Rugs of the Kakaberu Tribe

    The Kakaberu rug represents a fascinating addition to the world of Persian rugs. This is a true tribal rug, which defies some of the expectations about traditional rug-weaving. The Kakaberu are a tribe living in a mountainous region, south of Senneh and Bijar, Kurdish villages known for their rugs and carpets. Bijar particularly has a robust rug presence in this predominantly Kurdish region of Iran, with a reputation for their “iron rugs”, which are beautiful and durable. Nearby, further south, are the Kurdish market towns of Sonqur and Kermanshah, centers of the rug and carpet market in the region. 

PRJ Ford, 1994. Thames and Hudson, Oriental Carpet Design.

With appreciation to this author, who has researched extensively and has more information available about the Kakaberu than almost any available resource.

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The Characteristics

    Kakaberu rugs are very heavy, of heavy & thick pile, and like the Bijars, very durable. They are known for their somber & dark color schemes. Dark browns, dark blues and blacks are prominent. Reds are usually muted to a salmon, light brown, or mahogany. The central medallion often does not look like a typical medallion, but its anchor-like ends serve to draw the eye towards the zigzag structures at the ends of the rug, and the ends of the field are always black or dark blue. These rugs contain Bijar-like motifs, but many of them are used in a way that depart vastly from typical Bijar expression.

The Unknown

    Often the symbols and motifs remain unclear and mysterious. As with other rug-weaving communities, it is not unusual to find designs and motifs which have been appropriated/borrowed from other rug-weaving neighbors. With the Kakaberu, most of this is from fellow Kurdish tribes or communities, but sometimes designs find their way into the repertoire from more distant sources. For instance, the Maslaghan “lightning bolt” design is found in some Kakaberu rugs.  Almost all of the Kakaberu rugs are of the kelleyi size, of 4-5 feet wide and 7-9 feet long.

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