The Kalash or the Kalasha are the only pagan minority residing in the Chitral district of the province of Khyber. The Kalashas live in three valleys of Chitral namely, Rumbur, Brumbret and Birir. The Rumbur and Brumbret form a single culture due to their very similar cultural practices, while Birir being the most traditional one forms a separate culture. The number of Kalash has decreased so much so that only around 4000 people are residing in the valleys. The Kalashas are polytheistic and according to a renowned linguist Richard strand, is of the view that the people of Kalash practice an ancient form of Hinduism which gradually developed locally and got influenced by the neighboring areas of pre Islamic Nuristan. The inhabitants of the Kalash valley celebrate a number of festivals all year round which includes famous Joshi Spring Festival.
Photography by: Shah Zaman Baloch
October 23, 2016 8