Villagers at work

Durdy Bayramov’s ability to recognize and portray the determined resilience of the Turkmen people is revealed in these images. Despite the challenging conditions and difficult work, a profound sense of pride is evident on the faces of the men and women pictured. Villagers are seen working together in their dwellings and workshops, clearly illustrating how work was intimately woven into other aspects of Turkmen village life.

Women are typically seen working in the domestic realm—cooking ethnic Turkmen meals, baking bread, picking mulberry leaves to raise silkworms, and making carpets or felt rugs known as keche. Exclusively, women artisans are the makers of Turkmen carpets and keche. The complicated skills and techniques involved in this work have for centuries been passed down from mother to daughter. Men are shown at work in the fields dutifully cultivating fruits, vegetables, and cotton, and herding sheep and other livestock. The people and scenes depicted so beautifully by Bayramov in these photographs serve as a reminder of how work can bind communities together through mutual effort and shared accomplishment.

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