war rug

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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 

S1W’s

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:)

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Don Winslow, the celebrated author of more than a dozen books — including 2010′s “Savages,” which the New York Times described as a beguiling mix of “the grave and the playful,” and which Oliver Stone adapted in 2012  — has done something he said he wouldn’t do. After six years of researching the war on drugs and Mexico’s cartels led Winslow to write 2005′s “The Power of the Dog,” Winslow believed he was done with writing about that nasty corner of the world. The novel was well-received by critics and earned him more public attention than ever, but as he recently explained to the San Diego Union-Tribune, spending so much time immersed in chaos and blood has its costs, too.

Our failed war on drugs is the reason why violence and chaos threatens Mexico, celebrated novelist tells Salon

Unknown maker in Afghanistan, “Twin Towers Rug,” after 2001, acquired in Kabul, Afghanistan, private collection, 2004, knotted wool, 32 ¼ x 22 ¾ inches (all images courtesy SMoCA unless noted)

The bolivian “Sea of Tears”

Click here to read it in Spanish.

When it is about Bolivia, the most popular mockery I’ve heard is “they don’t have a sea”. Apparently, it is the favorite mockery because “it’s the only thing that hurt them in the soul.”

For countries that don’t understand the dilemma, Bolivia borders five countries and with each of them has had territorial losses in wars and rugged agreements.

We have had with Brazil our major territorial loss (Acre War), and our worst war was against Paraguay (Chaco War), but the popular knowledge says that Bolivia is more resentful of Chile, because we have lost access to the Pacific Ocean in a devastating attack that left some Bolivian coastal villages facing the Chilean military. A war in which quite a few Bolivian civilians were lost.

Well, the popular knowledge doesn’t speak without reason. There are patriotic hymns dedicated to the war, an honorary day for the lost territory, war heroes, a naval force that is never used and a clear promise that has passed from generation to generation: “Otra vez a la Patria volverá” (Someday it will return to Homeland).

But what no one realizes is that, like South Americans, we are very adept at keeping the traditions alive only by respect for ancestors and because they are traditions. Those hymns and promises are memories that only military and very resentful patriots kept in their hearts, trying to keep alive the flame of hate… especially since the never executed, but signed, Agreement of Charaña between Pinochet and Banzer during their respective dictatorships.

Obviously, such access is a huge economic opportunity for Bolivia and for just this reason, the “sovereign access to the sea” has been on the agenda of the presidents since the Banzer dictatorship ended. In other words, it is possible that the Bolivian interest to have a port on the Pacific Ocean is now more financial than patriotic.

So… What has changed in the feelings of us, Bolivians?

We have already lived long landlocked and being the loser of the Latin people. You can call it resignation if you want, but it’s indifference.
The new children of Antofagasta, Mejillones, Tocopilla and Calama are now Chileans. War survivors Bolivians have died. Their descendants, mostly Potosi and Oruro people, remember; but they do not have the same rage to recover the sea. And Eastern Bolivia has been little affected on the national pride because, until the government built railways there in the middle of the last century, Eastern was only a very large piece of rainforest with small villages born from Jesuit missions… very different of the economic and technological entrepreneurial Eastern is nowadays.

Bolivia has more important matters to discuss internally: for people like me, avoid another presidency of Evo Morales (he has not meant more than economic loss, lack of technological renovation and an unfavorable biological impact in different nature reserves… even though his focus to revive the native cultures seems friendly); for the Morales partisan, the problem is the people who think like me.

What the current President or the heads of our military do, is not the thinking of the average Bolivian citizen. If they achieve that our country will have access to the sea, good. If not, the same. Whatever. The anthems say “Otra vez a la Patria volverá” but we’ve slashed so much our throats singing that verse, we are hoarse since long ago. To every joke relating to the sea we don’t have, there is only an eye rolling from half of the Bolivian people, because the joke died in the twentieth century.

Sorry for the bad English.