The "real" Kalasha people


This is a rather sad story as we originally chose our name ‘Kalash’ because we identified with the Kalasha tribe of people for several reasons.

For a number of years we raised funds to support them but, for the safety of aid workers in the vicinity, we were asked by our supported charity to discontinue our efforts. The reason given was that as belly dancers our costume exposes our bellies and could be offensive to the Kalasha people who have very strict protocols. It would also be dangerous for the aid workers if we continued to give financial aid

Kelley and her husband have travelled extensively and stayed with various tribal people all over the planet and are very aware of tribal taboos. Some customs and traditions do not sit easily with other cultures and we have learned to respect that

The sad part is that several years later I was approached directly by a Kalasha via Facebook asking if we could help - he was really upset when I explained what had happened and he said this was not the case at all. They had always been very grateful for our help. It turned out to be the prejudice of the new chairman to the charity we had supported for several years rather than the views of the actual Kalasha people

It was too late to go back as we had subsequently set up our own projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo - but we still feel a very strong connection with these people and as a mark of respect for them we have kept our name.

Click here for an amazing video of the Kalasha people

The Kalasha are a tribe from Chitral, tucked away in the Hindu Kush mountains of north western Pakistan, half of whom still practice the ancient animist religion.

The women wear very distinctive costumes, black skirts with heavy decorative borders and beautiful tops and stunning headdresses decorated with cowrie shells, embroidery and strands of beads. Genealogists and historians have conducted many studies to see if there truly is a link between Alexander the Great and his army and the Kalasha people who often have blue or grey eyes