Nomadic Legacy – Tents & Textiles of Central Asia and Iran

Category: Exhibitions

Yurt – Kyrgyz round trellis tent
Yurt – Kyrgyz round trellis tent

NOMADIC LEGACY – Tents & Textiles of Central Asia and Iran currently at the Escondido location of the MINGEI MUSEUM  boasts a really grand YURT. This Kyrgyz round trellis tent built by the Osmonaliev family is not the ordinary yurt one would come upon on the steppes of the Kyrgyz or near the Amu Darya River  with the Uzbeks. The organization of it is traditional; opposite the entrance at the rear are stacked the flat-woven rugs, the storage bags, bedding, all covered with a kilim. This is the focal point, in front of which entertaining and dining takes place. Womens’ equipment for cooking and weaving and other tasks is on the right after entering. Mens’ guns, ritual coffee makers, whatever is hung on the left of the entrance.

Afshar double bag, late 19th century
Afshar double bag, late 19th century

The finely carved entrance of this fine yurt is unusual and the presence of chiy (wool-wrapped reed screens) are unique to the Kyrgyz among the pastoral nomads of this broad band of Asia. The reed screens, which provide covering and decoration for the walls near the entrance. were provided by Dr. Fred and Stella Krieger of Los Angeles as were some of the sumptuous ikat robes (see woman’s robe above) and head gear. Other chapans and chalats. the most prized of which are in silk velvet,,were loaned by Dr. David Reisbord from his extensive collection. From Turkmenistan are a group of chyrpys; the embroidered outer garment of Turkmen women, worn high over the headgear and prescribed by color; a rich yellow for elderly women, white for married women and black for unmarried girls.

For all you bag collectors out there , this exhibit includes a wall of stunning saddle bags and bag faces, all Persian. The one shown was donated by Alice and Leslie Orgel of La Jolla. It is the front of a double bag, AFSHAR, late 19th c, wool knotted pile, goat hair tassels.

Location and more information: Mingei International Museum, Escondido, California

Valerie Justin, Sag Harbor NY, March 20, 2009 –

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