Treasures of Turkmenistan - Carpets

Turkmen carpets

Turkmenistan is known all around the world for its magnificent carpets which are weaved by the hands of Turkmen women. The work of carpet makers can be compared to a a heroic deed. If today's carpet making is a business of professionals, in the past everyone woman in Turkmenistan could weave carpets.

A carpet is a symbol of Turkmen people. The Turkmen carpets, whose prevailing color is dark red, are woven from wool, cotton and silk at home. The legend says that the "covenants" left by Oguz Khan (a legendary ancestor of the Turkmen) to his sons are incorporated in the ghels (patterns) of a Turkmen carpet. In Turkmenistan where each tribe had its peculiar ornament, the carpet is so sacred, that even the national flag carpet ornaments on it. A real carpet a work of art in itself and is very expensive. In order to purchase them one should go to market or a specialized shop.

The art of Turkmen carpet making originated long time ago. The found ceramics remains dated the 4th - the 3rd centuries B.C. revealed that the ornament of this ancient ceramics was completely identical to the patterns of Turkmen carpets!

Turkmen carpets

In the 3rd century B.C. Parthian carpets were extensively exported to ancient Europe and appreciated by Roman emperors. By the 13th century there appeared written evidence about Turkmen carpets. The famous traveler Marko Polo who visited Minor Asia enthusiastically wrote about Turkmen carpets as being "the thinnest finest in the world".

From the end of the 19th century Turkmen carpets began to be shown in many cities of Russia and Europe . Turkmen carpets were displayed during World Fairs in Paris , Petersburg , Berlin , and Washington . They are kept in private collections of the world's famous people.

Each Turkmen oasis had its unique pattern. But all of them, despite the differences, have common background, common semantics - all that makes up a Turkmen carpet!

Along with strictly geometrical ornament Turkmen carpets contain numerous stylized images of animals: rams, camels, horses, bird, etc. The ghels of a Turkmen carpet represent the stylized image of the Earth in the Universe.

The ornament was created with a reference to the center of a carpet. The center symbolized the sun. Similarly to the Egyptian pyramids concealing a lot of mysteries the ornaments of Turkmen carpets also keep some information which might probably grant access to the unique civilization the Turkmen.