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    1. #1
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      An interesting article, clears up some mysteries of Punjabi history. Although the article has a Muslim bent to it, Sikhs and Hindus should also be included. For the total Punjabi population of the Subcontinent, the Majority is Muslim, a sizable number Sikh and to a lesser extend Hindu. However if we go by culture, personaility, temperment, all Punjabis are the same.

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      LEADING TRIBES OF PUNJAB AND THEIR ORIGINS

      Before the advent of Islam, but after the Aryan migrations, several invasions and mass migrations of the Central Asian tribes named as the Sakas, Parthians, Kushans, Huns and Gujjars took place in the Punjab (and other parts of Pakistan). The last two tribes i.e. the Huns (White Huns/ Epthalites) and Gujjars arrived in the 5th century AD when Hinduism had revived under the Gupta Empire but had not fully succeeded in crushing the influence of Buddhism. As the Gupta Empire collapsed under the impact of Hun invasions, it caused deep consternation among Brahmins in view of their failure to eliminate Buddhism while the Gupta power supporting them in this task had disappeared. Therefore, they began to make overtures to the new arrivals who were valiant, vigorous and warlike. They were offered the rank of Kshatryas in the Hindu fold, a position only next to that of the Brahmins and confers the responsiblity of rulership.

      In the course of time the leading groups of Huns were absorbed in the Hindu fold as Kshatryas while Jats, who were the descendants of the remaining groups of Huns, occupied a lower strata of society. But the present day Jats and Rajputs also include the descendants of the previous invaders..... the Sakas and the Kushans and even of earlier races.

      Todd assigns Scythian origin to the Rajputs. Scythians came to be known as Sakas in South Asia, and were absorbed in the Hindu fold as Kshatriyas. Sakas, Yavannas (Greco-Bactrians), Pallavas (Parthians) ultimately became Kshatriyas. The Huns are known to have been regarded as one of the 36 clans of Rajputs. However, except for the Huns, all others had mostly adopted Buddhism mixed with their religions (like Saka sun-worship).

      Almost 60% of the population of the Punjab comprises of Rajputs and Jats and the various branches of their race such as Awans, Khokhars, Ghakkars, Khattars, Janjuas, Arains, Gujjars, etc. though the Awans, Khokhars and Khattars claim common ancestry from Qutb Shah who is said to have come from Ghazni with Mahmud Ghaznavi, scholars hold the view that they were most probably converted by Qutb Shah during Mahmud Ghaznavi's reign and were not his descendents. This tendancy of claiming foreign origin by some of the local tribes is not uncommon. Even admittedly Rajput tribes of famous ancestry such as the Khokhar, have begun to follow the example of claiming connection with the Mughal conquerors of India or the Qureshi cousins of the Prophet.

      A branch of the Wattu Rajputs of the Sutlej by an affection of peculiar sanctity, have in the course of a few generations become Bodeas and now deny their Rajput and claim Qureshi origin. There is a Kharral family lately settled in Bahawalpur who have begun to affect peculiar holiness and to marry only with each other and their next step will certainly be to claim Arab descent.

      However, a significant number of Punjabi tribes are indeed descended from Afghan, Turkic, Arab, Mughal and Iranian Muslim invaders/migrants. Even those who are of local origins but claim foreign Muslim ancestory, might have partial ancestory derived from them. But all in all, the foreign Muslim ancestory element among Punjabis does not exceed more than 20% of their population.

      According to Thomson, Awans are a Jat race and were converted to Islam by Mahmud Ghaznavi. In several districts of the Punjab they are registered as Jats. Mr. Thomson in his Jehlum Settlement report adduces many strong reasons in support of his conclusion that the Awans are a Jat race who came from passes west of D.I.Khan. Griffin also agrees to the local Muslim origin of Awans while Cunningham holds that Janjuas and Awans are descended from Anu and calls them Anwan. Another scholar Wilson is of the view that Awans are of indigenous Hindu/Buddhist/Pagan/Animist origin. In the genealogical tree of the Nawabs of Kalabagh, who are regarded heads of the Awans, there are found several native names such as Rai, Harkaran, etc.

      As regards Gujjars, the well known scholar Cunningham thinks that they are descended from Scythian (Saka) and Yue-Chi (Kushan) tribes who invaded Pakistan in the first century BC and in the first century AD respectively. Other scholars believe that they are descended from a Central Asian Turkic people called Kazars. Since the tribe migrated from Caspian Sea which is called Bahr-e-Khizar it was named Khizar, Guzar, Gurjar, Gurjara or Gujjar. The name Hazara was given to the district by these Guzara tribes. The name Gujjar, according to another version, is derived from the words 'Gau' and 'Char' meaning cattle grazers.

      Though Arains claim Iranian descent, they too are generally considered of Rajput origin, but Rajputs having Scythian-Kushan-Hun origins are indeed related to Iranians. According to the Punjab Gazetteer, the Arains of sahiwal District themselves pointed out that they are Surajbansi Rajputs originally settled around Delhi. Arains of Ghaggar Valley say that they were Rajputs living on the Panjnad near Multan. Mr. Pursr writes that they are usually supposed to be Muslim Kambohs. the Jullander Arains themselves say that they are descended from Rai Chajju of Ujjain. Kambohs claim descent from Raja Keran who was related to him.

      Similarly, Ranghars and Meos are described to be of Rajput/Jat origin who were converted to Islam during the time of Qutbuddin Aibak. Kahutas are a mixed Mughal and Rajput tribe. Khattars are related to Awans and Jats.

      Khokhars are sometimes returned as Jats and sometimes as Rajputs. Col. Davis notes that many of the social customs of the Khokhars of Shahpur denote Hindu origin. Eastern Punjab Khokhars themselves claim Jat-Rajput origin. Only some of the West Punjab Khokhars claim Arab origin.

      Gen. Cunningham identifies the Ghakkars with Gangaridae of Dionysius and holds them to be descendents of Yueti or Tokhari Scythians (sakas).

      In Pakistan, Rajput and Jat tribes are so mixed up that it is difficult to distinguish one from the other at many places and in several cases. Some of the Rajput tribes are probably of Jat origin and vice versa. In southwest Punjab the name Jat includes a most miscellaneous congries of tribes of all sorts. Its significance tends to be occupational: to denote a body of cultivators or agriculturists. Even tribes which bear well-known Rajput names are often classified as Jats in the Punjab. Anyway, the origin of both is the same as stated earlier.

      Gen. Cunningham and Maj. Todd agree in considering the Jats of Indo-Scythian stock. Maj. Todd classifies Jats as one of the great Rajput tribes. They belong to one and thesame stock.... they have been, for many centuries, so blended and so intermingled into one people that it is practically impossible to distinguish them as separate wholes. At present distinction is social rather ethnic. The same tribe Rajput in one district and Jat in another according to the position in local tribes... During census many of the Jats entered, as third heading, the name of the Rajput tribe from which they claim to have sprung.

      The Jats in ancient times inhabited the whole valley of the Indus down to Sind.... They now form a most numerous as well as the most important section of the agricultural population of Punjab.

      Beyond the Punjab, Jats are chiefly found in Sind where they form mass of the population.

      The main (Muslim) Rajput tribes of the Punjab are: Bhatti, Punwar, Chauhan, Minhas, Tiwana, Noon, Chib, Gheba, Jodhra, Janjua, Sial and Wattu etc. While the important (Muslim) Jat tribes are: Bajwa, Chatta, Cheema, Randhawa, Ghammon, Buta, Kahlon, Gil, Sehota, Taror, Waraich, Summa, Wahla, Bhutta, Malhi, Sukhera, Alpials, Dahas, Langah, Ranghar, Meo, Awan, Khokhar, Ghakkar, etc. But some of these Rajput tribes are classified are Jats and vice versa.

      Punjab has had its periods of prosperity and poverty in a regular cycle. Before the arrival of Muslims, Punjab along with the other regions/provinces of present day Pakistan was leading a separate existance from that of India, and kingdoms based in its territories or in the NWFP often ruled over most of northern India. Kushan, Saka, Bactrian and Hun Kingdoms with their capitals at Peshawar, Taxila and Sialkot respectively, ruled over large parts of northern India for centuries.

      Source: http://www.geocities.com/pak_history/punjabis.html

    2. #2
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      Thanks for sharing Rajput
      I am only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.

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      Awans rock...
      Most of us do think we are from Iran or something.
      They should do a genetic test or something to show where people actually came from.

    4. #4
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      Originally posted by Adnan Ahmed:
      Awans rock...
      Most of us do think we are from Iran or something.
      They should do a genetic test or something to show where people actually came from.
      I think it has to do with facial features. According to the article "Scythians" the the forefathers of Punjab and they originated from the area near Iran, so I don't think your wrong. Also, I think Awans being a separate tribe (Jats according to the article though) are less mixed than other Punjabis.

      On the other hand, Rajputs are such a large tribe with sub-clans that you will find a lot more mixture. I think that Rajputs are concentrated in Pakistani-Indian Punjabs and Rajasthan. Jats are really heavy in Sindh, and in Indian-Pakistani Punjab a bit less. Anyway its not about who you are or if I'm better than you or vice versa, instead I think it is really nice to know that we come from a common ancestor which is non-aryan.

      5Abi: Your welcome! I'm glad you found it interesting and do drop by the website if your interested in more info about the other groups of Pakistan. I think that website is a treasure trove of information.

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      Rajput, I have a copy of the 1914 British Gasette covering Jehlu district, which includes Chakwal, Jhelum, Salt Range. It give an indepth look at this area in 1914... I will try to scan some excerpts, you should seriouly try to find a copy.

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      Originally posted by Adnan Ahmed:
      Rajput, I have a copy of the 1914 British Gasette covering Jehlu district, which includes Chakwal, Jhelum, Salt Range. It give an indepth look at this area in 1914... I will try to scan some excerpts, you should seriouly try to find a copy.
      Yea I'll be on the lookout for the British Gazaette. I have looked at the Punjab Gazette but I found it a lttle biased. Thanks for the info and yes any scanned copies would be really helpful.

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      Intresting article, although too long, I'll read it later!

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      I e mailed this article to a friend he sent a nice add on:
      Nice note on Punjab history. But a couple of observations.
      The Ephthalites under Mehr Gul (Mihiragula) caused great havoc in what is now Afghanistan and most parts of Pakistan (excepting Balochistan). After his defeat in 528 AD at the hands of a Rajput confederacy, he fled to Kashmir where he died and his army spread out across the country. The Bugga Jats of the belt stretching along the Ravi from Sialkot to Sahiwal are the remnants of those Huns. Bugga means white or fair-haired in Punjabi. They now call themselves Jats.
      In Sindh there is no differentiation between the Jats and the Rajputs. They don't know the difference. Indeed ordinary Muslims of Rajput origin insist they are not Rajputs but Muslims! All Sindhis are lumped into one main body of Summat. That includes Jat, Gujjar and Rajput.
      I agree with the derivation of Gujjar from Gau and Chur. And not from Khizar or Khazar for Caspian. Though they did indeed come its shores. There is in Sindh a tribe called Gaincho in the Khirthar mountains. Hardy, brave and hospitable. I see in their tribal name the Sindhi pronunciation of Gau Chur. Cow is Gain in Sindhi with a nasal n ending and Chur is simply given the Sindhi o ending. They are now small farmers but they still value their cows dearly.
      Hazara comes from Abhisara the king of this region and parts of Kashmir at the time of Alexander's invasion. Not from Guzara or Gujjar. Abhisara seems to me to be a dynastic name that stuck and over time became altered.
      But nice read, overall. Thanks.

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      "The Ephthalites under Mehr Gul (Mihiragula) caused great havoc in what is now Afghanistan and most parts of Pakistan (excepting Balochistan). After his defeat in 528 AD at the hands of a Rajput confederacy, he fled to Kashmir where he died and his army spread out across the country."

      Zakk Salaams to you! Glad to read your input. One question though, if the above is true, then Jats came after Rajputs?

      "In Sindh there is no differentiation between the Jats and the Rajputs. They don't know the difference. Indeed ordinary Muslims of Rajput origin insist they are not Rajputs but Muslims!"

      Sidh does not have many Rajputs. Sindhis are mostly Jats in origin I'm referring to the vast majority. To the last statement, being Muslim does not mean that you have to erase all of your heritage. Hey if Pashtoons, Baluchis can tout their tribal history, is the historyof the Rajputs any less glorious?

      "Hazara comes from Abhisara the king of this region and parts of Kashmir at the time of Alexander's invasion. Not from Guzara or Gujjar. Abhisara seems to me to be a dynastic name that stuck and over time became altered.
      But nice read, overall. Thanks."

      Hmm interesting. So then what is the tribal composition of the Hazros? Thanks for the info.

    10. #10
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      nice article..we are punjabi rajputs and ur ancestors migrated from Rajistan around 700 years back after conversion to Islam..

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      well in rajasthan there are a large number fof meo muslims who practise a ver archaic form of islam. they are every bit of hindus appart from thier names and burial practise and infact the vhp has been reconverting many meo muslims back to hindusim

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      Originally posted by kabir:
      well in rajasthan there are a large number fof meo muslims who practise a ver archaic form of islam. they are every bit of hindus appart from thier names and burial practise and infact the vhp has been reconverting many meo muslims back to hindusim
      Kabir, Meos are a tribe, not connected to Rajput. Not everyone in Rajasthan (Actual name Rajptuna) is a Rajput. The tribe is very large as it includes many people in Rajasthan, Indian and Pakistani Pub, the Dogras of Kashmir.

      There are Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, and even Christian Rajputs.

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      thanks 4 the useful post

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      Adnan Ahmed and RajputFury, I am an Awan. My family is from Chakwal, Pakistan (Punjab) to be exact. My dad is Awan and mom is Rajput and like you said Adnan, dad's side claims to be of Iranian/Persian descent. Most of my paternal relatives, especially from my grandmother's side, are fair, some have blue eyes, and all have angular features. So, makes me wonder. One thing though...my dad says that Awans are a class of landowners (explains the vast croplands we own in the Chakwal area), like Maliks, etc. Another thing is, we have family friends who are surnamed Malik but are Awan...confused?! Now how can Maliks be Awans, and visa versa. I don't get it.

      Rajput, your article is very revealing about the origins of the punjabi people and tribes, etc. Plus, it sheds interesting light on my punjabi heritage. Thank you for sharing. :sunny:

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      Rajput, I found your article on pak.org as well
      check this
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      Originally posted by RajputFury:

      The main (Muslim) Rajput tribes of the Punjab are: Bhatti, Punwar, Chauhan, Minhas, Tiwana, Noon, Chib, Gheba, Jodhra, Janjua, Sial and Wattu etc. While the important (Muslim) Jat tribes are: Bajwa, Chatta, Cheema, Randhawa, Ghammon, Buta, Kahlon, Gil, Sehota, Taror, Waraich, Summa, Wahla, Bhutta, Malhi, Sukhera, Alpials, Dahas, Langah, Ranghar, Meo, Awan, Khokhar, Ghakkar, etc. But some of these Rajput tribes are classified are Jats and vice versa.

      Source: http://www.geocities.com/pak_history/punjabis.html

      lol Oh my, I've just found out I am an 100% Rajput ! My dad is Bhatti and my mom's side are Minhas (migrated from Kashmir). My grandparents and my parents would talk about this caste system but it never went into my head . Funny they knew all this by heart, which families are which caste. And well we all know that in arranged marriages, this still plays a role in one way or another.

    17. #17
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      Originally posted by RajputFury:

      Almost 60% of the population of the Punjab comprises of Rajputs and Jats and the various branches of their race such as Awans, Khokhars, Ghakkars, Khattars, Janjuas, Arains, Gujjars, etc. though the Awans, Khokhars and Khattars claim common ancestry from Qutb Shah who is said to have come from Ghazni with Mahmud Ghaznavi, scholars hold the view that they were most probably converted by Qutb Shah during Mahmud Ghaznavi's reign and were not his descendents. This tendancy of claiming foreign origin by some of the local tribes is not uncommon. Even admittedly Rajput tribes of famous ancestry such as the Khokhar, have begun to follow the example of claiming connection with the Mughal conquerors of India or the Qureshi cousins of the Prophet.

      Khokhars are sometimes returned as Jats and sometimes as Rajputs. Col. Davis notes that many of the social customs of the Khokhars of Shahpur denote Hindu origin. Eastern Punjab Khokhars themselves claim Jat-Rajput origin. Only some of the West Punjab Khokhars claim Arab origin.

      Source: http://www.geocities.com/pak_history/punjabis.html
      now I know why I am a Qutab Shahi Khokhar - Rajput

      thanks for the article.
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    18. #18
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      my dadi jaans side is kutab shahi awan but i never understood wat tht was, thanx to u now i do somwat
      ..walking on eggshells..

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