Finnish ryijy (or in Swedish ‘rya’) rug with totemic designs in the border and central rectangle and silk highlights in the white ‘splashes’ (see bottom two photos in center row). Ryijy’s / rya’s are traditional Scandinavian wool rugs with a long pile – often ‘shaggy’ – and usually between 2.5cm to 5cm (1 to 2 inches) in length. The first ryijy / rya’s originated in the early fifteenth century as coarse, heavy covers used by mariners instead of furs. From the late 1700’s onwards the rugs evolved to be lighter and more colourful and to become more traditionally used as bed or ‘sofa’ covers, and also to being displayed on a wall or floor. This is a beautiful example of a piece that was woven circa 1950 or before and evokes an almost shamanistic forest presence. It has wool warp and weft, is in excellent condition and is a very good example of a totemic designed ryijy.