Their customs and traditions are contradictory to the Islamic and Pakistani culture. The Kalash religion is polytheist faith similar to ancient forms of Hinduism and the people offer sacrifices for their gods. Their culture is interlinked with their religion and based upon several festivals and celebrations.
In recent times DNA tests were made to examine the Greek origin of the Kalasha. The Pakistani genetic scientist Dr. Qasim Ayub concluded through the DNA tests the Kalasha people do not have Greek origin. However they believed that the Kalasha belong to the Aryan stock.
Many of the Kalash are blond haired and blue eyed, somewhat of an anomaly in Pakistan! Some believe that that they are descendants of Alexander the Great’s army though their true ethnic origins are still unproven.
The Kalash are an isolated South Asian population of Indo-European speakers residing in the Hindu Kush mountain valleys in northwest Pakistan, near the Afghan frontier.
A kalasha, also spelled kalash or kalasa (;, literally “pitcher, pot”), is a metal (brass, copper, silver or gold) pot with a large base and small mouth, large enough to hold a coconut. Sometimes ” Kalasha ” also refers to such a pot filled with water and topped with a coronet of mango leaves and a coconut.
Things required for Kalash puja- vastarm, flowers, dried fruits, rice, coins, mango leaves, coconut, water, kumkum, turmeric powder and a medium sized brass or silver pot. Clean the pot with clean cloth and if possible, get a new cloth for this purpose. Decorate the Kalash with kumkum dots and turmeric.
Women generally do the housework while the men do trade and labour work. Both men and women farm. The Kalash attitude to gender is also defined by notions of purity. Some rituals can be executed only by men.
Kalasha Pooja is one of the ancient Indian spiritual practice. When it is filled with either water or anything else like coins or jewels, and then place a coconut inverted to close the top, it becomes a poorna- kalash. Poorna- Kalash usually finds its place in most of the pooja’s that is performed at home.
It is bounded by the main range of the Hindu Kush on the north, Pakistan’s Chitral District to the east, the Kunar Valley in the south and the Alishang River in the west. Kafiristan.
|Historical region of Afghanistan|
|Map showing present-day Nuristan Province of Afghanistan|
The Kalasha is believed to contain amrita, the elixir of life, and thus is viewed as a symbol of abundance, wisdom, and immortality. The water in the pot represents the life-giving ability of Nature. Sometimes, a silver or brass face of the Goddess is attached over the coconut of the Purna- Kalasha.
Kalash or water body should be placed in the north or the east of the room.