QASHQAI Persian Rugs Properties:

Visibility: QASHQAI rugs and runners usually have geometric patterns, including geometric animal and bird drawings used both as part of the repeat patterns and as filler ornaments. The borders of QASHQAI rugs and carpets in particular include many highly developed floral designs. As with other nomad rugs, multiple borders are a sign of later weavings.

Quality: QASHQAI rugs and runners vary in quality. Older QASHQAI rugs and runners (around 1950) are very good, but some of the newer ones are made with chemical rather than vegetable dyes and are of lower quality.

Size & Shapes: QASHQAI rugs and runners come in different sizes, but the majority of them are mid-size (4 x 6 to 8 x 10 feet).

Color: The dyes in older QASHQAI rugs and runners (1950 and earlier) are derived from natural sources, including madder red, indigo blue, and the classic gold/yellow hue. It is difficult, however, to find newer ones made with vegetable dyes.

Texture: Soft wool; thin, tight pile.

Foundation:  Warps is mostly cotton; wefts is either cotton or wool.

Knots:  Inspection of the back of the carpet is important because the weavers in the QASHQAI tribe use flat weave.

You should check the back of the rug because the quality of the rug depends on the number of knots, which varies, but averages around 120 KPSI (30 RAJ).

Price:  QASHQAI rugs and runner are always in high demand. Expect to pay $8-$18 Per Square Foot (PSF) for a carpet from the QASHQAI tribe.

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Typical qashqai Rug

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Where are QASHQAI Tribes living in IRAN ?


The QASHQAI are the second largest Turkic group (numbering about 250,000 people) in IRAN. They are a confederation of several Turkic-speaking tribes and their territory extends from ABADEH and SHAH-REZA in the ISFAHAN province to the Persian Gulf Coast in southern IRAN. The QASHQAI are pastoral nomads who move with their herds of sheep and goats between summer pastures in the higher elevations of the Zagros south of SHIRAZ and winter pastures at low elevations north of SHIRAZ.

Their migration routes are considered to be among the longest and most difficult of all of IRAN's pastoral tribes. The QASHQAI migrate as much as 300 miles annually between summer and winter pastures. The QASHQAI confederation emerged in the eighteenth century when SHIRAZ was the capital of the Zand dynasty. During the nineteenth century, the QASHQAI confederation became one of the best-organized and most powerful tribal confederations in IRAN, including among its clients hundreds of villages and some non-Turkic-speaking tribes.

Under the QASHQAI's first notable leader, Khan Solat ad Doleh, their strength was great enough to defeat the British-led South Persia Rifles in 1918. Reza Shah's campaigns against them in the early 1930s were successful because the narrow pass on the route from their summer to winter pastures was blocked, and the tribe was starved into submission.

Solat and his son were imprisoned in TEHRAN, where Solat was subsequently murdered. Many QASHQAIs then settled on land in their summer pastures, which averages 2,500 meters above sea level.

The QASHQAI, like the BAKHTIARI and other forcibly settled tribes, returned to nomadic life upon Reza Shah's exile in 1941. Army and government officials were driven out of the area, but the QASHQAI, reduced in numbers and disorganized after their settlement, were unable to regain their previous strength and independence.

In the post-World War II period, the QASHQAI khans supported the National Front of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeq. Following the 1953 royalist coup against Mossadeq, the QASHQAI khans were exiled, and army officers were appointed to supervise tribal affairs. The QASHQAI revolted again in the period 1962 to 1964, when the government attempted to take away their pastures under the land reform program.

A full-fledged military campaign was launched against them, and the area was eventually pacified. Since the mid-1960s, many QASHQAI have settled in villages and towns. According to some estimates, as many as 100,000 Qashqais may have been settled by 1986. This change from pastoral nomadism to settled agriculture and urban occupations proved to be an important factor hindering the QASHQAI tribes from organizing effectively against the central government after the Revolution in 1979 when exiled tribal leaders returned to Iran hoping to rebuild the confederation.

By the 1980s, the terms QASHQAI and TURK tended to be used interchangeably in Fars, especially by non-TURK speakers. Many Turkic groups, however, such as the urban dwellers of Shiraz, their kin in nearby rural areas, and the Baharlu, the Inalu, and other tribes, were never part of the Qashqai confederation. The Baharlu and Inalu tribes actually were part of the Khamseh confederacy created to counterbalance the QASHQAI. Nevertheless, both QASHQAI and non-QASHQAI TURKS in Fars recognize a common ethnic identity in relation to non-TURKS.

All of these TURKS speak mutually intelligible dialects that are closely related to Azerbaijani. The total TURK-speaking population of Fars was estimated to be about 500,000 in 1986.

The tribe comprises numerous clans. The major ones are:

  • Kashkooli 
  • Sheesh Blocki 
  • Khalaj 
  • Farsi Madan 
  • Safi Khani 
  • Rahimi 
  • Bayat 
  • Darreh Shuyee
IRAN Ghashghai (Qashqay, Qashqai) Rug Weaver
Ghashghai (Qashqay, Qashqai)
Rug Weaver
IRAN Ghashghai (Qashqay, Qashqai) Rug Weaver
Ghashghai (Qashqay, Qashqai)
Rug Weaver