The Saryk (Turkmen: Sarykly) are a tribe of Turkmens in Turkmenistan.[1][2] The Saryk mostly live in the valley of the Marghab River (the ancient Margiana).[3]

Drawing of a Saryk man
Regions with significant populations
Marghab Valley (Turkmenistan, Iran, Afghanistan)
Turkmen (Saryq dialect), Dari
Sunni Islam
Related ethnic groups
Turkmens, Afghan Turkmens, Iranian Turkmens


Suggestions for the etymology of Saryk (also Sarik, Saryq) are the Middle Turkic saryγ ("yellow") or the Kipchak root saryq ("sheep").[4]


In the early 19th century the Saryk lived in the Merv region, but from 1830 they were driven further up the Marghab valley by the Teke.[5] Bala Murghab and the Panjdeh became their main settlements.[6]

In 1881, the Saryk came under Russian control after the Battle of Geok Tepe and the creation of the Transcaspian Oblast.[7] In 1885, the Saryk population was estimated at 65,000.[6]

They continued under Russian rule through the Soviet period. Today most live in modern Turkmenistan, with some living over the borders in Iran and Afghanistan.[8]

Art and cultureEdit

Like other Turkmen tribes, the Saryk are known as carpet-makers and have their own distinctive style: dark red-brown carpets with the pattern picked out in fine, thin lines.[7] They use a symmetrical (Turkish) knot, like the Yomut do.[9] The Saryk are also famed for their jewellery.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Turkmenistan - Turkmen tribes and Russian invasion | Britannica".
  2. ^ Isaacs, Rico; Marat, Erica (September 14, 2021). Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Central Asia. Routledge. ISBN 9780429603594 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Olson, James Stuart; Pappas, Lee Brigance; Pappas, Nicholas Charles; Pappas, Nicholas C. J. (November 20, 1994). An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of the Russian and Soviet Empires. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313274978 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Jankowski, Henryk (October 1, 2006). A Historical-Etymological Dictionary of Pre-Russian Habitation Names of the Crimea. BRILL. ISBN 9789047418429 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Office, Great Britain Foreign (November 20, 1887). "Further Correspondence Respecting Affairs in Central Asia" – via Google Books.
  6. ^ a b Lansdell, Henry (November 20, 1885). Russian Central Asia. Arno Press. ISBN 9780405030413 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ a b Adle, Chahryar (January 1, 2005). History of Civilizations of Central Asia: Towards the contemporary period : from the mid-nineteenth to the end of the twentieth century. UNESCO. ISBN 9789231039850 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Peoples of the USSR: An Ethnographic Handbook. Routledge. July 28, 2017. ISBN 9781315475400 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Mace, Ruth; Holden, Clare J.; Shennan, Stephen (September 16, 2016). The Evolution of Cultural Diversity: A Phylogenetic Approach. Routledge. ISBN 9781315418599 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ Peyrouse, Sebastien (February 12, 2015). Turkmenistan: Strategies of Power, Dilemmas of Development: Strategies of Power, Dilemmas of Development. Routledge. ISBN 9781317453253 – via Google Books.