The name Kohistan means “the Land of Mountains” and indeed this region is known for its high and rugged mountains. Indus Kohistani is the major language of the west bank of the Indus River. Indus Kohistani is an endangered Dardic language of the Indo-Aryan family, spoken by about 400,000 persons according to the census of 2017.

There are two main dialects of Indus Kohistani – one that is spoken along the Indus River, in settlements such as Seo, Pattan and Jijal. The other is spoken in the Duber and Kandia Valleys, which are more remote.

People do small scale agriculture and foresting for their living, and the area is known for its large forests with good quality timber. Kohistanis are known to be proud and courageous people and their land is sometimes called the “land of the rebels”. They are famous for having violent and long lasting blood feuds, and always like to point out the importance of cooperation between relatives and friends. However, around 20 to 25 percent of this community have migrated to the main cities of Pakistan and settled there.