The History of the Aćharʹîta

In August, 1985, I had the excellent fortune of working with Ghâziuddin Khân and Muhammad Musharaf, two prominent and enthusiastic brothers from the phaṭakêʹ clan of Aćharêʹt. Although most of my brief research with them concentrated on the lexicon and phonology of the language of Aćharêʹt, I was able to make a short tape recording of an extemporaneous account of the history of the Aćharʹîta (the people of Aćharêʹt), given by Ghâziuddin Khân. The transcription of that account appears below, with an English translation. Poor recording circumstances rendered the tape difficult to transcribe in some places; bracketed question marks follow phrases whose transcription or translation are best guesses.



An Account of the History of the Aćharʹîta

Ghâziuddin Khân

Richard F. Strand


čilâsʹî be, tarbûrânôʹm_sangʹi, zmʹuka bilôṣṭâʹ, hukumʹat bilôṣṭâʹ, asâʹm šikʹast de bʹe uḍhêwʹi yhʹôla, c̣hatrʹôla the. c̣hatrʹôla maǰi bi xʹâs aćharêʹt thani zhʹai, be muqʹîm bhila. muqʹîm bhili pahʹurta, bʹe inda he˜sʹila de; raisʹî hukumatʹî dî muxadʹuši be yhʹôla wʹânda. tʹâi pahʹurta bâ, aṛasʹî, xayrullʹaî hukumʹat yhʹôlo. xayrullʹa patu bâ, kaṭurʹeî hukumʹat yhʹôlo. aćharêtʹa_asʹî, dʹôda, âbâʹt the, kâlʹâṣam dî, ghinʹi, âbâʹt the, anʹi watanʹi hʹino ta, taqribʹan ʹâṣṭ nʹû sowa kâlʹî, wʹaxt. Having fought with our agnates over land and government, we were defeated, and we fled and came from Chilâs to Chitrâl. Then in Chitrâl we became residents in a place called Aćharêt. After becoming residents, we remained here. We had come before the Rais government. After that came the government of Khairullah. After Khairullah came the Kaṭuré government. Our grandfathers took Aćharêt from the Kalashas, developed it, and have been in this homeland for approximately eight or nine hundred years' time.
gʹiḍ, hâraṇʹû, hâraṇdhrôʹk asî dʹôda fʹatah thʹîlo. raisânʹômî, aṛʹâ bândi, madatʹi bândi, asʹî dʹôdo axerʹi dôdo, mitraʹi, giḍʹûčamî bhêṇpʹutr de. tânʹim bâ, dʹui asî dʹôdo mherʹi, qalʹang gihʹâna [?] thanʹî. ʹâ mitraʹi ghini gʹia ghini gʹia pahʹurta, asî dʹôdo gêḍʹîlo ta tʹas dî khoǰʹôlo, ki thʹî bâbu nʹa hino [?] tʹu, gʹoî yhêw [?] ani phar [?] asâʹm bhanǰayʹânu ya girgirayʹânu. tʹî teṇi yʹêi dî khoǰâʹ, teṇi bʹâbî duṣmanʹa saʹî the, putrʹâ [?] bʹeh [?], raisʹa kêči bʹe, â kâʹl nokarʹi the, êtaîʹ, tasʹî madʹat, ghinʹi whaʹi, gʹiḍ, hâraṇʹû lâmburbʹaṭ, hâraṇdhrôʹk, râmrʹam. phʹatah thʹîlo. phʹatah thʹîli pahʹurta, wapʹas yhʹôlo. yhʹe aćharêtʹa yhei [?] muqʹîm bhîlo. Our grandfathers conquered Giḍ, Harandu, and the Harandu Valley, with the assistance of the Raises. Our ultimate grandfather, Mitraʹi, was a sister's son of the Giḍ people. They killed another of our grandfathers while he was getting [?] the grazing fee, and carried off this one Mitraʹi. After they carried him off, when our grandfather grew up, he was asked, "Isn't it so [?], that your father is coming over from there and hitting us or going around [?] to us? Having asked his mother and ascertained that [they were] his father's enemies, the son [?] went over to the Raises, did one year's service, and from there got that assistance, came down, and conquered Giḍ, Harandu, Langurbat, the Harandu Valley, and Râmram. After having conquered them, he came back. He came to Aćharêt and became a resident.
bʹe âšrʹet, mitraʹi awlʹât taqribʹan trʹô zara âbâdʹî. trô thyʹâḍa zara âbâdʹî xalak, tʹipa bî be. aćharêtʹa âbʹâd hina. ǧʹar bi asʹî sʹan bi asʹî. tʹâi pahʹurta. bʹe tʹipa tî, anʹi taqribʹan aṣnʹû sawa kâlʹa teṇʹi watanʹi zindagʹi thâna šʹina qôm asʹî awelʹî dôdî nʹô, mac̣ôʹk, mac̣ôʹka patu âxerʹi aćharêtʹi asî âxerʹi dôdî nʹô, mitraʹi. bʹe ani watanʹi tʹipa bi zindagʹi thâna asî zabʹân šʹina. ʹâ be čilâsʹî xalaka. aslʹi, be čilâsʹî. tʹî maǰʹi bi bʹe aṛas sangi, asʹî qʹôm, ṣʹîng qôma sangi talʹoq hino. gilgitʹa maǰi bi. bʹe aslʹi ṣʹîng qômî awlʹat tasʹî ba. pʹûtro pʹutr_de êṛo, mac̣ôʹk, sa mac̣ôkʹî awlêdʹî maǰi ba be. bʹas. We in Ashret, the offspring of Mitraʹi, are approximately three, three-and-a-half thousand inhabitants now. We are flourishing in Aćharêt. The mountains and the mountain pastures are ours. From then until now we have been living in our own homeland for these approximately eight or nine hundred years as the Shina tribe; our first grandfatherʹs name was Mac̣ôʹk. After Mac̣ôʹk the name of our ultimate grandfather in Aćharêt was Mitraʹi. We are still making our lives in this homeland, and our language is Shina. We are one people from Chilâs; originally, we are from Chilâs. From among them we, our tribe, are attached to the Shîng tribe, from within Gilgit. We are originally the offspring of the Shîng tribe; from that, through one son to another to Mac̣oʹk, we are among Mac̣ôkʹs offspring. Enough.
[Click here to hear the recording (MP3 format, 714 Kb) of the following paragraph.]
bʹe, čilâsʹî, gʹupusî pânda de, lʹaspura the yhʹôla. lʹaspura čʹûr brhâwʹu de; čʹûr bhrâwʹu yhe ʹâ bhro ta laspʹura dharʹîto. tʹâ raisʹa xân sangi asʹî dʹôdam sangi bʹîḍi, aṛʹa the, bʹîḍi izʹat asî dʹôdamî the asâʹm ʹâ bhrâwʹu ta zhâʹi diti, lʹaspuru; ʹâka ta dʹiti šišʹi dâra aṛʹâ, kalâʹs thani dʹîš hino tʹâ; ʹâka ta dʹiti aćharêtʹa. ʹâka ta bâ, xayrullʹaî waxtî, xayrullʹaî ǰangʹî waxtʹî âḍa bhrâwʹu asʹî anʹî we be, aṛʹâ tî, ghinʹi, čaxasarʹai tî ghinʹi, â dîš, kʹi tasʹî nô sâʹw. asʹî âḍa bhrâwʹu ba tʹâ dharʹîta. se bʹe čʹûr bhrâwʹu êṛa tarixa bânde ani watanʹi yhʹe, ʹinda bheši hʹina. tʹipa bi hina. We came from Chilâs via the Gupis route to Laspur. In Laspur there were four brothers. The four brothers came, and one brother remained in Laspur. There our grandfathers made much honor with the Rais Khân, and one of our brothers was given a place at Laspur. One was given [a place] in the Shishi Valley; there's a town called Kalâʹs there. One was given [a place] in Aćharêt. Around the time of Khairullah's war half of our brothers down here went and seized [the country] down to Chagha Sarai, and half of our brothers remained there in one town, whose name is Sâu. Those four brothers went and came to this homeland with that history, and [we] are still settled here, even now.



Another version that I was told, which was recorded in my notes in English but not on tape, goes as follows:

The ancestors of the people of Aćharêʹt were driven out of Chilâs to Tangir, because thay had a fight among themselves over leadership. There the faction from Chilâs attacked and drove them out of Tangir. They fled to Laspur. There were three brothers: lʹaphur, c̣ôʹk, and mac̣ôʹk. Laphur remained in Laspur, C̣ôʹk came to Aćharêʹt, and Mac̣ôʹk went on to Sâu. This was in the time of Khairullah, a mehtar who lived before [sic!] the time of the Rais mehtars.

The refugees were at that time kâfirs, and the area around Aćharêʹt was inhabited by the Kalash, ruled by Naghar Shah, who gave the refugees shelter. Later he imposed a grazing tax on them. They paid for a while; but the burden became too great, and the refugees decided to get rid of Naghar Shah. They sent a woman crying to Naghar Shah's fort at Mirkhani, to say that everyone had fled to Dir because they could no longer pay the tax. He got angry and set out in pursuit, only to fall into an ambush. The Aćharʹîta killed him, and his blood still stains the place where he fell. They routed the Kalash from the valley, which thenceforth was theirs. One Kalash family remained in hiding. Later they were found, and they settled with the Aćharʹîta. Their descendants live in Aćharêʹt today, about thirty families. Today the Aćharʹîta comprise about seven hundred families. They are called ḍangarʹiks because they came from ḍangʹari, a valley by Chilâs.



(Phonemic transcription updated 3 June 2011)