Turkmenistan is the birthplace of silk homespun fabric called “Keteni”. Turkmenistan has successfully practiced sericulture for centuries: homespun fabric due to its durability is appreciated and in demand worldwide. The defining feature of “keteni” is a color that depends on the quality of paint. Dresses made of “keteni” are still the traditional clothing of the bride. Today “keteni” is still a manual craft. This work, as well as any hand-made, is extremely time-consuming. Turkmen masters still use ancient looms called “Tara” that were used in the past, and thus a high quality is reached, which affects the perfection of the decorative ornament.
Turkmenistan is also known worldwide for its magnificent carpets woven by hand. This work can be compared with the real feat. The carpet is a special symbol of the Turkmen people. In Turkmenistan, where each tribe had its own special ornament, the carpet is so sacred that even the national flag has carpet ornaments. Along with strictly geometrical ornament Turkmen carpets contain numerous stylized images of animals: sheep, camels, horses, birds, etc. Fragments of Turkmen carpet represent the stylized image of the Earth in the universe. Ornamentation is focused on the center of the mat. The center represents the sun. Like the Egyptian pyramids concealing a lot of mysteries, ornaments of Turkmen carpets also keep some information which could probably provide access to a unique civilization of Turkmen. To buy them, you have to go to the market or to a special store. Real carpet:is a work of art itself and is quite expensive.
Souvenirs for lower budget can also be purchased here on the market. For example, you can buy national fur headdress – Telpek, which is made of white sheep wool. Also as a souvenir is traditionally suited skullcap. In each country, the Central Asian skullcap has a separate unique design, so the Turkmen skullcap, you can buy only in Turkmenistan.
If you want something more original look for Djul-djul: this is a whistling wind instrument made of ceramic, colorfully decorated externally: it is made in the form of little animals and is decorated. At one time the manufacture technology of whistles has been set aside, but today, when each country aims for the restoration of its traditions – this souvenir can be found in the markets again. Djul-djul has a very pleasant, soft sound that simulates a bird singing.
As an alternative, choose jewelry: bracelets “Bilezik”, “Gulyaka” – medallions, jewelry of carnelian, which have the power, capable of protecting its owner. Turkmen women like massive, heavy jewelry with original paintings, so it is the best place to make such a purchase. This jewelry symbolizes pride, independence and inner strength of Turkmen women, it is massive, cheeky. Therefore, to buy this little piece is worth at least due to its special design. National motifs in jewelry and accessories will bring variety to your style.
So you have many great options of souvenirs to bring from your Turkmenistan holidays for a long memory!
Photos from sources: turkmenistan-kultur.at, travelblog.org, pinterest.com