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Monday, March 7, 2011

The International Symposium on ‘Karakorum-Hindukush-Himalaya: Dynamics of Change’

The International Symposium on ‘Karakorum-Hindukush-Himalaya: Dynamics of Change’ was held in Islamabad. Pakistan, from September 29th to October 2nd, 1995. Four excursions to northern Pakistan (September l9th-28th, 1995)  preceded the symposium. The impetus behind these events was the conclusion of the Pak-German Research Project ‘Culture Area Karakorum’, which has been active in the Northern Areas of Pakistan since 1989.
The excursions followed four separate routes with slightly different focusses: Chitral, Hunza, Nanga Parbat and Baltistan. At the end of the excursions, the groups  met in Gilgit for joint discussions and seminars before returning to the Islamabad symposium. All participants were invited and encouraged to contribute to the field trips by introducing their own experience from research in the Northern Areas, as well as from other high mountain regions.
The documentation in hand contains two parts, plus organisational information. Part I is identical for all excursions and includes general information on Northern Pakistan, whereas part II refers to the specific regions that were visited. The documentation includes a mixture of already published material from different authors from the Pak-German Research Project ‘Culture Area Karakorum’, and other specifically compiled data. For obvious reasons, data and results from environmental and geographic studies can very often be presented as maps or diagrams. Linguistic and religious aspects, as well as findings related to research in social anthropology, usually refer to extensive verbal presentation. However, most of the maps and tables were further explained during the field trips.
Unpublished material in this excursion guide was placed at our disposal by members of the excursion groups, as well as by numerous other individuals. This generosity is warmly acknowledged. J.-P. Mund and M. Münz compiled and prepared the documentation. They also translated most of the documents originally published in German. R. Spohner and G. Storbeck drafted and redrew many of the maps and diagrams. We are grateful for their tremendous assistance. Finally, we want to thank the ‘Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft’ (DFG, The German Science Foundation) for its generous financial support.
Bonn, September 1995 Matthias Winiger
Since this preface was written in 1995, a lot of research has been done and published on many of the topics mentioned in this preface. I have recently approached Professor Imtraud Stellrecht of Tubingen University to provide an abstract, and possibly the treasure of knowledge about Gilgit and Baltistan that CAK has researched in typical German thoroughness. Meanwhile interested readers can access the material published till 1995 by clicking on this link CAK and get benefitted from this research.

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