Aug 18, 2014

Old Nuristan (Kafiristan) in pictures

shrine of Arom ( Kam tribal God ) Kamdesh Kafiristan , inside the wooden enclosure

 is a holy stone sacred to the God Arom . As God of contracts all
 oaths and treaties were taken and sealed at Aroms shrine .
the shrine of Mahandeo at Batrik - Bruhn Mumret valley Kalashadesh . 1929 - 1930
former Kalashi kot (tower) at Bruhn village
Aspai village - upper Bashgal valley Kafiristan = Gromma = holy dancing platform .
This village was visited and photographed by Sir Lovelock in 1885 ( Gilgit mission ect )
 , photos of village effigies and Kati lady in horned headdress are held at the London
 India office archive / British museum ect . This village was built like a fort with only 
1 entry point with all the houses facing inwards .

Upper Presun valley Kafiristan . This valley was scared to Mara (Imra- Dezau )

 the Great God of Kafiristan , here he had his largest and holiest temple along with several shrines , 
altars and other sacred spaces . 
Unlike the warlike other Kafiristani tribes the Presun valley tribe was peaceful and very religious .
The Presun tribe are considered to be among the first to settle the hindu kush .
The Mara Temple of Presun valley Kafiristan ( the spiritual centre of Kafiristan )
 known to the Kalashi as the Temple of Mahandeo , holiest site in all of Kafiristan.
 It had 7 large door's ( 5 of which were closed all the time ) 
on it's front side with several large effigy's of Mara ( Imra )and much lovely carving as well.
 A holy cave near by was used to offer
 sacrifice and was in Kafiristani mythology a direct entrance to
 the underworld of the Ancestor's ( one had to walk backwards 
to approach it as all those who looked at it were cursed ).
 In a house next door to the Temple was an iron pole
 that Imra himself had placed there = that was the axis mundi of the Kafiristani world
 . see Robersons - Kafirs of the Hindu Kush for a detailed description of the Temple .
Grompisht village - Urtzun valley Gromma = Holy dancing platform = Rikh'ini
before the shrine of Gy'iz Kamdesh Kafiristan
Imra's altar at the Kati village of Brumotul- Mumret valley - Kalasha desh

Kafiristani loving couple chair carving
Brumotul big man Kafiristani grave house

Waigal / Ashkungal area Kafiristani loving couple post
Kafiristani big man grave house Waigal valley
Imra's ( Dezau ) shrine and Sacred tree at Urtsun valley . 
The shrine's Kam influence is clear , this valley had a mixed
 Kalashi + Kam tribal society . 
A simple carving of Imra's face sits up top and is crowned with horns.
Imra's ( Dezau ) shrine and Sacred tree at Urtsun valley .
 The shrine's Kam influence is clear , this valley had 
a mixed Kalashi + Kam tribal society .
 A simple carving of Imra's face sits up top and is crowned with horns.

Kafiristani carving and a common Kalashi design

 too used to adorn doors and beams on there houses .
Dara = Kafiristani memorial gateway in Bashgul valley at the entrance to a side valley .
These , like the effigys were erected to honour Big Men in the community
winter rite at shrine of Dizane Kamdesh lower Bashgal valley 
Kafiristan = shrine is made in the Parun valley style , 
unlike the local flat roofed Bashgal valley type shrine. 
Imra's shrine can just be made out in the background , 
these shrine's were above Kamdesh and Imra and other god's had
 more shrine's below Kamdesh , there was all so a sacred pool below Kamdesh .

Altar of Sajigor Rukmu valley- Kalasha desh
Female Kafiristani effigy = horned ect
Kam woman dance to the Gods while there men raid .
The horned headdress that was used by the Bashgal valley
 women for religious dances and such .
The horns can be seen in female effigys ( todays Kalashi only make male effigys ).

Dal hero effigies - memorials to the brave
Presun valley Deity effigys = the square faced deity effigy is a Parun valley tradition .
farm house 
Kafiristani Tower
Mumret valley Kalasha desh
the Sajigor shrine of Rukmu valley
Kalashi Ancestor shrine Grom village - Rukmu valley - Kalasha desh
Brumotul house post's
Peck valley Kafiristani pillar

Kafiristani holy dance in traditional headdress
Weshi = wife of Mara = Great God of the Presun valley Kafiristan
Grom village gri = dancing ground , Rukmu valley

native Kafiristani dances
Kati Gromma = holy dancing platform Kunisht village
 - Rukmu valley - Kalasha desh .
Kamdesh Kafiristan shrine of Mother Goddess Dizane Kalashi
 - Jaztek ) dancing plat form ( Gromma ) below

High Priest of Lutdeh village Bashgul valley Kafiristan , 

walks beside altar and dancing ground = Gromma
below Kamdesh brave's practice
Brumotul village house carvings Mumret valley Kalasha desh.
 Brumotul was originally a small hamlet that protected the Kalashi from Kati raids
 ( just like Kunisht ), but after the conquest of Kafiristan by the Afgan's
 several hundred Kati and Kam tribal refugee's settled in 3 
of the then 5 Kalashi valleys of Urtsun - Mumret and Rumbur
 As well as 2 or 3 non Kalashi villages in the Chitral region
Kati Animist grave yard at Kunisht village Rukmu valley Kalasha desh
Shing - mou = horn altar , erected on Shing - brei = horn altar day
 - 1st day of Joshi spring festival . Rukmu valley
Imra stone at Brumotul village
Kunisht Kati village , upper Rukmu valley - Kalasha Desh
Kunisht village Gromma = holy dancing platform. Rukmu valley
Kunisht - Kati village - Rukmu valley - Gromma ( holy dancing plat form )

High Priests house Kamdesh

High Priests house Kamdesh
Bragmatal ( Lutdeh ) upper Bashgal valley kafiristan , it was from bragmatal 
 that a large part of the Brumotul , Kunisht Kati refugees came in the late 1890s 
.after the Afgans had destroyed all the temples and shrines , murdered many priests
 - Islamic mullas were sent in . Those in the upper Bashgal valley were all invited to 
Lutdeh were they were all killed to appease those spirits of the murdered
 , it was after this that several hundred Kati from upper Bashgal valley
 fled to Kalash a desh just as winter closed the mt passes behind them
old Dewa village Amol ( clan Temple ) - Presun (Parun) valley with Goddess statue
Kalashi and Kati effigys at Peshawar museum
Ramgul valley Kafiristan , this is in the western region of kafiristan
 ( Kalasha Desh is at the eastern end of Kafiristan )
tomb of Kafiristani big man Waigul valley
tomb of Kafiristani big man Waigul valley
Kafir rite - Kam tribal chief Priest in 1881 at Kamdesh village in the Bashgul valley
Brumbutol Grave yard
Holy dance at Kamdesh gromma ( dancing platform )

Kafiristani grave yard Bashgul valley
Dara = Kafiristani memorial gateway in Bashgul valley at the entrance to a side valley 
.These , like the effigys were erected to honour Big Men in the community .