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Turkmenistan handmade rugs

Without doubt carpets were made in Turkmenistan since unknown times, even so - due to the seclusion of this region - there is no certain knowledge of carpet making before 1800.

With the mobility of the nomadic tribes, their constant migrations and reorganizings it is impossible to attempt to describe their history, especially since there are no written records available.

It is known, that in the 6th century the Turkoman people of Turkmenistan came from the Altai Mountains, penetrating continuously in southern direction, until, in the 10th century, they reached the shore of the Caspian Sea. The separation of the Turkoman people into the most important, big tribes took approximately until the year 1600.
The environment of these countless tribes stretched from the Caspian Sea in the East to deep into China (Chinese Turkmenistan) and into Mongolia. The most important tribes are the Jomudes on the river Artek, the nomadic Ersari in the Bokhara region, and in the oasis of Achal and Merv the Tekke are found.The tribe of Saryk lives in the country side around Merv, as also the Salors. Almost every tribe has sub-tribes with their own name. With the more then thousands of years strife between the Turkoman people it is all the more suprising, to find that their customs, their culture and their artisan ability has remained uniform, being especially expressed in the art of carpet weaving. All Turkoman tribes love red, the basic motives are always so-called Guls (rose), which according to each tribe, has been adapted into various forms.

Formerly these expressive carpets were exclusively made on horizontal looms, meanwhile - at least the families who have become settled - use vertical looms also.
Woven utensils of all kinds accompany the Turkoman people from the cradle to the grave.The floor of their tents, their jurt, is decorated with the large main carpet. Kibitka braids adorn the walls and as an entry covering the Engsi is found. Pouches of all sizes along the tent walls take the place of furniture. In these Tshowals clothes and supplies are stored and can remain there during their migration. Smaller pouches, so-called Torba's complement the assortment. On special occasions horses and camels are decorated with carpets and plaids - saddle bags, called Eyerlik - and these are next to the camel pack bags, the Churdji, or the head dress - Osmolduk - important utensils of the nomad tribes. Special meaning has the Namazlik - the prayer rug. Generally the Turkmenistan carpet can be divided into three groups: in the first and finest group are the Tekke - also called Bokhara,the Achal-Tekke and the Pendeh. This group includes approximately 3/4 of all carpets produced in Turkmenistan. As a rule, they are decorated with ?Bokhara- or Salor-Gul.

Afghanistan hand made carpets

The geographical term Afghanistan does not at all concur with the name of the carpet. The majority of the so-called Afghan carpets are made by the Turkoman tribes, the Ersari, Saryk, Salor, Tekke, and their sub-tribes. Several of these nomad tribes populate the north and northwest of Afghanistan, though the majority lives in Turkmenistan and Usbekistan, and even in the outer northeast corner of Iran. All of them make the same kind of carpet - the Afghan.
But in the remaining areas of Afghanistan carpets are also produced, for example in Daulatabad, Karkinin, and other places. In part the different descriptions name the province of origin, but sometimes the name stands for the motif, or for a certain quality.

Afghan carpets are mostly of a dark, heavy red. In the center are big octagons, so called Guls (=rose), which sometimes can have a diameter of up to 30 cm. Mostly they are knotted in a Turkish knot, only a few manufactury products, for example from Daulatabad or Mazari-i-Sharif, show a Persian knot. Overall in this country the horizontal loom is used.