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The people also play at backgammon, [called in Astóri " Patshis,” and “Takk” in Gilgiti,] with dice [called in Astóri and also in Gilgiti “ dall.”]

Fighting with iron wristbands is confined to Chilâsi women who bring them over their fists which they are said to use with effect.

The people are also fond of wrestling, of butting each other whilst hopping, etc.

To play the Jew's harp is considered meritorious as King David played it. All other music good Mussulmans are bid to avoid.

The “Sitara” (the Eastern Guitar] used to be much played in Yasin, the people of which country as well as the people of Hunza and Nagyr excel in dancing, singing and playing. After them come the Gilgitis, then the Astóris, Chilâsis, Baltis, etc. The people of Nagyr are a comparatively mild race. They carry on goldwashing which is constantly interrupted by kidnapping parties from the opposite Hunza. The language of Nagyr and Hunza is the Non-Aryan Khajuna and no affinity between that language and any other has yet been traced. The Nagyris are mostly Shiahs. They are short and stout and fairer than the people of Hunza [the Kunjūtis] who are described* as “tall skeletons" and who were desperate robbers. The Nagyris understand Tibetan, Persian and Hindustani. Badakhshan merchants were the only ones who could travel with perfect safety through Yasin, Chitral and Hunza.

DANCEST Fall into two main divisions : “slow” or “ Búti Harip” =Slow Instrument and Quick“ Danni Harip,"=Quick Instrument. The Yasin, Nagyr and Hunza people dance quickest ; then come the Gilgitis ; then the Astóris; then the Baltis, and slowest of all are the Ladakis.

* By the people of Gilgit. My measurements will be found elsewhere. The Anthropological Photograph in this Review of October, 1891, shows both “tall ” and short “skeletons."

† A few remarks made under this head and that of music have been taken from Part II, pages 32 and 21, of my “Dardistan,” in order to render the accounts more intelligible.


VOL. 1.


When all join in the dance, cheer or sing with gesticulations, the dance or recitative is called “Thapnatt” in Gilgiti, and “ Buró” in Astóri. [See further on.]

When there is a solo dance it is called “nàtt" in Gilgiti, and “nott ” in Astóri.

“Cheering” is called “Halamush ” in Gilgiti, and “ Halamush ” in Astóri. Clapping of hands is called “tza.” Cries of , Yú dea ; tza theá, Hiú Hiú dea ; Halamush theá ; shabâsh” accompany the performances.

There are several kinds of Dances. The PRASULKI NATE, is danced by ten or twelve people ranging themselves behind the bride as soon as she reaches the bridegroom's house. This custom is observed at Astór. In this dance men swing above sticks or whatever they may happen to hold in their hands.

The BURO' NAT is a dance performed on the Náo holiday, in which both men and women engage—the women forming a ring round the central group of dancers, which is composed of men. This dance is called THAPPNAT at Gilgit. In Dareyl there is a dance in which the dancers wield swords and engage in a mimic fight. - This dance Gilgitis and Astóris call the Darelâ nat, but what it is called by the Dareylis themselves I do not know.

The mantle dance is called “GOJA NAT.” In this popular dance the dancer throws his cloth over his extended arm.

When I sent a man round with a drum inviting all the Dards that were to be found at Gilgit to a festival, a large number of men appeared, much to the surprise of the invading Dogras, who thought that they had all run to the hills. A few sheep were roasted for their benefit ; bread and fruit were also given them, and when I thought they were getting into a good humour, I proposed that they should sing. Musicians had been procured with great difficulty, and, after some demur, the Gilgitis sang and danced. At first, only one at a time danced, taking his sleeves well over his arm so as to let it fall over, and then moving it up and down according to the cadence of the

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music. The movements were, at first, slow, one hand hanging down, the other being extended with a commanding gesture. The left foot appeared to be principally engaged in moving or rather jerking the body forward. All sorts of “ pas seuls” were danced ; sometimes a rude imitation of the Indian Nátsh ; the by-standers clapping their hands and crying out “Shabāsh "; one man, a sort of Master of Ceremonies, used to run in and out amongst them, brandishing a stick, with which, in spite of his very violent gestures, he only lightly touched the bystanders, and exciting them to cheering by repeated calls, which the rest then took up, of “Hiù, Hiù.” The most extraordinary dance, however, was when about twelve men arose to dance, of whom six went on one side and six on the other ; both sides then, moving forward, jerked out their arms so as to look as if they had all crossed swords, then receded and let their arms drop. This was a war dance, and I was told that properly it ought to have been danced with swords, which, however, out of suspicion of the Dogras, did not seem to be forthcoming. They then formed a circle, again separated, the movements becoming more and more violent till almost all the bystanders joined in the dance, shouting like fiends and literally kicking up a frightful amount of dust, which, after I had nearly become choked with it, compelled me to retire.* I may also notice that before a song is sung the rhythm and melody of it are given in “solo” by some one, for instance

Dānă dāng dānŭ dăngdā
nădaňg dānŭ, etc., etc., etc.



Fine corn (about five or six seers in weight) is put into a kettle with water and boiled till it gets soft, but not pulpy. It is then strained through a cloth, and the grain retained and

* The drawing and description of this scene were given in the Illustrated London News of the 12th February, 1870, under the heading of ' A Dance at Gilgit.” (It was reproduced in this Review in January, 1892.)

put into a vessel. Then it is mixed with a drug that comes from Ladak which is called “Papps,” and has a salty taste, but in my opinion is nothing more than hardened dough with which some kind of drug is mixed. It is necessary that “the marks of four fingers " be impressed upon the “ Papps.” The mark of “four fingers ” make one stick, 2 fingers' mark } a stick, and so forth. This is scraped and mixed with the corn. The whole is then put into an earthen jar with a narrow neck, after it has received an infusion of an amount of water equal to the proportion of corn. The jar is put out into the sun-if summer—for twelve days, or under the fireplace-if in winter-[where a separate vault is made for it] -for the same period. The orifice is almost hermetically closed with a skin. After twelve days the jar is opened and contains a drink possessing intoxicating qualities. The first infusion is much prized, but the corn receives a second and sometimes even a third supply of water, to be put out again in a similar manner and to provide a kind of Beer for the consumer. This Beer is called “Mo," and is much drunk by the Astóris and Chilâsis [the latter are rather stricter Mussulmans than the other Shink people). After every strength has been taken out of the corn it is given away as food to sheep, etc., which they find exceedingly nourishing


The Gilgitis are great wine-drinkers, though not so much as the people of Hunza. In Nagyr little wine is made. The mode of the preparation of the wine is a simple one. The grapes are stamped out by a man who, fortunately before entering into the wine press, washes his feet and hands. The juice flows into another reservoir, which is first well laid round with stones, over which a cement is put of chalk mixed with sheep-fat which is previously heated. The juice is kept in this reservoir; the top is closed, cement being put round the sides and only in the

* Wine is called in Gilgit by the same name as is “beer” by the Astóris, viz. : “Mā.” The wine press is called “Mõe Kùrr.” The reservoir into which it flows is called “Mõe Sán."

caps on.

middle an opening is made over which a loose stone is placed. After two or three months the reservoir is opened, and the wine is used at meals and festivals. In Dareyl (and not in Gilgit, as was told to Vigne,) the custom is to sit round the grave of the deceased and eat grapes, nuts and Tshilgāzas (edible pine). In Astór (and in Chilâs ?) the custom is to put a number of Ghi (clarified butter) cakes before the Mulla, [after the earth has been put on the deceased) who, after reading prayers over them, distributes them to the company who are standing round with their

In Gilgit, three days after the burial, bread is generally distributed to the friends and acquaintances of the deceased. To return to the wine presses, it is to be noticed that no one ever interferes with the store of another. I passed several of them on my road from Tshakerkõt onward, but they appeared to have been destroyed. This brings me to another custom which all the Dards seem to have of burying provisions of every kind in cellars that are scooped out in the mountains or near their houses, and of which they alone have any knowledge. . The Maharaja's troops when invading Gilgit often suffered severely from want of food when, unknown to them, large stores of grain of every kind, butter, ghi, etc., were buried close to them. The Gilgitis and other socalled rebels, generally, were well off, knowing where to go for food. Even in subject Astór it is the custom to lay up provisions in this manner. On the day of birth of anyone in that country it is the custom to bury a stock of provisions which are opened on the day of betrothal of the young man and distributed. The Ghi, which by that time turns frightfully sour, and [to our taste] unpalatable and the colour of which is red, is esteemed a great delicacy and is said to bring much luck.

The chalk used for cementing the stones is called “San Bått.” Grapes are called “Djatsh,” and are said, together with wine, to have been the principal food of Ghazanfar, the Raja of Hunza, of whom it is reported that when he

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