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Chapter Three: The Nomads of Central Asia—Turkmen Traditions

Amulet

Amulet, late 19th–early 20th century. Present-day Uzbekistan, Karakalpak tribe

After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  • identify ways the art of the Turkmen people of Central Asia reflects nomadic life
  • understand the functional and symbolic role objects played in their lives

The history of Central Asia presents a constant political and cultural interplay between nomadic and settled peoples.

The Turkmen have a long history in Central Asia, but little is known about their early history because they did not keep written records.

Because the livelihood of the Turkmen depended on their livestock—including sheep, goats, camels, and horses—year-round access to pastures was essential.

In addition to livestock, the most important Turkmen family possession was the housing unit.

The tradition of Turkmen weaving, dating back centuries, played an important role in the socialization process. In Turkmen society, jewelry served several functions.

Read in-depth information about featured works of art related to this unit.

A list of resources for additional reading, with grade levels indicated

A list of sources used to compile the information in this unit

Unit Six: Chapter Three Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan: The Nomads of Central Asia—Turkmen Traditions

Students will be able to identify ways art of the Turkmen people of Central Asia reflects nomadic life and understand the functional and symbolic role objects play in their lives.

Storage bag faces

The lesson plan related to The Nomads of Central Asia—Turkmen Traditions features wool storage bags.