8335 Late 19th Century Beshir Chuval Bag Panel 3'8" x 1'7"
This Chuval remnant (a type of flat storage bag) has proved to be rather enigmatic when it comes to research. Several of the noteworthy features that suggest it was woven by the Beshir are the presence of the liver-brown color, along with the yellow dyed accents against the dark blues, which differentiates it from other regional rugs in the Turkman style, typically featuring a uniform reddish color, with dark blue and white accents. The larger pattern elements also distinguish it from the more intricate, smaller signature Turkman elements. When looking into accounts of the Beshir peoples for some historical insight, this piece has opened a bit of a mystery, which rugs can often do.
Said to have lived along the banks of the Amu Darya river, which flows though modern Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, the Beshir faced the daunting reality that often comes with being placed between two fierce empires. With the Persians to the West of them, and the fierce Turkmen to the East, the accepted belief is that one (if not both) of these empires subverted the Beshir and likely sold them into servitude to the other. Speculation exists as to whether the Beshir willingly integrated into the societies that absorbed them, and how much influence seeped into textiles coming from either region, such as this bag panel remnant dated to around the 1875.
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