Reviews

This second edition reprints without addition the volume published in 1369 [1990] by the same editor.  The book is an encyclopaedic compendium (not to say a miscellany) of information on Turkmen human geography, regional history, and folklore.  The first chapter provides statistical and historical data on the Mazandaran region in general and on Astarabad in particular.  Chapter 2 outlines the human and natural geography of the region, with a short but interesting sketch of Turkmen fishing activities on the Caspian Sea.  Chapter 3 brings together various data on fauna and hunting.  Chapter 4 provides a patchwork of data related to the history of the Turkmen, from ancient times to the present, along with demographical figures on the various Turkmen groups.  Chapter 5 is devoted to language and literature, with some hints on material culture and social organisation.  Chapter 6 focuses on religious believes and various aspects of material culture (food, clothing, ornaments).  Chapter 7 deals with horse breeding and horse folklore.  As a whole, the book feels like a hotchpotch of aggregated content rather than a consistent study.  On some topics, though, the author has obviously had access to rare archival materials, which makes the present potpourri worth of consideration.

François Ömer Akakça, Humboldt University, Berlin
CER: I-7.4.F-659