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Oriental Carpets

Milton Cater Oriental Carpets

specialising in old and antique rugs     Since 1974
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Glossary of Terms

 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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  • Abadeh:  Top quality postwar Shiraz style rugs. The town is half way on the main Shiraz Isfahan road.

  • Afghanistan:  The world's most fascinating civilised country after India/Pakistan. Traditional Central Asian crossroads.

  • Afshar:  Mainly SE Iranian settled tribe with smaller groups in NW Iran.

  • Agra:  Indian antique decorative carpets.

  • Ahar: Heriz style carpets NW Iran Azerbaijan.

  • Ahmad Shah Durrani the first Afghan King.

  • Ahura Mazda the Pre-Islamic Persian god. Zoroaster fire temples Yazd. Parsees in India.

  • Aimaq: Now defunct West Afghan group of tribes/clans of interest: The Jamshedi, Firuz Kouhi, Taimani, there were actually around 10 participating groups at one time.

  • Ak Koyonlu: "people of the white sheep" historical Central Asian Turks.

  • Akstafa: Caucasian rug type with distinctive bird with tailcomb motif.

  • Ali. Martyr and first saint of Shia muslims.

  • Alti Bolak: Good N Afghan turkoman rug in a tekke type design.

  • Anatolia: Asian Turkey.

  • And Khoy: N Afghan turkoman rug type.

  • Aqcha: N Afghan steel backed postwar rugs.

  • Arabesque:  group of particular curvilinear tendril designs. probably originated in Islamic spain.

  • Arab: name given to various unrelated sub-tribes in south and east Iran. Indigenie of greater Arabia.

  • Arak: early centre of revival weaving NW Iran.

  • Ardebil: Good commercial weaving centre in azerbaijan.

  • Armenia: Ancient home of the armenians and their great culture.

  • Ashkabad: Turkmenistan city and home of the modern "5 year plan factory turkoman".

  • Assadabad: Hamadan Area herati designed rugs with nicely small central medallion.

  • Aubusson antique: French tapestry carpets.

  • Azeribaijan: Straddling Iran and the Caucasus this Turkish speaking province could be the most important rug weaving area in history.

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  • Babur: The babur nama gives a view of the life of a nomadic central asian horseman driven from his ancestral lands by the emergent uzbeks to found the Moghul dynasty in N India.

  • Bactria:  Historical Central Asian dynasty.

  • Bakhshaish: NW Persian town, good antique decorative carpets. A financial consideration.

  • Bakhtiari: Central Persian tribe, style of village weaving.

  • Baku: Caspian sea Port.

  • Balikishir: W Anatolian turkoman style weaving.

  • Balkh: N Afghan ruined city of importance.

  • Behbehan: Luri centre between Shiraz and Ahwaz, SW Iran.

  • Belouch: General name of a sombre type of rug. Related tribes in Pakistan Afghanistan, Iran.

  • Benares: India famous brocades.

  • Bergama: W Anatolian centre with a strong weaving tradition.

  • Beshir: Place and generic name for colourful turkoman weaving.

  • Beyshehir:  Anatolian town famous for it's  great antique rugs discovered at the Seljuk built mosque.

  • Bhadohi: North Indian 20th century weaving town.

  • Bibibaff coll: Name for a rug "woven by a respected grannie".

  • Bihzad: Developed Persian Minature painting in Herat late 15thC.

  • Bijar: Important Kurdish town weaving.

  • Bilverdi Heriz, Karadja etc. Azerbaijan revival weaving centre.

  • Birjand: E  Iran centre for both floral and tribal weaving.

  • Bukhara:  Possibly the most famous central asian city. generic dilettante name for all turkoman rugs.

  • Bordjalu: A style of Kazakh and a type of sombre South Azerbaijan Kurdish rug.

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  • Cairo: Was this the home of the famous eponymously named ottoman rugs that some say are THE best. The 16th C example in the Met could claim the title.

  • Channakkalle: W Anatolian squarish red rugs.

  • Caucasus:  Dramatic tribal peasant village workshop weaving. Area between the Caspian and the Black seas.

  • Chahar: Four, the number.

  • Chahar mahal: Four palaces.

  • Chehel: Forty. The number.

  • Chehel Sotun: Safavid building in Isfahan with paintings of period French partygoers.

  • Chakesh: Afghan Turkoman rug type.

  • Charschango: N Afghan gul/rug type.

  • Chelabird: Popular south Caucasian Kazakh type.

  • Chesmeh Sinjung: East Turkestan type of rug.

  • Chobash: Turkoman carpets with a distinctive blue red .

  • Chodor: Turkoman tribe.

  • Cochineal: Carminic red dye from the new world.

  • Crusaders: Met the first Turks.

  • Cyrus: ancient Persian King.

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  • Daghestan: NE Caucasus fine bluish rugs.

  • Dali: A sub group of the ersari sulayman turkomans.

  • Dari: Central Asian lingua franca classical Persian patois.

  • Darius: Ancient Persian King.

  • Daoulatabad: NW Afghan collecting centre of carpets esp. the wazirate large type.

  • Derbendt: Caucasus.

  • Diyarbakir: Kurdish rug collecting centre in E Anatolia.

  • Dokhtare ghazi: Aimaq Belouch style rugs west of Herat.

  • Doruksh: Jufti knotted Qainat carpets in the floral city style.

  • Doshemealti: red and blue postwar good Anatolian commercial rugs popular with tourists.

  • Durrani: Royal afghan line.

  • Dye: Colouring agent.

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  • Eagle kazak also chelabird, star, stern, all western names for a distinctive Karabagh rug.

  • East Turkestan now Sinjiang: Home of Uighur turks. Distinctive Yellowish rugs.

  • Elburz Mts North of Tehran, Kelar Dasht villages, rug types.

  • Enjilis good Hamadan type.

  • Engsi Turkoman yurt  door cover. design usually in 4 parts, quarters,  Hatchli.

  • Erivan Armenian rug centre.

  • Ersari Mainly Afghan Turkoman tribe.

  • Ezine European Turkey Town noted for elegant simple small rugs.

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  • Farah SW Afghanistan town. centre of Belouch/Aimaq/Pashtun?Kuchi hegemony.

  • Fars S Persian province.

  • Felt wool fibres can mat together to form this insulating and possibly the first rug material.

  • Ferahan fine Kurdish town rugs.

  • Firdaus Arab Belouch area East Iran.

  • Ferghana fabled vale home of Tadjiks and Moghul dynasty.

  • Fethiyeh ex Greek weaving town near Rhodes SW Anatolia.

  • Flatweave  not a pile weaving!.

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  • Gandhara West Himalayan/Afghan Buddhist dynasty. Origin of lovely schist Buddhas. Greek meets east style.

  • Gabbeh trans. "woolly" tapis ordinaire assoc with south Persia.

  • Genje Colourful central Caucasian rugs.

  • Georgia North Caucasian area home of much fine weaving.

  • Gorevan Azeri town carpets similar Heriz.

  • Gerus Bijar type, design from nearby town..

  • Ghaznavids historical Afghan dynasty. Spread Islam in Indian sub-continent.

  • Ghiordes W Anatolian Ottoman classical prayer rugs.

  • Ghor Central west Afghan area known for fine Turkoman and Belouch rugs.

  • Gireh Persian unit of measurement.

  • Gol flower /rose/a name etc.

  • Gonbad i qabus Turkoman area NE Iran.

  • Gul Turkic badge, the repeating octogon in Turkmen rugs.

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  • Hadith the Islamic Traditions.

  • Hafez South Persian classical poet.

  • Haft Rangi seven colours traditional to Persia.

  • Hamadan City and Generic name to single wefted rugs of NW Iran.

  • Harshang Popular 18thC Caucasian rug design.

  • Hashtrud trans."8 rivers" where the most beautiful kurdish girls are found. Eastern shores of Lake Urmia.

  • Hazara  Personable ethnic group of Central Afghanistan.

  • Herat W Afghan centre and state of mind. Often art capital of Central Asia.

  • Hereke Finest Anatolian silk rugs.

  • Heriz  Famous decorative and heavyweight carpets from Azerbaijan.

  • Holbein Dutch painter's name attached to a type of Anatolian carpet design and group.

  • Hulagu Mongol Khan, grandson of Ghengis.

  • Husseinabad a Hamadan area W Iran producing village in the standard single weft and herati pattern.

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  • Ilkhan Mongol Khan.

  • Indigo a blue vat fremented dyestuff.

  • Iran Originally Persia. Today 8 million people involved in the carpet trade.

  • Iraq not really a carpet country being mostly lowlands except for Iraqi Kurdistan.

  • Isfahan Classically decadent central Persian city.

  • Islam "Submission to Allah".

  • Ismail, Sshah Founded Persian Safavid Dynasty.

  • Isparta W Anatolian commercial weaving.

  • Istanbul major crossroads and bazaar of the carpet world.

  • Izmir SW Anatolian market centre.

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  • Jaipur Traditional carpet city of N India. "The Pink City".

  • Jamshidi An Aimaq weaving group from North and East of Herat, west Afghanistan.

  • Jangal aruq type of Ersari prayer rug.

  • Joshagan fine village rug NW Iran.

  • Jufti double knot using 4 warps.

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  • Kabul Afghan and Moghul capital.

  • Kelardasht Village rugs from the Elburz.

  • Kandahar Pashto centre S Afghanistan.

  • Karabagh South Caucasian area "black garden".

  • Karadagh ditto "black mountain".

  • Kara turk: black.

  • Kara Koyonlu historical  " black sheep turkomans".

  • Kars NE Anatolia Kazakh style modern commercial weaving.

  • Kashan central Iran fine floral Town rugs.

  • Kashgar East Turkestan modern Sinjung market city.

  • Kashmir controversial home of some Moghul carpets, and 20thC. Fine weaving.

  • Kathmandu market for some Himalayan weaving.

  • Keyseri centre of Turkish commercial weaving esp. silk.

  • Kazak denotes distinctive tribal rugs from the Caucasus as well as Tarters from Central Asia.

  • Kerman elegant east Persian traditional weaving centre.

  • Kermanshah Kurdish market town.

  • Khamseh grouping of SW Persian tribes.

  • Khirghiz Central Asian ethnic group.

  • Khiva the first Turkoman town to fall to the Russians.

  • Khorassan East Persian province in Central Asia.

  • Khorramabad SW Iranian, Luristan market town and bus stop. Dark saturated bleeding colours.

  • Khotan traditional centre of East Turkestan weaving.

  • Khuzistan Arab province of SW Iran.

  • Kelim flat woven rug usually in the slit tapestry technique.

  • Kipchack Central Asian historical ethnic group.

  • Kirshehir Centre of Anatolian prayer rugs.

  • Kizil Ayak two types of Turkoman - Turkmenistan and Afghan Turkoman.

  • Kizil bash historical military force in Persia.

  • Knot makes the pile or nap of a carpet and distinguishes it from the machine made and flatweaves.

  • Kolyahi Iranian Kurdish clan of weavers.

  • Konaghkend type of Kuba Caucasian rugs from the place.

  • Konya important Anatolian weaving and cultural centre.

  • Kowdani a type and quality of Afghan Balouch rug.

  • Kuba the Caucasus centre of commercial revival weaving.

  • Kubla Khan grandson of Mongol Genghis Khan who took the Chinese realm.

  • Kouchi gerenic Afghan name for tribal pastoralists.

  • Kufic early Islamic script stylised in carpets usually borders.

  • Kuhi people from the mountains-there are many tribes with this  in Iran and Afghanistan.

  • Kula west Anatolian historically important weaving town.

  • Kunduz north Afghan market town.

  • Kurd an ethnic nation divided by modern national boundaries and makers of a significant proportion of oriental carpets.

  • Kushan a Tarter empire.

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  • Labijar Sulayman Ersari Afghan Turkoman tribal group

  • Ladik west Anatolian weaving town.

  • Lahore historical weaving city and elegant Punjab capital.

  • Laver Kirman a fine quality of antique Kirmans.

  • Lhasa Tibetan capital.

  • Lillihan a flowery hamadan rug type.

  • Loom on which a rug or textile is made.

  • Lorenzo Lotto Painter after whom the antique rug designs are called.

  • Lotus Buddhist iconography.

  • Luri refers to the ancient indiginous tribe and mainly nomadic weavings.

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  • Madder rubia tinctorium natural red dyestuff.

  • Mahal western dealers name for a group of decorative west persian carpets.

  • Mahun pilgrimmage centre near kerman east iran.

  • Maimana west afghan uzbek centre of kelim production.

  • Malayer orangy fine west persian rugs.

  • Mamluk islamic eqyption dynasty controversial best all time carpets.

  • Manufactory made by hand in a factory.

  • Marasali misspelling of shirvan type of rug usually prayer rugs.

  • Mashad Eastern Iran mmajor city and place of Shia pilgramage Blue/rud coloured floral city style carpets.

  • Maslaghan distinctive type of hamadan rug.

  • Mauri fine quality of afghan turkoman rug.

  • Mazar-i-sharif north afghan cultural and market centre.

  • Medes early persians.

  • Mehriban type of west persian rug town.

  • Mehrivan NW Persian town for heavily woven carpets.

  • Melas Originally Greek population. Colourful 19thC rugs. Modern brown rugs.

  • Memling Name of a gul which is a latch-hooked polygon appearing on rugs in the paintings of Hans Memling, a 15thC European painter.

  • Merv A centre of the Tekke Turkomans.

  • Meshkin NW Persian, Azerbaijan kelims.

  • Mihrab The "Prayer Arch".

  • Melas Sw Anatolian town famous for it's colourful antique rugs and distinctive colourless modern rugs.

  • Mina khani "Hall of Mirrors" carpet design similar to Beshir and Jan Beghi designs.

  • Mir-i-boteh in Persian the "Everlasting Flower" and precurser of the Paisley design.

  • Moghul The subcontinental dynasty produced court carpets that set modern auction records.

  • Moharram This Islamic holy day falls on the tenth of the month of Muharram, and is marked with grief. It was on this day that Hussein, the grandson of the Holy Prophet Mohammed, attained martyrdom at the hands of Yazid in the battle of Karbala in Iraq. The Shias hold huge public processions where they perform self flagellations. The Sunnis also mourn the death of Hussein but in a quiet way.

  • Mohtasham Superior type of antique Kashan.

  • Mongols Kings of the known world whose patronage following conquest saw a flowering of the arts.

  • Moud East Iranian town producing a brownish type of robust floral rugs.

  • Muhammad. " There is no God but God and Muhammed is his Messenger".

  • Mushwani Type of Aimaq belouch rug from either an eponymous group or simply a design meaning "running mouse".

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  • Nadir shah The 18th C. Afshar king of Persia who sacked Delhi and stole the Peacock Throne.

  • Nain Central Iranian town known for fine but boring carpets "really sixties stuff".

  • Nahavend Type of Hamadan with big angular designs.

  • Nepal Himalayan state and centre of  contemporary and Tibetan weaving.

  • Nigde Cappadocian rug and kelim centre.

  • Nimrud "half river' in dry SW Afghanistan.

  • Nineveh the ancient Palace of mesopotamia.

  • Ning xia NW Chinese/ Mongolian traditional centre of sophisticated rugs.

  • Neiriz Souther Iranian centre of glass  and pottery firing and tribal rugs.

  • Nishapur NE Iran antique pottery and tribal rug centre.

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  • Ok-Bash 5-sided Turkomen tent pole covers.

  • Ortakoy Anatolian weaving centre.

  • Ottoman Great Turkish dynasty, Osmanli.

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  • Paisley The sprouting seed design developed from the Persian boteh.

  • Pakistan Major centre of antique and contemporary weaving.

  • Palmette a design like the cross section of a rose.

  • Pao Tou NW Chinese/Mongolian weaving centre.

  • Parsee descendants of the Zoroastrians in scattered communities since the diaspora.

  • Paritzi the two flowers of Paritz is a Kerman Afshar design.

  • Parthia Ancient Central Asian state - Nomadic horsemen.

  • Pashtoo Afghan language, ethnic group straddling Pakistan border.

  • Pazyryk Earliest complete carpet.

  • Pendi Oasis Turkmen and blue red style of late 19thC rugs.

  • Perepedil Cauasian workshop rugs with all over pattern.

  • Persepolis SW Persian ruins of pre-Islamic civilization, Darius, Cyrus Xerxes etc.

  • Persia the dynasty of Southern Iran. From pars, Fars. Modern Farsi = Persian .

  • Pomegranate Delicious fruit with rubies a metaphor for feminity.

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  • Qain East Iranian desert weaving area dependant on underground water. The Qainat.

  • Qashgai SW Iran tribal confederation.

  • Qazvin NW Iran collecting centre of Kurdish, village and Shahsevan weaving.

  • Qizil Bash Turkmen led army of Nadir Shah Afshar.

  • Qoltoq Afghan Turkoman weaving group.

  • Quchan NE Iran Kurdish weaving centre.

  • Qum Religious studies centre of Iran and produces modern carpets.

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  • Raver. Excellent carpets from this village north of Kerman also called Laver.

  • Rumi Jallaliddan Rumi the original Whirling Dervish, great Sufi poet.

  • Roumania source of 20thC export quality carpets in traditional designs.

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  • Safavid 200 years of classical flowering dynasty 16th-18th centuries.

  • Salor Old Turkoman tribe.

  • Saltoq Clan of the Afghan Sulaman Turkomen.

  • Samarkand Great Central Asian city.

  • Sanandaj Capital of modern Kurdistan. The Persian name for Senneh.

  • Saph A multiple prayer rug, usually woven sideways.

  • Sarab NW Persian village rug.

  • Sarouk Kurdish and surrounding areas SE of Hamadan, fine quality antique rugs.

  • Saryk Turkoman tribe.

  • Sassanid Historical Persian dynasty preceding Islamic period.

  • Selim. "The Grim" Ottoman sultan of Turkey.

  • Seljuqs Turkish migratory group developed high art once settled in Turkey and NW Iran. Followed by the Mongols.

  • Senjabi Kurdish NW Persian Rug.

  • Senneh Fine Kurdish rug.

  • Seraband Distinctive boteh patterned NW Persian rug.

  • Serafian Contract Isfahan weavers highly respected and copied.

  • Serakhs Balouchi area of Turkmenistan.

  • Shahsevan NW Persian tribe remained traditional through the 20th century.

  • Sharia Islamic Law.

  • Shebergan Turkoman town of N Afghanistan famous horses, buskashi players and the Labijar rugs.

  • Shia Followers of Imam Ali.

  • Shindand A tribal heartland town in west Afghanistan.

  • Shiraz SW Iran major rug collecting centre.

  • Shirvan East Caucasian fine rugs.

  • Silk road Mythical name for the Mediteranean - China trade routes.

  • Samovar Traditional hot water urn for tea making.

  • Simurgh mythical Persian bird.

  • Sinkiang, xinjiang Islamic Uighur Turkish province currently under Chinese dominion. Called East Turkestan also.

  • Sirjand Afshar Belouch centre in SW Iran.

  • Sivas Central Anatolian town noted for floral carpets and centre of a kelim trade .

  • Sothebys ASuctioneers.

  • Srinagar Moghul centre now commercial weaving.

  • Sufi unorthodox Islamic sects, person, following "direct experience" of Allah .

  • Sulayman Ottoman Sultan, Afghan Ersari Turkoman tribal type of rug.

  • Sultanabad W Iran home of the Zeiglers and other revival weaving.

  • Sunni Major branch of Islam.

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  • Taba tabai Term for medium quality Tabriz carpets.

  • Tafresh A type of Hamadan rug.

  • Taghan A type of Afghan Turkoman Ersari as in Taghan Daoulatabad.

  • Tahmasp First uniting Shah of the Safavid Dynasty Early 16thC.

  • Taimani West Afghan tribal carpets.

  • Tajikistan State bordering North Afghanistan.

  • Talish Long rugs of west Caspian littoral.

  • Tamerlane Historical Central Asian leader.

  • Tapestry General term for flatwoven wall hangings esp European.

  • Tarim The basin of Sinjung (East Turkestan).

  • Tashkent Historically important Central Asian city destroyed by earthquake in modern times.

  • Tashpinar A type of Central Anatolian village rug.

  • Tehran Captial of Iran.

  • Tekke Major Turkmen tribe.

  • Tibet The "Roof of the World" country.

  • Tienstin NE Chinese 20thC commercial carpets.

  • Timuri Elegant rugs from this west Afghan tribe.

  • Transoxiana Area between, around the Syr Daria and the Amu Darya (river Oxus).

  • Transylvania East European province where Christian churches held a group of Turkish rugs that defined a style .

  • Turkestan "Place of the Turks" encompassing a great part of Central Asia.

  • Turkey West Asian state.

  • Turkmenistan Central Asian state.

  • Turkoman Major grouping of rugs, and the people.

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  • Uighur Ethnic group inhabiting Xinjiang province. East Turkestan etc.

  • Ulugh beg.

  • Umayyed.

  • Urdu Language of central Pakistan, The Moghuls.

  • Urmia NW Iran lake, Kurdish weaving area.

  • Ushak West Anatolian weaving town with a long history.

  • Uttar pradesh Weaving state of North India.

  • Uzbekistan Republic north of Afghanistan.

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  • Vagireh phonetic pronunciation of wagirah, a rug sampler.

  • Van Lake, town, and centre of Kurdish culture and kelims.

  • Veramin distinctive paletted settled nomad weavings.

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  • Wagireh sampler made for western orders.

  • Waziri 20th century Afghan gul.

  • Warp longitudinal threads.

  • Weft latitudinal threads.

  • Weft faced weave the "face" of the flatweave is the weft.

  • West Turkestan as opposed to East Turkestan.

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  • Xerxes pre-Islamic Persian king.

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  • Yagcibedir the anatolian belouch/turkoman rug type.

  • Yahyali central anatolian rug type.

  • Yalameh strong commercial weaving town between Shiraz and Isfahan.

  • Yamoudt large Turkoman tribe.

  • Yacqubkhani Aimaq/Belouch tribe Herat, Afghanistan.

  • Yarkand east Turkestan sufi town.

  • Yazd near Kirman desert oasis town trad. fine floral mughal influenced carpets.

  • Yueh-chih pre-Islamic Cental Asian horde.

  • Yuntdag west anatolian rug type usually central medallion pendant with triangular amulets.

  • Yun tsai stou motif popular chinese border motif.

  • Yuruk Anatolian generic term meaning nomad.

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  • Zagros Mountain chain traditional home of nomadic groups.

  • Zahedan Iranian market centre of Seistan Belouch rugs.

  • Zahir Shah Last Afghan King. Deposed Nov 1973 and re-instated 2002.

  • Zarathustra Pre-Islamic prophet of Ahura Mazda.

  • Zeikhur NE Caucasian mostly tightly-woven long rugs.

  • Zenjan Capital, province and simple rug type, especially kelims of NW Iran.

  • Ziegler & Co Late 19th century English carpet business with looms in NW Iran defined the style.

  • Zil-i-Sultan South persian rug design also used elsewhere.

  • Zilli Traditional name for large simple flatweaves

  • Zoroaster see Zarathustra.

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