Lok Virsa documents Wakhi people in Chitral AM000000120000000328 7, 2008Posted by Mыsofer in wakhi.
ISLAMABAD: A three-member team of professionals from Lok Virsa’s National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage undertook a field research to Chitral and upper border areas for documentation of Wakhi people and their lifestyle.
A three-member team of National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage comprising a video producer, craft collector and cameraman, undertook a field research to Coroghil valley and Lashkargaz in northeast of Chitral for documentation of Wakhi people.
The Boroghil Valley is nearly inaccessible in the extreme northern border of Pakistan. It is located in the Pamir mountain ranges with Wakhan Corridor in the west and Gojal in upper Hunza on the east.
This isolated valley is sparsely populated with a population estimated around 11,000. The valley is known for embroidered socks, sweaters, spinning wool, handmade shoes and sheep coats. Buzkashi and yak polo are the favourite traditional games.
On the way the team stayed at Chapari village in Mastuj Tehsil of Chitral and interviewed elders, storytellers, folk artists and also covered wedding rituals, traditional dances and folk songs. The tea also documented artisans involved in local crafts like weaving ‘palisk’ (floor rug), rope making and sitar making.
During their stay at Lashkargaz, a village at Yarkhun Valley near Wakhan Corridor, the team produced video documentary on Buzkashi, (goat snatching) a traditional sport of Central Asia, played on horse back. They also made video documentation on lifestyles, traditions, rituals, customs, people, folk games, handicrafts, food, etc. of Wakhan people.
The team also undertook study on traditional houses and collected artifacts for reproduc
ing a three dimensional creative display in the Heritage Museum at Islamabad.
The Wakhi Pamiri people live around the Pamir knot that overlaps four countries – Gojal, Ishkoman in Gilgit-Baltistan and Boroghil valley in Chitral district, the Kohistani Badakhshan Autonomous province of Tajikistan, Wakhan Corridor of the Badakhshan province in Afghanistan and Xinjiang province of China. The region serves as a confluence for some of world’s highest mountain ranges and being the territory through which the ancient Silk Route passed it has also been a place of cultural cross currents. A very rough estimate of the population of Wakhi (Xhik) people is over 100,000 worldwide.