Re: TESTING A THEORY/Wefts in Elem

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Posted by Sophia Gates on July 13, 1999 at 19:18:01:

In Reply to: Re: TESTING A THEORY posted by Steve Price on July 13, 1999 at 16:48:15:

Hi to chickens also, and welcome back, Daniel! The wefts in the elem: two shoots, very fine cotton. The "rope" is obviously missing, but the goathair braid at the top is woven into the top at intervals- there's an illustration of a similar device in Marla's book. This would tend to make the closure very strong. Still, this looks like the kind of object one would want to take care of, or use with respect. Perhaps Tom's dowry theory is accurate. If nothing else, I think these chuvals shed a great deal of light on what Jim Allen calls the Turkoman's "material culture" - apparently it was rich and elegant, no matter how primitive the surroundings. I saw a rein for a horse a few years ago, probably Tekke, according to its owner. It was double-sided silk velvet, magenta on one side and deep blue-green on the other. It was, quite simply, the most luxurious object I think I've ever seen, the more so because of its dead simplicity combined with its obvious functionalism. Perhaps this was a way of showing respect, even reverence, for even the simple moments of life: the storage of grain, the husbandry of a beloved horse. I don't know if this was true for all Turkomen; probably there were levels of rich and poor, and this would be reflected in the quality of materials used. Still, I haven't seen too many sloppy or badly woven Turkoman tent bags. Even late ones with terrible dyes show immense care in their workmanship and design.

Sometimes I think we've lost something!

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