Weaved canvas of history

Weaved canvas of history

By Turkmenistaninfo.ru

 

The All-Russian Decorative Art Museum has invited Moscow residents and guests to see a unique Turkmen carpet, the only show-piece at the exhibition. The carpet named “Endurance Riding” was made at the Ashkhabad Carpet Factory in 1937 and dedicated to events of the endurance riding of Turkmen equestrians from Ashkhabad to Moscow in 1935. Organizers of the exposition had every reason to create the exhibition of just one show-piece, the story of the carpet and the events related to it have no analogies in history.

A group of Akhal-Teke and Yomut horse riders left Ashkhabad and headed to Moscow in the summer of 1935. Thirty riders travelled 4,300km in 84 days. They travelled 350km through Karakumy, the Ustyurt Plateau, the crossing of the Kazakh steppes, the Russian forest zones.

The rally had military goals: cavalry was still part of the armed forces then, the endurance and strength of Turkmen horses needed testing. All the participants of the rally succeeded. The Akhal-Teke horses proved their endurance and reliability. Newspapers then had proof of the joyful meeting of equestrians in the capital of the country. Moscow residents were waiting for them at the Abelmanovskaya Zastava, forming a line along the street. People threw flowers to the riders.

The participants of the rally became national heroes. No wonder they were chosen as the story for the carpet made by talented Turkmen weavers using designs of the artist A. Savostin.

77 years later, staff of the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum decided to show the unique Turkmen carpet to the public. The carpet had never been demonstrated to Russians before. It was only seen at the 1939 New York World Fair.

Organizers of the exhibition gave the event a symbolic, original tone. The appearance of a real live Akhal-Teke horse in the yard of the old Moscow 18th-century mansion of Count Fedor Osterman, where the museum is situated, allowed people to feel the breath of the events.

The stallion from the Moscow Agricultural Academy named after Kliment Timiryazev amazed people with its natural perfection. The horse was warmed by horsecloth made from Turkmen felts, a koshm, when the temperature in Moscow was -17 degrees Celsius. The stallion was posing for photo and video cameras, demonstrating its unique gracefulness that could not be left without applause.

The single exhibit was given a separate hall, where chronicles of films and photos of the 1930s were demonstrated on screens, taking visitors into the historical atmosphere.

The unique carpet has a size of 331 x 202 cm, with a total area of 6.72 square meters. The artist wanted to show participants of the rally in motion, which is complicated on carpets with naps. The central field consists of 15 equestrians pictured in a complicated line with a curve going upwards. It is evident that the weavers were trying to make detailed features of people, many equestrians are recognizable.

Despite technical norms, the carpet was made from cotton paper threads, due to their durability. The carpet has naps only 2-2.5mm long, 4,800-5,000 knots per square decimeter, giving such a realistic depiction of the equestrians and the liveliness and individuality of the horses. The picture has a linear perspective with oriental elements: the figures in the background were made smaller in contrast with the ones closer.

Yulia Kuznetsova, a member of the Horse-Breeding Museum of the Kliment Timiryazev Moscow Agricultural Academy, studied the carpet scrupulously a few years ago and can tell a lot about the characters depicted on it: “In the left bottom corner of the carpet, in close up, there is the commander of the rally S. Sokolov. He wears the uniform of the border forces – a white coat, with belts of a map-board and a revolver. The horse of the commander has an officer’s saddle, without bags and holsters, the horse has a halter-bridle. It is typical cavalry equipment, it can be seen on all the other horses.

The other equestrians wear national clothes: red silk quilted robe (don) and fur sheepskin hat (telpek) of white, black and brown colour. All equestrians are equipped with rifles, as it was during the rally.”

The commander is followed by a seif-dune, a brigadier of the Aytakov collective farm of the Tezhensky District Gabysh Mamysh. He is 55 years old, he is easy to recognize by his grey beard. The third rider on the orange horse is Nepes Karakhan from the Voroshilov collective farm of the Yerbentsky District, the best expert of the Karakum sands. The fourth is Ak Telpek Nagy, a rider from the Kunya Urgenchsky District, nicknamed for constantly wearing a white telpek. The fifth one on the white horse is probably Sapar Kuli Sakhat Berdy, the elder of the rally, a native from the Stalin collective farm in the Tejensky District. The sixth rider is obviously Yanar Anna Oraz, an equestrian from the Udarnik collective farm in the Geoktepinsky District. The faces of the other riders do have individual features, but they are hard to recognize. Other features, such as horse colours, cannot help identify them.

Concerning the depiction of the horses, it is hard to consider them authentic, although it is apparent that the weavers were trying to show different shades, individual elements on the head and hooves and even features of the exterior. Some circumstances are still dubious. It is well-known that the commander of the rally had a chestnut horse named Orlik with a big white line on its head. The commander’s horse is depicted as orange without any line. The same goes for the horse of Gabysh Mamysh, he had a grey stallion named Kir At, yet the horse on the carpet is chestnut. Considering the fact, we will not try to guess the names of the horses. Perhaps the authenticity of the rally was sacrificed for the artistic idea of the carpet.

One of the horses had an amazing fate. The horse was expected to show the best results in speed and endurance during the rally, it was given as a gift to Kliment Voroshilov. It was a grey horse named Arab, he was left in Moscow after the rally. The stallion had great riding qualities and exterior, it became the forerunner of a special line of Akhal-Teke horse-breeding and produced many elite offspring. The horse was chosen by Marshal Georgy Zhukov for the Victory Parade. The grey tone of Akhal-Teke horses gets lighter with time, so Zhukov was recorded riding a light-coloured horse in films.

For many of the visitors gathered at the opening of the exhibition at the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum it was the first time they had heard and seen this. Formally an element of decorative art, the unique carpet became an important historical document capable of lifting a huge stratum of time, describe an astonishing event. Yelena Titova, the director of the museum, told the guests about the great work done by the organizers of the unusual exhibition: enthusiasts and researchers, connoisseurs of horse-breeding and carpet-making.

The Moscow show-piece has a twin brother. Two years after the weaving of the first carpet at the Ashkhabad Factory, existing designs and schematics were used to create another carpet which differed from the first one in big differences in ornamentation. The carpet is still stored in Ashkhabad.

Officials of the Turkmen Embassy in Russia told participants of the exhibition about the cult of Akhal-Teke horses in modern Turkmenistan. Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, a fan and expert of Akhal-Teke horses, controls development of equestrianism and horse-breeding.

Information about the opening of the unusual exhibition quickly spread around small diasporas of Turkmen students studying at Russian higher education centers. Collective requests to see the expositions enthused museum staff with sincere interest expressed by young people in the legendary history.

By Turkmenistaninfo.ruThe All-Russian Decorative Art Museum has invited Moscow residents and guests to see a unique Turkmen carpet, the only show-piece at the exhibition. The carpet named “Endurance Riding” was made at the Ashkhabad Carpet Factory in 1937 and dedicated to events of the endurance riding of Turkmen equestrians from Ashkhabad to Moscow in 1935. Organizers of the exposition had every reason to create the exhibition of just one show-piece, the story of the carpet and the events related to it have no analogies in history.A group of Akhal-Teke and Yomut horse riders left Ashkhabad and headed to Moscow in the summer of 1935. Thirty riders travelled 4,300km in 84 days. They travelled 350km through Karakumy, the Ustyurt Plateau, the crossing of the Kazakh steppes, the Russian forest zones.The rally had military goals: cavalry was still part of the armed forces then, the endurance and strength of Turkmen horses needed testing. All the participants of the rally succeeded. The Akhal-Teke horses proved their endurance and reliability. Newspapers then had proof of the joyful meeting of equestrians in the capital of the country. Moscow residents were waiting for them at the Abelmanovskaya Zastava, forming a line along the street. People threw flowers to the riders.The participants of the rally became national heroes. No wonder they were chosen as the story for the carpet made by talented Turkmen weavers using designs of the artist A. Savostin.77 years later, staff of the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum decided to show the unique Turkmen carpet to the public. The carpet had never been demonstrated to Russians before. It was only seen at the 1939 New York World Fair.Organizers of the exhibition gave the event a symbolic, original tone. The appearance of a real live Akhal-Teke horse in the yard of the old Moscow 18th-century mansion of Count Fedor Osterman, where the museum is situated, allowed people to feel the breath of the events.The stallion from the Moscow Agricultural Academy named after Kliment Timiryazev amazed people with its natural perfection. The horse was warmed by horsecloth made from Turkmen felts, a koshm, when the temperature in Moscow was -17 degrees Celsius. The stallion was posing for photo and video cameras, demonstrating its unique gracefulness that could not be left without applause.The single exhibit was given a separate hall, where chronicles of films and photos of the 1930s were demonstrated on screens, taking visitors into the historical atmosphere.The unique carpet has a size of 331 x 202 cm, with a total area of 6.72 square meters. The artist wanted to show participants of the rally in motion, which is complicated on carpets with naps. The central field consists of 15 equestrians pictured in a complicated line with a curve going upwards. It is evident that the weavers were trying to make detailed features of people, many equestrians are recognizable.Despite technical norms, the carpet was made from cotton paper threads, due to their durability. The carpet has naps only 2-2.5mm long, 4,800-5,000 knots per square decimeter, giving such a realistic depiction of the equestrians and the liveliness and individuality of the horses. The picture has a linear perspective with oriental elements: the figures in the background were made smaller in contrast with the ones closer.Yulia Kuznetsova, a member of the Horse-Breeding Museum of the Kliment Timiryazev Moscow Agricultural Academy, studied the carpet scrupulously a few years ago and can tell a lot about the characters depicted on it: “In the left bottom corner of the carpet, in close up, there is the commander of the rally S. Sokolov. He wears the uniform of the border forces – a white coat, with belts of a map-board and a revolver. The horse of the commander has an officer’s saddle, without bags and holsters, the horse has a halter-bridle. It is typical cavalry equipment, it can be seen on all the other horses.The other equestrians wear national clothes: red silk quilted robe (don) and fur sheepskin hat (telpek) of white, black and brown colour. All equestrians are equipped with rifles, as it was during the rally.”The commander is followed by a seif-dune, a brigadier of the Aytakov collective farm of the Tezhensky District Gabysh Mamysh. He is 55 years old, he is easy to recognize by his grey beard. The third rider on the orange horse is Nepes Karakhan from the Voroshilov collective farm of the Yerbentsky District, the best expert of the Karakum sands. The fourth is Ak Telpek Nagy, a rider from the Kunya Urgenchsky District, nicknamed for constantly wearing a white telpek. The fifth one on the white horse is probably Sapar Kuli Sakhat Berdy, the elder of the rally, a native from the Stalin collective farm in the Tejensky District. The sixth rider is obviously Yanar Anna Oraz, an equestrian from the Udarnik collective farm in the Geoktepinsky District. The faces of the other riders do have individual features, but they are hard to recognize. Other features, such as horse colours, cannot help identify them.Concerning the depiction of the horses, it is hard to consider them authentic, although it is apparent that the weavers were trying to show different shades, individual elements on the head and hooves and even features of the exterior. Some circumstances are still dubious. It is well-known that the commander of the rally had a chestnut horse named Orlik with a big white line on its head. The commander’s horse is depicted as orange without any line. The same goes for the horse of Gabysh Mamysh, he had a grey stallion named Kir At, yet the horse on the carpet is chestnut. Considering the fact, we will not try to guess the names of the horses. Perhaps the authenticity of the rally was sacrificed for the artistic idea of the carpet.One of the horses had an amazing fate. The horse was expected to show the best results in speed and endurance during the rally, it was given as a gift to Kliment Voroshilov. It was a grey horse named Arab, he was left in Moscow after the rally. The stallion had great riding qualities and exterior, it became the forerunner of a special line of Akhal-Teke horse-breeding and produced many elite offspring. The horse was chosen by Marshal Georgy Zhukov for the Victory Parade. The grey tone of Akhal-Teke horses gets lighter with time, so Zhukov was recorded riding a light-coloured horse in films.For many of the visitors gathered at the opening of the exhibition at the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum it was the first time they had heard and seen this. Formally an element of decorative art, the unique carpet became an important historical document capable of lifting a huge stratum of time, describe an astonishing event. Yelena Titova, the director of the museum, told the guests about the great work done by the organizers of the unusual exhibition: enthusiasts and researchers, connoisseurs of horse-breeding and carpet-making.The Moscow show-piece has a twin brother. Two years after the weaving of the first carpet at the Ashkhabad Factory, existing designs and schematics were used to create another carpet which differed from the first one in big differences in ornamentation. The carpet is still stored in Ashkhabad.Officials of the Turkmen Embassy in Russia told participants of the exhibition about the cult of Akhal-Teke horses in modern Turkmenistan. Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, a fan and expert of Akhal-Teke horses, controls development of equestrianism and horse-breeding.Information about the opening of the unusual exhibition quickly spread around small diasporas of Turkmen students studying at Russian higher education centers. Collective requests to see the expositions enthused museum staff with sincere interest expressed by young people in the legendary his

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