Frontier Folk of the Afghan Border—and Beyond


Frontier Folk of the Afghan Border—and Beyond is a book of photographs, with explanatory text, of people from more than 20 tribes and ethnic groups mainly living in the Northwest Frontier region of British India (present-day Pakistan) or across the border in Afghanistan. A few of the pictures show people or scenes from Kashmir, Tibet, and Russian Turkestan. The photographs depict local costumes, festivals and celebrations, and economic life. Most were taken by Captain L.B. Cane of the Royal Army Medical Corps. The text is by Lilian Agnes Starr, the widow of Vernon Harold Starr, a physician at the British medical mission in Peshawar who was murdered by a local tribesman in 1918. Lilian Starr, a nurse at the mission where her husband worked, continued to live in Peshawar after his death and produced several books on the region. The hospital at Peshawar was part of a chain of medical missions run by British missionaries stretching along the Northwest Frontier and into Kashmir and Tibet. Many of the photographs depict patients arriving at one or another of these hospitals for treatment or vaccination against smallpox. The book contains a brief foreword by Lionel C. Dunsterville, a British army officer who served on the Northwest Frontier and was a friend of Vernon Starr and of British writer Rudyard Kipling.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Church Missionary Society, London


Type of Item

Physical Description

96 pages : half-tone photographs ; 16 x 23 centimeters


  1. “Medical News,” British Medical Journal (April 27, 1918).
  2. Samuel Pyeatt Menefee, “Dunsterville, Lionel Charles (1865–1946),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
  3. Victoria Schofield, Afghan Frontier: Feuding and Fighting in Central Asia (London: Tauris Parke, 2003).

Last updated: September 30, 2016