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Abu Sayid Mehneyi, or Mane-baba

The ancient lands of Turkmenistan abound with the famous personalities – ascetics, prominent figures of their times. One of them is the spiritual mentor Abu Sayid Mehneyi, called Meana Baba. His mausoleum, an architectural monument of the 11th century, not only is known as a specimen of medieval architecture, but also is visited frequently. He was born in 967 in the territory of modern Turkmenistan near Meana village (Mane in Turkmen) in the Kaahka etrap, Ahal velayat, 45 km south-east of the present-day Dushak railway station. In the Middle Ages, that area was called Havaran Sahrasy or Desht-i-Havaran – Havaran steppe. About a thousand years ago, there was a city of Mehne, known as the birthplace of many scientists and poets who bore the prefix to their own name “mehneyi”, which means “born in Mehne”, near the Meana village. The most famous of them was Abu Sayid Mehneyi, an elder of the Khorasan school of mysticism. His full name is Fadlullah bin Abul Khair. His father Abul Khair was an expert in medicinal herbs, imparted pharmaceutical knowledge and practice to his son. Abu Sayid studied for many years in Merv and then in Serahs, where he studied law and interpretation of the scriptures. At that time, he lived in seclusion, indulging in strict ascetic and mystical exercises. In subsequent years, he practiced in Nishapur, Amul, Mehne and Abiverd and often sang, and, according

Carpet Traditions of the Coastal Region

The variety and perfection of Turkmen matting carpets is a result of centuries of creative invention and selection of the most perfect artistic means and the talent of folk craftswomen. In such carpets, dark, brown-red and red-brown tones prevail, and the ornament and colour range differ depending on the traditions of different regions of the country, where their own unique foundations have been accumulated, amazing motives and performance characteristics have been concentrated, and schools that support their original trends and distinctive features of carpet weaving, including techniques for making patterns, have been formed. These skills have survived to nowadays and can be seen in the works of carpet weavers – our contemporaries. It is all the more interesting for specialists to see mutual influence or, on the contrary, adherence to purely local foundations of carpet weaving. There are peculiarities of such art on the Caspian coast in the western part of the country. In cultural studies, “coastal” carpets are called Yomud from the late 19th-early 20th centuries. This area of the Turkmen carpet is an integral part of ancient folk art and is important for the study of their production, the continuation and development of local traditions in the modern look of the Turkmen carpet. Today, an extensive collection of such items are among the exhibits of the Main Museum of Turkmeni

Kyariz — a Miracle of Ancient Hydraulic Engineering

Water is a source of life. Every drop of life-giving moisture is worth its weight in gold in the Karakum Desert, which occupies the largest part of the sacred Turkmen land. This is live water, covered with legends. According to the tradition, from ancient times people treated it with great respect and greeted it, “Essalawmaleýkim, suw aga!” In the ancient written epos Gorkut Ata, Salyr Gazan talked to water as a living being, emphasising that it saw the face of the Almighty. This article is about water and kyarizes, built by our ancestors since ancient times.

A Colourful Symphony of Handmade Art

Woven scarves and shawls have a special place among the famous unique products that are the pride of the Turkmen people. However, the colourful variety of headscarves pales before one of the main attributes for a bride’s dress. This is duypli gynach – a homespun headscarf, rather a shawl, the largest in size and the most impressive in beauty, a handmade art work of ornamental weaving, perfectly complementing the national festive clothes of the Turkmen woman. Almost every family have handkerchiefs, skilfully made with great love, which are kept in grandmother’s chest. The custom of tying the woven shawl duypli gynach on a high headdress boryk or topby, worn by married women, began to be forgotten in the 1960-70s. Today, the woven shawl has regained popularity, and it is often an element of the national wedding ceremony – the change of a girl’s attire for a woman’s one. Further changes are associated with the invention of more convenient forms that do not interfere with work and are consistent with national traditions.

One of the Ma­in Shri­nes of Turk­me­nis­tan

Our Motherland is the realm of the sun, a country with a rich history. The ruins of the ancient states of Central Asia, recognised as unique sights, are located in its vastness like islets of the past. Many architectural monuments and fortifications have been preserved in the territory of modern Turkmenistan. One of them is the Mausoleum of Abul-Fazl, known also as Serahs-baba. It is located not far from the Old Serahs citadel; it is a vivid specimen of the Serahs architectural school that “thundered” as the most skilful all over the world in the Middle Ages. At that time, Serahs was a flourishing city through which caravans passed along the Great Silk Road. The mausoleum that is relatively small size arouses admiration for its monumentality, sophisticated forms, perfection and harmonious proportionality. It was built in the 11th century over the tomb of Sheikh Abul-Fazl; it is famous for its magnificent proportions and decoration, which made it one of the most significant monuments of medieval architecture not only in the Serahs oasis, but also in the Central Asian region.

Indissoluble connection of eras and generations in patterns of turkmen craftswomen

A solemn meeting entitled “Turkmen art of embroidery is our national heritage” took place at the Centre for Public Organisations. The government officials, representatives of public organisations and the media, cultural and art workers and students attended the event. In their speeches, the participants spoke with warmth and pride about the Turkmen art of embroidery, an integral part of the national cultural heritage, reflecting the unique traditions and history of the Turkmen people.

Pistachio Nut on a Children’s Vest

In caring for the younger generation, women created comfortable conditions for children to play outdoors in the hot season and in winter cold. In the seasons of the “temperature swing”, they sewed warm sleeveless jackets of velvety material and embroidered them with fragments of turquoises, carnelians, shells and also with ... pistachio nuts. A similar tradition was observed until the middle of the last century in the Mary velayat, in the settlements of Serahs, Vekilbazar, Tagtabazar, Yoloten and Kushka, where from time immemorial the fruits of this tree were used. The natural grove of pistachio trees is located within the region. Pistachio is a symbol of strength and fertility, its fruits were used to decorate children’s clothes for them to grow up healthy, powerful and hardy, like the tree itself – a long-liver, unpretentious to the environment. This is how the parents wanted to see their child, who, having become an adult, will be able to withstand difficulties, continue the family and have strong offspring, because the true wealth of a person is health and fortitude.

Falcon and Tazy – a Living Chronicle of Harmony

The idea of including falconry in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, preparatory work for which is now underway in our country, goes back to the aesthetic origins of this ancient tradition representing it as an integral part of the intangible heritage of our ancestors. It is deeply symbolic that this is taking place in the year of the 30th anniversary of sacred independence the motto of which is “Turkmenistan – the Home of Peace and Trust”. Living in harmony with the surrounding world, our people wisely measured the laws of their life with it. The ancient pillars of the community of our ancestors with the world of their habitation are based on the culture of respect, the art of efficient use and the tradition of harmony. Such a spiritual and moral norm was inherent in many formulas of human existence, one of which is hunting with birds of prey.

«Oguz ornament» – new Turkmen carpet

In the Epoch of Might and Happiness under the wise leadership of our Esteemed President, a state policy aimed at studying, preserving and spreading the national values of the Turkmen people as a nation, is being implemented. One of the greatest of these values is the Turkmen carpet, which is a unique work of art. It is even more important today to carry out scientific work aimed at the study of ancient specimens of this value, which is the fruit of the great talent of Turkmen women, and the creation of new modern specimens without losing their national identity. Taking advantage of the opportunities created in this area, our deep interest in the art of carpet weaving has led us to create a model of a new Turkmen carpet. Before moving on to the description of the project of the new Turkmen carpet «Oguz Ornament» presented by us, let's look at the history of the origin of the classic Turkmen carpet. As we know, the patterns of Turkmen carpets trace their roots back to ancient times. It summarizes the talents, feelings of fine beauty and patience of the Turkmen people. The art of carpet weaving created in Turkmenistan as a place of human material and spiritual values and the experience of its patterns formed by artistic creativity still retain their classical form. The embroidered patterns on the carpet fill and enrich the talents and philosophical ideas of human nature, the wo

Sacral Artefacts of Dagdan Wood

The hackberry has been grown for a long time in arid countries; these trees are also loved in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Crimea, where they are used to landscape villages and cities and to build field protective belts. It is often called “stone tree” for its hard, strong, heavy and dense wood. The hackberry has strong and elastic wood; in the past, it was used for various household needs, woodwork items and decorative products. The plant also contains glycosides, carbohydrates, polysaccharides, fatty oils, vitamin C and citric acid. The leaves were used for feeding livestock, sometimes silkworms. The bark contains 8-12 per cent of tannins, and this property was used in handicraft tanning and fabric dyeing in the past.

New evidence of the ancient history and invaluable cultural heritage of the nation

Archaeologists Discover Valuable Finds in Abiverd In Turkmenistan, within the framework of the programme, initiated by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for the in-depth study and preservation of the national historical and cultural heritage and the search for its still undiscovered pages, purposeful work continues bringing its worthy results. Another confirmation of this was new artefacts discovered by Turkmen archaeologists during the autumn excavation season at the Abiverd monument in the Kaahka etrap, Ahal velayat.

Modern ceramics – reflection of ancient traditions

The art of ceramics has been known to humankind since time immemorial. Each work is an expression of its era, so it is no coincidence that ceramics is an object of scientific study. In addition, as in carpet weaving, in the art of modern ceramics we can vividly see the traces of art schools of antiquity. In independent Turkmenistan, the work of Turkmen artists reflects national peculiarities and originality of image of various themes and aspects. Especially interesting are works of women ceramists working in this “masculine” form of art, they attract attention with other images, lines and interpretation of themes. Skilled professional masters, representatives of different generations, pass on their experience to young artists and do not get tired of creating unique works from clay, many of which decorate the museums of Turkmenistan and exhibition galleries of many countries.

Well — an Ancient Irrigation Structure

According to popular wisdom, “Digging one well is like building a thousand bridges.” The Turkmen people considered the construction of wells a sacred cause. They are the earliest irrigation facilities that preserved a deep trace not only on the sacred land, but also in the historical and cultural heritage of our bation – one the ancient peoples of world civilisation. The patron of the wells was Shahi-Zinda. Following the centuries-old traditions, people started to work with his name. The tools of well diggers are passed on from one generation to another and have reached our time.

True friend

Autumn has come. The weather has changed. A sudden downpour flooded the village in the blink of an eye. Yesterday Bagul covered the base of a large carpet. Today sister Almagul came to help her in her hard work. The day began as usual – everyone was busy with the housework in the morning. In a word, nothing foreshadowed what would break the usual regularity of life. Bagul was sitting on the trestle bed, going about her business. Having asked her sister to take out a new felt mat from the back room and spread it under the canopy of the house, she got up, and at that moment she saw what caused her blood to freeze in her veins: on the ground, right in front of the trestle bed, lay a huge cobra, which, hissing menacingly, rose to the elbow in length, preparing for the attack. “Snake!” – the girl screamed heart-rendingly. Alabay named Garagyoz, who was sleeping peacefully at that time at the door of the house, having heard the scream, at the same moment rushed to Bagul, and barking tried to drive away the dangerous stranger. A fierce battle began. A huge black snake with lightning lunges tried to hit the dog with its poisonous teeth. Garagyoz stepped on the cobra in an attempt to grab it with his mouth. Dumbfounded with horror, Bagul tried to call out to her mother, but in vain: my mother was sitting in the back room of the house with her older sister, scribbling at a noisy sewing m

VEPALY

Іn ancient times, a shepherd lived in one of the steppe settlements, who spent his entire life herding sheep. He was a shepherd since childhood, so everyone forgot his real name, and everyone, old and young, called him “Çopan” (shepherd) aga. Despite the fact that he was herding sheep alone, he often came to the village. He was present at the wakes and feasts of his fellow villagers, but did not stay long, as suddenly appeared, so suddenly and went to the herd. Once there was a big holiday. One of the guests, noticing the shepherd, who forgot about everything in the world, listened to the ravishing songs of bagshy, sarcastically asked: – Shepherd aga, they say: “Feast is bad for shepherd,” but wherever the village heats the cauldron, you came first. Who are you leaving the herd to? Or are you lying, telling all of us that you are herding sheep? The shepherd turned sternly at the voice: – First of all, I’m not like some people who just think: “Where can I fill my stomach today?” Secondly, these are all people who will share with me both joy and sorrow, and help me in difficult times. And I left it to a friend of mine to look after the herd. The man said sarcastically again: – I don’t believe you can have a friend at a time like this who can be trusted with a whole flock of sheep. Tell me, who is this friend? The shepherd replied:– This is my dog alabay. His name is Vepaly (Faith

On the hills of Dehistan

in his historic speech addressed to the schoolchildren and students on the Day of Knowledge and Student Youth, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov particularly emphasised the importance of the work Turkmenistan – Heart of the Great Silk Road and the historical and cultural heritage in the upbringing of the younger generation. This book tells about Dehistan, located at the crossroads of ancient caravan roads. Its ruins are still visible in the vicinity of the Madav village of the Etrek etrap, Balkan velayat, located 20 kilometres from the ancient settlement. The local secondary school has a museum of history and local lore, where numerous historical finds discovered during archaeological excavations are carefully preserved.

Relying on Ancestors’ Traditions

In the age of rapid technological changes, the problem of bringing up the younger generation is increasingly being heard all over the world. The works by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov raise the theme of family upbringing. His books, speeches and poems glorify eternal truths: love for the Motherland, father’s home, mother, beauty and wealth of the native land and respect for the traditions and customs of the Turkmen people. Arkadag says, “The key goal is to instil pride in young people for our glorious past, today’s happy life and bright future. The sacred words ‘Nation and Homeland’, like a kind of hymn, should become the motto of the life of our boys and girls.” Using historical experience, the Hero-Arkadag always meets with the elders during his trips to the regions of the country and discusses with them important issues not only of local life, but also of national importance.

Outstanding Creation of the People

It is a tradition with the Turkmen people to set up elegant white yurts on the days of national holidays and big festivities, near which scenes of rural life are played out and national sports competitions and games are held. The yurt is an ingenious invention of the ancient peoples of Asia, the most adapted to the nomadic way of life and a dwelling suitable for a comfortable habitation of people. Lightweight, easy-to-assemble and suitable for any climate, yurts have been popular with the nomadic peoples of Asia since the mid-1st millennium AD. Yurts made without a nail are original in terms of architecture.

Patterns of Millennia

In Turkmenistan, one of the most important areas of the state policy is the preservation of the national heritage of the people. The beauty, richness and variety of patterns of items of everyday life that enrich human life take their origin from the depths of centuries. Today we are trying to fill our environment with original, unique items, and by visiting the historical department of the State Museum of the State Cultural Centre of Turkmenistan, we can be sure that this has always been the case. In the collection of metal household objects at the main museum of the country, there are unique items, which in their time were of great value. For example, in the exposition of the hall of Middle Ages, a bronze inkstand with a metal inlay made by the method of cutting is showcased. It dates back to the twelfth century. Its surface is covered with engraved plant, geometric and epigraphic ornaments with alternating pairs of birds. The finest work with a metal surface implies a complex process where first a small hole is cut along the line of the drawing, into which a thin strip of other metal is inserted, then such inserts are gently fastened. This method requires great skills and efficiency, which can be acquired only as a result of the daily practice of working with metal. The elegant details of the drawing give the product a presentable look, which leads to the assumption that at o

Ancient turkmen measurements related with hand

In ancient times, our people created units of measurement associated with the hand, elbow, and fingers. Let's talk about some of them. Finger length — the approximate height or length of one of your fingers.