More from Graham Gower

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Graham’s notes:

This is a large square rug measuring 4×5 feet. It has some age and wear and was no doubt woven during the war period. A symbolic rug showing the geography of war. Also, it is a story rug. On the mountain tops can be seen Russian strongpoints and above a sky full of military aircraft, some dropping their bomb loads. In the valley are the villages, woodlands and a large lake, either Lake Zarkol by the border with Tajikstan, Lake Shiveh in Badakstan, or Lake Istadeh-ye Moqor in Ghazni province. The craft depicted may be landing craft but are probably fishing boats. The inner border shows a pattern of tanks and armoured vehicles. To the bottom left is some writing, which may be a signature and to the top right can be seen representations of the tree of life. In this rug the weaver appears to be contrasting peace and war. Place of origin of this rug is uncertain and does not seem to be the normal style associated with Baluch weavers – thus possibly from the Iran border area. A truly Afghan War rug.

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I asked Graham for a brief biographical note: he is an archivist working in London and an author of many local history publications and articles. He also lectures widely on the subject. In addition, he is a writer on antiques and collectables, specialising in 20th century decorative ceramics.

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One Response to “More from Graham Gower”

  1. kevin Says:

    My understanding is that some of these water scenes are river scenes of the Amu Darya which runs between Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. Around Mazar i’Sharif, where the Friendship Bridge is, there are elaborate Uzbek/former Soviet fortifications on the Uzbek side. These fortifications may be scene in the hills of Graham’s rug.

    On the other hand I have not seen any bridge rugs. In addition, the style is Taimani, which is nowhere near the Amu Darya.

    Does anyone know about boats or boating in Afghanistan? Seems odd to depict boats in such an arid land, but I read boats are a symbol of good luck.

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