Dard people


Dard people

The Dards (Devanagari: दारद, Perso-Arabic: دارد) are a group of people defined by linguistic similarities, and not common ethnicity, predominantly found in Eastern Afghanistan, in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir and in the Northern Areas and North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. The term Dard is due to Herodotus who described a land of the Dardikae in the areas forming northeastern Afghanistan.

Contents

Origin

Parpola (1999) identifies "Proto-Dardic" with "Proto-Rigvedic" , suggesting that the Dards are the linguistic descendants of the bearers of proto Rigvedic culture ca. 1700 BC, pointing to features in certain Dardic dialects that continue peculiarities of Rigvedic Sanskrit, such as the gerund in -tvī (p. 189).

Moreover, the Dard people are mentioned in the Vishnu Purana.[1] They now occupy the area called Dardu, supposed by Herodotus to be the Dadicæ.[1] As such, during Swati rule, the Dard people were dominantly Hindu and frequent small scale jihad against Dard might have been a routine.[2] Dards of of Dras, Gilgit, Skardu, etc., embraced Islam after the Muslim invasion of India during the 14th century A.D. whereas the Dards of Da, Hanu, Bema, Darchik and Garkon did not accept this and gradually later accepted Buddhism.[citation needed]

Geographic distribution

The term "Dard" is an outdated one that has been used to describe various groups of often unrelated mountain tribesmen who inhabit a region between Badakhshan, Northern Pakistan and Kashmir. Although the Dardic languages do show similarities they are mostly very distinct from one another often living in remote mountain valleys. The cultures of the Dardic peoples are also quite varied but they do share similarities due to their common mountainous environment and intertwined history.

The Shina language is spoken in Pakistan's Northern Areas apart from Gilgit where most of the speakers live. Other areas with significant Shina speakers include Punial, Darail, Tangair and Astore, which are located adjacent to the Gilgit region. It is also spoken in Gurez, Drass and Ladakh in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It has many dialects, most of which are found in Pakistan, including Gilgiti Shina, Astori Shine, Ponyali Shina, Chilasi Shina and Gurezi Shina. The pronunciation of this language is very different. It is very important to make changes in the script of this language to make it easy.

Khowar is principally spoken in the Pakistani regions of Chitral, Yasin, Gupis, Koh-o-ghizar and Ishkoman. Many Khowar speakers have migrated and set up colonies in Pakistan's urban centres such as in Peshawar, Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi. A small number of Khowar speakers can be found in the adjacent regions of Afghanistan.

Two non-Dardic languages which are spoken in Northern Pakistan are Balti, a Sino-Tibetan language and Burushaski a language isolate and still the topic of considerable interest for Pakistani and international linguists.

Dards in Afghanistan

There are also Dardic groups in North Eastern Afghanistan such as the Pashai and the Kohistanis. The Nuristanis were previously considered to be Dards but are today classified as a distinct group. Many Dards are also settled in the capital Kabul where they form a close social community.

Dards in India

Dards also inhabit parts of India, chiefly in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. In the Drogpa villages of west Leh, the Buddhist Dard people still inhabit the area.[3] Isolated from the modern world, they subsist on farming, ekinga living from the rugged mountainsides.[3]

The Gurez people call themselves "Dards," and this name is by some extended to apply to Shina generally.[4] Shina speaking populations are predominant in tehsil Gurez, Drass and Dah Hanu areas of Ladakh. The Shin who follow the Bön religion are also a Dard group who speak an archaic variety of Shina called Shins.

There are several villages in India that are inhabited by Buddhist Dards, including Grugurdo, Sanacha, Urdus, Darchik, Garkon, Dah Hanu, Phindur, and Baldes.[5]

The Kashmiri people of the Kashmir valley are also a Dardic people since they speak the Koshur language, a prominent Dardic language. The Kashmiri people, though long since converted to Islam, have been of the Brahmanical origin; the educated class, who maintained their own tenets, and are still very numerous, are known as pandits.[6] The latter group has set out colonies to seek their livelihood in other parts of northern India.[6]

Dards in Pakistan

Most Dardic people reside in the Northern Pakistan. In ancient times, Pakistan's northern areas plus the adjacent areas of upper Swat, Kohistan, and north eastern Afghanistan were referred to as Dardistan, or land of the Dards. The people of the Northern Areas are mostly of Dardic extract, including the people of Chitral, Gilgit, Kohistan and upper Swat. Dards have also migrated heavily and set up colonies in several of Pakistan's major urban centres such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi.

Religion

The vast majority of Dardic peoples are Muslims, with a significant population of Hindus[2] and Buddhists,[citation needed] as well as a population who adheres to animism.[7] The Kashmiri Pandits are Hindu, mostly of the Saivaite sect.[8] Dardic religion in Indian Ladakh, particularly in the villages of Da and Hann, retains marked traces of the pre-Buddhist animistic religion, Bon-chos.[7] The Kalash tribes found in Chitral, are exceptional in having retained their ancestral polytheistic religion and are protected by the Government of Pakistan.

External links

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "The cyclopædia of India and of eastern and southern Asia: commercial, industrial and scientific, products of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, useful arts and manufactures, Volume 1". B. Quaritch. http://books.google.com/books?id=4NArAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA886&dq=dard+people&cd=3#v=onepage&q=dard%20people&f=false. Retrieved 2007-08-01. "The people are the Dard, and are mentioned in the Vishnu Purana." 
  2. ^ a b "Swat: an Afghan society in Pakistan : urbanisation and change in tribal environment". City Press. http://books.google.com/books?id=p_9tAAAAMAAJ&q=dard+people+swati&dq=dard+people+swati&lr=&cd=1. Retrieved 2007-08-01. "During Swati rule Dard people were most probably non- believers and dominantly Hindu, frequent small scale Jihad against Dard might have a routine." 
  3. ^ a b "Fodor's India". Random House, Inc.. http://books.google.com/books?id=4NArAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA886&dq=dard+people&cd=3#v=onepage&q=dard%20people&f=false. Retrieved 2007-08-01. "In the Drogpa villages of west Leh, the Buddhist Dard people still inhabit the shimmering Indus Valley. Isolated from the modern world, they subsist on farming, ekinga living from the rugged mountainsides." 
  4. ^ "The languages of India: being a reprint of the chapter on languages". Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India. http://books.google.com/books?id=L65DAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA50&dq=Dah+Hanu++dards&lr=&cd=9#v=onepage&q=Dah%20Hanu%20%20dards&f=false. Retrieved 2007-08-01. "The Gurez people call themselves "Dards," and this name is by some extended to apply to Shina generally, or even to all of non-Sanskritic Indo-Aryan languages." 
  5. ^ "The Jummoo and Kashmir territories: A geographical account". E. Stanford. http://books.google.com/books?id=t9gMAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA430&dq=Dah+Hanu++dards&lr=&cd=15#v=onepage&q=Dah%20Hanu%20%20dards&f=false. Retrieved 2007-08-01. "The following places - villages and hamlets - are inhabited by the Buddhist Dards: Grugurdo, Sanacha, Urdus, Darchik, Garkon, Dah, Phindur, Baldes, Hanu, Lower and Upper." 
  6. ^ a b "The cyclopædia of India and of eastern and southern Asia, commercial industrial, and scientific: products of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, useful arts and manufactures, Volume 2". Bernard Quaritch. http://books.google.com/books?id=3U0OAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA514&dq=kashmiri+cyclop%C3%A6dia&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false. Retrieved 2007-08-01. "The Kashmir people, though long since have converted to Muhammadanism, have been of the Brahmanical race. The educated class, who maintained their own tenets, and are still very numerous, are known as pandits. They are exceedingly clever, and are a somewhat oppressive bureaucracy, which has ruled Kashmir under every successive Government, and has set out colonies to seek their livelihood in Northern India." 
  7. ^ a b "The India magazine of her people and culture, Volume 14". A. H. Advani. http://books.google.com/books?id=RgZuAAAAMAAJ&q=bon+dard+people&dq=bon+dard+people&cd=10. Retrieved 2007-08-01. "Dardic religion in Ladakh, particularly in the villages of Da and Hann, retains marked traces of the pre-Buddhist animistic religion, Bon-chos" 
  8. ^ "Longman guide to living religions". Stockton. http://books.google.com/books?id=i_QnAAAAYAAJ&q=kashmiri+pandit+shaivism&dq=kashmiri+pandit+shaivism&lr=&cd=19. Retrieved 2007-08-01. "The central philosophy of monistic Shaivism is that there is only one ... the daily lives of the remaining Shaiva brahmins of Kashmir or Kashmiri pandits." 

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