Carpets from Turkmenistan


The early history of the Saryk tribe is somewhat similar to that of the Tekke and the Yomut.

Mahmud Kashghari does not mention them in the 11th century and neither did Rashid in the 14th century. Abul Ghazi is the first to talk about the Saryk (and many other tribes) during the rule of Sufiyan Khan, sovereign of Khiva (1525 until 1535).

Along with the Salor, Tekke and Yomut, he described them as part of the Tashki Salor (outer Salor) group(59). One member of the Salor was a man named Toy Tutmas. He is considered to be the first ancestor of the Saryk and Tekke(60), according to one interpretation of the tribe’s ancestral background.

Initially, the Saryk lived in Mangyshlak, along with all the other Turkmen tribes. After the reign of Abul Ghazi, during the rule of Sufiyan Khan (1525 until 1535), this group inhabited the Great Balkan Mountain region. With the help of the Shah of Persia, Isfendiyar Khan(the older brother of Abul Ghazi) the Saryk began to move militarily against his brothers Habasch and Ilbars in 1616. They, his brothers, had staged a rebellion against their father Arab Muhammad. In consequence, the Saryk, or at least part of them, formed an alliance with the Balkan Turkmen and merged with the Tekke and the Yomut(61).

To this day we know very little about how long they lived in this region or when they left and began to move east. In 1653, Abul Ghazi waged his last attack on the Eymur or Imrili forces in Fudj (or Fauj, most likely an area in the region of Behardin). He told of encounters with a few Saryk close to the region of the Dinar spring by Uzboy. Though we may not know when the tribe arrived in Chaharjui, it is important to recognize the Saryk spent quite some time there.

The writings of Shah Murad (1785), ruler of Bokhara, tell us when the Saryk left this area and moved into Merw, an event already referred to when talking about the Salor. The Saryk tribe must have forced the Salor to move from Merv to Yolatan, who then in turn uprooted the Kizil Ayak of Pandeh(a Persian word meaning five villages) forcing them to resettle in Maruchak. A short time later the Saryk moved into the South, towards Pandeh and Takhte Bazar. Of course, the Salor were once again losers in this game, as they had to leave the region. By the middle of the 19th century, Pandeh is under full control of the Saryk, where they continue to live presently.

In the following section, I will describe the tribal structure of the Saryk according to Hermann Vambery(62). He declared they were divided into five main groups (Tayefeh) and several clans (Tireh):

  1. Herzegi:
    1. Sogunali,
    2. Gulcha,
    3. Kojali Kizil,
    4. Beden, and
    5. Kann libash (Yerki, Janibeg, Kurama, Yatan, Yapagy).
  2. Khorassanli:
    1. Kazanji,
    2. Mamatai, (Bedench, Khodashli, Kisil, Huseinali)(63).
  3. Alishah:
    1. Ustalyk,
    2. Enish, (Kojak, Bogacha, Huseinkara, Saad, Okensis).
  4. Sukhti:
    1. Dagdi Kuli,
    2. Erden (Yapyr, Mumatay, Kurd, Kadyr)
  5. Bairahch:
    1. Jani Beg,
    2. Erki Guram, and
    3. Sidlik (Kanlibash, Kulcha, Sud Shan).