Kafir Kalash – a people of the lost civilization

Obscured by high mountains and across the treacherous muddy tracks, there live a people up in the north of Pakistan, who do not even know who they are or from where they came to live a life of isolation – yet maintain and protect their beliefs, their ideology and way of living. Their ancestry is enveloped in mystery and has always remained a subject of controversy. A legend says that five soldiers of the legions of Alexander of Macedonia settled in Chitral and are the progenitors of the Kafir-Kalash.
Between the town of Drosh and Chitral city, a track turn to the left from village of Ayun on Kunar river to the Kalash Valley, where these strange yet attractive people live in three villages of Rukmu, Mumret and Biriu (called Rambur, Bumburet and Birir in local Kalashi language). The present population of the Kafir Kalash is approximately 3,000. However, after living in obscurity for long, their children are now studying in local schools, but do not move out to seek other avenues of livelihood and continue to cling to their age old traditions and customs.
The villages are situated on the southern face of the hillside about 50-100 meters above the river. This protects them from invaders and the floods in summer, and at the same time helps to get sunshine during the winter. The snow that lies on the bottom of the ravine and in the shade do not melt until spring. In summer to avoid the sun, some people live in a second house built on the opposite side of the river. The Kalash Valleys have extensive forests of Holly-Oak and Himalayan cedar. Walnut, Apricot, Apple, Pear and Mulberry trees abound near the villages.

While Kalash men wear ordinary shalwar kameez (the loose long shirt and trousers) as do most of the Pakistanis, the Kalash women wear five large braids of and the ‘Cheo’, a black woolen homespun dress, red-beaded necklaces by the dozen, and an exceptional head piece (shaped differently in each valley) covered in cowry shells, beads and trinkets that flow down their back. For their black robes, the Kalash are sometimes referred to as the “Wearers of the Black Robes”. Kalash means black in their language.

Herein under is a pictorial representation of Kalash people, their fetivals and music.
Cheelim Jusht Festival 2010 - Kalash
Cheelim Jusht Festival 2010 – Kalash by Iqbal Khatri (Bumburet Valley of Kalash, Chitral, Pakistan)
Spring is welcomed to the valleys with girls singing and dancing on the roofs for the Kirik Pushik, the festival of the first flower blooming. In spring women are allowed to enter the restricted upper valleys, with the Siu Wajik rite, in which a girl crushes three walnuts as an offering on the boundary bridge. Joshi, the main spring festival, is held in May. All the houses and the temple of the goddess Jeshtak are decorated with walnut branches and flowers, and milk is distributed to all the villagers.
Colours of Kalash Valley
Colours of Kalash Valley by Iqbal Khatri
Kalashi Girl
Kalashi Girl by Max Loxton
Kalash Girls in Rumbur, Chitral, Pakistan - June 2006
Kalash Girls in Rumbur, Chitral, Pakistan – June 2006 by SaffyH – Minsmere
A Kalash Cherub, Hindukush, Kalash valleys
A Kalash Cherub, Hindukush, Kalash valleys by imranthetrekker
Kalasha. (people with black robe).
Kalasha. (people with black robe). by Nadeem Khawar
How is my Baby now ?
How is my Baby now ? by Iqbal Khatri
Uncle of the deceased guy
Uncle of the deceased guy by imranthetrekker
Traditional Hip Hop
Traditional Hip Hop by ?§m?
Kalash sisters - Pakistan
Kalash sisters – Pakistan by hongkiu
Kalash Girls, Chitral (Pakistan)
Kalash Girls, Chitral (Pakistan) by Amir Mukhtar Mughal
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Three Kalash girls by jitenshaman
Very Old Women in Kalash
Very Old Women in Kalash by Gulraiz Ghori
Kalash Spring festival in Hindukush by imranthetrekker
dark green eyes pakistan kalash girl
dark green eyes Pakistan kalash girl by Blue_agava
Kalash
Kalash by Jonny Cash Money
The music of Kalash, Hindukush, Chitral
This footage is shot while a Kalash woman was playing flute and it is so sweet, when one looks at the ambience around her and the music.
Read more about Kafir Kalash and their customs and traditions at: Kalash Valley where fairies dance and sing (Pakistanpaedia)

Top 10 Women that made headlines in Pakistan – 2010

The year brought good news when two female members of our SAARC games squad (left top and below) won gold medals in athletics and Karate. Naseem Hameed became the fastest women of South East Asia when she won the 100 metres women title. The 22 years old clocked 11.81 seconds, 0.12 seconds ahead of Sri Lanka’s Pramila Priyadarshani, and became the first female athlete to win the race in Pakistan’s sports history. Sara won gold for her superb performance in Karate.

Later in the Asian Games, the Pakistani women cricket team won gold for Pakistan and made headlines as this was their first ever victory at such a prestigious sports venue.

Hadiqa Kiani is a famous pop singer of Pakistan, who besides singing takes active part in caring for the poor, socially children. For her love and care for the poor, she along with the famous Pakistan tennis player Aisam ul Haq, was appointed as UN Ambassador of Goodwill.

Angelina Jolie needs no introduction for her superb acting in many Hollywood motion pictures. But Miss Jolie won the hearts of countless poor Pakistani, especially the women and children when she visited the flood affected areas of Pakistan earlier this year. Miss Jolie, dressed in makeup-less attire was seen wading through muddy flood waters and reaching out to the poor and console them and offering her whole hearted support as UN Ambassador of Goodwill.

Asma Jahangir is is a leading Pakistani lawyer, advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and an human rights activist, who works both in Pakistan and internationally to prevent the persecution of religious minorities, women, and exploitation of children. She has also recently become the first female President Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.

Sana Mehmud is the captain of the women football team of Pakistan. Like the women cricket, she has high hopes to bring glory to women of Pakistan by competing and winning international football events. The star Indian tennis player Sania Mirza hit headlines both in Pakistan and India when she married Shoaib Malik, a Pakistan cricketer, earlier this year.

Dr Afia Siddiqui is a victim of pride and prejudice. Indicted as a suspected terrorist, she was convicted by a US court to 86 years in prison despite the fact that the case against did not have solid evidence and witnesses. The whole Pakistan nations want their daughter back as everyone is of the opinion that a case has falsely been framed against her with lot of loose ends and ambiguous claims.

The last photo in the right column is that of the anguished eyes of the veiled women of Pakistan who make headlines everyday when they are subjected to injustice in a male dominated society.

We do hope to have more females making headlines in year 2011 in the fields of science, technology, and other disciplines besides sports.

Alexandria Mills – the Blue Eyed Miss World 2010

Miss Alexandria Mills – the 18 years old, standing 5 feet 9 inches tall, blonde with blue eyes became the blue eyed of all selectors when she was finally declared the Miss World 2010 on 30th October in a beautiful closing ceremony held at Crown Convention Center in Sanya, China (above top). Hailing from Louisville, USA, she became the 60th Miss World.  Emma Wareus of Botswana became the first runner up while Miss Venezuela Adriana Vasini was named the second runner-up.

In her final 30 seconds decisive speech, Miss Mills said that she wanted to make an impact on others life and would like to help every people that she possibly could. A beauty model herself, she aspires to become a teacher.

Also See: Miss America is the new Miss World 2010