To continue this look at engsi here are another few slides from the work-in-progress powerpoint presentation.
This engsi, like the other in part 1, is one many would date early 19th century. However, even a casual but careful examination of the detail photo and the larger picture of the entire weaving cannot help but demonstrate how incorrect that idea might be.
The material and iconographic qualities that separate very early Turkmen weavings from those of the 19th century are subtle and require ample experience to identify.
One thing is sure there are not many that pre-date 1800, especially engsi.
The weavers of these two were directly connected to the historic weaving culture and, although the former was made in the far western part of Turkmenistan and this one farther east, that weaving culture was prevalent over the many hundreds of miles that separate their physical weaving locations.
The chocolate brown elem panel this one displays is reminiscent of those seen on the hoard of countless later ones made by Tekke weavers. However those are not decorated with chunky archaic halved darynak gol, one rarely used outside of certain Yomut, Kizil Ayak and Ersari groups.
But it is the arresting eight-pointed stars, with kotchak at their top and bottom, strange hand/arm appendages at each side and even stranger small blue anthropomorphic icon at dead center, that demonstrates the archetypal imagery this engsi and very early Turkmen weavings from all groups make manifest.
The scale and proportions are also convincing aspects to justify our dating it circa 1700. Colorwise it, too, displays hues not seen in any 19th century examples.
These two engsi are foolers, they look far younger than they are, but careful study and comparison to the myriad of later weavings make it clear they are far older than they might appear at first glance.