Carpets from Turkmenistan


Igdir was a member of the original Turkmen tribes. We know this because in the 11th and 14th century, Mahmud Kashghari and Rashid al-Din mention him as the 21st grandson of Oghuz Khan, oldest son of Dinkiz Khan and 6th son of Oghuz Khan. Over the last thousand years, this character has played an important role in the history of the East Caspian Turkmen tribes.

Polyakov’s table of tribal movements, which we already have mentioned, put the Igdir ahead of all other southwestern Turkmen tribes for the period between the 11th and the 17th century. From the 11th until the 13th century, they are second place only to the Yazir (Karadashli). They are not mentioned for the period covering the 14th and 15th century. In the 16th and 17th century they assumed first position above the Salor and the Dudurgha, who were another original tribe.(134). They are also listed as members of the Choudor or Hassan Ili alliance.

In 1993, our exhibition catalog “Blumen in der Wüste” (“Like Flowers in the Desert” in English) separated the so-called C-Gol rugs from the Yomut group, presenting them as Igdir(135). We should soon be able to find out when and for how long the Igdir existed as a sovereign tribe. They were an autonomous group in the 17th century and some of their splinter groups stayed independent well into the 18th and probably even the early 19th century.

In the 1970 catalog of the Hamburg Ethnological Museum(136) I wrote about the most recent Igdir rug I had encountered. Then, I stated it could be attributed to three other tribes as well. The rug was eventually, prior to publication, introduced as Igdir, Abdal, Imreli and Karadashli.

The Igdir, along with the Abdal, Burundjuk, Busaji and Choudor Essen Ili form a subgroup of the latter. The frequently mentioned table of Nicolai of Murawiew tells us this much(137).

Julius Klaproth’s account of the second and third decade of the 19th century is less precise and it is safe to assume his information was based on Murawiew.