Maliar/Malyar caste of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

In this post, I will look at the Maliar, sometimes written as Malyar, a community that is found mainly in the Pothohar region of Punjab and Hazara and Peshawar Valley regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Maliar are a large community, of which little has been written about. There has always been some confusion as to their connection with the Arain, as both groups have been associated with growing vegetables. My post on the distribution of the Maliar according to the 1901 Census also gives additional information about the tribe.

 

British colonial ethnographers, such as Denzil Ibbetson, argued that the term covered a large class of petty cultivators and market gardeners. Indeed Ibbetson author of the Punjab castes noted that:

Baghban, Mali, and Maliar are in Jhang and Rawalpindi a very mixed body of men, the names denoting occupation rather than caste

The author of the 1907 Attock District Gazetteer makes the same point:

Maliar appears to denote the occupation of the holder rather than the caste to which he belongs or the tribe from which he originally sprang. There can be no doubt that many of the present  day Maliars are descended from an ancestor of some other tribe  who took to market-gardening as an occupation

This was seen by the fact many Maliar of the Rawalpindi division returned their clans as Janjua, Qutbshahi (Awan), Khokhar, or Bhatti for 1891 Census of India, though some of them give what are apparently true Arain clans, such as Wahand. It does suggest that the Maliar are of a mixed background, which over time have formed into a distinct caste.

The origin of the word maliar has been uncertain, but is very likely connected with the term Mali, another caste of mixed origin, that practices market gardening. A point to note is that there were no Malis in the Pothohar and Hazara regions, while there no Maliar south and east of the Jhelum river. It is likely that like the term Maliar, like Mali comes from the Sanskrit Malakara, meaning the makers of garland, but according to other traditions its roots are from the Persian and Arabic word Mal which means wealth or land e.g. Malir Kotla in India or Malir an area in Karachi, the equivalent of Bagh in Urdu or garden in English.

Like most castes found among the Punjabi Muslims, the community has an origin myth that claims its origins outside South Asia. According to their traditions their ancestor Mahbub accompanied Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna to India. The Sultan assigned him gardening as a vocation, and as such the community became horticulturists. There is no consensus as to the ethnic identity of this Mahbub. If we accept this account, the community thus settled in India at the start of the 11th century. However, as I have already alluded too, some Maliar groups claimed to be connected to one of the larger groups in the Pothohar such as the Janjua and Awan.

 

The Maliar as caste were given agriculture tribal status, under the Punjab Land Alienation Act, 1900, which meant that they were  allowed to own land. However, unlike other tribes found in the Potohar region, military recruitment was not open to them, because they were deemed not to be a martial race. These British discriminating policies sadly have had a lasting impact on the Maliar. After independence, an argument that has broken out within the Maliar community as to whether they are a distinct caste or simply Janjuas and Bhattis who practice market gardening. This was noted by Makhdum Tasadduq Ahmad in his book Systems of social stratification in India and Pakistan. However, the Maliar castes members intermarry with each other and not with families of Awan or Janjua status. Historically, the community was at a disadvantage, particularly in the Peshawar valley, where it suffered at the hands of Pashtun landlords. The Maliar like other Potohar communities, have started to emigrate to the west particularly the United Kingdom. They have also benefited from the loosening of social restrictions in Pakistan, and as successful horticulturists have entered into the wholesale fruit and vegetable business.

 

Distribution

 

According to the 1901 Census of India, there numbers in Jhelum District were 23,000, in Rawalpindi District, they numbered 17,000 and in Attock District they numbered 37,000. In that particular district, they are the fourth largest tribe. Shahpur District, the modern day Sargodha District was home to a further 4,000. They are found through the Potohar region, with especial concentrations in the Attock District. They also extend into the neighbouring Peshawar valley and into Haripur district of Hazara, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There are also settled in a few villages in the Mirpur District of Azad Kashmir.

Villages

 

They are found in just about every village in the Pothohar region, but there are a few villages which they occupy as the dominant tribe. In Jhelum District, Kazi Hussain and Rajjo Pindi are two important Maliar villages.

 

Batala, Chahal, Maniand are important Maliar villages within Kahuta Tehsil, in Gujar Khan Tehsil Bhatta Maliar, Kant Maliar and Bagh Sangra, Jabbar Derwaish,Kuri Malrian are important villages and in the Rawalpindi Tehsil, Dhalla, Dughal, Khasala Kalan, Gulidana Maliar, and Salargarh are important villages. In Attock District, Dhok Maliaran in Fateh Jang Tehsil is a major Maliar village. They are also found in the town of Mansar.

 

In Chakwal District, Mohra Maliaran, Marjan Maliran and Saloi in Choa Saidan Shah Tehsil are important villages.

 

in Jhelum District, the villages of Dheri Malliaran and Maliar in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil are important settlements.

 

In Gujrat District, the village of Dandi Maliar.

 

Language

 

They speak either the Potwari language, or the closely related Hindko language

 

Awan Population of Punjab and the North West Frontier Province according to the 1901 Census

This is my third post, looking at the population distribution according to the 1901 Census of Punjab. In this post, I look at the Awan caste, who unlike the castes looked in previous posts such as the Dogar and Kamboh, is entirely Muslim. I will ask to the reader to look at my posts on the Kamboh, to give some background as geographical spread of Colonial Punjab. In addition, for completeness’s sake, I would ask you to look at my posts on the 1931 Census of Hazara, as well my the post on the Budhal, who are sub-group of the Awans, to get some background information on the caste. This post will also look at their distributions according to the 1901 Census of the of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.

Awan Groups

In terms of distribution, about two-thirds of the Awans lived in the Pothohar plateau, and the Salt Range mountains, which were located just below the plateau. The Awan population of the North West Frontier Province were culturally close to the Awan of the Pothohar. Both spoke related languages, the Hindko and Pothohari languages. The Awan of Mianwali spoke an intermediate dialect between Hindko and Seraiki. While the Awans of Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan, and the southern Punjab districts of Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Multan and the Bahawalpur State spoke Seraiki.

A third cluster of Awans was found in what is now Indian Punjab. The Awan of Sialkot, Gujranwala and Lahore were culturally similar to the East Punjab Awans. There were Awankari, or Awan inhabited territories in Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Kapurthala state, all teritories now located in Indian Punjab.

Awan Population of Punjab

 

District Population
Rawalpindi 140,835
Jhelum 99,542
Shahpur 55,387
Sialkot 24,459
Mianwali 23,449
Gujrat 14,864
Hoshiarpur 13,652
Jalandhar 12,350
Multan 6,600
Bahawalpur 4,815
Ludhiana 4,580
Lahore 3,887
Dera Ghazi Khan 3,442
Muzaffargarh 3,232
Chenab Colony 3,001
Jhang  2,900
Montgomery  1,737
Amritsar  1,683
 Gujranwala  1,018
Gurdaspur 1,008
Firuzpur 490
Kapurthala 483
Ambala 193
Total Population 421,112

Awans in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP)

In the NWFP, now known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Awans were concentrated in the Peshawar valleyHazara Region and the southern Seraik areas of Kohat, Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan.

District Population
Peshawer 111,339
Hazara 91,474
Kohat 22,358
Bannu 8,667
Dera Ismail Khan 6,396
Malakand, Dir, Swat, and Chitral Territories 512
 Other Districts
Total Population 241,006

 

Languages, Religion, Tribes and Castes of the Hazara Region

In this post, I will examine the 1931 Census of what was then the Hazara District of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), which is now the Hazara Division. Ethnologically this region is interesting, in that forms a transition zone between the Pashtun dominated areas in the west, the very diverse regions of Kohistan and Gilgit (Diamer District) to the north, and the Lahnda speaking areas of Pakistani Kashmir and Punjab to the south and east. I would also ask the reader to look at my post on the 1931 Census of Mirpur District, a region that shares many culture similarities with Hazara.

https://i2.wp.com/www.khyber.org/images/maps/hazaradiv.jpg

Map of the Hazara Division Source: Khyber.org

Hazara is bounded on the north and east by the Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir. To the south are the Islamabad Capital Territory and the province of Punjab, whilst to the west lies the rest of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). The river Indus runs through the division in a north-south line, forming much of the western border of the division. The total area of Hazara is 18,013 km². The region is a classic in-between place, which is influenced by both the tribal Pashtun society as well the more settled village based structure of the Punjab and mountainous culture of the Chibhal. Indeed, Hazara has probably the closest linkages with Chibhal, the Hindko language almost merges into Chibhali. Certain castes such as the Dhund and Gakhar are found in equal numbers in both regions. In this post, I analyse the results of the 1931 Census of India. At that time the region had not seen substantial migration of Pashtuns from other regions of the KPK. Most of the population spoke Hindko, which in 1931 was included in the Lahnda category. I have split the post into three categories, the first bit will give an overview of the languages spoken, the second on religion and finally on caste identity.

Languages

Language Population Percentage
Lahnda 625,268 93%
Pashto 29,375  4%
Punjabi 5,436  0.8
Nepali 4,993
Hindi/Hindustani/Urdu 4,113
Gojri 287
Kashmiri 96
Kohistani 79
Others 464
Total 670,117 100%

As these results show, the majority of the population spoke a language called Lahnda in 1931 Census. Its worth mentioning Lahnda itself is an exonyms and even in 1931 was not used by the speakers themselves.The emerging languages of this dialect area are Saraiki, Hindko and Pothohari. Lahnda means “western” in Punjabi, and was a term coined by William St. Clair Tisdall (in the form Lahindā) probably around 1890 and later adopted by a number of linguists — notably George Abraham Grierson — for a dialect group that had no general local name. Locally, the term to describe the language, at least from the late 19th Century is Hindko, and its speakers are known as Hindkowan, literally in Farsi those who speak the Hindko language. Hindko almost merges seamlessly into Chibhali, the two languages acquiring their own unique identity, largely because each was spoken in distinct political units. In the case of Chibhali, it was spoken in the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and came under the influence of Punjabi and Kashmiri. Dhundi-Kairali, spoken by the Dhund and Karlal tribes of eastern Hazara and western Poonch is an intermediate dialect between Chibhali and Hindko. This dialect is now spoken largely in Abbottabad District, and the adjoining Murree Hills and Galyat areas.

The other two languages that are indigenous to the region are Pashto and Gojri. Briefly about Pashto, it was largely spoken in the  Kala Dhaka region,  home to five major tribes, Bassi khel, Mada khel, Akazai, Hassanzai, and Nasrat khel, all of whom were clans of the Yousafzai. Some Swati clans also continued to speak Pashto. It is worth pointing out most of the Pathans belonging to the larger tribes such as the Jadoon, Tareen and Dilazak were Hindko speaking. In Hazara tribal and linguistic identity often did not match. The other indigenous language was Gojri, which had 287 speakers. As the language of the Gujjar caste, who numbered 98,599, the figure of 987 is extremely small. It is very likely, that the number of Gojri speakers have been undercounted, as many were Gujars at that time were nomadic, this was especially the case in the Kaghan Valley.

Religion

Religion Population Percentage
Muslim 636,794  95%
Hindu 24,543 4%
Sikh 7,630
Christian 432
Others 718
Total 670,117 100%

In terms of religion, the Hazara region was largely Islamized by the 1931 census. The region was home to a Hindu minority, many of whom belonged Khatri, Arora and Brahman castes. The region was uniquely home to the Muhial community, traditionally landowning Brahmans.

Tribes and Castes

Religion Caste or Tribe Sub-Caste Population
Muslims
Awan 106,931
Gujjar 98,599
Tanoli 83,417
Pathan 54,544
 Jadoon 19,070
 Tareen 935
 Dilazak 906
 Utman Khel 585
 Yousafzai 321
 Bangash 199
 Khattak 140
 Durrani 81
 Afridi 57
 Mohmand 31
 Other Tribes 32,216
Swati 44,511
Dhund 38,983
Sayyad 27,629
Karral (Sardar) 27,117
Julaha (Bafinda)  

13,564

Kashmiri 13,218
Mughal 11,843
Tarkhan 10,201
Sarrara 9,984
Lohar 9,593
Mochi 9,082
Nai 7,173
Qureshi 6,415
Gakhar 6,017
Mishwani 5,361
Malyar 5,204
Kumhar 5,041
Rajput 5,016
Turk 4,486
Teli 2,811
Shaikh 2,455
Dhobi 2,387
Mirasi 1,799
Mussali  1,142
Khoja (Punjabi Sheikh) 934
Darzi 846
Jhinwar (Jheer) 758
Sonar 383
Qassab 284
Mallaah 250
Paracha 185
Baluch 166
Arain 132
Chamar 120
Jat 58
Penja 49
Rangrez 30
Baghban 25
Bhatiara 18
Other Muslims 18,038
 Hindus
Khatri 8,890
Gurkha 4,173
Brahman 3,306
Arora 2,036
Rajput 689
Bhatia  193
Sonar 44
Chuhra 40
Dhobi 31
Gakhar 28
Jat 13
Kumhar 13
Jhinwar 10
Lohar 7
Mochi 4
Nai 3
Tarkhan 2
Other Hindus 5,779
Sikh
Brahman 1,693
Khatri 486
Arora 336
Jat 282
Rajput 177
Bhatia 69
Sonar 31
Kumhar 6
Other Sikhs 4,542
Others  1,150
Total Population 670,117

Land Alienation Act and its effects on the 1931 Census

With regards to caste grouping, the British Administration had divided the population by the Land Alienation Act  into those who were allowed by the British to own land, and those who were ineligible.The castes or tribes of the District, that were notified as agricultural under the Punjab Alienation Act, were the Awans, Bambas, Bibs, Dhunds, Dilazaks, Gakhars, Gujars, Karrals, Malliars, Mishwanis, Mughals, Pathans, Qureshis, Rajputs, Sararas, Swathis, Sayeds, Tareens, Tanaolis, and Turks. The large non-agriculturalist groups that included Julaha (Bafinda), Tarkhan, Lohar, Mochi and Nai groups, who were often referred to by the derogatory term kami. The number of kami castes had fallen over the period, as many of families were absorbed into agricultural castes.The Land Alienation Act also led to members of those castes declared as ‘non-agricultural’ to attempt to register themselves as members of the agricultural. Below is a brief description of the largest grouping by population.


Major Muslim Groups

The Awans and Bibs


The Awans made up one-sixth of the total population in Hazara, and were found almost everywhere other then the Kala-Dhaka. I will not go into too much detail as to there origin, other then to say they claim descent from Qutab Shah, an Arab, and a descendent of Ali, who arrived in the region with Mahmud of Ghazni. The Awans were are entirely Hindko speaking group, and connected with the Awans of the Pothohar region of neighbouring Punjab. Closely connected to the Awans are the Bib who are small  tribe found Abbotabad District, occupying two villages between the Rash plains and Thandiani range. They claim a common origin with the Awans, and in 1931 were not counted separately but included within the Awans.

The Gujjars

The Gujjars are among the oldest inhabitants of the region, and make up the second largest ethnic group in Hazara. They were in occupation of the  Hazara plain before the Dilazaks, Utmanzais, and Tareens  migrated there. In Mansehra, the Kathana Gujars of Kot Najibullah and in Haripur the Jagal Gujars are most prominent families. The Kaghan Valley right up to the Babusar pass is entirely inhabited by the Gujjars. The Kaghan Gujjars are largely Gojri speaking, while those in the southern part of Hazara are now largely Hindko speaking.

The Pathans and Mashwani

In Hazara, as in most cis-Indus regions, the Pashtun tribes describe themselves as Pathan, and not Pashtoon, which is a foreign term, with the exception of those from the Kala Dhaka, speaking the Yousafzai dialect, who importantly call themselves Pakhtoon, and not Pashtoon. The term Pashtoon, which is now been in the media, is incorrect to describe the Pathans (Tareen, Jadoon and Dilazak) and Pakhtuns (mainly Kalla Dhaka tribes) of the Hazara Region. In 1931, the total Pathan population, including the Kala Dhaka tribes was 54,544, about 8% of the total population. After Independence in 1947, the Pathan population has increased considerable, as migrants from other parts of KPK have settled there. Related to the Pathans were the Mishwanis, who numbered 5,361, and inhabit the villages of Sirikot, Kundi, Amarkhana, and Gadwalian at the north-east end of the Gandhar range. The Mishwani claim to be  Saiads in origin, Mishwani, their ancestor, being one of the four sons of the Sufi Saiad Muhammad-i-Gisu Daraz. He is said to have married a daughter or granddaughter of  Kakar, and to have been adopted by Danai, Kakar’s father. In customs, the Mishwanis had much in common with the other Pathans tribes such as the Jadoons and Tareens. However, on account of their Sayed ancestry, they were seperately enumerated.

 

The Swatis

The Swatis were the fourth largest group in the region. They claim to be Pathans,  and to be connected with the Yusafzais. or rather with  the Ranazais, from whom the Yusafzais are derived from. When the Swat valley was invaded by the Yusafzais, the Swati fled eastward in northern Hazara. They are divided into two main sections — the Ghabri or Utli  (Upper) Pakhli, and the Mamiali-Mitrawi or Tarli (Lower) Pakhli. The former occupy the Kaghan, Balakot, Garhi Habibullah, Mansehra, Shinkiari, Bhogarmang, and Konsh valley. The Konshi Swatis are the most distinct and in the earlier censuses were seperately enumerated. Most Swatis are Hindko speaking except for a few communities in Shinkiari who speak Pashto.

The Dhunds

British colonial ethnologist believed tha the Dhunds were of converted Hindus in origin. But they have always claimed to be of Abbasi origin. Like the Karrals, they were for a time subservient to the Gakhars until the Sikh occupation in the early 19th Century. They occupy the Bakot tract between the Dunga Gali range up to the Jhelum river, and the country on either side of the eastern or Dhund branch of the Harroh before its junction with the Karral branch. They also extend across the border to the hills round Murree, and also found in the Poonch region. The Dhund and the Karlal speak their own version of Hindko called Dhundi-Kairali, which is closer to the Chibhali language then standard Hindko.

The Sayyads and Qureshi


All Sayyads claim descent from the Prophet Mohammad. In the District they number 27,629 , and belong to the Bukhari, Tarimzai, Mashadi, Baqri, and Gilani sections. They are scattered all over the region. The Sayyads of the Kaghan valley  stand somewhat apart from the rest. Descendants of  Jalal Baba, who led the Swathi invasion into Hazara, they for long remained virtually independent masters of the upper end of the valley. They are entirely Hindko speaking.Closely related to the Sayyads, are the Qureshi. The Qureshi families claim descent from the Quraish tribe of Makkah, and are largely urban community, found in Mansehra, with the exception of the Pirs of Palasi, who are large landowners. They are closely connected with the Qureshi families of Poonch in Azad Kashmir. Qureshi are a Hindko speaking community.

 

The Karal or Karlal

The Karrals, sometimes pronounced as Karlal, numbered 127,117 in 1931. They are found mainly in the Nara tract between the Rajoia plain and the Dunga Gali range, but are also found in the Boi hills. They claim to be Mughals, who came from Kian in Iran. Their ancestor, Kallar Shah, was, they say, was in the service of an Emperor of Delhi, with whom he went to Kashmir. On his return he took the Nara hills and the Bakot tract from the Gakhars. They are closely connected to the Dhunds, and speak the Dhundi-Kairali dialect.

The Julaha or Bafinda

The Julaha or as they are locally known as Bafinda were the weavers of the Hazara region. They were probably under counted, as many had regitered themselves either as Awan or Pathan, inflating the numbers of those castes. As non-agricultural tribe, the Bafinda were not allowed to own land. Although large, and in the 1901 Census they outnumbered the Sayyad and Karlal, the Bafinda are one of the most marganalized community in Hazara. This tragically has remained the case. They are entirely Hindko speaking.

The Kashmiris

By 1931, the Hazara region was home to 13,218, many settled in the town of Abbotabad, where in 1931 they formed the majority. They had arrived later in the 19th Century, and included some Chibhali groups. Largely an urban community of petty traders. Almost all spoke to Hindko by 1931.

The Tarkhan and Lohar

Although seperately counted, both groups were close and intermarried. Like the Bafinda, British policy meant they could not buy land. As a result, both groups were entirely tennants. Increasingly, these groups were making claims to a Mughal origin, so that they could own land. The figures for the Mughal were therefore very likely to be inflated. The traditional occupation of the Tarkhan is carpentry and Lohar were smiths.

The Sarrara

Like the Dhunds, the Sararas claim to be a branch of the Abbasi tribe,with whom they intermarry. According to their traditions, the Sarraras came from Pakpattan in Punjab. It is possible that, like the Dhunds and Karrals, they may be Hindus in origin. It is noticeable that with all three tribes the names of the subsections terminate in ‘al,’ like those of the Jat and Rajput tribes of the Chibhal and Pothohar regions. In 1931, they lived almost exclusively in the Boi tract between the Thandiani range and the Kunhar river.

The Mughals

Mostly found in the urban areas, mainly in Mansehra. As already said, a large number of Tarkhans and Lohars had made claims to Mughal ancestry, and the boundary between the three castes was less then clear.

The Mochi

Mochi means cobbler, and those who followed this occupation were the most marganalized group in the region. Working with leather had a stigma, and Mochi neighbourhoods in villages in the Hazara region were always found some distance from the main centre of the village. It is probable, that they are converts from the Hindu Chamar caste. Largely found in Gakhar, Awan, Jadoon or Tareen Pathan villages, rarely found in villages of mountain tribes such as the Karlal, Dhund or Sarraras.

The Nai

Like the Mochi, the Nai or barbers were also very stigmatised. Some groups claimed Janjua Rajput origin, others an Awan origin. This may be the case, but in 1931, the Nai formed a distinct community, although they were less marganalized then the Mochi. In Hazara in 1931, with the landowning castes becoming ascendent, particularly the Jadoon and Tareen,  which was happening at the expence of castes like the Nai and Mochi. This has sadly remained the case.

The Gakhar

Unlike the previous two tribes, the Gakhars have dominated the history of the District. They trace their descent from Nausherwan, King of Iran, and his grandson Yazdgurd, Kiani, said to be an ancestor of Mahmud of Ghazni. According to their traditions, Yazdgurd’s son, Firoz Shah, went to China in the seventh century a.d., was made commander of the Emperor’s Bodyguard, and given Tibet to rule over. In the ninth century, having been converted to Islam, his descendants left Tibet for Kabul. After remaining there 200 years, they moved to Ghazni. They came to India about a.d. 1,000 with Mahmud of Ghazni, who made the Sind Sagar Doab over to them. They returned to Ghazni with Mahmud, but continued to take tribute from the conquered territory. On the break-up of Mahmud’s dynasty the Kashmiris took possession of the Doab, but in the fifteenth century Malik Kad Gakhar recovered it from them. This much is tradition only, but we now come to historical facts. In a.d. 1519 the Emperor Babar came into contact with the tribe, and found them ruled by two chiefs who wore cousins, and named Tatar and Hati respectively. While the Emperor was in their country, Hati attacked Tatar, killed him, and took possession of liis territory. Babar’s force thereupon marched against Hati, and captured his stronghold. Hati fled, but afterwards made his submission. In Akbar’s time, according bo the ‘ Ain-ul-Akbari,’ the Gakhar chiefs were Sultan Sarang and his brother Adam. The Hazara Gakhars are descended from Fateh Khan, son of Sultan Said Khan, who founded Khanpur about the end of the sixteenth century. The tract made over to him by his grandfather, Sultan Sarang Khan, included the Karral and Dhund hills, as well as those of Khanpur, but during the decline of the Moghal dynasty the Karrals and Dhunds, as above stated, managed to assert their independence. Under the Durani rule the Gakhars of Hazara were tributary rulers, given the lower portions of Hazara to adminster, until the arrival of the Sikhs which ended their independence. Most Gakhars were found in Haripur region.

The Malyars

The Malyars have probally been undercounted, as many claimed to be Awans. I would ask the reader to look at my post on the Malyars. In Hazara, they are concentrated in Haripur District. They are found as tennants in Mansehra as well.

The Kumhars

The Kumhar were traditionally potters, and were found in most Awan or Pathan villages in Haripur and Mansehra. Most Kumhars now refer to themselves as Rahmanis.

The Rajputs

Rajpputs have a very limited presence in the Hazara region, many castes that were declared non-agricultural by the British registered themselves as Rajputs in 1931 census, as the tribe had agricultural status. This was especially the case of Kumhars and Nais. However, there were a few villages of Bhakral (Pakhral), Hon and Jodhra Rajputs in Haripur, and Bhatti families were found scattered in Abbotabad.

The Turks

The Turks are the descendants of  Karlugh families that were settled in Hazara by Timurlane on his return from the invasion of India at the end of the fourteenth century. From the time of their settlement in District, they were its affective rule, sharing control with the Gakhars. However, gradually Pathan tribes and others evicted them from their possessions, and in 1786 find their headmen appealing to Timur Shah, Durani, the then king of Afghanistan, to reinstate them in Manakrai, the head-quarters of the clan near Haripur, from which the Ghurgusht Afghans had ousted them. This was restored to them, and the Turks are found mainly in Haripur District. They are Hindko speaking, and culturally close to their Gakhar neighbours.

The Telis

Found in large numbers in both Mansehra and Haripur tehsils, they were traditionally oil-pressers. Most now refer to themselves as Maliks. Found mainly in Haripur and Mansehra. They are a Hindko speaking community.

Population of Muslim Rajput Clans of British Punjab According to the 1911 Census of India

Below is a breakdown of the larger Rajput clans by population according to the 1911 Census of Punjab. Prior to 1947, Punjab consisted of the following territories:

Punjab (British India): British Territory and Princely States
Division Districts in British Territory / Princely States
Delhi Division
Jullundur Division
Lahore Division
Rawalpindi Division
Multan Division
Total area, British Territory 97,209 square miles
Native States
Total area, Native States 36,532 square miles
Total area, Punjab 133,741 square miles

Source Wikipedia

Punjab 1909.jpg

Map of British Punjab: Source Wikipedia

Tribe

 

Population Distribution
Bhatti 319,860 Hisar, Karnal, Patiala, Nabha, Ambala, Kalsia,  Hoshiarpur, Jullundur, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Firozpur, Faridkot, Lahore, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Shahpur, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Attock, Mianwali, Montgomery, Lyallpur, Jhang, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur
Chauhan 109,533 Hisar, Rohtak, Gurgaon, Karnal, Patiala, Nabha, Ambala, Kalsia,  Hoshiarpur, Jullundur, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Firozpur, Faridkot, Lahore, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Shahpur, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Attock, Mianwali, Montgomery, Lyallpur, Jhang, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur
Khokhar 93,012 Hisar, Patiala, Nabha,   Hoshiarpur, Jullundur, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Firozpur, Faridkot, Lahore, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Shahpur, Jhelum, Mianwali, Montgomery, Lyallpur, Jhang, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur
Sial 91,211 Hisar, Karnal, Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana, Firozpur, Faridkot, Amritsar, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Shahpur, Jhelum, Rawalpindi, Mianwali, Montgomery, Lyallpur, Jhang, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur
Joiya 49,486 Hisar, Ludhiana, Firozpur, Faridkot, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Shahpur, Mianwali, Montgomery, Lyallpur, Jhang, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur
Panwar 44,924 Rohtak, Karnal, Jind and Hissar (the eastern group); Bahawalpur, Multan and Muzaffargarh (the western group) – the eastern group are a Ranghar tribe; a smaller grouo also found in Jhelum
Wattu 34,696 Along the banks of the Sutlej from Bahawalpur to Firuzpur extending to Hissar and Sirsa
Naru 29,665 Present East Punjab, Amritsar, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana – by early 20th Century, several Naru were settled in Faisalabad and Sahiwal in the canal colonies
Ghorewaha 26,203 Present East Punjab, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana
Janjua 25,621 a western group in Rawalpindi and Jhelum and eastern group in Hoshiarpur
Sulehri / Sulehria 25,512 Sialkot and Gurdaspur
Mandahar 24,703 Modern Haryana (especially Karnal and Panipat), Ambala, and Hissar. They are a Ranghar tribe
Manj 20,633 Present East Punjab, Amritsar, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana
Bariah also pronounced as Varya 17,893 Present East Punjab, Jallandhar, Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana
Tomar 16,686 Modern Haryana (especially Rohtak and Panipat), Ambala, and in the Bahawalpur Stater
Mair-Minhas 15,075 Chakwal
Kharal 14,521 Faisalabad and Sahiwal
Jatu 13,825 Modern Haryana (especially Hissar and Gurgaon), Ambala, and Rohtak. They are a Ranghar tribe
Manhas / Minhas 10,382 From Rawalpindi to Hoshiarpur – a Muslim Dogra grouping
Awan 9.555 Two groups of Awan registered themselves as Rajput, those of Sonepat and near Delhi – who were a Ranghar tribe, and smaller group in Gurdaspur and Sialkot. All Awan declared themselves as Awan
Taoni 9,273 Ambala – a Ranghar grouping
Alpial 8,986 Attock – a branch of the Manj Rajput tribe
Chib 8,360 Gujrat, a Muslim Dogra clan
Jodhra 8,085 Attock District
Dhanyal 7,909 Rawalpindi – Murree Tehsil
Dhudhi 6,730 Sargodha, Jhang, Faisalabad and Sahiwal
Baghial 6,715 Rawalpindi
Dhamial 5,973 Rawalpindi
Bhakral 5,744 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Bhakral 5,744 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Khichi 4,774 Sargodha, Jhang and Sahiwal
Langrial 3,886 Multan, Sahiwal and Okara – northern branch in Rawalpindi/Jhelum and Gujrat – most northern Langrial declared themselves as Jat
Chadhar 3,825 Jhang District – outside Jhang most Chadhars registered themselves as Jat
Dahya 3,620 Ambala District – a Ranghar clan
Khanzada 3,662 Gurgaon – a branch of the Jadaun clan
Kalial 3,662 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Dahya 3,620 Ambala District – a Ranghar clan
Kathia 2,900 Sahiwal and Okara
Kanial 2,317 Rawalpindi
Mangral 2,309 Rawalpindi
Nagrial 2,220 Rawalpindi
Kalyar 2,177 Sargodha – most Kalyar declared themselves to Jat
Raghubansi 2,135 Ambala – a Ranghar clan
Katil 2,104 Sialkot and Gurdaspur
Gaharwal 2,069 Rawalpindi
Nagyal 2,038 Rawalpindi and Jhelum
Qaimkhani 2,020 Hissar – essentially a Rajasthani tribe, a branch of the Chauhan
Rawat 1,971 Malerkotla State
Thathaal 1,618 Rawalpindi
Mekan 1,584 Sargodha – most Mekan declared themselves as Jat
Jhap 1,559 Jhang
Jamra 1,455 Dera Ghazi Khan
Tiwana 1,347 a western group in Kushab and eastern group in Patiala
Matyal 1,347 Rawalpindi
Jatal 1,310 Rawalpindi
Rathore 1,148 Hissar, Firuzpur and Bahawalpur, in areas bordering Bikaner. Rajasthani immigrants
Khuhi 1,148 Multan
Warha 1,288 In Hissar a Ranghar group, also found along the Sutlej in Firuzpur and Bahawalpur State
Dogar 1,300 Sahiwal and Okara – most Dogar registered themselves as Dogars and numbered 68,473
Jalap 1,172 Jhelum – a branch of the Khokhar tribe
Nagrawal 1,143 Rawalpindi
Ramial 1,120 Rawalpindi
Ghangar 1,002 Rawalpindi
Daha 991 Multan, Sahiwal and Okara – a branch of the Panwar
Badpyar 988 Delhi with villages near the Yamuna river – a Ranghar clan
Pundir 985 Ambala and Karnal – a Ranghar group with villages near the Yamuna river
Atiras 965 Patiala State
Kural 961 Rawalpindi
Phularwan 935 Sahiwal and Okara – a second group in Sialkot
Baghela 923 Sahiwal / Okara
Mukhmdal 852 Gujrat – a Chib sub-clan
Jora 834 Fazilka, Hissar and Sirsa
Attar 821 Sargodha
Mial 817 Rawalpindi
Hon 811 Rawalpindi – a branch of the Panwar tribe
Bargujar 805 Gurgaon – a Ranghar tribe found in Rewari
Mayen 802 Patiala State
Mahaar 792 Along the banks of the Sutlej from Bahawalpur to Firuzpur extending to Hissar and Sirsa – most Mahaar declared themselves as Jat
Adrah 792 Rawalpindi
Kala 747 Jhang
Sakhri 743 Hissar – a Ranghar clans, sub-division of the Jatu
Taraqar 710 Multan
Bhao 706 From Kharian to Gurdaspur – a Muslim Dogra group
Rath 706 Sahiwal / Pakpattan
Sarral 698 Rawalpindi
Luddu 680 Hoshiarpur
Gaurwa 644 Gurgaon – Ranghar group
Kethwal 642 Rawalpindi – Murree Tehsil
Doli 639 Sahiwal / Okara
Barial 633 Ludhiana District
Chandel 618 Present East Punjab, Jallandhar, Patiala and Ludhiana
Sohlan 606 Jhelum
Noon 599 Sargodha and Multan – a branch of the Bhatti tribe
Agan 569 Gurdaspur – Muslim Dogra clan
Dhanwal 569 Sahiwal and Okara/td>
Jandran 551 Sahiwal / Okara
Bains 548 Rawalpindi – the majority of the Bains registered themselves as Jats
Ranjha 579 Jhelum / Chakwal
Ratial 549 Rawalpindi
Mughal 544 Rawalpindi
Satraola 544 Hissar – a Ranghar tribe
Bhan 519 Sargodha
Chatha 420 Rawalpindi
Jawal 288 Delhi – a Ranghar clan
Jadaun 165 Gurgaon and Karnal – a Ranghar tribe
Jaswal 160 Hoshiarpur
Meun 76 Multan and Bahawalpur State
Pathania 71 Gurdaspur – a Muslim Dogra group
Jaral 58 Kangra
Gondal 31 Rawalpindi – almost all the Gondals declared themselves as Jat, except a few in Rawalpindi

 

Bib, Karlal, and Sarrara tribes of Hazara

In this post, I shall look at four tribes, namely the Bib, Karlal, Sarrara and Turks that are found in the Hazara region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Hazara is located in the North-Eastern part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, east of the Indus River and comprises six districts: Abbottabad, Battagram, Haripur, Mansehra, Kohistan, and New District Torghar. The region is bounded on the north and east by the Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir. To the south are the Islamabad Capital Territory and the province of Punjab, whilst to the west lies the rest of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The river Indus runs through the division in a north-south line, forming much of the western border of the division. The total area of Hazara is 18,013 km².

Hazara lies in a region which is a crossroads of cultures, where the plains of the Punjab meet the Central Asia. Its population consists of numerous tribes, many of whom claim and are of Pashtun ancestry. However the tribes looked at in this post make no such claim. It is likely that they are of Hindu ancestry, but other then the Turks, they now all claim Arab ancestry. Like most of the population of Hazara, all these tribes speak the Hindko language, which main be descended from the ancient language of the Gandhara civilization. The population are referred to as Hindkowan, meaning people who speak Hindko.

Bib

I start this post with one of the least known of the Hazara tribes, the Bib. The origin of the Bib is subject to some argument. According to their own traditions, the Bib are a branch of the Awan tribe, a claim generally not accepted by the Awans. They, like the Awans claim descent from the fourth Caliph of Islam, Ali. Their customs are similar to neighbouring Hindkowan communities, and they are entirely Sunni.
The are found in the Abbotabad District, occupying two villages between the Rash plains and Thandiani range. This region is extremely mountainous, located in the northeast of Abbottabad District in the foothills of the Himalayas. To the east beyond the Kunhar River lies the Pir Panjal mountain range of Kashmir. Cut from the other the Awans of the Haripur plain, the Bib have much in common with their neighbours the Karlal and Sarrara, rather then the Awans.

Karlal

The Karlal, also known as Kard’al, Karaal, Karhral, or Kiraal, is a Hindko speaking tribe, found mainly in Abbottabad District, inhabiting the hilly area of the Galyat and the Nara tract. A minority are also settled in the Haripur District. A small number are also found in neighbouring Azad Kashmir, in Kotli District. Many Karlal now prefer the self-designation Sardar, meaning chief in Farsi.
The tribe trace their descent from a Sardar Kallar Shah son of Sujann Shah who is believed to have come from southern Afghanistan, and was a descendant of Alexander the Great. In Haripur and Abbottabad, they are known as Sardars, a name they acquired during the time of the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1296), when the tribal members were made rulers of the galliyat region of Hazara. There is also some argument as to the religion of the Karlal, as whether they were Hindu or not. As some of the oldest inhabitants of Hazara, a region that was largely Hindu till the early 13th Century, it is likely that they were either Hindus, or strongly influenced by Hinduism.

It does seem that throughout the middles ages, the Karlal maintained their independence. During Mughal era (1550-1730), when the Gakkars were trying to extend their authority in the entire lower Hazara from their base in Khanpur in what is now Haripur District, the leader of Karlal tribe Morcha Kulli Khan at that time was able to murder the Ghakkar chief and retained his tribes independence. Similarly the Turks, whose territory lay to the north, were also never able to extend their authority over this tribe although enjoying suzerainty over large portion of Pakhal Sarkar (an old name for Hazara). In the Durrani period (1740-1800), no attempt was made by Afghan rulers to subdue their territory. However, when the Sikhs captured lower Hazara they tried to gain control over entire lower Hazara including Karlal territory.

In 1822, Ranjit Singh sent a large force under famous General Amar Singh Majitta which was defeated by Karlals with great slaughter. Amar Singh was also murdered by the Karlal. Lepel Griffin, author of a colonial history of Hazara, writes in his book about this battle of Sumandar Khata. From 1822 to 1845 Karlal tribe fought many battles with Sikhs and were able to retain their independence. In 1844 once again Lahore Darbar sent a large force under Diwan Mulraj and Hari Singh to subdue Karlal country. Taking advantage of the difficult geographical terrain of their country, the Karlals were able to defeat Sikh army at place called Nah and killed more than 150 Sikh soldiers.

During the British period at the time of mutiny in 1857, the Karlal tried to revolt against the rule of East India Company, however, British were able to imprison Karlal chief Sardar Hassan Ali Khan and many mutineers of this tribe were hanged along with some Dhund tribesmen (Mutiny Reports 1857 of Hazara District). Subsequent to that, the Karlal remained fairly quite throughout the rest of the British period ending in 1947.

According to some sourdes, the Karlal make up 30% of the population of the district of Abbottabad, concentrated in the Galyat region bordering Murree and Azad Kashmir. The Karlal together with the Dhund, who are their neighbours to the south, speak a dialect of Hindko called Dhundi-Kariali, which is quite distinct from other Hindko dialects.

Sarrara

The next tribe I will look at are the Sarrara, who closely connect themselves to the Dhund, a tribe found mainly in the Murree hills. Some traditions make the Sarrara a branch of the Dhund, like the Dhund, the Sarrara claim to be Abbasi Arabs.

A strong tribal tradition, make their ancestor Sarrara one of twelve son of Akber Gai Khan, the ancestor of both Dhund and Sarrara tribe. Akber Gahee Khan was son of Zarab Khan who said to have come to Kashmir as general of the army under the command of Qutab Shah, the supposed ancestor of the Awan tribe. On signing a treaty with King of Kashmir and marrying his daughter he was on way back when he went to a saint in Kahuta, who asking him to pray for a child of him. The saint asked for promise of staying at the place as a reward for his prayer. The prayer of the saint led to the birth of a boy named as Akber Gahee Khan. This Akber Gahee Khan had twelve sons, namely:

Kahonder Khan ( forefather of Dhund)
Tanoli Khan (forefather of Tanolis in area of Tanawal and Amb Durband)
Chajjar Kanal
Salal
Agar Khan
Kool or Koor
Hakim Khan
Sarrara
Hans Khan
Molam Khan
Dilhawas
Barra Hazaria

The legend seems to suggest a close connection with the Dhund, and the Sarrara customs and traditions are close to the Dhund. Like the Dhund, they are hill farmers, speak the Dhundi-Kariali dialect of Hindko.
However, another tradition refers to their ancestors having come some time ago from Pakpattan in the Punjab. The tribe is classed as Sahu and inter marry on equal terms with Dhund.
The Sarrara are only found in the Boi tract between the Thandiani range and Kunhar river in the Abbottabad District. They are found mainly in Pattan Kalan and other villages such Chamiali, Bandi Sarrara, Darer, Batangi, Sialkot, Kotlian, in Kukmang Union Council.