1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sherani

SHERANI, or Shirani, a Pathan tribe on the Dera Ismail Khan border of the North-west Frontier Province of India. The Sherani Agency occupies an area of 1500 sq. m. and had a population in 1901 of 12,371. The Sheranis occupy the principal portion of the mountain known as the Takht-i-Suliman and the country thence eastward down to the border of Dera Ismail Khan district. They are bounded on the north by the Gomal Pass, and beyond that by the Mahsud Waziris; on the south by the Ustaranas and Zmarais; and on the west by the Haripals, Kakars and Mandu Khels. Between the Sherani country and the British border lie several small mountain ridges, across which the three chief passes are the Zarakni or Sheikh Haidar, the Draband and the Chandwan. The Sheranis are generally of middling stature, thin, but hardy and active. They have bold features, high cheek-bones, and their general appearance is wild and manly. Their dress consists of a coarse black blanket tied round the waist, and another thrown over the shoulders. Their chief occupation is agriculture, but they carry on an extensive trade in the autumn months in Dera Ismail Khan district. The Sherani tribe and country are divided into two well-defined branches called Bargha and Largha, or the Highlands and the Lowlands, the inhabitants being called respectively Barghawals and Larghawals. The Highlands are on the side of Zhob, the Lowlands on the side of the Derajat, the dividing line being generally the watershed and higher peaks of the Takht-i-Suliman range of mountains. The physical configuration of the country makes the separation so complete that the two tribal divisions act independently of each other. After the Zhob expedition of 1890 the question of boundaries between the Punjab and Baluchistan came up for settlement, and the government decided that Bargha should remain with Baluchistan and Largha with the Punjab. The Gomal river from Kundar-Domandi to Kajuri-Kach is the boundary between Baluchistan and Waziristan, as well as between the respective provinces. In 1901 these frontier districts were transferred from the Punjab to the North-west Frontier Province.