Carpets with history: about what museum curiosities can tell

Carpets with history: about what museum curiosities can tell

The recent inclusion of Turkmen traditional carpet making art in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity became a stimulus of new splash in interest in this phenomenon. And if before the basic contingent of visitors of the Turkmen Carpet Museum were foreign tourists, now one can see here the flow of the local youth.

Carpets stored in this museum are unique in beauty and techniques of weaving, each of which has its history.

The ORIENT has decided to acquaint readers with some of them and to offer its blitz-excursion to the collection of rare carpets.

One of the most touching – history of a carpet connected with the Ashgabat earthquake of 1948. …

Somehow master Kemal together with a little girl by name Bossan starts to weave a carpet. The young schoolgirl diligently masters weaving secrets, all more confidently and faster her fingers flash among threads from which bright patterns blossom. Hour after hour, month after month the carpet grows, pleasing eyes.

Few centimetres remain before its completion, but that the fatal night when the catastrophic earthquake literally erased Ashgabat from the surface of the earth, Kemal and Bossan also passed away…

Every day the mother of Bossan looked at this carpet, as though talking to her daughter. Read in its ornaments messages only known to her, stroked its pile, stopping on its unwoven fringe. It, as torn off at the height of sounding a melody, as if asked to finish the work begun by the girl.

And once, the woman who also did not try to knit before small knots of carpet, but saw, how it was done dexterously by her small daughter, got down to business, recollecting all quick movements of tiny fingers.

Not one year left for her to finish this small fragment of carpet for which her daughter needed just several months. So, mother Bossan finishes this masterpiece. And let the part of the carpet differs from the central part a little, indeed each history differs from another because human life is unique.

One more of the most unusual exhibits in the museum – a water-proof carpet. Its properties are caused by feature of manual weaving, when threads are very strongly tightened. The density of such product makes more than one million knots per square metre which form so elastic and strong membrane that through it the rain will not filter and moisture from the wet earth will not be absorbed.

Here is the history we have been told in the museum: in 1921 a mullah from the city of Bayramali after returning from pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina, shares his impressions with children. Their imagination was so grasped by these stories that they decided to embody them in a prayer rug which was named – “Mecca-Medina”. Its length – 1 metre 23 centimetres. Today it decorates the Ashgabat collection of unique carpets.

All visitors are impressed, of course, with monumentalism of carpets-giants and how the smallest carpet product in the museum looks? It has a size of 0, 01 square metres.

It is just a little bit of treasures which are stored in the Turkmen Carpet Museum. The history about these works of art one can listen infinitely. But nothing can be compared with possibility of seeing personally these amazing artefacts.

Ayna BERDIYEVA