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Portrait of Humanity

India

Introducing the extraordinary Brokpa, also known as Minaro, a captivating ethnic group residing in Ladakh, India's enchanting union territory.



The Aryan Valley, nestled in the remote regions of Ladakh, India, is home to the unique Brokpa tribe, often called the Ladakhi Aryans. This enigmatic tribe, believed to be descendants of Alexander the Great's soldiers, resides in the picturesque villages of Dah, Hanu, Garkon, and Darchik. Renowned for their distinct Aryan features and vibrant cultural heritage, the Brokpas maintain ancient traditions and rituals passed down through generations. 


Tswalg Loboo (72)


Sunum Jar (70)




The Brokpa might have expanded from the Gilgit region upstream along the Indus Valley until reaching their current habitat, viz., the lower Indus Valley of Ladakh next to the border with Baltistan. The time frame of this expansion or dispersion is uncertain, but their chiefs are believed to have ruled at Khalatse until the 12th century when the remnants of their forts can still be found. 


Scholar Rohit Vohra states that the Brokpa can be found all along the Indus Valley from Leh, but Achina-Thang is the first wholly Brokpa village; however, they adopted Ladakhi culture long ago. Their major villages are, in addition to Dah and Hanu, Garkon, Darchik, and Batalik. A few of them live in the town of Silmon, which is a route to Kargil.


To the north of here are Muslim Brokpa villages, such as Chulichan, Ganokh, and possibly Marol. Ganokh and Marol are currently in Pakistan-administered Gilgit-Baltistan.


The number of Brokstat speakers was estimated at 3,000 people in 1996.

Read more at "A Journey through the Heights" on Photo Journeys






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