a
  Hagop Manoyan Antique Rugs s Richard Rothstein Oriental Rugs

JBOC's  Notes on Oriental Rugs

Turkmen Rugs: Guide to Ersari Rugs and Carpets
Richard Rothstein Oriental Rugs  Hagop Manoyan Antique Rugs

What is an Ersari?
Since tribal confederations are pretty well extinct the only practical way I can find to define Ersari is on a linguistic basis. I propose that anyone who speaks Ersari or an Ersari dialect as his native language is Ersari. How those Ersari think of themselves is not particularly germane to the discussion of how they are Ethno-linguisticly grouped.

Who are the Ersari?

I suggest that the Ersari are in fact the direct descendents of the Oghuz Turks. That the Seljuk Turks that conquered Iran and Turkey were also Ersari. The seljuks were the elite and their people were the Azeri. I suggest that Ersari and Azeri are different spelling and accent on the same word and that Turkmen as a language can be seen as Western Azeri.

Following Czarist General Petroosevitchin about 1881: "The Ersari are divided into four great divisions:

Number of Tents. Locality.
Kara - - 20,000 - Khoja-Kunduz
Ooloo (Ulu) -Tapa 20,000 - Khalatch and Pelvart
Kooniash - 15,000 • Zengi-Baba and Astan-Baba.
Bekaoul - 2,000 - Boordalik, on the right side of the
In all - 57,000 river, opposite Khoja - Kunduz."

The Marechal Taghan Ensi

The Marechal Taghan Ensi

The Ersari Question (or Ersari I asked)

One of the great rug scholars. Murray Eiland Jr., has been known to make the point that he could not find anyone in Northern Afghanistan who identifies themselves as an Ersari. See Oriental Rugs A Complete Guide page 210

I had a chance to discuss this with Murray Eiland Jr. years ago. Murray was looking for Turkmen who considered themselves Ersari. It is an interesting approach. Still I suggest that if Murray asked what language they spoke he would have found at that time hundreds of thousands of Turkmen who speak an Ersari dialect.

Here is the definative answer on the Ersari of Afghanistan from Ibrahim son of Khal Mohammad the great Ersari Weaving Master:

"Over lunch I learned a little from Ibrahim. The family is Ersari Turkmen. Harkening back to Dr, Murray Eiland Jr. Murray has frequently asserted that while he met Turkmen in Afghanistan he never met any who identified themselves as Ersari. So when Ibrahim identified himself Turkmen I asked what dialect of Turkmen he spoke. Ibrahim explained that they were Ersari and the family had moved to Afghanistan from Uzbekistan in his grandfather's day. Ibrahim added that in Afghanistan most Turkmen were Ersari and most of the rest are Tekke." from my article on Khal Mohammad


Ersari Mafrash
Ersari Turkmen Mafrash

Ersari Mafrash
Ersari Turkmen Mafrash

Guide to Structure:

Warp: wool, Z2S (It is not unheard-of to see hair, sheep or goat?)

Weft: wool, two shoots. (It is not unusual to see hair, sheep or goat?)

Pile: wool asymmetrical knot open to the left. (Kizil Ajak and some Beshir open to the right)

Density: About 56 KPSI. Usually slightly more Vertical than horizontal such as 6-7H by 7-9V or 11H by 13V. The Marechal Taghan Ensi averages 143 kpsi and is very fine for an Ersari weaving. (If it is much finer than that then Salor must be considered.)

Ends: Most often Kilem skirts usually red with blue and or yellow stripes. Warp faced plain weave skirts are not uncommon as well (See Andkhoy Turkmen)

Size: It is unusual to see an old one that is much larger than 9 by 7. The exception are the city made Beshir carpets which can be much larger. See Ersari Beshir Carpet, 12 ft. 7 in. by 5 ft. 8 in. Bags and trappings can be any size. The largest juvals I have ever seen were Ersari (about 5 by 6 feet).

Color: Bright reds such as we see in Salors and Tekkes are rare in Ersari weaving. Bluish reds are not very common either. Softer reds, brick, dusty rose, brownish reds are more the rule. Blues can range from almost black to robins egg blue (robins egg blue is seen in rugs from Labijar see Labijar Taghan Main Carpet). It is not unusual to see small amounts of bright colorfast yellow in antique Ersari rugs. (See Ersari Mafrash).

Ersari Sullayman Main Carpet
Ersari Sullayman Main Carpet

Sullayman

In each of the 4 quarters of this Gul we see the design that Richard Parsons referred to as an "inverted ribcage" was what he noted a the main indicator of Sulayman Rugs. The Carpets of Afghanistan Page 114.

Sullayman Rugs:

Ersari Sullayman Main Carpet

Antique  Kizil Ajak Rug
Antique  Kizil Ajak Rug

Kizil Ajak

The  white dot boarders and the use of yellow points to an attribution of Kizil Ajak Turkmen . The guard border with the small botehs are a prime identifier of rugs from Afghanistan. Kizil Ajak rugs are generally woven with an asymmetrical knot open to the right.

Kizil Ajak Rugs:


Chub Bash

Mazar-i-Shariff Chub Bash Carpet Mazar-i-Shariff Chub Bash Carpet

This is the Classic Chub Bash Gul which some have suggested is derived from the Tauk Naushka Gul of the Chodor. I have never seen any substantiation of that theory and I suspect that it comes from the similarity in design and the similarity in tribal names. Are the Chub Bash displaced Chodor? It take more than a little speculation to convince me. Especially since the Chub Bash are linguistically Turkmen and the Chodor may not be. Another possibility is that this Gul, the Tauk Naushka, The Yomut , the Arabatchi variant and to a lesser extent the Salor Gulli Gul are all descended from an Oghuz progenitor. I also note that the Chub Bash Juval Gul is very close to the frequently postulated prototypical Gul of the Oghuz descendant tribes. while still unproven the Chub Bash seem as likely to be a straight line of descent from Oghuz time rather than split off from the Chodor.

Chub Bash Rugs:



The Stephen Louw Ersari Beshir

City Beshir Carpet

The Beshir Rug Question

Over the years there is a dichotomy in Beshir weaving that has bothered me. There are Turkmen looking Beshir and then there are large city Beshir rugs that I suspect are Uzbek. For now, I am going to sort them into Ersari Beshir and City Beshir. I am not sure if this sorting will hold I suspect it may be Turkmen Beshir and Uzbek Beshir with the Uzbek divided into city and village. I welcome any ideas on if this group or how this group may be subdivided.

I am going to cut this section on the Beshir Question. I do not think my premise supportable. In other words i was wrong. I thought it would be nice to preserve this error on a seperate page since a surprising nuumner of you have read this. Barry 11/04/08

  • Of all the Turkmen tribes the Beshir of the Ersari lived about the closest to Bukhara. They wove designs that seem closer to a city design than most Turkmen rugs.
  • One problem is that some experts started labeling everything they were unsure of as Beshir.
  • There are also Beshir in Afghanistan who weave a more traditional Turkmen design.

  • Some Links to Ersari Pages.


    Salor among the Ersari

    In the 15th century the Salor split from the Ersari taking the Saryk and the Tekke with them. Later they split with first the Saryk then the Tekke gaining dominance. Many of the Salor ended up in Afghanistan in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of what we call Ersari may be Salor or even Saryk and some is probably Uzbek.


    New Persian Rugs Search Engine

    Links:

    www.Jozan.net Ersari Rugs & Carpets

    Thanks and best wishes,

    J. Barry O'Connell Jr.

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