NEWS

The Eternal Symbol of Purity and Wellbeing

In ancient times, the zoomorphic motif was a favourite one in the visual and applied arts of the peoples of Central Asia. At the early stages of human development, the depictions of animals were closely associated with the concept of a totem and an animal ancestor and can be found most often in ceramics. These include a fish, which is known from ancient times. Our ancestors genetically linked it to the water element. In ancient times, fish figurines were worn as an amulet (a pendant fish from the Amudarya hoard of the 5th-4th centuries BC and the depictions of fish in New Nisa of the 2nd century BC). Beads made of fish vertebra most likely played a ritual and magical role in human life. The depictions of certain animals, birds or fish, forming ornamental belts, is common to stamped ceramics of Merv of the 12th-early 13th centuries. The model of the world was perceived through some kind of zoological code. There was a clear system: birds are the personification of the “heavenly” life; animals are the personification of “earthly” life and the creatures of the underworld – snakes, frogs and fish as a link between life above and below the earth.

Legends about Mystical Gozli-Ata

Turkmen oral folklore is rich and diverse. Sagas, legends and stories about historical places and personalities of Turkmenistan are passed on from one generation to another, for example, legends and stories about Gozli-ata, which means saint grandfather. The mausoleum in the Balkan velayat in the west of Turkmenistan, where, according to legend, he was buried, is named in his honour. According to historical information that Turkmen scientists refer to, Gozli-ata was a descendant of the third “righteous” caliph. The outstanding Turkmen poet Magtymguly mentioned him, addressing another poet, “If you are a descendant of Gozli-ata, then we are from the Gerkez people.”

“Paradise” Horses – Our Wealth

Like exquisite Turkmen carpets, Turkmen alabay, ak bugday wheat, musical instrument dutar and gold and silver jewellery, Ahalteke horses have been the pride of our ancient and wise people and part of their national wealth. It was in the fertile land of the Turkmen that many centuries ago, the cult of the purebred Ahalteke horse as a faithful and dependable companion along the centuries-old path of historical development emerged, and today it has become a vivid symbol of the economic strength of the Turkmen state, unity, cohesion and prosperity of the people. Modern science recognises that Ahalteke horses rank among the most ancient breeds among the known 250 horse ones. Nearly every encyclopaedia says the Ahalteke breed is that of riding horses developed by folk selection in the territory of modern Turkmenistan, presumably about 2500–3500 years ago that has greatly influenced many other well-known horse breeds.

The beauty of nature awakes creativity

The earliest abstract signs were carved on rock surfaces eight thousand years ago. Primitive drawings could be called a test of the pen of the first artists and also the beginning of the development of the ancient art of creating ornamentation. Subsequently, patterns became more and more complex and more perfect, and the variety of pictorial forms of patterns and techniques for their application increased. The elements of drawing were already arranged in a strict order, spirals, triangles and rhombuses were more clearly visible. So, fixing their life experience and outlook in visible images, people deepened and expanded their understanding of the world around them. Such drawings were always based on a sign, and accompanying ornamental field in different cultures carries elements of the eternally “living”, developing folk art and local artistic traditions.

Legendary Architects of Turkmenistan

“The mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar is one of few buildings in Merv that survived the Mongol devastation and subsequent wars. It can still be seen from afar on the way to Old Merv. According to Yakut (13th century), the blue dome of the mausoleum was visible at a distance of one day’s journey of the caravan, and this is about 30 kilometres! Inside the building, high under the domed vault, the name of the master who led the construction has been preserved. His name was Muhammed Atsiz al-Sarahsi. And although nothing else is known about him, the very creation of his allows us to understand that he was a great architect of his time. Scientists found out that the system of a double-walled brick dome, invented by him, was repeated only three centuries later in distant Italy, in the covering of the dome of the main cathedral of Florence.” President of TurkmenistanGurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOV

Turkmen national dish: Unash

Traditionally, unash, one of the popular Turkmen national dishes is a noodle soup which is made of thin Turkmen macaroni. It is a good meal for digestion and its preparation is simple, and moreover, it is often cooked in our homes because it is loved by adults and children too. Among our people, different types of unash are prepared, such as flavored unash, unflavored unash, unash with beans. Chicken soup is a good digestive, appetizing, relieving pneumonia in the lungs, improving the condition of the bones, connective tissues and having a positive effect on the nervous system and strengthening the body's resistance to various diseases. Today, different types of unash products are also produced in industrial enterprises of the country. Among Turkmens, if someone says «I’m cold» or «I have caught a cold», it is immediately said: «Have unash with pepper, and sleep for awhile. You will recover from your disease immediately». There is no Turkmen woman who cannot cook unash with medicinal effect which has been known since ancient times. The unanimity of our parents in mastering the Turkmen cuisine is not only at the level of taste, but also as a unique remedy for the flu, cold, and fatigue. When this dish is cooked, its dough is first made only with water and salt, and sometimes with a single egg. The reason for adding enough salt to the dough is that it has a positive eff

The Original Design of the Turkmen Felt Rug

The people, who have preserved the traditions of culture, everyday life and art, always have a fertile soil for the prosperity of professional decorative and applied arts. Over the centuries, in songs, fairy tales, epics, folk festivals, dances and household items, people have tried to express their understanding of life, nature and the world in an artistic form. The ancient skills of hand making of felt carpets are still preserved in many Turkmen villages. To this day, felt rugs remain an integral attribute of the everyday life of any Turkmen family. Since ancient times, the Turkmen have called their house a felt house. Felt covered the yurt, it protected the residents from the sun, wind and moisture, insulated and decorated floor, turned walls into a carpet art gallery. Felt rugs served as blankets for horses and cloaks for shepherds. In the hands of the Turkmen, wool turned into handmade pictures that deserve to be called masterpieces of decorative and applied arts.

Tamdyr: Traditions of Baking

The purpose of modern museums is to study, preserve and promote the historical heritage of the Turkmen people, who have centuries-old rich history and culture. The ethnography department of the State Museum of the State Cultural Centre of Turkmenistan has a rich collection of national clothes, jewellery and household items. Since farming was the main economic sector of the Turkmen people, many exhibits tell about the labour of grain growers and associated practices. After reaping a rich harvest, dayhans held special celebrations in honour of this event so that subsequent years would be good for the crops. These centuries-old traditions continue to this day.

A small Universe accomodating happiness

This folding house is one of the unique achievements of the Central Asian peoples. Its structure as a whole is the same, but the originality of each of them is manifested in the features of the external and internal design. Often decorated with felt and woven products, embroidery and artistic carvings, the yurt for the Turkmen was not just a dwelling, but something larger. The mobile assembled yurt ideally corresponded to the basic principle of nomadic life: it is a camp house – “All that is mine I carry with me.”

Decorative Items from Shehrihaybar

In a new historical era, priority importance is attached to the study and preservation of the literary and cultural heritage, national traditions, tangible and intangible values for future generations. Setting the tasks of promoting the glorious history and ancient monuments of the Turkmen people, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov approved the State Programme of archaeological excavations at the monuments in the regions of the country along the Great Silk Road for 2018–2021. The historical monuments of particular interest that appeared due to the Great Road that ran through the territory of our Motherland include the medieval settlement of Shehrihaybar. The settlement, located 10 kilometres north of the Geoktepe railway station and adjacent to the northern outskirts of the eponymous farmers’ association in the Ahal velayat, became a subject of research. In the past, the settlement was located along one of the routes of the Nisa–Khwarezm section of the Great Silk Road. It was an important centre of trade and crafts of the region.