Una luna velata sul ‘Tetto del Mondo’
Culture identitarie nel Pamir afghano
Afghanistan is an ancient land, rich in traditions and cultures having their roots in the millennial history of this country. Situated along the ancient caravan routes of Central Asia, by its caravanserais and markets it has represented an important point for exchange, communication and cultural interaction between the East and the West. Afghanistan is partly linked to the complex genealogical tree of Central Asia, full of intricate branches; one of those branches, at its eastern extremity, is knotted with the ‘Roof of the World’ (Bam-e Dunya): the vast orographic area of Pamir bordering on Tajikistan, Pakistan and China. This Afghan border territory (Wakhan Woluswali) includes different ecological areas: from the high-altitude valleys to the pastures in the plateaus, as far as the highest mountains of Pamir. Wakhan is populated particularly by Wakhi and, in its easternmost part, by Kyrgyz people. The Wakhi follow a subsistence strategy based on mountain agriculture combined with pasturage; they are Ismaili Nizaris and they speak a language (khik-zik, khik-wor) belonging to the north-eastern branch of the Iranian languages. Identity and religious cultures significantly influence the social life of those small mountain communities cut off on the ‘Roof of the World’.