Nomads and Former Nomads of Central Asia

Uzbek Turkmen Rug
Central Asia, Uzbekistan
19th Century
Wool pile
368.3 x 109.2 cm (145 x 43 in.)
Anonymous loan

The history of the Uzbek Turkmen is not well known. Distinctive features of their language link them to the Turkmen of Turkmenistan, but having lived for a long time among Uzbek people, they have largely been assimilated into Uzbek culture. Uzbek Turkmen women are prolific weavers, mostly for domestic use, yet few of their weavings have found their way to the United States or Europe. Many of their carpet patterns demonstrate a clear link to Turkmen carpet design in their use of quartered octagons (or shields, kalkan) filled with stylized bird and animal forms. This example is reminiscent of the Turkmen style, in its use of small-scale rectilinear motifs in an endless repeat pattern with color variation.