This simple red Turkmen women’s tunic dress or (koynek) was purchased from a New York estate sale through a dealer, by Dr. Reem Tariq El Mutwalli in 2019. It was added The Zay Initiative to enhance its collection.
This burgundy red linen tunic dress is a typical costume of a Turkmen woman and is identified as a koynek. Worn by Turkmen women all over Central Asia it is part of a national costume for women from Turkmenistan.
This piece is embellished with rows of vertical lines running parallel to one another down the field of the tunic as well as across the shoulders and the sleeves woven in yellow, green, brown, and thin strips of ivory.
It has a round neck with a front slit. The neckline is embroidered with yellow, ivory, and black floral designs in stiff geometric forms. Three fourth of the koynek from the top has a printed cotton lining in green and red floral motifs over a dark blue base.
Typical Turkmen festive koyneks are usually in shades of red and pink as it is considered a sacred colour in Turkmen culture and is believed to ward off evil.
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