Gojal area of the Karakorum mountains
Pakistan glossary












30 June 2000



Section 1
It is a beautiful house, in the middle of the roof is a medium-sized ventilator, letting in fresh air and light through which the clouds in the sky could be seen. I have come here to interview the owner of the house, Qurban janab (Mr, sir). The absence of other inmates of the house has made the environment very calm and comfortable for the interview.
I have to cover three subjects: the history of Shimshal, its population and tourism.
The beginning of the interview was very interesting as the narrator, who has been a folk singer, sang his favourite songs and enthralled us. He reminisced his old days and became nostalgic. [This song was not transcribed]

Would you please tell me about the history, population and tourism of Shimshal in light of your experiences, memory and the old testimonies and personal accounts? To begin with, tell me first about the history of Shimshal?
Sadar sahib (sadar is president, sahib is Sir, a term of respect)!1 I cannot exactly say how old the settlement of Shimshal is because there is no written history of the village. However, if we calculate the population and compare it with the period of the Mirs (rulers of Hunza state up to 1974) of the [defunct] Hunza State, it comes out to be 1100 to 1200 years old. The Mirs have ruled Hunza and Gojal for about 900 years until it was abolished in 1974. And the settlement in Shimshal was older than the former princely state.2

Who was the first person to come here?
Our forefather Mamusing was the first to come here.

How many children did he have?
He had one son, Sher.3

How many children did Sher have?
He had three sons - Bakhti, Ghazi, and Boqi.

How many clans are there in Shimshal?
There are three clans: Boqi Kathor, Ghazi Khathor and Bakhti Kathor.
Section 2
Why were these clans made?
It could be said that due to an increase in the offspring of Sher and expansion in their families the three clans were formed.

Were the people now living in Shimshal the first to settle here or were any other people settled here before?
When our forefather, Mamusing, came here there was already a settlement here. There were crop fields, an irrigation channel, livestock pens and houses but no human being was present here. I have heard from my elders that some other clans or groups of people might have settled here before Mamusing came but most probably they had left the village.4

What changes or development has occurred in Shimshal and how?
We have witnessed tremendous changes and revolution in our village in the third and fourth quarter of the last century. If we compare the pace of progress of the earlier days with today’s it was fast in the earlier periods. Despite lack of schools and other facilities, the illiterate people had made a remarkable progress and fundamental achievements in the earlier periods.

It is stated that some 100 years ago the settlement or population was concentrated in the middle of the village. What would be the population at that time?
We were very young, some 50 years back there were about 40 houses and the total population might have been around 200 inhabitants in the village at that time. It was a well-organised and closed society. There was great harmony, a sense of love, unity and sincerity among the people. Nobody at that time went away from the community. I remember at that time during a cultural or social event, for instance weddings and related customs like Tarkhun yundak (first invitation for bride to visit her parent’s house after marriage) all the people [in the community] had to participate in the ceremony.

It is being stated that there was great unity among the people in those days and that unity is unlikely to be seen [today].
Because it was a very tough life at that time. People had to live together in a joint family system to work for themselves and for the rulers. The people had to do ashar (unpaid labour for Mir) for the rulers of Hunza, pay bap chap (taxes) to the Mirs, and do their own agricultural and domestic chores and livestock farming. Now with the blessing of God, when the state was abolished in 1974 the taxes and forced labour also ended. There is no liability or taxes of the Mir (rulers of Hunza state up to 1974) on us. Now we have to think and work only for our family. The only thing we need is unity between the people. There is some disunity now. But I hope petty issues would be solved and our people would live with unity.

What will be the effect of the increasing population and price increases on the society?
The life was very simple four decades ago. There were no educational or other expenses. Now with the increase in necessities of life and the prices spiralling, people are facing great challenges and have to work hard. It has become difficult to meet the basic needs of life such as clothes, education, health and other needs. For everything you need money, so people are suffering because they have no means of income or jobs. They can’t meet such huge expenses.
Section 3
What have been our traditions and ways of life in different stages since our forefathers came here?
The way our people are living in this village and the activities of life is called culture ... Yes! Following the traditions, respecting the norms and laws and not going astray is the unique culture of this village. It is indeed the period of knowledge and information. Everyone must get education. But they must not abandon their culture and traditions. The educated people should not criticise these traditions by saying that these are outdated and old things. They will be useful for the new generation in the future.

Which tradition and custom do you like very much?
I like Chaneer (harvest festival) because the season becomes very pleasant. People go to Pamir (Shimshal’s mountain pastures) to meet their families and relatives, celebrate and enjoy the blossoms. The mock ambush and the encounter between the youth of the village and those at Pamir called Nash Qalam Din is indeed a great attraction for young people, and provides an opportunity for them to prove their bravery and skills to attack an enemy or encounter an alien. A group of four to five youth goes to Pamir openly and then hide at a proper place near the yak-pen and wait for the darkness of the night to ambush the pen. They then cut the ropes around the yaks’ noses which are also tied with a heavy stone or log inside the livestock pen5.
On the other hand the youth living in Pamir tighten security around the yak-pen to foil the attempt of the attacker and apprehend them.6
On the other hand a group of youth from Pamir come to the village on the day of celebration of Chaneer and try to snatch the special dishes prepared for the day. If caught they are “taken prisoner” and then people gather at a place and dance, sing, play dorobi (tug-of-war). Mr. President! It was a very joyful event in those days.

How do the people celebrate and what kind of musical instruments were used at that time?
Yes! Music and dance was an essential part of the traditions and custom. Our own musicians and artists, like Mulla Qurban, Imanullah, Hasratullah Baig, Noordin Shah, Bakh and Qalandar Baig, Muhammad Yori used to play the instruments and other people danced.

Would you like to say something about the wedding customs and the related celebrations?
In early days, the people under compulsion of the shortage of workforce used to get their children married at a very early age. Though the situation has changed, compared with other areas the tradition still exists in Shimshal.
Section 4
It means that the early marriages have been a tradition here. What is the difference between the marriages of early days and now?
There was a great difference. Though the people got married at early ages in those days they gave birth to a child very late. Now the people get married later and bear children early.

What would you say about the marriage expenses? Was it [more] expensive in early days or now?
It was very expensive in those days but now with the grace of Maula (literally master; the Aga Khan) we have a constitution, which has curtailed, specified the limits of the expenses and the dowry. Yet the cost of clothes and everything has increased now. Things have become very costly now. However, people were making lavish spending in those days. For instance on the occasion of engagement two bowls of beth (local dish; wheat flour mixed with butter, water and salt served with mutton) and also on the occasion of Pergvendak (necklace tying ceremony) a big bowl of molida (local dish; bread mixed with qurut – local dried cheese - and butter) had to be made. But now most expenses are made on clothing and not on food.

Qurban janab would you please tell us about your engagement and wedding?
Sadar sahib! We were in need of manpower for work and domestic chores. My parents went to one of our relatives and proposed their daughter for me. They accepted and I got married with their choice.

Will you please recall your wedding ceremony activities?
It was very good and fascinating.

How many languages are spoken in Shimshal?
Wakhi was the only language spoken by the people till 50 years back because there was no means of communication or interaction with the outside world.7 Now the youngsters go to other cities to get education as well as learn English, Urdu, Brushaski, Shina, Japanese and French languages. Urdu is spoken and understood by almost all youngsters and some aged people.

Besides Shimshal, in how many other countries is the Wakhi language spoken.
Wakhi is spoken also in the Sinkiang province of China, Tajikistan and the Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan.

What do you feel while seeing a foreigner speaking Wakhi?
I will say that if any stranger speaks my native language I feel he is my brother. When I go to a strange place (other cities and areas) and feel difficulty in understanding a language, if I find a stranger speaking my language I feel he is my brother. I become very happy to share my feelings with him and tell him my problems.
Section 5
Would you like to tell me a tale?
Yes, I knew [some] when I was young but now I have forgotten since I started singing songs. I would like to quote the great philosopher, Heraclites who says:
“If you are Plato and Heraclites
I must show you the fools”

Would you like to say the whole story?

What kind of clothes did people use to wear in early days?
Sadar sahib! In those days we used to wear our own hand-made clothes, mostly woollen. It was not only cheap but also kept our bodies warm and we didn’t have to spend any money on our clothes. It was cheap and strong. Now with the grace of God a lot of things are available. People spend a lot of money on clothes and wear costly clothes but this has brought with it some ailments and disadvantages.

How would you compare the clothes of early days with the present time? Which one was good?
In those days we didn’t have to spend money on clothes, we had to make them by ourselves, which protected us from the cold. Now people have abandoned working hard and making the indigenous clothes. Now we have either to spend money on education, bringing our daily-use kitchen items like tea, salt and other essentials, or spend it on clothes. The people who have got education and employment can afford it but what can the people like me who have no education and skill do?

Why are those woollen clothes from local material not made now?
Our younger generation don’t bother or take interest in it. Our wives used to make various items like pullovers, sweaters and gloves. But now they too don’t care about it and don’t prepare those things.

What are the difficulties or problems in making clothes from local material?
People don’t bother. Earlier they had to be up until late at night to make the raw material for clothing. It involves fuel for the fire and petromax for light. It also needs a lot of labour. Nowadays, although there is electricity and gas available, the women don’t bother.

Did the people used to wear any special clothes during marriage ceremonies?
Chugha (a long woollen overcoat) and chappan, a long overcoat made of embroidered silk cloth, and sandal, a red coloured long boot, made of special hide of goat or ibex, used to be worn at wedding ceremonies. A few people could wear shirts.

From which material is the sandal made and how?
This was made from the hides of markhor (wild mountain goat) hunted by the hunters. The hides used to be pressed and made soft and then were coloured and sewn using a special technique by experts. There were two types of long shoes – shushk, made up of one piece of coloured hide of ibex and moya, made of two pieces. The sole was made of strong and thick hide of yak and bull. People used to wear these two specially made shoes and go to public gatherings and ceremonies. There were special experts like Master Muhammad Nayab, Ainullah Baig, Muhammad Bari and Dayim who made these shoes.
Section 6
A very few people were hunting markhor and could afford these shoes but what about those who did not hunt markhor?
They used to make shoes from cow and goat skin. But those were not as sustainable and beautiful as the shoes made of markhor skin.

Did you, too, hunt markhor?
Yes, I did hunt about sixty markhors. When the prices of cartridges reached Rs5 per piece I abandoned hunting. I could not afford this hobby. I had to meet the needs of my family.

You mean due to expense you abandoned hunting?

Do you like poetry or folk songs?
Yes I do.

Would you please name an old poet of those days?
I do not remember the poets of old days. However, in the recent past, about seventy years ago Shireen Shah was a popular and good poet. His poetry was very serious and of a good standard.

Do you like “Anar Shireen” a very popular song of Shireen Shah and like to sing that?
Yes, I do know that song but I regret to sing it now because Chiraghuddin janab will get annoyed because his young wife has died recently.8

No she was also my cousin. I think her husband will not mind. It will be just recording a historic song for testimony. It would be very kind of you if you sang that song.
Maula (master) forgive me. I will sing.

Would you please explain it in simple words?
I will not because it will be tantamount to belittling the song.

I think there are a lot of difficult words in it that need to be explained?
I think it is not appropriate to do so…it would be like the poet of Chupursan. Zar qadarb zargar disht Dil qadarb dilbar disht (the goldsmith best knows the value of gold and a lover best knows the feelings of the heart or love).9
Section 7
Who leads all in the riding? [The meaning of this question is unclear]
A poet who loves a beautiful woman has written the third stanza. He symbolises her as a glittering star on the skies. He says his beloved one is so beautiful that it can’t be described in words. He is away from his beloved one and unable to meet her.

When did you start singing songs?
I started singing when I was young. I sang love songs. My other friends like Qalandar Baig, Dildar Baig and Bobi also sang songs.

Have you ever sang in a big gathering or on the occasions of weddings?
Yes, I used to sing in marriage ceremonies, in public gatherings in Shimshal and cultural shows in downtown Gulmit and Hunza.

Did you record any song for the radio?
Yes I did. Ghulam Amin Baig had recorded but not yet broadcast on radio. I mostly sing love songs, which are not appropriate to be sung in big gatherings. These are sung in selective and small gatherings. Now I have stopped singing because my age does not allow me to sing those songs. I like songs in which names are mentioned.

Do you say poems also?
Yes but very occasionally. I sing a lot.

Would you please mention some good poets of the modern age?
Azizullah, Shambi Khan, Daulat Qazi, Afzal and Chiraghuddin who after the death of his wife has stopped saying poems.

Among these poets whom do you like very much?
Shambi Khan is my favourite poet.

How would you compare the classic and modern poets?
In classic poetry the poets did not mention the subject or name of the person in their poems but through a symbol. Their poetries were substantive, with positive objects and of very high quality. But today’s poetry is subjective and lacks substance and quality, which is liked by only youngsters. Such songs were not to be sung in marriage parties in those days. The youngsters regrettably do not know the poems of the classic poets.

It has been observed that the youth do not like to sing in Wakhi; instead they prefer to sing the songs of other languages and mostly Indian and Pakistani movies soundtracks?
There are some people who understand Urdu and watch movies in which the young couples are shown making love and [they] try to apply these [norms] in our society. They [think they] must make themselves like those people living in urban societies.
Section 8
Would you say something about the way of living of our people?
It is good. People realise the changes taking place in our surroundings and in the world and mould their lives according to the present day needs.

Is it true that the youngsters in early periods did highly respect their elders?
It was a very hard time in those days. People had to work very hard and had a tough time. The road was not available even the pony track was not available. During travel, youngsters took care of the elders. For instance when all the people in below zero temperature in winter had to take the taxes and luggage of Mir and go to Hunza, we had to cross the frozen river 30 times. The youngsters took their elders on their back and crossed the river. At resting points they prepared barham (a fire made on soft sand to heat an area of the ground up for sleeping on) and first got the aged people and elders to sleep and they themselves slept in a cold place; they fetched water from the river for them and prepared meals and tea for them. In those days, bread made of barley was the cheap diet. A few people used to eat wheat flour. In response to the respect the youngsters used to give their elders, they (the elders) as a gesture of affection, gave them (the youngsters) their share of bread.

What were the items and details of the bap chap (taxes) the people transported to Hunza and used to pay salam (respect) to the Mir?
The livestock of the Mir were in Shimshal. The people used take care of those livestock and prepare about six maunds (1 maund = 37.5 kg ) each of butter, ghee, qurut, meat, live yak, goats, palos (local woven carpet made from yak or goat hair), and other by-products. The elite and well-off people took gifts to the Mir.

Why did the people go to bow before the Mir and kiss his hands? And what items did they take to him?
They went to pay respect and reiterate their loyalty to the Mir and did not think it appropriate to go there empty-handed. Secondly, if anybody wanted to seek any favour - employment or zhang (office or responsibility) like arbob (Mir’s main representative in the village) or yarpa (Mir’s representative responsible for livestock production and supervision of central grain store) who used to look after the livestock of the Mir and their by-products in the village - they presented yak, two maunds (90kg) of pure ghee, goats, bett (coarse woollen cloth), palos (carpet made of yak and goat hair) and other items to him in order to please the Mir or in other words as a bribe. Arbobi (responsibilities of arbob) was an important and respected responsibility.
Arbob Ghulam Nasir and arbob Qurban Muhammad were prominent among the thirty village chiefs appointed by different rulers of Hunza in Shimshal during their 900 years’ rule. The Mirs with a short period of time took back their authority from one arbob to another without any reasons. It depended on the “gift” presented by the contended man for the slot of becoming chief of the village.
Arbob Bulbul was also prominent who took the office from arbob Ghulam Nasir. This was a surprise for the people because the latter was very close to the Mir because his Khunzo (queen) had adopted Ghulam Nasir as her son.
After Bulbul Bilti became the new arbob of Shimshal, during his era some taxes were relaxed. He was very close to the ruling Mir’s family especially to the Mir’s finance minister, thrangpa (representative of the Mir from Hunza who would visit Shimshal once a year to monitor tax collection) Bodolo. Despite the fact that the Mir took the responsibility from Bilti and gave it to Murad Baig, the son of the late arbob Qurban Muhammad, the final arbob was Muhammad Murad. Although he had a lot of wealth he was a very simple and straightforward man. He didn’t want to become arbob. He was lured by thrangpa Bodolo and tempted to accept the office. The arbobi system ceased to exist with the abolition of the Hunza state in 1974 by the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Section 9
Was the Miri system (Mir’s regime) good or the post-Miri system?
Well Mr. President! I can’t say that the state was bad. Although there was repression and bonded labour under that system, due to the fear of the rulers and the local village chief, people stayed together to work collectively. Now, despite the fact that many institutions of the Maula have been established here, people do not work with responsibility and there is a lack of unity among the people. In the early days when the arbob or khalifa (local religious leader) ordered or assigned any task to the people they obeyed it. They were threatened by the people from the Mir and so they had to work or complete the task at any cost. The two men and the elders used to run the whole affairs of the village and people used to work collectively.
Now, despite the fact that there are several institutions and almost one or two members of a family are working in different positions in these institutions, the work of the village is not being done properly and people are not united. I don’t think that the people will get united or agree on any issue now.

In those days, who used to run the affairs of the village?
The arbob and a chorbu (public announcer) who used to announce with a full throat the order of the arbob or any emergency or community work. Then all the people, including old and young, gathered at a proper place and deliberated on village issues and took decisions.

Was there any specific place for meetings?
Yes, the people used to gather at your maternal uncle Azizullah’s charaman (threshing ground) or at the lawn of Jamat khana (religious and community centre of Ismaili Muslims) and seek solutions to their problems.
Section 10
What was the punishment for those who did not turn up for collective work?
There was a silver plate in which three to four juti (about 4kg wheat as a penalty) was to be deposited in the community store. Therefore, people in a fit of fear tried to participate in the community works; this had the effect of keeping the people united. Those who could afford the penalty had to pay it and could do their personal chores but people like me, who could not afford to pay the penalty, had to turn up for community work.

What would you say about the indifferent attitude of the people towards the collective work of the village nowadays, despite having a lot of institutions, the people don’t take interest in collective work?
As I told you earlier, there are several institutions and almost one or two members are at various positions in these institutions but I don’t understand why the people do not participate in village affairs and violate the village traditions and rules.

Did you too work in any Imamat institution (office of the Imam: Aga Khan)?
Yes, I have worked in the volunteer corps, the Tariqa board, reconciliation board and council.

What would you say about tourism? What are the prospects of tourism in our village?
Mr. President as far as the employment or source of income is concerned, a few people have got jobs and the majority of the population has no source of income. Therefore tourism is a major source of income for these people. Those who have jobs meet their daily essential items and needs. But people like me get money from tourists to meet their needs of life. If the tourists didn’t come then there is no other means of income to meet [our] daily requirements.
In the early days, all the community members had their own livestock. They had to do livestock farming to meet their basic livelihood. There was the joint family system at that time to work together. Now it is otherwise. Now people prefer the separate family system and have abandoned livestock herding. Now the stress is on tourism.

Did you go as a porter with tourists?
Yes! I did when my children were too young to work. And it was a difficult period. As I told you earlier I used to hunt but when the prices of cartridges soared to Rs5 I stopped hunting. Then I started working as a artisan (builder) when it didn’t [make me] better me off I abandoned it too, and I started going with the tourists as a porter to meet the needs of my family and to save something for my children and the kitchen needs.

Do you think that besides financial benefits there is any adverse impact on the society with the arrival of tourists in the village?
If I talk about only one aspect of the impact of tourism that would not be appropriate. There are some good and bad people. It is up to you to differentiate between them and treat them accordingly and cooperate with the good guys and discourage bad people from coming to our area.
Section 11
Is there any law or rules to regulate the tourism business?
There is no law as such. For example in Passu there is a system that everybody has got to go according to their turn and chance with the tourists. If anybody doesn’t want to go on his turn he lets other people go as a porter. They don’t create any fuss or quarrel with each other. But it is not the case here in Shimshal. Everyone who is a tourist guide tries to hire his relatives with the group. It is vital to make some law and rules to govern the trade.

So far, how many people have you constructed houses for since you began working as an artisan (builder)?
I have built about 10 local houses and two bungalows and also helped with other colleagues in the construction of Jamat khana.

Now let us talk about the proposed Khunjerab National Park. Do you think the KNP should be made or not?
I wish that our land remains in our own hands and that we maintain our independence. Our lands should remain our own property. If the government took over its management then we would lose everything and we will be left with nothing. We will be limited to the village only. Our condition will be the same as has happened with the people of Sost and Morkhoon who have lost the propriety rights of their land. The Khunjerab National Park people sometimes go after others and sometimes us.

Would you like to say something about your grandfather?
Yes definitely I will. My great grandfather’s name was Ma’ad who was like a saint. He did not have any bad feelings about anybody. He was very noongdor (famous) for having a lot of livestock. He was the first person that went to Gujerab with Abdul up to Koktash, which was the property of the Murad Baig family. Since he had spent most of his life on livestock farming, he was unable to get substantial agriculture land for us. Otherwise he was the second arbob after Bosing. Our forefathers were very pious. They always thought for the goodness of others.

You were alone and how did you make up your mind to give education to your children as your daughter is studying in Islamabad and your sons in other cities?
Yes I had neither any job nor any livestock or assets. I just sent them out of the village. I am a healthy working man. You might be thinking that I’m exaggerating and self-praising. I’m an illiterate person who doesn’t know other languages; I can’t even ask my rights from anyone. Therefore, I was determined to impart education to my children so that they should not remain like me. Now they are working hard and have reached this level. This is because of my forefathers’ prayers. I owned neither a mill nor had a job to educate my children it was only due to the prayers of my ancestors. I gave the opportunity to my children to get education as long as I am alive. When I’ll die you will remain like me. But due to the benediction of Maula and because of my forefathers’ prayers they have reached to this stage.

Is education meant for employment only or has it any other objective?
Education has enormous benefits, nobody could count these. Maula has also stressed on it.
Section 12
What sort of difficulties did you face during the construction of the Jamat khana, the library and other community offices?
Sadar sahib, if there is unity among the people the task becomes very easy. When there is disunity you have to face difficulties at every step. In those days there was marvellous unity among the people. Everyone did their respective jobs. The construction work was completed properly. We did not feel any trouble.

Were the artisan builders of the early days good? And those of the present day?
Sadar sahib, the old artisans got the know-how and learnt the skills on their own. They had not seen the outside world or learnt from any other expert. The early days’ artisans have worked with the help of simple instruments, especially the delicate wooden work was done with the help of a saw and mattock, and they made unique things. Had they had the modern equipments they would have created unthinkable pieces of woodcraft. The artisans of modern day are also good, they have got modern equipment and facilities, they can make much better wooden work. Mukhi janab’s house was built by the renowned artisan of that time, Abadi. You can see how beautiful and unique the woodcraft, carvings and designs are. It is a masterpiece. Since the foundation stone of Jamat khana was laid in the village some 30 years ago, many people have become artisans, [masons], architects and carpenters.

You just said that you become perturbed by the modern developments and trends. Why do you get worried?
Because there is disunity. In early days whatever the wise and responsible people like you said all had to obey and work together. Nowadays no one accepts each other, or accommodates or tolerates each other. Even if I ask my own son to do something he too will not obey my orders or instructions. And he prefers to go play games instead of getting involved in any serious work. Although the time has become very good, the attitude of the youngsters and the disobeying of their elders is a matter of concern.

Didn’t you play any games when you were young?
Yes, we used to play some traditional games like polo and tuksori (game similar to cricket) on the occasions of local festivals. For instance, on the occasion of 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) the people played a week long polo game and other games in their spare time after completing their domestic chores. On the occasion of Kethedith (Spring festival) tuksori was played.

What games other than polo had been played?
Our folk and traditional games were polo, tuksori and tukbalbal (cap-snatching game) on the occasion of cultivation in the fields. On the occasion of Nauroz (New year festival celebrated on March 21) and Tagam (observed on April 1 with the start of sowing in fields) a shooting competition is held. There was no celebration of Salgirah (important Ismaili celebration on 11th July) in those days.
Section 13
Shireen Oosham (sweet friend) thank you for such a useful and informative discussion and for divulging your personal account. It has added a lot to my knowledge. Now it will be translated into Urdu and then English and published in a book form. It will provide information to those who have not seen Shimshal and want to know about our history, culture and way of life.
Footnotes by translator
1 The interviewer some five years back was president of the Aga Khan Local Council. It is tradition that the people as a mark of respect call each other with their titles or designations they had been or are holding.
2 Translator’s notes: It seems incorrect and exaggerated as, according to some history books and narrations Mamusing, the forefather of Shimshalis, who came here first, was an adviser of Girkis, one of the rulers of Hunza. Mamusing played a trick with the ruler of Nagar, Moghlot, a brother of Girkis. Both were sons of Lali Tham, who was the great grandson of Mir Malik, a ruler of Gilgit. The two boys used to quarrels with each other and create fuss in the court. Therefore the ruler of Gilgit sent them with his adviser, Mamusing, to Hunza and Nagar, - his two summer pasture lands – and asked the adviser to allot one each state to the boys in a draw. Mamusing allotted Hunza to Girkis and Nagar to Moghlot. After some time when Moghlot came to know about the conspiracy he made a plan to kill his brother and Mamusing. One day when Girkis was going to Gilgit with some people his estranged brother who was hiding on the other bank of Hunza River near Hindi now called Nasirabad and waiting for him, fired a bow and killed him. Mamusing escaped and fled towards south-eastern valley of Morkhon, in upper Gojal, which was at that time an autonomous area and not included in the Hunza state, to save his life. It happened after a long time of the establishment of Hunza State. Mamusing settled there got married to a woman and a son born to the couple. But during a raid on their settlement at Gircha, a pasture of Morkhon near China border, by robbers from Sinkiang,, China, Mamusing hide his two-year-old son in a wheat storage place and fled to the higher and safer altitude with his wife. When they came back to find there child the raiders had taken him along with themselves. They fled to a safer and inaccessible valley, which later called after his name as Sing Shal. In Sanskrit ‘shaal’ is called for abode, therefore ‘Sing Shaal’ means abode of Sing, which later changed and now called ‘Shimshal’. Therefore it is not correct that they settled in Shimshal much before the establishment of Hunza state. Hence the age of the settlement is not more than four to five hundreds years.].
3 Translator: It is also not correct. Mamusing had already a son when he was in Gircha in Morkhoon. His name was Madik. When he was two years old he was taken away by the raiders from Sriqol, China, as stated earlier. He was adopted by one of the raiders as his son and brought him up, got him married and he had a son, namely Lola Perperk.
One day some people conspired to kill him. When the man, who had adopted him as his son, learnt about the plan he arranged to whisk Madik and his son to Hunza state with two horses and a lot of silk clothes, precious ornaments and other things. The border mountain pass from where the two men crossed into Misgar village, in upper Gojal of Hunza state, is even today called “Perpek Vayeen” (Perperk pass) after the name of Madik’s son, Lola Perpek.
He enquired about his real father, Mamusing and his family. He was told that his father and mother had fled to a south-eastern valley, called Singshal. The father and the son were arrested by the border security personnel of Mir of Hunza and taken to Karimabad, the capital of the state. It was the first time that people saw a strange animal, horse in Hunza. They gathered around them and saw them anxiously. Madik and his son pleased the Mir by presenting him various gifts and showing polo match and other plays on horse back. It annoyed the court men, the prime minister and advisers of the Mir. They felt endangered for their posts if Madik was allowed to stay as Mir’s guest for long. They conspired and convinced the ruler of Hunza to arrest the two strangers otherwise they will become a threat for his throne. They were kept in jail. After some time they two men requested the Mir to say their crime for which they have been kept in jail. If there is not any not any allow them to go to a valley called Singshal to find their family. They were allowed and they first came to Madik’s birthplace, Gircha then to Loopgar via Qoroon pass and then settled at Mulongudi. One day the sons of Sher, came to Mulongudi for hunting or cultivation they found the two men there after enquiring they came to know that they were cousins. The sons of Sher took their cousin, Madik and his son, Lola Perpek, to Singshal and being eldest son of Mamusing, called Boqi Kotor (Boqi clan). Therefore Sher cannot be called the first son of Mamusing. He is the second son. Ghozi, Bakhti and Boqi were Sher’s sons. Boqi had no children and the offspring’s of Madik are now called Boqi Kotor.
4 It is most likely that the people who were settled here before moved to the area of Xingjian province of China presumably due to climatic conditions, some natural calamity or raids by people from other areas on the village which was very common in those days.
5 The custom is such that few young men go to Pamir from Shimshal. When they are close to the Pamir settlement they camouflage themselves and hide so that no one can see them and catch them before their mission is completed. At night they go to where the Pamir people have fastened their yaks for the Wulyo excursion the following day. They free as many yaks as they can by cutting the rope which they are tied up with and keeping it with them as proof of their successful mission. If they are successful they return to the village, but if caught they are punished and forced to carry the cooking pots all the way on foot to Wulyo.
6 Translator: It is a custom, which symbolises the ancient incidents of ambushes and raids conducted by the local people at the behest of the rulers of Hunza on the caravan of silk traders coming from Sriqol, Sinkiang province on their way to Hunza and other areas. The looted items, mostly silk, gold and other ornaments, were to be taken to the ruler of Hunza.
7 Since coming into contact with the outside world and with the visit of British intelligence officers and other explorers in early 1940s, visits of government functionaries and the establishment of military check-post in the late ‘60s here, the army men of other nationalities came here and the local people started going to downtown Hunza and Gilgit due to which they learnt other languages.
8 It is the general custom of the village that everyone shares the sorrow with the bereaved family for some time.
9 The narrator did not like to translate the song. Yet I would like to present the main theme of the song here: It is a love song. A distressed lover reminiscing the golden days has sung for her beloved one who has betrayed her and takes interest in another girl. She seeks another lover but her heart does not get satisfaction. When the memories of the first love made her nostalgic she sings this song symbolizing her beloved one with a flower, which is unmatched, he is unique. She says the unwise people become jealous and criticise my beloved. But he is the only one whom I love and whom I have selected. In the middle of the song a sister praises her handsome and brave brother and his horse.