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BALUCHISTAN

now a pure Arab in the country. It is as builders or engineers that they have established their most permanent records, Makran being full of the relics of their irrigation works constructed in times when the climatic conditions of Baluchistan must have been very different from what they are now. Lower Sind also contains a great wealth of architectural remains, which may be found to the west of the Indus as well as in the delta. One particular tribe (the Kalmats), who left their name on the Makran coast and subsequently dominated Bela and Sind, west of the Indus, for a considerable period, exhibit great power of artistic design in their sepulchral monuments. The Dravidian races (Brahuis), who are chiefly represented by the Kambaranis and Mingals or Mongals (the latter are doubtless of Tatar origin), spread through southern Baluchistan as well as the eastern hills, and are scattered irregularly through the mountain tracts south of Kharan. The ancient Oreitae mentioned by Arrian are probably represented by the tribe of Hot, who, as original masters of the soil, are exempt from taxation. The name Brahui is (according to Bellew) but a corruption of Ba-rohi (or “hillmen”) in a language derived from Sanskrit which would represent the same term by Parva-ka. So that the Παρικáνιοι (Herod, iii. 92) may be recognized as surviving in the Brahui, and in the name (Parkan) of a mountain-bred stream which is a tributary of the Hingol. Amongst other aboriginal tribes to whom reference is made by very early writers are the Bolédi, who give their name to the Bolida valley, a tributary of the Kej. The Bolédi were once the ruling race of southern Baluchistan, which was originally called Boledistan, and it seems possible that this may be the real origin of the much-disputed name of the country generally. Bola was an Assyrian term for Bael or Bel, the god of the Phoenicians and Druids. The Bolédi ruling family were in 1906 represented by but one living member, a lady, who was a government pensioner. The fast-diminishing Sajidis (Sajittae) and Saka (Sacae) are others of the more ancient races of Baluchistan easily recognizable in classical geography. Most recent of all are the Gitchkis. The Gitchkis derive from a Rajput adventurer who flourished in the early part of the 17th century. They are now the dominant race in Panjgur and Kej, from whence they ousted the Boledis. For three generations they remained Hindus; since then there has arisen amongst them a strange new sect called Zikari, with exceedingly loose notions of morality. The sect, however, appears to be fast merging into orthodox Mahommedanism. A Baluch (or rather Makran) race which deserves attention is that of the Gadaras, who once gave the name Gadrosia to Southern Baluchistan. According to Tate the Gadaras are now represented by Sidi half-castes—those Makrani “boys” who are so well known in the mercantile marine as stokers and firemen. It seems unlikely that this modern admixture of Asiatic and African blood represents the "Asiatic Ethiopian" of Herodotus, which was more probably a direct connexion of the Himyaritic Arab builders of “bunds” and revetments who spread eastwards from Arabia. Bellew finds in the Gadara the Garuda (eagles) of Sanskrit, who were ever in opposition to the Naga (snakes) of Scythic origin. Southern Baluchistan affords a most interesting field for the ethnographer. It has never yet been thoroughly explored in the interests of ethnographical science.

The Baluch character is influenced by its environment as much as by its origin, so that it is impossible to select any one section of the general community as affording a satisfactory sample of popular Baluch idiosyncrasies. They are not a homogeneous race. Peoples of Arab extraction intermixed with people of Dravidian and Persian stock are all lumped together under the name of Baluch. The Marri and Bugti tribes, who occupy the most southern buttresses of the Suliman Mountains, are Rind Baluchis, almost certainly of Arab extraction. They came to Sind either with the Arab conquerors or after them, and remained there mixed up with the original Hindu inhabitants. The Arab type of Baluch extends through the whole country at intervals, and includes all the finest and best of Baluch humanity. Taking the Rind Baluch as the type opposed to the Afridi Pathan, the Baluch is easier to deal with and to control than the Pathan, owing to his tribal organization and his freedom from bigoted fanaticism or blind allegiance to his priest. The Baluch is less turbulent, less treacherous, less bloodthirsty and less fanatical than the Pathan. His frame is shorter and more spare and wiry than that of his neighbour to the north, though generations have given to him too a bold and manly bearing. It would be difficult to match the stately dignity and imposing presence of a Baluch chief of the Marri or Bugti clans. His Semitic features are those of the Bedouin and he carries himself as straight and as loftily as any Arab gentleman. Frank and open in his manners, fairly truthful, faithful to his word, temperate and enduring, and looking upon courage as the highest virtue, the true Baluch of the Derajat is a pleasant man to have dealings with. As a revenue payer he is not so satisfactory, his want of industry and the pride which looks upon manual labour as degrading making him but a poor husbandman. He is an expert rider; horse-racing is his national amusement, and the Baluch breed of horses is celebrated throughout northern India. Like the Pathan he is a bandit by tradition and descent and makes a first-rate fighting man, but he rarely enlists in the Indian army. He is nominally a Mahommedan, but is neglectful of the practices of his religion. The relations of the modern Baluch with the government of India were entirely transformed by the life work of Sir Robert Sandeman. (q.v.).

The strategical position of Great Britain in Baluchistan is a very important factor in the problem of maintaining order and good administration in the country. The ever-restless Pathan tribes of the Suliman hills are held in check by the occupation of the Zhob Strategic interest. valley; whilst the central dominant position at Quetta safeguards the peace and security of Kalat, and of the wildest of the Baluch hills occupied by the Marris and Bugtis, no less than it bars the way to an advance upon India by way of Kandahar. Nominally all the provinces and districts of Baluchistan, with the exception of the ceded territory which we call British Baluchistan, are under the khan of Kalat, and all chiefs acknowledge him as their suzerain. But it may be doubted if this suzerainty was ever complete, or could be maintained at all but for the assistance of the British government. The Baluch is still essentially a robber and a raider (a trait which is common to all tribes), and the history of Baluchistan is nothing but a story of successful robberies, of lawless rapine and bloodshed, for which plunder and devastation were accounted a worthy and honourable return.

Extensive changes have taken place in the climatic condition of the country—changes which are some of them so recent as to be noted by surveyors who have found the remains of forests in districts now entirely

Climate.

desiccated. Possibly the ordinary processes of denudation and erosion, acting on those recent deposits which overlie the harder beds of the older series, may have much to say to these climatic changes, and the wanton destruction of forests may have assisted the efforts of nature; but it is difficult to understand the widespread desiccation of large areas of the Baluch highlands, where evidences of Arab irrigation works and of cultivation still attest to a once flourishing agricultural condition, without appealing to more rapidly destructive principles for the change. There is ample proof throughout the country of alterations of level within recent geologic periods; and there have even been compressions, resulting in a relative rise of the ground, over the crests of anticlinal folds, within historic record. “Proof that this compression is still going on was given on 20th December 1892, when a severe earthquake resulted from the sudden yielding of the earth’s crust along what appears to be an old line of fault, west of the Kawaja Amran range, whereby an adjustment took place indicated by a shortening of some 21/2 ft. on the railway line which crossed the fault.” Nor should the evidences of active volcanic agency afforded by the mud volcanoes of the coast be overlooked. It is probably to climatic changes (whatever their origin may have been), rather than to the effects of tribal disturbances, that the Arab’s disappearance from the field of trade and agriculture must be attributed.

The total area of Baluchistan is 132,315 sq. m. and its population in 1901 was 914,551. The population is largely nomadic. The fact that so many as 15,000 camels have been counted

Population.

in the Bolan Pass during one month of the annual Brahui migration indicates the dimensions which the movement assumes. The religion of the country is so overwhelmingly Mahommedan that out of every 100,000 inhabitants 94,403 are Mussulman, and only 4706 Hindus, while the balance is made up by Christians, Sikhs and other denominations. Out of the total number 280 in the thousand are literates. The chief languages spoken are vernaculars of Baluchistan, Pushtu, Panjabi, Urdu and Sindhi. The