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Turkmen Rugs: Guide to Teke / Tekke Rugs & Carpets

JBOC Attribution: Oriental Rugs > Turkmen Rugs > Tekke Rugs & Carpets

Tekke Guls

Guide to Tekke Guls

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.

Tekke Main Carpet Wefts

In Turkmen rugs we regularly see wefts made from hair as opposed to wool. Here I take a close look at these wefts before and after they splay. I do not normally pull apart Tekke Rugs so what I found was a big surprise.
Dr. Jon Thompson Tekke Juval

Dr. Jon Thompson Tekke Juval

Tekke Asmalyk from a table in the study of Sigmund Freud.

Detail of Tekke Asmalyk from a table in the study of Sigmund Freud. http://www.freud.org.uk/rugs.htm

Odds & Ends:

The 'aina kotchak' Gul

Against the Russians they have, with one exception, been uniformly unsuccessful. In 1872, 1873, 1875, 1876, and 1877, the Akhals have been assailed by Russian troops advancing into their territory, and on each occasion they appear to have had much the worst of it, except in the last-mentioned year, when General Lomakine, after occupying Kizil Arvat, was forced to beat a retreat, either through want of supplies or some other cause. But that was a solitary instance, and this has been more than redeemed by the successful operations of the same general in 1878. The Turkmen by Demetrius Charles Boulger Part 5

Tekke Rugs: Teke/Tekke 180 KPSI single wefted Tekke khalyk from Jim Allen

Almost all tekke Rugs have two rows of wefts inbetween each row of knots but a small and rare group only have one row of weft between each row of knots. The tekke used this technique to make pieces finer and more supple than normal.  

Tekke Rugs & Carpets

Guide to Tekke Guls

Small Rugs

Ensis

Juvals

Kapunuk - Tekke Kapunuk

Khalyk

Mafrashs

Ok bash

Rugs

Tekke Rugs: Tekke Bagface

Torbas

Yolami



Tekke Asmalyk

Tekke Asmalyk from Sigmund Freuds Rug Collection
Tekke Asmalyk from Sigmund Freuds Rug Collection

The Hort Tekke Black Chyrpy c. 1900

Chyrpy


Small Rugs


s1293n3a.jpg (20647 bytes)

Purple Group Tekke Rugs: Tekke Khalyk

Single wefted purple Tekke

Most Tekke Rugs have two shots of wefts but a small group are single wefted. an even smaller group are purple and single wefted.

The James C. Allen Mid 17th century Tekke Chuval

The Tekke people descend from one of the 23 Oghuz Turkmen Tribes. By 1200 AD they had settled as agriculturists in the Syr Darya region. They were then uprooted in the Mongol Invasions and moved west towards the Caspian Sea. By the 16th century the Tekke moved into the Akhal region along the Kopetdag Mountains and then gradually pushed the Salor from the Murgap River basin. They stayed there until defeated by the Russians. The Tekke ceased to function as a cohesive tribal confederation after the battle and massacre of the Tekke by the Russians January 12, 1881. While they ceased to exist as a tribal unit they are still identifiable as an ethno-linguistic group since they share a common dialect called Tekke or Chagatai.

"In the early sixteenth century, the Turkmen "were concentrated in four main regions: along the southeastern coast of the Caspian Sea, on the Mangyshlak Peninsula (on the northeastern Caspian coast), around the Balkan Mountains, and along the Uzboy River running across north-central Turkmenistan". Library of Congress: Turkmenistan Formation of the Turkmen Nation March 1996

"Many scholars regard the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries as the period of the reformulation of the Turkmen into the tribal groups that exist today. " Library of Congress: Turkmenistan Formation of the Turkmen Nation March 1996

"Beginning in the sixteenth century and continuing into the nineteenth century, large tribal conglomerates and individual groups migrated east and southeast." Library of Congress: Turkmenistan Formation of the Turkmen Nation March 1996

"Historical sources indicate the existence of a large tribal union often referred to as the Salor confederation in the Mangyshlak Peninsula and areas around the Balkan Mountains. The Salor were one of the few original Oghuz tribes to survive to modern times. In the late seventeenth century, the union dissolved and the three senior tribes moved eastward and later southward." Library of Congress: Turkmenistan Formation of the Turkmen Nation March 1996

(16th century) "The Yomud split into eastern and western groups, while the Tekke moved into the Akhal region along the Kopetdag Mountains and gradually into the Murgap River basin. The Salor tribes migrated into the region near the Amu Darya delta in the oasis of Khorazm south of the Aral Sea, the middle course of the Amu Darya southeast of the Aral Sea, the Akhal oasis north of present-day Ashgabat and areas along the Kopetdag bordering Iran, and the Murgap River in present-day southeast Turkmenistan." Library of Congress: Turkmenistan Formation of the Turkmen Nation March 1996

A Tekke Torba formerly in the Thompson collection and now I believe it is in the Bloom collection

The Merv Tekke had settled in the Tejen swamps until the drought of 1831-1834. They moved from Sarahks to as far south as Seistan until abut 1855. Pankratov, Turkmen Tribes

The Tejen Swamps are North by North west of Sarahks. The swamps are the area where the Tejen river disappears into the sands of the KaraKum desert. The Merv Tekke or any tribe needs water and until the drought they could survive in the desert. Once they ran out of water they moved up river and pushed the Salor and Saryk from Sarahks.

"Beginning in the sixteenth century, most of the Turkmen tribes were divided among two Uzbek principalities: the Khanate (or emirate) of Khiva (centered along the lower Amu Darya in Khorazm) and the Khanate of Bukhoro (Bukhara)." Library of Congress: Turkmenistan Formation of the Turkmen Nation March 1996

The Tekke defeated the Khan of Khiva at Sarahks in 1855. This allowed the Tekke to occupy the Sarahks region. It also set off 12 years of Turkmen rebellion against the Khiva Khanate. Khanate of Khiva 1511-1920

Late 1873 "Short of money for the return to Tashkent, Kaufman ordered the other Turkmen tribes in Khivan territory to pay their shares of the fine, some 301,000 rubles. Becoming somewhat more reasonable, he allowed them to pay half the sum in camels and the other half in either coin or gold or silver jewelry and other objects. They were given from July 21 to August 2 to pay. The punishment of the Yomuds had its desired effect on the other Turcomen bands. At the deadline, some 92,000 rubles had been collected, and as there was evidence of intent to pay, Kaufman allowed an indefinite extension to the payment deadline. To insure full payment, he took 26 hostages from among the families of Turcomen notables." Hinson, The Fall of Khiva.

Gen. Michael Skobelev, commander of Krasnovodsk fort transported 11,000 Russian troops to Goktepe on their newly built railway. Goktepe fell to the Russians in 1881. Gen. Michael Skobelev allowed his men to execute 8,000 men women children and even babies. They used bayonets on the babies. Ogata Resource Treasure-trove

The circumcision of a young Tekk boy is a major event in the life of the Turkmen. "Wealthy Turkman families usually hold a party which includes horseracing and wrestling to celebrate this event." TURKMENS OF IRAN

The Social Order of the Merv Tekke in 1882

At this point in time there were two main groups of Tekke. The Akhal Tekke had been the senior branch but they had suffered a crushing defeat at Geok Tepe the year before. The Merv Tekke were further from the Russians and were still an Independent people. The Tekke Uruk or tribal confederation was made up of two Uymaqs. The Toktamish were the senior Uymaq and the Otamish were the lesser. Pankratov, Turkmen Tribes

Kouchid Khan, who commanded the Merv Tekke nation during its migration to Merv,and in the subsequent war with Persia was hereditary chief of the Toktamish. On his death ,his son Baba Khan was not accepted by the Otamish. Pankratov, Turkmen Tribes

In 1855-6 Kouchid Khan leader of the Merv Tekke moved the Tekke to the Merv Oasis. In about 1559 The Persians with the aid of the Saryk attack Merv to drive the Tekke out. Despite the artillery and superior military force the Tekke win. At a point in-between 1859 and 1880. Kouchid Khan dies and his son Baba Khan can only hold the Toktamish. The Otamish Tekke refuse to recognize Baba Khan as anything more than an honorary leader. Pankratov, Turkmen Tribes

The Toktamish Tekke live east of the Murghab river.

Vekil

  • Yazi Youssub, Kara, Kaksal Bukeri, Ark Karadje, Kalil.

Beg

  • Amashe, Gune, Kowki, Zereng, Yegreh, Bitli.

Pankratov, Turkmen Tribes

The Otamish Tekke live east of the Murghab river.

Bakshih

  • Miris, Sultan Aziz, Zakur, Burkoz, Geok, Ak Dasheyuk, Kara dasheyuk.

Sitchmaz

  • Karatchmet, Pereng, Topaz, Hadji Sufi, Kou Sagur, Aladja Guz.

Pankratov, Turkmen Tribes

Huge Map of Bukhara in 1838

Profile of a Nomad

In this portrait, Prokudin-Gorksii captures the traditional dress, jewelry, and hairstyle of an Uzbek woman standing on a richly decorated carpet at the entrance to a yurt, a portable tent used for housing by the nomadic peoples of Central Asia. After conquering Turkestan in the mid 1800s, the Russian government exerted strong pressure on the nomadic peoples to adopt a sedentary lifestyle and settle permanently in villages, towns, and cities.

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii.
Profile of an Uzbek Woman. . ., ca. 1907-1915.
Digital color rendering.
Prints and Photographs Division
(LC-DIG-ppmsc-04442) (8)

JBOC Note: The girl and the yurt look Uzbek. That leads to the question of where did she get the Tekke carpet. Unless the carpet is Uzbek as well.

The Dudin Merv Tekke Bird Asmalyk

THIRTY RUG MASTERPIECES FROM
THE COLLECTION OF S.M. DUDIN

by Elena Tsareva

A very rare book available On-Line on the Internet at Oriental Rug Review

TEKKE Turkoman, Asmalyk
  • 4'11"x2'11" (162x92 cm) The pair to No. 11b 18th century, SME. 26-52/2
  • Design : Bird,
  • Warp: Wool, ivory, Z2S
  • Weft : Camelhair, Z2S, fine, two shoots.
  • Knot: Wool, Asymmetric, open right; 52/1 count: 10 horizontal (39), 15 vertical (58), 150 per square inch (2,262 dm2); 52/2 count: 10 horizontal (39), 17 vertical (67), 170 per square inch (2,616 dm2), Colors: Pink red, orange-red, brown, dark blue, green-blue, white; natural dyes.
  • Sides: Two warps overcast with red wool.
  • Ends: Upper: White flatweave folded over to the back and sewn down; Lower: Same. Ornamental braid with dark blue fringe at the edges sewn on the sides and lower end,
  • Purchased: 1901, Merv, "Asmalyk Turkoman, pile, woolen, with representation of birds, decorated with ornamented woven stripe with a fringe at the sides and lower end, 2 pieces"
  • Published: First color publication of No. 26-52/2. Others: Tsareva, Rugs, pl. 44 (No. 26-52/1 color); Tsareva, Hali 7/3 1985, p. 18 (No. 26-52/1 color); Pinner/Franses, Turkoman Studies, p. 115 (Nos. 26-52/1 and 2 black/white) and p. 258, pl. VI (No. 26-52/1); Felkersam, plate 20 (No. 26-52/2 black/white) THIRTY RUG MASTERPIECES FROM THE COLLECTION OF S.M. DUDIN

Akhal versus Merv Tekkes

"The Akhal preserved more of the traditional characteristics of ancient carpet weaving, while the Merv Tekkes experienced a strong Salor influence and thus adopted such specific Salor features as knot depression and a great repertoire of designs." Elena Tsareva Dudin Collection - Tekkes

A Tekke Cherpi

Tekke Weaving:

Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and then Iran. Mostly Turkmenistan.

Size: Bags rugs and carpets.

  • Tekke pile weaving is noted for the great variety of items: main carpets, rugs, namazlyks, different sizes of tent bags, and decorations. Especially rich was the wedding caravan's outfitting -- five-sided camel trappings (asmalyks), breast plates (khalyks), knee decorations (dizlyks), belts, and some others. Occasionally one can find special paired rugs for covering the skylight of the yurt and U-shaped rugs to surround the hearth. Tekkes often used door hangings, ensis and kapunuks of different forms, or thresholds, such as germetches. Tsareva, Dudin Collection - Tekkes

Structure: Asymmetric open left. In rare cases open right. 140 to 540 KPSI Average around 200 KPSI. No depression to slight warp depression in older rugs and deeper depression increasing to deep depression on very late rugs.

Yarn & Pile: Z Spun wool

Warp: Two ply white wool.

Weft: 2 shots gray, brown red, or ivory wefts (Black in late 3rd phase). Camelhair wefts in a Bird Asmalyk. There are single wefted Tekke pieces, see Purple Group Tekke Ensi

  • Jim Allen suggests that red wefts are more common in dowry pieces
  • Camelhair wefts in a Bird Asmalyk.

Knot: Asymmetrical open right is normal. Ensis may have symmetric Tekke Edge Knots.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: Most often weft faced plain weave.

Selvages: Blue wool overcast over multiple warp units.

Handle: Light - medium. later rugs get a progressively heavier handle as warp depression increases. .

The Allen Tekke Main Carpet

Gurbaghe Gul

This is one of the more common Tekke carpet minor Guls. not as common as the Chemche Gul but not uncommon.

A Connoisseurs take on 6 gull Torbas

Chemche Gul

Also Tschemtsche (German)

The Chemche Gul is a minor gul commonly seen in Tekke rugs and bags. This type of Chemche is referred to as the Arrow Chemche on the basis of he tertiary white arrow like designs.

Tekke Main Carpet

Star and Octagon Border

Star is not quite right but it is in common usage. Actually the stars are floral forms that may be best called rosettes. This is an old border seen in carpets generally considered older,

The Star and Octagon Border predates the Salor Tekke split. For Salor use of the Star and Octagon Border in an Ensi see 19th century Salor Ensi page 31, Thompson, Jon. Oriental Carpets  and also in Salor Ensi.

Tall Gol Tekke Main carpet

Tekke Main Carpet

Small Tekke Rug

Tekke Gul

This is the most common main Gul in Tekke  main carpets.  An  important clue to estimating age is the height to width ratio. Those with a greater height to width ratio tend to be older. Please note the top Gul. I feel this is older than the lower gul. The middle gul even though it has good age strikes me as younger that the top gul. The bottom Gul is much younger dating to turn of the century 1895 - 1920. The Gul has flattened out dramatically.

I believe this was due to European market influences. For my purposes I will consider Russian merchants as European. As European influence increased there became market pressure to weave fine rugs. With the patterns staying the same the weaver turned to fine yarn and more compression on the loom. Consequently as the rugs got finer the guls got flatter.

The Thompson Sale Tekke Torba Lot 13

The Archtypal Gul

These guls are described by the great British rug expert Dr. Jon Thompson as the "Archtypal Gul". For related exampes see Mackie, Louise & Thompson, Jon. Turkmen. Plate 35 & 36. See pages 106 and 107 for discussion of those plates.

Tekke Juval

Tekke Juval

Miniature version of the Archtypal Gul

These guls are clearly related to Mackie, Louise & Thompson, Jon. Turkmen. Plate 30. Dr. Jon Thompson described that example as a "miniature version of the Archtypal Gul" Turkmen page 100.

A Former Slave on the Tekke and the Russian Victory

"we soon found ourselves in the garden of Dawlatabad, where we sat in a shady corner and conversed with an old gardener who had been for thirteen months a slave in the hands of the (Tekke) Turcomans. He had been taken prisoner by them near the Kal'at-i-Nadiri about the time that Hamze Mirza was besieging Mashhad (1848), and described very graphically his experiences in the Turcoman slave-market; how he and his companions in misfortune, stripped almost naked, were inspected and examined by intending purchasers, and finally knocked down by the broker to the highest bidder. He had finally effected his escape during a raid into Persian territory, in which he had accompanied the marauders as a guide, exactly after the manner of the immortal Haji Baba. He and the Erivani joined cordially in abusing the Turcomans, whom they described as more like wild beasts than men. "They have no sense of fear," said the latter, "and will never submit, however great may be the odds against them; even their women and children will die fighting. That was why the Russians made so merciless a massacre of them, and why, after the massacre was over, they piled up the bodies of the slain into a gigantic heap, poured petroleum over it, and set it on fire, that perhaps this horrible spectacle might terrify the survivors into submission."" A Year Amongst the Persians: Yedz pages 399 - 400

Interesting Books On Turkmen Rugs:

Eiland, Murray L Jr. Oriental Rugs A New Comprehensive Guide. Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1993 3rd edition.

Krader, Lawrence. Peoples of Central Asia. Bloomington Indiana: Indiana University, 1966.

Mackie, Louise & Dr. Jon Thompson. Turkmen. Washington DC: Textile Museum, 1980.

Reuben, David M. Gols and Guls: Turkmen Carpets from the 18th and 19th Centuries. London: 1998

Saunders, Peter E. Tribal Visions. Novao Ca: 1980.

Tsareva, Elena. The Dudin Collection. Meredith: Oriental Rug Auction Review, Inc., 1990.


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