Home Arts & Culture Dance, drums and guns: the funeral ritual of Kalashas

Dance, drums and guns: the funeral ritual of Kalashas

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Kalasha ritual

The colourful ritual is an elaborate and expensive celebration of a loved one’s life.


In a remote Hindu Kush mountains, the Kalash tribe, the followers of a pre-Islamic religion, mark death as few on the planet do.

The Kalash, a pagan tribe in Chitral Division celebrate death with dance on drum beats and gunfire as part of a commemoration of a departed loved one’s life.

The colourful funeral ritual is an elaborate and expensive celebration of a loved one’s life.

“People who knew the deceased speak to their ancestors’ noble deeds,” Sardar Khan, a community member, told the correspondent of RFE/RL. “They slaughter 30 to 40 goats and one to two oxen,” he added, saying the celebrations often cost the equivalent of thousands of dollars.

See the video here. –RFE/RL

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