INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE AND DISASTER MITIGATION: THE CASE OF KALASHA COMMUNITY OF NORTHERN PAKISTAN

Authors

  • Muhammad Ishaq
  • Inam Ullah leghari
  • Shazia Akbar Ghilzai

Abstract

There is dearth of qualitative data on Indigenous Knowledge and Disaster Mitigation in the context of Pakistan. This paper attempts to understand the indigenous knowledge of Kalasha Community and its effects on disaster mitigation mechanism. Kalasha Community commonly misnamed as Kalash Kafirs (unbelievers), are the last polytheists and non-Islamic group of the Hindu Kush range living among a predominantly Muslim population of northern Pakistan. They live in a hostile (both social and physical) environment that poses numerous threats to their survival like natural disasters. These threats are jeopardizing their physical and cultural survival. Building on qualitatively research methods, this article describes how Kalasha community has actively used its environment to fulfill its needs through subsistence agro-pastoral economy enabling them to combine both knowledge of the environment, its natural resources, its optimum use and the proper sanction of this knowledge through religious beliefs. Dwelling patterns, selection of site for building, building codes, use of wood, trees, land, water etc. are properly dictated by religious beliefs that are to ensure sustained survival of the whole community. It is because of this indigenous knowledge, belief system and its proper translation into action that the community has been keeping itself safe from “natural” as well as manmade disasters and hazards for centuries. This indigenous community can guide humanity to sustainable future for generations to come.

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Published

2020-12-09

How to Cite

Muhammad Ishaq, Inam Ullah leghari, & Shazia Akbar Ghilzai. (2020). INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE AND DISASTER MITIGATION: THE CASE OF KALASHA COMMUNITY OF NORTHERN PAKISTAN. PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt / Egyptology, 17(3), 2396-2415. Retrieved from http://mail.palarch.nl/index.php/jae/article/view/2672