Oriental Rugs Dictionary


The Tamga is the branding mark used by nomadic tribes on their animals, tents and other possessions to denote ownership. It is extremely useful when, because of a hurricane, sandstorm or tribal dispute, camp must be broken hurriedly, for despite the ensuing confusion, the nomads can afterwards retrieve their own animals or other belongings without any difficulty, thanks to these simple shapes with which they are stamped. There is a myth surrounding the use of the Tamga for it is believed to reinforce the sense of unity of the tribe. When incorporated in their works of art, The Tamga is an indication of high quality craftsmanship. Tamgas on tribal emblems continue to be used in the carpets woven by tribes who long ago ceased to wander and are settled by now. The actual meaning of these motifs is known only to the members of tribes using them and to the people closely connected with them, but certain marks such as the one used by Kozaks, are more widely recognized.