The Hammedan rugs continue the traditions of former times more than any others unless it be the Bokharas. I doubt not that Esther knelt before Ahasuerus on a rug bordered by a wide band of camel’s hair, with a small medallion in the centre upon a field of ivory white, the corners cut off by a design corresponding to the centre medallion and the field covered by a diaper fret of camel’s hair, or with a semi floral geometrical design with a pinkish tinge. Haman’s friends doubtless threw such a rug over his body when they removed it from the gallows he had erected for Mordecai and carried it to its last resting place.
Most of the Hammedans follow this pattern, and one always finds this cutting off of the corners, making as it a sort of prayer niche at both ends of the rug. In the old tribal days rugs so marked were the “hearth” rugs, not in the sense we use the word to mean the space before a fireplace, for then as now the fires with which these people heat their houses were contained in braziers which were almost always placed in the centre of the room, but hearth in the sense of home. They corresponded to the cities of refuge set apart by Moses to which offenders against the law might flee for refuge. Once such a fugitive, fleeing from his enemies, gained entrance to the sheik’s tent and set foot on this rug, then the sheik and the whole tribe were bound to defend him.