The engsi/ensi question, like many in rugdom, is far from answered but there has been, and is currently as well, no shortage of pundits willing to throw their moth-eaten homburgs into the ring.
Not only are the original function and purpose, in fact, unknown but what even constitutes an engsi/ensi remains equally as mysterious.
Sure, any Turkmen rug that is approximately 4 foot by 6 foot could be called one, as the following example which recently appeared online for sale, demonstrates:
What is engsi/ensi-like in this piece besides the somewhat ignorant owners desire to cast it as one? Well RK would have to say: Nothing.
At least were the central field divided into the typical engsi/ensi arrangement of four quadrants and the typical outer border found on all engsi/ensi present, one could then try to make a case for this rather unsightly example.
However, that is not the case. Nor does the central field design of ascending “trees” have any relationship to any field design exhibited on any engsi/ensi in existence.
Yes, it does sometime appear in the elem on some engsi/ensi but that relationship is surely nothing anyone, besides the ignorant and greedy, could hang their hat on in declaring a piece of this ilk is an engsi/ensi.
We have written about this before and am sure we will, again, breach the subject when another severely challenged wannabe turkomaniacal ruggie, like the seller of this rug, tries to float a similarly non-distinguished small format Turkmen rug as an engsi/ensi.
By the way, and once again to repeat our position: We highly doubt the currently accepted rug-lore that the rug type we call engsi/ensi were door-covers for ordinary yurts.
Our views on this topic were expressed in the descriptions to some of the engsi/ensi we published in the Turkmen Trappings exhibition that remains posted on the Weaving Art Museum website.
Here is the url and we suggest any reader interested in the engsi/ensi questions read what we have written: