antique turkmen engsi ersari tribes turkmenistan central asia

Antique Turkmen Engsi, Ersari Tribes, Turkmenistan, Central Asia



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The Engsi was the door-rug hung on the inside of the Turkmen yurt door with a felt rug hanging on the outside. Therefore the rug was seen hanging as in the photo. So looking at it, you can see the central pre-Islamic cross design which symbolised protection thus breaking down evil into 4-parts. The 4-panels created by the cross also represented the 4 gardens of paradise - the engsi representing the gateway to paradise. On leaving the earthly world, the spirit enters paradise through the 'elem' or panel at the base of the rug and enters one of the 4-gardens where the spirit is secure from all harm.
This engsi was made by the Ersari Turkmen around 1870 and has a wonderful palette of vegetable colour. I particularly like, in the upper left-hand panel, the two small symbols forcing their way into the design with another seen in the top right corner of the right-hand panel. I suspect the weaver had a reason for doing this - something we will never know - lost in the passage of time!
Size: 1.80m x 1.43m (6' 0" x 4' 8").
Viewing by appointment only.
Internal Ref: TW16

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