This vintage rug from the Kurdish Herki tribe has a plain red background on which a column of diamond-shaped motifs has been arranged, all of them woven in different colors and no two are alike. The inner edge is made up of colorful triangles and the main outer edge is made up of beautiful 8-petal flowers. The warp is of multiple colours, as can be seen in the happy fringes!

Material: 100% hand-spun sheep wool              

Size: 257×84 cms

Origin: Kurdish Herki tribes, Iraq

Date of weaving: 1960s


Herki, also spelled Harki (Kurdish: Herkî ,ھەرکی‎) is a large tribe in Kurdistan. The largest part of this tribe live in Iraqi Kurdistan and a significant number live in Iranian Kurdistan. They are also found in Northern Kurdistan.

The Herkis lived mostly a nomadic life with their herds; however, this changed a lot after 1920 and the Treaty of Sèvres. The new hand-drawn borders of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey hindered Kurdish tribes to continue their way of life.

In 1989 they counted some 20,000 people, living between Urmia and Rawanduz, one of the largest remaining groups of pastoral herders. On their regular movement they brought salt from Iran to Iraq and carried wheat and barley back to Iran.

The Herkis were a very well-armed tribe, and were noted to be good warriors and fierce men. Some of their women would occationally be seen fighting alongside men.

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SKU: A2212069