A Turkmen Man With His Wife
circa 1900-02

A Turkmen man poses for the camera with his wife. Her relaxed manner suggests how comfortable she is with her man. Note her elbow resting on his shoulder with her leg leaning against his body. Clearly, Islamic strictures have not intimidated this woman. She is a forceful woman with unusual presence. The classic Tekke Turkmen chyrpy is draped over her head, with an abundance of silver across her chest. In her left hand, she holds a weaving utensil, a comb used to pack the knots down while he is holding his small water pipe for tobacco. . In this photo, we have a chance to view the husband of this much looked upon woman. One wonders how he would have felt knowing so many strange men over the years have cast their gaze upon her unveiled image. Her demeanour suggests she would not have cared how he felt and his slightly furrowed brow indicates he had little say in matters concerning her modesty or her actions. One must assume she was a very independent soul but very loyal to her man.

Situated in front of them is a mixed technique small khorjin. This khorjin may be Tekke or possibly is an Ersari weaving. I do not recall seeing any Tekke khorjins woven in this mixed technique style, while Ersari khorjins are not uncommon, though the flatwoven center dividing the two sides of the khorjin appears to be Tekke work