A second generation war rug

by

dsc04757.jpg

Each new discovery creates its own puzzles. This rug is characteristic of the early phase of refugee camp rugs in Pakistan marking the second generation of war rugs – dating from the late 1980s and continuing during the civil wars of the 1990s. This rug, sent by Rob Silcocks, a new reader of the blog, was found in an antique shop in Austin, where it has been sitting “for the last 15 years”. And from what you can tell from the photos, there’s some Turkmen influence in the framing pattern, and the modest kilim skirts. Which is consistent with other expatriate rugs produced in Pakistan in this era.
dsc04761.jpg

The texts, although somewhat scrambled, and maybe phoneticised, are revealing: “Made in Afghani refoji (refugee)” (twice) and “nojadim (?) Islami Afghanistan”, then in Farsi “Zendeh Baad, Afghanistan-e-Eslaami” (“Long Live Islamic Afghanistan”).

But then there is the question of the date: 1357 by the solar calendar is 1978 -79 AD, which is clearly not the date the rug was made, but refers to the time of the Saur revolution and the Soviet invasion. It seems to me that most rugs have dates inscribed in them are NOT the date in which they were made – a convention we might desire, but which is rarely substantiated. Some of these may be simply a case of mistaken inscription – instances of war rugs with pre-war dates will excite some theorists more than it should…

In our experience there are three kinds of dates:

1. Dates that make reference to an historical incident – sometimes substantiated by other texts, the date in European numerals, or other visual clues. However dates such as 1979, 1980, or 1989 make sense in relation to the USSR occupation, or withdrawal.
2. Dates that are mis-transcriptions (given that most weavers are non-literate, this seems fairly common)

3. The date of production. This is rare, but more common in second-generation carpets, where other texts in the same rug clearly address an “outside” audience. It’s sometimes possible to substantiate a date of production by comparison with the character of the carpet, and where it sits in the war carpet chronology, or where there’s a makers name – we have seen name, address and phone number in some carpets, and even the price!

Advertisements

One Response to “A second generation war rug”

  1. Luca Brancati Says:

    You are deeply right! But the problem is that when a “theorist” write a book, published by a very respectable international firm, we all have to do more than a twice of the work to reverse the general opinion. As soon as possible we need to organize the international exhibition with its catalogue to fix some fundamental points. greetings, Luca

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: