Table 1. Comparative summary of two case studies (Kyrgyz and Wakhi, Arab Pashtu and Shugni).

Kyrgyz Wakhi Arab Pashtu Shugni Comparison
Religion Sunni Shia Ismaili Sunni Shia Ismaili Religious distinctiveness
Language Kyrgyz Wakhi Dari Shugni Cultural distinctiveness
Profession nomadic pastoralists sedentary farmers with livestock nomadic pastoralists with some agricultural land sedentary farmers with livestock In both cases, Sunni Muslims are pastoralists, while Ismaili Muslims are sedentary farmers who keep animals.
Trade items goats, sheep, yaks, and other livestock, and manufactured items such as rope and hide produced from their herds wheat, occasionally items from southern markets such as salt, tea, and oil livestock, kitchenware, ironware, salt and other items from southern markets, cash wheat, animals, dried yogurt In the case of the Kyrgyz and Wakhi, both nomads and farmers have items from southern markets to trade. In the case of the Pashtu and Shugni, the pastoralists bring southern market items to trade for agricultural items.
Employment employer employee employer employee In both cases, pastoralists are employers.
Habitat (Location) Highlands: nomadic use of seasonal high-elevation mountain pastures and valleys Highlands: valleys and villages of Sarhad-i-Brogil and Wuzd with and seasonal use of high mountain pastures Lowlands to highlands: valleys and villages in Baghlan, Kunduz, and Takhar with seasonal use of high mountain pastures Highlands: valleys and village region of Pul-i-Zirabon with and seasonal use of high mountain pastures Seasonal overlap in niche occurs between the Kyrgyz and Wakhi, as well as between the Pashtu and Shugni.
Elevation 3500–4000 m 2500–4000 m 500–4000 m 2500–4000 m In the case of Kyrgyz and Wakhi, pastoralists are at higher elevations. In the case of Pashtu and Shugni, the pastoralists are at lower elevations.
Sacred sites shared shared not shared not shared Both cases demonstrate diversity in religious distinctiveness.