‘When it comes to what to depict on rugs, Afghan weavers traditionally turn to what’s most familiar. So in the 1980s, when the Mujahedeen were fighting back the Soviet occupation, some local weavers abandoned flowers and water jugs to illustrate what their days consisted of back then: war.
Tanks, helicopters, Kalashnikovs, hand grenades, and bazookas started creeping into the centuries-old tradition, either as elements of a landscape or as icons in a pattern. “My favorite one is an old Beluch style one,” says the 49-year-old U.S. entrepreneur Kevin Sudeith. “The design dates back to the 19th century but it has two helicopters and two tanks at each end of the rug.”’