Posted by Steve Price on July 13, 1999 at 14:19:30:
In Reply to: Re: toughts of a "not turkomaniac" posted by Yon Bard on July 13, 1999 at 13:44:49:
You're right, of course. The "pillow" format, about twice as high as it is wide and open at one narrow end, is the most common for grain bags almost everywhere. The Turkmen seem not to have made such bags, and the discussion (maybe even with some constructive disagreement) was about the uses for ak juvals.
My hypothesis is that they were grain bags, and I would argue this from the following lines:
1. Turkmen didn't make the more usual grain bag size.
2. They must have fed grain to their horses, and it seems reasonable to suppose that they had other things that would need to be stored in containers similar to grain bags.
3. There is physical evidence that ak juvals could be opened part way very easily, and with a bit more time, opened fully. There is also physical evidence that they were partially opened more often than completely opened.
4. My piece, at least, has what appear to be handles for two people to carry it. This suggests that whatever was in it was pretty heavy.
None of this implies that they were not important decorative items as well as being functional. And by the word "decorative", I intend to include any elaborations on the surface that would be significant. That is, the "decoration" could be totemic or talismanic, not just pretty.
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