Traditional turkmen carpet making art in Turkmenistan

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Inscribed in 2019 (14.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© Secretariat of the Turkmenistan National Commission for UNESCO, 2018

Traditional turkmen carpet making art in Turkmenistan relates to the production of traditional Turkmen carpets and carpet products: hand-woven woolen textile products decorated with ornamental art. The carpets feature a dense texture ornamented with characteristic coloured patterns pertaining to one of the five main Turkmen tribes. They are characterized by patterns forming clear linear geometric arrangements. The context in which the carpet weaver lives – including local flora, fauna and the environment – is reflected in the combination of threads, pictures and colours creating the carpet designs. Turkmen carpets are created on horizontal or vertical looms, mainly using different coloured wool threads. The carpets serve both as floor coverings and wall decorations, and special carpets are also woven for the birth of a child, wedding ceremonies, and prayer and mourning rituals. The carpet-making art is broadly integrated into the social and cultural life of Turkmen people and is considered as a sign of cultural identity and unity. Related skills and knowledge are transmitted within the family, and the viability of the tradition has been continuously ensured by community members. The annual celebration of Carpet Day plays a key role in the transmission of the element by gathering various communities, strengthening social ties and cooperation.

Saryja sheeps herd on the pasture
Traditional wool sorting, combing and spinning
Horizontal looms and other necessary tools and materials for carpet making
Training the daughter is a main stage in the transmission of the carpet making art
An elder bearer is explaining to young girls the learning peculiarities of carpet making
Playing and learning
Test for young girls
Decoration of camels during a wedding ceremony
Turkmen carpets and carpet articles
Traditional design of the external part of the yurta with carpets and articles