This rare rug is one of only five we have discovered, in over a dozen years in Belgium. Piled rugs and flat woven floor coverings were made at the mission of the White Sisters of Notre Dame in Kabgayi in Rwanda. The sisters taught young Tutsi women to weave in the European manner but using traditional Tutsi designs – using sisal fibre, rather than wool. They were woven on European style vertical looms and were constructed with knots, foundations, ends and selvedges identical to those on Belgian carpets of the first half of the 20th century. Very few examples have survived in good condition owing to the fragile nature of the materials.