Ahmed Sajjad Zaidi

Entrepreneur, trekker, and photographer based in Pakistan
Posts Tagged ‘chitral’

The Headdress of a Kalashi Woman

The Kalash tribe in the mountains of Northern Pakistan has preserved its ancient culture and customs. Their unique way of life includes dressing that is not found anywhere else in the world. The main component of a Kalashi woman’s garb is a headdress made out of elaborate patterns and seashells.

Kalash tribal headdress

Shot at the 2014 spring festival.

The charming Hazrat Hussein

Hazrat Hussein runs a small tea stop in Bamboret, Chitral. This is the where the majority of the pagan Kalashi people live. However, as evident from his name, Hussein is a Muslim. It wasn’t clear if he was once Kalash himself, but more likely he migrated here from surrounding areas of Chitral or elsewhere in the greater Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. His shop was close to the place we were staying at so we passed by it every time we went out.

Hazrat Hussein Bamboret Kalash

His fair skin, light hair and blue-gray eyes really set him apart from most other locals (as Stuart pointed out, he could easily have passed off as an Irishman). However, it was his kindness and sincerity that won us over. We asked him where we could find walnut bread, a local specialty, to which his response was to have it especially baked at his home and brought to us. Went really nicely with salted milk tea.

Polo Player

Shandur polo festival

The Shandur polo festival is held annually from 7th to the 9th of July at Shandur valley in Northern Pakistan. At over 12,000 feet (3,700 meters), it is the highest polo ground in the world.

The annual matched is played between traditional rivals, Chitral and Gilgit. In the past, it was a more civilized way to settle disputes.