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8336 Late 19th Century Luristan Bag Face 1'7" x 4'0


According to recorded history and folklore, a formidable tribe known as the Lurs have occupied a rugged region of the Zagros Mountains, which forms the natural western barrier between modern Iran and Iraq, since the seventh or eighth century A.D., but recent genetic testing has shown a correlation between the Lurs and the primitive agricultural groups, some dating to around 8,000 to 4,000 B.C.E. As with the related Bakhtiyari tribes, the Luri woven forms are believed to have remained closer to the ancestral designs of Asia tribes longer than many others. Fiercely independent, the Lurs’ traditional life of mountainous isolation, as nomadic herders and horsemen, has been preserved in the intricate textiles, often woven on simple horizontal looms staked into the ground, represented here as the lower line of alternating brown, blue, and red stylized horse and rider motifs seen on this particular bag face, which dates to the last quarter of the 19th Century. While some 5,000,000 Lurs are believed to still inhabit the modern region known as Loristan, their tribes suffered immensely under Iranian reforms of the 1930’s and 40’s. Their cultural traditions of textile weaving remain to this day, but examples of this level of craftsmanship are rare.

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