1009: Tree of Life Rug with Grenade

Afghanistan, Zakini Tribe, 1993

This war rug of the Zakini Baluch tribe utilizes a traditional pre-war naturalistic design consisting of a customary indigo background and leaf and animal symbolism linked with the tree of life. The repeating leaves represent immortality and the ā€œSā€ shapes on the border represent a symbol for subduing the power of evil. Baluchs believed antlered animals endowed the Shaman with the soul of the dead, and the birds mediated between Earth and the spiritual world. The only elements of war are the two grenades located before the face of the peacock, one in the center right and center left of the piece.

By Rachel Morin