The Ganesha Of Kabul – And His Custodian Guard [ Arte-Facts #14 ]

In our field, we are so often delving into impressive legends of long ago - myths about men who once lived and wrought deeds so mighty that they seem frankly 'incredible' (in the old sense of the term) today. And that can leave one quite jaded about the modern era for reasons that ought be … Continue reading The Ganesha Of Kabul – And His Custodian Guard [ Arte-Facts #14 ]

Grandfather In The Sky – An Account Of Nuristani Imro Appearing To His Shamans, Situated In Indo-European Context

It is Wednesday - Woden's Day - and therefore, something a little different. This is another excerpt from Richard Strand's interview with the Nuristani Vasi headman, Zaman Xan, in 1973. See if you notice anything … familiar sounding from a comparative Indo-European perspective: Speaking of his tribe's shamans, and their manner for encountering Imra / … Continue reading Grandfather In The Sky – An Account Of Nuristani Imro Appearing To His Shamans, Situated In Indo-European Context

Interview With A Nuristani – The Mediation Via Memory Of Some Detail Of Their Once-Living Faith

Earlier this week, we ran an article looking at some of the issues with Kalasha / Nuristani religion - specifically, why claims of its being a somehow 'more pure' and 'pre-Vedic' Indo-Aryan faith don't really stack up.  I said in the course of that piece that I'd be adding more substantive material in subsequent efforts, … Continue reading Interview With A Nuristani – The Mediation Via Memory Of Some Detail Of Their Once-Living Faith

The Religion(s) Of The Kalash & Nuristanis – Psychoanalyzing The Pre-Occupation With Proclaiming Them ‘Pre-Vedic’

Something I have meant to write upon for some time, are the religions of the Kalasha and Nuristani groups found in the mountainous northern borderlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan. They attract attention for obvious reasons - because they are not what we expect from this area. This is partially because of their sympathetically resonant story … Continue reading The Religion(s) Of The Kalash & Nuristanis – Psychoanalyzing The Pre-Occupation With Proclaiming Them ‘Pre-Vedic’

Durga Near Ghazni – A “Buddhist” Representation Afghanistan’s Hindu Past – Arte-Facts #10

Further art and artefact representation for Vijayadashami - a fragmentary Durga MahishasuraMardini depiction from Tapa Sardar in modern-day Afghanistan near Ghazni; then part of Zabul. Even though most of the statue is now missing (all that is blue or green in the reconstruction), it's still impressive! Especially considering that head, alone, is about 64 cm … Continue reading Durga Near Ghazni – A “Buddhist” Representation Afghanistan’s Hindu Past – Arte-Facts #10

On Pausanias At Plataea And Dost Mohammed In Afghanistan – The Recurrence Of The Incomprehensibility Of Imperial Over-Extension

I'm writing something atm that's tangentially to do with the First Anglo-Afghan War; and in the course of my research, happened across this quote from the eventual victor of the conflict, Dost Mohammed: He said of the British - "I have been struck by the magnitude of your resources, your ships, your arsenals, but what … Continue reading On Pausanias At Plataea And Dost Mohammed In Afghanistan – The Recurrence Of The Incomprehensibility Of Imperial Over-Extension

Yama Iamso Coin of the Kushans, And What This Means For Central Asian Indo-European Religion – Arte-Facts #7

I've had this coin in my head for some days now - a golden coin of the Kushan king Huviska (who appears on the obverse), featuring what appears to be Yama on the deity side. Why? Because of the iconography with which Yama - here hailed as 'Iamso' - is displayed. He's holding a Spear … Continue reading Yama Iamso Coin of the Kushans, And What This Means For Central Asian Indo-European Religion – Arte-Facts #7

Ancient Aryan Meath & Modern Afghani Meth – A Remembrance?

I found this rather ... disconcerting, because it is arguably an instance of #NAS meme magic in action. You see, many years ago now, when I was getting interested in Indo-European ethnobotany, I happened across the academic debate over the identity of Soma. Which - to my mind at least - has now been solved … Continue reading Ancient Aryan Meath & Modern Afghani Meth – A Remembrance?

Votive Plate of Cybele, Great Goddess, Mountain Mother – Arte-Facts #5

This Is #GangSteppe - and also, fine Devi-otional (A)Art(I) for Friday ! Depicted is Goddess Cybele on an offering-plate, from 3rd century B.C. Ai-Khanoum, amidst the ruins of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. Now, I find this artefact fascinating for quite a number of reasons. Not simply because of the various iconographic features upon it which come … Continue reading Votive Plate of Cybele, Great Goddess, Mountain Mother – Arte-Facts #5