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Culture of Kalash Valley
Transcript of Culture of Kalash Valley
M. Hunain Tanveer
Rizwan Amjad Kalash Valley History
Population Culture Of Kalash People
Foods Festivals Chilimjusht (Joshi) Kalash Festival
Phool Kalash Festival
Chawmos Kalash Festival Tourism Major Products References The ancestors of kafir kalash migrated from Afghanistan to Chitral in 2nd century BC.
The Kafir kalashas were ruled by the Mehtar of Chitral from the 18th century onward.
They have enjoyed a cordial relationship with the major ethnic group of Chitral, the Kho who are Sunni and Ismaili Muslims. Location Kalash valley further consists of 3 small valleys i.e Brir , Bumburet & Rambur
Brir lies at the southern most tip of Chitral at a distance of 34 km (21 miles) and is easily accessible by jeep-able road via Ayun. It is especially ideal for those not used to trekking.
Bumburet, the largest and the most picturesque valley of the Kafir Kalash, is 36 km.(22 miles) from Chitral and is connected by a jeep-able road.
Rambur is 32 km (20 miles) from Chitral, the road is jeep-able. Foreign tourists require permits for visiting the Kalash valleys. Climate These valleys have an alpine climate.
It is home to some of majestic mountains, . green valleys, glaciers and snow-capped peaks including 7706 m Tirichmir, the highest in the Hindukush mountain range.
The summers is between 23°C to 27°C. Winters, on the other hand, can be very cold, with average minimum temperature is between 2°C to 1°C.The extreme minimum temperature recorded in the valleys have been -4.8°C to -15°C for the month of January and February.
The valley get rainfall between 700mm to 800mm. From December to March occasionally even later. Snowfall is quite frequent Kalash valley. Population The Kalasha tribe is observing the great demographic change; their population is under threats for many years.
Their population was 10,000 in 1959 showed 63% decrease per annum due to the pressure of people from the urban centers of the country, shrinking it to 3700 souls in 2009.
The Kalasha society is observing cultural change, that is drastic cultural and social change. People of Kalash The people inhabiting these valleys are the primitive pagan tribes of Pakistan, who are known as Kafir Kalash, which means the wearers of the black robes.
Legend has it that the Kalash women are part-fairy and part-human.
The most astonishing aspect of this tribe is the working relationship between Kalasha men and women. The tribe does not separate between male and female .The women do not hide their faces. Instead they dance in the open, drink wine and express themselves freely.
Kalash are very lively people .Their colorful dances impart a feeling of peace, joy and contentment. If you join them in their dance, they interpret it as a sign friendship and will open their hearts to you and reveal some of their mysteries, their joys and sorrows.
It is probably the only tribal area of Pakistan where love marriage is allowed for girls (even if already married). Dressing Kalash women are strikingly colorful in their unique customs. Their hair is plaited, both in front and back. On their heads they wear the shushut a small head –dress like a ring around the head with a long piece hanging down the back. On top of that the big head-dress or Kupas is worn for protection against the sun and for ceremonial occasions. Both head-dresses are heavily decorated with cowries, buttons, beads and brass.
When a person dies the close female relatives wear the Kupas alone for the period of mourning.The black baggy dress is tied with a broad scarf, or Patti
Now-a-days the men wear the practical Shalwar Kameez suit, as well as Chitrali cap. During the cold winter decorated woolen leggings are commonly tied around the Shalwar. Language Kalasha is an Indo-European language in the Indo-Aryan branch spoken by the Kalash people.
A scholar maintains that "The Kalasha do not belong to the special Kafir branch of Indo-Iranian but speak a true Indo-Aryan language.
According to one scholar, the Kalasha language is the closest modern language to Ancient Sanskrit(old Indo-Aryan) closely followed by Western Dardic language, Khowar. Religion Kalash religion is similar to the religion that was practiced by Rigvedic aryans. The Kalash people are unique in their customs and religion.
.However, during the last two decades, protection by the Pakistani government has seen the Kalash double in number.The isolated Kalash have received strong religious influences from pre-Islamic Nuristan. Occupation Historically a goat herding and subsistence farming people, the Kalash are moving towards a cash-based economy whereas previously wealth was measured in livestock and crops.
Tourism now makes up a large portion of the economic activities of the Kalash.
People attempting to enter the valleys have to pay a toll to the Pakistani government, which is used to preserve and care for the Kalash people and their culture.
Honey collected from traditional bee hives is an important source of nutrition and income for dweller of Kalash valley. Foods The Kalasha people have their own indigenous recipes of different dishes and breads.
They have two major types of bread; wheat bread and walnut bread.
The wheat bread is used in daily life while walnut bread is baked on special occasion like festivals, on death, birth or on the arrival of some special guests. Chilimjusht Festival Phool Kalash Festival Chawmos Kalash Festival Festivals Kalash are very lively people and are famous for their lively religious festivals namely: Chilimjusht (spring), Phool (September) and Chowas (from 21st December for a week). The Kalash love music and their instruments are drums and flutes. Celebrated at the end of May each year in all the Kalash Valleys of Chitral which is linked by air and by road with Peshawar.
The first day of Joshi is "Milk Day", on which the Kalash offer libations of milk that have been saved for ten days prior to the festival Marked with singing, dancing & feasting. Another colorful Kafir Kalash Festival celebrating reaping of grapes and walnuts in all the three Kalash Valleys of Chitral in mid of September.
Their odd rituals, strange habits & queer customs attract and bewitch tourists from all over the world. The most important Kalash festival is the Chawmos which is celebrated for two weeks in winter at the beginning of the month chawmos mastruk.
It marks the end of the year's fieldwork and harvest. It involves much music, dancing, and the sacrifice of many goats.
It is dedicated to the god Balimain who is believed to visit from the mythical homeland of the Kalash, Tsyam for the duration of the feast.
Food sacrifices are offered at the clans' Jeshtak shrines, dedicated to the ancestors. Graveyards The Kalash do not bury the dead and their funeral rituals are just as distinctive. The deceased are not mourned.
Their bodies are instead propped up for display at the Jestak Temple which is named after the goddess who protects pregnant women, marriage and family.
Another aspect of their fascinating culture that deserves mention is the ancient graveyard in the Bumberet valley.
Open coffins with visible bones were spread around in the cemetery. References www.wikipedia.com/kalash valley
thekalashatimes.wordpress.com/category/education Brief History Contents Tourism This valley is in Chitral district and Chitral is famous for its ntural beauty.
Many foreigners from all around the world come here to feel the natural beauty of earth.
Furthermore its inhabitants are very friendly and love to celebrate.This aspect increases intrests of foreigners towards this region. Major Products Kalash Valley is located in the remote south western part of District Chitral. The area is gifted with unique Cultural and biological diversity.
The natural forest of the area mainly consists of Pine (Pinus wallichiana), Chlghoza (Pinus gerardiana) Deodar (Cedrus deodara) and broad leaf species like Oak (Quercus incana).
There are a lot more worthy and useful products like basketry , walnut bark, pomegrana, russian olive etc. and so many more that cannot be told at once.