c1940s Antique Fish-Herati Persian Koliai Rug 4.2x7.9
Koliais are tribal rugs made by nomadic Kurdish people of western Iran. They show bright and lively colors, usually with a large central medallion in hexagonal Herati diamond design and beveled spandrels. Their products were not originally made to be sold, but intended as practical dowry articles such as floor coverings, blankets, storage bags, saddle blankets, or as insurance against future hard times. Many Koliai carpets are runners of great length, 20 to 40 feet being common.
Kurdish carpets are woven throughout western Iran, in and around the rugged mountains of Kurdistan. The resilient Kurds descend from the ancient nomads that roamed the area thousands of years ago. They live a semi-nomadic life, either in villages or in tribes away from the cities where they can still practise their traditions and live as their ancestors did. Some Kurdish tribes include the Herki, Senjabi, Gurani, Jaffid, and Kalhors. Major rug-producing centers include Senneh, Bidjar, and the district of Khamseh. Other Kurdish villages and districts that produce rugs are Borchelu, Goltogh, Khoi, Koliai, Lylyan, Mousel, Nanadj, Songhore, Touserkan, and Zagheh. There are many grades of hand-made rugs produced in this vast province, and almost every color can be seen in these rugs. All have a pile of wool, and the foundations are of cotton, or more rarely, wool or goat hair. The weaving quality in Kurdish rugs varies from loose to dense knotting and the Persian asymmetrical knot is used more frequently than the Turkish symmetrical knot. The colors are mainly from natural dyes, and bright lively colors are used to bring life to their simple homes. The Kurds are a very peaceful, gentle people who prefer their simple nomadic lives to the complexities and frustrations of the modern world. Many other major rug-producing centers of Iran, such as Hamadan, Lorestan, or even Arak, show traces of Kurdish influence.