Hazara Bride, picture from 1985, Jaghori Hazarastan, Afghanistan

Feeling Honored Sharing It

 A reflection on a cultural tradition we admire. In the heart of Afghanistan, nestled within the vibrant culture of the Hazara people, there existed a cherished tradition, a testament to love and heritage in the pre-1990s, this tradition thrived, woven into the fabric of daily life. At the heart of this tradition was a humble yet exquisite handkerchief, lovingly embroidered by the skilled hands of the creative mother or bride. Each delicate stitch tells a story, a tale of anticipation and celebration, destined for her wedding ceremony.

On the auspicious day, the bride adorned herself in the splendor of tradition. Among her treasures were four handkerchiefs, each a masterpiece of color (green, blue, white & pink) and motif, carefully chosen and crafted for this sacred occasion. With gentle hands, she secured them at the shoulders to the front of her waistcoat, the Waskat Qiran (adorned with shimmering silver coins, made in silver and nature-inspired). As the guests gathered, eager to catch a glimpse of the bride, she veiled her face with these embroidered treasures, the handkerchiefs. With each delicate fold, she honored the customs of her ancestors, preserving the sanctity of the moment. Carrying with her a beacon of love and tradition in a changing world. 

Share your stories, wear the vintage handkerchiefs as scarves proudly & let the beauty of tradition adorn us all.

Hand Embroidered Scarf & Kola-Ye-Topak-Dar In Daikundi Province

 A reflection on a cultural tradition we admire. In Daikundi, a vibrant tradition thrives where young women adorn themselves with intricately hand-embroidered scarves with long tassels featuring traditional Khamak motifs, complemented by the iconic Topak hat, distinguished by its charming pom-pom. Each stitch in the scarf tells a story, reflecting the rich history & craftsmanship passed down through generations. This ensemble holds particular significance during cultural gatherings like Nowruz and Independence Day festivities. Additionally, during the celebrated Almond-Flower festival, a cherished event in both the nation and Daikundi Province, these scarfs & hats are proudly worn by girls, adding to the vibrancy of the occasion & also preserving cultural heritage, strengthening community bonds & embracing the unique identity of the people of Daikundi, Afghanistan. Learn more here. 

  Photo By Nasim Seyamak & Source: Afghanistan Analysts Network  

Photo By Narjis Kather

Intricate Details & The Profound Reflection 

Narjis Kather is a Hazara photographer based in Quetta Pakistan & known for how she embraces her cultural heritage through her work.

_ I saw this Distmal in a small cultural shop in Quetta around 2020 or 2019. Embellished in Khamak motif & hand made by Hazara woman in Quetta. This Distmal was used in a self-portrait competition that I won year 2022 in self self-portrait competition of the Photolums.  The theme was “A reflection of you, you are your culture ”. I shot the photo in Istanbul and the Distmal was one of the few pieces that I had from home so naturally I had to incorporate it in the photo and turns out the jury loved the little details and the ‘reflection’ of the Hazaragi culture just as much I do.

Let’s recreate, the more the merrier!