Here we have a collection of stories, folktales, and legends from Pakistan. We have shared writing, oral tellings, songs, and visual art to illustrate how stories move between different places, people, and forms. It is through the 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.

Reth Aur Reghistan focuses on collecting stories and folklore from Sindh and interpreting them through poetry and sculptures. Learn more about us and what we do.

Paper cutouts of Sohni and Mehar created with reclaimed wedding invitations – by Nimra and Manahil Bandukwala

Projects We Love!

We’ve discovered and connected with some other incredible creatives, projects and organizations sharing folklore and stories from Pakistan.

  • Dastaangoi: A collective, contemporary exploration of Pakistani history and culture.
  • Lok Virsa Heritage Museum: The National Institute of Folk & Traditional Heritage in Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Karachi Beach Stories: A radio project that looks at oral histories and experimental sound to explore the complexities of Karachi’s coastline.
  • The Hidden Djinn: Rabia Chaudry explores the fascinating history, context and world of the djinn in her podcast series.
  • The Karachiwalla: Journalist Farooq Soomro writes about places, people, architecture and stories from Karachi.
  • Sindhi Sangat: A collection of stories from Sindh available in English.
  • Sindhi Adabi Board: A large archive of folk stories available in Sindhi collected by the late Sindhi Scholar, N.A. Baloch. 

Sindhi Folklore

Folk stories from Sindh have been passed down for thousands of years, with some of the most famous ones being of the Seven Queens. These stories were shared orally for centuries and spread across the areas of Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, and Rajasthan. Some of the queens (Moomal, Marvi, Leela, Noori, and Sorath) are included under this section of Sindhi folklore, while Sasui and Sohni are under the category of Balochi and Punjabi folklore, respectively. The provincial boundaries have shifted over centuries, and stories belong to many different areas. Sufi saint and poet Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai collected many oral stories in the 17th century and compiled them in his Shah Jo Risalo. Read more about how these stories are shared through music at Bhittai’s shrine in Bhit Shah.

Stories from Karachi

Compared to the centuries-long legacies of the stories of the Seven Queens, most stories from Karachi only go back a couple of centuries. Karachi grew from a small fishing village of the Kolachi tribe in the 18th century to a city of 14 million people today. The story of Mai Kolachi is one of the most popular origin story for the city, but other figures such as Moriro and Mokhi have left their mark in Karachi as well.

Balochi Folklore

Folklore from the North