H. A. (Horace Arthur) Rose.

A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West frontier province (Volume 3) online

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A GLOSSARY

OF THE

TRIBES AND CASTES

OF THE

Punjab and North^West Frontier Province*



Based on the Census Report for the Punjab, 1883,

by the late Sir DENZIL. IBBETSON, K-CSL,

and the Census Report for the Punjab, 1892,

by the Hon. Mr. E. D. MacLAGAN, C.S.I., and

compiled by H. A. ROSE.



VOL. II.



A.— K.



!lLabore :

rfilNTED AT THE *' CIVIL AND UILITAEY GAZETTE " V&L3S,
BY SAMUEL T. WESTON.



Price :— Rs.5-0-0, or 6s. 4d.



iPii.



GLOSSARY OF THE TRIBES AND

CASTES OF THE PUNJAB AND

N. W. F. PROVINCE.



622219



Agents tor the sale of Punjab Government
Publications.



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V



189.



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Bombay.






PREFACE TO VOLUME 11.

This niossary of tlie Tribes and Castes found in the Pimjal),
the North-West Frontier Province and tlie l^^^tected Territories
on the North- West Frontier of India, is based upon the works of
the late Sir Denzil Charles Jelf Ibbetson, K.C.S.I., Lieutenant-
Governor of the Punjab and its Dependencies, and of the
Hon'ble Mr. Edward Douglas Maclagan, C.S.T., now Secretary
to the Grovernment of India in the Revenue Department. Sir
Denzil Ibbetson's Report on the Punjal) Census of 1881 was
reprinted as Pun jab Ethnography. Vohime HI of the present com-
pilation will include the rest of this (rlosaari/, and Volume I will
comprise the valuable chapters of Sir Denzil Ibbetson's Report
which deal with the Physical Description of tlie Punjal), its Reli-
gions and other subjects, supplemented by the matter contained
in the Hon'ble Mr. Maclagan's Report on the Punjab Census of
1891, and from other sources.

This Glossary embodies some of the materials collected in
the Ethnographic Survey of India which was begun in 1900,
under the scheme initiated by Sir Herbert Risley, K.C.I.B.,
C.S.I. , but it has no pretensions to finality. The compiler's aim
has been to collect facts and record them in the fullest possible
detail without formulating theories as to the racial elements which
have made the population of the modern Punjab, the growth of
its tribes or the evolution of caste. For information regard-
ing the various theories which have been suggested on those
topics the reader may be referred to the works of Sir Alexande^
Cunningham,* Bellewf and Nesfield.J

The Census Report for India, 190^, Sind The Races of India
may also be referred to as standard works on these subjects.

It is in contemplation to add to Volume III, or to publish as
Volume IV, a subject-index to the whole of the present work^



* Archieological Stiruey Ri!porl.-< : more ospeoially Vols II, V and XIV for the Punjab.
Also hi^ Ancient Geography of India, The Bitid'ii^l Perioi, 1S71.
t Rice-i of Afghanist in and Yu-^nfzai.
X Brief view of the Oasfe System of fli? Nn-th-We^'ei-n Rrouin-es and Oadh : Allahabad, 1885.



together witli nppendices containing exhaustive lists of tlie
numerous sections, septs and clans into which the tribes and
castes of these Provinces are divided.

A few words are necessary to explain certain points in the
Glossary. To ensure brevity' the compiler has avoided constant
repetition of the word " District " e. g., by " Lahore " the District
of that name must be understood thus " in Lahore " is equivalent
to the " in the District of Lahore," but by " at Lahore " is
meant " in the city of Lahore."

The printing of the name of a caste or tribe in capitals in
the text indicates that a reference to the article on that caste
or tribe is invited for fuller information. References to District
or State Goi^:ettenrs should be taken to indicate the latest editio n
of the Gazettepv unless the contrary is stated. References to a
Settlenipvt liepoH indicate the standard Report on the Regular
Settlement of the District in the absence of any express re-
ference to an earlier or later report.

Certain recognised abbreviations have also been used, e.g.,

J.R.A.S., for the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.

J.A.S.B., for the Journal of the (Royal) Asiatic Society
of Bengal.

P.N.Q., for Punjab Notes and Queries, 1883-85.

I.N'.Q., for Indian Notes and Queries, 1886.

ISf.I.N.Q., for North Indian Notes and Queries, 1891-9G.

E.H.I., for Elliot's History of India.

T.N., for Raverty's Translation of the Tahaqat-i-Nasiri.

In certain districts of the Punjab lists of agricultural tribes
have been compiled by District Officers for administrative pur-
poses in connection with the working of the Punjab Alienation
of Land Act (Punjab Act XIII of 1900), and these lists have been
incorporated in the present Glossary for facility of reference.

The two following extracts from an Address delivered by the
late Sir Denzil Ibbetson on J;he Study of Anthropology in India to



Ill



the Antliropological Society of Bombay in 1 890 are re-printed
here as of permanent interest and value : —

" Another scheme which suggested itself to me some years ago, and
met with the approval of Sir Charles Elliot, would, I think, greatly simplify
and lighten the labour of recording customs, but which I unfortunately
never found leisure to carry out. It was to publish typical custom-sheets
printed with a wide margin.'^ The ])rintod portion would give a typical
set of, say, marriage ceremonies, divided into short paragraphs, one for
each stage. The inquirer would note opposite each paragraph the depar-
tures from the typical ceremonial which he found to obtain among the
people and in the locality under inquiry. The main lines of these and
similar ceremonies are common to many tribes over a considerable area,
and the system, which is of course capable of indefinite expansion, would
save a deal of writing, would suggest inquiry, would be a safeguard against
omissions, and above all, would bring differences of custom into prominence.

•3f * * * «■ *

" And now I have come to the fourth and last head of my discourse,
and you will, I am sure, be relieved to know that I shall be brief. What
is the use of it all ? I must premise that no true student ever asks himself
such a question. To some of you, I fear, I shall appear profane, but I take
it that the spirit which animates the true scholar is the same in essence as
that which possesses the coin-collector or the postage stamp maniac. He
yearns for more knowledge, not because he proposes to put it to any
definite use when he has possessed himself of it, but because he has not
got it, and hates to be without it. Nevertheless, it is a question which, if
we do not ask ourselves, others -will ask for us, and it behoves us to have
our answer ready. In the first place, it is impossible to assert of any
addition, however apparently insignificant, to the sum of human knowledge,
that it will not turn out to be of primary importance. The whole fabric
of the universe is so closely interwoven, mesh by mesh, that at whatever
out-of-the-way corner we may begin unravelling, we may presently assist
in the loosening of some knot which has barred the progress of science.
What Philistine would look with other than contempt upon the study of
the shapes of fancy pigeons, of the markings of caterpillars and butterflies,
and of the respective colourings of cock and hen birds. Yet from these
three sources have been drawn the most vivid illustrations and the strong-
est proofs of a theory the epoch-making nature of which we are hardly
able to appreciate, because it has already become an integral part of the
intellectual equipment of every thinking man. But Ave need not trust to
the vagueness of the future for evidence of the value of our studies in
India. They have already cast a flood of light upon the origin and nature
of European tenures, and they have even modified the course of British
legislation. I do not think it is too much to say that, had we known
nothing of land tenures in India, the recognition of tenant right in Ulster
would have been indefinitely postponed."

The scientific spirit which inspired the above remarks laid
the foundations of all anthropological research in the Punjab and



* This method was adopted in carrying ml the Ethnographic Survey in these Provinces.
H. A. R,



IV



Nortli-West Frontier Province. The practical importance of an
intensive study of tlie minutest data in the popular religion,
folk-lore, traditions, survivals and superstitions cannot be easily
exaggerated, and the present writer is convinced that nothing but
a closer study of them will, for example, reconcile the apparently
hopeless inconsistencies of the Punjab customary law.



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Glossary



OP



Punjab Tribes and Castes.



A

AbazaIj a section of tho Yusufzai Pathans, found in Buner.

Abba Khel, one of the six septs of the Baizai clan of tho Akozai Yusufzai
Pa^hd,Q8, found in Peshdwar.

Abbassi, the name of the ruling family of the Daudpotrds who are
Nawabs of Bahawalpur and claim descent from tho Abbasside dynasty
of i^gypt : see Daudpotra and Kalhor^.

Abual, a small caste of Muhamraadans found in Kdngra and the
Jaswiin Dun of Hoshiarpur. The Abddls arc divided into 12 tolls
or septs. The Abduls of Kangra do not associate with those of
Sukhdr and Nurpur. The Abddls are beggars and wanderino-
singers, performing especially at Rdjput funerals, at which they
precede the body singing and playing dirges, len or hirldp. In
the time of the Raj^s when any Rdjput was killed in battle and
the news reached his home, they got his clothes and used to
wear them while singing his dirge. Thus they sang dirges f»r
Rdm Singh, wazir of Nurpur, and Sham Singh, Atd,riwdld,, who had
fought against the British, and for Rajd, Rai Singh of Chamba.
The Abdals now sing various songs and attend Rajput weddings.
They are endogamous. Abddl means 'lieutenant* (see Platts'
Hind, Dicty,, s. v.) and is the name of a class of wandering
Muhammadan saints.* Whether there is any connection between
the name and the Chihil Abddl of Islamic mythology does not
appear. For the Abdals in Bengal see Risley, People of India,
pp. 76 and 119.

Abdal, an Arain clan (agricultural), found in Montgomery.

Abdali, (1) a term once applied generally to all Afghans {q. v.), but
now apparently obsolete : (2) the name of a famous family of tho
Saddozai Pa^hdns which gave Afghanistan its first Afghan dynasty:
Now known as Durrani, this family belonged to the Sarbani branch
of the Afghans, and is believed by them to derive its name from Abddl
or Avddl bin Tarin bin Sharkhabun h. Sarban 6. Qais, who received
this name from Kwhdja Abd Ahmad, an abddl't or saint of the Chishtid

* It is the plur. of hadal, ' substitute,' and the Abdal, 40 in number, take the fifth place
in the Sufi hierarchical order of saints issuing from the great Qutb, Also called 'Rukabi,'
* guardians,' they reside in Syria, bring rain and victory and avert calamity ; Eticyclopxdia
o/ Isldm, s. V, p. 69.

t See Abdal supra.



2 Ahddli — Adam Ehel,

order. Driven from their lands near Qandaliar by the Ghalzai, the
Abdi'ili had long been settled near llerdt, but were restored by Niidir
Shah to their old homo, and when Ahmad Shilh became king at
Qandahiir his tribe served as a nucleus for the new empire. Influenced
by a faqir named Sabar Shah he took the title of Durr-i-durrdn,
' pearl of pearls.' The two principal Abdali clans are the Popalzai,
(to which belonged the royal section, the Sadozai) and the Barakzai :
M. LoDgworth Uames in Encycl. of Islam, p. 67.

Abdalke, a Kharral clan (agricultural), found in Montgomery.

Abduut [avadhuta)* a degree or class of the celibate Gosains who live by
beorging. They are wanderers, as opposed to tho viatddri or dsanddri
class. Sec Gosaia.

Abhiea, the modern Ahfr {q. v.).

Abhai'Anthi, one of the 12 orders or schools of the Jogis (5. v.).

Abkal, a sept of Rdjputs, descended from Wahgal, a son of Sangar Chand,

16th K^ja of Kahlur.
Adlana, (1) a Jat clan (agricultural), found in Multan : (2) a branch of the

Kharrals, found in Montgomery and the Minchin^b^d nizdmat of

Bahiiwalpur.

Abioia, an ancient tribe of Jat status found in Sindh and the Bahdwalpur
State. It is credited with having introduced the arts of agriculture
into the south-west Punjab and Sindh in the proverb : —

Kar7i hahhshe hiror.
Abra bahhshe hal di or.

' Let R^jfi Karn give away crore of rupees, the Abra will give what
he earns by the plough.'

The tribe is also said to be an offshoot of the Sammas and is
numerous in Bahawalpur.

Abui, a Jdt clan (agricultural), found in Multan,

Abwani, a Pathdu clan (agricultural), found in Amritsar.

Acha Khel, an important clan of the Marwat Pathans, found in
Bannu.

AcHi-LAMO (Tibetan), a group of actors, singers and dancers, found
in Kanawar. They wear masks of skin with conch shells for
eyes and a dress to which woollen cords are so attached that in
dancing they spread out. Tho women play a large tambourine, and
the men a small drum shaped like an hour-glass. Parties of five,
— two men, two women and a boy — perform their dance.

Achran, an agricultural clan, found in Shdhpur.

Achakj(a), see under Brahman : syn. Mahabrahman.

Adam Khel, one of the eight principal clans of the Afridi Pathans:
said to be neither Gar nor Samil in politics. They have four
septs— Hassan Khel, Jaw^ki, Galli and Ashu Khel.

» Avadhuta is also the name of a Vaishnava sect. Ramanand founded the Ramawat sect
whom he called Avadhuta, because his followers had ' shaken off ' the bounds of narrow-
mindcdncss. To this sect belonged Tulsi Das, one of whose works was the Vairagya-Sandi-
pani or ' kindling of continence.' {NoUs on Tuhi Dds, by Dr. G. A. Grierson. Indian
Antiquary, 1893, p. 227),



^ / -^ / ^-/V^



^ ^^A c ^



L









■J






Adan Shdhi-^Ahangar. 3

Adan SHAHf, a Sikh sect or, moro correctly, order, founded by Adau
Shdh, a disciple of Kanhyd. Ldl, the founder of the Sewapanthis
iq.v.).

Adh-nath, ono of the 12 orders or schools of the Jogis {q. v.),
Admal, a sept of the Gakkhars {q. v.).

A'dpanthj, possibly a title of those Sikhs who adhere to the original
(ddi) faith (or to the ddi-granf;h) : cf. Census Report, 1891, § 88,
but see Adh-ndth.

Advait, a Hindu sect which maintains the unity of the soul with God
after death.

Afghan, pi. Afaghina: syn. Rohilla or Rohela and Pathdn {q. v-). The
earliest historical mention of the Afghans occurs under the year
1024 A. D. (414-15 Hijri) when Mahmud of Ghazni made a raid
into the mountains inhabited by the Afghjinian— after his return
from India to Ghazni — plundered them and carried off much booty.*
Afghan tradition makes Kashighar or Shawdl their earliest scat,
and the term Afghdnistan or land of the Afghans is said to be,
strictly speaking, applicable to the mountainous country between
Qandahdr and the Derajiit, end between Jalaldbad and the
Khaibar valley on the north and SiwI and Dadar on the south,
but it is now generally used to denote the kingdom of Afghanis-
tan. The AfgMns used to be termed Abdalis or Awdalis from
Malik Abdal under whom they first emerged from the Sulaimdn
Range and drove the Kdfirs or infidels out of the Kdbul valley.
(See also s. v. Pathan, Bangash, Dildzdk). By religion the
Afghans are wholly Muhammadan and claim as their peculiar
saint the ' Afghan Qntb,' Khwdjah Qutb-ud-din, Bakhtidr, Kaki
of Ush (near Baghditd) who probably gave his name to the Qutb
Mindr at Delhi.

Agaei, Agri or Agaria "a worker in salt," from dgara, salt-pan. The Agaris
are the salt-makers of Rdjputana and of the east and south-cast Punjab,
and would appear to be a true caste. t In Gurgaon they are said to
claim descent from the Rdjputs of Chittaur. All are Hindus, and
found especially in the Sultdnpur tract on the common borders of Delhi,
Rohtak and Gurgaon, where they make salt by evaporating the brackish
water of the wells. Socially they rank below the Jdts, but above Lohdrs.
A proverb says : " Theafe, thejawdsa, the Agari and the cartman — when
the lightning flashes these give up the ghost," apparently because the rain
which is likely to follow would dissolve their salt. Cf. Nungae.

Aggarwal, a sub-caste of the Banias {q. v.).
Agie, a doubtful synonym of Agari {q, v.).
Agwana, a Jdt clan (agricultural), found in Multdn.
Ahangar, a blacksmith.

* For fuller details see the admirable articles by Mr. Longworth Dames on Afghanistan
and Afridi in the Encyclopaedia of Islim (London: Luzac & Co.) now in courso of pub-
lication.

t But the Agarfs are also said to be a mere eiib-castc of the Kumhars. In Kumaon dgari
means an " iron-smolter " : N. I. N. Q. I., §§ 214, 217. It is doubtful whether Agi-a derives
its name from the Agaris, as there is an Agi-a in the Peshawar valley. For an account of Uio
salt-industry in Gurgaon, see Qurgaon Qazettecr, 1884, page 57.



4 Ahdri^^Ahir,

A.HARf, a doubtful synonym of Aheri {q. v.).

AHEEf (a), Ileri, Ahiiri (?), an out-caste and often vagrant tribe, found in the
south-east Punjab, and originally immigrant* from Rdjputana, especi-
ally Jodhpur and Bik^ner. The name is said to be derived from
her, a herd of cattle, but the Ahori, who appears to be usually
called Heri in the Punjab, is by heredity a hunter and fowler. He
is however ordinarily a labourer, especially a reaper, and even culti-
vates land in Hiss^r, while in Karnal he makes saltpetre.* In ap-
pearance and physique Aheris resemble Baurias, but they have no
dialect of their own, and are not, as a body, addicted to crime.

Of their numerous gots the following are found in the B^wal
nizdmat of Ndbha : —



Bhata.


Gahchand.


Panwdl.


Chdhurwdl.


Ghaman.


Rathor.


Charan.


Gogal.


Sdgaria.


Chanddlia.


Got^l^.


Sailingia.


Dekhta.


Hajipuria.


Samelwdl


Dahinwal.


Jbindia.


Sandlas.


Dahmiwal,


Junbal.


Sdrsut.


Dharoria.


Mahta.


Sendhi.


Dhariiheria.


Mewal.





The Aheris are almost all Hindus, but in the Phulki^n States a few
are Sikhs. Besides the other village deities they worship the goddess
Masdnl and specially affect Bd,bd,ji of Kohmand in Jodhpur and
Khetrp^l. In marriage four gots are avoided, and widow re-marriage
is permitted. All their rites resemble those of the Dhdnaks,t and
Chamarw^ Brahmans officiate at their weddings and like occasions.
The N^iks, who form a superior class among the Heris, resemble
them in all respects, having the same gots and following the same
pursuits, but the two groups do oot intermarry or even take water
from each other's hands. On the other hand the Aheri is said to
be dubbed Thori as a term of contempt, and possibly the two tribes
are really the same.

For accounts of the Aheris in the United Provinces, see Elliot's
Glossary.

Ahie. The name Ahir is doubtless derived from the Sanskrit ahhira, a
milkman, but various other folk etymologies are current. J

The Ahirs' own tradition as to their origin is, that a Brahman once
took a Vaisya girl to wife and her offspring were pronounced amat'
sangyd or outcast ; that again a daughter of the amat-sangyds married
a Brahman, and that her offspringr were called ahhirs {i.e., Gop^s or
herdsmen), a word corrupted into Ahir.

They are chiefly found in the south of Dehli, Gurgdon, and Rohtak
and the Phulki^n States bordering upon these districts, and in this

• Ahen's also work in reeds and grass, especially at making winnowing-baskets and
stools of reed.

t The Aheris claim that they will not take water from a Dhinak, as the Chuhras do.
Yet they rank no higher than the latter, since they eat dead animals, although they will
cot remove filth.

X One of these is ahi-dr, " snake-killer," due to the fact that Sri Krishna had once killed
a snake. But according to the Mad-Bhagwat, Askaad 10, Addhiyae 17, Sri Krishna did'^oa
kill the snake, but brought it out of the Jumna.



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Ahir growps.



limited tract they form a coDsiderable proportion of the whole popula-
tion.

The first historical mention of the Abhiras occurs in the confused
statements of the Vishnu Parana concerning them and the Sakas



Online LibraryH. A. (Horace Arthur) RoseA glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North-West frontier province (Volume 3) → online text (page 1 of 78)