Paving the Way: Ismaʿili Genealogy and Mobility along Tajikistan’s Pamir Highway

Paving the Way: Ismaʿili Genealogy and Mobility along Tajikistan’s Pamir Highway © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/187471611X600378 Journal of Persianate Studies 4 (2011) 171-188 brill.nl/jps Paving the Way: Isma ʿ ili Genealogy and Mobility along Tajikistan’s Pamir Highway Till Mostowlansky 1 University of Bern, Switzerland Abstract This article is an ethnographic study of Isma ʿ ili communities along the Pamir Highway. “The road,” as it is referred to locally, links Southern Kyrgyzstan with settlements in the eastern part of Tajikistan; its construction traces back to Soviet modernization policy. However, the highway’s construction in the course of the twentieth century led not only to a physical, but also a social transformation of the region. Labor migration of Isma ʿ ili Tajiks to various settlements along the road resulted in ethnically and confessionally mixed communities. Thus, the Pamir Highway as an ethnographic point of reference provides an entry to discussion of topics such as genealogy, identity, diaspora, and the notion of an Isma ʿ ili heartland. Keywords Isma ʿ ilis, Tajikistan, roads, modernity, genealogy, diaspora, identity Roads may look resilient but their lives are finite and, in the great scheme of things, short. ( Joe Moran, On Roads ) Introduction Up in Murghab, the Eastern Pamirs’ administrative center, there http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Persianate Studies Brill

Paving the Way: Ismaʿili Genealogy and Mobility along Tajikistan’s Pamir Highway

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1874-7094
eISSN
1874-7167
D.O.I.
10.1163/187471611X600378
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2011 DOI: 10.1163/187471611X600378 Journal of Persianate Studies 4 (2011) 171-188 brill.nl/jps Paving the Way: Isma ʿ ili Genealogy and Mobility along Tajikistan’s Pamir Highway Till Mostowlansky 1 University of Bern, Switzerland Abstract This article is an ethnographic study of Isma ʿ ili communities along the Pamir Highway. “The road,” as it is referred to locally, links Southern Kyrgyzstan with settlements in the eastern part of Tajikistan; its construction traces back to Soviet modernization policy. However, the highway’s construction in the course of the twentieth century led not only to a physical, but also a social transformation of the region. Labor migration of Isma ʿ ili Tajiks to various settlements along the road resulted in ethnically and confessionally mixed communities. Thus, the Pamir Highway as an ethnographic point of reference provides an entry to discussion of topics such as genealogy, identity, diaspora, and the notion of an Isma ʿ ili heartland. Keywords Isma ʿ ilis, Tajikistan, roads, modernity, genealogy, diaspora, identity Roads may look resilient but their lives are finite and, in the great scheme of things, short. ( Joe Moran, On Roads ) Introduction Up in Murghab, the Eastern Pamirs’ administrative center, there

Journal

Journal of Persianate StudiesBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2011

Keywords: diaspora; Ismaʿilis; Tajikistan; identity; modernity; roads; genealogy

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