Tribes of the Upper Kurram Valley :: Khyber.ORG

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Tribes of the Kurram

Kurram is divided into three distinct areas of Lower, Upper and FR Kurram. The Upper Kurram is the most populated part of the Agency and inhibited the most prominent and popular tribes of Turi and Bangash along with some other small tribes of Mungals, Jajis, Muqbals and Hazaras. The Lower Kurram is inhibited by relatively small number of Turis, Sunni Bangash and well-organized Zaimakht tribes. The FR Kurram is mainly populated by the Para- Chamkannis, Ali Sherzai and Massuzai tribes.

Tribes of Upper Kurram

Turi

It was the end of the fifteen-century that the Turi tribe first came into prominence. They wandered in nomadic fashion till they came to Ariob in Afghanistan, the adjacent area at the top of the valley and they established their summer headquarters and in the winter took their flocks down as for as the river Indus. From Nilab, on the bank of Indus River near Attack, the tribe appears to have annually immigrated during the hot weather to the Kurram Valley, then owned by the Bangash. In his dairy of the 1506 A.D. the Emperor Babur mentions the presence of Turis in the Kurram valley.

The Pathan genealogies show the Turis, as well as the Jajis, to be Ghurghusht Pathans of the Kakai Karlanri branch. In genealogy according to Olaf Caroe, They are Karlanri Pukhtuns, with Khugiani and Zazi (Jajis) as their Tarbors (cousins). All of them are the descendents of Khugi; a son of Koday from his second wife and thus Koday in turn is a son of Karlanri.The Turis, themselves claim that they came originally from Persia with a Turkish family headed by Toghani who married with a Persian lady. This Turkish family quite later migrated eastward from Persia sometime before the establishment of the Mughal Empire in India and eventually settled at Nilab. In other place they claim that they came from Samarkand to Nilab. If their migration from Persia is considered then this afford a plausible explanation to the Shia religion of the Turis.There is little bit doubt in the origin of tribes that they established their summer headquarters at the head of the Valley and in the winter they took their flocks and herds down as for as the Indus at Nilab returning each year to the parent colony. The Bangash remained throughout the century in possession of the Kurram valley while the Turis pursued their nomadic wanderings up and down the valley. During one of their annual migration, about the year 1700 A.D. a quarrel broke out between the Turis and the Bangash owing to an insult of a Turi woman. At that time the Jajis and Turis were united and the first assault made on the Bangash took place in the Hariob valley, which the Jajis seized. The Turis, throwing off the disguise of nomad vassals, attacked and captured Berki, which stands on the high grounds above Kharlachi.

Then they proceeded to consolidate themselves for a time, after which they captured Peiwar and by passing Shalozan they took Malana in the Upper Kurram. Once the Turis were in possession of these upper villages, the tide of conquest followed on uninterruptedly. The Turis gradually made themselves masters of the Kurram valley. They drove the Bangash out of the Kurram valley and settled in the major villages of Peiwar, Berki, Krakhela, Kachkena, Malana, Bilyamin, Alizai and the Road Ghara (Bank of the River Kurram). The Turis maintained possession of the valley till the middle of the 19th century, when they were in turn conquered by the Afghan, who remained till the second Anglo-Afghan, war of 1879-80. Finally the Turis came under the protection of the British Government in 1892. The Turis are the main and powerful tribe in the Kurram valley. The Turis are divided into five main sections or clans, sometimes spoken of collectively as the Paniplara (literally five fathers)

Bangash

Bangash is one of the major Pakhtun tribe. Though, some traditions has a claim of their Arab origin but it is hard to testify this claim and its validity in term of who they are. it suffices to note that by all standard they are perfect afghans are Pakhtuns. Their commons ancestor Ismail, lived at Gardiz in Afghanistan but they were hard pressed by the powerful Ghilzai tribe and thus sometime toward the end of fourteen or in the beginning of the fifteen century they migrated eastward. After, wandering through Multan, Derajat and Khost area for almost two centuries they finally settled in the Kurram valley by the time came the Turis, who at the first were subordinate to them but gradually in their own turn decline the Bangash and pushed them in to the Kohat district .However, a significant number of them still live in big villages of Shalozan and Zeran in the upper Kurram. They are no more different from their co-religious Turi, accept, perhaps in the pride of family and tribal origin. They are mostly referred together as Turi- Bangash and enjoy equal rights. Sharing the faith of Shiaism in Islam, they follow their common religious and traditional leadership. Like the Turi, they also deeply revered Sayeds families and at the same time equally divided in the Drewandi and the Mian Murid factions.

Mangals and Maqbals

Mangals, Muqbils and Zadrans,, according to Olaf Caroe are believed to be the descendent of the same line of their ancestors as that of Turis , Zazi and Khogianis. Majority of these tribe are living across the border in Afghanistan of Paktia and Khost provinces. For different reason some of them come into the valley and started living along side the Turi in Kurram. The Mangal setters also came originally from Gabar and are settled in a scattered habitation from the Paiwar kotal to Zeran in the vicinity of Spin Ghar lower hills and higher villages behind the villages of Paiwar, Shalozan, Mulana, and Zeran. The villages they hold directly under their control are Turi kotri sursurang under the Paiwar kotal.

Ghilji or Khilji

The Ghilzais (also known as Khiljis or Ghaljis) are one of two largest groups of Pashtuns, along with the Durani tribe, found in Afghanistan with a large group also found in neighboring Pakistan. They are the most populous Pashtun tribe in Afghanistan, occupying the north of Kandahar and extending eastwards towards the Suleiman Mountains.

The Ghilzais are concentrated in an area spanning Ghazni and Kalat-i-Ghilzai eastward into western Pakistan, but are predominantly a nomadic group unlike the Durrani who can be found in permanent settlements. Population estimates vary, but they are most likely around 20 to 25% of the population of Afghanistan and probably number over 9 million in Afghanistan alone with 2 million or more found in neighboring Pakistan. They are reputed to be descended at least in part from the Khalaj or Khilji Turks, who entered Afghanistan in the 10th century as well as the numerous other invaders from Central Asia and the Middle East who have entered Afghanistan over the centuries. Most Ghilzai are Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi school and are often devout to their faith and also follow the Pashtun code of honor known as Pashtunwali.. Most Ghilzai work as herders as well as in construction and other jobs that allow them to travel. Often displaying an uncanny mechanical apptitude, the Ghilzai nonetheless have an extremely low literacy rate hovering below 10%.

The Ghilzai have played a prominent role throughout the history of the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia.. The Nasher (Ghaznavids) are Ghilzais, as well as the Lodi dynasty, who were rulers of the Delhi Sultanate (1450-1526), were Ghilzai Pashtuns. In 1709, Mirwais Khan Hotak, a Ghilzai Pashtun and founder of the short-lived Hotaki Dynasty (1709-38), led an Afghan tribal revolt against Persian rule that eventually led to the short-lived Afghan domination of Persia from 1722 until 1734 when Nadir Shah began to wrest control from the Ghilzais.

Tribes of F.R. Kurram

Kurram, as mentioned earlier, is an un-administered area totally independent and isolated. This part of the Kurram Agency is inhabited by powerful tribes of Ali Sherzai , Massuzai, and Para Chamkanis. To have a better understanding of the tribal configuration, the area may be represented by the better k. If from the point where the three lines meet, a fourth line be drawn to the right horizontally, the meeting point of the four lines is Sadda the upright is the kurram river, the lowest quarter is Zaimusht area, the next Ali Sherzai, the next Massuzai and the highest and last Para Chamkani. A brief description of these tribes are given below.

Ali Sherzai

The Alisherzai,s occupy a strip of country screeching from Sadda along the top of Zaimusht area . The Alisherzai are of Orakzai origin for the purposes of jurisdiction they are divided into pitao and sorai (those who live on the sunny side of the hill and those who live in the shady side). The former are under the kurram political jurisdiction and the later Kohat . Some of the Alisherzai own property and live in Sada (a sub-division and flourishing market), Kurram Agency . They have practically less connection with there co-tribes man in the inaccessible area. with the rest of the Alisherzai tribe the Kurram authorities have little dealing.

Masuzai

Massuzai are also Orakzai the factional division are formed into the Gar & Samil Massuzai . The former consist of the Mastukhail and Dilmarzai and later of the Ashkhel and khwajAkhel. A section of the tribe live in the Khurmana valley in Tirah. Massuzai have no land in upper and lower kurram. The Gar Massuzai, used to have land at some dissent period Ibrahimzai and Baleshkhel villages near sada. It finally passed over from their hands but on a compromises, whereby the, new in habitant became bamsayas of the Gar Massuzais, and were bound to entertain the Jurga when it came to Sada.

Chamkani

The Chamkanis are traditionally supposed to belong to the Ghoriakhel section of the Sarbani pakhtoon. Some authority assign them a Persian origin. They certainly have no connection with the Afridies are Orakzai but by their Sarbani origin they are related to the Mohmands, Daudzai, and Khalils tribe settled in and around Peshawar in the sixteenth century, some of them moved to the north of the east of the kurram valley near Kirman village on the northern slopes of the Sikharam of the spin Ghar range. However, most of the tribe is at present located in the Thabai and awi Darras, in the Khumana valley in Tirah. Although, there is some doubt as to whether the tribe should be called Chamkani are Para Chamkani, since it is contended that the later name belong on the to the Haji khel section. The matter is however, of academic interest only, because people of the kurram in talking of the tribes speak of them as Parras, omitting all together the tag Chamkani.

The Chamkanis are divided into four main section, the Badakhel, as already mentioned have left the tribe altogether and have settled in the Kurram proper. The Khanikhel, the Hajikhel, and the Khwajakhel, who divide into two parties, the Khanikhel, who live far back around Thabai, the khwajak and Haji Khels who live near Kirman in upper Kurram .They are more accessible and are to a large extent dependent for their safe passage on Turi tribe and are somewhat amenable. Whereas, the Khanikhel occupy a possession very like that of Massuzai. In the whole history of British occupation of the valley there had always been trouble while dealing with one or other section of the Para- Chamkanis. FR. Kurram is still a closed and prohibited area with no roads hospitals, and Schools.