|Rug weaving in the villages of Taleghan|
When people hear Persian, they usually think of the three "c's": cats, caviar, and carpets. In a Washington Post article last month, Jason Rezaian related how rugmakers were struggling to keep their tradition alive, something that surprised and saddened me. I can't even begin to imagine rugs not being a part of Iranian culture.
On my last trip, I was lucky enough to be able to observe these ladies at work weaving these intricate patterns. You'll notice that you can see the pattern on the loom that the lady on the left was weaving. Watching them quickly match the colors and weave each thread with nimble fingers was like watching a magic trick. Sometimes it's hard to believe that we are meant to walk on these works of art. It's actually for this reason that you will rarely see the color green in Persian rugs (or else it is used very sparingly) since green is the traditional color of Islam.
Looking at this picture now, I'm reminded of Meghan Nuttall Sayres' book Anahita's Woven Riddle. I'm sure all of these talented artists weave a little bit of their souls into each of their creations, too.