Gul Hamaad Farooqi
CHITRAL: The death of a 92-year-year-old Kalash woman of Krakar village was celebrated by the community for two full days till her burial a few days ago.
Sherkani was mother of a well-known personality of Kalash tribe, Abdul Khaliq Kalash.
The body of the deceased was kept at the Jastkan, a religious place of worship of the tribe. During this period, local people decorated the body with currency notes of Rs100 and Rs1,000.
Religious leaders called Qazi coming there turn by turn stood by the head or feet of the dead, praising and paying homage to her.
According to the Kalash tradition, religious rites are performed on the death of a man for three days in which boys beat drums and women sing songs. They also open aerial firing at the time of the burial.
On the death of a woman, rituals are performed for one to two days. But at the time of the burial, no aerial firing is done and drums are also not often played.
The Kalash people slaughter animals through the Muslims so that the charity given to the deceased can be eaten by both the Kalash and the Muslim people.
On the death of Sherkani, a large number of people had also come from Birir and Rambor valleys. At night, they were treated with different dishes while during the day when the body was buried guests were given meat, ghee, bread and traditional food. Josh is a delicious food that is prepared by cooking flour in meat broth. About three canisters of desi ghee and cheese were also offered to the guests at the funeral.
ChitralToday correspondent visited the Kalash valley for two days for coverage of the rituals and talked to different people.
Lok Rahmat Kalash says we slaughter animals with the belief so that there is charity for the deceased and birds are also fed. He said when a child is born, everyone celebrates its birth but people of Kalash distribute food even at the time of death and also play drums and sing songs to see off the deceased person.
Abdul Khaliq Kalash said our mother was a great woman and gave us good education and now my children are all successful.