Posted by R. John Howe on 05-28-2007 12:37 PM:

A Complete Flatwoven Turkmen Tentband

Dear folks -

Complete Turkmen tent bands of the approximate 1 foot width variety are hard to display since most of them are over 40 feet long.

Because of this, and because my wife and I live in a one-bedroom condo and are both collectors (read: competition for space is keen) I would not ordinarily consider one.

Nevertheless, one of the pieces I brought back from Turkey is this one.

This is such a complete band. I've had it entirely unrolled and have gone over it end to end twice and have seen only one flaw in it. It appears never to have been used.

It is quite finely woven and I'm not sure I've seen this precise field design before (maybe it is the fineness that makes it seem different to me).

I think most of us would be tempted to say Yomut, but we don't really know that much about Turkmen flatweaves yet. In their catalog for the Wiedersperg collection in SF, Pinner and Eiland were reluctant to give firm tribal attributions to two palas that were in that collection.

It has a quite wide range of what seem to me to be natural colors. Dark brown, two blues, white, red, green and yellow. That's seven.

I'm not entirely sure what I will do with it, but it is an interesting piece, in excellent condition, and was offered to me very advantageously.

It was hard to pack, but we did it.

Thoughts and comments invited.


R. John Howe

Posted by Patrick Weiler on 05-28-2007 10:56 PM:

Long Band Blues


There is a way of hanging this by folding it at 45 degree angles, keeping the "front" forward and allowing the entire piece to be exhibited in a smaller area.
I like the lighter blue on the lower section; it adds some dynamism to the design.
I have also seen some of these draped around the top of the walls of a room.
And, of course, there is always the solution of spending so much money on rugs and weavings that you have to move into a yurt and you could use it as originally intended.


Patrick Weiler

Posted by R. John Howe on 05-29-2007 06:01 AM:

Hi Patrick -

Yes, I am familiar with both of these methods and have used the "top of the wall" decoration mode, both in my office, and here in the house, with another shorter (a mere 25 feet) wide tent band fragment that I own.

One couple in our local rug club used this folding method to good effect with a pre-Columbian piece they own.

But even the folded method would produce something that takes up considerable space, if done with a 40 + foot band.

So I'm not sure how I will use it. My wife and I both clearly need separate "wings" for our respective collections. At this point the "yurt" strategy is not a real option. And she'd likely not be attracted to the continual smell of that much felt.


R. John Howe