The Turkmen

Door Rug (engsi), Saryk Tribe
Central Asia
Early 19th Century, Wool pile
137.2 x 172.7 cm (54 x 68 in)
Kurt Munkacsi & Nancy Jeffries

The entrance to the Turkmen tent was closed either by a pair of wooden doors or by a sturdy felt, hung from the lintel. On special occasions, a rug woven specifically for this purpose was hung over the entrance. This door rug, known as an engsi, is decorated in an archaic design with four panels in the field and a natural brown panel at the bottom. Each tribe had its own variation of the design, the significance of which can no longer be determined. This example has a quality of coloring and some distinctive motifs that mark it as one of the earliest and best of a rare type.



Below – On special occasions the opening to the tent was covered by the engsi, a rug of special form, seen in this rare photograph rolled up above the entrance. Turkmenistan 1910–15.