CULTURAL AMBASSADORS

the KALASH COMMUNITY, PakiSTAN

Sayed Gul belongs to the Indigenous minority of Kalash community and is an activist for the rights of the Kalash culture and preservation of their cultural identity. She works with the Chitral Museum under the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Provincial Govt. of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan and represents the Kalash Culture at local, national and international levels.

Gul was the first Pakistani to be selected as National Geographic emerging explorer in 2013. In 2010 she received a presidential award from the former president of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Mr Asif Ali Zardari) as human rights defender.

As a member of the indigenous community she is working to keep traditional beliefs, language, dress, religion, art forms, and other cultural elements alive. She is the first Kalash archaeologist and only Kalash woman trained as a scientist.

Once powerful and widespread, the Kalash civilization numbered tens of thousands of people, yet only about more than 3,500 Kalash people now remain. They are Pakistan’s smallest religious minority and are not officially recognized.

Gul was part of the archaeological excavations of the UNESCO world heritage site of Taxila.

In 2016, Mehak Asad made a documentary on Gul’s life and personal story: Daughter of Kalash (other side of them).

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KUTCH, GUJARAT, INDIA

Kuldip Gadhvi is a cultural guide based in Bhuj, Kutch, Gujarat. He specializes in textile tours and responsible tourism with a focus on culturals ustainability in the Kutch region.

As a spin-off of his lucrative project Kutch Adventures India, Kuldip founded a grassroots project that unites artisans from various craft communities in Kutch – weavers, printers, dyers, embroiderers, bell-makers – under a community empowering entity named United Artisans of Kutch.

Kuldip was a key informant, collaborator and translator for the fieldwork Report: Profiles of Textile Artisans in Kutch, Gujarat, India (2020).

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