The Kirghiz and Wakhi of Afghanistan: Adaptation to Closed Frontiers / Edition 2

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Overview

An extended new preface and a new epilogue, written after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, place The Kirghiz and Wakhi of Afghanistan in the context of a vastly changed world. The original book, first published in 1979, describes the cultural and ecological adaptation of the nomadic Kirghiz and their agriculturalist neighbors, the Wakhi, to high altitudes and a frigid climate in the Wakhan Corridor, a panhandle of Afghanistan that borders Pakistan, the former Soviet Union, and the PeopleĆ­s Republic of China.

The new Preface challenges the assumption that the root cause of terrorism is religious. Shahrani asserts that the problem of terrorism is fundamentally political and is historically linked to the inappropriate model of the centralized nation-state introduced to Afghanistan by colonial regimes.

The differing responses of the Kirghiz and Wakhi to the Marxist coup are discussed in the new Epilogue. Shahrani has closely followed the flight of the Kirghiz to Pakistan in 1978 and their eventual resettlement among resentful Kurdish villagers in eastern Turkey in 1982. The ethnographic documentation and analysis of the transformation of Kirghiz society, politics, economics, and demography since their exodus from the Pamirs offers valuable lessons to our understanding of the dynamics and true resilience of small pastoral nomadic communities.

M. Nazif Shahrani, an Afghan anthropo-logist, is chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Culture at Indiana University.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
A carefully developed ethnography that will surely be appreciated as one of the finest on peoples in Central Asia.(MESA Bulletin)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295982625
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 348
  • Sales rank: 1,484,928
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface to the 2002 Edition: Afghanistan, the Taliban, and Global Terror, Inc
Preface to the Original Edition
Introduction
Pt. I Space, Time, and Human Communities
1 The Ecological Setting 3
2 History and Demographic Process 19
Pt. II Strategies of Adaptation
3 The Wakhi High-Altitude Agropastoral Adaptation 55
4 The Kirghiz Pastoral Subsistence System 87
5 The Kirghiz People, the Oey, and the Qorow 118
6 The Kirghiz Sociocultural System 150
Pt. III Closed Frontiers
7 Territorial Loss: An Intracultural Adaption 169
8 Adaptation to Socioeconomic and Cultural Restrictions 186
9 Conclusion 215
Epilogue: Coping with a Communist "Revolution," State Failure, and War 230
Glossary 269
Bibliography 281
Index 297
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