war rug

The rugged beauty of Mount Williamson looms over Manzanar National Historic Site in California. Established to preserve the stories of the internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, Manzanar serves as a reminder of a dark period in our history. For more information: http://www.nps.gov/manz. Photo by Susan Fouts (www.sharetheexperience.org).

it’s been months, by the dead of June the rest have all been forgotten. Lurking through the woods, 29 NHL teams watch the Penguins, waiting. No one’s seen teams like the Canadiens, the Bruins, The Canucks, since April. In their absence flowers grew, the trees got their leaves back, the Stanley Cup was awarded. 

On top of the mountain, The Pens have all the attention. The sun is shining right down on them, and all of their championship glory.

And then, a rumble.

Noise from the forests below, it’s not just about the pens anymore. Patrice Bergeron emerges, war-torn and rugged, making his way up the mountain, a determined look on his face and a bow in his hand. But no time to be alarmed by him, PK Subban and Brent Burns, carrying makeshift swords exit the forest from the opposite direction, making their own way up the mountain. Conor McDavid peers through the branches before waving on Ghostisbehere. 

“What is this?” Matt Murray asks, stepping forward and looking out as more and more NHL players make their way up the mountains. 

“They’re here.” Sidney Crosby says, unsheathing his own sword, “the NHL awards, they’re coming, it’s not about us anymore.”

There’s a shrill cry. Conor Sheary has spotted Patrice Bergeron.

“Omg,” he whispers to Kuhnhackl “I love him.”

Chewbacca Rug

I was mortified the first time I saw this rug!

I had my phone out ready to dial the authorities to report the illegal poaching of some poor Wookie when a helpful R2 sales unit approached and started beeping or tweeting or whatever it is they do.

The commotion caused by my yelling and “it’s” beeping caused the manager to come out from behind the desk. The ugly, blue, flying and foul smelling whatever he was, informed me in his(?) thick accent, that he had a permit for the rug and that no Wookie died in the making of it.

Turns out, Wookies shed a lot.

I still don’t like it.

They could of donated the fur, or hair (or whatever it is) to some charity.

I’m sure there’s a Wookie on chemo out there that could of used it.

Purchase with discretion.



The Art Of War

About 8 years ago my Sister hipped me to an article on ‘War Rugs’ in a men’s style magazine.  Instead of the traditional pattens of flowers and birds these rugs depicted grenades, tanks, Kalashnikov rifles and other weaponry.

When Russia invaded Afghanistan modern warfare was abruptly introduced to Afghan people. Women (who are the weavers) started to include these tools of destruction into their designs and 'War Rugs’ were born. 

The US invasions post 9/11 gave fresh life to War Rug design.

Some may see these rugs as a bad thing and perhaps even be disgusted by them.  Personally I think they are artful and tell a story of mans destructive mentality.  Hating on them is like hating on the Bayeux Tapestry in my humble opinion.

I am gutted that I didn’t purchase a rug way back when I first heard of them as prices have doubled / tripled.  However I am determined to get one and have set up my War Rug fund.  I’m £50 in, just need £230 more and I can make my purchase of one the more inexpensive pieces that are available.  I’m now scared that the rug I have chosen will be bought by someone else!!

Oh well I’m still gonna share where these rugs can be purchased from leading collector Keith Sudeith’s site War Rug

ps If I was gonna buy a gift for

Chuck D,

Professor Griff 


Prince Paul

Kool Keith

war rugs would be first choice! :)

pps In case you are wondering  I’m listening to Weapon World by Prince Paul feat. Kool Keith

ppps I’m surprised that I’ve never seen a War Rug in an episode of Cribs:)

Neighbouring Afghanistan in the east, Iran’s reactions to its conflicts have been somewhat different. Throughout history, the Iranian expression of objection has been largely echoed through poetry and literature, murals, music, and visual art. The paradox of depicting such bitter subjects as war through a medium that has been long considered a sublime art in Iranian culture has been confronted in the work of contemporary Iranian artists such as Sissi Farassat. Residing in Austria, Farassat hand-stiches hundreds of Swarovski crystals onto canvases to depict helicopters and other vehicles of war. The dazzling appearance of Farassat’s ‘rugs’ contradicts their intense inspiration, and serves as an example of Iranian visual art expressing objection. Similar to Afghan weavers and their clashing use of colourful tanks and flower-shaped grenades, Farassat draws attention to historical trauma and veils the horror of war, instead pointing to the ornamental aesthetic of her heritage and the Iranian carpet weaving tradition.  Unlike with Farassat’s works, however, the presence of childlike patterns in the Afghan war rugs may serve as a testament to the existence of child labour. In the industry, children are often exploited through forced labour due to their nimble fingers and superior eyesight.

Read the full article on REORIENT


Drones on Rugs

When it comes to what to depict on rugs, Afghan weavers traditionally turn to what’s most familiar. So in the 1980s, when the Mujahedeen were fighting back the Soviet occupation, some local weavers abandoned flowers and water jugs to illustrate what their days consisted of back then: war.

Tanks, helicopters, Kalashnikovs, hand grenades and bazookas started creeping into the centuries-old tradition, either as elements of a landscape or as icons in a pattern. “My favorite one is an old Beluch style one,” says 49-year-old US entrepreneur Kevin Sudeith, “The design dates back to the 19th century but it has two helicopters and two tanks at each end of the rug.”

In 1996, Sudeith discovered one of the war rugs in the house of an Italian architect and decided to start collecting them. Shortly after, he was dealing them, both online and in flea markets around New York for prices ranging from a few hundred to several thousand US dollars each.

After 9/11, he thought his business was going to disappear. Surprisingly, a renewed interest in Afghanistan pushed the orders up, especially following the arrival on the market of a new set of rugs, depicting the attacks to the World Trade Center. In one of them, the misspelled caption ‘The teroris were nhe American’ caused controversy in the US, as it seemed to imply that the rugs’ makers were celebrating the attack.

More rugs produced in that period featured F16 fighter jets, Abrams tanks and maps of Tora Bora, confirming that the iconography of Soviet occupation had been replaced by that of the United States military. The majority of weavers, says Sudeith, were Afghan refugees living in Pakistan who, regardless of their former careers back in Afghanistan, had become “a sort of captive labor force.”

This may be the dark side of war rugs. Although Afghan weavers are traditionally women, Western collectors and dealers only deal with intermediaries, so it’s difficult to verify who actually makes the rugs, and under what circumstances. The US Department of Labor, for example, lists those made in Afghanistan and Pakistan among the crafts that may involve child and forced labor. Sudeith himself never met the Afghan family that makes most of his rugs. “The brass ring for war rug people is to speak with weavers and hear their stories and motivations,” he confesses, “So far, it’s been impossible.”  “

After the Taliban was removed from Kabul, millions of Afghans were repatriated, causing a new shift in the rugs business: on one hand, most production followed the weavers back to Afghanistan; on the other hand, the rugs that had been woven in Pakistan became rare and therefore more valuable. These, says Sudeith, were the best years for business. 

Recently he has noticed that the mysterious weavers seem somehow savvier, more attuned to demands of the market. “If I write a blog post about a particular rug,” says Sudeith, “Eighteen months later contemporary, handmade versions of it will appear”.

“A super subtle drone war rug. Dated 2014. Vegetable dye, super quality wool. Totally unique and timely piece.” In December 2014, Sudeith posted online images of a new set of drone-themed rugs, selling for a few hundred dollars. He calls them the product of a “collaborative process” with a family in Pakistan, based on designs that have previously emerged in the market.

Considering the ongoing program of US drone strikes in Pakistan, these new patterns are likely to pick up as a popular theme among war rugs creators and their collectorsAccording to an October 2014 update from the UK-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, more than 1,000 civilians have been killed in Pakistan by drone strikes over the past ten years, around one-fifth of them children.