Thursday, August 23, 2012

Turkotek's Price in need of a History Lesson

Recently on Turkotek I was truly amazed by what I read. Horst Nitz made some brilliant points in

Sadly Marla Mallett responded with the worst reply I have seen in the 16 years I have known her. Marla is a real expert on structure and generally an expert on Rugs and Kilims. This time Marla did not know or did not remember that the Kars region of what is now Turkey was part of Russia 100 years ago. It is not a big deal Marla is so brilliant most of the time she has earned this one. But Marla was not the one shocking in her ignorance Steve Price was.

Steve Price wrote:
Although it seems likely that these were woven within the borders of what was Russia at the time, I don't think I've ever seen geographic attributions of rugs made to anything except the present. For example, Tabriz was not only in Azerbaijan until fairly late in the 19th century, it was the capital of Azerbaijan. I've never seen a Tabriz carpet attributed to anything except Persia or Iran (in rugspeak, the terms are interchangeable).”

I had to read it twice to see the amazingly convoluted and incorrect point Steve was trying to make. Tabriz has been the dominant city of Persian Azerbaijan since the days of the IL-Khanid Mongols. In all that time except for a few short-lived invasions Tabriz has always been Persian. It is now the administrative center for West Azerbaijan an Iranian province. East and West Azerbaijan are part of Iran and have been for hundreds of years. The northern part of Azerbaijan was captured 200 years ago by the Russians and is now an independent country called Azerbaijan. Despite what Steve Price thinks, the nation state of Azerbaijan has never ruled Tabriz. In 1945 the Russians tried to take Tabriz but Harry Truman thwarted their plans.
It is amazing how little related history and geography Professor Price has absorbed over the years. The things he writes about rugs become more explainable when you understand how very little he knows about the weavers, their location and their history.

By the way poor old Steve Price can't see the face in this image, can you?

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