Burusho - History and Cultural Relations

Legend records that the original inhabitants of the Hunza region were three soldiers in the army of Alexander the Great. These soldiers and their families were left behind because of physical infirmity. The soldiers themselves are said to have been the founders of the first three Hunza villages (Baltit, Ganesh, and Altit). The ruling families in Hunza and Nagir claim, unofficially, direct descent from Alexander the Great. There is also lore ascribing European ancestry to the original inhabitants of Hunza. The physical characteristics of the Burusho seem to verify this. Before the arrival of the British, the people of Hunza conducted raids throughout central Asia. The mirs (rulers) of Hunza have enjoyed favorable relations with their neighbors in China over the years. In 1947, Hunza and other regions originally part of Kashmir were seized by Pakistan. The area is now part of the Gilgit Agency in Pakistan.

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