1021 and 2097: Two Tora Bora Rugs


1021: Tora Bora with Cerulean Blue Doves
Afghanistan, Turkmen, 2002
Three cord weft wrapped wool  


 2097: Unique Tora Bora Rug: large with Turkmen Border
Afghanistan, Turkmen, 2002                                

These rugs are examples of a genre of commercially made map rugs woven by Turkmen refugees. They tell the story of Osama bin Laden’s escape from his hiding place in the eastern Afghanistan Tora Bora cave system into Pakistan. Both rugs contain very similar text, thanking American forces for helping to oust Al-Qaeda. American vehicles (B-52s and F-16s) are shown as well.

When considering the misspellings, keep in mind that the rug makers were likely unfamiliar with English and following a pattern. Both maps display the American and Afghan flags side by side, one with a peace dove between them.

By Ilana Napoli