Zakatala Rugs

Examples of Zakatala Rugs & Carpets

Zakatala is a predominiently Inglio area but is about one quarter Azeri Turk and historically there has been an Armenian population. The rugs tend to have less commercial influence and give us clues into pre-commercial Caucasian rugs.

As a group they seem to have less commercial influences than we normally see in rugs from Azerbaijan. As a group they seem to be soft fairly coarse rugs.

Why are Zakatala rugs as a group so seemingly unaffected by commercial pressures? One possible answer is that Zakataly was a center of sericulture. If women were raising silk worms then they were not weaving rugs commercially. Most women weavers were weavers because there were not other culturally acceptable jobs available. If there were plentiful opportunities in sericulture then it stands to reason that there would be relatively little commercial weaving. Zakataly was in the Khanate of Sheki which was known for silk embroidery rather than rugs.

So Zakataly gives us a glimpse of what pre-Russian Caucasian rugs were like.

For the purposes of classifying rugs Zakatala rugs were considered part of the Gendje region.

Map of the Kazak/Gendge Area:

The town of Zakataly is located in extreme northern Azerbaijan, sheltered from north winds by the Caucasus Mountains. The town continues a long tradition of silkworm breeding and there is a wildlife and nature preserve nearby. The Zakataly Wildlife Preserve is located north of the town among the unspoiled Caucasus Mountains. The Ruined Shamil’s Fortress eas built in the 1830s by anti Russian rebels. It was used as a prison for the mutineers from the battleship Potyomkin in the 1905 revolution.

Zaqatala is the capitol of the Zakatala district in the Sheki-Zakatal region of Azeribaijan. The population is primarily Ingilo (aka Ingioy). The Ingilo are Sunni Moslim Georgians and are seen as culturally distinct from the main body of Georgian people. So while ethno-linguistically akin to Georgians their religion creates a major point of cultural seperation.


The Oliveira Zakatala Rug

Extremely rare, if not unique, Caucasian rug. Probably from the Zakatala region, although the known rugs from this area show different patterns. The attribution to the Zakatala area derives mainly from the very supple weaving. The central field, although dominated by two large hooked medallions, is covered with a multitude of motifs of clear ‘tribal’ or ‘village’ origin. The very unusual low density of the knotting also points to a village weaving. The pattern displayed on the white ground border is sparsely used in Caucasian rugs (usually on Akstafa pieces).

Size: 198 x 151 cm

Region: West Asia > Caucasus > Central Caucasus > Zakatala

Date/Period: 19th century : mid

Structure: Knots: 36 (v) x 18 (h) = 648 / dm2

Condition: Very good, with an exceptional high soft pile. Given its age it indicates this rug was carefully kept out of use. There is an old professional reweaving on a very small area. Notwithstanding some dirt on parts of the white areas of the rug, the colors are bold and the visual impact is fascinating.

The Peter Bruce Zakatala Rug

Characteristic of these Caucasian rugs from the “high country” this Zakatala has lustrous mountain wool with a “meaty” handle. All natural dyes throughout.

Size: 188 x 148 cm

Region: West Asia > Caucasus

Date/Period: 20th century : first quarter

Main Color: Natural White

Materials: Wool

Condition: Superb! – no overly low pile – only the smallest of repair (small fringe addition)

The Mehra Zakatala Long Rug

The rug measures 3′ 7″ x 7′ 11″ which gives it a length to width of greater than two to one. Rugs with the narrow format combined with the simplified narrow borders probably dates to before the commercial period. In the case of the Caucasus that puts it prior to 1865. There is also another clue to age in this piece. The rug uses color stable mauves and aubergine. That is more likely in an older rug as well. Estimated age at: 1800 to 1850.

Rare red-ground small medallion piece. Usually yellow-ground. Excellent condition. About 50% of each end border has been rewoven. Here is a rug that represents the oldest weaving traditions from the Zakatala people of far Northwestern Anatolia, circa 1800 to 1850. Unlike Konya examples with the Memling gull, the Memling gulls of this very antique Zakatala weaving is absolutely true to 18th century antecedents, highlighted by the way its gull’s pattern their negative spaces. The weaving is the right size, measuring 3′ 7″ x 7′ 11″, with colors that are virtually leaping from the surface of the pile.

A Zakatala Village Rug Caucasus, late 19th ct.

Size: 192 x 148 cm. Long pile village rug.

A Zakatala Rug, Caucasus, ca. 1900, minor restoration

Size: 187 x 140 cm. Depicts human figures.

A Zakatala rug, Caucasus, ca. 1900, repiled areas.

Size: 197 x 138 cm. Stepped diamond graphics.

A Zakatale Yatak

Origin: Central Caucasus, Gendje Region, late 19th century

Size: approx. 196 x 179 cm

Notes on Condition: Literature References. Several re-knotted areas, ends and sides restored.

A Zakatale Rug

Origin: Central Caucasus, Gendje region, late 19th century

Size: approx. 180 x 149 cm

Notes on Condition: Literature References Scattered minor restorations, upper end rewoven.