"Water is a Turkmen's life, a horse is his wings, and a carpet is his soul"

Turkmenistan, a neighbor of Afghanistan, is a country rich in cultural traditions. Artisans from this region have produced stunning ornamental tiles and mosaics, and skillfully woven rugs. For a Turkmen, carpet making has the same importance as the pyramids do for Egypt. It is one of the oldest arts in Turkmenistan and the surrounding region.  It is mentioned in works of Homer, in ancient Sanskrit epics, and other ancient and medieval writings. Even the Italian explorer Marco Polo referred to Turkmen carpets in his writing.   
The art of carpet weaving was passed from generation to generation. The decorative patterns and colors of the carpets reflect stylized articles of the real world surrounding the region’s nomadic livestock-breeders.

Countries in Central Asian lie on the trade routes between the Far East and Asia, and the Middle East and Europe. This strategic location has meant that for centuries powerful countries have tried to gain power, influence and control over the area creating turmoil in the region.

The night is cool. I wrap myself in my blanket.
Overhead the stars are thousands of bright knots  
in the night’s black rug. I hear the camel’s bleating
and the rustle of the mulberry leaves.

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