Persian Salt Bag

(inclusive of taxes)


Material: Wool
Size: 3’4” x 1’7”
Origin: Northwest Persia


Salt is a precious commodity for the nomads of Northwest Persia, and is procured from rocks in the mountains. This piece from the late 19th century is an example of an authentic salt bag in which the rocks were carried. The narrow neck would prevent the salt from falling during seasonal migrations. The front and back of the bag are both adorned with beautiful iconography woven in the brocade and soumakh techniques.

Tribal bags were made by nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes from Western and Central Asia for utilitarian and decorative purposes, usually with the same techniques and styles that they used for weaving rugs. Typically, women made the pieces without a set design in mind during the weaving process, which resulted in the variations in the patterns, and the irregular shapes. These “perfect imperfections” are the delicate nuances that add to the beauty of each one-of-a-kind handwoven piece.

The bags were used by tribal people for transporting goods when they migrated. They also served as storage containers within the tent. Some bags were meant to carry specific items, such as bedding, salt, etc.