Rugged Drones

That is ‘drones on a rug’, not tough drones. This is taken from an online article entitled ‘Lessons from the Afghan Women Who Weave Modern War into an Ancient Tradition’ on


[Photo by Kevin Sudeith, via]

It’s very difficult to summarise the complex factors that have led to these rugs featuring the weapons of warfare all-too-familiar to the women who have made them. Suffice it to say it’s much more complex that just picking up on modern familiar imagery and incorporating them. Socially, politically, and religiously, that’s all made much harder.Referring to the Taliban control in the 1990s, the article at says:

“…the extremist group quickly implemented a severe interpretation of Sharia law. Women’s economic and social independence, as well as their basic access to public life, was grievously curtailed by the practice of purdah, or female seclusion.

“Aniconism was also decreed based on a hadith, or Muslim religious text referring to the life of prophet Muhammed; depicting living creatures became idolatrous. Photography—in addition to most art forms—was also banned. In this context, the flowers and fauna incorporated into many traditional carpet patterns became riskier. Strangely, parachutes and bombs easily took their place.”

I chose this illustration from the selection in the article as the large cross shape could simply be a motif, like the hook shapes around the edge, but it is, of course a plan view of one of the larger drones (or UAV – ‘unmanned aerial vehicle’ as the military wish they were known) with an echo of one of the smaller types in the centre. I haven’t attempted to identify them, as they’re not an area of aviation I care to know about, but if a reader cares to, that would be appreciated.

James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.

More details at ‘’. Original article referenced is here. Thanks to James Cottam for sharing the original link.

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