KASHMIR, like any other Indian cultural region of India, has its rich tradition of folklore. Hatim's Tales are a class by themselves in this rich heritage.
A spell-binding story-teller, Hatim was a legend in his lifetime. He recited, intoned, sang and talked to his fond listeners in the towns and villages of the picturesque Kashmir valley. His tales were drawn from history, mythology, traditional narratives, and original stories devised by Hatim himself. They were part of the oral tradition which survived in memory and word of the mouth.
(From a photograph by Sir Aural Stein)
Sir Aurel Stein took pains to listen to the legendary Hatim and take down notes. When elaborated and translated for a book, it became a unique collection of folk tales, ballads, folk songs taken straight from the mouth of a hereditary storyteller and reciter.
The book contains the original in Kashmiri, translation in English, linguistic analysis, vocabulary, and index. The modern reader will find in the collection the most authentic account of the Kashmiri folklore ever recorded. It is sheer pleasure to read them and enjoy their down-to-earth wit and wisdom.
Kashmiri Stories and Songs
by Sir Aurel Stein