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Old March 20th, 2018, 01:30 PM   #11
Rich Larkin
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 128

Hi Martin,

Excellent! I had not been aware of the Produkin-Gorsky photo. Who came up with the inset photo of the ensi that seems to match the yurt example rather closely? The treatment of the bird heads/candelabra in the center seems atypical enough to make the inset example a pretty good find for a researcher.

I find it somewhat surprising that the documentation of this use of the ensi (and other items) has proven to be as elusive as it has, given the relatively small gap of time between the period of 'full' tribal custom and the commencement of serious research into whole subject of utilitarian weaving among Turkoman peoples. One would think there were enough surviving subjects for interview by the time the Moshkovas, et al, had come along, that the point could have been pinned down confidently.

It seems clear that some time in the latter part of the 19th century, the idea took hold at least among some Turkoman weavers that the ensi might be a winner in the marketplace, giving rise to an explosion of production. (I have a couple myself!) It is often said that the 'really old' ones had design features like the one posted by Alain at the beginning of this thread, including well-spaced bird head figures relatively few in number that alternate in offset from one horizontal row to another, and certain size and proportion characteristics. On the other hand, the later ones, presumably woven for sale/export in most cases, had more static designs with more detail packed into the whole scheme. It is interesting to note that the yurt photographed by Produkin-Gorsky features one from the latter period of production, diligently fulfilling its duty right up there on the yurt! Is it possible that photo op was staged by the Tekke Marketing Department!?!

Rich Larkin is offline