Posted by R. John Howe on 01-20-2002 10:14 PM:

Tekke vs Yomut Differences

Hi Steve -

I can't help with your design migration questions, but your salon essay threw up some questions for me.

1. One reason that there are few compartmented "tree of life" Turkmen mafrashes is that there are relatively few older Turkmen mafrashes of any sort.

2. I notice that you analyzed the differences between the Tekke and Yomut pieces in this group strictly in termes of design features. Are structural features helpful at all? For example, do any of the Yomut pieces in this group have asymmetric knots open either right or left? Do any of the pieces show only a single pick of weft between knot rows? (Some finer Tekke mafrashes are reputed to be "single-wefted.)

3. You wonder what other pieces might be studied concerning the design migration questions you ask. The ensi is a format seemingly made by all the Turkmen tribes. And a goodly number of older ones appear to have survived. Since the ensi is usually a compartmented design, it might be expected to provide one arena for exploring what design migration, of the sort that interests you here, may have occurred.


R. John Howe

Posted by Steve Price on 01-21-2002 06:21 AM:

Hi John,

Structural information on these pieces would be interesting, but I have access to that for only a few of them. The 36 in the database are all taken from published sources (except for the illustrated Yomud, which belongs to me), and most of them are just pictures.

If I get time, I may take another look at the sources for structural information.


Steve Price

Posted by R. John Howe on 01-21-2002 07:33 AM:

Steve -

One reason I asked is that I have a little Yomut four-gul mafrash that I had not examined closely and we found recently that it has an asymmetric knot open to the left. More, it has coloration similar to some "eagle group" pieces but does not seem to have any of the other defining features, like cotton or silk in the wefts.

This is the only Yomut piece I know of with an asymmetric open left knot that seems not to be a "eagle group" piece.

There seems some indication that mafrash bags were rather personal articles and weavers might do things in weaving them that they might not do for some other formats. This might sometimes help us sort them out.

It could also work simply to confuse us.


R. John Howe

Posted by Yon Bard on 01-21-2002 09:29 AM:

John, what is the weft color on your piece?

it seems to me that there is a whole continuum of pieces covering the range of structures between 'Yomud' in the narrow sense, and the 'Eagle Gul' groups defined by Rautenstengel. That's why people have started referring to pieces as 'Yomud Group' instead of anything more specific.

Regards, Yon

Posted by R. John Howe on 01-21-2002 08:01 PM:

Yon -

The wefts are medium-dark brown. Slightly depressed warps.

Do you know of a Yomud group piece with a knot asymmetric open left that seems NOT to be an Eagle group piece.

I know that "Yomut" is a reference that cries out for breaking up into sub-groups and while there is the eagle group and the fine-brown group (that seems to overlap the former) and while there are those who assign sub-Yomut names with some seeming confidence, and there is even the undeclared group of seeming Yomut pieces with asymmetric knots, but I know of no way to distinguish even "Yomut" from "Yomut group." Do you?


R. John Howe

Posted by Yon Bard on 01-22-2002 09:29 AM:

John, the closest piece I know of is a chuval that I have with a more or less random distribution of symmetric and asymmetric-left knots. It has the rams' horns secondary border typical of Eagle Gul pieces, but nothing unusual in the wefts.

I think 'Yomud Group' is simply a term that includes all pieces with the general Yomud aspect, including Eagle Gul. Plain 'Yomud' would then refer to the classic pieces with symmetric knots and plain wool wefts.

Regards, Yon