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Bag (khorjin) face

Place made: 
Asia; Baluchistan (Iran, Pakistan, or Afghanistan)
Bag (khorjin) face, 19th century
Wool warp, weft, and pile; asymmetrical knot
Overall: 35 in x 31 in; 88.9 cm x 78.7 cm
Bequest of Eileen Paradis Barber (Class of 1929)
MH 1997.14.145.2

Khorjin saddle bags are used to carry possessions on the backs of pack animals—usually donkeys—by nomadic and semi-nomadic people. These two bag faces, made by a Baluch woman, would have originally been joined together in the middle and backed with plain cloth to form two attached pockets.

The dark palette of red, navy blue, and undyed brown wool is highlighted with bright white, forming a repeating geometric design typical of Baluch weaving. As an object, this khorjin reflects the context in which it was made: its wool comes from the community or family’s sheep and goats; the wool was sheared, carded, and dyed locally; and the bag would have been woven by a woman at home, with or without other female relatives.

-Kendra Weisbin, Associate Curator of Education, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum (Sept. 2017)