This is my fifth post on the lesser known tribes of the Pothohar region. Of the five tribes discussed, two claim to be Rajput, although the Ratial have sections that claim to be Jats (especially in Dina), while the Tama have no traditions of Rajputs ancestry, while the Hayal of Rawalpindi consider themselves to be Chaghtai Mughals, while those in Mirpur are Jats. Finally the Aura are unique in that they make no claim to Rajput ancestry. My post on the Rajput and Jat clans of the Rawalpindi Division enumerated for the 1911 Census of India, gives an idea as to the distribution of these tribes.
The Aura are a Jat tribe, found mainly in Gujar Khan Tehsil of Rawalpindi District.Very little is known about them, although they have consistently registered themselves as Jats in all the Census carried out by the British in the early 20th Centuiry. Important Aura villages include Balakhar in Rawalpindi District and Abdullahpur in Jhelum District.
Outside the core area, a colony of Aura is found inChak 21 S.B, which is large settlement of the Aura in Sargodha District. These Aura are immigrants from Gujar Khan Tehsil who were settled in the Sargodha region in the 19th century.
The Hayal are little known tribe, found entirely in Kallar Syedan Tehsil, who claim Chaughtai Mughal ancestry. They are found in the villages of Burra Haya, Hayal Pindoral and Mohra Hayal. In Mirpur District, Hayyal, who classify themselves as Jats, are found in the villages of Kangra and Chappar.
Miyal, or sometimes written as Mial, are tribe found mainly in Rawalpindi and Chakwal districts. They are descendants of Mian, which in there case may not refer to a single common ancestor, but is a term which is often used to describe any holyman or Sufi saint. These is also shown by the fact that different Mial groups have different origin myths. Some Mial groups say that they are Qureshi Arabs, while others claim to be Mughals.There main villages include Malluwala in Pindigheb Teshsil and Mial in the Fateh Jang Tehsil of Attock District, the village of Mial in Rawalpindi District, and the villages of Budhial, Mureed, Mial and Warwal in Chakwal District. In addition, Mial settlements are also found in the Gujar Khan Tehsil, such as Sapiali Khinger.
The Ratial are Rajput tribe, found mainly in Rawalpindi District. There customs are similar to neighbouring tribes such as the Bangial and Kanyal. Like other tribes in the region, they have several traditions as to their origin. According to one such tradition, the tribe are descended from Khattar Khan, the ancestor of the Khattar tribe. Khattar Khan had six sons, Jand Khan,Isa Khan, Sarwar Khan, Firoz Khan, Sehra Khan and Pehru Khan. About three generations after his death, the tribe lost Nilab but they took possession of the open country between Rawalpindi and the Indus which became known by the name of Khattar. The descendents of Jand Khan took possession of the district called after them Jandal between Khushhalghar and Nara. From Feroz Khan the Drek family has descended. His great- grandson was Ratnah from whom have descended the clan known as Ratial. The Khattar tribe, like the Awans claim descent from Qutub Shah, which would make the Ratial Alvi Arabs. However, another tradition makes Ratnah out to be a Manhas Rajput, who left Kangra in the 15th Century and settled in Potohar region, and converted to Islam. His descendents are known the Ratial.
The Ratial were for sometime overlords of a large part of the present Rawalpindi District known as Ratala, centred around the village of Ratala in Gujar Khan Tehsil. They were displaced from Ratala by a Janjua chief named Raja Abdullah Khan in the 18th Century, who had himself been displaced by the upheaval of the Sikh conquest of Garjaak and Darapur, and as a result took his remaining army and conquered the region of Ratyal from a Ratial chief who was loyal to the Sikh empire. He defeated the Ratial Chief and renamed the region Ratala. With this, the Ratial ceased to play any important political role in the region. However, the Ratial are still make up the bulk of the population of the Ratala refgion.
Their principle villages are Ratial (near Dina) and Darapur in Jhelum District, and Ratial, Bher Ratial, Jairo Ratial and Puraney Ratial, in the Gujar Khan Tehsil of Rawalpindi District. There are also number of Ratial villages in Attock District.
Finally, we look at the Tama, sometimes written as Tamma, a tribe found mainly in Chakwal and in Dina region of Jhelum. Like almost all the Jat clans of the Jhelum-Chakwal region, the Tama claim a Middle Eastern origin. Their ancestor was a Dulma Khan, nicknamed Tama, who migrated from Iran during the 16th Century, fleeing the forced conversion of Iranian Sunnis to the Shiite faith by Shah Ibrahim Safavi, who had just established a Shite Safavid state in Iran. Dulma Khan settled initially at Pandori near Dina, where he founded Dhok Tama, and where his descendent contracted marriage with Jat tribes, thereby becoming Jat. The largest Tamma Jat settlement is Tamma Ajaib, near the town of Dina.