Artistic publicist, Centralasia.news columnist Serdar Akiniyazov talks about the history of Turkmen carpet making, naming the carpet one of the seven wonders of Turkmenistan. The national treasure of Turkmenistan was included by UNESCO in 2019 in the representative List of Intangible Cultural Assets.
Ancestors of present day Turkmen have been weaving carpets since ancient times, imprinting centuries-old history and creative talent in their works. The Pazyryk carpet is the most ancient sample that has come down to us. It was discovered in the Altai Mountains in the mid-20th century. Using radiocarbon analysis, the researchers found that the age of the find is 2.4 thousand years. Good safety of the carpet, woven in the V century BC, explained its location within the permafrost. Today the rug is on display at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.
S. Akiniyazov notes that Parthian wool carpets were in great demand in the period of antiquity. They were brought to the markets of that time by crossing the Great Silk Road, which also passed through the territory of present Turkmenistan. Marco Polo, the famous traveler and merchant of the XII century, a famous Venetian, told with admiration about Turkmen carpets in his notes. Even masters-painters of the Renaissance were so charmed by the beauty of Turkmen carpets that they painted fragments of them in their paintings.
Between XIX and XX centuries there was a surge of interest in Turkmen carpets in Russia. At the same time carpets gained a new wave of popularity in European markets. This was largely promoted by a number of exhibitions held in capitals and big cities of Russia, Europe and the US. Europeans learned about Turkmen carpets from a book "Antique carpets of the East" published by an English artist D. Lessing in 1879 in London.
Vambery, a scholar and traveler from Hungary who visited Turkmenistan the century before last, also spoke admiringly about the beauty of Turkmen carpets and skill of carpet weavers. He noted that women created real masterpieces of art with the patterns characterized by striking symmetry and excellent taste. And many of them are many times better than the products of European manufacturers.
Today carpets from Turkmenistan continue to fascinate connoisseurs all over the world - you can see them in the homes of movie stars, politicians and other world celebrities.
During his congratulatory speech addressed to his countrymen on the occasion of Carpet Day, the President of Turkmenistan noted the beauty of Turkmen carpets and called carpet weavers the masters of creating unique national wealth.