Namekdan (saltcellar)

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About Namekdan (saltcellar)

Namekdan (saltcellar) is a handwoven which is weave by rural women using dyed woolen threads. Its shape is like one rectangle and one square which mounted on top of each other, the size of the rectangle is larger than square, and the small square is used as the opening of this salt tank. Nomads use it to store and transport coarse or ground salt for shepherds so that they have the salt needed by the herd with them.

 Salt is one of the cheap nutrients that provides sodium and chlorine in the animal’s body, and its deficiency can cause disturbances in the nervous system of sheep and sometimes even lead to sudden death. For this reason, coarse salt is prepared first and then it is pounded in wooden mortars and poured into a salt pan and placed on smooth and clean stones so that sheeps can lick it.


The nomads’ need for salt, in addition to pastoral consumption, is also vital for daily life. The nomads put their salt in these salt shakers and hang it from a height in a corner of the tent and use it in cooking. The woolen material which used in salt shakers helps to dry the salt inside. Salt tanks have different sizes that can hold from two to 10 kilos of salt. Due to the difficulty in preparing ground salt, it is very important for them to take care of it. That’s why the salt shaker is designed to prevent salt from spilling.


Salt is one of the most precious blessings in the culture of Iran’s tribes and nomads, and attributes such as gratitude, honesty, chivalry and hospitality are associated with the name of salt. Because of this, people swear by salt a lot, and words such as “Namak Nashnas” (ungrateful) are said to people who are thankless, and these people are accused of eating salt and breaking the salt shaker. From the shape and structure of the salt pan, you can understand its importance and even its sanctity.

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