This rare woolen tapestry from the Marsh Arabs is truly a work of art. The tapestry is woven out of woolen thread, and patterns have then been embroidered upon the thread. The whole makes for a highly decorative item.
The Marsh Arabs, also known as the Ma’dan, inhabit the wetlands at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Southeastern Iraq. Their tapestries often depict human figures, and beautifully displayed animals and plants.
All of the carpet weaving, embroidery, and related crafts are practiced solely by Ma’dan women except for the hand spinning of wools, which is done by both sexes. Initially hand woven blankets are purchased from the people in the nearby market towns. They use locally spun and dyed wools and traditionally weave the blankets on ground looms in seperate panels, before being purchased and then elaborately embroidered by young Ma’dan girls for their marriage beds and sometimes by mothers for their sons.