Bokara Rugs

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Part of the mystique behind Oriental rugs--whether Chinese floral, Turkish prayer, or Bokara rugs--is how well they transform interior spaces into extraordinary rooms. Another part of that mystique is how adaptable rugs are. Almost any decor and furniture style becomes more highlighted, more distinctive, when complemented by an Oriental rug.

Oriental rugs are classified several ways. One fundamental grouping is by design--curvilinear (floral) versus rectilinear (geometric). A second category breakdown is geographic region. Most well known of these is Persia, today's Iran; some others are the Caucasus, Rugs from Central Asia, and Turkey. Egypt and China are essentially their own categories.

The Basics of Bokara Rugs

Bokara rugs, also spelled Bokhara, are Central Asian. Also known in earlier periods as Afghan rugs, they are now more commonly known as Saryk Turkmen. The city of Bukhara lies in what is today Uzbekistan. Bokaras made today, however, are produced in Pakistan. The geographic origin of these rugs leads to considerable confusion. The Saryk Turkmen were one of 23 original Ohguz tribes of the region, all related by ethnicity and language. The design of Saryk Turkmen or Bokara rugs is geometric and the color typically red. The most characteristic motif of Bokaras is the "elephant track" design.

Older Bokaras can be distinguished by three general phases of manufacture. In the first the color is a soft orange red. Only Turkish knots are used and there is no silk or cotton in the pile, only wool. Turkish knots are symmetrical, Persian asymmetrical. The second phase is distinguished by a mix of Turkish and Persian knots. Silk and cotton are also found in the pile. The colors of this second phase are more red and brown because of the insects used to produce the dye.

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