Attitude to Ethnic Values in Architecture of Pashtun's Castle Houses in Afghanistan

Document Type : Research Paper


1 no

2 professor

3 professor of Tehran ut


Values and beliefs of a culture is embodied in its people and their lives, which now we look for this embodiment. We are seeking embodiment of “Pashtunwali” concept in castle houses “Qala” of the Pashtun ethnic, a house which its pattern, according to some, is embodiment of Afghan Pashtun culture. Pashtunwali is known the ideology and code of behaviors of the Pashtun that guides their ethnic life. For this reason, the study of concepts and content of passhtunwali is necessary for analyses of the Pashtun’s castle houses and establishing the relevance of the concept with its architectural pattern. This study aimed at describing and analyzing – the castle houses and pasthtunwali- to determine the effect of the code based on the architectural pattern of the Pashtun’s castle houses.
The study has benefited from descriptive analytical research method, the theoretical framework has been established and the content of pashtunwali has been analyzed; moreover, the comparative methods and logical reasoning were applied to the findings in terms of the theoretical framework.
According to the theoretical framework and the fact that house is made of culture, at first different models of house cultural analysis were split in two categories: analysis of culture to components and categorization of culture to consecutive and relevant layers. Then, according to the holistic research approach to culture, the cultural level formed the basis of research analyses. The model explains that culture possesses three level relationship, inner, middle, and outer levels. The values is the inner layer and the manifestations of culture such as architecture is the outer. Lifestyle and behavioral codes that are affected by the values is intermediate and path to culture crystallization that help to decrypt the relation between culture and house form.
Opposite to many researchers who consider pashtunwali as the behavioral code of the Pashtun, the conceptual and contextual analysis of pashtunwali has shown that it is a code of values. And through normative principles and concepts it is reflected in the life and architecture of the Pashtun. Study of the contextual factors of the code and analyzing it in relation to architectural pattern of the “Qala” showed the impression of the pattern from pashtunwali principles and among the principles there are concepts that have tangible impression on the physical structure of the “Qala”. The principles include independence, Melmasteya, Namus, and Seyali that are reflected in the form of behavioral patterns, internal collaboration, external competition, hospitality and protection of gold, women, and lands- creating the spatial elements and system as well as the physical form of the castle houses. Finally, the results are summarized in a table with the hidden layers and levels of pasthuwali and its relationship with “Qala” pattern are presented in a hierarchal form. The results of this study and the realities of the multi-ethnicities of the Afghan society indicate that, without considering the concept of pashtunwali, understanding and recognizing the original architectural-housing identity of the Afghans is impossible and the academic training of their architecture would be incomplete.


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