Burusho people

Ethnolinguistic group native to the greater Kashmir region of South Asia

The Burusho or Brusho, also known as the Botraj, live in Yasin, Hunza, Nagar, and in valleys of Gilgit–Baltistan in northern Pakistan, with a smaller group of around 350 Burusho people residing in Jammu and Kashmir, India as well. Their language, Burushaski, has been classified as a language isolate. Although their origins are unknown, it is likely that the Burusho people "were indigenous to northwestern India (current day Pakistan) and were pushed into their present homeland by the movements of the Indo-Aryans who migrated to the subcontinent in 1800 B.C. The Kusunda language however, has not been proven to be related to Burusho.



Prior to the modern era, the area in which most Burusho now live was part of the independent state of Chitral. The state was a hereditary monarchy, controlled by the Karur dynasty, and headed by a mir (a title usually translated as king). In 1947, it became part of Pakistan.

The construction of the Karakoram Highway during the 1970s brought more extensive contact with the outside world. Many traders, preachers, tourists, and others had new access to the Burusho's homeland, and this subsequently altered the culture and local economy of the area.

The Burusho are known for their love of music and dance, along with their progressive views towards education and women.


Flag of Hunza. Coat of arms of Hunza

A widely repeated claim of remarkable longevity of the Hunza people has been refuted as a longevity myth, citing a life expectancy of 53 years for men and 52 for women, although with a high standard deviation. There is no evidence that Hunza life expectancy is significantly above the average of poor, isolated regions of Pakistan. Claims of health and long life were almost always based solely on the statements by the local mir (king). An author who had significant and sustained contact with Burusho people, John Cla... ...read more

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