For the most part, the Turkmans live in the northern
provinces of Afghanistan. They are most famous in the region for
their spectacular weaving of rugs and kilims. However, their distinct
style of dress is also stunning to behold.
The Turkman use silk, wool, and cotton in vibrant
colors to make their clothes. Red is the most favored color, followed
by bright yellow and green. The Turkman are also renowned for their
fantastic dying skills. For centuries they have made dyes from and
stains from vegetables and roots which were used not only to dye
fabrics, but also wool in the weaving of rugs.
The Turkman women wear a tunic called “kurta”
which cab be short and end at mid-thigh or hang down to the knees.
The kurtas are geometrical in shape and have a long slit down the
front, which is often embroidered with silk thread for added durability.
In some styles of kurtas, the cuffs of the sleeves are embroidered.
Like the rest of the Afghan women, Turkmans wear
drawstring trousers that have tapered cuffs with embroidery on them.
The most spectacular part of the Turkman women’s
ensemble is the “chapan” which is a type of cloak. Again,
the chapans are made in lively colors with eye-catching patterns
and designs on the fabric. The color of the chapan also denotes
a woman’s age and social status in some tribes. Darker colors
are usually reserved the younger women, yellow is typically worn
by married middle-aged women and older women wear white. Also, the
Turkmen women wear knee-high boots the are adorned with fine silk
Geometric shaped designs of exquisite traditional
jewelry in beaten silver with engraving, filigree and gilding, often
set with Carnelian, the traditional semiprecious stones. It is a
rich reddish colored stone believed to be with magical power to
bring joy. Headdress, collar & robe clasp, rings, amulets, necklaces,
earrings are the common jewelry.