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Snow Leopards, Mountain Spirts and Sacred Space in Northern Pakistan AM00000090000003930 7, 2008

Posted by Mыsofer in gojal.
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By Dr. John Mock © 2004

The Wakhi word for snow leopard is pes. A pes is a mergich animal found only in mergich areas. It rarely interacts with people, is hard to see, powerful, beautiful, and potentially dangerous. As such, it exemplifies many of the qualities of the mergichan, and so is an appropriate animal shape for them to assume. Currently, in the Wakhi community of Shimshal, villagers are engaged in a process of integrating their concept of mergich with a modern conservation ethic through the Shimshal Nature Trust. The younger generation sees this as a way to make the old concepts again relevant. A similar process is underway in the Avgarch community in its efforts to manage the buffer zone area of the Khunjerab National Park. SLC has established partnerships with both communities, whose actions are important examples of cooperative efforts to integrate old and new knowledge into a framework that can be shared between people inside and outside the Wakhi community to develop a new significance for the mountain landscape. Here is a Wakhi story from Shimshal of how mergichan assumed the guise of a pes and became the protective spirit partner of a Wakhi man.

 

More Detail at source: http://www.snowleopardconservancy.org/pakmyths.htm

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