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-   -   Ensi were door curtain (http://www.turkotek.com/VB37/showthread.php?t=4701)

Martin Andersen March 22nd, 2018 07:32 AM

Hi All

The photografer Paul Nadar was in Turkmenistan 1890 and he also took a few photos of Tekke (? not quite sure, but he was in Merv) yurts where there is no doubt door rugs are used, not filt or wooden doors. The door rugs here ain’t Ensis, i suppose it looks more like a flat weave type, unfortunately i don’t have the photos in higher resolution:


These yurts doesn't have the heavy wooden door frame and wooden doorstep of the later yurts on Prokudin-Gorsky's photos. In one of the yurts there is hanging a cord across the lower part of the doorway, perhaps functioning as a semi-barrier like a Germech would have, or perhaps it could even have carried a textile if tighten up:


I suppose that in 1890, ca 10 years after the final Russian annexation of Turkmenistan all the finer rugs are already either exported to Skt. Petersborg or on their way. No doubt that the Turkmen in 1890 were poor and on their way to losing their weaving tradition.
I think something like this is plausible: The Turkmens after their defeat being forced to a more sedentary lifestile, cheap building materials including wood coming in from north, making the wooden yurt door more common and perhaps even fashionable and desirable among the Turkmens, and the old rugs disappearing, including Ensis and Germechs.

Paul Nadar also have a few fine photos of how carpet dealing happened directly along the railway track:





Steve Price March 22nd, 2018 11:38 AM

Hi Martin

Nice find. One thing I'm struck by is how much taller than the doorways the people are. It surprised me - my thinking has been that most Asians were of short stature until after WW-II (the Japanese were, for sure).

Steve Price

Martin Andersen March 22nd, 2018 12:03 PM

yes Steve you are right, they are proportionally tall, no way for man running quickly inside with a Telkep on top :)

Steve Price March 22nd, 2018 02:09 PM

They must have been really good at bending over.:angelic:

Steve Price

Rich Larkin March 22nd, 2018 02:30 PM

Great pics, Martin. The second one seems to have a similar entrance covering textile to the first one, but thrown up on the roof in that case. It isn't familiar to me. Perhaps that was the daily item, and the ensi/germetch arangement was for special occasions, as you suggested.

As to the height of the Tekke, we must keep in mind they were Turkic people, in contrast to many other Asian groups who might on average be shorter people.

Marla Mallett March 24th, 2018 10:52 PM

A few years back, I came across a feature in some Turkmen ensis that may encourage us to believe that at least some of these pieces were made especially for use as yurt door flaps: series of 6 to 9 overlapped knots at both ends of each knotted row next to the selvages—down the entire length of the rug. This extra density and bulk at the rugs’ edges would have strengthened such a piece in the areas where it was repeatedly grasped and pulled at if it was indeed used as a door flap.

I have discussed this on one of my website WOVEN STRUCTURES UPDATES pages, and have a diagram there as well: www.marlamallett.com/updates.htm. This discussion is near the bottom of the page where Yomut and Saryk ensis are shown.

Marla Mallett

Pierre Galafassi March 25th, 2018 09:29 AM

Hi guys,

In 1879, O’Donovan was living in Gumush tepe, a Jafar Bey Yomud village on the shores of the Caspian sea.
He makes a clear allusion to Engsi (or other kind of pile rugs): …«a visitor draws aside the carpet which hangs curtain-wise before the door of the kibitka (yurt)»…

in 1879, the Yomud had already been beaten by the Russians and were their complacent allies, but the Akhal Teke- and Merv Teke tribes were still independent. To me, the use of rugs as door hangings, at such an early date seems to support the theory that this use was frequent and genuinely Turkmen.

(1) O’Donovan. The Merv oasis. Travels and adventures east of the Caspian during the years 1879-80-81 Five months’ residence among the Tekes of Merv. Vol I, page 225

Pierre Galafassi March 25th, 2018 04:13 PM

Hi guys,

Two more mentions of carpets hanging down the door of the yurt

O’ Donovan again, but this time while he was living with the Teke Turkmen in Merv oasis.
Vol 2. page 347.
«then the carpet which hung curtain wise was trust aside…»
O. Olufsen
The Emir of Bokhara and his country. 1896-1897 and 1898-1899 visits.
page 324
«...even the nomads were fond of carving woodworks in the tent and even now we see a few Kirghiz tribes adorn their felt tents with carved wooden door. The latter are seen with the Turkomans in Merv instead of a carpet hanging down the door, which is the original way of shutting the door and still much in use...»

Rich Larkin March 27th, 2018 03:37 AM

Hi Marla,

Have you encountered this overlapping knot phenomenon along the sides of ensis from groups other than Yomud or Saryk? (Keeping in mind those two groups account for most of the symmetrical knotting among the Turkoman, it is also the case that other weaving Turkoman groups, such as the Tekke, were in the habit of using SY knots near the edges.)


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