Home > Turkmen Rugs >Review: new hoffmeister collection book Part IV
Wed, Jul 13th, 2011 08:38:05 AM
Topic: Review: new hoffmeister collection book Part IV

“S” group memling gol torba, cat. 5, hoffmeister collection

Tsareva’s next chapter, “Salors and Chodors. Partners or Rivals” has no real continuity with the previous and here too she is spouting off, not about Turkmen ethno-history this time but about ‘color’.

Sorry to be so brutal but that’s what it seems to be when reading passages like these, which are contradictory

But why do some tribes use spectacular bright light shades…..while others prefer really dark purple- red, or sometimes even unattractive purple-browns?

The answer seems to lie in the history of the people….

“…as now we know that colour tonality is influenced by the quality of local soil and water.

It is logical to suppose that a preferred color scheme, originally determined by natural, environmental, or other factors, was adopted as a standard for the tribe’s carpets, regardless of where or how often they moved during the period of inter-Turkmenistan migration beginning in the seventeenth century and ending in the late nineteenth.

OK, which is it? Was a tribe’s color scheme their choice, or was it purely determined by the water and access to dyestuff(which, by the way, unbelievably she omits referencing).

From what RK can read into Tsareva’s jumping back and forth, it seems she is saying it is choice, as this is what the last sentence states. It also seems to be one of the thesis she is struggling to erect, without much success we must add.

If this is the case, then all we can say is hog-wash.

So is this

With radiocarbon dating data available for certain key pieces, peter hoffmeister’s collection is so extensive and representative that it is more than sufficient as a research resource for the study of inter-tribal differences in Turkoman weaving.

Guess we will get no unbiased reportage from Ms Tsareva.

Her next sentence builds this thesis of hers

Tribal devotion to the ground colour adopted by its original confederation is beautifully illustrated by the Arabatchi works (cat. 104-106). Though most of the known products of the tribe come from the northern zone of the Middle Amu Darya region, where the other inhabitants preferred the light scheme, the local Arabatchi still followed a deep violet-red scale, albeit softened by the sweet Amu Darya water compared to the rugs of the Chodor proper.

detail, Arabatchi MC, cat. 104, hoffmeister collection

One example, and a questionable one at that, is not what RK calls evidence to support a thesis but let’s read on.

But before we do let RK point out the quite unusual and extremely rare variation of the chemche minor gol that appears in the bottom few rows. Check it out and remember it, as we will discuss it when we review the Arabatchi chapter.

Well no luck, Tsareva drops another ball. There’s no more discussion of the color topic and, rallye ho, on to the gol.

Honestly, so far we have found Tsareva’s writing to be barely intelligible on the micro level but totally unintelligible on the macro.

By this we mean she can get a sentence or two in order but when it comes to stringing them together in paragraphs she loses and appears to us to be lost in writing words and not in expressing cogent thought.

In discussing gol Tsareva mouths the usual Moshkova ideas but instead of delving more deeply Tsareva comes off like a light-weight, as the following so aptly demonstrates

We do not know how the two great tribal confederations (ed Salor and Chodor) adopted and preserved their very different style of emblems, nor what ancient historic and artistic traditions, as well as pictorial choices can be found behind them. But it is not possible that the shapes of these tribal coats-of-arms arose by themselves, or as a result of the decisions of the tribal community. One of the main unanswered questions is whether the gol were intended as symbols of equality in partnership between tribes, or of challenge to competitors. Nor do we know whether at one time every Oguz tribe had a gol of this type, and only the Salor and Chodor confederations managed to preserve theirs, or if such gols were their exclusive prerogative.

Nothing wrong with asking questions but these Tsareva asks are tired, worn-out, silly or totally impossible to answer.

Plus this next paragraph is, quite frankly, juvenile

What is clear is that in the period of Turkoman political significance, large carpets were valued as family treasures…Yet for us they are much more than that…Thus when we look at them we hear how they whisper:’We are the children of the desert. These are our lives, our beliefs and our symbols. Try to understand us and accept us as we are.

Calling this pseudo-nostalgic mush would not be out of line…perhaps Tsareva should get a dog, sounds like she’s in need of some affection??

Golly gosh, what to say after reading this from an author cracked-up to be an expert??

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