Kalash people

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An old Kalash woman in tradational outfit.jpg
An old Kalash woman in tradational outfit.
Total population
ca. 6,000
Regions with significant populations
Chitral District
Kalash, Persian,[source?] and Urdu
kalash ReligionPolytheism (ca. 3,000), Islam (ca. 3,000)[1]
Related ethnic groups
Pashayi people and Nuristani people
Traditional Kalash drummer boy near Chitral, Pakistan

The Kalash (Nuristani: Kasivo) or Kalasha, are an ethnic group of the Hindu Kush mountain range. They live in the Chitral district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. They speak the Kalash language, a member of the Dardic language family of Indo-Aryan.

There are only about 3000 Kalash polytheists and 3000 Kalash Muslims. The Kalash people live in three isolated valleys. They claim to have a Greek origin. The Kalash have a polytheist religion, while neighboring peoples are Muslims. If a Kalash person converts to Islam, that person is kicked out from Kalash society. This is the reason why the Kalash religion still exists and this is the only way to make it exist also in the future. The Kalash are also known for their human features. It can vary from someone with light brown skin, brown eyes, and black hair to someone with white skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair.

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  1. Ahmed, A.S., 1986. The Islamization of The Kalash Kafirs. Pakistan Society: Islam, Ethnicity and Leadership In South Asia. page 23-28.

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