Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Group of Hazaras (1878-1880)

This photograph of a group of Hazaras 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. The Hazaras are traditionally nomads from the highland regions, who move their flocks of sheep, goats, and camels around the pastures of the Pamir Mountains and the Hindu Kush. In front of the mother and child in the image is a bundle of kindling, possibly the only source of fire for cooking and heat.

Source: Library of Congress