Beautiful Small Vintage Afghan War Rug, Country of Origin: Afghanistan, Circa Date: Mid 20th Century – The vintage Afghan war rugs of the mid-20th century demonstrate the importance of the art of rug weaving in conveying the world around the weaver and the cultural significance of the art form. Through the millennia, traditional rug weavers have captured their experiences, thoughts, feelings, and stories of their people in the symbols and motifs in handmade area rugs. This rug from Afghanistan is an important piece of cultural as well as oriental rug history…. not to mention a part of the cultural heritage of the Afghani people and tells their story.
The decidedly modern war theme of this Afghan rug is an expression of the world around the war-torn regions of Afghanistan. In the past, you often found glimpses of cultural representations in the flowers, animals, and buildings that were depicted in them. This one gives us a glimpse of a different aspect of the world of the weaver, and it tells the story of the conflict surrounding them.
The rug uses a traditional layout with multiple borders and a rich color palette. The border of the rug has a stepped appearance that makes it look as if you are peering at the scene outside through the window of a thick wall. The artist created the appearance of distance and perspective using size, scale, and a practiced placement of color.
This rug is the voice of the Afghani rug weavers expressing their concern and frustration with the conflict around them. The artist imitated life as he / she replaced the traditional flowers that one would normally see with airplanes and helicopters. This personal expression makes them some of the richest art forms of the mid 20th century.
The war rugs were created during the Soviet occupation which began in 1979. The Afghani weavers used their area rugs to communicate their plight to the rest of the world during a time when self expression was suppressed and they lived under strict rule. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan disrupted every part of the people’s lives, leaving many homeless and displaced. Many parts of the region were reduced to ruin. The symbols began as subtle inclusions in traditional designs, but later as they became more popular among Western rug collectors, the modern symbols of war became main subject.
The historical vintage rugs became highly sought after among collectors who wished to preserve the legacy and story that the rugs had to tell. Today, they stand as a testament to the strength and courage of the Afghani people and the hardships that they faced. This Afghan war rug will be an honor to have in any collection of cultural and historical artwork.