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A woman devotee in Sheedi Mela.
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This year attendance was a higher than before.
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Members of Afro-Pakistani Sheedi community beat drums at the annual festival, as the devotees perform Dhamal.
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Sindor is rubbed on the forehead and back of the reportedly 127-year old Chief Crocodile at the Manghopir shrine.
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Traditional drink called ‘Piala’, literally translating as ‘cup’ in local language, which is made up of almond and pistachio is ready for distribution.
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Flower sellers at the shrine.
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Women of Sheedi community at the festival.
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Crocodiles in the pond next to the shrine.
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Local Sheedi community members preparing “Khutti,” a sweet prepared from wheat, almond and pistachio to be distributed among the devotees.
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Ghulam Abbasi Sheedi talking to Arab News in front of the Manghopir shrine.
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The caretaker preparing the chief crocodile for the garland ceremony.
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The community elder puts a garland around Mor Swab, the Chief Crocodile, after Sindor (orange color) is rubbed on its forehead and back.
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After the garland ceremony, Mor Swab is pushed back to the crocodile pond.
Updated 04 March 2018

Afro-Pakistani Sheedi community celebrates annual Manghopir festival

Pakistan’s Sheedi community is known for peculiar beliefs, but it stands out for its unique annual affair – the Sheedi Mela – a centuries-old festival with several strange events.
(AN photos)