogs - most likely they are donkeys which appear in other tribal, village, and city rugs. The Baluch weavers have merely rendered them in a unique form - please have a close look.

 

A cross of arrows on the face of the Khourjeen rug

The Baluch arrow-cross motif surrounded by four eight-point stars - minimal phosphoric green and white silk touches were used for accenting the center of the bag face. 

The Khorjin, although associated with donkeys, performed much the same functions as does a basket in the Western culture - so do you feel like riding?

 

Antique Baluch Khorjin - a Donkey Saddle Bag - Back to Carpets & Rugs

Size: 1' 8.9" x  1' 7.7"  -  54 cm x 50 cm  -  21.3 in x 19.7 in
Warp: Wool
Face thickness: 6 mm approx
Pile: Wool & Silk
Origin: Tribal groups of Afghan and Iran - Baluch from Mashad / Ferdows
Weaving technique: Knotted and piled hand weaving
Age: more than 100 years old (late 19th or early 20th century).

Price: Call

References:
Antique Baluch Bolesht (Balisht) - a Baluch Pillow Bag
Antique Baluch Khorjin - a Complete Pair of Saddle Bags
The Baluch Rugs Weaving - Origin & Culture
Turkmen Rugs - Terminology, Transcription, Pronunciation, Spelling and Nomenclature

Item: R1002/14 - Antique Baluch Khorjin Saddle Bag

 

 

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Dan Levy - Art Pane Home of Oriental Carpets and Rugs


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