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A discourse on the object and progress of investigation, into the oriental ... online

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disappear at various distances from their sources. Such is the termina-
tion of those in the Bolan pass, and of many of the rivers met with in the
downward march from Kelat to the sea : and we may attribute this result
to the very absorbent nature of the soil, which produces the same pheno-
mena in the rivers of Kabul.

Before entering on a description of the principal rivers, some notice of
the lines of drainage appears necessary, and these may be enumerated-
1st southerly towards the sea; 2nd westerly, towards the desert; and
Srd easterly, towards the Indus.

The principal river of Beluchistan is the Nal, which rises 16 miles
south of Kelat, and in a plain elevated 6000 feet above the lev6l of the
sea, from whence the lines of drainage are to the north and south. The
Nal river from Kelat has a general direction S. S. W. flowing by So-
rahb and Nal Jowhoo; entering the sea 80 to 100 miles, westward of Suu-
miani. The length of its course is nearly 400 miles, and may be consi-
dered throughout, a mountain torrent, which is generally dry, and flooded
only after violent storms.

The waters flowing north from Kelat form one of the principal tribu-
taries of of theLorah river, which they join in the Peshin valley ; whence
flowing west, and south-west, towards the great lake of Seistan, they
are lost in £he sands of the Noshki and Chargye desert, about half waj
between these two places. Such also is the termination of all the minor
ttreamd which flow westward between Noshki and the sea. X^ey are

4



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144 Oeographical and Statistical [Jan.

all absorbed in the desert, and have no apparent communication with the
lake aboTementioned.

The line of drainage eastward may be best described by a line drawn
south by west, from the Sliawl valley to the parallel of Khozdar, and
thence by another line, running along the course of the Baghwana river,
south-east, to the Manchar lake, as all the rivers flowing eastward within
these limits fall into the Indus. Below Khozdar, however, and generally
from the neighbourhood of Wadd, for twenty to thirty miles south, the
course of the principal rivers (the Puralli and Oomach,) is generally
south ; and the confluence of both occurs at the town of Bella in Lus ;
whence, under the general name of the Puralli, they fall into the sea, a
few miles westward of SunmianL One other river deserving of notice is
the Hubb, which rises in the mountain ranges, south south-west of Wadd,
called " Pubb," whence, pursuing a southerly course it debouches into the
sea between Sunmiani and Karrachi, about twenty miles westward of that
place. Some few of the minor rivers and water-courses, between the
Manchar lake, and the line of the drainage of the Hubb, generally flow
into the Indus. The Puralli has a course of 150 miles, which like that
of the Oomach, is usually dry, or only filled during the floods. The
Hubb partakes of the same character, though with probably a larger sup-
ply of water from springs ; but in all cases the quantity is very limited,
and confined to occasional spots.

The above comprises a general outline of the physical features of Be-
luchistan, which may be divided into two distinct and separate portions,
forming the upper and lower country, possessed by the tribes composing
the Jhallawan, and Sarawan states. The Jhallawans are the most
numerous and influential portion of the population, while the Sarawans^
from their inferiority in numbers, are in seme measure subordinate to the
former. Both tribes are split into numerous subdivisions ; and the line
of demarkation, dividing these two great tribes, centres at Kelat ; but
running east and west, extends to Katchi on the one hand, and the desert
of JSrAara72,Noshki, and Khej on the other. The Jhallawans, or tribes
" living helowy' occupy the whole of that portion of the country south of
Kelat, extending to that point where the main road to Sunmiani approach-
es the Puralli river, distant twenty-one miles north from Bella, the cap-
ital of the province of Lus; and thence extending eastward, by an imagi-
nary line, they occupy the great Hala range of mountains, which divide



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1845.] Memorandum on Beluckistan. 145

Sindh from Beluchistan, and from the Mugzee and other tribes, possessing
the southern portion of Katchi. Westerly are the tribes dwelling in the
desert of Kharan, Panjgur, Khej, &c.

The Sarawans, or the tribes living above, occupy the country to the
north of Kelat, as far as the valley of Shawl and the Lorah river, the an-
cient boundary of the principality of Kelat, and extend westward, as far
as Noshki, Chargye, &c. and eastward to the Hala mountains and north-
ern Katchi. The Sarawans, on the day of battle, claim the privilege of
forming on the right of their chieftain, the Khan of Kelat ; while the
Jhallawans, with equal zeal, bring their numerous clans to form on the left.
The chief in person and his body guards occupy the van of the army. The
Jhallawans bear a red standard, the Sarawans a yellow, while the Royal
standard is green ; and the union of the three colors constitutes the na-
tional flag, which is borne at the side of the chief, by some distinguished,
or favored warrior of the day, who has this honor conferred on him for
past services, and retains it only during the pleasure of the chief. The
Sarawanand Jhallawan standard-bearers are, however, both hereditary offi-
cers, and cannot be deprived of their right, but by the united voice of the
nation.

These tribes are held together by a description of feudal tenure, differing
from that common among the Rajputs, as well as from the ancient feud-
al system of the Normans, insomuch as when the various tribes, ( and
these are all rated at certain numbers according to their strength), are
called for by the sovereign on any particular service, they are all maintain-
ed at the expense of the state, and on the completion of this service are
dismissed to their homes with some trifling mark of favor ; while their
chiefs, or other distinguished characters, are for important services not
onfrequently rewarded by grants of land, on a nominal quit rent. This
mode of obtaining feudal right in lands may account for so large a portion
of the lands being now held on this tenure ; but most of these grants date
back to the period of Nasir Khan the Great, though some were held, at
a period anterior to this : and the chronology of the Brahui-grants is seK
dom earlier than the date of the reigning prince.

The inhabitants occupying'the upper part of Beluchistan, the Kohistan,
and the neighbouring desert, are generally termed Brahuis ; but those
possessing Sindh, Lus, and the coast of M ekran, are called Beluchis.

These people are distinguished more by their difference of language



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146 Geograpkical and Statistical [Jau.

than by their appearance, manners or customs; and thb difference is
marked and decisive, as the Brahui speaks a language which bears little or
no affinity to any known tongue of the present day ; while the Bduchi con-
verses in a corrupt dialect of the Persian, easily comprehended by those
who understand this language. * The Brahuis and BeluChis may not
unaptly be termed thq Highlanders and Lowlanders of Beluchistan, though
many of the latter be found residing in the hill country, while the former
here and there occupy the plains. They differ from each other nearly in
the same proportion as the Scotch Lowlanders differ from the Highlanders,
but do not possess any peculiar characteristic which might mark them, asm
separate people, though the dissimilarity of their language would favour an
opinion of their origin being different. The long visage, high and aquiline
features of the Jews, are common to both, but in a less degree to the
Brahui, who is generally a hardier character than the Beluchi. They are
both resolute and warlike, implacable in their hatred, and revengeful ; but
are hospitable, and possess many of the virtues and wild notions of
honor among the Arabs, particularly in those parts where, like them, they
are the children of the desert. They are also trustworthy, and having
once undertaken a trust never betray it.

Numerous as are the tribes which occupy Beluchistan, the country is
but thinly populated ; as the people are for the most part pastoral, and
wander from place to place with their flocks and herds, just as the want of
forage and water may render necessary. Their habits are often preda-
tory, and many frequently eke out a precarious existence, partly derived
from their flocks and partly the gain of plunder and rapine. They adapt
their movements, as much as possible, to meet the changes of the seasons ;

* In the first volome of the Transactioni of the Bombay Geographical So-
ciety will be found seme explanatory notes of mine on the vocabularies of ian-
guages, spoken in the countries west of the Indus, collected by Lt Leech. —
The fieluchis claim an Arabian descent, but their language, which is Persian
mixed with a small proportion]of Sanskrit, Pushtu, and Arabic terms, indicates
thdir Indo-Persic descent: and the origin of the Br^kvis may be traced to
the same source, as their language is composed of many Persian words, makes
use of the Persian numerals, and forms the gender of its nouns afler the rales
of Persian grammar. — Several words of the Brakui language have been bor-
rowed from Uie FathtU and other dialects of tribes, inhabiting the Htnits-
Kush, which are eognate with languages of a SanskrU origin, and BindH
ftock.— £(ii<or.



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1845*] Memorandum an BeluckUtan* Y47

and during the winter descend into the lower and warmer parts of Katchi
and Sindh, while in summer they find a refuge, from the great heats, in the
higher parts of Kohistan.

Their habitations are well suited to this wandering mode of life; as they
generally dwell in tents, called ^^Gidansy* made of a dark coloured felt, or
blanket ; and a collection of these is termed a ^^ Toman" or **KhaiL" So
general indeed are these tents or dwellings, that they are found scattered
over the whole face of the country; and strange as it may appear, several
places, marked in our maps as fixed towns and villages, are nothing more
than "tomans'' or "clusters" of tents; among which may be mentioned
Noshki, Kharan, &c.

The Government of the country is vested in an hereditary chief, and
minister, to whom are occasionally added the leading chiefs of the princi-
pal tribes of the nation ; but the power is, as may be readily imagined, of
a character more or less despotic according to the energy, physical and
mental, of the chief who restrains and governs the wild and reckless
tribes subject to his control, and more disposed to openly defy than sub-
mit to his authority. The chief, who would bind such subjects to bis
will, must possess high qualifications for command, bold bearing, reckless-
ness of danger, personal prowess, and physical strength ; which, while
they are well calculated to win the admiration of barbarous minds, over-
come and compel them at the same time to obedience. These attributes
were conspicuous in the character of Nasir Khan the Great, and in an in-
ferior degree possessed by the late chieftain, Mehrab Khan ; but as they
are rarely combined in one person, we find but too generally in Beluchiston
that the allegiance shewn to the sovereign by his subjects, is mainly re*
gulated by his power to enforce it ; and the more distant subjects there^
fore yield but a nominal, or tardy obedience, while those nearer to his
person, and more immediately under his control, are ruled with an iron
hand.

In the loose and disjointed system of Government, which prevails gener«-
ally thoughout Beluchistan, the elements of anarchy and confusion are a-
bondant ; being constantly developed by internal feuds, carried on be-
tween tribes, with an animosity only known to Asiatics, and which re-
quires the utmost exertion of power, on the part of the Khan to svippre^*
To this state of things may be attributed the insecurity of persons and pro-
perty of travellers and traders, so frequently occurring in the neighbour-



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148 Oeographical and Statistical [Jan.

hood of the Baranlakh, and other remote parts of the country, which,
from their distance from the seat of power, favor the commission of such
outrages as cannot he punished.

The towns and villages of this country are few and far between, and
generally lie on the main cafila roads, varying from forty] to fifty miles
from each other. They seldom, (Kelat and one or two others excepted,)
exceed in number forty to fifty houses, are mud built, with flat roofs, and
are seldom of more solid materials except when a chief of note resides in
them.

It has been observed that the population of Beluchistan is scanty ; and
it is impossible from the wandering habits of the people to arrive, at even
an approximation of their true numbers. Neither can we ascertain
the amount of population by a reference to the numbers of fighting men,
that each of the two great tribes, of Sara wan and Jhallawan, can produce
for war under their tenure of serving the Suzerain, as during war only a
small portion of the population compose the military body.

The sub-divisions of the Jhallawans are forty- two in number, of the
Sarawans nineteen amounting in the aggregate to 10,090 fighting men,
but there can be no doubt but that a number of able bodied men, capable
of bearing arms far exceeding this amount, could be brought together on a
case of emergency.

There is an impossibility of large bodies of fighting men subsisting
in a country so destitute of forage and provisions as is Beluchistan, and
should any rebellious rising happen therefore, it may prove formidable for
a time, from the numbers collected together, but can only continue so
for a short period, as every individual added to the fighting body tends
to diminish the means of their subsistence, and a few additional days
or hours will frequently suffice to disperse a fieluchi horde, which
must break up for want of provisions, and disperse over the country in
search of food. Once disunited it can seldom be brought together
again.

Regarding the produce of the country little can be said, as the people
chiefly belong to pastoral tribes, seldom occupying themselves in agricul-
tural pursuits, as the little grain they require is drawn generally from
the rich plains of Katchi. In the districts around Mustang, Kelat,
Baghwana, and Khozdar, &/c. wheat and juwarree are cultivated; yet the
supply is but limited, and barely suffices for the cultivators and land-



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1846.] Memorandum on BeluchUtan. 149

holders, on whom they are dependent. It would indeed be difficult in
a country naturally so sterile, and so scantily supplied with water, to
look for agricultural produce to any extent, even with the best manage*
ment.

The staple commodity of the country is wool ; which, in the neigh«
bourhood of Wadd, and generally in the southern parts of Beluchistan^ is
produced of a quality so superior, that, of late years, it has greatly
attracted the attention of our merchants as a profitable article of trade ;
and is found in great quantities all over the country.

The manufactures of the country are scarcely worthy of notice, ex-
cepting the carpet, which approximates somewhat to the Persian, and the
course description of blanket, made from equal parts of goats hair, and
sheeps wool, which is used for tents (or Ghidans,) that are made how-
ever south of Khozdar, and to the west, from a description of matting,
called " peech", and manufactured from either the leaf of the date tree,
or the palm. In certain of the southern districts, the tents of various
tribes occupying them are formed entirely of this matting ; and from
the coast of Mekran generally, much of it is annually exported to
Bombay. Arms, such as swords, shields, matchlocks, and other weapons
of defence, are brought from Kabul, and other northern towns, but
maoy of these are of Persian and Indian manufacture.

Cotton cloths, which are in general use in the country, are of Indian
produce. Woollens are brought from Afghanistan and Katchi ; and
are frequently of European manufacture, either English or Russian ;
while the cloaks andy^r dresses, required for the winter, are exclusively
from Kabul and Kandahar. Embroidery and needle work, either in
silk, gold, or silver, is in considerable repute ; but this manufacture is
invariably made by the women, who employ all their time in making up
their own, or their husband's dresses.

Horses are bred of a very inferior description, all over the country ;
but in the neighbourhood of Jeherri, twenty miles south-east of KelaU
a strong bony description of animal is found ; many of which are annu-
ally sent to the Bombay market. They are, however, inferior to the
Herat and Persian horses. The district of Shorawak, to the south-
west of Kandahar, is famous for its breed of camels, whence south to
Mekran these animals are extensively bred. The hill camels, com-
monly found on the eastern frontier, and bred in the valleys, lying be-



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160



Oeographical and Statistical



[Jan.



tween the ranges of the Hala mountains^ are by far the most endurtDg
of this description of animal. They are small and hardy, and well
adapted to undergo the difficulties of that country; and far excel, as beasts
of burden, those bred in Katchi and Sindh, which last are ill calculated
for the hill country. The camels of Lus and Mekran are much
esteemed by the natives, and may be purchased to almost any
extent.

Of the revenue of the country, I am unable to oflTer any adequate opin-
ion beyond that it is limited in the extreme, the district of Mustang is
perhaps the most productive, and yields from 40 to 50,000 rupees an-
nually. Kelat probably as much, while Baghwana may be rated at half
that amount, and Khozdar at one-fourth. But so vague is all information
connected with this point, that what is now stated can only be considered
an approximation. The principal source of revenue is derived, unques-
tionably, from the province of Katchi, which is particularly fertile, and ca-
pable of yielding much more than it now does; and without which the
principality of Kelat could not maintain itself. The revenue is general-
ly, if not entirely, collected in kind; money is little known in Beluchistan
proper, and indeed there is no coin of the country, excepting the Compa-
ny's rupee which, within the last three years, has been scattered by us
with so profuse a hand, that it is now the only current coin d the
country.

Memorandum of Latitudes^ and elevation of places in BeluehistoMy
taken from several observations*



Names of places.


Latitudes.


Elevation in foet.


Remarks.


Kelat


Lat. 29' 00' 19" N.

• 28° 27' 15 " N.

• 27* 58' 23"
'«* '26''67''40"*


6.040 feet.


A lolly range of hills to the

eastward.
Lead and Antimony mines

in theneigbbourhooa.

The Lat. the mean ef4teiee
observations.


Sorahb and Anjira.

Baghwana

Wadd

Bella

Sunmiani


3,879 •

3,739 t
3,000 •

300 t
at the level of the sea.



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1845.] Critical View of Zoroaster's System, 151



Art. III. — Critical View of the Theological and Ceremonial
System of Zoroaster. Translated from the French of
Anquetil du Perron : — With Introductory Observations.
By the Rev. J. Murray Mitchell.

iNTRODUCTORr OBSERVATIONS.

The religion which is said, hy its professors, to have been promulgated
by Zoroaster, is entitled to a high place among the objects of antiquarian
and philosophical research. Notwithstanding the exceeding obscurity
which hangs over many questions connected with the Zand-Avasta and
its reputed author, it is on all sides admitted to be highly probable that
the religion which is now professed by the Parsis of India has sustained
no essential alteration for upwards of 2000 years. So extended a dura-
tion would, ' independently of any other reasons, entitle the system
to attentive consideration ; but the historical interest pertaining to the
once mighty Persian Empire invests the study of this religion with an
importance, which corresponds to the elevated rank its professors former-
ly enjoyed among the nations of the earth.

Residents in Western India have a strong additional inducement to
prosecute inquiries into the Zoroastrian faith, in the peculiar and im-
portant position which its professors hold in this country. This religion
has not, like that of ancient Greece or Egypt, perished from off the face
of the earth ; it is a living creed, moulding the character and the destiny
of myriads of an active and intelligent race, the far greater and more in-
fluential portion of whom are our fellow subjects, and mingle largely with
ourselves in the affairs of ordinary life.

It should seem, too, a fitting thing that any inquiries that need to be
instituted into the Zoroastrian system, should be made in India, in which
they can be prosecuted with many and obvious advantages, which cannot
be enjoyed in the Colleges and Literary Societies of Europe. And, if our
own Society is to take a part in Oriental investigation, the subjects of
Farsiism and Parsis appear to belong to it by special right. It is un-
necessary to say that members of the Bombay Branch R. Asiatic So-
ciety have entered into such investigations with zeal and success, or to
dwell on the important contributions towards the elucidation of this sub-
ject which have been made by Mr. Erskine, Dr. Wilson, and others.

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152 Critical View of the Theological [Jan.

It will readily be understood that the object of the present paper b not
to present the results of any new inquiries into the Zoroastrian religipn^
but to diffuse over a wider circle the knowledge of facts which have al-
ready been discovered. The principles of the system are very imperfect-
ly comprehended by the great bulk of educated Europeans in W. India, —
and the general mind even of our own Society refuses to enter, with any
considerable measure of interest, into the subject, unless it be divested
of intricate literary disquisition. The claims of the paper of which a
translation is now presented, may be rested, then, — should higher merit
not be conceived to belong to it, — on its simplicity and conciseness, — on
its affording a popularized view of this very interesting subject. But it
possesses a higher character. Having had occasion, in the course of my
own studies, to seek a brief, yet comprehensive and systematic, view of
the Pars! religion, I found the article, the translation of which is sub- -
joined, to be, on the whole, the most satisfactory of the statements to
which I had access.* It is now presented under the impression that it
will be found interesting and useful much beyond the circle of professed
Orientalists.

Whatever, connected with the present subject, has proceeded from the
pen of Anquetil du Perron, is entitled to profound respect. After aU
that has been aceompHshed by kter inquirers, the writings of Anquetil
on the doctrines and history of the Zoroastrian faith are still standard
works. Whilie his philological attdnments must be admitted to have
been rather extensive than accurate, and his ardent temperament predis-
posed him to form hasty conclusions, still, his laborious research, and in-
defatigable zeal in every thing connected with Zoroastrianism, enabled him
to amass an amount of tnfbrmation connected with his favorite study, which
has proved of immense value to succeeding investigators, and the addi-
tions to which, although important in themselves, have not eompanUwe-
ly been great, — or, at aU events, affect the details, not the essential part,
of the system.

We may gknce, at some interesting facts connected with the introduc-
tion of the Zand-Avasta to the notice o£ Europe. The well known Dr.
Hyde, towards^ the end of the 17th century, had two small Zand MSS., in

* The library of our Society is not very well furnished with works connect- «
ed with the Zoroastrian system. We want, in particular, Kleuker'a transIatioB
of Anquetil with its valuable notes, and Rhode.



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1845.] and Ceremouial System of Zoroaster, 15S

his possession; but we bare no evidence tbat he was able to make the slight-
est Qse of their contents. George Bourchier, &c. an EngHshmany obtained
a copy of the Vandidad Sdde, at Surat, in 1718. It was brought into
England in 1728; but no one could decypher the Zand charactert.



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