777. an attractive Afghan 'ensi' design rug

Afghan Ensi or Hatchlu design rug

777. Provenance: Ersari tribe (Beshir sub-tribe?), Turkoman group of tribes, Northern Afghanistan

Size: 260 170 cm

Age: circa 1970

Condition: Excellent. 

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. This would have hung at the entrance of the tribal yurt or tent, and would unlikely have been used anywhere else. This rug is modern and although based on such a design it is for use on floors (although Afghans themselves still prefer to hang these on walls). This piece shares design elements of older Tekke and other ensis (the ram's horn cruciform motifs in the outer border, the 'candlabre' motif in the inner fields), but it also has particular Beshir elements, most notably the crenelated octogons containing stylized flowers. A lovely rug.