Legends of the Indus

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Legends of the Indus
Samina Quraeshi



Samina Quraeshi (1944—2013) is an award-winning author, designer, artist, and filmmaker who believed art could change the world and acted on it. Born in Mumbai, raised in Karachi and educated in the United States, she is the author of Legacy of the Indus, Lahore: the City Within, Legends of the Indus (Asia Ink, 2004) and Sacred Spaces: A Journey with the Sufis of the Indus (Peabody Museum Press, 2010).


 Available from Asia Ink



by Asia Ink 2004
ISBN 978–09537839 5 3
Hardcover with jacket, French folds and endpapers
33.2 x 20.8 cm
Illustrated throughout in colour
Printed in Italy on GardaMatt Art paper




The Indus Valley stretches from the Himalayas to the desert sands of the Arabian Sea, through a landscape of breathtaking beauty and contrast. The region today lies mostly in Pakistan and, in recent times, has sadly become a frontline in the global war against terrorism. In this stunning book, illustrated with exquisite miniature paintings, Samina Quraeshi reclaims the cultural vibrancy of the Indus Valley. These beautiful love stories, are part of the rich and ancient oral tradition passed down from generation to generation at community and family gatherings by bards and storytellers. The great Sufi poets transposed the Legends into verse, composers wrote songs and music and artists and craftsmen illustrated the narratives of the tales. Thought to have inspired the Western tale of Romeo & Juliet, today they are popular subjects for Bollywood films.


Adam & Durkhane from the NW frontier
Sohni & Mahiwal from the Northern Punjab
Heer & Ranjha from the Southern Punjab
Omar & Marui from Baluchistan
Sassi & Punnu from Sind


‘This year’s resolution is to think bravely and change the world…it is a solid business plan!’

Samina Quraeshi (via Twitter, January 2012)


‘Samina Quraeshi builds cultural bridges in this magnificent edition of the Indus Legends. She travelled down the Indus to record the age-old legends from village story-tellers. Mirrors of Pakistani rural life and divine tales, the stories celebrate the triumph of love and tolerance over religious and tribal conflicts.’




Asia Society

LISTEN to Samina Quraeshi speaking about Legends of the Indus at Asia Society in New York on 19 May 2008





KhuchKaas Centre

LISTEN to Samina introducing ‘Sacred Spaces’ at the KhuchKaas Centre in Islamabad in 2011