Private Project


The Kalasha have a highly developed textile culture. With the making of a long sash as a frame, the documentary deals with the myth of the loom, the women's processes of carding, spinning and weaving sheep wool and modern knitting yarn with or without loom. We see how the introduction of sewing machines and manufactured cloth and yarn has inspired the women to new techniques and fashion. Also the introduction of small beads has inspired to new techniques. The Kalasha world is divided into sphere of pure and impure. As the goats are pure, the men spin and weave the goat's wool at the pure places. The textile work is so essential in the women's life that a new born girl is given a spindle and carding bow to hold during the purification with burning juniper when in her mother's arms she is presented to the family goddess Jestak in the temple 20 days after being born. Afterwards a tuft of the babies hair is cut through a hole in a flat bread that is folded around the small tools and left in the temple wall for Jestak. When laid to rest in her grave, again the woman is given the small tools to hold so that she can continue her textile work in the afterlife. The documentary ends when the sash is finished.

  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
  • Birgitte Glavind sperber
  • Asma Aya
    Key Cast
  • Noor Jan
    Key Cast
  • Jangira
    Key Cast
  • Gulistan
    Key Cast
  • Qazi Khosh Nawaz
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Textiles, women, handicrafts, religion, dresses
  • Runtime:
    25 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 22, 2013
  • Production Budget:
    3,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival 2013
    July 5, 2013
Distribution Information
  • Birgitte Glavind Sperber
    Country: Denmark
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Birgitte Glavind Sperber

Birgitte Glavind Sperber: Born 1942, M.Sc. in Biology and Geography from University of Copenhagen. Retired senior lecturer in Geography and Biology from University College South in Denmark.
Every year 1983-2008 and in 2018, 2019 and 2022 long stays, in total over 2½ years, among the Kalasha, a non-Muslim minority living in the Hindukush Mountains in NW Pakistan .
Education in social anthropology from Aarhus Open University. Author of books and ethnographic papers on the Kalasha.
Since 2000 shooting with a camcorder.
First film made at Danish Film Institute’s Video-workshop in Haderslev in 2001.
Since then working alone at my computer at home.
12 of my Kalasha documentaries have been selected for screening at 24 international film festivals. Two have been awarded ("The Last Honours" and "Kalasha Medicine").

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Director Statement

The documentary is made in co-operation with the skilled Kalasha women.