Moshkova's book as an example

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Posted by Steve Price on May 13, 1999 at 05:29:37:

In Reply to: Rug Books: Mostly Accurate Now or Frequently in Error Yet? posted by R. John Howe on May 12, 1999 at 06:17:18:

Dear John,

Errors and all, rug books and articles are all we have for information. While I find rug "scholarship" just as appalling as most others do, it's surely better than nothing at all.

The question of whether things are improving over time brings one specific example to mind. Moshkova's "Carpets of the Peoples of Central Asia" was written before her death in 1952, published posthumously in Russian in 1970, then in English translation with George O'Bannon's comments to update it in 1996. So the book can illustrate the differences in "knowledge" about central Asian rugs over a period of about 40 years.

Although we like to think that our understanding of Turkmen rugs exploded during that 40 years, I am struck by how little updating the book needed. Moshkova was a serious scholar, not someone for whom the local bazaar was a primary source of information, and O'Bannon has spent a lot of time among the Turkmen, so the authors are pretty authoritative figures.


Steve Price

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