Afghani War Rugs
This week a highlight of the shop was these gorgeous rugs we brought in. Some were various piles, made in Persia and Malayar etc. however the ones that really got us welled up inside were these Afghani war rugs. We were able to recover 5 of these guys, all depicting similar imagery, however different.
Origins of Afghani war rugs started with the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan in 1979. The women of the Baluchi culture took up telling their stories of the invasion and wove it into geometric traditional patterns and weaves on rugs. Depictions of weaponry, machinery and maps as to where Soviet attacks failed were imprinted in a classic style, that evolved into celebrating tanks and their enemies leaving their country, when the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan, in February of 1989.
War rugs continued to be produced after the invasion of Afghanistan by the United States of America in 2001. Typically depicted is the two trades towers and eerie words depicting how the towers fell. This imagery was produced quite often, and was thought to be pulled off of a leaflet that was being dropped from US military planes during their invasion, to help tell the people why the attack was happening. Somewhere on these rugs usually shows an image of a dove with an olive branch in its mouth, connecting the two flags – Afghanistan and United States.
The invasion did exit the Taliban from Afghani government, however has not stopped the violence. Since women in this culture have a limited voice to tell their stories, many take to their looms to weave their aggressive stories into traditional looking rugs, therefore being able to communicate to the outside world. Art has always been depicting battle scenes and violence, however this tradition of war is one of the richest in 20th and early 21st centuries.
… so can’t you see why we’re excited? Hopefully we can secure some more of these narrated rugs in the future.