Texts from the Winter Feasts of the Kalasha of Birir
AbstractThe author presents a collection of texts recorded in 2006–07 during the winter ritual cycle of the Kalasha of the Birir valley – in NorthWest Pakistan – who still practice an archaic form of polytheism with pre-Vedic roots. The fulcrum of the cycle is the Chaumos Winter Solstice Festival, but a number of other festivities follow it at intervals forming a sequence almost two months long, lasting until February. The selection includes texts of songs, chants or prayers from each of these festivities. To allow the reader to relate them to the context in which they were recorded, the texts are accompanied by explanatory ethnographic notes. An introduction sketches the broader scene in which the research was carried out. The texts are in the Birir dialect of Kalashamon, the language of the Kalasha, a North-West-Indo-Aryan, or Dardic, language.
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