Art And Culture

Tanavoli’s Pictorial Book on ‘Salt Bags’

Tanavoli’s Pictorial Book on ‘Salt Bags’ Tanavoli’s Pictorial Book on ‘Salt Bags’

The book ‘Salt Bag’, on hand-woven crafts of nomadic and rural tribes of Iran, written by veteran Iranian painter, sculptor and art researcher Parviz Tanavoli has been reprinted by Nazar Art Publication on popular demand.

The photo book, about hand-woven bags made by Iranian tribal and rural women to carry salt, was first unveiled in November, IBNA reported.

Salt bags used by Iranian tribes mostly Kurds, Lurs, Qashqai, Afsharis, Shahsavan and Baluch are studied in the book and presented along with numerous color pictures.

Salt bags are containers for storing and transporting salt which is specially woven for shepherds who carry them on their shoulders and at times throw a handful of salt on a rock for cattle so that they get the required amount of salt they need.

“Nomad women, whose husbands and sons grazed the cattle in the plains, artistically created salt bags by weaving colored wool yarn,” Tanavoli said.

The prolific artist pointed out that he has devoted part of his time to conducting research and publishing books on Iranian traditional arts. Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to traditional objects and folk art in Iran, he said.

‘Salt Bag’ is a bilingual book, in Persian and English, which according to the author focuses mainly on foreign customers as foreign residents and tourists to Iran are all praise for Iranian handicraft. “None of the hand-woven bags are alike. Every woman has worked on a different design of her choice, so each item is a genuine piece of artwork,” Tanavoli noted.

As the artist said, due to the excessive import of foreign products, from the most trivial things to major goods, there is less demand for domestically-produced items or for traditional handicrafts made by local artisans, some of which besides being practical, are artistic symbols. As a result, traditional craftsmanship has gradually been pushed to the background.

“I decided to gather as much information as possible for those interested in Iranian artifacts. It is a pity that Iranians do not know much about their traditional artworks,” he rued.

Tanavoli, 78, has published other titles on arts in Iran including ‘An Introduction to the Graphic History in Iran’, ‘Pictorial Rugs’, ‘Locks in Iran’, ‘The History of Sculpture in Iran’, ‘Afshar: Handmade Crafts Woven by the Southeastern Tribes of Iran’ and ‘Gabbeh: Art Under the Feet.’