Accueil / Littérature adulte / Voyages / Les Kalash du Pakistan

Men between fairies and women

The bipolarity of the environment of the kalash mountaineers of the Hindu Kush.

The Kalash live in the depths of the Hindu Kush range, in the northern corner of the Nort West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Their territory is restricted to three norrow valleys leading to Afghanistan. The Kalash speak kalasha-mun, an Indo-aryan language of the Dardic group, and they prectise a polythéistic religion, influenced but not submerged by any of the constituted religions having a hold over the Himalayan range. Herdsmen and farmers living in an often violent and upredictable nature, the Kalash think that they share their territory with invisible powers, fairies and evil spirits, capricious owners of the sources of preoperity. They also propitiate a pantheon of god settled down by, and known through, their successive shamans. A trip through their valleys, from the peaks of the mountains down to the rivers, and a reading of their landscape, help to understand the ralatioships and the pragmatic dealings of the Kalash with the supernatural world, as the basis of their religion.


Jean-Yves Loude et Viviane Lièvre, In Mandala and Landscape, edited by A.W. McDonald, D.K. Printworld (P)Ltd, New Delhi, pp407-433, with black and white photos.