Photographer's Note

I took these photos 20 years ago with an old camera when I traveled in the Hidu Kush Mountains in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The conflict with the USSR was in full swing. I was on this side of the mountain and gunfire was going on the other side of the mountain. The Afghani refugee was pouring to this side of Pakistan. I recently revisited these photos and decided to scan and post in TE.

Kalash Mysteries

When the great hero and general, Alexander the Great, left his troops here, he asked them to stay here in this land without changing their beliefs and traditions, their laws and culture until he returned from the battles in the East. This is a story that is told not in a village in Greece but on the the mountainsides of the great Hindu Kush. In this remote area of the northwestern region of Pakistan lives a peculiar tribe, the Kalash. The Kalash proclaim with pride that they are the direct descendents of Alexander the Great. There are many similarities between them and the Hellenes of Alexander the Great’s time. Similarities such as religion, culture, and language reinforce their claims to Hellenic ancestry.
As we know, Pakistan is a nation ruled by Islamic law. Under the law of the Koran alcohol consumption is prohibited. When we enter the region of the Kalash we encounter fields that are inhabited by grape vines. The Kalash are the only people who produce and consume wine and indulge themselves in feasts such as for the aforementioned feast of Dionysus. Greeks such as Socrates would participate in wine feasts such as we come across in the Symposium. Their feasts are always followed by songs and dances. The Kalash dance in a cyclical motion and the men usually follow it by loud cries of i-a and i-o which can be traced back to the battle cries let loose by Alexander�s soldiers. There is a saying held by the Pakistanis who state that only the Greeks and the Kalash whistle in such a way.
In 1896 a British explorer by the name of George Robertson visited the Kalash and did a study on them. He concluded that fifty percent of the Kalash�s language derives from Ancient Greek. Such similarities can be found in their gods� names. Zeus is called Zeo, Aphrodite is called Frodait, the name Dionysus has kept the same pronounciation. I am surprised that no DNA tests were conducted to confirm the origin of the Kalash. They are the easiest and most accurate.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Kiet Luu (nopoint) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 155 W: 0 N: 113] (878)
  • Genre: People
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 1986-07-30
  • Categories: Daily Life
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2006-04-24 10:35
Viewed: 5337
Points: 9
Additional Photos by Kiet Luu (nopoint) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 155 W: 0 N: 113] (878)
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