Gul (design)

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The Flag of Turkmenistan features five traditional tribal guls.

A gul is a medallion-like design element typical of traditional hand-woven carpets associated with Central and West Asia. They usually feature either twofold rotational symmetry or left/right (and perhaps also up/down) reflection symmetry. Some are octagonal, or suggest approximations of octagons. Cloverleaf[1] and elephant's-foot motifs constitute a variety of guls.

The Flag of Turkmenistan features five traditional tribal guls, and many Turkmenistan sources of carpets emphasize the ethnic Turkmen traditions of carpet design and production, and may describe a process of confusion where such work has been imported, especially through Bukhara, Uzbekistan, and misunderstood as deriving from Uzbekistani culture; the featuring of guls is sometimes described as typical of supposed Bukhara designs.

Western authors used comparison of the "design vocabulary" of tribal guls, reproduced on traditional rugs, in studying the ethnogenesis of Asian peoples.[1]


  1. ^ a b Ruth Mace, Clare J. Holden, Stephen Shennan (2005). The evolution of cultural diversity: a phylogenetic approach. Routledge. ISBN 1-84472-099-3. pp. 118-120.

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