This chapter outlines the book's anthropological inquiry into the modernity and modernization of the inhabitants in Hunza, located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Over the course of a century, Hunza has been an autonomous state, then a district and a semi-autonomous state within the British Empire, later a part of the Pakistani-administered Gilgit Agency, and later yet an administrative district. The people of Hunza have been represented by outsiders—including British colonialists, Pakistani state officials, and modern-day Westerners—as original Aryans, as slave traders and caravan raiders, as innocent primitives and healthy frontiersmen, as marginal citizens of the Pakistani state, as ideal hosts of global tourists, and as both indigenous conservationists and avaricious degraders of the environment. The chapter also looks at how some of the core ideas and practices associated with modernity and modernization engage with and produce the material and conceptual conditions of remote areas.
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