Re: pile rugs and pastoral nomads

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Posted by Wendel Swan on July 29, 1999 at 09:02:08:

In Reply to: Re: pile rugs and pastoral nomads posted by Yon Bard on July 29, 1999 at 07:21:36:

Yon posted:

: I think your dismissal of Turkoman weavings as sedentary is rather hasty. Most if not all of their weavings, including main carpets, were for use in the tent, and some (such as tent-pole bags) were obviously for use in migration.

Dear Yon,

I think that to describe many Turkmen as sedentary is neither to dismiss them nor to cast aspersions on their wonderful weavings.

In Steve's recent Salon, we explored why Turkmen weavings are so much different than those found in Northwest Persia. One reason advanced (to which I contributed) was that they lifestyle of the Turkmen is essentially different from that of the nomads of Persia.

We see very little of Tekke, Salor and Saryk flatweaves in relationship to what we would encounter if there were truly nomadic. Pile is essentially too heavy and unnecessary for nomads. A pile Turkmen chuval, for example, is an extremely inefficient tool for transport during migration. Yet, to us they are hallmarks of Turkmen weaving and quite abundant.

Elena Tsareva is one person who has addressed this issue on several occasions and I call on John Howe to more accurately recall her comments.

An aside. Turkmen weaving is not my forte, but I think that others will cause more of the rug world to realize that a burst of Turkmen weaving began in the last part of the 19th Century in response to the commercial demands and conditions that spawned similar output in the Caucasus and Persia.


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