National Geographic : 1967 Jan
to Amir that the poor shepherds and wheat farmers could afford imported firearms. "Why imported?" he asked. "You are hav ing lunch tomorrow near Kohat with the Adam Khel Afridis, who for generations have made weapons for the whole Pathan world in Pakistan and Afghanistan." At Darra, where 2,500 members of the Green Clan of the Adam Khel work, the air hummed with small industrial noises. In adobe huts, turbaned men squatted on mats beside legless lathes and rickety drill presses. On those primitive machines, most of them hand-made and hand-powered, the Green Clan people copy small arms from around the world with incredible exactness (page 26). Most Pathans of warrior age prefer the yolas dazze, or 11-shot, .303-caliber, bolt action rifle modeled on the old British En field. In their great filial piety, however, the Pathans have not forgotten their elders. "For the man too old to handle the yolas dazze," the village headman said, "we make simpler weapons. Our aging fathers carry sawed-off shotguns, or this little machine pis tol which fires 15 shots in one burst. For the bedridden, behold this fountain-pen-type gun loaded with a single .32 cartridge and fired by pulling and releasing this spring plunger. No Pathan need feel defenseless while the Adam Khel people keep their skill." When the British were trying to govern the unruly North-West Frontier, they often made out-of-town Pathans check their weapons at the city limits of Peshawar, the Pathan me tropolis (page 31). Since independence, how ever, tribesmen ramble the city carrying weapons. The Street of the Storytellers and the Bazaar of the Goldsmiths look as if they were patrolled by a conquering army. Eleven miles west of Peshawar begins the Khyber Pass, nowhere more than 3,500 feet high but with a floor only 40 feet wide in places. Steep boulder-strewn slopes provide near-perfect cover for a defending army (page 30). Nevertheless, for centuries invaders from Tinsel curtain shields face of a naushah, or new king, as a bridegroom is called. Seeking a blessing, a bride bows her head beneath the Koran, wrapped in green satin. Pakistani parents arrange marriages and agree on the dowry from the groom. Legal ly no one needs to officiate at the ceremony; the couple can simply consent to be mar ried before witnesses.