Origin: Maimana

North Afghanistan

Woven: c. 1930

Size: 6.23 x 2.50m / 20'8 x 8'4

Ref. 400GR027


Maimana, capital of the Faryab province, is a bazaar and marketplace for kilims from the large surrounding areas of North Afghanistan and bordering Turkestan. Maimana kilims, often extremely large, and particularly hardwearing, were originally woven indoors on large vertical looms, sometimes in specially constructed Yurts (tents) by the regional Uzbeks. Subsequently, they were copied and were also woven by the many other tribes in the area, Aimaqs, Hazaras, Tajics and Turkomen. Maimana kilims are easily recognizable by their simple patterns of diamonds and triangles, in strong reds, oranges, blues and rusty browns, the central designs often being delineated by white borders. The main borders of the kilims themselves are geometrically patterned traditional designs, such as darakht - tree design, or daryaa - river design. The wool originally used was from Hazaragi and Ghilzai sheep and was coarse and loosely spun. Smaller versions are also woven and are direct miniatures of the larger variety. From the 1970's onwards these kilims were produced purely for commercial use as a cheap ethnic floor covering, bearing little relation to the tribal heritage shown in the workmanship of the older examples. This rather special large example however, from around 1930, does show that heritage. It is so large that it must have been woven for a particular purpose. Once used - a wedding reception for a local dignitary or some such - this kilim must have been stored, since its condition is excellent.

loft kilims