Photographer's Note

Silkroad travels: Wakhan

The cemetery near Shirgin looks as if for burials pagan rites were the rule, despite the fact that the Wakhi are Ismailit muslims. The cemetery is orned with horns of Siberian ibex and Argali wild sheep but we never saw a single living Ibex or Argali on our long trip through the Wakhan valley and the Pamir.

Since this is my last picture of the Wakhan valley I add the portrait of a Wakhi lady in the workshop area.

What Marco Polo said in his "Travels", written around 1299, about the Wakhi:" The people here are good archers and keen huntsmen and most of them wear costumes of skin...The ladies ...wear trousers...The mountains abound in game, both beast and bird. The sheep sometimes roam in flocks of four to six hundred". Archers! Some Wakhi showed us their automatic rifles they use today. It's useful to recall that Alpine ibex was extinct in the Alps at the beginning of the 20th century except for the Gran Paradiso population in the exclusive hunting domain for the king of Italy.

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Additional Photos by Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 54 N: 651] (1628)
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