Wednesday, January 25, 2006


The origins of the Shahsavan are rather vague. However, three historical accounts from the late nineteenth century all agree on the fact that the tribe arrived in Persia from Anatolia in the late sixteenth century with their leader, Yunsur Pasha, who asked the Safavid king, Shah Abbas, for his permission to let them settle in Persia. The Shah graciously acceded to Pasha's request and bestowed the title 'Shahsavan' meaning 'friends of the Shah' on the tribes. Shah Abbas directed Yunsur Pasha to go and choose himself a suitable area for winter and summer quarters, and after much wandering around the country, Pasha's choice fell on the province of Ardebil in north-western Persia, having the Moghan plain as a winter encampment and the Savalan Mountains as summer quarters. The majority of Shahsavan weavings available today are flatwoven and in this field, the Shahsavan are considered to be master weavers.



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