The Kho, natives of northern Pakistan, live isolated among the world’s highest mountain peaks. The dry, rugged terrain barely supports herding and subsistence farming. Due to poor nutrition and water quality, health problems are many.

Generous and hospitable, quiet and peace-loving but also brave, the Kho resent their long domination by the Pushtan. Traditional poems and songs are sung to new generations to the accompaniment of the sitar, an instrument of mulberry wood with five strings.

The Kho do not marry outsiders. They have three social classes: nobility, landowners, and  laborers. Urdu is the national language and Arabic is the religious (Islam) language, but Khowar is the language of heart and home. There are no Scriptures in Khowar.

Spring 2009