Category Archives: Turkmenistan

Chyrpy: An Embroidered History of Turkmenistan

Tekke woman wearing a traditional chyrpy

That is exactly what a chyrpy from Turkmenistan is: a beautiful garment (a woman’s mantle) that embodies the fascinating culture of the tribal peoples of this ancient and mystic land.

Turkmenistan: at the crossroads of civilisation

Predominantly desert, Turkmenistan is one of the five former Soviet republics in Central Asia and is bordered by Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and the Caspian Sea. In the south, Merv was once one of the great cities of Islam, rivalling Damascus, Cairo and Baghdad, and today its spectacular ruins are one of three World Heritage sites in present-day Turkmenistan – the others being the ancient capital Konye-Urgench and Nisa, one of the first capitals of the Parthians.

The Turkmen people originated from the Mongolian Oghuz tribe and have a turbulent history. Feared throughout much of the region for their pillaging horseback raids on trade caravans of the historical Silk Road, they were known for taking slaves to be sold at markets in Khiva, Samarkand or …

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