Dab, Nissowana, Rehan and Sipra/Sapra tribes

In this post I shall look at four tribes that are found mainly along the Jhelum and Chenab rivers. Three of these tribes, namely the Dab, Nissowana and Rehan are actually all clans of the Khokhars. At present, I will not delve into the origins of the Khokhar, other to confirm the consensus that they are a tribe of Rajput origin, but are also connected with the Awans. The Jhelum valley north of the city of Jhang almost to the outskirts of Khushab is home numerous small clans, most of whom claim to be by origin Khokhars. Among these include the three tribes subject to this post. The last tribe that I will look in this post is the Sapra, sometimes pronounced as Sipra, who are by origin Gill Jats. Unlike their neighbours, Sipra culturally have much more in common with the Jats of central Punjab, then the other tribes in this post. However, all these tribes are of Jat status.


I shall off this post by looking at the tribe of Jats known as Dabs. According to most traditions, the Dab are a clan of Khokhar Rajputs. However, another tradition gives the Dabs a Suryavanshi Rajput, and their ancestor Dab is said to have come to Punjab around 1469 AD. Generally, the Dab are now seen as of Jat status, and intermarry with tribes of similar status.

The Dabs are found mainly in Shorkot Tehsil of Jhang District, with their main villages being Jalala Dab and Dab Kalan. The village of Kotli Sultan Dab in Khanewal District, is also centre of this clan.


We now look at the Nissoana, sometimes written as Nissowana or even Naswana, who territory lies east and north of the Gilotar and Chadhar. As mentioned in my introduction, the suffix aana in the Kirana Bar is a patronymic, therefore the Nissowana are the descendants of Nisso. So the question is, who was this Nisso, from whom the tribe is descended. Like most tribes of the Bar, and indeed the whole of western Punjab, there are a number of traditions. Many Nissowanas claim to be Bhattis, indeed Nissowana territory located on the borders of Chiniot and Sargodha districts is referred to as Bhatiore, or the region of the Bhattis.


However, there are other traditions which connect the Nissowana with the Awan tribe. This is more recent claim, as early British colonial writers make no reference this, which in itself does not mean this claim to Awan origin is incorrect. Please refer to my post on the Budhal tribe, which gives some background to the Awan tribe. Suffice is say is that the Awan claim Arab descent from a Qutab Shah who arrived in India with the armies of Mahmud of Ghazni. A more common tradition is that Nisso was a Khokhar Rajput, and son of Rihan, the ancestor of the Rehan Jats, who are also found in Jhang. In popular opinion in the region of Punjab they inhabit, the Nissowana are perceived as Jats, and intermarry with the Rehans, and other Jat tribes of their neighbourhood.

The Nissowana are found about thirty villages in the northeast corner of Chiniot and neighbouring Sargodha. There main village is Kandiwal, where the chief or Malik resided, however, they no longer exert any influence on the tribe. There remaining villages include Chak Jodh, Lakseen, Kot Naja, Luqman, Balianwala, Nawah Lo, Bahiwaal, Bhabhrana, Dinga, Bhukhi, Loley Hayatpur, Mundrana, Wassuana, Kiradiwal, Yaarewala, Raajewal, Bhoukn, Chak 54 SB, Bhuttran Chak, Chak Khana and Icharwal.



The last tribe that I will look in this post are the Rehan. They are neighbours of the Akera, and at one time were rulers of the Kalowal illaqa. They are surrounded by Khokhar tribes, and it is possible that the Rehan are of Khokhar origin themselves. According to a tribal tradition found among the Nissowana, is that Nisso was a Khokhar Rajput, and son of Rihan, the ancestor of the Rehan Jats. However, they were pastoralists a lot longer then their Khokhar neighbours, but were effectively settled by the British, who ended the independence of the Rehans. This distinction with their Khokhar neighbours has meant that the tribe has kept it distance from its Khokhar neighbours. Their most important village in Jhang District is still Kalowal, although they are several villages across the district boundary in Sargodha.


The last tribe I shall look are the Sipra, sometimes pronounced as Sapra. They are a branch of the Gill Jats, a well-known tribe found in central Punjab. The tribe gets its name from Sipra, who was the first to convert to Islam, sometimes in the 16th Century. Sipra and his clansmen settled in Shorkot, and were found mainly in Sial dominated villages. It is interesting to note that in 1911 Census of India, many Sipra put down Gill as their clan.

Most Sipra are found in Jhang District, and important Sipra villages include Kharal Sipra, Mal Sipra and Waryamwala. In Chakwal District, the Sipra claim descent from Jewa Sipra, who left Qadirabad in Mandi Bahauddin District in the 18th Century and settled in Bal Kasar. Presently, in addition to Bal Kassar, they are also found in the villages of Narang Syedan and Sikriala.