Guide to Yomut Rugs, Carpets & Weaving
The History of the Yomut 1855 to 1873
From 1855 to 1867 the Yomut were in revolt against the Khan of Khiva. Library of Congress. This weakened the Khivan Khanate and attracted the attention of Czarist Russia. In 1869 the Russians set out from Port Perovsk (Makhachkala) to establish outposts east of the Caspian Sea. They set up forts at at Krasnovodsk and Chikishlar. It was from Krasnovodsk that the Czarist troops began to probe the Turcomen lands in the east. The Fall of Khiva. “East of Khiva, the Kyzyl Kum north of Bokhara was surveyed and explored by small detachments during 1871 and 1872. Similar missions were performed by troops from Orenburg between Emba and the Aral Sea.” Hinson, The Fall of Khiva.
In the spring of 1873 the Russians attacked. “On May 8, 1873 the Orenburg Column marched into the city of Kungrad, the most important settlement in the northern part of the Khanate. Muhammad Rahim’s forces had abandoned the town only hours before.” Hinson, The Fall of Khiva. The Russians captured Khiva and Khan Sayid Muhammad Rahim II on May 29, 1873. Khanate of Khiva 1511-1920.
“On July 7, Major General Golovachev was sent into Yomut territory, located west of Khiva, with eight infantry companies, eight sotnias of Cossacks, a battery each of guns and rockets, and two mitrailleuses which had been dragged to Khiva by the Tashkent Column. The savagery with which the Yomud Turkmen were punished over the next two weeks came from the Governor-General himself. In his orders to Golovachev, Kaufman stated that the general was to give over the Yomud settlements, and their families, to complete destruction. If the soldiery met any resistance at all, the troops were to “exterminate” the opposition. The resulting slaughter spared neither age nor sex as the Russians, and especially the Cossacks, “rushed about like madmen”.” Hinson, The Fall of Khiva.
“A peace treaty signed on 12 August 1873 established the status of the Khanate as a Russian protectorate. The Khan declared himself the “obedient servant” of the Russian emperor, and all territories of the Khanate on the right bank of the Amu Darya River were annexed to Russia.” Khanate of Khiva 1511-1920 Blocked by his government from annexing the (entire) Khanate, Kaufman managed to force the Khan to cede all of his lands north of the Amu Darya to the conquerors. Furthermore, the Russians obtained the right of residence, the right to trade tax-free in Khiva, and an indemnity of 202 million rubles to be paid over a twenty year period.” Hinson, The Fall of Khiva. The subjugation of the Khanate had little effect on the internal affairs of the country, in which Russia interfered only in order to put down several Turkmen ” Khanate of Khiva 1511-1920
Late 1873 “Short of money for the return to Tashkent, Kaufman ordered the other Turkmen tribes in Khivan territory to pay their shares of the fine, some 301,000 rubles. Becoming somewhat more reasonable, he allowed them to pay half the sum in camels and the other half in either coin or gold or silver jewelry and other objects. They were given from July 21 to August 2 to pay. The punishment of the Yomut had its desired effect on the other Turkmen bands. At the deadline, some 92,000 rubles had been collected, and as there was evidence of intent to pay, Kaufman allowed an indefinite extension to the payment deadline. To insure full payment, he took 26 hostages from among the families of Turkmen notables.” Hinson, The Fall of Khiva.
So what does this mean to us as rug collectors?
So 1873 becomes the a crucial defining point. When I say “early” I mean pre-1873. The rugs from before the Czarist era are very different from Yomut rugs of 1880 – 1890. The latter we go the more predictable and mechanical in execution the weave becomes. I suggest that pieces like this Asmalyk were woven as dowry pieces. That the added care and extravagance of offset knotting is a sign of special care for traditional use in the context of the Yomut Turkmen wedding. In the Czarist era these dowry pieces became the exception and the vast majority of Yomut weaving was commercial weaving for the Russian market.
As to age it is difficult to narrow down age too much. Besides the Czarist invasion there was also the revolt against Khiva and the dispersal of the tribe. Some of what some people call circa 1870 may actually be 1920 and some of what we call “early” may be well before 1870 but I suggest that evidence of variation in structure may give us important clues to figuring out which is which.
Origin: Central Asia, West Turkestan, ca. 1850
In good condition with high pile and shining wool, patinated colors. Sides overcast, minimal losses to ends without affecting the knotted elems.
Yomut Rug in Brocaded Flatweave
Yomut brocaded flatweave, West Turkestan, circa 1890
Contains white cotton highlights.
Size: 6 ft. 9 in. x 3 ft. 5 in.
Van-Ham Jomud, c.1900
Rare Jomud Main Carpet
This is a rare Jomud main carpet, TURCOMAN, circa 19th century. Slight losses to pile, salvaged. Size: 8 ft. x 5 ft. 9 in.
The Vojtek Blau Yomut C-gul Main Carpet
A Yomud C-gul main carpet, West Turkestan mid-19th century. Stains, moth damage, foldwear, selvage fraying in areas. Approx. 9 ft. 5 in. x 5 ft. 6 in.
Yomud “Audience” Carpet
Origin: Central Asia, West Turkestan, 2nd Half 19th Century
Size: Approx. 8 ft. 5 in. x 5 ft.
The Cocoon Yomut Kepse Gul Main Carpet
Yomud Main Carpet. Size: 9 ft. 9 in. x 6 ft.
The Dodds Yomut Carpet
Three rows of clearly articulated Tauk-Nuska guls with crests and large diamond-shaped secondary ornaments containing archaic tree forms with sky blue and green ground colours are organized over the liver brown field.
Size: 12 ft. x 5 ft. 10 in.
Region: Central Asia – Turkmen – Yomut
Item Type: Rugs and Carpets – Runner/Long Rug
Period / Date: 19th century – early (1800 – 1833)
Comments on Condition: There is overall wear, a small patch, and reweaves.
Yomut Main Carpet
This Yomut main carpet was woven in Turkmenistan in about 1850 and is in good condition. It does have some re-weaves.
The Wiedersperg Yomut C-Gul Main Carpet
First half 19th century.
Size: 5 ft . 8 in. x 8 ft. 3 in.
Warp: Wool, ivory, Z2S
Weft: Wool, 2Z, 2 shoots
Pile: Wool, 2Z
Colors: dark brick red, dark blue, light blue, blue green, pale yellow, rust red, dark brown, ivory
No original selvages or end finishes
Yomut Main Carpet
Origin: Central Asia, West Turkestan, 1st half 19th century
Size: 9 ft. 5 in. x 5 ft. 1 in.
This is an impressive main carpet of fine workmanship, evenly knotted. The large tree forms in both elems are special attractions. Sides not original, but in overall very good condition.
Yomut Main Carpet
Origin: Central Asia, West Turkestan, early 19th century
Size: 9 ft. 8 in. x 6 ft.
An early Tauk Nuska main carpet with lively colours and silky wool. There is some moth damage, a few tears, and tiny holes. The shirazi needs repair in places. Good pile.
1 ft. 4 in. x 1 ft. 4 in.
Region: Central Asia, Turkmen, Yomut
Item Type: Rugs and Carpets, Bags and Trappings, Bokche
Antique Yomut Bokche
Size with flap opened: 2 ft. 2 in. x 3 ft. 3 in. Flap closed: 2 ft. 2 in. x 2 ft. 2 in.
Condition: Very good. Added section on back of kilem. Slight areas of moth damage (nothing serious.) Complete with original edges & multi-colored braided fringes.
This Yomut bokche was made about the turn of the century in Turkmanistan and is in excellent condition.
Origin: West Turkestan, first half 19th century
Northeast Persian Yomud Djaffabai Kilim, Late 19th C.
Description: Yomud Djaffabai
Origin: Northeast Persia, late 19th c.
Size: ca. 258 x 119 cm
Condition: Original sides, ends slightly reduced, traces of wear (mainly in the center).
Yomut Namazlyk – Prayer Rug, circa 1800-50
Very Rare and Early Turkmen Yomut Prayer Rug
Size: 111.8cm(W) x 127cm(L) / 3ft.8in.(W) x 4ft.2in.(L)
Region: Central Asia
Period / Date: 1800 – 1850
Condition: Very Good
Comments on Condition: The short pile shows localized wear but is in good condition overall for its significant age, with few minor reweaves. The selveges are mostly original. Sawtooth guard stripe missing along the bottom and partially at the top.
Full Description: This very rare rug displays a distinctive, yet subtly articulated, architectural form of a mihrab at the top of the field, unequivocally identifying this enigmatic weaving as a prayer rug. Woven in a region east of the Caspian Sea, this rug conveys all the design features of a dramatic and unique art weaving. We know of no other example of this type in the literature. The winged eagle (Pinner) ornaments are startling and the palette is very diverse with three shades of indigo, including green, and three shades of madder, including apricot. The prolific use of true camel hair in the details is unusual in Yomut family weavings. Note the variations in main border elements as the weaver changes from archaic curled-leaf motifs to ashik forms to stepped polygon “Memling” type medallions. It is a stunning collector piece. Very special.
C. 1800 Yomud C-gul carpet
West Turkestan, circa 1800, remnants of flatwoven ends, rewoven and repiled areas, reselvaged, approximately 10 ft. 6 in. by 5 ft. 8 in. (3.20 by 1.73m.)
Warp: wool, Z2S, natural ivory and brown
Weft: wool, Z, 2 shoots, natural brown
Pile: wool, symmetric knot
Density: 10H, 15-16V
Ends: 1/4″ ivory kilim, then warp fringe
Colors: purple-brown, rust-red, deep blue, medium-blue, blue-green, yellow, ivory, walnut
The carpet offered here belongs to the extremely rare group I of Yomud C-gul carpets. These carpets are described as having the serrated or C-guls (common to all so-named C-gul carpets) and two or more other gul types as group I. The present carpet features the C-gul as well as the curled-edge palmette gul and the transitional gul, and thus belongs to group I.
Yomut striped carpet 19th c.
Central Asia, West Turkestan, 19th c. ca. 251 x 141 cm. Function and iconography of such striped carpets are not yet fully researched. Slight damage to sides, losses to the ends, rolled-in or damaged corners, pile low.