Clay Stewart Collection of Türkmen Textiles

10. Ahal Teke dowry mat (wedding rug)

Ca. 1875. Size: 4 ft. 2 in. x 3 ft. 7 in.

Technical Description

15 x 20 = 300 asymmetrical kpsi (width/height ratio of 1½:2), pulled open to the right with flat warps and single shoot invisible weft when viewed from the back.  All hand spun wool for foundation and knots.  Small amounts of white silk in field. All wool foundation.  Flat weave natural wool webbing on top and bottom still intact.


Brides to be and other women in her family wove dowry sets consisting of bags, rugs and trappings for use during and after marriage and often were chosen as brides for their skill in weaving their mix of utilitarian textiles. This type of mat was most likely used by the bride to sit on during her reception.  Also called a wedding rug or Bridal presentation rug.  In Türkmen society a woman’s beauty is only surpassed by her skill as a weaver.  The most important test of that skill is her wedding rug, the most important of about six rugs that she takes with her into the wedding as her trousseau.  The others are woven by her aunts, mother, grandmother, etc..  In a large Türkmen tribe, any chance she has of being chosen as a bride could depend on her weaving accomplishments.


Eighteen classic tall Teke gö:ls,  Three columns of six each. Lower and upper apron show a modified dyrnak gül pattern. Main border has a star and octagon motif (Teke starburst) flanked by gyak stripes and those are followed by a pair of gochak minor guard borders each enclosed by a gyak stripe or pole. E-shape arak comb motifs in the main border.  Grantzhorn postulates Turkmen major gö:ls, are sun stars enclosed in an octagonal border and  Türkmen minor gül are those stars but without the enclosure.


 Ahal oasis area. Southern Turkmenistan, north of the Persian border.

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