Myths about the poor

Perhaps more than any defining moment in American history, the War of Independence is swathed in beliefs not borne out by the facts.

Myths about the poor

A British General and a garrison of solders on horseback investigated the Hunza River Valley in the s.

Hunza was a tiny kingdom located in a remote valley miles km long and only one mile 1. These peaks soar to a height of 25, feet m and belong to the Karakoram Range, broadly known in the West as the Himalayas. The pass to reach Hunza from Gilgit, Pakistan, was 13, feet m high, a difficult and treacherous trail.

Upon entering the valley, the British found the steep, rocky sides of the valley lined with terraced garden plots, fruit trees, and animals being raised for meat and milk. The gardens were watered with mineral-rich glacier water carried by an aqueduct system running a distance of 50 miles 80 km from the Ultar Glacier on the 25, foot m high Mount Rakaposhi.

The wooden aqueduct trough was hung from the sheer cliffs by steel nails hammered into the rock walls. Silt from the river below was carried up the side of the valley to form and replenish the terraced gardens. The average annual precipitation in Hunza is less than two inches.

Ultar Peak rising above Baltit, the capital of Hunza, is spectacular. The Old Palace is on the hill above the village. Click the picture to see an enlargement. The difficult trail into Hunza kept the people isolated.

As late asmost of the children of Hunza had never seen a wheel or a Jeep even though airplanes were landing at the airport in Gilgit, Pakistan, only 70 miles km away.

John Clark reported in his book, Hunza - Lost Kingdom of the Himalayas, that he could see three peaks above 25, feet and eleven glaciers all at once from Shishpar Glacier Nullah canyon overlooking the Hunza valley.

See page 92 in John Clark's book listed below. The Hunzakuts, as they are called, had signed a peace treaty with their neighboring communities about 10 years prior to the arrival of the British.

They had been a warrior community preying upon the Chinese trading caravans as they traveled the high mountain passes between Sinkiang and Kashmir. The Hunzakuts profited for a time by their thievery, plunder, and murder, but they were hated by their neighbors.

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According to Hunzakut folklore, a peace treaty was signed because the Mir's son convinced his father to end their murderous ways. Burushaski, the language of the Hunzakuts, is much different from other languages of the region and appears to be a mixture of the languages of Ancient Macedonian and the Hellenistic Persian Empire.

However, the people also learned to speak the written Urdu language of Pakistan and other languages of the region. The terraced gardens were extensive with up to 50 cascading levels.

The people lived in communities below. It was a considerable distance to walk to work in the fields.

Myths about the poor

They had no roads or wheeled carts. All the grain and other produce was transported to the homes on the backs of men and animals. Everything in Hunza valley was always in short supply except crumbling rocks. Fuel for heating and cooking was severely limited, and fodder for feeding the animals was precious.

Animal dung was used for garden fertilizer rather than fuel for fires as was done elsewhere. Supplies from outside of the valley were limited by the difficulty in bring goods over the high mountain pass.

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Myths about the poor

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