Afghan War Rugs: The Verdict, kinda. (10 photos)

Yesterday we posted a rug featuring a depiction of the 9-11 World Trade Center attacks. These rugs are called Afghan War Rugs. The Chive just wants to set the record straight about the true meaning and history behind these rugs.
Afghan War rugs are traditional Persian or Oriental rugs featuring martial images, such as helicopters, tanks, guns, etc. They come from, primarily, Afghanistan and were first woven around 1980. The war rug tradition of Afghanistan has its origins in the decade of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan from 1979, and has continued through subsequent military, political and social conflicts. Afghan rug-makers began incorporating the apparatus of war into their designs almost immediately after the Soviet Union invaded their country. They continue to do so today in the wake of the United States’ 2001 invasion of Afghanistan which ousted the Taliban government of Mullah Omar but has failed to bring an end to violence in the country. The rugs produced in response to these events are among the world’s richest traditions of war art of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.
No ones knows for sure if the weavers are simply reporting war events, or if they are glorifying “battles”, won or lost. One thing is for sure, the weavers do not have spell check.
My two cents: different cultures have different traditions, but at the end of the day, I don’t like these rugs and I think they are propaganda.

  • Chris

    lol. looks like a 5 year old did some of them. I mean- come on….the helicopters and airplanes….lmao!

    Anyways…i think there is alot to be said about these.

  • Bill

    Thanks for clarifying your earlier thread.

  • huh

    “No one knows for sure”

    Huh? In the previous thread, those that were familiar with the culture and tradition all said that this was not propaganda, and was attempt (albeit clumsy) at reconciliation and to tell the story of what happened.

    After reading those comments, it was pretty clear what the situation was. It sounds like you are just allowing your pre-conceived notions and assumptions get in the way of the truth.

    Pretty lame.

  • Digitsis

    War rugs are primarily from Afghanistan but war rugs/textiles were also used by Chilean women in memory of ‘the disappeared’ and to protest Pinochet’s rule in Chile. South African weavers have used the medium to show their struggles under apartheid.

  • Equalizer

    Yes you were right, they don’t have spell checker in making those rugs.

  • bob

    yet again trying to prove you were right and failing. after soo many comments from people who seem to know alot about these rugs and traditions explaining to ur little brain what they are intended for, you still stick to ur point and bring that piece of info which doesnt say anything clearly about what the rugs intended for…..admit for once you made a mistake *****!!!

  • Kim

    It’s obvious that if one would actually LOOK at the symbolism used in these rugs, that they are in SUPPORT of US-led efforts to help Afghanistan. Just look at the rug that has the US and Afghan flag in the center, with a dove carrying an olive branch? Wtf do you think that means? PEACE between the two nations. Or how about the 4th one from the bottom, “Rout of Terrorism with help of USA and Britain”. It’s pretty sad that you gave such a negative spin on these rugs, and besides “September” being cut off at the top of one rug, they were all spelled correctly. The words were just spaced too close together. The people who made these do not know how to read, and probably wove the letters as they were written down on a pattern by some one else. I love The Chive, but perhaps you guys should stay out of posting images for which you do not have a clear understanding of what they really represent.

  • Accu

    In my opinion these are not propaganda…do you think these people enjoy there house being blown and have to leave their land with not enough money? (like in the 9th picture). I think these rugs are a way to document their history, there not taking sides in it, its just a representation of the times they are, living in. Another thing, to the people saying this look like something a 5 year old made …try making a rug with images on it and try writing or saying something in there language…

  • chivefail

    This is clearly to document history as it happened, not propaganda woven by illiterate afghans. Quit trying to justify the notion of it being otherwise. It makes you and your website look like a bunch of bigots and with you still trying to justify what you’ve said earlier. You fail Chive.

  • xclusive02

    It’s hard to say what point is trying to get across. I guess being from the States, it’s a sensitive matter here, and we naturally think it’s glorifying the attack to sell rugs to people who supported the incident. Guess it’s a wait and see type of thing

  • dissapointed

    Its pretty clear what point they are trying to put across here, unfortunately the chive cant see past its own ignorance and bigotry, probably from watching too much american ‘propaganda’ about how muslims are all terrorists.

    the symbolism in these rugs are as clear as day and if you cant see that then either don’t post this stuff and start spouting your hate, or pick up a book and educate yourself!

    I recommend you look up christian exteremist and hate groups and do a little research. You’ll find that muslims aren’t the only ones with extremist groups within their religion and you’ll also see that most terrorist acts on US soil in the last 50 years were in fact perpetrated by chrisitian extremist and white supremist groups. Who incidently, are also quite active in the rest of the world!

  • » Blog Archive » Afghan War Rugs: The Verdict, kinda. (10 photos)

    […] . Yesterday we posted a rug featuring a depiction of the 9-11 World Trade Center attacks. These rugs are called Afghan War Rugs. The Chive just wants to set the record straight about the true meaning and history behind these rugs. (more…) […]

  • bigbigfan

    Yeah, I gotta say that this is an EPIC FAIL on Chive’s part. I really love your site, but you obviously either haven’t looked at the photos of these rugs or are not able to see past your own bigoted views. Either way, really really disappointing. Maybe you all should just stick to posting funny and/or sexy pics, leave the politics to others.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Chive,

    Your views are clearly expressed in how you tagged the earlier post:


    Plus, you edited the post title, but not the page title. So for all those who missed it, the original was:

    “Shamless world trade center Muslim rug glorifying attacks”

    I like your site, but I’ve thought for awhile that this is simply a way for you guys to make some ad money by taking pictures from other sites. Plus now you’ve added additional ads among the posts column. I don’t blame you, I wouldn’t run a website out of the goodness of my heart either.

    But here’s a long shot – to get more traffic to this site, did you think Drudge Report would pick up on your link with a post title like “Shamless world trade center Muslim rug glorifying attacks”? That would certainly help ad revenue!

  • Anonymous


    To depict an event is not to glorify it.

  • The author is ...

    To Leo,
    You my friend, are a retard. These rugs are a symbol of peace, not propaganda. Doves with olive branches, means peace. Remember, their making these rugs in homes you wouldn’t have an animal live in, and english is not a common language. Also, they learn words from the soldiers there in the country. The depictions of the world trade centre does not mean it’s glorifying the attacks, it’s like posters in America depicting the aftermath of them, with firemen saving people. This is simply them showing people what has happened, as they can’t exactly get on computers to blog about it. You my friend need some serious help, and need to remember, your not a journalist, no one cares what you think as you spend most your day searching google images for pictures. And just because you suffer from small penis syndrome doesn’t mean people on the internet can’t tell.
    Someone better then you
    P.S. Grow a pair … and have a nice day …

  • me

    Wow. These are some of the most mature and insightful comments to be found on this site. Everything I was planning to say about this post has already been said. Bravo, Chivers!

  • Bob

    Say what you want but the errors in spelling are done on purpose. Herat, a city in Afghanistan, still produces some of the world’s best hand made rugs. They are typical of all rugs from the Middle East, mostly composed of symmetric patterns that repeat over and over. The patterns are always ALMOST perfect. Every rug has a flaw no matter how perfect they appear that are purposely made into the rug. These purposely implemented flaws are incorporated because the only thing that can be perfect in Islam is Allah. The artisans who make these things can make whatever you want and even a trained circus monkey can make a perfect pattern. But only a true believer can make something that is “perfectly flawed”.

  • Belle

    In 2003 in San Antonio I heard from multiple reliable sources that a rug dealer in a San Antonio Antique Mall had a rug for sale depicting two towers with fiery rubble at the base and an airplane flying in the background –before 9/11/01. The story I was told was that it was confiscated by federal authorities immediately after the attack. Has anyone ever heard of such a rug?

  • Hoardowduew

    There is nothing wrong with compromise. Even if all of life – full kompromizm.

  • Psara

    Yeah these are quite clearly not anti-American. Beyond that, most people in the middle east don’t hate the west at all, it’s just their governments.

    Oh well, I didn’t really expect Leo to respond to yesterday at all.

  • pundit


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