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.
This rug is particularly interesting since the weaver has used a pattern for weaving normally used for kilims. She also incorporated into the weaving a couple of scorpions.
Material: 100% hand-spun sheep wool
Size: 342×88 cms
Origin: Kurdish Herki, Iraq
Date of weaving: 1970