Gojal area of the Karakorum mountains
pakistan
 
BACKGROUND
introducing the area

LOCAL THEMES
agriculture
communications
community activities
culture and customs
development
economics
education
employment and income
environment
environmental knowledge
family life
festivals
food security
gender
health
history
identity
livestock
migration
politics
social change
social institutions
social relationships
spiritual beliefs
tourism
traditional skills

glossary of terms

 Shimshal food glossary
 Shimshal festival glossary

Every attempt has been made to gloss all the terms in the testimonies. Most of the words below are Wakhi, a few are Brushaski (language of Hunza) or Urdu (national language of Pakistan).

AKES

Aga Khan Education Service

AKRSP

Aga Khan Rural Support Programme

Arbitration Committee

a group of villagers responsible for resolving conflicts

arbob

Mirís main representative in the village; when the Mirís state was abolished the equivalent position became numberdar the governmentís representative.

arbobi system

responsibilities/functions of arbob

ashar

unpaid labour for the Mir

Assalam-o-Aliakum

Muslim greeting: peace be with you

bett

(1) coarse woollen cloth (2) long woollen overcoat (also known as chugha)

bech

Uncle

bhai

brother

Bismillah

in the name of God

Bismillah Rehman-e-Rahim

In the name of God the magnificent and the most merciful

bitan

shaman; person who can communicate with the mountain spirits, enabling them to heal the sick or predict the future

borwar

(literally, one who carries the load); less wealthy villagers who carried the Mirís taxes from Shimshal to the Mirís palace in Hunza

charaman

round compacted ground used for the threshing of crops by animals

Chipits

term for Chinese raiders

chiqmaq

flint

chorbu

public announcer during the Mirís regime

chugha

long woollen overcoat

clean-up expeditions

expeditions to remove rubbish and equipment left by previous mountaineering and trekking groups

cuk

water spring

daulat

wealth Ė gained by agricultural products and livestock

deg

cast iron cooking pot; 100 litre capacity

dildong ben

place close to the fire in Wakhi houses

down country

refers to the rest of Pakistan

down valley

refers to Hunza and Gojal

duaa

prayers

dut

cable way

EEP

Environmental Education Programme

farman

instruction/guidance from the Imam of the time

gharbal

measurement for food grain: 1 gharbal = approx 13 kg

ghell

shelter for goats and sheep

ilm

(literally, light); used to mean knowledge/education

Imam

hereditary spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims, currently Prince Karim Aga Khan

Imamat Institutions

office of the Imam (Aga Khan)

Insha-allah

God willing

IUCN

International Union for the Conservation of Nature

Jamat khana

religious and community centre of Ismaili Muslims

jamat

Ismaili community

janab

Mr, sir

jungle

forest

K2

highest mountain in Pakistan, second highest in the world (8,611 metres)

kamdia

religious leader second to mukhi; assists mukhi in his work and exercises the same authority in the absence of mukhi

kanai

cotton cloth previously used to make womenís shirts

kerest

overcoat made from animal hide

khalifa

Before the Ismaili constitution the current position of mukhi was called khalifa.

kongra

tower for observing the sun for Shimshal calendar

kooch

 

migration; especially seasonal migration with livestock to and from Pamir, the pasture

kubri

embroidery design for womenís caps in the past

kurmumic

hide and seek game

kuryar

communal labour

langar

communal kitchen of Jamat khana

lopan

(literally, elders); also refers to those wealthy enough to pay taxes(in kind) to the Mir, and to those representing the Mir in the village

lubi

border security personnel

markhor

ibex (type of wild mountain goat)

Matriculati

secondary school certificate, 10th class

Maula

(literally, master); the Imam (Aga Khan)

maunds

measurement: 1 maund = 37.5 kg

minderich

type of grass

Mir

rulers of Hunza up to 1974

Miri system

Mirís regime

mukhi

local religious leader responsible for all religious activities in Jamat khana Ė a rotational position

Nanga Parbat

second highest mountain in Pakistan, ninth highest in the world (8,125 metres)

nikah

Islamic matrimonial agreement

nomus

 

 

 

The tradition of nomus refers to the system by which households or individuals with sufficient resources sponsor a community development project, for example, the construction of a track, bridge or community building. The project is carried out in the name of a relative. The sponsorship is in the form of resources for the project and/or food for the community members who will voluntarily carry out the construction. The particular track, bridge or building etc is always referred to by the name of the person in whose name it was sponsored and by Ďthe personí who actually sponsored it.

(Namus is an Arabic word meaning reputation, fame, honour. In Shimshal this is what you get for philanthropic contributions for community work, hence doing such work is known as nomus.)

nullah

gorge

numayindar

village representative to the local government

numberdar

government representative in the village elected by the community. He is elected for life or until the community is no longer satisfied with his performance.

palos

local woven carpet made of yak or goat hair

Pamir

Shimshalís mountain pastures

pardes

a foreign/strange place(s); outside the area

pathok

offering; wheat flour thrown at the entrance of a house as a gesture of good luck

patto

coarse woollen cloth (also referred to as bett)

peel

wooden plate

Pehlawan

hunter

pirhan

womenís long shirt or dress

pishmoh

 

local game involving two teams making mounds of earth and then attacking each otherís mounds

poosteen

overcoat made of animal hide

qabil

(literally, competent): title for the most competent woman or man in Shimshal

qalami

printed cloth

qazi

religious literate responsible for religious performances on weddings; he would recite nikah and read words from the Quran chosen for weddings Ė this position no longer exists.

qeech

local medicinal plant

Quran

Islamic holy book

raghz

long woollen shirts

rizen

opening in centre of the roof of a Wakhi/Tajik house, for ventilation

room

main lineage groups/clans. In Shimshal these are: Boqi Kathor, Ghazi Khathor and Bakhti Kathor

rupees

currency

sadar

president

saghoo

cylindrical wooden instrument used for extracting butter: long round shaped pot about four feet long with a long stick with a big wooden ball at its end

sahib

Sir, term of respect

salam

greetings; respect (shortened version of Assalam-o-Aliakum)

sandal

long shoes made of animal skin with a thick leather sole

shaff

local grass, used for washing cloths

shakhore

ash made from local plant used as shampoo

shalwar-qameez

traditional trouser and shirt for men and women

sharma

local woven carpet made of yak or goat hair (Brushaski for palos)

shartwurza

(literally, promised guest) two men from the village who visit Pamir to grace the Chaneer festival, and bring back butter for the villagers

shogoon

festivals; purifying

Shogoonpathok

person designated to inaugurate festivals, hereditary position

shpun

herder; usually used to refer to those who spend winter in the pastures taking care of the yaks

shpunig

herding

shushk

long shoes made of animal hide without a thick leather sole

skuin †††

extended family group, sub-group of room

SNT

Shimshal Nature Trust

subidar

military rank; sergeant

sufra

(literally, gifts), refers to some of the taxes paid by Shimshalis to the Mir

taghar

sack made from goat hair to store wheat

Tariqa

(literally, the way/ the procedure), refers to religious education

tawiz

amulet; traditional spiritual treatment for disease

thrangpa

representative of the Mir who visited Shimshal once a year to monitor tax collection

toman

smoke from burning juniper branches used to purify homes at the beginning of the Tagam festival

trophy hunter

a hunter who pays the community to hunt for a large game animal

tuksori

game similar to cricket; known as gully danda in Urdu

ustad

teacher; master

vandan

enclosure where shepherds take their yaks for milking whilst in Pamir

wotokh

special tax paid in lieu of special privilege (like a job or position) granted by the Mir

WWF

World Wildlife Fund

yarapgi

responsibilities/functions of yarpa

yarpa

Mirís representative responsible for livestock production and supervision of central grain store

yeelban

taxes paid to the Mir

yeer har yupk

(literally, sun light falling on the water); when sunlight covers the village after 40 days of shade

yorch

place for dancing in Wakhi/Tajik houses

yurt

the villagers, the community

yupk

water

zamindari

farming

Shimshal food glossary

beth

local dish; wheat flour mixed with butter, water and salt served with mutton

chapatti

unleavened bread

chilpindok

large chapattis spread with qurut and butter stacked in piles

daghove

kind of soup: qurut mixed with water and butter

daw daw

soup

dildongi

thick bread cooked in a dildong (a mud oven)

garal

pancake-like bread made from wheat flour

khest

wheat flour fried in butter

moch

local soup

molida

local dish: bread mixed with qurut and butter

mool

local dish: paste of wheat flour mixed with butter and qurut

paratha

deep fried flat bread

patock

thick bread

putuk

sacred dish of bread and milk for special occasions

qamachdoon

thick bread baked in cast iron oven

qurut

local cheese the residue of milk curds after extracting butter are boiled until it becomes thick and then it is dried into hard cubes

seman

local sweet dish: wheat grain is soaked in water, left for a week and then filtered and kept air tight until it starts sprouting. It is then dried and ground and used to make a bread or paste. In Hunza this is called diram fitti. This is traditionally made for Nauroz throughout the greater Persian cultural area.

Shimshal festival glossary

Chaneer

harvest festival celebrated in the first week of August when the wheat and barley is almost ready

Charaman Katak

festival inaugurating the threshing field

Chiragh

(literally, light); religious event performed on the third day after death

Hoshigarm

hot soup festival celebrated in February to mark the end of winter, when the sun’s rays hit the village for the first time after 40 days

Kethedith

Spring festival celebrated in March when the frozen land has melted; people clean their houses and take the fertiliser from the livestock sheds to the fields.

Kooch festival

festival which takes place at the start of migration to Pamir and, most enthusiastically, when people return months later with many livestock products

Mehmani

special meal for guests (associated with marriage ceremony)

Mirgichig

purification custom which inaugurates the milking season on arrival at the pastures. Butter and cheese is produced with great care and is given as zakat (a religious tax) with a special prayer.

Nauroz

New year festival celebrated on 21 March throughout Central Asia

Pergvendak

necklace-tying ceremony; this is the formal engagement held three days before the wedding when the necklace is put on the bride and a cap placed on the groom’s head.

Safza Sar

(literally, green head); refers to crop sprouting festival

Salgirah

Ismaili celebration on the 11th of July – the day that Prince Karim Aga Khan, 49th Imam of the Ismailis, took over from his grandfather Sir Sultan Mohammad Shah

Shegd-pagash-diyetk

custom of tasting the new crop

Shegd Saal

Wakhi for Nauroz

Shegd-tar-charaman

festival celebrating the moment when the new crop is taken to the threshing place

Tagam

sowing festival

Tarkhun yundak

invitation to a banquet; first invitation for bride to visit her parent’s house after marriage

Vichhosh

outdoor soup festival (also known as Hoshigarm)

Wulyo

the day after the shartwurza (guests of the year) arrive in Pamir there is a riding excursion to Wulyo. All the men at Pamir ride yaks to reach Wulyo and the newborn baby boys are also taken to this place. Lunch is prepared and different local games like tug of war are played. Shartwurza are the chief guests for these celebrations.