Salt bags were an essential part of the Persian and Central Asian nomad’s woven trappings, in order to carry salt on their annual migrations, and keep it safe and handy for storage and use. These unique weavings were made by most, if not all, of the weaving tribes of Persia: the Luri, Bakhtiyari, Afshar, Qashqa’i, Khamseh, Kurd, Shahsavan, Baluch, Timuri; also by Baluch and Timuri tribes in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Salt bags are bags of a unique shape, with a rectangular area below and a narrower neck open at the top.
The characteristic of salt bags shape (the neck flops down and over to close the top) is intended to preserve the (rock) salt or anything else being stored, and to prevent the bag contents from being spilled. In addition to salt, seeds, dried fruit, nuts, etc. are known to have been stored in such bags. The bags come in varying proportions and sizes: some are flatter and squat, while others have long necks, and are made in both flat weave and knotted pile formats. Frances Plunkett exhibited her extensive collection of salt bags and shared them with TMA/SC in a show & tell, hands-on program.
Dr. Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay)
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)