The North West Frontier Province of Pakistan is home to a small number of ethnic groups.The Kalash or otherwise known as Kalasha make up one of these groups. They live within a mountainous region of the Province, the Kalash Valley. They have a unique culture and language of their own.
Although there are heavy Kafiristani (today known as Nuristani) influences in the language, religion and ethnicity of the Kalash, their unique culture and belief system differs drastically from the various ethnic groups surrounding them. Nature plays a highly significant and spiritual role in their daily life. As part of their religious tradition, sacrifices are offered and festivals held to give thanks for the abundant resources of their three valleys.
The Kalash have been ruled by the Mehtar of Chitral since the 1700s and have enjoyed a cordial relationship with the major ethnic group of Chitral, the Kho who are Sunni and Ismaili Muslims. The multi-ethnic and multi-religious State of Chitral ensured that the Kalash were able to live in peace and harmony and practice their culture and religion.
Many Kalash claim that they are the direct descendants of either Greek settlers, Alexander the Great's army, or even Alexander himself.