Saddle Blanket

About this object

History of use

Used to cover a saddle to provide comfort to the rider. The slit at the front of the piece accommodates the horn of the saddle.

Narrative

The origin of this piece is unknown, though we are quite sure it was collected in Afghanistan, because in 1989 the central Asian republics of the USSR were not yet opened to Western collectors. Many objects that were made elsewhere in central Asia have made their way to Afghanistan because of political unrest in their place of origin. The label on the saddle blanket may have been attached for export purposes.

Cultural context

Used for transportation.

Physical description

Multi-coloured saddle cover constructed of wool cut pile textile and decorated with complex geometric forms representing plants and animals. Roughly square in shape, but with two adjacent corners cut off at 45-degree angles to accommodate the shape of the back of the saddle. There is a 10 cm slit at the opposite end, close to the edge. Side edges are selvage; front and back edges are turned once and secured with a coarse running stitch.