When visiting a close friend of our family, I asked about the rug in her living room. She told me she bought it from a man in the Riyadh souk in the 1970s. He explained it was from a bedouin tribe and that the symbols told a story. She promised to return the next day to hear the story. The next day, the man was gone. She never saw him again.
I promised to find information about her rug.
It shouldn’t be surprising how much information on the Internet isn’t cited, but I was surprised. It seems when one document is posted, it’s used by a lot of people who aren’t bothered by accuracy or ownership. Sadly, one of those is used in schools.
Anyhow, after emailing too many people to count about where to start with the rug, I finally received a reply.
Someone in Kuwait at the secretariat of the West Asia sub-region of the Asia Pacific region of the World Crafts Council tracked down someone who submitted an entry to a UNESCO crafts contest. That person sent me the email. Long story short, I have a primary source whose name I didn’t ask permission to use. If anyone would like her name, please leave a message in the comments. I’m happy to share that way. I don’t want to be part of the uncited Internet junk.
The rug is an embroidered kilim, made by the Ma’dan people in Iraq and given as a wedding present. The symbols do tell a story of good wishes and protection. There are chickens depicted on rug too, but the woman didn’t mention those.