Originally Posted by Steve Price
Jon Thompson and Peter
Andrews are both anthropologists whose area of specialization is the
peoples of central Asia. Both say that these were tent strut covers,
and Jon says he has photos of them in use. I have no firsthand
knowledge of Turkmen culture myself, and tend to be as skeptical of
most things as the next fellow. But I can't think of a single reason
why Peter or Jon would lie about something like this. Can you (or
anyone) suggest a motive?
Not implying that anyone would
lie. However, even experts are known to be wrong, and I have heard some
claims made about rugs with scant sense of practicality.
example, there is a type of Tibetan rug which appears to be a large saddle
rug. You can see an examples of these on pages 174-185 of Thomas Coles'
book Dream Weavers
. They are described as horse covers. But having
seen many of these in person, they are simply way, way too small to be a
horse cover in what would be familiar to most western equestrians. Nor are
they split in the middle with outward/downward facing pile that would be
used on a saddle rug, so as not to irritate the rider's legs with upward
facing pile. Nor do any examples seem to have the cut outs that saddle
rugs often have for saddle straps.
So what are they?
dealers in China have told me they are Yak covers. I make no claim that
this is in fact the case, but as Yaks are mainly cargo carriers and only
sometimes ridden, it makes sense to me that these could be used to cushion
the beast's back.
believe it...but I will
believe it 100% when I see a yak with one on it's back.
This is a
massive digression, I realize. My point is that we should not be afraid to
question, even the experts.