Reth & Reghistan
Pakistani Folklore through Sculpture & Stories


A collections of folklore from across Pakistan, including folk music, folktales, myths and legends.


A collection of stories from around Pakistan, including versions in English, Urdu and Sindhi. As the regional boundaries of the provinces is a relatively recent happening, stories have been divided based on based on the south, central, and Northern regions of Pakistan. It is interesting to note that the south consists of stories that have historical evidence including sites, archeological remains and graveyards, whereas stories and figures from the North appear to have metaphysical features such as deos (giants) and paris (fairies).

Various versions of the stories are included to illustrate how translating a story from oral form to written form, and from Sindhi to Urdu or English has a noticeable difference on the story. Through our research, we have never once heard the same version. It is through these various tellings that we come to understand that these stories are not fixed in time and have a life force of their own that makes facts fluid, and interpretations multi-faceted.







Included is a list of online resources, published books and journals related to Pakistani and South-Asian folklore, and the field of folklore studies. They are available through university and college libraries, and are usually accessible through Inter-University loans. As Reth aur Reghistan focuses on the region of Sindh, the suggested resources are catered towards this region.



  • “Folktales of Sind and Gujarat” by C.A. Kincaid

  • “Tales of Old Sind” by C.A. Kincaid

  • “The Legend of Sind: Jai Jhulelal” by Heeralal B. Jethwany (PDF)

  • “Sindh, and the Races that Inhabit the Valley of the Indus” by Richard Burton (PDF)

  • “Rhythms of the Lower Indus - Perspectives on the Music of Sindh” by Zohra Yusuf, Department of Culture and Tourism, Govt. of Sindh, Pakistan

  • “Shah Abdul Latif of Bhit” by H.T. Sorely, Department of Culture and Tourism, Govt. of Sindh, Pakistan

  • “Bhitai, the message of the Master: An anthology of commentaries on the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif” (1993), Shah Abdul Latif Bhit Shah Cultural Centre Committee

  • “Indian Folktales and Legends” by Pratibha Nath

  • “On Wings of Diesel: Trucks, Religion and Identity in Pakistan” by Jamal J. Elias

  • “Piwand: Melodies from the Roof of the World - Pamir,” Bulbulik Heritage Centre Gulmit

  • “La Langue Wakhi: Corpus de Littérature Orale” by A.L.Grunberg and Steblin-Kamensky, Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme, Paris

  • “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell


  • “Representing Pakistan Through Folk Music and Dance” (2011) by Shumaila Hemani, University of Alberta

  • “Sohni Mahiwal: Preserving South Asian Cultural Heritage Through Animated Storytelling” (2017) by Anem Syed, Rochester Institute of Technology

  • “Umar Marvi and the Representation of Sindh: Cinema and Modernity in the Margins” (2014) by Julien Levesque and Camille Bui, SAGE Publications

  • “Singing from Separation: Women’s Voices in and about Kangra Folksongs” (1997) by Kirin Narayan

  • “Outspoken Voices: Representations of Female Voices in A Rajhastani Folklore Community” (1997) by Anne Grodzins Gold

  • “Ajrak: A Study in the Anthropology of Cloth” (1997) by Bill Miligan, California Institute of Integral Studies

  • “Truck Decoration and Religious Identity: Material Culture and Social Function in Pakistan” by Jamal J. Elias, Amherst College

  • “The Discursive Construction of Reality in the Wakhi Community of Northern Pakistan” (1998) by John Howard Mock, University of California, Berkeley