1. The wrapping material is predominantly wool, however details of the design are sometimes worked in silk.
2. Chiy would perhaps be a better transliteration; the double i is retained to avoid the risk of it being pronounced "chai."
3. Baluchi chit, Persian chit, chiq, chikh, Lak chikh, Kurdish chikh, Shahsevan chikh, chiy, Turkish chig, Ersari Turkmen chigh, Qashqa'i chiq, Kazakh shi, Karakalpak shii, Moghol chiq, Taimani chiq.
4. Kibitka is the Russian term for a felt tent. A. P. Fedchenko, "Puteshestvie v Turkestan" [Journey in Turkestan], vol. I, pt. Il, Izvestiya obshchestva lyubitelei estestvoznaniya, antropologii i etnografii [Proceedings of the Amateur Society for Natural Science, Anthropology and Ethnography], vol. XI no. 7 (St. Petersburg-Moscow: 1875) p. 143.
5. Antipina defines "chyrmagan chii" as mats of chii stalks wrapped with coloured wool, see K.I. Antipina, Osobennosti materialnoi kultury i prikladnogo iskusstva yuzhnykh kirgizov [Particulars of the Material Culture and Applied Art of the Southern Kirghiz], (Frunze: 1962) p. 286. Makhova explains that chyrmagan is derived from the verb meaning to wind around or twist round. See E.I. Makhova, "Uzornaya tsinovka" [The Patterned Reed Screen]," in S.V. Ivanov and K.I. Antipina, Narodnoe dekorativno-prikladnoe iskusstvo kirgizov [National Applied Art of the Kirghiz], (AN CCCP: 1968) p. 33. Chyrmagan, presumably related to Turkish çevirmek to wrap or encircle, thus defines the wrapped decorated chii, as distinct from the plain undecorated type.
Kanat is the term applied to the individual sections of collapsible wall trellis terege. It means literally wing, an apt description of its capacity to fold up and spread out. Here it refers to a wall-screen section. When used as a loan word in other languages kanat (qanat) may refer to a screen, the tent wall or even something covering the tent wall. Chyrmagan kanat chii, (often simply kanat chii), thus translates "wrapped wall section reed-screen," which for simplicity will be termed "wall screen." Since only decorated (i.e. wrapped) screens are under discussion here, the word wrapped is understood and therefore omitted. 6. P.J. Watson, Archaeological Ethnography in Western Iran, (University of Arizona Press: 1979) p. 190.
7. It is often called a mat loom, though the term reed screen loom has been used here. Its wide distribution may be a function of its antiquity; its use by the Ainu is well illustrated in W.A. Fairservis, Asia Traditions and Treasures, (American Museum of Natural History, New York: 1981)p. 53.
8. The wrapped screens of the Kurds and Gurani actually form the wall of their summer tent and are not tent-dividers as sometimes reported.
9. Peter Andrews, whose many helpful suggestions for improving the text are gratefully acknowledged, explains that screens made from the strong Phragmites or similar tough cane by the Turkmen, Karakalpak and Firuzkuhi are used outside to protect the felts and that the more delicate grass stems used by the Kirghiz and Kazakh are not strong enough to serve this function and therefore used inside the felts. It still seems possible that climatic considerations may have some bearing on the choice between inside and outside use. The Kalmuks had the reed screen on the outside and the Mongols with rare exceptions do not use them. See A. Rona-Tas, "Die unübertroffene Technik der mongolischen Jurte", in W. Heissig and C.C. Müller, Die Mongolen, (Innsbruck & Frankfurt/Main: 1989) pp 138, 140, for photographs of Mongol tents with reed screens being used instead of felts.
10. For the operation of the two parts of the door flap see: R. Dor and C.M. Naumann, Die Kirghisen des Afghanischen Pamir, (Graz:1978), pl. 41; and P.A. Andrews, The Felt Tent in Middle Asia, Ph.D. thesis SOAS, (London: 1980) ill. 61 and p. 553. Also: G. Almásy, Vándor-utam Azsia szivébe irta, (Budapest: 1903). The National Museum, Copenhagen has a Kirghiz tent collected in 1896.
11. Andrews (1980), p. 301, points out that in the time of Chingiz Khan wooden doors were rare on felt tents and their use was a mark of status. He gives examples of miniature paintings illustrating the co-existence of wooden doors with the threshold felt (p. 270 and ill. 86).