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Chantehs are small bags made by nomadic weavers in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East. They are unpretentious and modest\, full of c harm and character. In the past they were never made for sale\, because cha ntehs are the most personal of tribal weavings. Some\, known as 'dokhtarbaf ' or 'nashibaf'\, were bags made by girls learning skills from their mother s. Such chantehs are tiny and as naïve as a child's drawing. Some\, called 'bibibaf' or 'ostadbaf'\, were dowry pieces\, designed to show a young woma n's skill or mastery of the craft\, and thus to demonstrate that she would be an asset to her future husband's family. Others were made as wedding gif ts or to celebrate special
occasions\, but most commonly they served t o carry small objects for personal use. They were private things.
Rugs and carpets\, although often made for utilitarian purposes\, were also com modities\, for ever since the 19th century nomadic Persian womenfolk have c ontributed substantially to the tribal economy by selling them to dealers a nd middlemen. Even 'khorjin'\, saddlebags for camels\, horses\, and donkeys \, were often made for sale. Chantehs were not\, partly because they were p ersonal possessions and also because they had no value in the marketplace.
Their weavers didn't have business interests in mind when chantehs we re made\; the women were not thinking of profit when they wove these modest bags\, nor were they bound by aesthetic rules. They could make what they w anted. As always\, they spun sheep's wool\, dyed it with materials such as madder root\, pomegranate rind\, walnut husks\, and vine leaves\; they drew on design traditions that were based on ancient motifs and symbols\, but t hey were nonetheless free to create exactly what came to their hands and im agination. Chantehs are the expression of informality and freedom from the expectations of others\; it is not insignificant\, therefore\, that they we re very often intended as gifts.
The preceding text is taken from ‘Que stions of Travel’\, published by the Douglas Hyde Gallery in 2010.
'Ch anteh' is an exhibition of over 200 old and antique tribal bags from the Fa rs region of Iran. This unique and beautiful collection was put together by the late Parviz Homayounpour and has been lent to us by Label STEP (Switze rland)\, a foundation that works for fair conditions in carpet production a nd trade.

DTEND:20130130 DTSTAMP:20140830T035831 DTSTART:20121123 GEO:53.3429937;-6.2545252 LOCATION:The Douglas Hyde Gallery\,Trinity College \n Dublin\, SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Chanteh - Tribal textiles from Iran UID:246641 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20121122T193000 DTSTAMP:20140830T035831 DTSTART:20121122T180000 GEO:53.3429937;-6.2545252 LOCATION:The Douglas Hyde Gallery\,Trinity College \n Dublin\, SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Chanteh - Tribal textiles from Iran UID:246642 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR