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Old November 15th, 2018, 09:03 PM   #3
Pierre Galafassi
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 87

Hi all,

In a biography of R. Kipling (1) one finds an information of some interest for us ruggies:
The author, Neil Moran mentions young Kipling’s friend, Dr Owen, an M.D. in the British army in Afghanistan, in charge in 1885 of a field hospital in the Pendj Deh oasis, (at that time still Afghan territory), populated by the bulk of the Saryk tribe and by some Salor clans.
Later in 1885, the oasis will be the scene of a victory of the Russian army and its fresh Saryk- and Tekke allies, over an Afghan army, and of the annexation of the oasis.

Dr Owen was a ruggie, interested in Turkmen weavings of which he was a collector. In a letter to his wife, Owen complained about the astronomical cost of «purdahs» (2), the name he gives to pile carpets used as Yurt doors, thus, of Ensi rugs.

This information brings some more water to the mills of those who think that Ensi were indeed traditional Turkmen weavings used as door curtain and neither any opportunistic, late creation by the tribes, targeting gullible occidental tourists, nor any kind of prayer rug: This, mind you, was 1885, the Russian victory over the Akhal Tekke was not yet 3 years old and the bloodless surrender of the Merv Tekke less than 2 years.
Imho, a bit short for implementing any marketing plan, with all due respect for the Turkmen’s commercial talent.

(1) Neil K. Moran. Kipling and Afghanistan. A study of the young author as journalist writing. Page 54.
(2) Purdah in Persian (and therefore also in the Persian dialect of the politically dominant Pashtun ethnic group in Afghanistan) means «curtain, veil».

Best regards
Pierre Galafassi is offline   Reply With Quote