David Tee - AncientPages.com - That is one of the more incredible stories to be told about the Hunza people.
But are the stories true? Did some of their citizens live to reach almost Biblical age limits? There have been many people who have made very outlandish claims about the Hunza over the years.
Who was correct?
Where Do The Hunza Live?
The people of Hunza live in the Hunza Valley. This little kingdom used to be independent of any nation but now its 100-mile by 1 mile territory belongs to Pakistan.
The Valley is surrounded by the Karakoram mountains who peaks reach the approx. height of 25,000 ft. The valley itself lies 8,500 feet above sea level.
This valley touches the borders of Russia, India, Afghanistan, China and Kashmir.
Where did the Hunza come from?
The story of the Hunzakut (Hunza people) comes from the Hunzas themselves. They claim that they are the descendants of many of the soldiers from Alexander the Great's army when it came to India.
DNA tests have been conducted but no conclusive results have been obtained. What supports the Hunzakut claim is that they speak Burushaski. This language is a combination of ancient Macedonia and Hellenistic tongue that was spoken in the Persian Empire.
They also speak Urdu and several neighboring languages that reside in the countries their valley border. Their exact heritage is unknown but their light skin reflect a Caucasian origin
This is the story that has been told by many different visitors to the Hunza Valley. One of the first, Dr. Robert McCarrison a Scottish physician, talked about the vegetarian diet consumed by the Hunza people. He also said this diet kept the people disease free. Later, Renee Taylor visited the people and also made similar claims.
Their claims and others like them were debunked by Dr. John Clark who spent 20 months among the Hunza people and treated their different illnesses. Part of the reason why the Hunza may not have been as sick as people from other nations was because of their isolation.
Since it was so difficult to get into the Hunza valley, the Hunzas were spared exposure to many different communicable diseases. Also, the visitors claimed that the Hunzas ate a low-fat diet. This was also shown not to be true as the people of the Hunza Valley ate cheese, butter, milk and other foods high in fat.
They also ate meat, but meat was usually served in the winter. The reason for this was because the Hunza had little fuel to spare and boiling meat took a lot of fuel. Their vegetarian diet was usually consumed only in the summer time when heat from the fire was not needed.
It cannot be said that the Hunzas lived to ages of Biblical proportions. While they did live a bit longer than the people of other nations, their longevity was due more to their healthy activities than their diet.
Other Wild Claims About The Hunzas
Why the world heard such tales about the Hunza people was because the Hunzas had a history of deception. The Mir, the ruler of Hunza, created the picture Ms. Taylor and others brought back from their visits. In other words, they told the story he wanted them to tell about his nation and his people.
But deception was not the only dark part of the Hunza people. For many generations they used to be thieves and murderers who preyed on the various Chinese traders who navigated the rough territory to sell their wares to those in other neighboring countries.
Why the son of the Hunza ruled convinced his father to stop their thieving and killing ways is lost to history. They signed a peace treaty with their neighbors about 10 years before the 1870 British venture into the Hunza Valley.
The Truth About The Hunza People
Separating fact from fiction is not always easy. In the case of the Hunza people, it is a little easier due to the many different visitors who made the courageous trek to visit the Hunza Valley.
While the Hunza people may have lived longer than people from other nations, it was only about 10 years longer. They had no miracle vegetarian diet but ate all parts of the animal when they ate meat. Their diet was due to their situation and not because it provided a long lifespan.
The Hunza people also did not live in a Garden of Eden type paradise. They were afflicted with all sorts of diseases, which took doctors to cure. The truth of the matter is that the Hunza are just like any other people whose lifestyle has been exaggerated by those who are seeking the fountain of youth.
Written by – David Tee AncientPages.com Staff Writer