Clay Stewart Collection of Türkmen Textiles

3. Saryk Türkmen kejebelyk

Ca. 1880. Size: 4 ft. 1½ in. x 1 ft. 6 in.

Technical Description

15 x 20 = 300 asymmetrical knots per sq. in. pulled open to the left. with a width/height ration of 1:1.3.  Semi-depressed warps create heavy ribbing from the back.  Invisible single weft shoot.  All wool foundation. Top and bottom web folded over, under and sewn.  One row of cut off pulled multicolored yarns on bottom edge, tied in Turkish knot configurations. This  Kejebelyk was woven with reverse pile direction indicating two were woven at the same time on the loom so pile direction is reversed on one of the two pieces woven.  Wool is lustrous and condition is perfect. Hard handle. Durable. 


Decorative, apotropaic, animal trapping, tent trapping.  A thing for the bride, to protect her from all the evil spells, jealousies, envy, etc., that might occur in a tribe of 200 thousand nomads and she’s been picked over all the other young women to marry a Chief’s son.


Five repeated kejebe guls in the field. The kejebe motif, (Turkmen word for bride, lyk means “a thing for”, thus a kejebelyk means “a thing for the bride”) lending its name to the piece itself, referring to the palanquin or litter, i.e., the small domed canopy mounted on the lead wedding camel, in which the bride, hidden from view, makes her way to the bridegroom's family tent.  This older to:rba has seven borders as follows: the center field is surrounded by a soldat border, then a khamtoz border and flanked again by a soldat border all outlined by ala ja stripes. Next a kyrk gochak main border (hooked cruciforms with X crosses or naldag) is flanked by soldat minor guard borders on both sides each lined with ala ja stripes. Finally, another (repeated diamond pattern) khamtoz border flanked by soldat borders lined with ala ja stripes gives way to a large Yashil gochak border and the top (width only) gyak border.


Pende oasis area, south of Merv, in southern Turkmenistan, close to the Afghan border.

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