Are the Kalasha really of Greek origin? The Legend of Alexander the Great and the Pre-Islamic World of the Hindu Kush1


  • Augusto S. Cacopardo



The paper refutes the claim that the Kalasha may be the descendants of the Greeks of Asia. First, traditions of Alexandrian descent in the Hindu Kush are examined on the basis of written sources and it is shown that such legends are not part of Kalasha traditional knowledge. Secondly, it is argued that the Kalasha were an integral part of the pre-Islamic cultural fabric of the Hindu Kush, and cannot be seen as intruders in the area, as legends of a Greek descent would want them. Finally, through comparative suggestions, it is proposed that possible similarities between the Kalasha and pre-Christian Europe are to be explained by the common Indo-European heritage rather than by more recent migrations and contacts.