Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Fly away on your own magic carpet!

Maymana Kilim, Afghan Tribal Arts

Handmade wool carpets and kilims are wonderful!  They are much healthier to live with than synthetic ones.  Their natural oils allows for easier cleaning and they just have so much character and depth to them.  An old one, with repairs and wear, is especially treasured by collectors and pundits.  I've often wondered what it would be like if an old carpet came to life one day and told its story.  Especially one that traveled around on a caravan....  Gabbeh, the movie, captures some of this in its story.  A young woman's longing for a young man she cannot have, she weaves her story into the rug.  Past and future are captured in the threads:

We have been working hard at getting Afghan Tribal Arts stocked on Etsy.  There is now a great selection of beads, jewelry, textiles, and finally, a few rugs.  Part of the problem is that rugs take up so much room and they are heavy.  Shipping them can be expensive.  Even though we have a good variety and number in our inventory, it's challenging to list them online.

Antique Khal Mahamadi, Afghan Tribal Arts

So, for now, we are listing a few smaller ones.  The one above, for example, is an antique, estimated to be over 100 years old.  Originally, it probably was red and brown.  There is also a newer war rug:

War Rug, Afghan Tribal Arts

War rugs became popular during the war with Russia, a way to document the story.  Now there are ones that talk about the war with the United States and about 9/11.  

To see what we have in stock on our Etsy shop, click here.   We also have many rugs, piles of them, in our Sturee Tribal Village gallery in Pendleton, South Carolina.  If you are in the neighborhood, it's worth a visit!

Piles of rugs at Sturee Tribal Village

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gorgeous video of Afghanistan

One of the most beautiful tributes to Afghanistan and its people that I have seen to date:

The background info:

As each of us has his own impression of Afghanistan that is predominantly marked with pictures of foreign forces, explosions and terror, we were privileged to have access to capture daily life and portrait some people of Afghanistan.  We hope the pictures you know will merge with the pictures you see and will enrich your view on the country in the Hindu Kush.

Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif
We wanted to go to other places as well but there were several incidents and security was too bad. Just one day after shooting at the blue mosque in Mazar-e Sharif a mob started from the very same place storming the UN building.

I have lived from 2006-2008 in Kabul doing my civil service for a humanitarian aid organization. This March I had the chance to go back with my fiancée to show her the place I love and to capture the beauty of this country with our cameras.

At the same time I made this as a tribute to a dear friend, who was shot in the streets of Kabul. Gayle inspired me in her love and dedication for the Afghans.

Lisa-Maria Puy who composed the music for us was wonderful to work with. We met her on Zanzibar island and back in Germany she composed this wonderful soundtrack within just 3 days (and nights). She studied music at HfM Detmold in Germany and is a very talented artist and we hope to work with her again.
You can contact her on: puy-music[at]

I hope you enjoy and we are happy for your honest feedback.
Lukas and Salome Augustin

more information and production photos:

© by Lukas and Salome Augustin
All rights reserved
Feel free to watch it on Vimeo, to share on Facebook, Twitter etc. but please ask for embed permission and please don't upload the video on Youtube or any other site. Thank you!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Green Serpentine Beads in our Etsy Shop

Green Serpentine from Afghanistan

We have been working steadily on getting the Etsy shop loaded with textiles, jewelry and beads.  We now have a nice selection up of green serpentine.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sturee Tribal Village at the PrimeXpo Gem and Jewelry Philadelphia Show

Fluorite beads from Afghanistan

Sturee Tribal Village, Afghan Tribal Art's retail gallery, will have a booth this weekend at the PrimeXpo Gem and Jewelry Show in Philadelphia.  Click here for show information.

As usual, we will have our handmade, carved beads: semi precious stones such as lapis lazuli, carnelian, jade, serpentine, malachite along with vintage tribal jewelry from Central Asia.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

New Textile Stamps Listed on Etsy!

Afghan Tribal Arts on Etsy

Textile production has always been one of the great commodities traded along the Silk Road.  Afghanistan's many ethnic groups all contribute to these traditions with variations in technique and design.  Workshops which print or printed their own fabrics also carved their own stamps.  Over time, they become worn with cracks and imperfections.  These cast-offs are highly valued by the textile and fiber art community in the west.  As more and more fiber artists plunge into surface design experiments, they expand their own collections of tools, such as these stamps, coming from Asia and Africa.

Focal textile stamp.

We now have a nice supply of textile stamps available in our Etsy shop:  AfghanTribalArts.  There are basically three kinds of stamps:  focals which are used as central images, fillers which fill the space around a focal and borders, used to outline a textile or focal area. 

Border Textile Stamp

Most of the designs from Afghanistan depict flowers or geometric designs as animals and people are discouraged under Islamic religious directives.  Ornate and graceful, these old stamps also make beautiful art pieces on their own.  They can sit on book shelves or by adding picture frame hangers, cluster on a wall.

Here is a beautiful video from India showing similar stamps in use:

We combine shipping on multiple purchases and give free shipping on orders over $100 in the United States.  The shop is full of treasures:  hand-carved beads, vintage tribal jewelry, embroidered textiles, and much more.  Come visit!

Friday, July 29, 2011

15% off! Afghan Tribal Arts at the G&LW Show: Franklin, NC

Zaland Wardak at the Bead and Button Show

Afghan Tribal Arts is showing in Franklin, North Carolina, this weekend.  Leave a comment on this post and get 15% off at the show!

Franklin, NC
July 28-29-30-31, 2011
Location: Watauga Festival Center
Address: 426 Watauga Road Franklin, NC 28734-2324
Phone: 601-879-8832 Hours: 10AM-6PM Daily; 10AM-3PM Sunday

Map Travel Info
Buyer Registration Form Request Booth Space
View Floorplan Show Program

AFGHAN TRIBAL ARTSTent #033/043Hand Carved Lapis, Jade, Carnelian, Ethnic and Tribal Pendants, Semi-Precious and Precious Stones. S.R.

Hand cut semi precious stones from Afghanistan.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sturee Tribal Village at American Gem Expo: Atlanta, July 16

Turkman Cuffs

Sturee Tribal Village will be at the American Gem Expo this weekend. A new shipment of beads has arrived, so there will be new things for those of you who are regulars. Look for us at the show!

Atlanta, GA

July 16 & 17, 2011
Bead & Jewelry Show
DoubleTree Hotel
1075 Holcomb Bridge Road
Roswell, GA 30076

Promoter: American Bead Shows: (770) 739-0057
    • Show hours:
      SATURDAY: 10AM - 5PM
      Sunday: 10AM - 4PM
      $4 admission, Open to the public

    • Direction to Venue:
      Going North on Hwy 400 to Alpharetta, take Exit 7B, go West about 1/4 Mile to 2nd light, turn left, location on left

      .... From I-285-East or West: Take Hwy 400-North to Exit 7B, go West to 2nd light, turn left, location on left
      ...From Downtown Atlanta, take I-85 North, to Hwy 400-North, take exit 7B & go West to 2nd light, turn left, location on left

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

15% off! Afghan Tribal Arts at the Bead And Button Show

The Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee takes place on this weekend, June10-12.  Reputed to be the biggest and best show in the Midwest for bead lovers, it is not to be missed!

Afghan Tribal Arts will be there!  Booth 234 with all of the gorgeous handcut semi-precious stones from Central Asia:  jade, serpentine, carnelian, lapis lazuli, and so much more.  Most of these come from Afghanistan and help support artisans who do the handwork.  Afghanistan is home to many stones, but of these, the most famous is lapis lazuli, which has only been found there and in Chile, South America.  Lapis has historically been precious, a source of blue for illuminators from the Middle Ages, for inlaid work in India and Persia, and for the jewelry worn by royalty, nobles and brides.
Lapis Lazuli:  worth its weight in gold
Afghan Tribal Arts also has a good selection of beads from Africa, and other places around the world.  And, for those who love tribal jewelry, we also carry finished pieces:  earrings, chokers, necklaces, bracelets, cuffs- old and new.  It can be great fun when different cultures meet:

Afghan Tribal Arts has been showing at the Bead and Button Show for many years:

Afghan Tribal Arts at the Bead and Button Show

Here's the deal:

Like our Facebook Fan Page and get 15% off 
at the Bead and Button Show.
Afghan Tribal Arts
Booth 234

Afghan Tribal Arts on Facebook

Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Tribal Pendants Listed on Etsy!

Vintage Pashtun Silver Pendant: Carved Carnelian, Camel

Central Asian metal smiths have worked silver and other metals with exquisite artistry for centuries.  Painstakingly twisting, hammering, etching, soldering and finally, building finished pieces that remain in families for generations.  You will find examples of many different traditions that originate in this area at Sturee Tribal Village.  We also just listed about 30 new pendants in our Etsy shop, Afghan Tribal Arts.

Kazakh Vintage Pendant: Filigree over Glass.

Vintage Kuchi Silver Pendant: Seed Beads and Glass

Vintage Turkman Pendant: Gold Leaf and Black Onyx

These pendants are wonderful accent pieces.  Large, bold, and eye catching they finish off a simple outfit beautifully.  Visit our Etsy shop or Sturee Tribal Village for more wonderful treasures from Afghanistan and the region.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy New Year or Naway Kal De Mubarak

Listen to the Tune of Peace in 2011

Naway Kal De Mubarak is how we welcome the New Year in Afghanistan, literally meaning "Have a blessed New Year."

The two string instruments at the right in the photo above are rubabs (or rababs), Afghanistan's oldest instrument.  Enjoy the video below by one of our late masters (cd available on the Smithsonian label).  We have three rubabs at our gallery, ranging around $300-$500. 

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