(Posted on 13/09/14)
Country: Afghanistan, Persia, and Turkmenistan
Category: nomadic, village and workshop
Price range: low/medium to medium
General details Bukhara is a major city in Turkmenistan (formerly Turkestan) which occupied a strategic position on the ancient silk rout to the East. It acted as an important marketing and religious centre – the name is derived from the Sanskrit word for monastery – and a number of Turkoman tribes, mainly the Tekke, traditionally used it as a centre for purchasing provisions and selling their rugs. Originally, the term ‘Bukhara’ was applied to any rug marketed in the town, but today it refers only to those items which employ the traditional tribal gul motifs in their design. Contemporary Bukharas are made by a number of nomadic and semi nomadic weavers in Afghanistan and north-east Persia who belong to the Tekke, Yamut, Saryk, Ersari and other Turkoman tribes. They use both the guls of existing tribes (Tekke, etc,) and modern variations which, despite authentic sounding names do not relate to a specific tribe. Afghanistan also produces items with both authentic and modern guls, but the guls in Persian Bukharas are usually confined to those of the Tekke and Yamut tribes. There are some broad differences between the rugs produced in each country, as well as by individual tribes, but there are no overall disparities in quality, and all Bukharas are justifiably regarded as among the finer examples of tribal textile art.
Resale value: Bukharas have been collected consistently over the years and there is no reason why their popularity should change; they can therefore be considered sound investments, particularly those which have a distinct tribal origin.
Bukhara Carpet circa 1890