Chichi rug
from the eastern Caucasus
late 19th century
Size: 152 x 113 cm

This is a typical field design of this often very recognisable Caucasian rug known as a Chichi. It is thought by some to be a corruption of the word ‘Chechen’, the people who were the original tribal inhabitants of the area. Many Chechens were more recently moved by Soviet authorities into Central Asia.
As with names given to many Caucasian rugs, Chichi indicates a design type which in turn provides a interesting example of the tendency for Caucasian weavers to stylise plant forms to the point of abstraction. The geometric vestiges of such plants are found alternating in the rows of offset octagons in the complex field pattern.