Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Group of Hazara Chiefs (1879-1880)

This photograph of a group of Besuti Hazara chiefs with two boys and a mule is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The origins of the Hazara people of Afghanistan are uncertain. One theory holds that they are descended from the Mongol tribes who invaded Afghanistan in the 13th century. They are predominantly Ithnā'ashariyyah (Twelver Shia Muslims) who speak a Persian dialect containing words of Mongolian origin. They form Afghanistan’s third largest ethnic group and have historically suffered discrimination, standing out as Shiites in a Sunni nation and distinguished from other Afghans by their Asiatic features. Some of the Hazaras wear pointed caps called hazaragi while others wear small longis (turbans). The identity of the chiefs in the photograph is unknown.

Source: Library of Congress