Portraits, Wakhi in relation with other people of their areas

The origin of the less than 100,000 Wakhi people is Wakhan corridor from where they emigrated but also where they, sometimes, partly came back. Their movements are explained by religion changes (Zoroastrian, Buddhism, Islam), trade, pastoralism, wars (Chinese, Tibetan, Arabs…), oppressions from local rulers (Wakhan Mirs), or more distant ones (Badakhshan Emirs, Bukhara Emirs, Yarkand Khan…), Afghanistan’s harsh annexion with the Pashtun Abdur Raman, Russian and Chinese communism, etc.

How past and present religions built a tradition palimpsest in a high valley of northern Pakistan

Chapursan Valley, Pakistan, between Hindu Kush, Pamir and Karakoram ranges is mostly inhabited by Wakhi people, a small minority living in China and in Afghan or Tajik Wakhan. Not surpringly this population share a same faith and same religious traditions regardless the recent (on an historical point of view) borders.

Wakhi mountain houses of Zoodkhun in Chapursan Valley, northern Pakistan

Even though it experiences a, sometimes temporary, exodus to the big cities of southern Pakistan, Zoodkhun Village (also spelled Zuwudkhoon) is still well alive. Nowadays, numerous houses are being built or being enlarged. It is possible to observe a Pamiri layout dating back from Atash-Parast (Fire worshippers, Zoroastrians).

Zoodkhun, Chapursan Valley, a life environment determined by altitude and remotness

At an altitude of 3,300 meters, Zoodkhun, the last hamlet of Chapursan Valley, is granted with less natural ressources and a more difficult access than most of other Wakhi villages of Hunza Valley. Although it creates harsh conditions for its inhabitants it means a pure, peaceful and clean environment in a pristine landscape.

What place for Zoodkhun into the global world?

Zoodkhun in Chapursan Valley, due to its difficult condition of access, preserved most of its authenticity and its community values until today. Expected improvement of communications, development of a Pakistani middle class, increase in foreign visitors might lead to deep changes which should be monitored to contain a cultural and patrimonial alienation.

Some reflections about the development of a responsible and community based tourism in Hunza Valley, Pakistan

The aim of the following text is to present an external view resulting from an independent travel, made in August 2018, using public transportations from Islamabad to Khunjerab Pass with stops in different places. It is also an outcome of discussions hold with the people living and working in this mountainous area of Northern Pakistan.