Kalash Peoples Struggle to Sustain their Culture

Kalasha Times Report


Kalash 3 May 2011: As spring arrived and Kalash peoples are very keen zealous and preparing for the Zhoshi (Spring Festival 2011). This report will analyze all hazards faced today as a unique and expensive culture of the world. Preparation is on the peak and tourists are started arriving in the valleys. But many local school and colleges have also started arranging culture tour for their students to see and know this unique culture.

A flower (Sign for spring festival)

The famous flower is known as Bis’ a yellow flower which is at full blossom now. This flower has great importance in Kalash culture especially in Zhoshi festival. The first day starts with the decoration of all houses and important place using the flower B’s’ and walnut leafs. Every village will have their own festival on this day and it is called Chirik Pipi (Milk day).

Chirik Pipi (3)Chirik Pipi (8)

  Bis’ (The Yellow Flower)                                              A woman holding Bis’ Pointing up

Expenses v/s Culture

KIF_0186Copy (2) of CHT589 D

Photo from Winter Festival                                           Spring Festival

Due to inflation everyone in the country is worry about how to earn bread for him/her and continue life. In this misery and jeopardized stage Kalash peoples are worry for new dress for the Zhoshi 2011. Raw materials are touching sky in term of prices. The colorful culture is passing through very difficult time, and designs of women dress are more expensive a not only material also consumption of time to make a simple belt is at least four days if someone works continuously. Beads Marjan (500 gram) which was at 250 PKR in 2007 now it is at 600 rupees and shells more than the community expectations.

Cost of Dress

Kupas Big head dressKalash Girl During Chirik Pipi

                Kupas Pointing up                                             Kupas with feathersThumbs up

According report of Kalash Products Display Center, KPDC:

1. Kupas (Big Headdress for women) cost 7000

2. S’su’tr (Small headdress for woman cost 4000

3. Piran (Cloths women) cost 3000

4. Patti (Belt women) cost 1500

5. Miscellaneous cost 3000

Total cost for a woman is round about 18000 rupees.

Zhosho 2011  (7)Zhosho 2011  (6)

Making a Patti                                             Using machine to stich cloths

Time Spend on one an item

1. Kupas takes almost a week. Skilled labour charge 500 per day. 3500 would be paid to an artisan and shells cost a lot a shell is about 2 rupees and at Kupas there are approximately 800 sea shells which cost 1600 rupees and the rest of beads and threads would cost 1900 rupees. These are quality material not the rough one.

2. S’su’tr takes 6 day and there is lot of beads work and designs on it. S’su’tr cost 4000 rupees.

3. Piran takes almost 3 day to complete and the cloth and designs cost 3000.

4. Patti takes 2 days and it cost 1500.

Impact of Terrorism

Terrorism is almost hang up third world countries especially Pakistan. In these circumstances Kalash peoples are also feeling un-easy, frighten and hesitations to celebrate their festivities. Few cases have been happened and shocked all the people living in Kalash valleys and district Chitral. In 2009 Greek Volunteer was kidnapped and his guard was put to death. Greek volunteer was taken into Afghanistan via Ustui Pass. Especially during festivals propaganda’s are prevailing in the areas regarding certain threads and minas. The Kalash peoples are not more than 3500 if any blast occurred in such circumstance than world will lost a culture and indigenous community that are living since centuries and their history is unknown to the world only different clams are found everywhere.

Impact of Tourism

Indeed tourism plays a vital role in relation of economic stability in a country. But the flow of negative tourism in the region is harming the culture from the roots. Tourists coming having negative information regarding the culture and the valleys. Tourist also deviate the culture norms of the Kalash community. As there is an important parts of culture and is called pure and impure. Tourist visiting this region must have an idea of those sites and must avoid visiting these areas without proper information.


All tourists coming to Kalash valleys especially for the festivities sought certain cautions. It has been experience since long that some government officials are bringing disorder for the sake of their political campaign. Last year some ANP (Awami National Party) ministers were here and during the spring festival they started their speech which was created misunderstanding as well as disorder among the community and festival was delay for some hours because of their speech. Kalash festival takes place without any break and people love performs their rituals. In this situation it is favorable to come and started saying anything which is out of senses.

All official are warm welcome. But would be better if anyone interest to give any grant would have meeting with elders at local places not in the festival place; this is to respect the culture and encourage the indigenous peoples, so there wouldn’t any misunderstandings for both community and the officials.


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