Chitrali people

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Chitrali People
Ethnic Groups in Pakistan (Dark Green Area Chitral)
Ethnic Groups in Pakistan (Dark Green Area Chitral)
 • Type Local Government
 • Total 378,000
  in 2004
Time zone PST (Pakistan Standard Time)

The Chitrali (Urdu:چترالی) or Sonar people (Khowar:کھو) is an ethnic group in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. They are mostly found in the Chitral District and speak Chitrali, also known as Kowar.

The main ethnic group, the Sonar or Khow, speak Khowar (or Chitrali), one of the Dardic languages, which is also spoken in parts of Yasin, Gilgit, Ghizer and Swat.

History and culture[edit]

Chitrali culture is one that pays heavy emphasis on poetry, song and dance. Chitrali people also have a great respect of law and order. This in contrast to the generally lawless traditions of almost all of the neighbouring regions. Much of this can be attributed to Chitral being a stable kingdom for most of its history,[1] where the rule of law and the will of the ruler came before tribal concepts such as revenge and isolationism.

With the exception of the Kalash all of the Chitrali people are Muslims and Non Muslims, with the majority being Sunni and some Ismailis.[citation needed] Generally, the people living in the southern Chitral area and Chitral Town are very conservative because of the influences from the rest of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, whereas the people of the north are more liberal.

Folk music[edit]

The Chitrali music & musical instruments are very famous in the region. folk singers and reed instrument players have a special respect in the Kho society and a must in their festivities. Mainly used instruments are Shehnai, Sitar, and reed instruments. The Chitrali sitar is a popular musical instrument in Chitral It is made out of mulberry wood with five steel strings arranged in three courses, the outer ones have double strings, tuned in unison, while the inner course is single. here are few most papular music tone of the area.

  • Shishtoo-war (Sauz) is popular folk music played with shehnai on happy occasions mostly on marriages etc.
  • Shab-daraaz (Dani) is a sad tone based on heartbroken love poems.
  • Ghalhwar is a combination of Dani and Sauz. This is a mixture of fast and classical music played at the starting of a polo match.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "chitral". 1937-06-01. Retrieved 2013-04-15. 

External links[edit]