Ethnic Kuchi Beadwork, Afghanistan- Beaded Amulet, Triangle
Afghan Tribal Arts has been importing from Afghanistan and the region since the 1980’s. The focus is on vintage textiles and tribal jewelry as well as new gemstone beads made for jewelry designers. Clicking on the Shop on Etsy button will take you to our shop there where you can see what is currently in stock.
The triangle is considered to be a symbol of protection among many of the nomadic groups of Central Asia. This piece would be worn on the belly, on the shoulders or on the back of a dress. The triangle is made of glass seed beads which have been woven together. They are backed by a cotton piece of fabric. There are two layers of beaded pieces overlapping each other, with a shisha mirror and clusters accenting the first one. It is backed with two layers of fabric and paper in between to give it sturdiness. The piece in good shape.
Dimensions: 5.5″ long x 10″ wide 15 x 25 cm
Estimated age: 1980’s
The last photo shows the back.
A little background on the Kuchi from Wikipedia:
Kuchis (from the Persian word Koch meaning “migration”), are Pashtun nomads, primarily from the Ghilzai, Kakar, Lodi, Ahmadzai as well as some Durrani tribes, but occasionally there may also be some Baloch people among them. There are three million Kuchis in Afghanistan, with at least 60% remaining fully nomadic, and over 100,000 have been displaced due to natural disasters such as flood and drought in the past few years. The nomads and semi-nomads, generally called Kuchi in Afghanistan, mostly keep sheep and goats. The produce of the animals (meat, dairy products, hair and wool) is exchanged or sold in order to purchase grain, vegetables, fruit and other products of settled life. In this way an extensive network of exchange has developed along the main routes annually followed by the nomads.
The merchant Powindah (Ghalji) [or Ghalzai] Pashtuns used to move annually from the Afghanistan mountains to the valley of the Indus and hence deep into India. These long-distance migrations were stopped in the early 1960s when the border with Afghanistan and Pakistan were closed. In recent decades, migrations inside Afghanistan continue, although trucks are now often being used to livestock and family from one place to another.
The Kuchis have been identified by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan as one of the largest vulnerable populations in the country. As Afghanistan’s population grows, competing claims over summer pastures, both for rainfed cultivation and for grazing of the settled communities’ livestock, have created conflict over land across central and northern Afghanistan. Paying head-count fees for each animal crossing someone else’s property is exacting a harsh economic toll on the Kuchi way of life, one that is already having to contend with recurrent droughts that are now occurring with increasing frequency.
Materials Used: glass seed beads, fabric, thread, mirror
Afghanistan has been at the heart of the crossroads for the Silk Road for centuries. Nomads and generations of ethnic groups have thrived on trade and beautiful handicraft skills. Textiles, embroidery and carpet weaving continue to represent a plethora of skills that extend on into metal work, wood work, and ceramics. Designs reflect both the beauty of nature and life of spirit in choice of colors and fluidity of the design. Recommended reading: “Traditional Textiles of Central Asia” by Janet Harvey, a wonderful illustrated book on textiles from Afghanistan and the region.
Afghan Tribal Arts has been working with Afghan artists for more than 20 years. Handcarved semi-precious beads are the core focus of the business, but we also have a huge inventory of old and new textiles, carvings and metal work. Abdul Wardak, owner, travels a bead show route between Wisconsin and Florida. Wholesale inquiries are welcome.
Visit our shop on Etsy and check our shop here on Artizan Made as we will have different items in both shops. We combine shipping on purchases between both shops. Free shipping on all purchases over $100 in the US.
We are proud members of TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List.
Afghan Tribal Arts
Abdul Wardak of Afghan Tribal Arts Abdul Wardak has been importing from Afghanistan and the region since the early 1980's. Beads carved from semi-precious stones are the core of the business, but Afghan Tribal Arts also has an extensive collection of tribal jewelry, textiles, carpets, and vintage functional crafts.