مشاسکی حہ : An architectural masterpiece of utility and beauty and harmony so perfectly blended

It is called Pamiri House elsewhere in world (in published literature) as it belongs to Pamiris for it originated in their culture. Because of its usefulness and compatibility and suitability to life style of some parts of GB of that time it got assimilated so deeply that no one even realized that it’s an adopted one from somewhere else. It’s a cultural commonality among most of linguistic communities of GB so it must be known with different names in rest of languages of GB. As it is called حہ مشاشکی  in Brushaki language.

Roshan Bano

Single room house that entails, an entrance (yorchi, khonjikhas), two bed rooms (mun- hiriye mun, goshinunchay mun), a kitchen (sheeti), a dining room (dalum shee), a store (shen,dhap,xaghor),

Designed in a manner that even being in a single room all its sections are completely discrete and separate from one another at the same time there is a harmony, symmetry, proportion and order among all these sections within four walls of that single room.

At that being in one room it was much easier to keep tidy, maintained in contrast to maintaining multi rooms for different purpose.  It was equally cost -effective resource wise for constructing multi rooms at that time of resource scarcity was not easy and affordable for most of households.

 It was compatibility of Hah with lifestyle of that time that it made it an essential need of every household/family   for decent shelter. It used to be dream of every family to construct Hah. Once Hah is constructed it was an achievement and is considered an enhancement in status of the family. If a family had not that Hah but simple rooms no matter how many in number it was considered that family had not proper shelter or home.  So it has socio- cultural value as well.

 Hah as whole is unique but arrangement for ventilation is equally unique. A Skylight (Sagham) an outlet right in mid of ceiling exactly above hearth/fireplace! An efficient way of ventilation for being exactly above stove so that fumes and smoke discharge out and fresh air comes in.

Sky light (Sagham) positioned in the center of ceiling is not just a ventilation but a piece of ornamentation as well because of the it’s design and patterns with wooden work. Wooden work of four concentric squares placed on one another ending in square skylight! A design to behold and mesmerize!

mishaski 2

The wooden work is not only a structural feature but is main ornamentation of the house. The wooden ceiling with rafters, and beams supported by wooden pillars carved with designs and patterns.

A single room house with all required features, lesser expenditures and at the same time aesthetically appealing! Such combination is rare just in anything!

It’s just a note by a layperson written out of nostalgic memories of childhood spent in Hah and admiration for the perfect blend of utility and beauty within it!

mishaski 3






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  1. I appreciate the article by Roshan Bano, perhaps an Architect or just an inspired writer. She is right that the Pamiri houses were low-cost, climate friendly and a symbol of family pride an unity. Almost all of us in GB have spent our childhood in our traditional Pamiri houses. Another most important aspect of these houses are/were their cultural and social importance. E.g. Mother had her specific space just beneath the Left Dildong, whereas, Father would sit beneath the right side Dildong. Similarly, the places for the Khalifa/ Mukhi (Religious leader); Numberdaar were specific on weddings and other important occasions. All other villagers would sit according to age seniority. Similarly, the musicians would sit on the lower “Mun” or “Raj’ near Yorchi. In the past, there was a “Zicha Raj” for the ladies passing through the maternity days. I am really not going to comment over the lengthy explanations to its pillars, ceilings, and two skylights at the center of the Main House, though they have their own cultural significance. As a Sociologist, I can simply appreciate the Pamiri house’s being a training spot for learning and loving one’s social norms and values. We get drifted from our cultural past as soon as we shift to separate rooms in a modern house. So I would strongly recommend to GBian’s to keep their traditional house intact and simply add the wooden structures that are essentially important for modern living. Such as, wardrobs, draws and book shelves etc….

  2. interesting piece of writing……. I think the ceiling, the pillars have been carved in the picture which, in older times, were simple except four main pillars and PHALEE. Need to focus on the door lock system that we have forgot totally in this era and use metal equipment instead. keep going please

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