Fantastic old vintage Tekke Turkoman main rug in excellent overall condition. Soft and fairly thick wool pile woven on cotton warp.
With its distinctive small guls alternating with four-pointed stars, and the use of non-bleached, non-commercial cotton, this carpet was most likely woven by the Tekke tribe.
Most Turkoman rugs are 100% wool, including the warp and weft. In contrast to all the tribal carpets, the rugs produced in mass in the weaving workshops of Pakistan use a fine bleached commercial cotton, which produces loose fringes quite unlike the tribal kilim ends on this rug.
A modest amount of wear on the kilim ends, showing a little loose fraying here and there, but no erosion or shortening. The wool side cords are in excellent condition and the rug has full pile all over.
Turkoman rugs are nomadic style carpets woven by tribes in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and northeastern Iran. These tribes include the Salor, Saryk, Tekke, Youmut, Arabchi, Chodor, and Ersari tribes. These rugs tend to have a background that is red or redish-brown in color, and the motif is usually geometric.
Most Turkoman rugs feature the octagonal gul –either as large medallions or in a repeating array. Gul is an old Persian word for flower or rose, and also appears in Turkish. Traditionally, distinctive guls indicated individual tribal affiliations.
The motif on this rug consists of columns of guls surrounded by a wide intricate border, which displays a chain of white and dark alternating rosettes. The primary guls arrayed on this rug appear to a version of the Gurbaghe gul, one of the traditional guls of the Tekke tribe.
Rug expert Barry O’Connell offers this historical account of the origins of the Tekke:
“The proper name of the Tekke people is Teke. The misspelling Tekke is so common that I find it hard to go back and correct it. So I move forward using Teke in newer work.
The Teke were part of the Salyr (Salor) of the Oguz Turks. When the Oguz split over the issue of converting to Islam the Teke/Salyr coveted to Islam and became part of the Seljuk/Oguz. The Salyr split in the face of the Mongol onslaught. What we know today as Salor are those that stayed in Turkestan and came under the sway of the Mongols. The Teke emerged again in the 16th century as part of the Sayin Khan-Salor. At this point the Salor/Salar split occurred. The Teke with the Salor stayed in Turkestan under the domination of the Uzbek Mongols. A significant part of the Salyr moved east under the protection of the Mogholistan Khans. They are now in China as the Salar.
In the late seventeenth century the Salor confederation broke up which forced the three primary tribes of the confederation, the Salyr, the Saryk, and the Teke out of the Mangyshlak Peninsula and the Balkan Mountains. The tribes moved eastward and then south. This set off a series of incidents where the Saryk usurped the Salyr and then the Tekke/Teke usurped the Saryk. The Tekke/Teke were the dominant southern Turkmen tribe when the Russians came in.”
Because of the thickness and fine wool, this is fairly heavy for a Turkoman rug of this size. Shipping is $55.
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