Central Asian Rugs

Central Asia is that vast swathe of deserts and mountains that lies between the Caspian Sea and the western provinces of modern-day China. Inhabited chiefly by peoples of Turkic origin, this area has a long tradition of nomadic weaving, divided broadly into two groups. The Turkmen tribes from the west weave carpets, tent bags and saddle bags characterised by rich red and brown colours, and by the frequent use of the gul motif. In East Turkestan (now Xinjiang, Chiana), carpets were once woven in several oasis towns along the Silk Route, such as Khotan, Yarkand, and Kashgar, and traded westward via the Uzbek trading post of Samarkand. These textiles are distinguished by an intriguing blend of Persian and Chinese motifs.