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The North West Frontier

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The North West Frontier

Trade and military imprints in the North West Frontier province, from Peshawar to the Khyber Pass

Travelogue 1928 12 mins

Overview

Immerse yourself in the industry of the North West Frontier, from the Khyber Pass to the city of Peshawar. Roving among bazaar traders including cobblers, copper smiths and silk weavers, we meet a paan seller, misrepresented here as an exotic jeweller who uses beetle wings (hilariously, betel nut leaf is mistaken for 'beetle'). Snapshots of the silk industry in Peshawar and montages of Bactrian camels and trade caravans in the Khyber Pass hint at the famed Silk route. We see gun making, central to British military might, and a mud fort, last outpost of the British empire on this historic road.

Particularly interesting in the film, supervised by Scottish geographer James Fairgrieve, is the recurring focus on the geopolitical setup of the Raj. The North West Frontier and the borders with Afghanistan are clearly marked. The film elaborates on the region around Peshawar with the small villages and the military and economic outposts in the area. Dr. Amina Yaqin (SOAS University of London)