Today we are going to tell you why you should know more about Afghan War rugs, a testimony of 50 years of intense conflicts and military intervention in Afghanistan and how it gave rise to the booming textile industry.
One glance at the symbols made on these visually stunning war rugs like AK 47, rifles, guns is all you need to understand its gravity. These rugs are woven by the women of the Afghan tribes and were initially marketed to the visiting troops.
- The Afghan artisans have been credited towards reinvigorating tapestry. It is not your typical medallion or flower/leaves print but instead depicts austere and stunning tanks, hand grenades skillfully infused with age-old botanical and geometric designs.
- Unlike the regular oriental rug, these rugs have a symbolic significance which includes a map of the country, weapons, guns, etc. and is a combination of ancient traditions that are evident in the designs and patterns reflecting the specific war lifestyle of regions of Afghanistan complementing the most contemporary subject matter.
- Other than the guns and weapons, jewel tone motifs like maps, landmarks, and portraits are also popular amongst the weavers and artisans.
- Pictorial rugs inspired by the propaganda posters, photographs became increasingly popular even under the siege of Taliban.
- Afghanistan has been at the receiving end of decade-long conflicts with the Soviet Union, civil war and 13 years of a U.S.-led NATO combat mission. These events have massively impacted the nation. Among the political, economic and cultural impacts of this violence, enigmatic transformation resulted in the emergence of a rug manufacturing industry, a way to reflect the history of abuse suffered by the citizens through this ancient art.
- The historians are of the belief that war rug making is a mid-20th-century tradition, possibly after the 1947 invention of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, or AK-47. After the invasion of Afghanistan by Soviets, the nation’s weavers realized that the combat-inspired rugs were marketable to Russian troops, and then started marketing it to the American troops in 2001.
- The tradition of weaving war stories and denoting association started with Afghanistan’s Baluchi women weaving the violence they encountered in their daily lives after Soviet’s arrival, into sturdy, knotted pile wool rugs that had previously featured common symbols, such as flowers, instead had guns, helicopters and other war symbols on them.
- The country’s war rugs not only features images of the instruments of war but also maps depicting the tale of Soviet defeat, depictions of the attack on The World Trade Center, etc.
- Then there are rugs woven by the women of Turkman culture are distinguished by their red or yellow hues with massive weapons, military vehicles and English phrases weaved on them. They are a depiction of Soviet withdrawing from Afghanistan and the celebration that followed.
- Earlier merchants were apprehensive about bringing the Afghan war rugs into the global drug market with the fear of being a part of controversy and putting off the buyers, but these symbols made their way to being one of the most famous Afghan rugs.
Every Afghan war rug is a standing testimony of what happens when tradition meets conflicts. Make these emblematic rugs a part of your home and let that one corner of your home be a storyteller. You can buy more such enigmatic rugs at various e-commerce websites, but make sure you carefully verify the authenticity before purchasing them, since these rugs are an expensive investment.