A Kalasha Tale

 

One year Dezáu—Heaven—decreed that, in honor of the winter solstice, all of humanity should keep all-night vigil.

Yes, yes, they all said. But one by one, they all, nonetheless, fell asleep.

Finally, out of all humanity, only one man remained awake.

This man was a Kalasha, a wood-carver. The reason why he stayed awake when everyone else fell asleep is that he was busy carving a statue: a statue of Dezáu himself, as it happens.

When Dezáu saw this, he was pleased, and so he blessed the man and his craft, and also his entire people.

So it is that, of all the Indo-European-speaking peoples, only the Kalasha, a small tribe of some 4000 people, who live in three valleys in what is now NW Pakistan, have continuously and uninterruptedly practiced their ancient religion since antiquity: the Great Blessing of Dezáu.

To this day, the winter solstice (Chaumós) is still their greatest holiday.

To this day, they still carve statues.

 

The name Dezáu is cognate with that of Zeus, Jupiter, Dyaus, Tyr, Dievs, and other related Sky-gods of Indo-Eurostan.

 

Above: Inauguration Feast of ancestor-images (gandáu)

Birír Valley

October 2014