al-Hiba: Pile Carpet 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 carpets locally, to Bedouin encampments, or occasionally in the town of Shatra. Ochsenschlager records women in these villages making pile carpets (sajada), as well as flat-weave rugs (basat), “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 Flat-weave Rugs; 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.