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Topic
chevron_rightLanguages and Cultures of the Middle and Far East

Language
it

ISBN (print)
978-88-6969-101-0

ISBN (ebook)
978-88-6969-100-3

ISSN
chevron_right2610-8879

e-ISSN
chevron_right2610-9433

Date of publication
03 Aug 2016

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Eurasiatica

A World In-between
The Pre-Islamic Cultures of the Hindu Kush

Augusto Cacopardo
Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italia
augusto.cacopardo@virgilio.it

DOI 10.14277/6969-100-3/EUR-5-10

Abstract

The vast mountain area stretching east of the Panjshir valley in Afghanistan to the borders of Kashmir was, in pre-Islamic times, a homogenous culture area nested between the Iranian and the Indian worlds. Its inhabitants – speakers of a variety of Indo-European languages belonging mainly to the North-West-Indo-Aryan (or Dardic) and Nuristani groups – practiced related forms of polytheism differing in many traits but clearly united by a basic pastoral ideology encompassing all aspects of human life as well as the environment itself. The advance of Islam into the mountains, starting from the sixteenth century, gradually brought about the conversion of the whole area by the end of the nineteenth, with the sole exception of the Kalasha of Chitral who still practice their ancient religion to this day. Scholars who studied the area with a comparative approach focused mainly on the cultural traits connecting these cultures to India and especially to the Vedic world. Limited attention has been given to possible Iranian connections. The present article, on the basis of a recent in-depth investigation of the Kalasha ritual system, extends the comparison to other components and aspects of the Indian world, while providing at the same time some new data suggesting ancient Iranian influences.

Keywords
Kafiristan. Nuristan. Hindu Kush. Pre-Islamic. Kalasha.


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License 

Table of contents
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Campo DC Valore

dc.contributor.author

Cacopardo Augusto

dc.title

A World In-between

dc.type

Book Chapter

dc.language.iso

it

dc.description.abstract

The vast mountain area stretching east of the Panjshir valley in Afghanistan to the borders of Kashmir was, in pre-Islamic times, a homogenous culture area nested between the Iranian and the Indian worlds. Its inhabitants – speakers of a variety of Indo-European languages belonging mainly to the North-West-Indo-Aryan (or Dardic) and Nuristani groups – practiced related forms of polytheism differing in many traits but clearly united by a basic pastoral ideology encompassing all aspects of human life as well as the environment itself. The advance of Islam into the mountains, starting from the sixteenth century, gradually brought about the conversion of the whole area by the end of the nineteenth, with the sole exception of the Kalasha of Chitral who still practice their ancient religion to this day. Scholars who studied the area with a comparative approach focused mainly on the cultural traits connecting these cultures to India and especially to the Vedic world. Limited attention has been given to possible Iranian connections. The present article, on the basis of a recent in-depth investigation of the Kalasha ritual system, extends the comparison to other components and aspects of the Indian world, while providing at the same time some new data suggesting ancient Iranian influences.

dc.relation.ispartof

Eurasiatica

dc.publisher

Edizioni Ca’ Foscari - Digital Publishing

dc.date.issued

None

dc.dateAccepted

None

dc.dateSubmitted

None

dc.identifier.uri

http://doi.org/10.14277/6969-100-3/EUR-5-10

dc.identifier.issn

2610-8879

dc.identifier.eissn

2610-9433

dc.identifier.isbn

978-88-6969-101-0

dc.identifier.eisbn

978-88-6969-100-3

dc.rights

Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution alone

dc.rights.uri

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

item.fulltext

with fulltext

item.grantfulltext

open

dc.subject

Kafiristan

dc.subject

Nuristan

dc.subject

Hindu Kush

dc.subject

Pre-Islamic

dc.subject

Kalasha

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