History & Culture

Culture, Traditions, and History
“Water is a Turkmen’s life, a horse is his wings, and a carpet is his soul”

The energy-rich Central Asian country revives its most ancient rituals and customs and discovers old taboos that were thinly papered over during Communist rule.

Yurta, the traditional tent (it has a collapsable wooden frame and is covered with reeds and felt) is still used today. The tent is placed in the front yard and used as a summer house…

National dress: men wear high, shaggy sheepskin hats and red robes over white shirts. Women wear long sack-dresses over narrow trousers (the pants are trimmed with a band of embroidery at the ankle). Female headdresses usually consist of silver jewelry. Bracelets and brooches are set with semi-precious stones. Young women with two braids and a small scarf are unmarried; those with one braid and a big kerchief have been wed.

Turkmen Nation has a glorious history. Because of archeological excavations, Turkmenistan became famous to the whole world by its rich heritage. Only the discovery of up to now unknown Margiana civilization raised the necessity to reconsider ancient world history. Such historical-cultural monuments as ancient merv, Koneurgench, and Nisa are included to the list of world natural and cultural heritage of UNESCO.
Ancient Merv, one of the most ancient towns of Central Asia, is a part of Margiana civilization. If earlier were known four ancient centers of civilization (Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China), now Margiana is recognized to be the fifth center. There is a number of settlements by which it is easily read historical topography of this legendary town from antique times up to late Middle Ages. Among the most interesting architectural monuments are the Big and Small Kyz-Kala, Mausoleum of Muhammed ibn-Zeid and Ashabs, Mosque of Khodja-Yusup Hamadani and glanderous burial vault of Sultan Sanjar, which is considered by explorers to be the masterpiece of the Middle Ages architecture of the East. In Merv at different periods of time lived and worked Al Khorezmi, Omar Khayam, al-Mervezi, as-Samani, Enveri and other great thinkers of the Middle Ages. It is established by archeological explorations that Merv emerged in VII century B.B. at the place of Erk-Kala.

Koneurgench is an ancient capital of Northen Khorezm in the past which was founded in the I century A.D. In the middle of the VII c. it got under the power of Arabs and in 995 it was renamed into Gurgandge and became the residence of Khorezmshaks. It was a cultural and trading center of the middle ages. Its pride was great encyclopedist Abu Reikhan al-Biruni and genius naturalist, doctor and philosopher Abu Ali ibn Sina known in the West as Avisenna. Now Koneurgench is not only a complex of historical monuments visiting card of which is one of the highest constructions of the world ancient minaret of Kutluk Timur (XI c.) of 60 meters high; it is also a sacred place for Muslims. The sacred complex of Nejmeddin Kubra is now the center of mass pilgrimage of Muslims from the whole world.

Nisa is an ancient town located in the foothills of the Kopetdag mountains. It is one of the first capitals of Parthian Empire (III c. B.C. – III c. A.D.) which is in the rank of largest state formations of antique world. In Nisa, there were palace and temple structures; there were a treasury, huge wine storage and warehouses with enormous stocks. Fortified walls had 8-9 meters of thickness in their foundations and were strengthened with 43 rectangular towers.

History of Turkmenistan
Turkmen carpets
Akhalteke Horses