Afghan War Rugs

Examples of Afghan War Rugs

Afghan War Rug (Winter Scene)
Afghan War Rug (Winter Scene)
Afghan War Rug (Winter Scene) 2

War Rug (Winter Scene)

Size: 4 foot by 6 foot 5 inch.

This is a very collectable older Baluch War Rug from a German Collection and should be of real interest to serious war rug collectors.

This rug was hard to photograph. It is very attractive and appears to be a winter scene. I cannot think of another Afghan winter scene. Snow can be a major concern in parts of Afghanistan. The part of the Baburnama where Babur describes coming down through the Hindu Kush in the snow is a fascinating part of the book.

A number of years ago I wrote an article for Oriental Rug Review called Afghan War Rugs: If it Walks Like a Duck.... In it I broke a lot of new ground trying to attribute the various types of war rugs to where they were made. When I was writing that article there was a real question in my mind whether the Baluch weavers ever actually wove war rugs in any great numbers. Now a few years later I have come to the conclusion that during the war of Russian Aggression most of the "Baluchi" war rugs were not Baluch but that approximately 10 to 20% of them actually were.

Size: 4 foot by 6 foot 5 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the right. 9 knots per horizontal inch and 9 knots per vertical inch. 81 per square inch (1255.5 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply old ivory wool.

Weft: 2 shot black cotton.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch plain weave and overhand knots with 1 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord interlaced red wool.

Handle: Soft, medium, durable.

Further Notes: Excellent condition

Afghanistan was a quiet and simple place and then there were massive caravans of Soviet Troop and supply convoys. It was a major thing for people used to only seeing an occasional bus and suddenly they saw more vehicles than they used to see in a week or more in one caravan. The impact that the sight of these convoys was over-whelming to the weavers.


Afghan War Rug in the manner of Mashad Iran
Afghan War Rug in the manner of Mashad Iran
Afghan War Rug in the manner of Mashad Iran 2

Mashhad War Rug

Size: 2 foot 4 inch by 4 foot 1 inch.

In Afghan rugs we normally expect the knots to be Asymmetrical knot open to the left. However this rug is in a distict group in terms of style and iconography that is Asymmetrical knot open to the right. After a detailed study I attribute the group to the refugee population in Mashad Iran. This theory was not welcome when I first presented it. Only now years later I realize that my theory was problematic because of the Embargo on any rug woven in Iran.

Meshed War Rug, Meshed, Iran, 1980s.

Size: 2 foot 4 inch by 4 foot 1 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the right.  8 knots per horizontal inch and 7 knots per vertical inch. 56 per square inch (868 per square decimeter).

Color: Golden rod, red, copper, onyx, ivory.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 1 ply white cotton.

Weft: 1 shots tan cotton.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch plain weave and overhand knots with 3.5 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord overcasting black wool.

Handle: Medium, firm.

Further Notes: Very good condition, dye run across plain weave ends.


Afghan War Rug Kelim
Afghan War Rug Kelim
Afghan War Rug Kelim 2

Afghan War Rug Kelim

4 foot 7 inch by 6 foot 10 inch.

This is the single best war rug kelim I have ever seen.

This is a handmade Afghan Kelim. The dyes are good and some appear to be natural. It dates to the 1980s

War Rug

Size: 4 foot 7 inch by 6 foot 10 inch.

Structure: Sumac weave.

Color: Royal blue, ruby, burgundy, onyx, peach, copper.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply tan wool.

Weft: Ground color.

Ends: 3 inch plain weave with twining and overhand knots with 2 inch warp fringe warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord interlaced black wool.

Handle: Light, pliable, durable.

Further Notes: Excellent condition.


Baghlan Afghanistan War Rug
Baghlan Afghanistan War Rug
Baghlan Afghanistan War Rug 2

Baghlan War Rug

Size: 3 foot 5 inch by 6 foot 2 inch.

This is one of the very rarest types of Afghan War Rugs.

This is a Baghlan War rug

North of the Salang Pass there is a fork in the road, left goes to Maser i Sharif and the right goes to Kunduz. Baghlan is on the road to Kunduz. It is Uzbek territory with a significant population of Tadjiks and Turkmen.

A number of years ago I wrote an article for Oriental Rug Review called Afghan War Rugs: If it Walks Like a Duck.... In it I broke a lot of new ground trying to attribute the various types of war rugs to where they were made. Compare this rug to rug 2.

This rug is from North Central Afghanistan. It is hand-woven and is in excellent condition. It dates to the time of the Afghan war.

Baluch War Rug

Size: 3 foot 5 inch by 6 foot 2 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. 9 knots per horizontal inch and 10 knots per vertical inch. 90 per square inch (1395 per square decimeter).

Color: Navy blue, burgundy, salmon, umber, olive green, true green, red, ivory.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 1 ply white cotton.

Weft: 2 shot gray cotton.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch plain weave and overhand knots with 2 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord interlaced black wool.

Handle:  Light, durable, pliable.

Further Notes: Excellent condition.


Baluch Afghan War Rug
Baluch Afghan War Rug
Baluch Afghan War Rug 2

Baluch War Rug

Size: 2 foot 9 inch by 4 foot 10 inch.

This is a very collectable older Baluch War Rug from a German Collection and should be of real interest to serious war rug collectors.

This is a very rare Baluch War Rug in a prayer format. This is extremely rare I can only think of one other, a prayer rug that was in the Sun Bow Trading Co. collection and was published in Oriental Rug Review. I have a nagging feeling that I may have seen one or two others but I have seen many war rugs and the prayer format rugs are a very small group. I should note that the Sun Bow Rug was pile and flatweave and very different from this one.

A number of years ago I wrote an article for Oriental Rug Review called Afghan War Rugs: If it Walks Like a Duck.... In it I broke a lot of new ground trying to attribute the various types of war rugs to where they were made. When I was writing that article there was a real question in my mind whether the Baluch weavers ever actually wove war rugs in any great numbers. Now a few years later I have come to the conclusion that during the war of Russian Aggression most of the "Baluchi" war rugs were not Baluch but that approximately 10 to 20% of them actually were

Baluch War Rug , Northwest Afghanistan. 1980s. Inventory #:478, War prayer rug

Size: 2 foot 9 inch by 4 foot 10 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to left. 10 knots per horizontal inch and 12 knots per vertical inch. 120 per square inch (1860 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply tan wool.

Weft: 2 shot gray cotton.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch floating weft section with 1 inch plain weave and half-hitch knots with 1 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord double looped black goat.

Handle: Light, pliable, durable

Further Notes: Excellent condition.


Baluch Afghan War Rug with Tanks
Baluch Afghan War Rug with Tanks
Baluch Afghan War Rug with Tanks 2

Baluch War Rug With Tanks

Size: 3 foot 9 inch by 6 foot 9 inch.

This is a very collectable older Baluch War Rug from a German Collection and should be of real interest to serious war rug collectors.

The assault rifle reminds me of the Iranian G-3. I mentioned this thought a while back and a number of people wrote me nice notes to take exception to my theory. I have studied rugs and rifle silhouettes and I am still convinced that this rifle is Iranian. Let me explain my rational. There are only 4 rifles that I can find that were available in the area in quantity. I use the term "in quantity" because I have seen this particular rifle shape in many different rugs indicating it was available in quantity. I see so many Ak 74/47 type rifles that I am convinced that this is not one. It also does not appear to be a M-16 variant and it is certainly not a Lee-Enfield 303. I have reason to believe that the Iranian G-3 copy. After the fall of the American ally Mohammed Reza Shah large numbers of these rifles were diverted to the Khorasan area where many were bought by people from Afghanistan especially the Baluch.

A number of years ago I wrote an article for Oriental Rug Review called Afghan War Rugs: If it Walks Like a Duck.... In it I broke a lot of new ground trying to attribute the various types of war rugs to where they were made. When I was writing that article there was a real question in my mind whether the Baluch weavers ever actually wove war rugs in any great numbers. Now a few years later I have come to the conclusion that during the war of Russian Aggression most of the "Baluchi" war rugs were not Baluch but that approximately 10 to 20% of them actually were

Baluch War Rug, Northwest Afghanistan. Inventory #331

Size: 3 foot 8 inch by 6 foot 5 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left.  8 knots per horizontal inch and 9 knots per vertical inch. 72 per square inch (1116 per square decimeter).

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply ivory wool.

Weft: 2 shots gray cotton.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch plain weave and overhand knots with 2 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord double looped black goat.

Handle: Durable, medium.

Further Notes:  Excellent condition.


Herat, Afghan War Rug
Herat, Afghan War Rug
Herat, Afghan War Rug 2

Herat War Rug

3 feet 6 inches by 6 feet 2

A number of years ago I wrote an article for Oriental Rug Review called Afghan War Rugs: If it Walks Like a Duck.... In it I broke a lot of new ground trying to attribute the various types of war rugs to where they were made. One type I discussed were the rugs from Cicaktu. This rug is not from Cicaktu but it is related. Cicaktu was Pashtun and when the Uzbeks took that area the Pashtuns fled to the Herat area where the city was in the cruel grip of Taliban. The Cicaktu weavers made this design and it was copied by Herati weavers. This is the Herati version of a design historically called the Herati design.

The war came early and quickly to the Cicaktu area and they surrendered to the Soviets and did not participate in the war until the post-Soviet stage. Consequently the rugs are not about fighting or about the Mujaheddin because to the Pashtuns of Cicaktu the war was nothing more than helicopters and aircraft passing overhead.

Excellent Wool, Good Weave, Well Made! When you want to identify the earlier Cicaktu rugs or the later Herat rugs there are a few key identifiers. First of all the dyes are better in the Herat version and instead of orange dyed white the field is usually natural colored tan. Another easy identifier is the side trees which are added as filler since the same cartoon is used for runners and dozars. Another important identifier is that the Cicaktu selvages are tied much more neatly

Afghan War Rug, Herat Area, Herat. 4th quarter 20th century. Intact full pile rug in unused condition. 3 feet 6 inches by 6 feet 2. (not including fringe).

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. 8 knots per horizontal inch and 8 knots per vertical inch. 64 per square inch (992 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: White cotton.

Weft: Black Cotton, 2 shots.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch plain weave.

Selvages: double wrapped in black goat.

Further Notes: Excellent condition, in "As New Condition".


Kangaroo Afghan War Rug
Kangaroo Afghan War Rug
Kangaroo Afghan War Rug 2
Kangaroo Afghan War Rug 3

Kangaroo War Rug

5 foot by 9 foot 1 inch.

This is a very collectable older Baluch War Rug from a German Collection. This is one of the best rugs in the collection from a collectors view point. Rarity is a major factor in any collectable and I have never seen any other rug like this one.

I see Baluch war rugs and I see Kangaroo rugs certainly less commonly than war rugs but I see them . But here we have something that I have never seen before a Kangaroo war Rug.

Baluch Rug, Northwest Afghanistan or Iran. fourth quarter twentieth century. 5 foot by 9 foot 1 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. 11 knots per horizontal inch and 10 knots per vertical inch. 110 per square inch (1705 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp:  2 ply wool.

Weft: 2 shot gray wool.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: Half-hitch edging with 2 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord plain interlaced black goat.

Handle: Soft, pliable, pile is 1/8 inch high

Further Notes: Like new condition, initials in magic marker on the skirt, no moth damage, little wear. One small repair of puncture.

A Very Unusual Rug. Please note the wealth of designs including the small automobiles. The wool and the colors are exceptional as well.

While Baluch type animal rugs are not that rare, nice ones are. This one has a very unusual design and represents one of the best of the Baluch type animal rugs.


Locomotove Afghan War Rug
Locomotove Afghan War Rug
Locomotove Afghan War Rug 2

Locomotive War Rug

Size: 2 foot 11 inch by 4 foot 10 inch.

This is a very collectable older Baluch War Rug from a German Collection and should be of real interest to serious war rug collectors.

This belongs to a rare group of war rugs called the Locomotive group. Here we see where some of the tanks begin to look like locomotives. It is very unusual representational art.

A number of years ago I wrote an article for Oriental Rug Review called Afghan War Rugs: If it Walks Like a Duck.... In it I broke a lot of new ground trying to attribute the various types of war rugs to where they were made. When I was writing that article there was a real question in my mind whether the Baluch weavers ever actually wove war rugs in any great numbers. Now a few years later I have come to the conclusion that during the war of Russian Aggression most of the "Baluchi" war rugs were not Baluch but that approximately 10 to 20% of them actually were.

Baluch War Rug, Northwest Afghanistan. 1980s. Inventory #:464 War rug

Size: 2 foot 11 inch by 4 foot 10 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. 8 knots per horizontal inch and 11 knots per vertical inch. 88 per square inch (1364 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply tan, red, blue, green wool.

Weft: 2 shot gray wool.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch floating weft sections and band of 2 pick oblique interlacing with 2 inch warp fringe (top),  1 inch floating weft and heavy crossed wefts with 1 inch fringe (bottom).

Selvages: 3 cord reinforced black goat.

Handle: Light, pliable, soft wool, durable.

Further Notes: Very good condition, small repair made in knotted pile.

There are some interesting weapons. There is a heavy machine gun or an anti-aircraft. As I studied the Afghan war and the war rugs it became obvious that weapons have a rank in the hierarchy of arms status. Bolt action rifles were very low status and surprisingly RPG-7 shoulder fired rockets were so low status that they were given to children. AK 74 were very high status. I remember reading about cases where men would prefer an AK74 with only 8 bullets than carry a bolt action Lee-Enfield with plenty of rounds. Anti-aircraft guns are very high status, every man would surely want to mount one on the roof of his house if he could.


Older Zakini Baluch Afghan War Rug
Older Zakini Baluch Afghan War Rug
Older Zakini Baluch Afghan War Rug

Older Zakini Baluch War Rug

2 foot 7 inch by 4 foot 2 inch.

This is an extremely collectable older Afghan War Rug. A few rugs showed up in the market place a few years ago but I have not seen any since until this one. It is related to the traditional Mosque and Pool design. However the Mosque is portrayed as a Radar Tower.

I attribute this rug to the Zakini Baluch. The wool and the selvage looks distinctly Zakini Baluch.

Zakini Baluch Rug, Northwest Afghanistan. Twentieth century. 2 foot 7 inch by 4 foot 2 inch. (not including fringe).

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. 8 knots per horizontal inch and 7 knots per vertical inch. 56 per square inch (868 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply Wool, tan.

Weft: 2 shot blue cotton.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch balanced plain weave with twining and warp fringe.

Selvages: two 2 part cord double looped with brown goat.

Further Notes: Excellent condition.

An Early Period War Rug!

War rugs fall into two time periods. The earlier period is the war of Russian aggression which ended in 1988 and the war of Pakistani aggression often called the Civil War since 1988. This rug appears to be one of the Russian was rugs.


Wide Baluch Afghan War Rug
Wide Baluch Afghan War Rug
Wide Baluch Afghan War Rug 2

Baluch War Rug

Size: 4 foot 9 inch by 5 foot 11 inch.

This is a traditional pattern in some of the war rugs the idea of being encircled by Russian tanks. These seem to be more common in the earlier rugs of the war period.

This rug is from Northwestern Afghanistan. It is hand-woven and is in excellent condition. It dates to the time of the Afghan war.

War Rug

Size: 4 foot 9 inch by 5 foot 11 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left.  8 knots per horizontal inch and 9 knots per vertical inch. 72 per square inch (1116 per square decimeter).

Color: Umber, royal blue, raspberry, plum, tangerine, dark brown, cadet blue, lavender, aquamarine, blue green.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply tan wool.

Weft: 2 shots black wool.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch plain weave and overhand knots, heavy crossed wefts with 1 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord interlaced brown goat.

Handle: Light, durable, pliable.

Further Notes: Very good condition, some wear on fringe, one stain on plain weave of top end about the size of 1 inch by 1 inch.


Meshed War Rug
Meshed War Rug
Meshed War Rug

Meshed War Rug

2 feet 7 inches by 3 feet 11

A number of years ago I wrote an article for Oriental Rug Review called Afghan War Rugs: If it Walks Like a Duck.... In it I broke a lot of new ground trying to attribute the various types of war rugs to where they were made. One type I discussed were the rugs from Meshed, Iran. This is one of those rugs.

The argument for a Iranian attribution is outlined in my article. However the key identifiers are structure, wool and design. Recently I was able to obtain a number of these rugs and they are identical to what was available during the Russian war. Since this particular type is no longer made with these materials this rug must date to before The Islamic Republic of Iran began sending the refugees home after the war.

Afghan War Rug , Khorasan, Iran. 4th quarter 20th century. Intact full pile rug in unused condition. 2 feet 7 inches by 3 feet 11. (not including fringe).

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the right. 6 knots per horizontal inch and 7 knots per vertical inch. 42 per square inch (651 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: White cotton.

Weft: Black Cotton, 2 shots.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1/2 inch plain weave with warp fringe.

Selvages: wrapped in brown wool.

Further Notes: Excellent condition, in "As New Condition".

In 1954 the United States overthrew the legally constituted freely elected government of Iran and placed a despot on the Peacock Throne. I've heard all the arguments, Cold War, Status Quo, Geopolitical Considerations, etc... Not to mention Oil, Money, and Power. After many years the People of Iran overthrew the Shah and in the process they took our embassy. Ever since we have been punishing the Iranian people for overthrowing our puppet. When the Russians invaded Iran there were many refugees and about 2,500,000 ended up in Iran, mostly in the Meshed area. Because of the US boycott a disproportionate percent of the aid went to Pakistan. To eat meant working and in boycott ravaged Iran weaving was one of the few jobs open to the newcomers.


Mashhad Iran Afghan War Rug
Mashhad Iran Afghan War Rug
Mashhad Iran Afghan War Rug

Meshed War Rug

2 foot 8 inch by 4 foot 4 inch.

A number of years ago I wrote an article for Oriental Rug Review called Afghan War Rugs: If it Walks Like a Duck.... In it I broke a lot of new ground trying to attribute the various types of war rugs to where they were made. One type I discussed were the rugs from Meshed, Iran. This is one of those rugs.

The argument for a Iranian attribution is outlined in my article. However the key identifiers are structure, wool and design. Recently I was able to obtain a number of these rugs and they are identical to what was available during the Russian war. Since this particular type is no longer made with these materials this rug must date to before The Islamic Republic of Iran began sending the refugees home after the war.

By the way the assault rifle to the right is a Paratroopers version of a AK-47. The helicopter if the Hip helicopter which was what the Soviet Airborne used most often.

Afghan War Rug , Khorasan, Iran. 4th quarter 20th century.

Size: 2 foot 8 inch by 4 foot 4 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the right. 9 knots per horizontal inch and 7 knots per vertical inch.  63 per square inch (976.5 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 1 ply white cotton.

Weft: Single shot tan wool.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: Plain weave and overhand knot binding with 3 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord overcastting red wool.

Handle: Medium, durable.

Further Notes: Excellent condition.

To feed their children many people wove these rugs in Iran. When they went back home they wove related but very different rugs.

The key to understanding rugs is structure, wool and borders. Structural characteristics like the selvages. or the handle of a rug, the way the wool feels and then about the only design element that is important are the borders. What is in the field is of little consequence. As you learn about rugs feel the handle and feel the wool. the more you will understand about rugs.


Meshed War Rug
Meshed War Rug
Meshed War Rug
Meshed War Rug

Size: 2 foot 7 inch by 3 foot 9 inch.

A number of years ago I wrote an article for Oriental Rug Review called Afghan War Rugs: If it Walks Like a Duck.... In it I broke a lot of new ground trying to attribute the various types of war rugs to where they were made. One type I discussed were the rugs from Meshed, Iran. This is one of those rugs.

A question arose with someone who felt he was knowledgeable in Oriental Rugs. He suggested that these rugs were children's rugs from Pakistan. It was not the first time I heard that story but it is obviously flawed. The way a young person learns to weave is the way they will weave when they get older. It is rather silly to suggest that a weaver would use an asymmetric knot open to the right when young and then switch to an open left later. To say nothing of the major differences in structure, materials and end and side finishes. There are Pakistani rugs that are similar to these but any real "expert" should be able to see the clear cut differences.

The argument for a Iranian attribution is outlined in the Guide to Afghan War Rugs. However the key identifiers are structure, wool and design. Recently I was able to obtain a number of these rugs and they are identical to what was available during the Russian war. Since this particular type is no longer made with these materials this rug must date to before The Islamic Republic of Iran began sending the refugees home after the war.

This rug is from Meshed Iran. It is hand-woven and is in excellent condition.

War Rug

Size: 2 foot 7 inch by 3 foot 9 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the right.  6 knots per horizontal inch and 8 knots per vertical inch. 48 per square inch (744 per square decimeter).

Color: Goldenrod, red, onyx, copper, burgundy, old ivory.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 1 ply white cotton.

Weft: 1 shot gray cotton.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch plain weave and overhand knots with 3 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord overcastting black wool.

Handle: Medium, durable.

Further Notes: Very good condition, dye run across bottom end plain weave.


A Very Special Afghan War Rug
A Very Special Afghan War Rug
A Very Special Afghan War Rug

A Very Special Afghan War Rug

3 feet 8 inches by 6 feet 4

I have been collecting war rugs for years and rarely do I see anything really new and different. This is a very special war rug. Please note the ewers and the table but where the large bowl should be it has morphed into a tank. We also see the flag on the tank which is new as is the distinctive anti-aircraft guns. On the rear AA gun the scattered floral forms of the field become the sights or else the weaver interpreted the sights as flowers. Perhaps the most important new feature of this rug is the inclusion of a Taliban rocket. This is a new and drastic departure from the past. This is very much a rug of the civil war. What everything means I will have to consider.

I have acquired two of these and they are roughly the same. I consider them important enough that I decided to collect one myself. I use the word Important with some trepidation I will admit this is not the Pazaryk, or the lost borders of the Ardabil. However to War Rug Collectors this is an important rug for three reasons:

The weapons are an accurate depiction of what was used in battle.

It is a new different and attractive design.

It may be the first Pro-Taliban rug that I have seen.

Afghan War Rug, Herat Area, Herat. 4th quarter 20th century. 3 feet 8 inches by 6 feet 4. (not including fringe).

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. 7 knots per horizontal inch and 7 knots per vertical inch. 49 per square inch (760 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: Ivory wool.

Weft: Blue Cotton, 2 shots.

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1/2 inch plain weave.

Selvages: double wrapped in black goat.

Further Notes: New Condition.

Here we see a vase flanked by assault rifles set between the opposing spouts of the traditional ewers. Directly above that is a Taliban rocket. Taliban bombarded Kabul prior to the attack on the capitol. When they finally massed for attack the Taliban leaders stood down and Pakistani Army officers and Pakistani ISI agents took command and control. Taliban was a creation of ISI but I suspect it is now beyond Pakistan's control. They should have remembered the words of the Prophet Mohammed, "He who rides the tiger, reaps the whirlwind". Pakistan has only begun to reap the whirlwind called Taliban. When Taliban controls Afghanistan it will turn to Pashtunistan.

Looking at this one reminds me of my first assault rifle. I was 15 and it was a 7mm FN FAL made in Belgium. Of all my rifles that was always my favorite. I think for old times sake I will see if I can acquire another one.

I often get asked how I started collecting rugs. I started with war rugs. Two of the constants in my life have been that we always had Oriental rugs and I was always was fascinated by weapons. Later on when I saw my first war rug I was fascinated because it was a nice rug with interesting weaponry. During my political years I had never had the chance to work with the Afghanistanis but through my work to aid freedom fighters in other parts of the world I was well aware of their fight.

To me War Rugs are not about the glorification of war or weapons. It is about the indomitable spirit of men and women who love freedom enough to fight for it. It is about those gallant people who do not worry about the "Status Quo" and are not "smart" enough to do the expedient thing.


Cicaktu War Helicopter Rug
Cicaktu War Helicopter Rug
Cicaktu War Helicopter Rug

Chahar Aymaq War Rug

This Rug is in the style of the Pashtun Rugs from the Cicaktu area. However there are some important difference. The runner format has been adapted to a rug almost 7 by 4 feet (81 by 41 inches). It is also made with Chahar Aymaq wool and a Chahar Aymaq selvage. Consequently I suspect that Cicaktu refugees in the Herat area of which there are many taught one of their basic designs to a Chahar Aymaq weaver. Traditionally the Cicaktu weavers use a dyed camel colored yarn in the field while the Chahar Aymaq use undyed tan wool. This has the undyed tan which is another indicator of Chahar Aymaq provenance. Wool quality is very high with the long thick straight fibers that I see in the best rugs from Northwest Afghanistan. very sophisticated weave for the type. It is interesting to note that the knot count is lower than a Cicaktu because they are using larger yarn.

Baluch Type War Rug attributable to the Chahar Aymaq weavers of Northwest Afghanistan. Intact full pile rug in New condition. 3 foot 5 inches by 6 foot 2 inches (not including fringe).

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. 7.5 knots per horizontal inch and 8 knots per vertical inch. 52 per square inch (830 per square decimeter)

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply Wool, tan.

Weft: blue cotton, 2 shots

Pile: 2 Wool singles.

Ends: 1 1/4 inch weft substitution border.

Selvages: two 2 part cord double looped with Dark Brown.


Afghan War Rug Runner Cicaktu Afghanistan
Afghan War Rug Runner Cicaktu Afghanistan
Afghan War Rug Runner Cicaktu Afghanistan

Afghan War Rug Runner Cicaktu Afghanistan

Size: 2 foot 6 inch by 11 foot 7 inch.

This is a Cicaktu Afghan War Rug.

A number of years ago I wrote an article for Oriental Rug Review called Afghan War Rugs: If it Walks Like a Duck.... In it I broke a lot of new ground trying to attribute the various types of war rugs to where they were made. This is a Cicaktu Afghan War Rug..

This rug is from North Central Afghanistan. It is hand-woven and is in excellent condition. It dates to the time of the Afghan war.

Cicaktu is on route A76 east of Qaleh ye Nau and southwest of Maymaneh. The area is predominantly Pashtun.

Size: 2 foot 6 inch by 11 foot 7 inch.

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. 6 knots per horizontal inch and 8 knots per vertical inch. 48 per square inch (744 per square decimeter).

Color: Navy Blue, plum, umber, old ivory.

Yarn Spin: Z.

Warp: 2 ply tan wool.

Weft: 3 shots gray wool.

Pile: 2 wool singles.

Ends: 1 inch plain weave with floating weft sections and overhand knots with 1 inch warp fringe.

Selvages: 2 cord double-looped black goat, gray cotton.

Handle: Soft, light, durable.

Further Notes: Good condition, loss of color across top border, loss of plain weave 1 inch by 1 inch on top middle end, loss of half of top fringe.

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