Strange Rugs Depict Decades of War in Afghanistan


| 7/2/2009 2:02:24 PM


War Rug from Afghanistan

Afghanistan's epic battle against Soviet occupation spawned an unusual genre of war story: the war rug. It's a tradition that continues to this day, with Afghan weavers telling the story of the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent American invasion.

Max Allen is a curator of a war rug exhibit at the Textile Museum of Canada. Here’s what he has to say about the rugs:

During the Afghan wars which have gone on from 1979 to the present the whole country is full of war equipment. You can hardly avoid seeing it. And just like television or newspapers these rugs report what’s going on in Afghanistan. Before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan there was nothing anywhere in the world like this. It came out of the blue. Are the rugs pro-war or anti-war? I don’t know. You can read a message into them but whether the message was put there by the weaver, I don’t know.

Hear more from Allen and to see some of the work in this short audio slideshow:



(Thanks, Strange Maps.)

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