Saddlebag with Mushwani Design
ArtistBaluch, Western Aghanistan (Afghan)
DateMid 20th century
DimensionsApproximate : 32 x 72 in. (81.28 cm x 1.8 m)
Credit LineGift of Verne Trinoskey and Paula Armintrout Trinoskey
LabelTextile dealers and collectors often refer to the distinctive hooked medallions on this saddle bag as a Mushwani design. The Mushwani (sometimes also spelled Mashwani) are a tribe of mixed Baluch and Pashtun ethnicity that has historically lived in the border regions where Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan intersect. At some point in history, this design may have functioned as an identity marker for the Mushwani tribe, but designs are notoriously fluid and are often copied by weavers from other groups. The dark colors used in this saddlebag suggest that it was woven in Western Afghanistan where the Mushwani people live, but we cannot say for certain that the weaver actually belonged to the Mushwani tribe.