BROKPAS - ' THE ARYANS'
Leh , India
Brokpas - The Aryans
"The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people "
Photographs captured across the 4 Himalayan villages of Dha, Dharchik, Hanu and Gahanu, the Brokpa community is arguably one of the most intriguing subjects of the Himalyan Terrain.
The Brokpas or Brogpas is a small sized community of just about 5000 people often referred as the ‘Master Race ‘or ‘ The Aryans’ . Multiple theories exist about their origin. One such theory speculates that they are decedents of Alexander’s army that invaded the terrain centuries ago . The other one concludes that they arrived from Gilgit in Pakistan and some link them to be categorized as 'Aryans' by the British Army .
The Community has lived in harsh and inaccessible terrain for centuries, rendering the outside interaction impossible. They marry within the same community preserving the DNA. The two factors has fueled the theory of this community being ‘pure’ and ‘exotic’.
The origin is still unclear but tourist and researchers flock to this area in search of ‘The pure Aryans’.
Visually, the people of this community appear exotic. Their facial features differ from the Tibeto Mongol features found in the terrain. Brokpas are taller, fairer, have high cheekbones and have almond shaped eyes. They dress up flamboyant as well. Women wear intricate head gears adorned with flowers. The main orange flower called ‘ Monthu Tho’ – an exotic flower of the region. Men also wear the ‘Monthu Tho’ .The women’s headgear is further adorned with colorful ribbons and layers of coins stitched together, adding to the gleam. The headgears are worn even when they work in fields. The women wear silver jewelry. Their traditional dress is made of sheep wool.
The Aryans follow Tibetan Buddhism. They grow their own food and raise cattle. Apricots are grown in plenty. This region is also very fertile. The Indus river flows across the villages.The Brogpas have immense regard for their food and resources and are judicious about it. For most part , they are vegans and believe in simple food of wheat and barley.
The Aryan villages are famous for exotic people, peculiar lineage, pure DNA , stories abound of pregnancy tourism . Whether the theories are true or not , I leave it on the research scientists to excavate. I am here , exploring the present day in all four villages, meeting strikingly beautiful people against one of the most magnificent backdrops . Watching the Indus flow along the steep mountains and capturing in frames what may not be the same for too long.