Chitral District, Hunza (Pakistan)
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir (India)
Ismaili Islam, historically Shamanism, Buddhism, Hinduism
Old Hunza woman in Karimabad, Hunza Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
The Burusho or Brusho, also known as the Hunza people or Botraj,
live in Hunza, Nagar, Chitral, and in valleys of
northern Pakistan, as well as in Jammu and Kashmir, India.
All of them are Ismaili Muslims, while also preserving their ethnic
traditions. Their language, Burushaski, has been classified as a
language isolate. Although their origins are unknown, it is likely
Burusho people "were indigenous to northwestern India
(current day Pakistan) and were pushed into their present homeland by
the movements of the Indo-Aryans," who migrated to the subcontinent in
2 Jammu and Kashmir
4 Influence in the Western world
5 See also
8 External links
Flag of Hunza.
Coat of arms of Hunza
The historical area of Hunza and present northern Pakistan, has, over
the centuries, had mass migrations, conflicts and resettling of tribes
and ethnicities, of which the Dardic Shina race is the most prominent
in regional history. People of the region have for centuries recounted
their historical traditions down the generations. Historic Hunza hosts
four major yet genealogically diverse clans that trace their
paterlineal ancestry (according to historical tradition) to varying
ethnics groups. The Khurukutz are said to be related to the
communities now settled in the Gojal-Pamir border region. The Buroong
are said to have migrated up from the Indus region. Diramiting and
Barataling trace their roots to the Balkan/east European ethnic
diaspora. Besides clans, Burusho society is divided into classes,
including the Thamo royals; the Wazir family governing the state;
Trangfa and Akabirting village leaders; Bare and Sis combat fighters;
Baldakuyos carriers; and Bericho musicians. An offshoot of Bericho
migrated to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Hunza people are
predominantly Shia Muslims of the Nizari Ismaili tradition.
Hunzakuts and the Hunza region have relatively high literacy compared
to most other districts in Pakistan. Hunza is a major tourist
attraction in Pakistan, and many domestic and foreign tourists travel
there to enjoy its stunning mountain landscape. The district has many
modern amenities and is quite advanced by Asian standards. Local
legend states that Hunza may have been associated with the lost
kingdom of Shangri-La.
The longevity of Hunza people has been noted by some, but others
refute this as a longevity myth and cite a life expectancy of 110
years for men and 122 for women although with a high standard
deviation. There is no evidence that Hunza life expectancy is
significantly above the average of poor, isolated regions of Pakistan.
Claims of health and long life were almost always based solely on the
statements by the local Mir (king). The only author who had
significant and sustained contact with
Burusho people was John Clark,
who reported that they were overall unhealthy.
Both Clark and Lorimer reported frequent violence and starvation in
Hunza. Popular claims of the
Hunza diet have been exposed as
pseudoscience, while the mythology surrounding the Hunza people are
noble savage stereotyping.
Upper Hunza locally called Gojal, is inhabited by people whose
ancestors moved up from proper Hunza in an effort to irrigate and
defend the borders with China and Afghanistan. They speak a dialect
called Wakhi, which is influenced not only by Brushahski but also by
Pamiri languages due to the close proximity and contact with these
mountain communities. The Shina-speaking people live in the southern
Hunza. They have come from Chilas, Gilgit, and other Shina-speaking
areas of Pakistan.
Jammu and Kashmir
Burusho people also reside in the Indian state of Jammu and
Kashmir, being mainly concentrated in Batamalu, as well as in Botraj
Mohalla, which is southeast of Hari Parbat. This Burusho community
is descended from two former princes of the British Indian princely
states of Hunza and Nagar, who with their families, migrated to this
region in the 19th century A.D. They are known as the Botraj by
other ethnic groups in the state, and practice Shiite Islam.
Arranged marriages are customary. Since the partition of
1947, the Indian Burusho community have not been in contact with the
Pakistani Burusho. The Government of
India has granted the Burusho
Scheduled Tribe status, as well as reservation, and
therefore, "most members of the community are in government
Burusho people of
India speak Burushashki, also
known as Khajuna, and their dialect, known as Jammu & Kashmir
Burushashski (JKB), "has undergone several changes which make it
systematically different from other dialects of
Burushaski spoken in
Pakistan". In addition, many Jammu & Kashmiri Burusho are
multilingual, also speaking Kashmiri and Hindustani, as well as Balti
and Shina to a lesser extent.
A variety of Y-DNA haplogroups are seen among certain random samples
of people in Hunza. Most frequent among these are R1a1 and R2a, which
probably originated in either South Asia,  
Central Asia or
Iran and Caucasus. R2a, unlike its
extremely rare parent R2, R1a1 and other clades of haplogroup R, is
now virtually restricted to South Asia. Two other typically South
Asian lineages, haplogroup H1 and haplogroup L3 (defined by SNP
mutation M20) have also been observed from few samples.
Other Y-DNA haplogroups reaching considerable frequencies among the
Burusho are haplogroup J2, associated with the spread of agriculture
in, and from, the neolithic Near East, and haplogroup C3, of
Siberian origin and possibly representing the patrilineage of Genghis
Khan. Also present at lower frequency are haplogroups O3, an East
Eurasian lineage, and Q, P, F, and G. DNA research groups the male
ancestry of some of the Hunza inhabitants with speakers of Pamir
languages and other mountain communities of various ethnicites, due
primarily to the M124 marker (defining Y-DNA haplogroup R2a), which is
present at high frequency in these populations. However, they have
also an East Asian genetic contribution, suggesting that at least some
of their ancestry originates north of the Himalayas.
While genetic evidence supports a 2% Greek genetic component among the
Pashtun ethnic group of South Asia, it does not support any for
Influence in the Western world
Healthy living advocate
J. I. Rodale wrote a book called The Healthy
Hunzas in 1955 that asserted that the Hunzas, noted for their
longevity and many centenarians, were long-lived because they consumed
healthy organic foods such as dried apricots and almonds, and had
plenty of fresh air and exercise. He often mentioned them in his
Prevention magazine as exemplary of the benefits of leading a healthy
lifestyle. Since the opening per se of the state of Hunza to Pakistan
and rest of the world, the diet which almost exclusively consisted of
organically grown fruits and vegetables, oils, and seasonings grown
within the immediate localities is now dominated by extensive trade
with neighboring China and Pakistan. Subsequently, much processed
modern and even GMO food products have reached this remote habitation.
Some alternative health advocates claim that GMO infiltration may be
negatively impacting their life expectancy.
Dr. John Clark stayed among the Hunza people for 20 months and in his
book Hunza - Lost Kingdom of the Himalayas writes: "I wish also to
express my regrets to those travelers whose impressions have been
contradicted by my experience. On my first trip through Hunza, I
acquired almost all the misconceptions they did: The Healthy Hunzas,
the Democratic Court, The Land Where There Are No Poor, and the
rest—and only long-continued living in Hunza revealed the actual
situations". Regarding the misconception about Hunza people's health,
John Clark also writes that most of his patients had malaria,
dysentery, worms, trachoma, and other health conditions easily
diagnosed and quickly treated; in his first two trips he treated 5,684
Furthermore, Clark reports that Hunza do not measure their age solely
by calendar (metaphorically speaking, as he also said there were no
calendars), but also by personal estimation of wisdom, leading to
notions of typical lifespans of 120 or greater.
The October 1953 issue of National Geographic had an article on the
Hunza River Valley that inspired Carl Barks' story Tralla La.
Renée Taylor wrote several books in the 1960s, treating the Hunza as
a long-lived and peaceful people.
Other ethnic groups with in the same geographic area or region
^ "TAC Research The Burusho". Tribal Analysis Center. 30 June 2009.
Archived from the original on 17 July 2011.
^  Archived 5 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Berger, Hermann (1985). "A survey of
Burushaski studies". Journal of
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^ a b c d e f Ahmed, Musavir (2016). "Ethnicity, Identity and Group
Vitality: A study of Burushos of Srinagar". Journal of Ethnic and
Cultural Studies. 3 (1): 1–10. ISSN 2149-1291.
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir Burushaski : Language, Language Contact, and
Change" (PDF). Repositories.lib.utexas.edu. Retrieved
^ Gordon, Raymond G. Jr., ed. (2005). Ethnologue: Languages of the
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^ West, Barbara A. (19 May 2010). Encyclopedia of the Peoples of Asia
and Oceania. Infobase Publishing. p. 139.
ISBN 9781438119137. Another, more likely origin story, given the
uniqueness of their language, proclaims that they were indigenous to
India and were pushed into their present homeland by the
movements of the Indo-Aryans, who traveled southward sometime around
^ "Hunza". Flags of the World. 7 June 2008. Retrieved 19 June
^ "Flag Spot Hunza (Pre-independence Pakistan)". Flagspot.net.
^ Wrench, Dr Guy T (1938). The Wheel of Health: A Study of the Hunza
People and the Keys to Health. 2009 reprint. Review Press.
ISBN 978-0-9802976-6-9. Retrieved 12 August 2010
^ Tierney, John (29 September 1996). "The Optimists Are Right". The
New York Times.
^ "Hunza - The Truth, Myths, and Lies About the Health and Diet of the
"Long-Lived" People of Hunza, Pakistan, Hunza Bread and Pie Recipes".
^ Allan, Nigel J. R. (16 July 1990). "Household Food Supply in Hunza
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doi:10.2307/215849. JSTOR 215849 – via JSTOR.
^ a b c d Munshi, Sadaf (2006).
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir Burushashki:
Language, Language Contact, and Change. The University of Texas at
Austin. pp. 4, 6–.
^ Hall, Lena E. (28 October 2004). Dictionary of Multicultural
Psychology: Issues, Terms, and Concepts. SAGE. p. 12.
ISBN 9781452236582. Among the Burusho of India, the parents
supposedly negotiate a marriage without consulting the children, but
often prospective brides and grooms have grown up together and know
each other well.
^ Ahmed, Musavir (2016). "Ethnicity, Identity and Group Vitality: A
study of Burushos of Srinagar". Journal of Ethnic and Cultural
Studies. 3 (1): 1–10. ISSN 2149-1291. The community has no
contact with their Burushos of Gilgit-Baltistan since 1947, when
Pakistan necessitated the division of the
erstwhile princely state of Kashmir. No participant was ready to move
to Hunza/Nagar if provided a chance.
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^ Sharma, Swarkar; et al. (2009). "The Indian origin of paternal
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doi:10.1038/jhg.2008.2. PMID 19158816.
^ Thangaraj, Kumarasamy; et al. (2010). Cordaux, Richard, ed. "The
Influence of Natural Barriers in Shaping the Genetic Structure of
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^ Thanseem, Ismail; et al. (2006). "Genetic affinities among the lower
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^ a b R. Spencer Wells et al., "The Eurasian Heartland: A continental
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Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (28 August 2001).
^ a b c d Firasat, Sadaf; Khaliq, Shagufta; Mohyuddin, Aisha;
Papaioannou, Myrto; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Underhill, Peter A; Ayub,
Qasim (2006). "Y-chromosomal evidence for a limited Greek contribution
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^ Underhill 2015.
^ Raheel, Qamar; et al. (2002). "Y-Chromosomal DNA Variation in
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^ R. Spencer Wells et al., The Eurasian Heartland: A continental
perspective on Y-chromosome diversity Archived 21 December 2016 at the
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^ Li, Jun Z. "Worldwide human relationships inferred from genome wide
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^ Rodale, J. I. The Healthy Hunzas 1955
^ Clark, John (1956). Hunza - Lost Kingdom of the Himalayas (PDF). New
York: Funk & Wagnalls. OCLC 536892.
Carl Barks Library Volume 12, page 229
^ Taylor, Renée (1964). Long Suppressed Hunza health secrets for long
life and happiness. New York: Award Books.
Underhill, Peter A. (2014), "The phylogenetic and geographic structure
of Y-chromosome haplogroup R1a" (PDF), European Journal of Human
Genetics, 23 (1): 124–131, doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.50,
ISSN 1018-4813, PMC 4266736 , PMID 24667786,
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Humans of Hunza
Ethnic groups in Pakistan
Ethnic groups of India
This tree diagram depicts the relationships of the major ethnic,
linguistic and religious groups in India. For example, an H under
Gujarati implies a Hindu, Gujarati-speaking Indian of Indo-Aryan
ancestry. This list excludes caste groups like the Dalits which is a
socio-political identity across linguistic, religious and racial
lines. In addition, it should be noted that the terms 'Indo-Aryan' and
'Dravidian' refer to linguistic differences that exist between both
Dogra (डोगरा / ڈوگرا)
Marathi (मराठी माणसं)
Punjabi (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ / पंजाबी / پنجابی)
H, M, C, S
H, M, A
H, S, M
H, M, J
H, M, B, J
H, M, C, S
(कॉशुर / کٲشُر)
(षीना / شینا)
B, H, M
Sikkimese - Lepcha (Róng)
B, T, H
C, H, T
H, C, M, A
H, C, M, A
Pathan (پٹھان / पठान)