Fyke Collection of Afghan War Rugs
"The peoples of Afghanistan have a rich and distinguished textile history. The Baluch and the Turkman, the Tajik and the Hazara, are among the tribal groups that produce embroideries, felts and knotted pile woven textiles that reflect their identities, beliefs, and ways of life. The Baluch, for example, were nomadic herders whose belongings needed to be portable. They are known in the West as the producers of deeply coloured pile carpets of unprecedented lushness. Made entirely by hand, pile carpets were prized possessions that served as bedding or seating and could be easily rolled up for transport.
With the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 a new genre of rug emerged. Baluch weavers in the vicinity of Herat, the site of intense resistance to the Soviet-backed regime, began incorporating new motifs into their carpets. Geometric medallions were replaced with guns, tanks, helicopters and jets, inspired by the Soviet armaments that undoubtedly confronted them in the streets..."