Re: Turkmen vs. NW Persian

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Posted by Steve Price on April 25, 1999 at 20:39:14:

In Reply to: Re: Turkmen vs. NW Persian posted by Michael Wendorf on April 25, 1999 at 19:44:59:

Dear Michael and Yon,

I don't find it very surprising that the designs, palettes, motifs, techniques, etc. differ considerably. We see this sometimes even between peoples whose territory abut each other.

What I find surprising, or at least noteworthy, is the difference in the THINGS they made. Torba, juval, spindle/spoon bag, Turkmen mafrash in the Turkmen groups; cargo bags, salt bags in NW Persian.

Consider how strange it might seem if, for example, one group used chests with drawers while the other used cabinets with hangers as the item in which to keep their clothes, and if all the household furnishings differed to this degree from one group to another. This is almost exactly exists. The woven bags are the household furniture. There is almost nothing in common except that it is mostly woven with wool as the main material.

It is surely a reflection of a profound cultural difference, but that is more nearly a restatement of the observation than an explanation of how it arose and why. The matter may turn out to be unanswerable (if I knew the answers I wouldn't have raised the questions), but I don't think that is so self-evident as to make asking the questions totally frivolous.

Steve Price

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