The nomadic lifestyle might disappear soon, leaving us with fragments of memories and art!
Superb double salt bag from Changthang Tibet
This finely woven bag is made of coarse wool and is used by nomads for transporting salt from the salt lakes of Changthang by Drokbas or nomads of Tibet. These are filled and loaded onto the backs of sheep.
Such textiles are now impossible to find - with dealers at the source as no one is making them anymore. Those that came out a few years ago are already with collectors.
Handwoven & hand-stitched. Note that even in the extreme circumstances in which this was woven, the weaver thought of adding some artistic element by varying the color of the wefts to produce a weaving with fine stripes.
The weaver appears to have planned for the hardy usage of this salt bag and has woven it extremely tightly allowing for very little scope for damage to the main bag.
This is a used textile that has participated in the life of the owner wholeheartedly and therefore has some use-related wear.
Some fringes missing at one end. One of the ties missing. Some stitches have come loose. Some damage to the cotton panels used to create a design on the face. The weaving itself is intact.
Late 1800s or early 1900s
LITERATURE REFERENCE : Text & excellent photographs of salt collection, packing into salt bags, loading them onto sheep and transporting them for sale on pages 118-121 of the book titled 'Nomads of Western Tibet - The survival of a way of life' written by Melvyn C. Goldstein & Cynthia M. Beall.
MEASUREMENT : 27 cm x 89cm (when laid out open flat)