Home > Archive >Some People Just Don’t Get It
email: jack@rugkazbah.com
Thu, Mar 18th, 2004 02:20:14 PM
Topic: Some People Just Don’t Get It

The palaver continues over in clownland. Some thickheaded guy, horst nitz, refuses to believe his rug is a commercially produced floor covering. He dreams it is a piece of history, a genuine expression of ethnographic sentiment. Sorry horstey old bean, it’s not. Far from it, in fact…about as far as you could get without crossing the border to Pakistan, where hunt’s rug was probably made.

While horst realizes it’s not very old, the 100 years he suggests is also off the mark. The rug is recent production face facts.

Here’s the photo again:
The only reason for posting comments about this situation a second time was to include the following, which is a quote from horst:
“This has led us to a situation where apparently even seasoned rug collectors don’t recognize a tribal rug or rug in a tribal tradition when they fall over one, as it doesn’t fit readily into prevailing aesthetic concepts which may be more ideally suited for evaluating the very old in distinction from the relatively recent ones, that is after the end of 19th century.”

The situation he refers to, the influence of Western commercialism on indigenous rug-making traditions, is a valid one as is the idiocy of the commentaries usually posted by professor clown and company. However, the naysayers in clownland who have upset horst got it right this time – it was such an easy one even they couldn’t screw up.

But of course, horst’s ego couldn’t accept the truth about his purchase of a worthless floor rug after talking himself into “knowing” it was a Saryk, and a rare one at that.

This is nothing new for clownland’s people, it has happened before with junk airport-art and commercial rugs paraded around as ethnographic ‘art’.

Nor is it uncommon in the rug world at large.

There are lots of midget-brained posers and pseudo-collectors with supersized egos, too bad there aren’t enough real historic weavings to improve their chances of getting one at that next auction or from that dealer down the road.

Some say : A little knowledge goes a long way but in the rug world it’s more like: A little knowledge is dangerous, very dangerous, right horst??.

Author: jc
email: jack@rugkazbah.com
Thu, Mar 18th, 2004 02:20:14 PM

The uses pre-1850 engsi, as well as any other Turkmen weavings from this period, were originally intended to fulfill are unknown and while some possibilities have been suggested by various types of contemporary research none have been proven positive.

Trying to determine what was done then from what was being done decades or centuries later is worthless. PERIOD.

Does the fact an engsi was pictured in a yurt doorway in 1875 or in 1920 imply the same thing was done earlier? I say absolutely not.

Why? The most obvious reason is because the Turkmen clan societies and their weaving culture underwent such radical changes in the 19th century. It is impossible and foolish to extrapolate finding made then to earlier periods when little or no information of any types is available about them.

There are a two main issues related to Turkmen weavings that need to be considered but so far have been ignored:
1. Was the weaving made by settled, semi-nomadic or nomadic people?

2. Was the weaving intended for secular, domestic use or non-secular, magic/spiritual/religious use?

I have written about these issues in the Turkmen Trappings exhibition on the Weaving Art Museum website :
and suggest anyone who hasn’t read the text there do so, as it’s not going to be discussed here at length again.

Suffice it to say the engsi pictured above is late 19th century. It might have hung in the front doorway of some proud Turkmen’s yurt in 1880 but that doesn’t mean its grandfather or great-great grandfather did or the Turkman's grandfather had or wove one.

The other engsi below it is probably in general terms its great-great grandfather. There are a number of obvious similarities to support this relationship. It is highly specious to expect what happened to the later piece also happened to the older one.

However, it is clear many very old Ersari group engsi were used in some type of activity that caused major damage in the middle of the field, as both these piece demonstrate.

What was this use? Well probably it WASN”T hanging in a doorway, at least one where those entering were walking on the ground!

Turkmen rugs are mysterious and the use of the engsi is just one more area for curiosity. But it is no mystery an engsi like the one above is late and the one below it is much older.

Well at least no mystery to those outside the three ring clown show led by professor steev price=clown and his bunch of jokers who are trying to dicuss the younger engsi.

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