Although the Qashqai have never recorded their history in writing, they have passed it down through story and song for nearly a thousand years. In their legends they claim to have come from Chinese Turkestan, sweeping across Afghanistan into Persia on the vanguard of the armies of Ghengis Kahn. Once in Persia, the Qashqai chose to live in the mountainous region of Azerbaijan, in the Caucasus, far to the north of their present southern Persian location. Early in the 16th century, the Qashqai relocated to the Fars province, their habitat over the past 400 years, probably under the subjugation of Shah Isma’il, who wanted to create a human buffer against the Portuguese, who threatened his Persian Gulf shore.
The Qashqa’i (pronounced KASH-kai) are a nomadic people who roam across the harsh deserts of southwest Iran. Although they are made up of many different linguistic, cultural, and tribal origins, they all call themselves “Turks.” Qashqai Turki, their spoken language, does not yet exist in written form; most of them communicate in the Farsi language instead.
We know very little about their history, except that the Qashqa’i left central Asia in the 11th century AD and began entering Iran. Nothing else is recorded about them until the mid-18th century when the ruler of southern Iran appointed a Qashqa’i as the tribal leader of a province.
The Qashqai carpet continues to hold a special place in the world of oriental rugs, as it expresses a superlative level of both craftsmanship and creative inspiration. And it is no wonder, when two elements remain central in Qashqai culture – “il rah,” the tribal road, and their joyous weaving. As the Qashqai say – “Where I am is my carpet. Where my carpet and I am is my home.”
3'8"x5'6"(110cm x 165cm)
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