Smithsonian Magazine on War Rugs

Attorney Mark Gold has an oriental rug in his western Massachusetts home that most people call “nice-looking” until he tells them to inspect it more closely. Then they’re enthralled, because this is no run-of-the-mill textile—it’s what is called an Afghan war rug, and what it depicts is somber and stunning: cleverly mixed with age-old botanical and geometric designs are tanks, hand grenades and helicopters. “It’s a beautiful piece in its own right,” says Gold, “but I also think telling a cultural story in that traditional medium is fascinating.”

by Mimi Kirk

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About Kevin

Kevin Sudeith is the war rug collector who built warrug.com. After starting to collect Afghan rugs, he began selling regular and war rugs to better study war rugs and their historical origins. Sudeith learned how war rugs related to traditional Afghan tribal and workshop rugs as well as the broader Turkmen and Persian rug traditions.