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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/125

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race, free from fanaticism and ready as a rule to follow their chiefs. They are fine horsemen. Unfortunately it is difficult to get them to enlist.

Pathans.— Both politically and numerically the Pathans are the predominant tribe in the N.W.F. Province, and are of importance in parts of the Pan jab districts of Attock and Mianwali. The Pathan is a democrat and often a fanatic, more under the influence of mullahs than of the maliks or headmen of his tribe. He has not the frank straightforward nature of the Biluch, is untiring in pursuit of revenge, and is not free from cruelty. But, when he has eaten the Sarkdr's salt, he is a very brave and dashing soldier, and he is a faithful host to anyone whom he has admitted under his roof.

Awans.— The home of the Awan in the Panjab is the Salt Range and the parts of Attock and Mianwali, lying to the north of it, and this tract of country is known as the Awankarf. In the N.W.F. Province they are, after the Pathans, by far the largest tribe, and are specially numerous in Peshawar and Hazara.

Shekhs.— Of the Shekhs about half are Kureshis, Sadikis, and Ansaris of foreign origin and high social standing. The rest are new converts to Islam, often of the sweeper caste originally.

Saiyyids.— Saiyyids are unsatisfactory landowners, and are kept going by the offerings of their followers. They are mostly Shias. It is not necessary to believe that they are all descended from the Prophet's son-in-law, Ali. A native proverb with pardonable exaggeration says: "The first year I was a weaver (Julaha), the next year a Shekh. This year, if prices rise, I shall be a Saiyyid."

Trading Castes.— Aroras are the traders of the S.W. Panjab and of the N.W.F. Province. They share the Central Panjab with the Khatris, who predominate in the north-western districts. The Khatri of the Rawalpindi