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SubjectWar rugs--Afghanistan--History--20th century ; War rugs--Afghanistan--History 21st century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--20th century ; War rugs--Middle East--History--21st century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--20th century ; War rugs--Asia, Central--History--21st century ; AK-47 rifle
DescriptionThis rug has a figured yellow ground and a red border. The centrefield has an AK-47 assault rifle pointing upwards on the left hand side. To its right are several rows of X's, three vehicles with people in them, two diamond shapes on stands, a grenade at the bottom edge and a tassel-like motif. To the left of the rifle are several X's and another tassel-like motif at the bottom edge. The border is red with a white zigzag with black ‘tassels'. The selvedges are blue/black with plain-woven cotton ends and a cotton fringe.
NarrativeThe AK-47 or Kalashnikov is a Soviet assault rifle developed in the 1940's. It was used by the Soviet troops in Afghanistan, hence this carpet with its imposing rifle, might suggest Russian occupation. However, AK-47 copies were also used by the Mujahidin and the Taliban. Depending on the viewer the rug could suggest freedom from foreign political or ideological oppression. To the foreign nationals who purchased the rug, it is likely the rifle is emblematic of Afghanistan and complex counterinsurgency
Time Period depicted/representedLate 20th century, Early 21st century
Type of textilerugs ; carpets
Dimensions [cm]115 x 48
Materialswool weft and pile, cotton warp
Techniqueknotted pile
Language of Inscriptionsrus
Period MadeLate 20th century, Early 21st century
PublisherUniversity of Calgary
CollectionNickle Arts Museum Textile Collection
Sub-collectionFyke Rug Collection
ThemesFyke Rug Collection. Afghan Nationalism, Weapons Recognition
RightsThis collection is owned by the University of Calgary, Nickle Arts Museum and was donated by Robert Fyke. Permission to use any image or material from this site should be requested from The Nickle Arts Museum.
Accession Number2009.018.000
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