This is the third part of the Kalash series, so far all photos were taken during one day, a very special day indeed. It was the last day of the Joshi festival.
The Kalash tribespeople celebrate three main festivals: Joshi, in late May; Uchau, in autumn and Caumus, in midwinter. They believe that the god Sorizan protects their herds during fall and winter, while the responsibility is that of god Goshidai, until the Pul or full-moon festival. The most important Kalash festival is Chaumos, a festival that marks the winter solstice. It is celebrated to officially mark the end of all fieldwork and harvest activity. The people indulge in live music and dance and of course, animal sacrifice. At the celebrations, while the declared 'pure' men sing songs of the clan's past, the 'impure' resort to passionate and obscene lyrics. During the festivities of Budulak, a prepubescent male child is sent into the mountains to live with the goats during the entire summer. The tribesmen believe that feeding extensively on goat milk makes the boy strong.
The spring festival, in the middle of May lasts for four days. The spring festival honors the fairies and also safeguards the goats and shepherds before they go to the pastures. Before the festival the women and girls gather from all over the valley and decorate their houses. Inside the houses local wine and milk products are shared.
Every religious ceremony is accompanied by dancing and rhythmical chant to a beat of the drum. The women wearing their traditional black robes, ornate cowries shelled head dresses and adorned with colored necklaces, dance in a circle. Then the men join in : it may be a man and a women or a man in the middle with a women on each side, lovers being free to intermingle. One hand is held round the waist of the partner and the other round the shoulders. Tribal chiefs in colorful dresses narrate stories of bygone days and events.
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iainsp (2626) 2010-09-27 5:43
A great festival shot - I like the focus on the hands and arms with the human bodies providing the frame. Nice detail on the man's face in the background - these festival shots are not easy and you have done really well here. Wonderful colours just add to the fine impression. Nice work, Iain.