Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Dardu, a historical people of the Upper Indus valley from them called Dardistan, are the Darada of the Hindu records, the Derdai or Deradai of the later Greek writers, and belong to the Galcha branch of the Aryan family, settled in their present mountain homes since the time when the Hindus first penetrated from the North-West into India. The language shows closest affinities to the Kashmiri and Panjabi Neo-Sanscrit tongues, while the type is distinctly Caucasic, resembling that of the neighbouring Siah-posh Kafirs and Kashmirians. The political organisation is based not on tribal but on caste (i.e. social) distinctions, the chief castes being: - 1, Ronu; 2, Shin; 3, Yashkun, the most numerous, agricultural; 4, Kremin, answering to the Indian Sudras; 5, Dums, answering to the low caste Marasi of the Panjab, and to the Doms of other parts of India. The inhabitants of Gilgit, Se, Haramosh, Hasora, Pumal, Nagar, Hunza, Yasin, Chitral, Mastug, Goigal, Darel, Tangir, Gor, Koli, Palus, and Chilas are all Dardus whose domain comprises the whole region of North Kashmir between Baltistan and Afghanistan east. and west. A few in the eastern districts are Buddhists, but all the rest Mohammedans, who have transferred to the cow the Mussulman abhorrence of the dog and pig, otherwise a freedom-loving, independent people, but gentle, intelligent, and upright. (See G. W. Leitner's Results of a Tour in Dardistan, Lahore, 1870, and On the Races and Languages of Dardistan, in Journal of the Ethnol. Sue, April, 1870. Fr. Drew, The Jummoo and Kashmir Territories, London, 1875.)