Ma'adan Marsh Arab Embroidery
Ma'adan Marsh Arab Embroidery/ Iraq
Size 2.34 x 1.44m
Age 40 yrs
Hand woven Kilim with embroidery/ Woven in 2 panels and stitched in the centre.
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The Mesopotamian marshes have provided a home for the Ma'dan or Marsh Arabs for at least 5000 years.Although many of their carperts resemble Tribal weavings from other areas these stunning embroidered kilims are unique to their region. Bedouin or Kurds initially wove the kilims on ground looms in seperate panels using locally spun and dyed wools before trading the finished work.They were then elaborately embroidered by young Ma'dan girls for their marriage beds and sometimes by mothers for their sons. The most common examples are comparatively lightly embroidered, but those most prized are heavily embroidered over their entire surface with a multitude of colorful patterns. According to research in 1970, the sale of these blankets is a relatively recent phenomenon although the best embroiderers have always occupied a position of respect within the community.In addition to their Islamic faith, the Ma'dan still held a number of pre-Islamic or extra-Islamic beliefs, from the existence of strange monsters in the marshes to that of bewitched isles.Hence the magnificent design of these unusual and unique embroideries.