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Ghoru- The Big Game Hunter's Song

Introduction and Translation by Zahoorul Haq Danish

Ghoru is one of the oldest and most popular folk songs in Khowar language of Chitral. The song has come down from hunting tradition, a source of subsistence in the hard and mountainous region. Ritualistically, the song was supposed to be sung while returning from a successful ibex hunt. However, interestingly (intentionally?) the pathos in the story strongly evokes antihunting sentiments through arousing sentiments of deep pity for the ibex family.

The song dramatizes the tragedy of a hunted ibex. The painful drama of the tragedy manifests itself in every line of every verse.

By genre, the song is a perfect example of folk ballad, as it tells a story; moves on in dialogue form; concentrates on a single episode; includes incremental repetitions and refrain; moves on in a dramatic manner; dramatizes a tragic story; and ends abruptly.

The song is composed of unrhyming verses of even length. The first line of every verse is the dialogue of the kid, whereas the second line of every verse is the dialogue of the mother-ibex.

The imminent tragedy of the hunt of the mother by a hunter is heralded in the deep worry and sense of insecurity of the kid.

The situation of the song is that while grazing on high mountain pasture, the kid senses the looming tragedy, but is not able to figure out how it is going to happen and how to avert it. Overwhelmed by a deep worry, she looks all around and downhill at the nomad settlement---a hamlet.

Lo, she sees a human figure (hunter?) down at the bottom of the terrain, steadily walking uphill towards the high pasture. A deep worry grips her heart. She keeps inquiring her mother about this usual, but somehow unusual, sight of a human being walking up towards the pasture from the downhill village. The mother takes the sight very usual: that of a shepherd treading uphill to drive her herd. She takes the sight for granted and pays no special heed. How could she know that the 'shepherd' is carrying along her tragedy!

Ghoru: Listen to Gul Nawaz Khan Khaki


The emotions-packed song goes as:

"Mother, dear mother! Who is walking up down there?"
"Oh mother's darling! A shepherd of pastures he is!"

"Mother, dear mother! He is carrying a gun on shoulder"
"Oh mother's darling! Only a shoulder-pole he is carrying."

"Mother, dear mother! The gun barrel is flickering."
"Oh mother's darling, it is a gleam of the sunlight only."

"Mother, dear mother! Blood drops are spilling down your chest."
"Oh mother's darling! I am only sweating from the heat of summer."

"Mother, dear mother! Who will keep watch atop the cliff?"
"Oh mother's darling, the brave kid herself will do."

"Mother, dear mother! Who shall protect the orphans?"
"Oh mother's darling! The Almighty God will."

"Mother, dear mother! Which path shall the orphan be treading?
"Oh mother's darling! The mountain track they will be treading!"


نانئے نانیے أف ہیرا کا گویان
نانو ژانئے آنو پژال نوا
نانئے نانئے ہو کاڑی تھویک شیر
نانو ژانئے آنو اورینی نوا
نانئے نانئے تھویک ڑاپھئیکا پرائے
نانو ژانئے یورو زہری نوا
نانئے نانئے تہ پازو لئے گویان
نانو ژانئے تمبوسو خیل نوا
نانئے نانئے ٹھونیکہ کا ریپھوئے
نانو ژانئے سومورو تان ریپھوئے
نائے نانئے څھوغوان کا ساتیر
نانو ژانئے بو لوٹ خدائے ساتیر
نانئے نانئے څھوغو کورین کسیر
نانو ژانئے زومو پاڑین کسیر

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