al-Hiba: Flat-Weave Rug Makers

Date: 1960s

Ground looms are used in the villages around al-Hiba. When they are being used for carpet making they often have a reed structure over them in order to protect them from the elements. The role of carpet making is reserved for one or two women in the villages. These women also reinforce traditional morals by deciding who they will do business with and whether or not they will call out their clients’ moral transgressions first. They sell their floor coverings locally, and to Bedouin encampments, and occasionally in the town of Shatra. Ochsenschlager records women in these villages making flat-weave rugs (basat), as well as pile carpets (sajada), “combination carpets” with several squares (Shirpesha), and other smaller projects. He also writes that Bedouin women who visited these villages near al-Hiba used similar ground looms. See also: Weaver; Maker of Pile Carpets; Loom Maker; Maker of Spindles; Dyer.

Citation: Ochsenschlager, Edward. Iraq’s Marsh Arabs in the Garden of Eden (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2004), pp. 232-41.