21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Beauty of Time

These are the hands of Tsering Zomskit, one of the oldest women of the Brokpa ethnic group, a small community of Dard people residing in the India-administered Jammu and Kashmir region, claiming to be the last of the Aryans. They have maintained their purity of race and culture without being hostile to the influence from the outside world. Strong social rules and a pride in their ancestry has helped preserve their way of life and genetic uniqueness. Brokpas remain isolated and closed in their four villages. Any inter mixing with outsiders by way of marriage and kinship is forbidden. They have distinct features – tall and statesque, with green eyes, high cheek bone, fair with flawless skin and some with blonde hair. They consider themselves to be the pure bloodline of the Aryans. The community also claims to be the direct descendants from the Alexander's Army, some of whom reportedly stayed back after Alexander abandoned his campaign at the banks of river Indus in 326 BC. Brokpa have almost a fanatical attachment to purity. Mountains, trees, water and flowers are considered very pure. Thus every Brokpa household grows flowers. The flowers are considered auspicious and are worn on head gear.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 07.2023
Date Uploaded: 09.2023
Photo Location: Dha, India
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Copyright: © Lorenzo Perotti