706. an arresting old Aghan hatchlu

Old Afghan Hatchlu or Engsi

706. Provenance: Northern Afghanistan

Age: Circa 1940

Size: 227 x 139 cm

Condition: Largely good, with some areas of slightly lower pile.

Notes: 'Ensi or Engsi' means 'door curtain' in the language of the Turkomans. It is unsure where the cruciform design developed, but it may have been influenced by Imperial Russia's Christian crosses, although it is more likely that it merely represents the typical cruciform shape in a wooden door. Originally they would have hung at the entrance of the tribal yurt or tent, and would unlikely have been used anywhere else, although this example, being somewhat larger would have been woven for floor or wall use. Soft mountain hand-spun wool and natural dyes, including madder and walnut.