This is a very large (300 x 227 cm) qylym (kilim) from Behar Toska. Although unused, it has some damage from storage in the form of a small hole (see pics). It was woven in two sections by his mother, over 50 years ago.
Behar Toska lives in the village of Margegaj on the outskirts of Bajram Curri. His home shelters his wife, 7 year old daughter, 5 year old son AND his mother, who made the 3 carpets they’re offering here, something like 50 years ago as well as two sisters who suffer from what is called here “smundje e tokes” or ‘sickness of the earth.’ When I tried to figure out what this was in English, he told me “They just fall down. On the earth. Then it’s like they’re dead for a while.” I thought about it. “Do they shake?” YES. “Epilepsy?” Yes, yes! It’s that. When I asked what kind of treatment they get here he said “What treatment? Here?”
His dream is (sadly for us) to save enough to move his family somewhere where his sisters can have better treatment, and his small children have hopes for a brighter future. He thinks Sweden is the place to go – paradise on earth. For five years he was a prize-winning boxer in neighboring Kosova “So you know, if it was just me, I’d go to America. But I have to think about the family.”