Kanera, Makkal and Turkhel tribes

I shall stay with the Thal region in my next post, and now look at the Kanera, Makkal, and Turkhel tribes. Of the three tribes I am looking at, two of these, namely the Kanera and Turkhel, have spread across the Indus and are now found in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. All the the Thal tribes so far looked at, not withstanding a variety of origin myths, generally are seen by themselves and others as Jats. However, with both the Kanera and Turkhel, have very strong alternate claims to Baloch and Pasthun backgrounds. I will leave however this question of origin open to the reader, but I simply repeat the point I have made in other posts, namely that identity is very fluid in this borderland region. These tribes can perhaps be better described as quasi-Jat, rather than Jat. The word quasi generally means apparently but not really; does aptly describes the status of these tribes, who as peasants of non Baloch or Pashtun origin, should be considered as Jat, but are not seen as so.

Kanera

The Kanera claim to a branch of the Lashari Baluch, who according to their traditions, have migrated from the Makran region in southern Baluchistan. The Sindh Sagar Doab is home to several tribes of Baloch origin, such as the Waghra Magsi, so a Baloch origin cannot be ruled out. However, the Kanera are perceived to be Jats, and were recorded as such in 1911 Census of India. According to Kanera traditions, their ancestor married a Jat, and therefore his descendents have been perceived as such.

Historically, the Kanera were involved in the manufacture of mats from grass and leaves, making string, and generally working in grass and reeds. However, at the end of the 19th Century, the Kanera took to weaving and cultivation. Therefore, the claim of the Kanera to be a Jat clan is not universally accepted, and their customs are similar to tribal groupings found along the bank of the Indus such as the Jhabel and Mohana. Like many of Jat and quasi-Jat tribes, the Kanera are now sub-divided into clans which go by the Pashto appellation khel. The larger Kanera khels include Buqa Khel, Dilay Khel, Jamaal Khel, Kalu Khel, Belay Khel, Sidiqu Khel, Saleh Khel, Golay Khel, Rehman Khel and Hazoor Khel. Most Kanera are found in Layyah, Bhakkar and Dera Ismail Khan districts, with villages generally close to the Indus river.

Makkal

The Makkal are also a quasi-Jat tribe, claiming Arab ancestry. Like the other two tribes described, the Makkal are were traditionally blacksmiths, who took to agriculture. According to Makkal tribal traditions, there ancestors were Arabs soldiers who arrived in Sindh in the early 8th Century. Over the centuries, they became landless, and took to to smithing. A word of caution, the Makkals must not be confused with the Makwals, who are entirely distinct. With an improvement in status in the late 19th Century, Makkals are no longer blacksmiths, most having taking to agriculture. They are found mainly in Layyah, Bhakkar and Bahawalpur District.

Turkhel

Like the Kanera, the Turkhel can also be seen as a tribe of quasi-Jat status. Late in the 19th Century British colonial ethnographers such as Denzel Ibbetson considered that Turkhels were a clan of Julahas (weavers), who took to agriculture. The name is said to mean family (khel in Pashto) of the loom (tur in Pashto), or more accurately the keepers of the loom, thereby alluding to their descent from the Julahas. However, unlike other hamsaya groups (see my post on 1911 Census of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province) in the Mianwali region, by beginning of the 20th Century, the Turkhel had become landowners in the Marri Indus region of Mianwali. Surrounded by Niazi settlements, the Turkhel started to make a claim to Khattak Pashtun ancestry. According to their tribal traditions, their ancestors left the country near Akora in Nawshera District, and arriving in the hill country near Marri Indus. They now argue that the name comes from the Pashto word Tor meaning black and not Tur.

What can be said for some certainty is that the Turkhel are now in the process being assimilated into the Pashtun community of Isakhel.In terms of distribution, they are found in villages near the town of Marri Indus.

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1901 Census of the of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan

 

This was the breakdown by caste, religion and community of the population of the North West Frontier Province, now known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, by the 1901 Census of India.

Religion Caste or Tribe Sub-Caste Population
Muslims 1,957,777
Ahir 78
Arab 149
Arain 3,442
Attar 141
Awan 241,006
Baghban 11,871
Baluch 23,946
Bangali 2
Bania 8
Banjara 402
Barar 13
Barwala 139
Batwal 10
Bazigar 11
Bhand 10
Bharai 94
Bhat 102
Bhatra 175
Bhatiara 4,337
Bot 6
Brahmin 45
Chamar 4,193
Changar 106
Chhimba 404
Chuhra 1,191
Dabgar 2
Darugar 181
Darzi 2,983
Dhobi 15,172
Dhund 25,253
Dogar 13
Dogra 19
Faqir 1,416
Gaderia 125
Gagra 3
Gakhar 5,595
Ghai 5
Ghullam 155
Gujjar 109,086
Gurkha 5
Hazara 54
Jat 72,542
Jhabel 3
Jhinwar 2,163
Jogi and Rawal 12
Julaha 38,256
Kachhi 2
Kahut 38
Kalal 1,965
Kamangar 15
Kamboh 30
Kanera 1,901
Kanchan 107
Kangar 6
Karral 15,947
Kashmiri 24,854
Kayastha 2
Kehal 84
Khakha 396
Khanzada 11
Khatik 115
Khattar 1,222
Khoja 3,681
Khokhar 3,385
Khumra 10
Kohistani 221
Konshi 1,609
Kumhar 20,071
Kunjra 2
Kutana 5,139
Labana 78
Lilari 483
Lohar 27,190
Macchi 4,516
Mali 6
Maliar 27,167
Mallah 5,841
Maratha 3
Meo 14
Mialgan 1,011
Mina 22
Mirasi 11,024
Mochi 23,235
Mughal 13,608
Mussalli 8,577
Nai 23,892
Naik 1
Nat 95
Niaria 15
Odh 18
Pakhiwara 99
Paracha 10,639
Pathan 850,346
Penja 2,122
Pujari 3
Qassab 7,200
Qureshi 13,973
Rahbari 282
Raj 54
Rajput 15,162
Rangrez 3,476
Rathi 4
Saiqalgar 102
Sansi 2
Sarara 7,336
Sayyid 76,805
Shaikh 18,655
Sunar 7,787
Swati 33,433
Tanoli 60,826
Tarawara 258
Tarkhan 39,682
Teli 9,780
Thori 12
Turk 2,434
Ullema 2,058
Hindus 134,252
Ahir 231
Arora 62,730
Bania 324
Bhabra 59
Bhat 324
Bhatia 2,053
Bhatiara 221
Brahman 10,885
Brahman Muhial 2,406
Chamar 372
Chhimba 53
Chuhra 6,756
Dabgar 7
Daoli 9
Darugar 6
Darzi 9
Dhanak 21
Dhobi 1,162
Dogra 161
Faqir 2,023
Gaderia 6
Gakhar 4
Ghosi 87
Gujjar 5
Gurkha 3,807
Jaiswara 125
Jat 431
Jhinwar 2,117
Jogi and Rawal 30
Julaha 13
Kalal 1
Kamboh 4
Kanet 3
Kayastha 10
Khatik 6
Khatri 28,261
Kumhar 36
Labana 27
Lohar 9
Madrasi 50
Mahajan Pahari 3
Mallah 11
Maratha 291
Mazhabi 2
Mochi 29
Nai 122
Odh 649
Punjari 1
Purbia 112
Raj 2
Rajput 2,988
Rangrez 1
Rathi 1
Sunar 3,234
Talegu 47
Tamboli 46
Tamil 101
Tarkhan 251
Teli 5
Sikh 28,091
Ahir 2
Arora 6,217
Bania 6
Bhat 5
Bhatia 333
Bhatiara 20
Bhatra 7
Brahman 2,045
Brahman Muhial 161
Chamar 20
Chhimba 8
Chuhra 9
Darzi 18
Dhanak 1
Dhobi 15
Dogra 18
Faqir 75
Jat 8,108
Jhinwar 269
Kalal 6
Kamboh 3
Kayastha 1
Khatri 5,343
Labana 294
Lohar 11
Mallah 2
Maniar 257
Mazhabi 1,014
Mochi 2
Nai 350
Niaria 3
Odh 2
Rajput 1,940
Sunar 416
Tarkhan 349
Teli 1
Parsi 46
Christian 5,273
Jewish 4
Jain 37
Total Population 2,125,480

1911 Census of the of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan

This was the breakdown by caste, religion and community of the population of the North West Frontier Province, now known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, by the 1911 Census of India. At that time Pashtuns accounted for 70% (845,189) population, with the Hindko speaking Awan forming the second largest community (276,511 or about 23%).

Among the Pashtun dominated areas lived a number of minorities referred to as hamsiya such as the Dhobi, Mirasi, Qassab, Kumhar, Julaha, Teli, Nai, Shah Khel e.t.c, speaking both Pashtu and Hindko languages. The hamsiya lived and still live in villages inhabited by Pashtuns, but were not allowed to own property. Each hamsiya group was affiliated to a particular tribe, in which territory they lived. The hamsaya were paid in kind for the services they rendered.

 

Other groups that lived and still live among the Pashtuns include the Awan, who are also found in the Peshawar Valley, Kohat and Bannu, the Maliar or Baghban, concentrated mainly in the Peshawer valley, the Paracha also found in Peshawer and Kohat, and the Gujjar. The Paracha had much in common with the Hindu Khatri, a group I will discuss latter in this post, in that they were largely traders, with extensive presence in Afghanistan. The Gujjar of the Frontier were essentially nomadic, although there were several settled Gujar communities in Mardan and near Peshawar city.

 

In Hazara, tribes of Pashtoon origin such as the Dilizak, Tareen and Mashwani formed about a quarter of the population. The rest of the population belonged to Hindko speaking tribes such as the Awan, Gakhar, Sarara, Karral, Turk and Dhund, as well as Gojri speaking Gujjars. The Gujjar were and still are also found in Malakand and the Peshawer valley, where they were largly nomadic. Some Hindko speaking communities such as the Mishwani of Hazara and Swati were bilingual, also speaking Pashto and both have also been separately noted in this census. In the south of the province in the districts of Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu there are Seraiki speaking tribes such as the Jat, Khokhar, Arain and Mallaah, as well as the Baloch of the province who also speak Seraiki. The Muslim Rajputs were local and found mainly in the Abbotabad and Haripur areas of Hazara, while the Hindu and Sikh Rajputs were mainly soldiers stationed in the province. Similarly, the Hindu and Sikh Jats were also entirely soldiers stationed for a short time in the province. While Muslim Jats were found mainly in Bannu and Dera Ismail District, with thos of Bannu being slowly assimilated into Pashtoon society.

 

 

The census is also of interests as is show the divisions within the Hindu and Sikh groups in the North West Frontier, who in 1911 amounted to about 11% of the population. The indigenous Hindu and Sikh population consisted of the Aroras, Bhatias, Brahmins, Khatris and Sunar as well as the Chuhras, who were considered untouchable. The city of Peshawer was home to a Khatri community involved in long distance trade with Central Asia, which had first settled in the city during the period of the Mughals. These trading networks extended as far north as Siberia, and as far west as Baghdad. Other Hindu castes included the Dhobis, Jhinwars, Mochis and Nais, who were found mainly in Peshawer and the southern Hazara towns like Haripur and Abbotabad, and spoke Hindko at least as a second language. They were descended from settlers that have arrived from North India at the time of the conquest of the province by the British in 1848, with a substantial presence in the cantonment area of Peshawar. Among those groups long settled were the Brahmins, who were divided between the Muhials of Hazara, who were mainly landowners and other Brahmins were either priests or traders. They were also linguistically divided between those of Hazara and Peshawar, who spoke Hindko, and those of Dera Ismail Khan who were Seraiki speaking, although both terms are modern, and in 1911 most Hindus would have referred to their language as Punjabi. The Aroras were concentrated in the southern district of Bannu, Kohat and Dera Ismail Khan, and spoke Seriki, while the Khatris were Hindko speaking found mainly in Peshawer and Hazara. While the Sunar and Bhatia were also largely Seraiki speaking, and the Chuhra of the south spoke Seraiki and those in Peshawer and Hazara spoke Hindko.

 

Religion

Caste or Tribe

Sub-Caste

Population

Muslims    

1,054,171

  Arain  

3,343

  Awan  

276,511

  Baghban  

20,471

  Baluch  

26,513

  Bhatiara  

4,130

  Chamar  

4,333

  Chuhra  

879

  Darzi  

2,265

  Dhobi  

13,902

 

Dhund

 

30,464

  Faqir  

1,466

  Gakhar  

6,806

  Gujjar  

113,498

  Jat  

78,070

  Jhinwar  

1,350

  Julaha  

37,384

  Karral  

22,106

  Kashmiri  

28,631

  Khoja  

2,974

  Khokhar  

1,179

  Kumhar  

22,576

  Lohar  

28,560

 

Macchi

 

4,031

  Maliar  

19,950

  Mallah  

4,802

  Mirasi  

11,790

  Mishwani  

4,888

  Mochi  

22,983

  Mughal  

14,865

  Mussalli (including Kutana)  

13,254

  Nai  

24,566

  Paracha  

12,330

  Pathan  

845,189

    Afridi

25,161

    Bangash

25,877

   

Bannuchi

34,605

    Bhittani

10,480

   

Daudzai

10,736

    Dilazak

3,665

    Durrani

10,736

    Gadun

27,546

    Ghilzai

30,611

    Gigiani

12,757

    Khalil

17,046

    Khattak

148,552

    Khugiani

1,351

    Mangal

159

    Marwat

68,018

    Mohammadzai

30,230

    Mohmand

69,506

    Mullagori

608

    Niazi

6,406

    Orakzai

12,629

    Shinwari

1,489

    Shirani

812

    Tareen

2,849

    Tarklanri

1,311

    Turi

705

    Ustarana

2,218

    Utmankhel

7,264

    Wazir

31,326

    Yousafzai

130,026

    Zadran

965

   

Zaimusht

1,024

   

Other Pathans

103,509

  Qassab  

8,721

  Qureshi  

20,939

  Rajput  

10,042

  Rangrez  

3,929

  Sarara  

8,507

  Sayyid  

75,115

 

Shaikh

 

17,892

 

Sunar

 

8,447

  Swati  

38.329

  Tanoli  

63,985

  Tarkhan  

42,367

  Teli  

6,932

  Turk  

4,499

 

Minor and Unspecified

 

32,942

Hindus    

121,284

  Arora  

55,713

  Bhatia  

3,786

 

Bhatiara

 

61

  Brahman  

9,740

  Chamar  

348

  Chuhra  

4,884

 

Darzi

 

6

  Dhobi  

970

 

Faqir

 

58

  Gujjar  

345

  Gurkha  

6,343

  Jhinwar  

797

 

Julaha

 

6

  Khatri  

30,033

  Kumhar  

83

  Lohar  

29

  Mallah  

3

  Mochi  

226

  Nai  

178

  Rajput  

4,051

  Sunar  

991

  Tarkhan  

37

 

Minor and Unspecified

 

2,596

Sikh    

28,251

  Arora  

13,502

  Bhatia  

300

  Chamar  

140

  Chuhra  

300

 

Darzi

 

7

 

Faqir

 

84

  Gujjar  

28

  Jat  

6,683

  Jhinwar  

180

  Khatri  

5,687

  Kumhar  

5

  Nai  

33

  Rajput  

270

  Rangrez  

4

  Sunar  

276

  Tarkhan  

214

 

Minor and Unspecified

 

538

Parsi    

49

Christian    

857

Jewish    

14

Jain    

4

Total Population

   

1,204,630

 

Bhidwal, Kachela, Kallu, and Sangra tribes of the Thal Desert

This is my fortieth post, and it has been over a year since I began this blog to give much needed information on the internet on the lesser known tribes of the Punjab. My very first post looked at a region in western Punjab, known as the Thal, and in particular some of the tribes that inhabit it. In this post, I return to the same region, looking at four tribes, namely the Bhidwal, Kachela, Kallu and Sangra. Just a point of clarification, the Kallu and Kalru are distinct tribes.

 

To give some background, the Thal is a large desert situated between the Jhelum and Sindh rivers just south of the Pothohar Plateau. Its total length from north to south is a 190 miles, and its widest is 70 miles (110 km) and narrowest is 20 miles. The Thal is all that remains of the semi-arid uplands that existed between rivers of western Punjab prior to the 19th Century constructions of canals by the British colonial authorities that led to the creation of what is now a largely irrigated region. This process also involved settlement of peasant colonists from what is now Indian Punjab.

This region was also home to a number of tribes that can be loosely grouped under the name Jat. In the Thal, the term refers to any tribal grouping that practiced pastoral nomadism. Each tribe historically occupied distinct areas where they enjoyed prerogatives to grazing, and often claimed descent from a common ancestor. So far in several blogs, I have already looked at the Aheer, Bhachar, Dhudhi, Jhammat, Mekan, Talokar, Tiwana, Uttra and Wahla tribes. In terms of the tribe that I will look in this post, the Bhidwal and Kallu, who are near neighbours, they were effective rulers of their respective patches of the Thal, until the arrival of the British in the 19th Century.

 

Bhidwal

I shall of by looking at the Bhidwal, or sometimes pronounced Bhadwal. According to their tribal traditions, their ancestors were Dogras from the town of Bhadu in present day Kathua District in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir. Interestingly, the region is still home to a tribe of Suryavanshi Rajputs called Bhadwal, which means the people of Bhadu. Interestingly, the Jammu region is still home to a tribe by name of Bhadwal, who it is likely is the same tribe.

 

The Bhidwal, together with the Chhina were earliest settlers of the Bhakkar District portion of the Thal Desert. After their migration from Jammu, the Bhidwal came to possess a somewhat small tract round Karluwala and Mahni Thal in Bhakkar District near the border of Jhang District. Hear, they remained effectively independent until the arrival of the British in the mid-19th century, practising a pastoral lifestyle. Like the Bandials, Bhachars, Talokars and Uttras already mentioned, they were masters of tribal territory, but unlike the Awans in Kalabagh or the Tiwanas further north, the Bhidwal never became a regional power. Currently they are found in several villages near Dhingana, such as Basti Bhidwal, Karlowala, Mahni Thal and Yarra Sulleh.

Kachela

The Kachela are a tribe of Samma background, who are found all along the banks of the Indus, from Dera Ghazi Khan to Layyah. With regards to the Samma, there are various theories about their origin. According to Sadiq Ali Ansari, who wrote a brief description of Samma,  some Samma groups claim to be descendants of Sam (Shem), the eldest of the three surviving sons of the prophet Nuh (Noah). According to others they were the descendants of Sam, the son of Umar, son of Hashim, son of Abu Lahab, an uncle of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Yet others believe Sam was the son of Umar, son of Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl, son of Abu Jahl, the tormentor of Islamic prophet Muhammad. Some argue that as the Samma rulers used the title of Jam, then Sammas are the descendants of Jamshid, the legendary king of Persia who could see in his wine cup (Jām-e Jam). However their are branches of the Samma that have remained Hindu in Gujarat, who claim descent from the mythical Yadava dynasty, to which belonged.

In Dera Ghazi Khan, the Kachela are closely connected with the Leghari Baloch, and in this region, the Kachela have adopted Baloch manners, customs and dress. While in Shujabad region near Multan, they are one of a number of Sindhi Jats, who use the title Jam. In Layyah District, they are found in the villages of Hydershahwala, Mahni Thal and Sadatnagar.

 

 

Kallu

Kallu are found mainly in the borders of Khushab and Bhakkar districts, although they are related to the Kahlon tribe of Jats, who are found throughout central Punjab. In fact the word Kallu is simply the way Kahlon is pronounced in the Thallochi dialect of the Thal. So who exactly are the Kahlon. According to Kahlon tribal tradition, they claim descent from Raja Vikramajit of the famous Chandravanshi Rajput, through Raja Jagdeo of Daranagar, concerning whom they tell the well-worn legend that in his generosity he promised his sister whatsoever she might ask. She claimed his head and he fulfilled his promise, but was miraculously restored to life. The ancestor of the tribe, Kahlwan was a supposed great grandson of Raja Jagdeo. It was his great grandson, who is said to have left Dharanagri and settled in Punjab. The Kallu branch of the Kahlon left Sialkot, which is centre of the tribe in the Punjab, and arrived in the area of the Thal Desert between Pillo Waince, Roda and Nootpur Thal. Here the Kallu, like the Bhidwal maintained their independence until the arrival of the British in the 19th Century. Important Kallu villages include Biland, Dera Khwaja Kallu, Rangpur Baghoor and Noon Kallu. Further west in Bhakkar District, they are found in Mahni Thal. In Layyah District, they are found in Karlowala, Ghulam Hyder Kalluwala and Hyder Shahwala village. North of the Thal Desert, there a two Kallu villages in Chakwal, namely Kallu, and Kallu near Kallar Kahar. While in Dera Ghazi Khan District, there are several Kallu villages such Dhoraywala and Khakilwala.

Kallu Jats of the Sikh faith are found in East Punjab, in particular in Jalandhar District. In that district Muslim Kallu Jats were found in the village of Pachranga, while Sikh Kallu Jats were found in Mutadallur in Philaur Tehsil. The Muslim of Pachranga immigrated to Pakistan at the time of partition, settling in Raichand village in Sheikhupura District. It is not entirely clear how these Jalandhar Kallu relate to those of the Thal.

Sangra

Sangra, unlike the other two tribes discussed, never really became independent in any sense. They are also found in numbers outside the Thal, in river valleys of the Chenab and Jhelum rivers.The tribe claims descent from Sangra, a Bhatti Rajput from Bikaner, in what is now Rajasthan, India. In the 14 Century, the tribe migrated from Rajasthan and settled in Kathala, the ruins of which near Tibba Tanwi-Wala, near Bahawalpur, in what is now Pakistan. They are said to have converted to Islam in the 17th century. They use the surname Rai, which also reflects a Rajasthani background.

They are found throughout southern Punjab, with concentrations in Jhang District as well as some other southern Punjab districts like Layyah, Multan, Okara and Sahiwal.

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Kahut, Kassar and Mair Minhas tribes of the Chakwal Dhani

In this post I shall look at three tribes that are found in the Dhani region of Chakwal. The Dhani is a large plain, the centre of which now stands the city of Chakwal. These three tribes, namely, the Kassar, Kahut and Mair-Minhas are intimately connected with the history of the Dhani.
The area of Dhanni for a long time in history was an uninhabited. Although the powerful tribes like Ghakkars and Janjuas ruled the adjoining territories in Potohar, the Kahoon valley and the ancient Thirchak Mahal, Dhanni remained a hunting ground for the various local rulers. As the tradition goes, in the year 1190 C.E, Raja Bhagir Dev, a Jamwal prince, while on a hunting expedition fell in love with a Muslim woman belonging to a tribe of wandering Gujjar grazers. In order to marry her, he converted to Islam and consequently was asked by his father to stay away from Jammu and settle in this tract along with his men. Raja Bhagir Dev was named Muhammed Mair after his conversion to Islam and his descendants as Mair-Minhas Rajputs. The Mairs preferred pastoral rather than agricultural pursuits for the next few centuries; but remained confined to this area. When around 1525 C.E, the Mughal King Babur stopped by in this area on his way to Kashmir, his army was ambushed by the hostile tribes from the adjoining areas. Babar decided not to confront the Mair, but instead invited Raja Sidhar and offered him two thirds of the land of Dhanni, if he provided labour to help the Kassar tribesmen to drain the water from the great lake which then covered all the eastern part of the tehsil, up to the ridge followed by the Bhon-Dhudial road. Raja Sidhar, chief of the Mair-Minhas Rajputs and Gharka Kassar, chief of the Kassars, a Mughal sub-tribe took up the job along with their respective tribesmen. They drained the lake water by cutting through Ghori- Gala, by which the Bunha stream now flows. Subsequently, they proceeded to divide up the country. The Emperor also awarded them the title of Chaudhry, and administration of the newly formed Taluka, which ever since has been called Dhan Chaurasia or Maluki Dhanâ Chaudhry. Sidhar, settled villages named after his sons Chaku, Murid and Karhan and as Chaku Khan became the chief, he decided to settle in Chakwal, the village named after him and make it the administrative centre of the Taluka. Whereas, Kassar chiefs founded the villages of Bal-Kassar and Dhudial. Latter, the Kahuts, a tribe of Qureshi Arabs also arrived, completing the picture.

Before I giver a more detailed description of the three tribes, just a note about the Dhani country or Chakwal Tehsil as it known as now, other then the three tribes referred to, it also home to several Jat clans such as the Bhutta, Gondal, Hurgan, Jethal, Lilla and Phaphra, who now make up a third of the population of the Dhani. Therefore the Dhani is no longer the exclusive patrimony of these three tribes.

Kahut

I will start off by looking at Kahut sometimes pronounced as Koot (especially in Sargodha), Kut or Kahout. Like most Punjabi tribes, there are several traditions as to their origin.

Most Kahut now claim to be Qureshi Arabs, whose ancestors settled in the Dhani after the arrival of the Mair. It is believed that when the ancestors of the Kahut first arrived in this area they had to fight with the locals to find a place to settle. This war is said to have taken place at the location of the village of Janga in Chakwal District, which is derived from ‘Jang Gah’, meaning place of war. About the year A.D.1359 their ancestor Said Nawab Ali, nicknamed Kahut, migrated to Delhi, and on the way defeated a pagan king of Sialkot, named Sain Pal. On reaching Delhi they paid their respect to the Delhi Sultan who ordered them to hold the Dhanni and the Salt Range on his behalf. They accordingly retraced their steps and settled at the foot of the Salt Range. Once settled, they began to tax the Janjua and the Gujar graziers and remitting it to Delhi. Their first settlement in the Dhani was at a site near village Waryamal. The eastern part of Dhanni was then a lake, which on coming of Mughal Emperor Babur was drained at his command; the Kahuts taking part in the work and colonising the land. Chaudhry Sahnsar, 8th in descent from Kahut was their ancestor at the time of the drainage of the lake. During the Mughal period (around 15th Century), the Kahut rose to prominence until there power was destroyed by the Sikhs in 18th Century. The southern part of Chakwal tehsil where Kahuts predominate is still known as the Kahutani, a reflexion of their past dominance. Sometime during the Sikh period, groups of Kahut immigrated to Sargodha and Mandi Bahauddin. In the local Shahpuri dialect of Saegodha, they are referred to as Koot, and like most other tribes of the area, they consider themselves and are also considered by all other people as Jats and have intermarried with all the tribes of the area.

However, according to the 19th Century British ethnographer Sir Denzil Ibbetson, the Kahuts are probably of Rajput origin and have come from Jammu hills to Chakwal area. The only evidence of such a migration is are the “Kahuta” hills of the Rawalpindi district are supposed to have derived their name from the tribe, but no record of remains of them in that tract. Other then reference to the Kahuta hills, there seems little connection with Jammu. The Mair, who are their neighbours, have maintained a strong tradition of Jammu migration, so if the Kahut were of Jammu origin, they have at least some tradition.

The most important Kahut family is settled in the village of Kariala in Chakwal. Other Kahut villages include Bhalla, Bhawan, Bhuchal Kalan, Chakora, Dhok Tallian, Dullah, Hasola, Langah, Domali, Musa Kahoot, Kahut, Kassowal, Nikka Kahut, Tatral, Thirpal, Thoha Bahader, Janga, Sadwal, Waryamal and Warwal

In Mandi Bahauddin District, they are found in villages in Union Council Ahla Haryah, and Bhikhi. While in Sargodha, their villages include Pindi Kootan near Bhera, and Kahut in the Sahiwal Tehsil

There is also cluster of Kahut villages in Union Council Khaur of Attock district

Kassar

The next Dhani tribe I will look are the Kassar,which holds lands in the northern part of Dhani, called ‘Babial and Chaupeda’, with the Kahut and Mair located to the east.

According to some tribal traditions, the Kassar came originally from Jammu along with the Mair-Minhas tribe and had been settled in the Dhani during the rule of the Mughal Emperor, Zaheerudin Babur. According to this tradition, their ancestor came from Kashgar and settled in Khalana (near Muzafarabad); they then migrated to Poonch, and eventually accompanied to the Mair when they arrived in the Dhanni country.
However, like most Punjab tribes the above is not their only origin myth, with several other linking them directly to the Mughal dunasty. One such tradition traces their lineage to the Mughal Emperor Babur, with ancestor Kassar (who was said to be a Barlas Mughal) as a distant cousin of Babur. In this origin myth, the Kassar are said to have come with Babur’s army as his fellow tribesmen and were settled in Dhani along with the Mairs and Kahuts by the Emperor himself. According to the 1931 census of India, their male population was approximately 4000. The customs of the Kassar are very similar to the Mair and Kahut, with whom the tribe intermarries. Unlike other Mughals, but like neighbouring Jars such as the Gondal, they use the title Chaudhary. Most Kassar are Sunni, with a Shia minority.

Apart from Chakwal, they are also settled in Attock, Sargodha, Mandi Bahauddin, Gujrat, Khushab, Jhelum, and Rawalpindi districts.

Important Kassar villages in Chakwal include Fim Kassar, Farid Kassar, Balkassar, Balokassar, Sarkal Kassar, Bhagwal, Karsal, Saral, Miswall, Doray, Chauli, Mangwal, Dingi, Munwall, Bikhari Kalan, Kuthiala Sheikhan Bikhari Khurd, Pind Haraj, Dhok Peeli, Dhudial, Tattral, Latifal, Dhalal, Hastal, Maari, Thoha Bahadur, and Lakhwal.

Further south in Sargodha District, there are several Kassar villages in Kot Momin Union Council such as Chak 10sb, 20sb, 9sb, 67sb, 65sb and 66sb. These Kassar originate in the Dhani and moved to Kot Momin in the 19th Century, where the British built canals to improve agriculture and settled Kassar from Chakwal.

Outside these two clusters, important Kassar villages include Kasra in Attock District and Turkwal is situated in Gujar Khan Tehsil of Rawalpindi.

Clans

Important Kassar clans include the Balkassar, Bhagwal, Chawli, Dullah, Haraj, Karsal, Mangwal, Mehrou

Mair-Minhas of Chakwal

Looking now at the Mair Minhas, the tribe takes its name from Raja Mair, a Jamwal Rajput ruler of Jammu. According to tribal legends, Raja Mair (whose name before his conversion was Raja Bhagir Dev) was son of the Raja of Jammu and had come to the Dhanni area (present day Chakwal) for hunting. He fell in love with a local Muslim Gujjar woman, converted to Islam and married her.
The city of Chakwal is named after their Mair chief, Chaku Khan whose father, Raja Sidhar ruled the area at the time of Mughal ruler Babar]s invasion of India. The Mughal emperor Zaheerudin Babur conferred upon Raja Sidhar, the title of chaudhry and made him the taluqdar (area administrator) over eighty four villages of the Dhani country. The Mair-Minhas tribe rose to further prominence during the short rule of Sher Shah Suri who handed them the control over the adjoining territories, as far as Swan River in Potohar and Kahoon in the South.
However, after the Mughal King [[Humayun]] returned to India with the help of the Persians, he handed over the entire Potohar including Dhani to the Gakhar, who had helped him escape from India during Sher Shah’s revolt.
The Mair-Minhas tribe again rose to power after collapse of Mughal authority as a result of the death of Aurangzeb. They had supported his son Moazzam in his quest for power and in return he re-appointed their chief Gadabeg Khan as the Taluqdar and chaudhry of the ‘Dhan Chaurasi’. Their rule over Dhani continued during the Sikh era as one of their chiefs Chaudhry Ghulam Mehdi had invited Sirdar Maha Singh to this side of river Jhellum. Also, their Dogra cousins Raja Gulab Singh and Dhian Singh were very powerful in the Lahore Durbar, so the influence of Chakwal Chaudhrials during the Sikh era was considerable and they were considered one of the biggest Muslim land holders of the era.
In the Second Anglo-Sikh War at Chaillianwala in 1849, the Chakwal Chaudhrials were among the very few Muslim feudal families who supported the Sikhs. Consequently, after the defeat of the Sikhs all Jagirs and titles of the ‘Chakwal Chaudhrials’ were confiscated. Due to their general good conduct in the mutiny of 1857, some of their rights were restored and small Jagirs were granted to their chiefs in Chakwal. Chief of the tribe Jehan Khan and later his son Aurangzeb Khan were conferred an ‘inam’ of Rs.312/- per annum and the title of “Raja Sahib” as a mark of hereditary distinction. The Chaudhrials of Kot Chaudhrian were able to get more concessions with the aid of Maharaja Gulab Singh and almost half of their original lands were regained.

According to the census of 1931, their male population was 7800. The ‘Chaudhrials’ or the Talukdars reside in the following villages: Kot Sarfraz Khan, Kot Choudrai|, Behkri, Dhudial, Badsahan, Bhoun, Mohra Kudlathi, Murid, Punjain Shariff, Sarkal-Mair, Udhwal, Oudherwal, Dhaab Kalaan Mohra Sheikhan, Mohra Korechisham, Kotha Abdal, Chatal, Sutwal, Karhan, Chak Malook, Chak Norang and Bhagwal.

Hanjra, Lodike, Natt and Wahla tribes

In this post, I will look at four tribes, namely the Hanjra, Lodhike, Natt and Wahla, that are found mainly in the Gujranwala Bar. The Bar is the region between the Ravi and Chenab, forming the modern districts of Gujranwala, Hafizabad and Sheikhupura districts. Among the tribes, the Hanjra have spread as far south as Muzaffargarh, but the others are fairly localized. I would ask you to look at my post on the Tarar and Gondal, who customs and traditions are very similar to the tribes I am looking at in this post.  With regards to the Natt, they are essentially found along the banks of the Ravi, and these tribes are often referred to as hitharis.

 

Hanjra

The Hanjra, sometimes Hanjrah and occasional Hinjra are large tribe of Jat status. Like the Jakhars, the Hanjra are most widespread then the other tribes referred to in this post. According to tribal traditions, the Hanjra are of Tomar Rajput descent.

There ancestor was a Raja Jagnath, who was the younger son of Raja Giyal, the conqueror of Makhiala. Raja Giyal was the son of Raja Mal, the ruler of Malot in Chakwal, who was descended from Raja Dalip of Delhi. The Hanjra were originally settled in Muzaffargarh, where a great many are still found. However, the bulk are settled in Gujranwala, near the town of Ghakkar Mandi. They were pastoralist till the early 19th Century, and when the Sikh rulers began to settle the tribes of the Gujranwala Bar. In Gujrsanwala, the Hanjra have a tradition that their ancestor Hinjraon came from the neighbourhood of Hissar, in what is now Haryana, to Hafizabad and founded a city called Uskhab, the ruins of which still exist. Their immediate ancestors were Mal and Dhol. Interestingly, the Hinjroan were a clan of a Muslim ethnic community called the Pacchada, who were found mainly in the semi-arid country that now forms parts of Sirsa, Hissar and Ganganagar districts of Haryana and Rajasthan. The Pacchada, a corruption of the Punjabi word paschim da, or literally someone from the west, are a collection of Muslim Rajput tribes, the other clans being the Bhagsanke and Sukhera, who at one point were the effective rulers of the Sirsa country. This would suggest that the original home of the Hanjra was the Sirsa country, from where groups moved west and north settling in the Gujranwala Bar. Another point to note the Hinjroan are entirely Muslim, while some Hanjra groups are Sikh, while others are Muslim.

The Hanjra now own 37 villages in Gujranwala Division (mainly in Hafizabad District) which is their home, but have spread both east and west, with a significant collection of Hanjra villages in Bhakkar, Layyah and Muzaffargarh districts. In Bhakkar District, Wadhaywala near Maibail Sharif is an important village.

Lodike

Lodike, sometimes pronounced as Lodhike are a Jat clan, who are found mainly in Gujranwala District. They are a branch of the large Kharal tribe, who have separated from the parent stock. The Kharal are of Panwar Rajput stock, and were the archetypal maharavi tribe. Coming back to the Lodike, according to their traditions they are said to have come from the Ravi, and initially led a pastoral life and nomadic life in the Sangla Hill country. Reverses at the hands of the Virk Jats forced them to settle down in the 18th century. The tribe settled initially in villages belonging to the Hanjra and Jag Jats. The tribe gets its name from the Lodi, or sometimes spelt Lodhi, its ancestor. Among Kharal clans, the suffix ke has the same function as aal among the Pothohar tribes, and aana among the Thal.

The Lodike are now found in thirty six villages in the Gujranwala Bar.

Natt

The Natt are a tribe of Jat status, found mainly along the bet (banks) of the Ravi, which now forms the international boundary between India and Pakistan. Before I delve deeper into the origins of the Natt, I wish to make clear that they have no connection with the Nat, a gypsy tribe found through out North India. Coming back to the Natt, the Natt claim descent from Natt, son of Jogah, Suryavanshi Rajput, who came from Ayudhia. According to other traditions, they came from Ghazni in Afghanistan. Claims to an origin from Afghanistan is fairly widespread among several Jat tribes, but unfortunately theu have never been investigated properly. Therefore, as things stands, this simply remains that, a claim. In other tribal traditions, the Natt claim common descent with the Wahla and Kang tribes of Jatt, Kang and Wahla being brothers of Natt.

The Natt are found mainly in Narowal and Gujranwala districts. They form the dominant tribe in the Wahando region of Gujranwala, which borders India, specifically, in the villages of Chak Alisher, Nat Kalan, Natt Batala and Kartarpur

A second cluster of Natt villages are found in and around Trikha, in Gujrat District. Families of Trikha Natts are now found in Kot Mojdin Chak No 46 and Chak 4 Nobahar in Mandi Bahauhdin District.

The tribe has gained infamy in Pakistani folklore, as the result of the film Maula Jatt. In the film, which is a sort of Pakistani western, the villain is a character by the name of Nouri Natt. He is loosely based on an actual individual, who was involved in cross border smuggling. As many Natt villages are situated in valley of the Ravi river, along the border with India, many have become involved in smuggling.

Wahla

The Wahla are a Jat clan found mainly in Sialkot and Narowal districts. A smaller number are also found in the canal colonies of Faisalabad and Sahiwal. Like the Kang and Natt clans of the Jats, the Wahla claim descent from Jograh, a Suryavanshi Rajput, who came from Ayudhia. According to other traditions, they came from Ghazni in Afghanistan.

Bohar, Chachar, Chhajra and Parhar tribes

In this post I will look at four tribes, namely the Bohar, Chachar, Chhajra and Parhar, whose territory stretches from Sargodha in the north to Bahawalpur. In terms of distribution, all four of these tribes have a substantial presence in Sindh as well, but in this blog I will only look at their position in Punjab. Three of these tribes, namely the Bohar, Chhajra and Parhar have traditions of migrating from Rajasthan, and settling in Bahawalpur. The Bohar still have a substantial presence in the Cholistan region, where they are still nomadic.

Bohar

The Bohar are a tribe of Jat status, with quite a few still found as nimads in the Cholistan desert. According to their tribal traditions, the Bohar claim descent from Bohar a Panwar Rajput, who is said to have converted to Islam by the famous Sufi saint Syed Jalal of Uch Sharif. The Bohar were involved in conflict with the Naich, another Jat tribe, and the Sayyid tried to stop the conflict, by asking the two tribes to intermarry. While the Bohar agreed, the Naich refused, and killed their Bohar son-in-laws. As such, the Bohar dispersed into the Cholistan and Jaisalmer deserts, where many are still nomadic. However, the Bohar of Sargodha, Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan are settled farmers, no different from the other Jat tribes of the region.

 

Bohar Villages

In Hasilpur, they are found in Bohar Wali Gali.

In Lodhran District found in the village of Basti Gareban near the town of Kehror Paka

In Dera Ghazi Khan District, Bohar villages include Basti Shah Ali Bohar, Wah Bohar and Bohar.

In Rajanpur District, their main village is Basti Bohar.

In Okara District, Boharwala is their main village.

In Pakpattan District, Bohar is their main village.

In Multan District their main villages are Bohar Lodhran and Bohar.

In Vehari District, their main village is Bohar.

In Rajanpur,their main village is Basti Bohar

Chachar

Chachar are Jat clan found in Sindh, Punjab, and Balochistan. Like most tribes of the Indus plain, they are a number of traditions as to their origin, which are often contradictory. Among the Bahawalpur Chachar, a strong claim is made to Barlas Mughal ancestry. In this tradition, Chachar is a prince, who is a descendent of Timur or Tamerlane. However, the Chachar of Ghotki have traditions that they are Abbasi Arabs, descendents of the Prophet’s uncle Abbas ibn Abdul Mutalib. It interesting to note, that in the Ghotki Sukkur region of Sindh, several tribes such as the Kalhoras and Daudpotas have tradition of Abbasi descent. Despite these claims to Arab or Mughal ancestry, the Chachar are considered by their neighbours and themselves as Jats, and intermarry with tribes of Jat status. In Bahawalpur, the Chachars have several septs : — Raj-de, the highest in status ; Rahmani, whose ancestors were khalifas of Ghaus Baha-ud-Din Zakariya : hence they are also called Shaikh-Rahmani, and some sanctity still attaches to the sept ; Narang, Jugana, Jhunjha, Chhutta, Gureja, Rukana, Kalra, Mudda, Duwani, Dohija, Gabrani, Muria, Kharyani and Zakriani or followers of Ghaus Baha-ud-Din Zakariya.

In Punjab they are found in Sargodha, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Okara and Lodhran districts, with Basirpur in Okara District being an important village of this tribe. In Sindh, the Chachars are foundi n Pano Aqil, Ghotki, Sukkur and Kashmore districts. Gamero, Haji Khan Chachar, Essa chachar, Dari and Yusuf Chachar are some Chachar villages in Ghotki District.

 

Chhajra

The Chhajra are a Saraiki speaking Jat clan, and distinct from the Shajra clan, who I have looked at in another post. They claim descent from the Bhatti tribe of Jaisalmer. They came to Multan under Rao Kehar, a chieftain of Jaisalmer, and settled there. There are several individuals by the name of Kehar, who played an important role in Bhatti history. One such Kehar was a contemporary of the Caliph Walid, who is said to have extended the Bhati kingdom of Jaisalmer. Another, who is said to have ruled Jaisalmer in the 16th Century, and conquered all the country up the Indus. It is not clear, which Kehar is being referred to by the Chhajras, but their Bhati descent is accepted by the neighbouring tribes. However, the Chhajras seem unsure as to why Rao Kehar left Jaisalmer, other then the fact he somehow lost power.

In terms of distribution, the Chhajra are largely found in they are found mainly along the Indus, in Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Layyah and Multan districts. Important villages in that district include Bindah Ishaq Kallarwali, Manikwali, Sharif Chhajra, Bet Chhajra, Nuran Chhajra, Muslim Chhajra, qabul Chhajra Shumali, Qabul Chhajra Junubi, Bibipur Chhajra and Qadirpur Chhajra

In Layyah District, their main village is Chhajra.

In Multan District, their main village is Jhok Chhajra.

 

Parhar

The Parhar are a tribe of Jat status, with a very interesting background. They claim descent from the Parihar Rajputs. So exactly were these Parihar or Pratiharas Rajputs. They were a medieval Indian dynasty, descended from the Gurajara- Pratihara tribe, which said to have invaded India, in the 5th Century.The Parhar Jats, are all that remains of the Pratihara presence in the Punjab. They were forced to migrate from south-central Asia in 3-4th century AD due to the White Hun invasions. The Parhar Jat traditions are unclear as to whether the Parhar are survivors of the White Hun invaders, and latter migrants. In Bahawalpur, the Parhar have traditions of migration from Ajmer, and it does seem likely the present Parhar are latter migrants from Rajasthan. It is interesting to note that the nomadic Rath found in Bikaner have a sub-division called the Parhar. The Parhar seem to have migrated up the valleys of the Chenab and Jhelum, a large number are now found in Sargodha, Layyah and Bhakkar districts.

 

The Parhar are now found in Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Jhang, Rajanpur and Sargodha districts of Punjab. Their main village in Dera Ghazi Khan District is Passo Parhar. In Muzaffargarh District, their main villages are Mohammed Parhar, Ghulam Parhar, Parhar Gharbi, and Parhar Sharqi. In Rajanpur Parhar villages include Mullawala, Nooraywala, and Chah Ladywala.

 

In Okara District, their main village is Parhar. In Sargodha District, their main villages are Adrehman, Chak No.17 NB,Chak No 1NB Gakhra, Ganula Sharif and Ratto Kala..

Mallana, Samtia / Samitiah, Sandhila and Sehar tribes

In this post, I shall look at four tribes that are found largely in the uplands of the Chenab and Indus rivers, now forming part of Bhakkar, Layyah and Muzaffargarh districts. This region goes by the name of the Sindh Sagar Doab (the land between the Indus and Chenab rivers), and is frontier region in terms of both politics and culture. The Jats were probably the earliest settlers, but many Jat tribes have vague traditions of migration from Jaisalmeer or Bikaner in Rajasthan.

Mallana

I shall start off by looking at the Mallana, who are a tribe of Jat status. According to their traditions, the Mallana claim descent from Mallana, said to be a Barlas Mughal trooper in the army of the Emperor Akbar. Mallana is said to have settled in Gujrat. His descendants contracted marriage with the Jats tribes, settled in the region. The name Mallana follows the pattern where the suffix aana signifies a descendent, for exam the descendents of teu are the Tiwana and so forth.

 

Although the Mallana claim to be Mughals, they are seen by others and themselves as Jats. Over the centuries, they have spread as far west as Dera Ismail Khan District, in Khyber Pakhtukhwa. Prior to the partition of India, they were also found in Jalandhar District, their main villages being Burj Sherpur, Jodhuwal, Mithewal and Malikwal, all of whom migrated to Pakistan at the time of partition. Those settled in southern Punjab speak the Seraiki language, while those in the north speak Punjabi.

Distribution and Villages

They are found mainly in Layyah, Bhakkar, Dera Ghazi Khan, and Gujrat districts of Punjab.

Their main village in Dera Ghazi Khan District are Bet Mallana, Hadir Mallana and Basti Mallana and Malana.

In Gujrat District, the village of Mallana, and neighbouring hamlets are held by the Mallana.

In Muzaffargarh District, the villages of Lang Mallana and Paunta Mallana, Bet Malana and Chhina Mallana.

In Multan District, the village of Binda Mallana.

In Khanewal District, the village of Kot Mallana.

In Bhakkar District, Chah Dhirkanwala near Cheena and Mallana Daggar are important villages.

In Layyah District, Chak 436 TDA

In Khushab District in Rahdari and Pillow Waince

In Dera Ismail Khan District, Haji Mora and Mallana (Kacha,Pakka) are important villages.

Samtiah

The Samtia, sometimes pronounced Samtiah or even Samitah, claim Rajput extraction and tell the following story of their origin; Ram Chandar and Gonda, two brothers adopted Islam under Sultan Allaudin Khilji of Delhi. They then assumed the names of Muharam and Variam respectively.T he former was appointed Kardar or governor of Sindh and with his brother came to that country, where he married the daughter of the old governor. But the population rose against the new governor, and the two brothers fled with their kinsmen. The settled in the Sindh Sagar Doab, near the city of Layyah. They overcame the Gashkori Baloch and Bahalim Shaikhs, who occupied the country. They were in turn dispossed by Seharr Jats, who drove them from the western parts of Layyah and Bhakkar districts. The Samtia and Seharr are still biter rivals. Other traditions connect them to the Bakhar caste of Jats, and according to some traditions Ram Chander and Gonda were Bhakkar by caste.

In terms of distribution, the Samtia are found mainly in Layyah, Muzaffargarh and Dera Ghazi Khan districts.

In Layyah District, there villages include Ada Qaziabad, Bangla Nasir Khan, Basti Shahdu Khan, Basti Rajanpur, Basti Eliani Bhaggal, Bhatti Nagar, Chak 138 TDA, Chak No.119/T.D.A, Chak 220 TDA ,Chak 270 TDA, Chak 143 TDA, Chak 152 TDA, Dhhal, Dorrata, Heera, Hafizabad, Ghulam Hyder Kalluwala, Jamanshah, Kasaiwala, Kazmi Chouk, Kaneywali Puli, Latifabad, Kotla Haji Shah, Kharral Azeem, Kot Sultan, Noshera, Shahpur, Rajanpur Darbar, Paharpur and Warraich, and the city of Chouk Azam.

Sandhila

The Sandhila, like the other clans discussed, are a Seraiki speaking tribe of Jat status. According to tribal traditions, they claim descent from a Rai Sandhila, a

Hindu Jat who came from the neighbourhood of Delhi, during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, and settled in Multan. Here he is said to have converted to Islam, and along with his kinsmen, established control in the Chenab valley, west of the city of Multan. With rise of the Multan Nawabs, and their Pathan allies of Khangarh in Muzzafargarh, the Sandhila lost their independence.

The Sandhila in are found all along the Indus, from Mianwali in the north to Rajanpur in the south, and between Layyah and Panchnad in the Chenab valley.In Sindh, they are found mainly in Sukkur and Ghotki districts.

Villages

In Muzaffargarh District, the villages of Sandhila, Basti Sandhila, Bhammu Sandhila, Bullu Sandhila, Kuhal Sandhila, Massa Sandhila and Pakka Sandhila are centre of the tribe.

In Dera Ghazi Khan District, the villages of Sultan Sandhila, Gadi Sandhila and Gaman Sandhila are important centres of the tribe.

In Rajanpur District, the villages of Chak Sandhila and Babulwali.

In Multan District, the villages of Binda Sandhila and Tajpur Sandhila.

In Shujabad Tehsil of Multan, the villages of Sandhila, Warcha Sandhila and Mohana Sandhila.

In Sheikhupura District, the village of Mahmunwali is centre of the tribe.

In Bhakkar District, the village of Dhengana is center of the tribe. Near Dhingana, important Sandhila villages include Cheenawala and Goharwala.

In Layyah District, the tribe is scarted in Tehsil Chaubara and Karor Lal Esan

Sehar

The next tribe that I will look at are the Seher, or sometimes pronounced as Seer, who are of Jat status. They are found mainly in southern Punjab, and in particular in Layyah District, and said to have founded the town of Kahror Lal Essan. The Sehar are said to have originating in Las Bela, and were invited to settle near Kahror Lal Isa by the Sufi Makhdum Lal Isa, who also appears in the origin myth of the Lohanch tribe, discussed in another post.

 

An interesting legend is associated with the Sehar. According to this, the Sehar were settled on the banks of the Indus near where Dera Ghazi Khan now stands. A group of Sehar women were making pilgrimage to the shrine of Lal Isa. On their way home, the Samtia chief Miru forced them to unveil themselves. This led to a fierce feud between these two tribes, which in effect saw the movement of the Seher into the Thal Desert. Eventually, a faqir of the Qureshi caste divided the village of Muranwala, and settled there himself. The area is still held by the Qureshi families. What this legend suggest is a gradual migration of Jat tribes from Sindh into southern Punjab that occurred in the later middle ages.

In terms of distribution the Sehar are found mainly in Layyah District.

Bhangu, Jotah / Joota, Naul, Nonari and Sahu tribes

In this post, I shall be looking at tribes found not only in the Kirana Bar, but also in the Sandal and Neeli Bars. For example, the bulk of the Nonari and Sahu are settled in the Neeli Bar, but groups have left the parent tribe to settle in others parts, for example Jotah groups are found in Layyah District, while the Nonari country extends from the Indus to Sultlej. Almost all the tribes of have traditions of migration from Rajasthan, with an ancestor fleeing to the Bar, converted to Islam at the hands of a Sufi saint, and contracting marriages with locals, and thus becoming Jats. Interestingly, almost none of these tribes have tradition of aboriginal descent, with the possible exception of the Bhangu and Jotah. Both the Bhangu and Jotah also have traditions that they have always been Jat. Among the three tribes being looked, most now live in Chiniot, Jhang, Sahiwal, Okara and Faisalabad districts, there are some traditions of Brahman descent, which if true shows the fluid nature of the society in the Bar. In this post, I shall look at the Bhangu, Jotah, Naul, Nonari and Sahu. Time permitting, in the future I want to look at the numerically important Kharal tribe. Among the three, the first is fairly widespread with a presence in North Punjab, but the Naul and Nonari are classic Bar nomads. Below is a list of tribes classified in Jhang District (present day Jhang and Chiniot districts):

Below is a list of tribes classified in Jhang District (present day Jhang and Chiniot districts):

Tribe

 Jhang Tehsil  Chiniot Tehsil  Shorkot Tehsil

Total

Awrah

164

51

599

814

Chadhar

1,942

1,112

360

3,414

Dhudhi

74

65

461

600

Gilotar

14

1,475

1,497

Ganda

421

216

637

Gill

529

29

558

Gondal

229

565

106

900

Gujjar

694

386

185

1,265

Harral

2,285

2,590

133

4,988

Hidan

116

749

49

914

 Hanjra

908

139

129

1,176

 Heer

580

2

2

584

Joiya

404

998

319

1,721

Juta

365

151

28

544

Kalasan

183

188

162

533

Kaloke

23

520

95

638

Kanwan

34

644

678

Kharal

871

716

205

1,792

Khichi

178

176

227

581

Khokhar

3,185

1,605

3,876

8,666

Kudhan

724

122

199

1,045

Lak

760

378

181

1,310

Lali

87

1,501

1,640

Lana

650

361

1,011

Mahra

381

216

597

Mahun

877

588

6

1,471

Marral

313

464

49

826

Maru

954

2

956

Naul

338

269

1,529

2,136

Nonari

566

289

128

983

Noon

434

383

216

1,089

 Rajoke

1,072

73

117

1,262

Sahmal

746

156

92

994

Sattar

781

2

18

801

Sial

437

55

103

595

Sipra

1,333

969

790

3,092

Thabal

15

969

35

1019

I would also ask you to look at the list in Jhang district, which is referred to in the post on the Chadhars. Some of these tribes that are listed separately are actually clans of the Chadhar, such as the Thabal, Kaloke and Rajoke.

Bhangu

Bhangu, also pronounced Bhangoo, and even Bhango is a Jat gotra or clan mainly found in the Punjab state of North India, Sindh and Punjab province of Pakistan. In this post I shall only be looking at the Muslim branch, in particular those found in the Shorkot region of Jhang District. The Bhangu have a tradition that they have always been Jat, and those in Jhang claim to be the earliest settlers, predating the Chadhars, Gilotars, Sials, Nissowanas, who acknowledge that Bhangu were there before them. It is quite possible, the Jhang was the first settlement in the Punjab.

Reference is made by early Arab historians, to a tribe called Bhangoo, who were the lords of “Budhiya” around present day Sehwan, Sindh, Pakistan. According to tribal traditions, Kaka was the son of Kotal, and the grandson of Bhandargu Bhangoo, who may or may not be the Bhangoo refered by Arab historians. Historians like Andre Wink have referred to the migration of Jat tribes from Sindh to Punjab, leading to settlement as farmers, and often conversion to Islam. Certainly, the Bhangu are said to be the rulers of Jhang, before their displacement by the Chadhars, who in turm were overthrown by the Sial. Like their neighbours, the Shorkot Bhangu were pastoral nomads, who lost their lands as Shorkot was opened to the settlement in the 19th Century. Unlike the Bar Bhangus, groups migrated further east, and settled in the Majha and Malwa regions, as well as Gunjranwala. These were essentially farmers, although Gujranwala Bhangu had longer traditions of pastoralism. Some of these adopted the Sikh faith, while others became Muslim.

Outside Shorkot, Bhangu, both Sikh and Muslim were found throughout central Punjab from Lyalpur (now Faisalabad) to Ludhiana. At the time of Partition, Sikh Bhangus of Sialkot and Gujranwala moved to India, while Muslims from Amritsar and Jallandhar moved to Pakistan. In Shorkot, the Bhangu villages include Basti Mujahidabad, Bhangu Sharqi, Chah Jandan Wala, Chah Tahli Wala Bhangoo, Chah Lal Wala, Chah Budh Wala, Kot Mapal Bhangoo, Kothi Sultan Mehmood Bhangu, Kikranwala, Mauza Bhangoo and Chak 7 Gagh.

 

 Jotah / Joota

The next clan that I will are the Jotah, which sometimes spelt as Joota. Like the Bhangu, the Jotah have no tradition of migration, which thus point to a possible aboriginal descent. They are a clan of pastoral Jats, who have always resided in the Chenab Jhelum Doab, who make no claim to Rajput ancestry. According to tribal traditions, the word juta is derived from the Seraiki word jutna which means to plough a field.

The Jotah are found mainly in the Shorkot Tehsil of Jhang District, and their main villages are Allahyar Juta, Chak 7 Gagh, Chak 233 JB, Kotla Zarif Khan, Mauza Mahla and Yarewala, north of the city of Shorkot. West of Jhang, the Joota villages in Layyah District include Chak No 152TDA and Haider Kalluwala. In Khanewal District, they are found in the villages of Jato Kassi, Karampur Juta, Kot Kathia Juta, Khan Bahadurgarh, Chak Hyderabab, Kukkar Hatta, Salarwahin, Inyatpur, Mulapur and Faridpur. While in Khushab in the heart of the Thal Desert, there are several Juta families in the large village of Noorpur Thal. In Sahiwal District their villages include Chak No. 18/14 L Iqbalnagar, Chak NO.14/14L, Chak No.20/14L, Chak No.31/12L, Chak No.28/14L, Chak No.103/12L, Chak No.101/12L and Chak 58G.D Bahadar Shah.

Naul

The Naul are a tribe of Jat status, Like the Langrials, discussed earlier, there are traditions that Naul are of Brahman decent. Naul, there ancestor was a Brahman of Bikaner, who migrated to the Neeli Bar, adopted Islam, and married into a Jat family. Other traditions however refer to Naul being a Rajput, the elder son of Raja Dhaan, the Rajput ruler of Bikaner in Rajasthan. He is said to have accepted at the hands of Baba Farid, the Sufi saint now buried at Pakpattan, a city located in the Neeli Bar. After their conversion to Islam, the Naul occupied lowlands of the Chenab round Jhang before the Sials. With the arrival of the Sials, said to be around the 15th Century, the Naul were pushed deeper in the Bar. For a short period after the arrival of the Sial, the Sials were subject to the Nauls and paid tribute. However, with the support of the Lodhi Sultans of Delhi, they ended Naul rule. As pastoral nomads, the Naul migrated through a wide portion of the Sandal Bar and Vichanh areas in the Chaj Doab. With rise of Sikh power, the Naul independence finally came to an end, and with the rise of the British, most of the Naul area was subject to large scale colonization,

 

There are still more then three hundred settlements ain the low areas of Rivers Satluj in Kasur and along the Chenab in District Jhang. Most of the tribe are settled in districts of Kasur, Sahiwal, Okara, Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib. Important Naul settlements include Haveli Lakha in Okara, and Chak 227 JB, Chak 230 JB, and Chak 232 JB in Jhang District.

Nonari

I shall next look at the Nonari, sometimes also spelt Nunari, are a tribe of Jat status found mainly in the Neeli Bar region. Although found mainly in what is now Sahiwal, Okara and Khanewal districts, Nonari settlements also exist in the Kirana Bar in what is now Sargodha District. According to their own tribal traditions, they are descendent of a Rajah Karan, ruler of Anhilvara Pattan in what is now Gujerat in India, who was defeated by the Khilji Ala-ud-Din in 1297 and again in 1307. This Rajah Karan and his kinsmen are said to have fled to the Neeli Bar, where they accepted Islam at the hands of the Sufi saint, Mukhdum-i-Jehaniyan. This would make the Nonari a branch of the Solanki or Chalukya tribe of Rajputs.

 

Over the centuries Nonari power declined as the Kharal and Joiyas reduced their area of influence. As the Nonari contracted marriages with other tribes of Jat status, they became absorbed into the Jat community. So this is what the Nonari say of their origin. However the Nonari does sound a lot like Nona or salt, and there is caste of workers that produce salt called the Nungar. There may be some connection, but the Nonari are seen as by most of their neighbours as of Jat status, and were recognized as such by the British colonial authorities. Like the Naul, the coming of the British meant they could not practice nomadic pastoralism, and were forced to settle.

In terms of distribution, they are found in Jhang, Layyah, Muzaffargarh, Sahiwal, Multan, Lodhran and Khanewal. Starting with Jhang, they are found in Chak 7 Gagh and Chak 230 JB.

Sahu

The Sahu are a tribe of Jat status, found mainly near the towns of Tulamba and Kabirwala. They are a branch of the Chauhan tribe. They originate from the Marwar region of Rajasthan, where a good many Sahu are still found. In Marwar, the Sahu were ruler of a small republic, who capital was the village of Dhansia, situated at a distance of 65 km in northwest of Churu. The various Jat republics were eventually conquered by the Rathore Rajputs. When the Rathore were expanding their control, groups of Sahu left Rajasthan, and settled near Tulamba. Their presence in Tulamba is attested by the Ain-Akbari, which made reference to the Sahu occupying Tulamba, near Multan in the 15th Century. They are considered one of the oldest established tribe in the Multan region. Like other migrants from Rajasthan, once the Sahu entered the Bar region, they converted to Islam. The Sahu have produced the famous Sufi Khawja Sufi Allahdad Sahu, whose shrine is in the town of Sheikh Fazil in Vehari District.

In terms of distribution, they are found mainly in Khanewal and Vehari districts. In Khanewal District, important Sahu villages include Mouza Hussainpur Aari Wala, near the town of Tulamba, Maari Sahu, Rehana Sahu and Qaim Sahu. While in Jhang District, they are found in Chak 228 JB. The village of Mouza Sahu near Makhdoom Rasheed, in Multan District, according to Sahu traditions is their oldest settlement in Punjab.

Baghela, Dhudhi, Phullarwan and Rath tribes

In my earlier post, I made reference to the Bar, and the fact it is divided into four regions: the Sandal Bar (the area between the Ravi and Chenab rivers), Kirana Bar (the area between the Chenab and Jhelum rivers), Neeli Bar (the area between the Ravi and Sutlej rivers) and Ganji Bar (the area between the Sutlej and dry river bed of the Hakra).

In this post I will look at four tribes, the Baghela, Dhudhi, Phullarwan and Rath, that all are found mainly in the Neeli Bar, although the Dhudhi have expanded as far north as Chakwal and Phullarwan to Sialkot. The Rath and Dhudhi claim a common Panwar Rajput ancestry, while the Baghela are closely associated with the much larger Kathia tribe. With regards to the Phullarwan, there are several traditions as to their origin which I will explore in this post. Below is a list of tribes classified in Montgommery District (present day Sahiwal, Okara, and Vehari districts) as Jat by the 1911 Census of India:

Tribe Population
Arar 1,800
Bhadro 638
Bhatti 1,976
Chadhar 2,283
Chauhan 517
Dhakku 673
Dhudhi 582
Hans 964
Jakhar 676
Jhandir 679
Joiya 979
Kalsan 576
Kharal 735
Khichi 1,307
Khokhar 4,137
Mahaar 1,255
Malil 1,633
Nonari 2,448
Sahu 1,178
Sapral 600
Sial 3,709

Below is a list of tribes that were classified as Rajputs in 1911 Census:

Tribe Population
Baghela 923
Bhatti 7,380
Chauhan 627
Dhanwal 559
Dhudhi 778
Dogar 1,300
Jandran 551
Joiya 5,119
Kathia 2,900
Khichi 1,315
Khokhar 1,291
Phullarwan 935
Rath 706
Sial 3,286
Wattu 15,647

In my earlier post, I have already looked at the Kathia, who are perhaps the most important of the Neeli Bar tribes. What is surprising however is the absence of the Langrial, who are extremely important tribe in the Mailsi region. Please note that area covered by the old Sahiwal District now forms part of Okara, Sahiwal, Pakpattan, Vehari, and Khanewal districts.

Baghela

The first tribe I will look at are the Baghela, who are closely connected with the Kathia tribe. Like the Kathia, the Baghela have traditions of migration from Kathiawar in Gujarat.T he name of this clan is derived from the Sanskrit word vyaghra, meaning a tiger. They are descended from Bagh Rao or Vyaghra Deva, son of Rai Jai Singh, the Chalukya ruler of Anhalwara Pattan in what is now Gujarat. The Baghela or Vaghela as they are known as in Gujarat, emigrated from under Vyaghra Deva, and settled in the upper valleys of the Sone; the region is now known as Baghelkhand.

In Punjab, they are said to have emigrated from with the Kathias, another Rajput tribe with origins in Gujarat. The Baghela settled near the town of Kamalia in what is now Khanewal District, where they remain. Sometime around the 15th Century, the tribe converted to Islam

Almost all their villages are located near the town of Kamalia, such as Ahmed Baghela, Khushhālke Baghela, Shāhābalke Baghela. Ghulie ke Baghela and Sher ke Baghela. In Okara District, they are found in the village of Thati Baghela near the town of Dipalpur.

Dhudhi

The Dhudi are a tribe of Panwar (Parmar) Rajput origin, who numbered 5,800 ccording to the 1931 census of India. Like the Khichis who I shall look later in this blog, the Dhudi have traditions of migration from Malwa in Central India. Dhudi, the ancestor of the tribe was said to be a kinsman of Panwar ruler Rajah Bhoj of Ujjain, and said to have migrated with his family to Punjab. There initial settlement was in Multan, and conversion to Islam is said to have occurred at hands of the Sufi Bahaudin Zakaria. From their, the Dhudi are said to settled in Mailsi in Vehari District, where they are mentioned as early as the first half of the 14th Century. When the Delhi Sultanate was breaking up they spread along the Sutlej and Chenab. One of them, Haji Sher Mohammad was a saint whose shrine at Mouza Dewan Sahab in Vehari District This tribe is now found in Chakwal, Gujrat, Sialkot, Sargodha, Jhang, Multan, Sahiwal, Jhelum, Vehari Khanewal District Kabirwala and the Bahawalnagar districts.

 Dhudhi Villages in North Punjab

Starting with Gujrat District, they are found in the village of Ghansia, in neighbouring Jhelum District, their villages include Saeela, Dhok Sir, Lota, Dhok Masyal, Dhok Munawar and Dhok Dheri in Dina Tehsil and Toba, Golpur, Karyala Jalap (which they share with the Jalap tribe) and Dhudi Thal in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil. While in Chakwal District, they are found in the village of Khokhar Zer. Moving south towards Sargodha, they are found in Dhudhi in Sahiwal Tehsil and Dhudhian in Kot Momin Tehsil. In neighbouring Khushab District, their villges include Thathi Bakhsh Shah. North of Sargodha in Mandi Bahauddin District, they are found in Bhagat and Kadher. In Bhakkar District, important Dhudhi villages include Jandanwal, Chak No 56DB, Chak 72/ML and Karloowala. 

Dhudhi villages in South Punjab

Starting with Jhang District in south Punjab, Dhudhi villages include Boori Dhudhian, Dhudhiwala, Kapoori near Gharmor and Darbar Bahu Sultan. In the Pakpattan district, Dhudi villages include Chak14SP, Chak 27 SP,and Bateenga. There are two villages in Hafizabad District, Sukheke Mandi and Dubber. In Lodhran District, they are found in Chah Maniwala, while in Bhakkar District, they are found in Basti Cheena and Basti Dhudianwala. In Khushab District, they are found in the villages of Rahdari and Pillow Waince. And finally in Lodhran District, they are found in Chah Mannywala near Dunyapur.

 

Rath

Rath are a tribe found mainly in Pakpattan District. The name rath literally means a charioteer, which traditionally in Indian society is also said represent the Kshatriya, or the warrior caste, so in the case of the Rath simply signifies that they are Rajputs. According to their own tribal traditions, their ancestor was a Panwar Rajput, who left Delhi, and settled in Mailsi in Vehari District. They are closely related to the Dhudhi tribe, and some consider them to be a clan of the Dhudis. After the collapse of Mughal Empire, the Rath migrated and settled in a region fifteen miles south of Pakpattan. They were pastoralist, but saw a reduction of their territory with the rise of Sikh power. Most Rath villages are now found in Arifwala Tehsil such as Basti Nawaz Joiya, Toraiz Rath, Hamma Rath, Noora Rath and Salam Rath.

Phullarwan

The Phullarwan are a tribe of Rajput status.There are a number of traditions as to the origin of the tribe. According to one tradition, they are Suryavanshi Rajputs, claiming descent Raja Karan of the Mahabharat, through Phularwan, a descedent of the Raja. In Sialkot, they claim that Suroa, a king of Delhi was their ancestor, and say that they were once called Suroa. Phuloru, a descendent of the king, left Delhi and settled in the neighbourhood of Jhang, and the word phullarwan literally means Phuloru’s family. Bagah, a descendent of Phuloru, then moved to Sialkot. If the second tradition is correct, that would make the Phullarwan a branch of the Tomar Rajput tribe, who are said to be founders and first rulers of Delhi. Another tradition makes Phuloru a Panwar Rajput. What make Phullarwan distinct from the other Bar tribes is their insistence in calling themselves Rajputs, and using the title Rana.

 

 

The Phullarwan are found in Gujrat, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Sargodha, Okara, Kasur, and Sahiwal districts of Punjab.

 

In Faisalabad District, they hold three villages called Bootywali Jhaal, Chak No. 34 GB and Chak No. 35 GB near Jaranwala.

In Sialkot District, they hold 12 villages, including Phullarwan.

In Sargodha District, the main village is Phullarwan.

In Gujrat District, Phullarwan is an important village.

In Sahiwal District, the main villages Phullarwan Wasal and Phullarwan Chiragh.

In Okara District, the main villages Phullarwan Wazirke,Jandowal, Kot Shah Mushtaq, Phullarwan Kamboh, Rukan Pura and Shams kay near Hujra Shah Muqeem.

In Lahore District, the main village is Phullarwan near Burki,

In Kasur District, the main villages are Lohlay Rajputan near Usmanwala and Bhoye Aasal near Kot Radha Kishan.