After many decades of interest and study Turkmen rugs and their ubiquitous gol medallions are still little understood.
Fact is although much has been written and said about the Turkmen rug it remains the most mysterious and unknown weaving genre bar none.
Today there are many collectors of Turkmen rugs, and as it appears to RK there is more concentration on these weaving than at any other time, but still a myriad of questions remain.
Perhaps the most central question concerns the gol medallions, their meaning and of course their source(s) and how they developed.
One clue is the earliest Turkmen weavings, at least those that are considered to be the earliest, have the most articulated and developed iconography, while later examples exhibit far less sophistication.
This is highly unusual and implies several important considerations, perhaps the most important being there are unknown, or is it just unrecognized, group(s) of Turkmen weavings which are the source.
But before we try to demonstrate what we believe might be one of these we would like to say a few words about “gol and gul”.
In our research we have read much about these gol/gul, in fact there is no consensus as to what is the correct term or what its meaning actually is. We prefer, for no explainable reason or rational, gol and will use it from now on forgoing any debate as to why.
The ideas put forward by Moskova concerning her concept of live vs dead gol appear to us to be quite valid, however, we do not agree 100 percent with her theory.
We do believe when certain groups of Turkmen were amalgamated with others their gol emblems became less important.
This idea is a basic one we have great faith in believing but many of the other ideas Moskova and others have suggested are, in our opinion, far less probable.
Everyone will have to agree we know next to nothing about Turkmen rugs or their iconography, and with this as a backdrop RK would like to suggest a new methodology to explain how these gol were originally used, and then extrapolate how they developed into the codified emblems seen on post- archaic period weaving.
The fragment we pictured earlier is for us a Rosetta Stone and the lynch-pin of our theorizing.
We also believe it will become as time goes on a very important reference point for understanding the Turkmen rug.
We will in the next part of this discussion explain just exactly what this fragment is all about and what it means for Turkmen studies.