the Turkmen Horse
As a little girl I saw an image of an Argamak, an ancient golden horse, that captivated me. When I saw one for real as an adult the passion was regained and driven I had to find out about them. The word Argamak historically describes the unique and very special breed of horses often referred to as the Ancient Argamaks, Divine Horses and Golden Horses of Nisa or Parthia. These Turkmen horses are now known throughout the world as Akhal-Tekes, bred from the Turkmen Teke tribe in the Akhal Oasis.
Turkmen horses have shared the past 6,000 years with the people and tribes of Central Asia and remain an integral part of the culture and traditions of their descendants. For a short time historically the Russian Empire conquered the Turkmen people and took away their horses, as without them it was believed the Turkmen were unable to revolt and retake their land. Now the Turkmen people in Turkmenistan have regained their independence and their horses are again at the forefront of their cultural and destiny as a nation.
My initial interest as a photographer was to capture the essence of the Turkmen horses as the Argamaks, powerful, majestic and even mystical beings, the embodiment of grace and nobility. Now I am interested in understanding the bond between them. Stories of the people and their horses are only relevant in the current culture of Central Asia but have a universal appeal in our intertwined destiny.