Afghanistan/Pakistan, Baluchi tribe, 1980s
Depiction of a helicopter in flight from the bottom left of the rug
This striking piece utilizes a geometric take on the traditional diamond herati pattern which accentuates its unusual central element of a stylized lion. The incorporation of traditional sacred elements such as the peacocks, linked to Islam, and the “S” shaped border associated with subduing evil, with the repeating representation of women and girls, herein differentiated via hairstyle and dress, truly sets this rug apart.
The elements of war, here helicopters in flight, are relegated to outside the diamond and placed amongst the women and animals. The spinning rotors give a sense of movement which may seem ominous; however, their association with sacred imagery contextualizes them and may be meant to diminish their power.
By: Alicia Cunningham-Bryant