Paharies is a distinct tribe dwelling in Rajouri District
of Jammu and Kashmir
. They occupy 57% of the district population. Paharies resides on the foothills of Panchal Range, from Budhal
to Muzaffrabad (now in POK). The word ‘Pahari’ means mountaineers.
The tribe has distinct cultural heritage and unique historical background. They speak Pahari language, which is the great connecting factor among these people. They follow Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism.
Most of the Paharies are economically backward and more than 55% of the population lives below poverty. Agriculture is the main occupation. Rice, meat and bread are their staple food. They sacrifice a ram (a male sheep) when they offer NIAZ at the time of harvesting of crops.
Women and men of this tribe wear typical ornaments, which differentiate Paharies from other racial groups. Silver ornaments like jumka, kangan, hasieri (necklace), long, chhalla and payal are worn by women. Men wear silver and golden rings.
'Kabaddi', 'lifting of bughdar' and 'bini' are some of their favorite games, which are played to show the physical strength of men. They also conduct fighting of bulls, buffaloes, rams and cocks.