Kalash icon bites the dust

Chitral — Influential Kalasha tradition leader, cultural mediator and ancestral effigy artisan Shah Juan of Rumboor also known dearly as Sabika mimbar in Chitral region passed away on August 2, 2011. Sabika is believed to be in his late 80’s and is one of the distinguish Kalasha elders who left his mark as prolific Kalasha guardian and curator. Young Sabika is known to have mobilized and taken Kalasha community in confidence for protection in Pakistan as non-Muslim ethnic minority group. He was great admirer of Pakistan‘s founder and named his own son ‘Quide-e-Azam’ after him.

In his lifetime, Sabika worked as guardian curator for survival of Kalasha heritage and tradition particularly through creations of ancestral wooden statues to keep the historical memory of his people alive. This indigenous way of achieving historical memory in shape of wooden statues associated with ancestral knowledge intrigued several historians, anthropologists and linguists from abroad to discover ancient Culture of Chitral. His creations of wooden effigies are show cased in Lok Versa Islamabad and in several ethnic art galleries abroad. Some of the high profile dignitaries he had met to promote Kalasha heritage include Prime Minster Bhutto, General Zia, Benezir Bhutoo, Lady Diana and President Musharaf .

Sabika having a convincing authority on historical and cultural knowledge of the region peacefully settled countless inter-clan and community disputes and represented court cases dealing with communal pastures with outsiders. He was famous for his hospitality, wit and folktales which attracted several visitors from all over Chitral his riverside lodge in Rumboor on daily basis. Sabika leaves behind a legacy of tradition and continuity, ingenuity and artisanship, friendship and hospitality values that are hallmark of kho and kalasha alike. He was true cultural ambassador of Kalasha people and great son of Chitral. The Kalasha of Rumboor is holding a 3 day rites of passage in honor of this prestigious Kalasha men in the recent history of Kalasha. . Taj Khan Kalash, 03 Aug 2011.

Sick smile


4 thoughts on “Kalash icon bites the dust

  1. ‎Wazir Zada Thank you as you Know They were My friends In 1980, i am still friends with Them in 1989, and spent a LOT of Time with him and Mr Jinnah My Condolences, To the Kalasha Com-unity *u can place His Pictures If you Have BAYA,*Thank you for the news,,


  2. Dear Wazir i agree with you 100%. My last interview published in because where i was raised this problem but our young stars were really angry with the news and was targeted me saying many things, but fact is fact that can not change unless tireless efforts regards the task not taken in mesuares.


  3. The Great Leader of Kalasha people Mr. Shajawan Qazi passed away, He was the first person among the Kalasha people who was elected for District council as minorities representative year ago, He has represented Kalasha people in those days when the Kalasha people could not dare to talk with a government Chawkidar (Class 4 Servant) Beside his political role he was also a great religious leader as know as Qazi Quza the chief Qazi.He was the person who strongly believed that the Kalash people were Descendent of Alexander the Great. He had two son and two daughters.

    With his death the Kalasha people lost a very important oral history and a vital chapter has closed so before its transference in to a book or video.

    In few years people like him will be disappear from the scenario and the Kalasha Culture and Tradition will remained like a drum if the effort like Jordi and Athanasi is not seriously re started in all the Kalasha valleys or Kalasha Schools.

    The Great Kalasha Religious Like Qazi Khosh Nawaz, Qazi Kartasing,Qazi Mirzamas, Qazi Qadir and Saidan shah (Misri) are guest of Kalasha for a few years (as most of the have already left from being present in the religious activities) and with their passage declain of the Kalash History and Tradition will start.

    I am sure many friend who want the Kalasha for ever will be disagreed and not happy with my statement but this the fact and Think?


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