In the heart of the vast Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan, surrounded by rolling dunes and blowing sands, sits Damla, a small village of the Dashoguz Yomut, (Öküz clan), consisting of fifty simple dwellings and no traditional road access. Yet, weddings are festively celebrated here, as they are throughout the country, with innumerable guests, dozens of sheep, huge vessels of plov (a spicy rice and meat dish), and endless cups of tea. The bride, after arriving at the home of her new husband, sits on a patchwork pillow for two days in the company of women and children who travel from afar to welcome her into the community.

Turkmen bride seated on patchwork
Photographer: Christine Martens