what the heck is a kalash?

Okay, I was utterly bored out of mind this evening. So, to remedy my boredom, I used the Internet to seek out new and unusual things to share with the cyberspace world.

As traveled via the web, I stumbled upon this stunning photo of an elderly woman and a young girl. At first, I chalked it up to another Viking invasion, but this isn’t the case. They belong to Kalash Tribe located in northwestern Pakistan.

Protected by the Hindu Kush mountain range lives this culture of people Muslims call Kafirs or “infidels”.

Among the region known as Kafiristan lies the town of Brir, considered one of the last remaining settlements of the Kalash — or “wearers of black.” Its inhabitants consider themselves the direct descendants of Alexander the Great. The 3,500 souls are the last enclave of pagan tribes people.

Incredibly, the Kalash have not changed much over the centuries. They make their own wine, elevate animals to religious status and believe in mountaintop fairies. To find out more about the tribe, read more.

Their gods, like those of the ancient Greeks, are split up into male and female deities and they claim they once belonged to highly literate culture until their books were burned by barbarian tribes. Shown in these pictures celebrating their annual Spring festival, the Kalash still maintain a fertility rite where a teenage boy is sent alone into the surrounding woods for a year and when he returns is treated to a feast and the mating rites to as many of the Kalash women he chooses.