Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Balochi Nominal System in Diachronic Perspective

By:Agnes Korn

I: reconstruction of Middle Balochi case system
II: model for development Middle Balochi > contemporary Balochi

ad I.
1.: The basic nominal system of Balochi

direct oblique object genitive vocative
-¯a -¯ar¯a -ay, -¯e -∅
plural -¯an, -¯an¯a -¯an¯a, -¯anr¯a -¯an¯ı -¯an
1a the basic case system of contemporary Balochi
direct oblique object genitive
singular 1st man man¯a m(a)n¯ı
2nd ta(w) tar¯a ta¯ı, t¯ı
plural 1st (am)m¯a (am)m¯ar¯a (am)may, m¯e
2nd šum¯a šum¯ar¯a šumay, šum¯e
1b the basic pronominal system of contemporary Balochi
(bold letters: forms used in agent function (ergative constructions) and after prepositions)

2.: The nominal system of Middle West Iranian

direct oblique
nouns singular
plural -¯an
pronouns singular 1st Pa az, MP an man
2nd t¯u(?) t¯o
plural 1st am¯a(h)
2nd Pa išm¯a(h), MP ašm¯a(h)
2 nouns and personal pronouns in Manichaean Parthian and Middle Persian
Agnes Korn (Ravenna, October 2003) 2

3.: innovations in the Balochi nominal system

categories which are secondary to the system:
object case (missing in some dialects, optional in the rest)
vocative (sg. = dir., pl.: generalisation of the ending as plural marker)
endings which are new to the system: -¯a (ending after the indefinite article: k¯ar-¯e-¯a “a job”) -¯an¯ı ( + adjective suffix)

4.: The Middle Balochi case system

direct oblique Avestan
nouns singular
-ay -ahya
plural -¯an -¯an¯am
pronouns singular 1st man mana
2nd taw tauua
plural 1st (am)m¯a ahm¯ak em
2nd šum¯a xšm¯ak em
4 nominal system of *Middle Balochi Old Iranian genitive forms
outcome of the OIr. ending in the function of also in Zazaki:
direct oblique
nouns singular -∅-i
plural -i -an
pronouns singular 1st ez mı(n)
2nd tı, tu to
plural 1st m¯a
2nd sıma
5 nouns and personal pronouns in Zazaki
The Balochi Nominal System in Diachronic Perspective 3

ad II.

possible stages of development of the inflectional system

1.: generalising of the two-case-system into the pronominal domain

nouns direct oblique
plural -¯an
pronouns direct object
singular 1st man man¯a
2nd taw *taw¯a
plural 1st (am)m¯a
2nd šum¯a
6 Middle Balochi > Balochi: stage A

2.: splitting of the oblique functions

nouns direct oblique genitive
-¯a -ay
plural -¯an
pronouns direct object
singular 1st man man¯a
2nd taw *taw¯a
plural 1st (am)m¯a
2nd šum¯a
7 Middle Balochi > Balochi: stage B
Agnes Korn (Ravenna, October 2003) 4

3.: generalising of the genitive case

nouns direct oblique genitive
-¯a -ay
plural -¯an -¯an¯ı
pronouns direct object genitive
singular 1st man man¯a man¯ı
2nd taw *taw¯a *taw¯ı
plural 1st (am)m¯a (am)may
2nd šum¯a šumay
8 Middle Balochi > Balochi: stage C

4.: generalising of the object case to the pl. pronouns

nouns direct oblique genitive
-¯a -ay
plural -¯an -¯an¯ı
pronouns direct object genitive
singular 1st man man¯a man¯ı
2nd taw, ta *taw¯a ta¯ı
plural 1st (am)m¯a (am)m¯ar¯a (am)may
2nd šum¯a šum¯ar¯a šumay
9 Middle Balochi > Balochi: stage D

5.: object case also for nouns

direct oblique object genitive
nouns singular
-¯a -¯ar¯a -ay
plural -¯an(¯a) -¯an¯a, -¯anr¯a -¯an¯ı
pronouns singular 1st man man¯a m(a)n¯ı
2nd taw, ta tar¯a ta¯ı, t¯ı
plural 1st (am)m¯a (am)m¯ar¯a (am)may
2nd šum¯a šum¯ar¯a šumay
10 Middle Balochi > Balochi: stage E = basic Balochi system


Balochi Roman orthography

The following Latin-script based orthography was adopted in the International Workshop on “Balochi Roman Orthography” (University of Uppsala, Sweden, May 28–30, 2000).

Alphabetical order:

a á b c d ď e f g ĝ h i í j k l m n o p q r ř s š t ť u ú v w x y z ž ay aw

(33 letters and 2 digraphs)

A/a amb (mango), angúr (grape), bagg (camel-caravan), sardar (naked-head), namb (mist).

Á/á dár (wood), árt (flour), bahá (price), pád (foot), áhag (to come), áhán (them).

B/b (be) barp (snow, ice), bám (dawn), bágpán (gardner), baktáwar (lucky).

C/c (che) cattr (umbrella), bacc (son), kárc (knife), Karácí, Kulánc, Cákar, Bálác.

D/d (de) dard (pain), drad (rainshower), dárú (medicine), wád (salt).

Ď/ď is same as Ř/ř (ře) so this latter is preferably used to simplify the orthography.

E/e eš (this), cer (below), eraht (end of date harvest), pešraw (leader, forerunner), kamer (ploughshare).

F/f (fe) To be used only in loan words where its use is inevitable, like Fráns (France), fármaysí (pharmacy).

G/g (ge) gapp (talk), ganok (mad), bág (garden), bagg (herd of camels), pádag (foot), Bagdád (Baghdad).

Ĝ/ĝ (like ĝhaen in Perso-Arabic script) Only in loan words and in eastern dialects.

H/h (he) hár (flood), máh (moon), koh (mountain), mahár (rein), hon (blood).

I/i (i) istál (star), idá (here), pit/piss (father), bigir (take), kirr (near).

Í/í (í) ímmán (faith), šír (milk), pakír (beggar), samín (breeze), gálí (carpet).

J/j (je) jang (war), janag (to beat), jing (lark), ganj (treasure), sajjí (roasted meat).

K/k (ke) Kirmán (Kirman), kárc (knife), náko (uncle), gwask (calf), kasán (small).

L/l (le) láp (stomach), gal (joy), gall (party, organization), gull (cheek), gul (rose).

M/m (me) mát/más (mother), bám (dawn), camm (eye), mastir (leader, bigger).

N/n (ne) nán/nagan/nagan (bread), nok (new, new moon), dann (outside), kwahn (old), náko (uncle).

O/o (o) oštag (to stop), ožnág (swim), roc (sun), dor (pain), socag (to burn).

P/p (pe) Pád (foot), šap (night), šapád (bare-footed), gapp (talk), aptád (70).

Q/q (qú) Used in loan words, like Qábús.

R/r (re) Rustum (a name), rek (sand), barag (to take away), girag (to get), garrag (to bray), gurrag (to roar), šarr (good), sarag (head), sarrag (a kind of donkey’s braying).

Ř/ř (ře) řák (post), řukkál (famine), gařř (urial), guřř (last), guřřag (to chop).

S/s (se) sarag (head), kass (someone), kasán (little), bass (enough), ás (fire).

Š/š (še) šap (night), šád (happy), meš (sheep), šuwánag (shepherd), wašš (happy, tasty).

T/t (te) tagird (mat), tahná (alone) tás (bowl), kilítt (kay), masítt (mosque), battí (lantern).

Ť/ť (ťe) ťung (hole), ťíllo (bell), baťť (cooked rice), baťťág (eggplant).

U/u uštir (camel), šumá (you), ustád (teacher), gužn (hunger), buz (goat).

Ú/ú (ú, sounds like the “oo” in English word “root”) úrt (thin), zúrag (to take), bizú (take), dúr (distant).

V/v (ve) used in loanwords only, like in the English word service, very.

W/w (we) warag (food, to eat), wardin (provision), dawár (abode), wád (salt), kawwás (learned).

X/x (khe) Xudá (God),

Y/y (ye) yád (remembrance), yár (friend), yázdah (eleven), biryání (roasted meat), raydyo (radio), yakk (one).

Z/z (ze) zarr (monay), zí (yesterday), muzz (wages), moz (banana), nazzíkk (nearby), bazgar (tenant).

Ž/ž (že) žand (tired), žáng (bells), pažm (wool), gažžag (to swell), gužnag (hungry).

ay (h)ayrán (surprise), ayrát (distribution), say (3), may (our), kay (who), šumay (your).

Aw/aw kawr (river), hawr (rain), kissaw (story), dawl (sort), dawr (jump), awlád (off-spring), kawl (promise), gawk (neck).


Baloch, Balochi and Balochistan

Prof. Carina Jahani

By Prof. Carina Jahani
Department of Linguistics and Philology
Uppsala University, Sweden

The purpose of this chapter is to compare themes in Balochi written literature with those found in Balochi oral literature in search for an “urban mind”. The Balochi language is spoken in south-western Pakistan and south-eastern Iran, as well as by smaller populations outside Balochistan proper. Various estimates give at hand that there may be between 8 and 10 million speakers of Balochi, or even more.Childe presents a number of criteria for urbanism1 which are used in this chapter todetermine whether there is an urban mind in Balochi oral and written literature. The five written texts examined in this study all date from the 1950s and onwards, whereas the five oral texts are undated but assumed to be of a much earlier date than the written texts.
The study shows that in the oral narratives the urban setting is put forth as an ideal. To become a king or the king’s son-in-law or the foremost merchant in the world is what constitutes true success, and not, for example, to become the richest farmer or cattle owner. This urban mind is only present in a fantasy world, however, and in the written literature there is a totally different and this time realistic setting for the stories. Here the scene is not a world where wishes come true, but the harsh reality of Balochistan.
Urbanism as an ideal is absent in these stories, and even though urban phenomena are mentioned they are not crucial in any of the written stories. Introduction.Following Childe’s criteria for urbanism,2 writing is here regarded as one of the characteristics of urbanism. Accordingly, an investigation of written literature together with non-written (oral) literature can be rewarding in the search for differences between an “urban mind” and a “rural mind”. The purpose of the present chapter is to compare themes in Balochi written literature with those found in Balochi oral literature. Five oral tales and five short stories will be examined in this study, and a number of criteria will be used in order to determine what can be labeled as “urban” in these texts.
1 Childe 1950, 9–16.
2 Childe 1950, 9–16.

In his work Orality and Literacy, Ong argues for a dichotomy between orality and literacy and rejects the concept of “oral literature”.3 Utas claims that such a model is flawed in that it seems to assume the language of oral literature is the same as that of free speech but different from that of written discourse. Utas argues that, “the language of oral and written literature is more akin, by being normalized, conventionalized and consciously shaped to be remembered”.4 Following Utas’ definition, both oral and written narratives will here be defined as literature. Before the actual analysis, I will provide a short overview of
Balochistan and the Baloch people.
Balochistan and the baloch, an overview
Balochistan, the land of the Baloch, is divided between Iran and Pakistan by the so-called Goldsmid Line, a border demarcation which was the result of a border commission headed by the British general Goldsmid in 1870–1872.5 Exactly when the Baloch arrived in their present habitat is hard to determine. Marco Polo reports that this area, which he called Kesmacoran, had its own ruler and that the people “lived by commerce as much as agriculture, trading both overland and by sea in all directions”.6 Spooner holds that the Balochi immigration into the coastal area, known as Makrān, started in the 11th century AD and intensified in the 13th century, when Turkic tribes started invading the Iranian plateau from the east.
According to the epic tradition of the Baloch themselves, they are of Arabic origin and migrated from Aleppo in Syria after the Battle of Karbala in AD 680. Although the majority of the Baloch today are Sunni Muslims, tradition has it that in the Battle of Karbala they fought on the side of the Shiite Imam and martyr Hussein against his enemy, the Umayyad caliph Yazid.7 This is likely an attempt to establish a “true Islamic” genealogy for the Baloch.
It is probable that the original habitat of at least a core group of the Baloch was in the north-western part of the Iranian linguistic area and that they migrated south-eastwards under pressure from the Arabic and Turkic invasions of the Iranian plateau from the mid-7th century AD onwards. The main evidence supporting this theory is linguistic, namely the close relation between Balochi and other languages traditionally classified as north-west Iranian, such as Kurdish,
Gilaki, Mazandarani and Talyshi. Another piece of evidence is the fact that Arab historians from the 9th and 10th centuries AD associate the Baloch with the geographical regions of Kerman, Khorasan, Sistan and Makran in presentday eastern Iran.8 It also appears that tribes and groups of various linguistic affiliations, including Indo-European (e.g. Pashtun), Semitic, Dravidic (Brahui), Turkic, Bantu and others, have been incorporated into the very heterogeneous ethnic group today known as the Baloch.9
The Balochi language is spoken in the province of Balochistan in south-
3 Ong 1982, 11.
4 Utas 2006, 209.
5 Hopkins 2007.
6 Spooner 1989, 609.
7 Dames 1907/I, 1–2.
8 Spooner 1989, 606.
9 See e.g. Spooner 1989, 599–600, 606–607; Swidler 2008, 366; Korn 2005, 43–51. western Pakistan, and in the province of Sistan and Balochistan in south-eastern Iran.10 It is also spoken by smaller populations in Punjab and Sindh and by a large number of people in Karachi, as well as by Baloch who have settled in the north-eastern provinces of Iran, including Khorasan and Golestan. It is also the language of smaller communities in Afghanistan (particularly in the province of Nimruz), in the Gulf States (especially in Oman and the United Arab Emirates), in the Mari region of Turkmenistan, in India, in East Africa, and nowadays also in North America, Europe and Australia.
It is difficult to estimate the total number of Balochi speakers. Many Baloch, particularly in areas bordering Indian languages (in Punjab and Sindh) and Persian (in the western parts of the Balochi-speaking areas in Iran and in Khorasan and Golestan), identify themselves as Baloch but no longer speak the language. The same is true of many Baloch in East Africa and on the Arabian Peninsula, particularly after having lived there for generations. The Baloch in Turkmenistan, however, have retained their language well, mainly owing to the fact that they have maintained a traditional lifestyle of agriculture and pastoralism and have, on the whole, a low level of education. Another reason that it is difficult to give any certain figures for Balochi speakers is that first and second languages are not always recorded in censuses carried out in the countries where Balochi is spoken. A serious attempt at estimating the total number of Balochi speakers was done in the mid-1980s11 with about 5 million as an approximate grand total. This figure has been questioned by some Baloch as unreasonably low. There is, indeed, a tendency on the part of central authorities to underestimate the number of members of ethnic minorities, and this may show up in any figures based on official statistics. The total number of speakers of Balochi, as estimated in the Ethnologue12 (divided between Eastern, Southern and Western Balochi speakers) amounts to 7 million. In view of all this, and the fact that the birth rate in the province of Sistan and Balochistan in Iran is the highest in the country, and in Pakistan about average, the total number of Balochi speakers at the time of writing (2010) probably amounts to between 8 and 10 million, or even more.
Balochi is neither an official language nor a language of education in any of the countries where it is spoken. This is reflected, for example, in the lack of a standard written norm for Balochi.13 There is also a dispute about which dialect, or dialects, ought to be the basis of a literary language. On the whole, writing and reading Balochi is at the moment an exclusive activity carried out by a small number of persons belonging to the Balochi literary elite, mainly in Pakistan. Thus, Balochi is, as a minority language, largely restricted to traditional and informal domains such as the family, the neighbourhood, and traditional occupations (e.g. pastoralism and agriculture). A career outside these traditional sectors is linked to a great extent to higher education and a good command of the national language. Efforts to preserve and promote the Balochi language are mainly of an unofficial character and based on private initiatives. However, there is a growing concern among the Baloch that their language may well be lost within a few generations if it does not develop a written standard. 10 The official spelling in Iran is Sistan va Baluchestan (see Fig. 1). 11 Jahani 1989, 91–97.
12 These figures are from 1998 or earlier.
13 See Jahani 1989.

The Baloch have traditionally sustained themselves on pastoral nomadism and/or seasonal agriculture and date cultivation, and to some degree on fishing. Fishing is limited to the shores of the Indian Ocean, that is, to the southernmost coastal area of Balochistan. Agriculture and date cultivation prevail in the lowlands of southern Balochistan as well as in oases and along rivers, for example in Iranian Sarawan and Pakistani Kharan. Further to the north, the main occupation has traditionally been pastoral nomadism.
The tribal structure has been both a uniting and a separating factor among freeborn Baloch in all of Balochistan. It has been easy for originally non-Baloch tribes and clans to associate with and be incorporated into the Balochi tribal system,14 and the unity within the tribe has also traditionally been very strong. However, tribal loyalties are often felt to hamper a nationalist movement, and nowadays many intellectual Baloch try to promote the replacement of tribal loyalties with a national Balochi loyalty. This raises the question of how to delimitate the Baloch ethnie.15 For instance, what is the position of persons who no longer speak Balochi, of larger groups of Baloch living outside Balochistan,16 of non-Baloch living in Balochistan,17 of Baloch professing another religion than Sunni Islam,18 and of sub-tribal groups and former slaves, who are not normally regarded as Baloch?19 Three of the reasons that the Baloch are found over such a large area – from Turkmenistan to Tanzania and from Iran to India, and also in Australia, Europe and North America – are the natural and political conditions of Balochistan and the fact that the Baloch were often recruited as soldiers owing to their reputation
of bravery.
Balochistan is situated at the crossroads between east and west, north and south. From Alexander the Great’s time onwards, many conquerors have passed through this region. The Sea of Oman also links Balochistan to the Arabian Peninsula and eastern Africa. These geo-political conditions of Balochistan have caused a considerable amount of migration.
The main natural reason for migration from Balochistan is the long droughts that often plague this area. In the late 19th century there are reports of severe droughts, which caused many Baloch to migrate northwards to Khorasan and Golestan in Iran, to northern Afghanistan and all the way to Turkmenistan in search of pasture for their herds.20 Some of the Baloch also migrated westwards, to the Iranian provinces of Kerman, Hormozgan, and Fars, where they still speak Baloch and are known as Koroshi.21 A long and severe drought in Iranian Balochistan between 1997 and 2004 forced many Baloch to sell their herds or abandon their agriculture and look for other occupations, such as border trade, which is one of the main pillars of the economy in Balochistan today. Many also moved out of the province. Another migration was when a number of Baloch were moved by force to Australia by the British colonial government during the second half of the 19th century to facilitate the exploration of the Australian interior. This could only be
14 See e.g. Titus 1998, 668.
15 See Smith 1986, 21.
16 See e.g. Al Ameeri 2003; Axenov 2003.
17 See e.g. Yadegari 2008; Afrakhteh 2008.
18 See e.g. Badalkhan 2008.
19 See e.g.Yadegari 2008.
20 Axenov 2000, 72.
21 Nourzaei 1388.

done by means of camels, and the Baloch were among the ethnic groups in British India who kept this animal.22 Political changes that have caused migrations out of Balochistan include attempts on the part of the central Iranian government to subdue local Baloch rulers and penetrate the region; this occurred in the 1850s and in 1928 during the third year of Reza Shah’s rule. Particularly after the second invasion, many Baloch moved to Karachi in British India. Also in the 1950s, a number of Iranian Baloch sought refuge in Oman after revolting against Mohammad Reza Shah.23 Many Baloch on the Arabian Peninsula and in East Africa have been recruited as soldiers, particluarly in the Omani army.24 After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, a small number of educated young Baloch sought refuge outside Iran, mainly in Pakistan and Europe. It is interesting to note that there are two different words in Balochi to define pastoral nomads and settled agriculturalists. In former times, it was only the Baloch pastoral nomads that were known by the term “Baloch”, whereas the agriculturalists were called “townspeople” (Bal. šahrī).25 This latter term suggests that the village where the agriculturalists lived was indeed some sort of urban centre.
The main political centre of the Baloch between 1666 and 1947 was Kalat in present-day Pakistan (Fig. 1). This was the centre of the Baloch-Brahui Ahmadzai
22 Oral communication, Amin Goshti, Canberra, Australia.
23 Al Ameeri 2003, 239.
24 See Lodhi 2000; Al Ameeri 2003; Collett 1986.
25 See e.g. Baranzehi 2003, 79; Yadegari 2008, 254; Noraiee 2008, 346.
Fig. 1. Balochistan and
adjacent regions. Sincere thanks to Agnes Korn and Christian Rammer, Frankfurt am Main, for producing this map.

Khans, who ruled over a considerable part of Balochistan. The town of Kalat was described in the early 19th century as having more than 3,500 houses altogether (within and outside the wall surrounding the settlement) and was thus an urban milieu of some repute. Many of the shopkeepers were Hindus.26 Quetta (from the Pashto name for fort), the mainly Pashtun-inhabited capital of the province of Balochistan in Pakistan, has a very low percentage of Balochi population and is therefore less important historically to urbanism among the Baloch than another fort and urban centre, namely that of Sibi. According to the Balochi account of history, Sibi was the place where one of the early Baloch rulers, Mir Chakar, known from classical heroic ballads, established the capital of the Rind-Lashari Balochi confederacy in the late 15th century.27 Some other early urban centres in Balochistan that can be mentioned are Bampur, Pahra (now Iranshahr), Sarawan and Chabahar in present-day Iran, and Bela, Gwadar, Kharan and Khuzdar in present-day Pakistan.
It is hard to speak of a written Balochi literature before the 1950s. It is, however, highly likely that poems in Balochi were indeed written down by the poets themselves or by people around them. Strong indications that there might have been such early written records of Balochi literature are found in a British colonial document: “A considerable body of literature exists in Western Baluchi and many of the leading men keep books, known as daftar, in which their favourite ballads are recorded in the Persian character”.28 There were thus literate Baloch who were educated in traditional Islamic schools, where they were taught, for example, Arabic and Persian. It was thus natural for such persons to use the Arabic-Persian script for writing Balochi. Balochi was, however, never used as the official language at the court of Baloch rulers. The language of the administration in Kalat, for example, was initially Persian and later English.29 During the British period a considerable amount of publication of Balochi oral literature took place. More than anyone else, the person associated with this activity is the British civil servant M. Longworth Dames. The purpose of this effort was mainly to provide material for the British officials to learn Balochi.
Also parts of the Bible were translated into Balochi in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and, possibly in response to this, the first translation of the Quran appeared in the early 20th century.30 However, only after the independence of Pakistan in 1947 do we find books in Balochi published by the Baloch themselves.
The readership is so far limited to a small literary elite, comprising a few hundred people at best. This limited readership naturally puts a heavy mental and financial constraint on anyone wishing to publish his or her literary production in Balochi. Criteria for urbanism Gordon Childe, held by Smith31 to be “the most influential archaeologist of the twentieth century”, presented the following criteria for urbanism:32
26 Swidler 2008,369, 371.
27 Hosseinbor 2000, 38–39; Breseeg 2004, 140; see also Spooner 1989, 610.
28 Baluchistan District Gazetteer Series 1986 [1907], 81.
29 Jahani 2005, 153.
30 Jahani 1989, 24.
31 Smith 2009, 3.
32 Childe 1950, 9–16.

1. “In point of size the first cities must have been more extensive and more densely populated than any previous settlements, although considerably smaller than many villages today.” 33
2. “In composition and function the urban population already differed from that of any village. Very likely indeed most citizens were still also peasants, harvesting the lands and waters adjacent to the city. But all cities must have accommodated in addition classes who did not themselves procure their own food…full-time specialist craftsmen, transport workers, merchants, officials and priests.”34
3. “Each primary producer paid over the tiny surplus he could wring from the soil with his still very limited technical equipment as tithe or tax to an imaginary deity or a divine king who thus concentrated the surplus.”35
4. “Truly monumental public buildings not only distinguish each known city from any village but also symbolize the concentration of the social surplus.”36
5. “[P]riests, civil and military leaders and officials absorbed a major share of the concentrated surplus and thus formed a ‘ruling class.’”37
6. “Writing”.38
7. “[T]he elaboration of exact and predictive sciences – arithmetic, geometry and astronomy.”39
8. “Other specialists, supported by the concentrated social surplus, gave a new direction to artistic expression.”40
9. “Regular ‘foreign’ trade over quite long distances was a feature of all early civilizations”.41
10. “[E]ven the earliest urban communities must have been held together by a sort of solidarity…Peasants, craftsmen, priests and rulers form a community, not only by reason of identity of language and belief, but also because each performs mutually complementary functions, needed for the well-being…of
the whole.”42
Following these criteria, and the added parameter of a monetary economy, I will now investigate whether there is an “urban mind” depicted in Balochi literature and, if so, whether it is found in both the oral and the written literature, that is, whether this “urban mind” is an old or a rather new phenomenon in Balochistan. At this point it should be noted that the “urban mind” under study here has nothing to do with modernity. Totally different criteria would be needed for the study of modernity, but this is outside the scope of the present chapter. The written texts examined in this study all date from the 1950s and onwards, whereas the oral texts are undated. Since common themes in the oral literature, almost identical stories in fact, are found among the Baloch who migrated westwards to Fars as well as those who went north-eastwards to Turkmenistan, the oral literature is here assumed to be of a much earlier date than the written
33 Childe 1950, 9.
34 Childe 1950, 11.
35 Childe 1950, 11.
36 Childe 1950, 12.
37 Childe 1950, 12–13.
38 Childe 1950, 14.
39 Childe 1950, 14.
40 Childe 1950, 15.
41 Childe 1950, 15.
42 Childe 1950, 16.

texts. The texts analysed consist of five traditional tales and five short stories. The texts will be summarised in search for criteria of an “urban mind”. Summary of the texts with notes on criteria of an “urban mind”43

1. Oral texts
a. Mister Five-Slayer
The first text is a story of a poor man who decides to leave the town where he is living and move to another kingdom. There he happens to become the chief minister of the king by claiming he can kill five tigers all at once, which of course he has never done. His duty as the chief minister is to ward off any dangers to the king and his rule. As soon as he is given a new mission, he returns home and starts beating his wife, who had once mockingly called him “Mister Five-Slayer”, something which he had taken as a pretext for his claim at the king’s court. By pure luck and the skill of his wife, he successfully fights tigers and thieves, and attacks the king’s enemies. On one of his missions, he dresses up as a businessman in order to fight robbers. Finally he receives half the kingdom. In this text a more densely populated place, a “town” (Bal. šahr), is contrasted with the “village” (Bal. halk) that Mister Five-Slayer came from. There is also mention of “shopkeepers” (Bal. dukkāndār, bakkāl) and “construction workers” (Bal. hunarkār, ṭāhēnōk). As for monumental buildings, Mister Five-Slayer builds himself a “palace” (Bal. māṛī), and the place where the king and his ministers gather is described as a “court” (Bal. dīwān). Regarding the ruling class, in addition to the “king” (Bal. bādšāh) there is mention of his “ministers and deputees” (Bal. wazīr u wakīl) and his “soldiers” (Bal. sipāhī). There is also reference to a “war” (Bal. miṛ u ǰang) between this king and another king. The climax of the story comes when Mister Five-Slayer is transformed from being “poor and destitute” (Bal. bēwass u nēzgār) into “lord of half the kingdom” (Bal. bādšāhīay nēmagay wāǰa). b. Moses and the starving man The second story is about Moses, in this Islamic context given the title of a “prophet”, and a destitute and starving man. The man asks Moses to intercede for
him and plead with God to give him everything that has been provided for his whole lifetime in one go, so that he can fill his stomach if only once. God does so, and since the poor man cannot eat all the food he gives some away as alms.
God rewards him, and at the end of the story the man becomes the foremost businessman in the whole world. The very first criterion of urbanism found in this text is that Moses is seen as a mediator between God and man, the same role a priest has. Another notion associated with urbanism is giving alms to the poor “for God’s sake” (Bal. bi rāh-i xudā). An indirect reference to tradesmen is also found in that the poor man, upon receiving his allocation, goes to the “marketplace” (Bal. bāzār) to buy food. There is thus a monetary economy in this text. A more direct reference to 43 Bibliographical information about the texts is found at the end of the chapter.  tradesmen is provided at the end of the story, where the “starving fellow” (Bal. gužnagēn bandag) becomes “the tradesman of the world” (Bal. taǰǰār-i ǰahān), a transformation similar to the one in the first text. This also bears witness to an awareness of long-distance trade. c. The little lizard-girl Story number three is that of a childless couple, a poor man and his wife. After the intervention of a man with supernatural powers, the wife gives birth, not to a human child but to a lizard. This lizard proves to be a blessing, since she can change her appearance into different utensils and by doing so bring home dates, wheat, oil and other necessities. Only when she visits the school, which seems to be only for boys and thus a traditional religious school, does she get nothing. Eventually she manages to get hold of a merchant’s entire fortune and bring it to her parents. References to urban concepts in this text are the presence of a “religious man endowed with supernatural powers” (Bal. pīrpārsā) and specialised craftsmen such as a “keeper of the storage” (Bal. anbārčīn), a “gardener” (Bal. bāgpān)”, a “blacksmith” (Bal. āhinkār), and a “merchant” (Bal. bakkāl) who has a “shop” (Bal. dukkān). We also meet the “king’s daughter and his minister’s daughter” (Bal. bādšāh u wazīray ǰinikk). The “royal palace” (Bal. bādšāhī māṛī) is mentioned as well. In this text, there is also reference to education with the words “school” (Bal. madrasag), “reading” (Bal. wānag), “small blackboard for each pupil to write on” (Bal. taxtī), and “pen” (Bal. kalam). The climax of this story is when the poor parents become “rich” (Bal. māldār u ganǰdār) after receiving the merchant’s entire fortune. d. Goli and her husband The fourth story is that of Goli, who treats her husband, Ahmad, so badly that he decides to throw her into a well. When he has second thoughts and tries to pull her out of the well, a dragon comes out instead of his wife. The dragon manages to get Ahmad married to the king’s daughter by twisting itself around her neck and only letting go on Ahmad’s order. When the dragon does the same with another princess, Ahmad is called to rescue her as well. The dragon had warned him, however, that if he comes to rescue more princesses, the dragon will eat him up. However, Ahmad manages to save this second princess by telling the dragon a lie, namely that Goli has escaped from the well and is looking for it. On hearing this, the dragon flees head over heels in order to escape falling into Goli’s hands.In this story there is mention of a “town” (Bal. šahr), two “kings” (Bal. šāh), two “kings’ daughters” (Bal. šāhey ǰanek), and a “court” (Bal. maǰles). There is also mention of “wise men” (Bal. ālem) who try to free the king’s daughter from the dragon, but in vain. The climax of the story is not when Ahmad becomes the “king’s son-in-law” (Bal. šāhey dūmād), although this is an important event, but rather when he manages to free the second princess despite the dragon’s warnings. e. The Indian merchant and the Egyptian goldsmith’s daughter The final story is about an Indian merchant who takes a wife from Egypt, but throws her into a well on the way back to India. Another caravan pulls her out and takes her back to Egypt. She does not tell her family the truth about her husband and what he did. He, on the other hand, goes back to India where he loses his fortune. Fate brings him back to Egypt as a beggar, where he again meets his wife, who remains faithful to her husband even though he has been cruel to her.

At the end of the story it becomes apparent that the merchant is the offspring of a slave and his wife the offspring of a prince, something which is then seen as the reason for their evil versus good deeds.
Already in the title of the story there is a tradesman, a “merchant” (Bal. taǰǰār) who does “business” (Bal. taǰǰāratt)” between India and Egypt, and a craftsman, an Egyptian “goldsmith” (Bal. zargar). The Indian merchant is described as having a “caravan” (Bal. kāpila) and the Egyptian goldsmith has “wealth” (Bal. sarmāya). Other merchants also appear, and the person who takes the woman back to Egypt is to bring a written “receipt” (Bal. rasīd) from her father, a reference to written documentation. The Egyptian goldsmith lives in a “palace” (Bal. kāx). When the Indian merchant loses his fortune he goes begging to different “towns” (Bal. šār), and when he comes to Egypt and meets his wife he asks her, not knowing who she is, for “alms” (Bal. xayrāt) “for God’s sake” (Bal. pa xudāay nāmā). A “prince” (Bal. šāzādag) is also mentioned as the father of the girl in the story. The girl, who is of royal lineage, does the good deed of protecting her husband even though he has mistreated her. Note also the presence of long-distance trade (and begging) which brings the Indian merchant-beggar to Egypt, not only once but twice.

2. Written texts
a. The inheritance
The first story is that of a dying old woman named Granaz. At the start of the story, she is moaning in agony. She has raised five sons, but the first is dead, the second has left the country and abandoned her, the third has become a guerilla fighter in the mountains, the fourth is in prison, and only the fifth son, who seems to be somewhat disabled, is at her side. She used to be a strong woman, but is now totally destitute. At the end of the story she dies in this sad condition. In this text, there are few references to what could be described as an urban mind. Granaz mentions a “fortress” (Bal. kōṭā) and a “prison” (Bal. bandīxāna), phenomena that are associated with the exercise of power. There is also reference to “religious people” (Bal. pīr u fakīr) who will only provide “amulets” (Bal. čiṭ u tāyīt) if they are well paid. There is no climax in this story of the kind found in the oral narratives.

b. The evil-doer
In the second story, a court report of a murder is given. Dawlat Khan has killed the wife of his brother, Muhabbat Khan, accusing her of having had an affair with a passer-by. Muhabbat Khan himself is a guest worker in Dubai and is about to return home for a vacation. As the story develops, it becomes clear that the woman was pregnant, and that it was in fact Dawlat Khan himself who had an affair with her. He committed the murder in order to conceal his guilt, but at the end of the story there is a report of a new murder. Muhabbad Khan has found out the whole truth and has killed his brother.
This text revolves around a court case, and there are references to an “investigation” (Bal. taftīš), “written reports” (Bal. ripūrṭ), “imprisonment” (Bal.11 kayz u banday sazā), and the “crime branch” (Bal. krāym brānč). Once again there is no climax, and the story ends on a sad note.

c. Thunder
The third story tells of a long drought and a prediction during a ritual sacrifice that there will be heavy rain in the near future. The man who makes the sacrifice, Kuhda Shahsuwar, has a son, Kasim, who has joined the army in Muscat. Kasim sends a message with another soldier to say he is about to return, whereupon his father begins making preparations to marry off his son in order to get him to stay at home from now on. He sends a servant to meet his son at the port on the day of his return and to travel back home with him. When Kasim arrives at the port he decides to visit a friend on the way home, and he sends the servant in advance.
The servant arrives safe and sound, but not Kasim, who is struck by lightning when he takes shelter under a tree as the long-awaited rain starts to pour down. His father loses his mind as a result of his son’s death. References to criteria of an urban mind in this text are the title of “village elder” (Bal. kuhdā) given to three people in the text, being a “soldier” (Bal. sipāhī) in the “army” (Bal. pawǰ), and the use of money, namely “Pakistani rupie” (Bal. kalladār).

d. Ormara 2030
The fourth story is set in the future, namely in 2030, and the location is the port of Ormara in Pakistani Balochistan. The main character is Balach, who is an old Baloch nationalist, a member of a nationalist party, and a poet. When the story opens, he is sitting and watching the sea. He sees people dressed in different kinds of clothes, even shorts and skirts, which are not common in Balochistan today. He compares the noisy crowd in the restaurant to the seabirds of old times. He is very lonely since his friends of old are all dead, and there is a heavy burden on his heart. Nobody speaks Balochi any more, and Balochi culture is about to be forgotten as well. Balach remembers how he had foreseen and warned against this situation in his days as an active politician, but nobody had taken him seriously enough to do something about the situation. Balach hears young people conversing in Urdu and English, then suddenly somebody speaking in Balochi. He turns around and finds that it is only a little beggar. The next day Balach’s death is announced from the mosque, in Urdu rather than in Balochi. In this text as well, there are some references to criteria of an urban mind. Balach is described as a writer of “poetry” (Bal. šāhirī) and as a “political figure” (Bal. syāsī mardum). There are also references to “political meetings” (Bal. syāsī maǰlis u ǰalasah) and to a monetary economy in the form of “Pakistani rupie” (Bal. kalladār). But once again, the urban mind is not a foreground theme, and the story ends in despair since there seems to be nobody left to care for the Balochi language and culture after the death of Balach.e. Bitter In the final story we meet Rahmat, a young and successful writer, who is frequently published in magazines.
He is very well received by the headmaster when he returns to his former school, and he believes that it is thanks to his success as a writer. The headmaster wants to talk to him about something, so Rahmat stays on until the headmaster has finished his daily duties. Rahmat imagines that the headmaster, who is a well-educated man with two M.A.’s and one M.Ed., may 12 want to hear a poem of his, or maybe even ask for advice on writings of his own. As it turns out, the headmaster wants to discuss a totally different matter. Rahmat has an influential brother in Bahrain, and the headmaster needs this brother’s help to find a suitable job for his own brother who is also in Bahrain.
The main criterion of an urban mind found in this text is that of writing. The whole milieu is a school where we meet the “headmaster” (Bal. hiḍmasṭir) and the “poet and writer” (Bal. šāir u labzānt). Mention is made of “literary magazines” (Bal. labzānkī tāk)”, “poetry and writings” (Bal. šayr u nibištānk), a “meeting for reciting
poetry” (Bal. šāirī dīwān), “literary and other scientific work” (Bal. labzānkī u diga ilmī kār) a “school” (Bal. iskūl), “paper and files” (Bal. kāgad u fāyl), the “marketplace” (Bal. bāzār), a “secretary” (Bal. munšī), “university degrees” (M.A. and M.Ed.), and a “letter of introduction” (Bal. pārṭī kāgad)conclusions there, then, an urban mind in Balochi oral and written literature? In the oral narratives the urban characteristics are very clearly put forth as an ideal. To become a king or the king’s son-in-law or the foremost merchant in the world is what constitutes true success, and not, for example, to become the richest farmer or cattle owner. The presence of businessmen is more strongly felt than that of religious men in these stories; in other words, Mammon is given more attention than God in this cultural setting. It is thus clear that there is indeed an urban mind strongly present in these stories, but that an urban lifestyle exists only in a fantasy world and is something that one can dream about but probably never attain.
It is interesting to note that writing in the vernacular (i.e. Balochi) has not been a prerequisite for an urban mind and urban ideals. Further, in the premodern society with a mainly non-literate population, where the oral tales were created and retold, the urban life was presented as the successful life. In the written literature the stories have a totally different setting, which is grounded in real life. Here the scene is not a dream world where wishes
come true, but the harsh reality of Balochistan. In fact, all the short stories end on a pessimistic note, with the death of an important character or with deep disappointment. Urbanism as the ideal is absent in these stories, and even though urban phenomena are mentioned they are not crucial to the plot in any of the stories. Their grounding in actual life rather than in dreams must be considered the main reason for this marginal treatment of urban ideals.
Again, it must be noted that urbanism has nothing to do with modernity. Modernity must be evaluated in totally different parameters, which would make for another interesting study. While traditional themes are the focus in three of the written texts (loneliness in old age, infidelity, the whims of nature), in the fourth story the worry about the future of Balochistan and the Balochi language is intertwined with the theme of loneliness, and in the  fifth story human egocentrism is depicted in a somewhat modern context.The answer to whether there is an urban mind in Balochi literature must, however, be affirmative, at least for the oral narratives. The urban lifestyle and occupations are depicted as the ideal ones, those that one can only dream about. Even though these oral narratives may have drawn upon a cultural heritage that was not only limited to the Baloch, it would have been impossible to tell stories about concepts that were totally unknown to the audience or for that matter the storyteller. Thus, there must have been a certain presence of urban concepts, as well as knowledge of an urban lifestyle, in the very rural area of Balochistan during the time when these stories came into being. The very old dichotomy between the “Baloch” and the “townspeople” (see above) is further evidence that the people of rural Balochistan had an awareness of urbanism even in past centuries.

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Text corpus
Written texts
Nimatullah Gichki (Ni‘matullāh Gičkī), Pitī mīrās (The inheritance), published in
Bandīg, 1986, 27–28. Karachi: Īlum Publications.
Hakim Baloch (Ḥakīm Balōč), Syāhkār (The evil-doer), published in Hakīm Balōč 2000,
Āsay cihr, 34–38. Quetta: Balochi Academy.
Murad Sahir (Murād Sāḥir), Grand (Thunder), published in Abdul Ḥakīm (ed.) 1970,
Gičēn āzmānak, 220–227. Quetta: Balochi Academy.
Ghaws Bahar (Ġaws Bahār), Ōrmāṛa, 2030ā (Ormara 2030), published in Ġaws Bahār
2003. Karkēnk, 5–13. Quetta: Balochi Academy.
Ghani Parwaz (Ġanī Parwāz), J ǎ wr (Bitter), published in Elfenbein, Josef 1990. An
Anthology of Classical and Modern Balochi Literature, 2, 68–71. Wiesbaden:
Oral texts
Wāǰa pančkuš (Mister Five-Slayer), published in Barker, Muhammad A., and Mengal,
Aqil Khan 1969. A Course in Baluchi, vol. 2, 172–181. Montreal: McGill University.
Hazratt-i Mūsā u Xudāay gušnagen bandag (Moses and the starving man), recorded by
Behrooz Barjasteh Delforooz.
Gōǰuk (The little lizard-girl), published in Mēngal, Mīr ‘Āqil Xān 1973. Gēdī kissaw, 7,
10–14. Quetta: Balochi Academy.
Golī va šowhareš (Goli and her husband), recorded by Maryam Nourzaei.
Taǰǰār-i indī u misrī zargaray ǰinikk (The Indian merchant and the Egyptian goldsmith’s daughter), recorded by Behrooz Barjasteh Delforooz.
Sincere thanks to Behrooz Barjasteh Delforooz and Maryam Nourzaei for allowing me to use texts from their corpus in this study

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Posted by on April 8, 2011 in Baloch People


Music of Baluchistan

Balochi Soroz

By: M. T. Massoudieh

Melodies in the music of Baluchistan are usually connected with particular ceremonies (marāsem), usually religious rites, festivals, or holidays. The principal religious rites are exorcism (gwātī), ecstasy (māled-e pīr-e pataṛ), and mourning (majāles-e tarḥīm); the most important festivals and holidays are weddings, childbirth, circumcision, date harvesting (hāmīn), and wheat harvesting. The relationships between melodies and particular ceremonies are reflected in their names.

Līkō and Zahīrōk. These are vocal forms (āvāzī) and are sung when one is away from close relatives, friends, a beloved, and even from one’s country. In the beginning Zahīrōk was only sung by two groups of women, who in the course of their daily work would exchange melodies. This method of performance is not common today; in practice Zahīrōk is sung by male singers accompanied by a short-necked fiddle (sorūd, also surōz, or kēčak, Pers. qeyčak).

The Līkō and Zahīrōk, which contain similar texts, differ in that each is common to a particular area of Baluchistan and that each has different melodic characteristics. Līkō is most common in Sarḥadd-zamīn and Zahīrōk in Mokrān (Makurān). Among the characteristics of the Sarḥaddi style is the repetition of hemistichs which are performed in one period, usually composed of two sentences or two melodic figures. The first sentence or figure of the period has an unfinished quality, while the second sentence or figure evokes a feeling of completion.

Kordī (Kurdī). The text of Kordī, like Līkō and Zahīrōk, evokes the suffering arising from distance and separation, but in Līkō and Zahīrōk the suffering is real, while in Kordī there is only remembrance of separation. The text is usually in the dialect of Rūdbār and the region between Īrānšahr and Bampūr. Kordī was also initially sung by women when working with stone handmills used for making wheat flour; however, this is no longer the custom. Kordī, like Līkō and Zahīrōk, has free meter. The name Kordī may suggest that this āvāz was associated with a branch of the Kurds in Baluchistan.

Mōtk or Mowtk. These are for the ceremonies of tarḥīm, the assembly convened for the blessing of the dead and mourning. The text of this āvāz describes the virtues of the deceased and the sorrow of mourning. On this basis Mōtk can be counted as a type of elegy (marṯīa). Mōtk is usually performed by a group of women without instrumental accompaniment. The verses (bayt) and refrains (tarjīʿband) are sung alternately by two groups of singers or by soloist and group. This way of performing appears to be no longer customary. Mōtk, like Līkō, Zahīrōk, and Kordī, is not strictly metrical.
Šayr (Šeʿr). This is an āvāz with poetic text consisting of epic stories, romance, historical events, social narrative, advice, etc. The poet (šāʿer), also called pālavān (pahlavān), performs Šayr with instrument and voice. Baluchi pālavāns sing of historical events, thereby preserving the history of Baluchistan orally. Šayr is usually sung in gatherings of important people or khans; on rare occasions it can also be performed at wedding ceremonies. The instruments accompanying the performance are the plucked, long-necked lute (Bal. dambūra, Pers. tanbīra) providing a rhythmic drone, and the sorūd (qeyčak). The most important and well-known Šayrs current in Baluchistan are epic Šayr, including Mīr Qabar, Čākur wa Gwaharām, Ḥażrat Adham, and Moḥammad Ḥanīfa; historical Šayr, including Jīhand Khan and Dādšāh; love Šayr, including ʿEzzat wa Mehrōk, and Še (Šayḵ) Morīd wa Hānī; social narrative, including Mīr Pasond Khan and Morād Khan (see also on Baluchi literature above).

Gwātī. This term, literally “windy” or “windiness,” is also used to designate depression believed to be caused by an evil spirit disturbing the psychosomatic equilibrium, for which another term is jenn-zadagī (spirit possession). The use of gwātī as a musical term arises from the belief that only music is able to rid the possessed body of unclean spirits and restore it to health by means of a trance. Belief in unclean spirits is found both in Baluchistan, in particular in its coastal regions, and on most of the Persian Gulf coast. The most important types of evil spirits are the zārs (for the names of which see Rīāḥī, pp. 4-5), dīvs, gwāts, and jenns, further distinguished by gender and creed (Muslim or non-Muslim). Different instruments are used to exorcise different spirits, e.g., for a zār only drums (lēvā) are used, but gwātī ceremonies (leʿeb) use all of the instruments current in Baluchistan, mainly sorūd and double flute dōnelī performing a specific repertory of songs and instrumental pieces. The word mūkām (maqām: mode) in Baluchistan is attributed to instruments that participate in the customs of gwātī. A kind of dance, or stirring, not unlike that of the dervishes, is an indispensable part of the gwātī ritual. When the participants are men, the dance is called damāl and the leader is always a man, called ḵalīfa. Female gwātī dance may be led by a man or a woman. The generic term for the leader of the ceremonies is gwātīe māt (lit. the mother of gwātī), whether a man or a woman (today most often a man). The most famous gwātīe māt was a woman from Mesqaṭ by the name of Zaynab. In deference to her, the ḵalīfa and the instrumentalists sing the following line at the beginning of each gwātī: Zaynab gwātīe māt-int, ḥalwā na wārta Zaynabā (Zaynab is the mother of gwātī, Zaynab has not eaten ḥalwā). The gwātīe māt first diagnoses the existence of gwāt and then fixes the precise stages of the patient’s convalescence (daraja-ye kopār), choosing the music used in the ceremonies. The ritual is performed every night from three to seven or even fourteen nights, depending on the type and severity of the disease, and ends with a sacrifice. The text of the āvāz of the Gwātī includes praises (madḥ) dedicated to the mystics Laʿl Šahbāz Qalandar, buried in Sehwān (Sind), and ʿAbd-al-Qader Jēlānī (Jeylānī, Gīlānī; qq.v.)

Māled (Mawlūd) pīr-e pataṛ. The ceremonies of māled, which last only two to three hours, are most common in the coastal regions of Baluchistan, but are now gradually being forgotten. In māled the āvāz is accompanied only by the drums called ṭabl and daf (single skin frame drum, called samāʿ or māled); only in exceptional cases is the oboe (sūrnā) also used. The leader of the māled ceremony, who sometimes plays the samāʿ himself, is called ḵalīfa. The ceremonies of māled are in one sense parallel to those performed at the Qāderī meetings of Kurdistan. Reaching ecstatic states during the ḏekr, some participants of māled (called mastān “the drunk ones”) insert swords, knives, and daggers into their bodies.

The following āvāz are used in marriage and childbirth ceremonies:

Nāzēnk. This term means “worship” or “praise” (verb nāzēnag) and in the first place designates praise of the bride, groom, and newborn baby, but also of God. Nāzēnk is sung at the following times: when the groom is taken to the bath, after returning from the bath, when the bride and groom are seated on the “throne,” and during the first six nights after childbirth.

Lāḍō and Hālō. Like Nāzēnk, Lāḍō (Laylō, Layiarī) and Hālō are particular to marriage ceremonies. Both Lāḍō and Hālō are performed before and during the groom’s bath, but in addition Hālō is used during the ḥanā-bandān ceremony on the eve of the wedding day. Lāḍō is named after its refrain: lāḍō lī lāḍō.

Šaptākī (also Sepat). This is an unaccompanied āvāz with poetry praising God, his Prophet, and the great religious figures recited by relatives and friends gathering in the room of the mother during the night after childbirth. The ceremony lasts from six to forty nights, depending upon the family’s finances. The āvāz is usually performed by two groups of singers who alternate singing verses and refrains.

Sepat, Wazbat, and Nāt (Naʿt). Sepat is also sung during childbirth ceremonies in honor of the mother. The text of Sepat or Wazbat is also devoted to the praise of God, saints, and great religious figures. Nāt is performed chorally during Šaptākī ceremonies and like Šaptākī is an āvāz with lyrics that extol and eulogize the Prophet, his descendants, and the other prominent figures of Islam.

Sawt (ṣawt). This term is applied to many melodies in the music of Baluchistan, accompanied by any of the instruments current there. Its lyrics are about love or joy and are called šayyānī sawt. The performers of Sawt, called sawtī, perform in engagement, marriage, and circumcision ceremonies and other celebrations and holidays. (The term is also applied to short poems, not necessarily intended for singing.)
Bibliography :
L. Mobaššerī, Āhanghā-ye maḥallī-e manāṭeq-e jonūbī-e Īrān I, Tehran, 1335 Š./1956. ʿA. M. Aḥmadīān, “Mūsīqī dar Balūčestān,” Majalla-ye honar o mardom 183, 1356 Š./1977, pp. 57-65. M. A. Barker and A. K. Mengal, A Course in Baluchi, Montreal, 1969, II, pp. 263-349 (contains samples of poetry and metrical analysis). J. During, Musique d’extase et de guérison du Baloutchistan. Anthologie de la musique traditionelle iranienne, Paris, 1981 (a record with a notice on the gwātīs). Idem, Musique et mystique en Iran, Ph.D. dissertation, Strasbourg, 1985, pp. 166-370. J. Kuckertz and M. T. Massoudieh, Volkgesänge aus Iran, Bässler Archiv 23, 1975. M. T. Massoudieh, “Hochzeitslieder aus Balūčestān,” Jahrbuch für musikalische Volks- und Völkerkunde, Berlin and New York, 1973, pp. 59-69. Idem, Mūsīqī-e Balūčestān, Tehran, 1364 Š./1985. Idem, Tajzīa wa taḥlīl-e 14 tarāna-ye maḥallī-e Īrān, Tehran, 1353 Š./1974. ʿA. Rīāḥī, Zār o bād o balūč, Tehran, 1356 Š./1977. Qureshi and Burckhardt, “Pakistan,” in The New Grove’s Dictionary of Music, London, 1980.

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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Balochi Music



By: J. G. Shaffer

The archeological record of Iranian Baluchistan, in the southeastern corner of Iran, is very limited. Although early travelers often described the region’s antiquities, the first significant archeological research was done by Sir Mark Aurel Stein during the early 1930s. His efforts focused on the Bampūr valley, where he recorded numerous sites and conducted a few, limited excavations. Stein’s research confirmed that Baluchistan had been inhabited during prehistoric times by groups believed to have cultural affiliations with those in western Iran. Until recently, Stein’s research constituted the extent of archeological knowledge about Baluchistan.

In 1966 Beatrice de Cardi conducted limited excavations at Bampūr (q.v.) to clarify the region’s prehistoric sequence. While limited in scope, these excavations revealed a sequence which remains the basic reference for the prehistory of Iranian Baluchistan. Gary W. Hume surveyed the Sarhad (Sarḥadd) plateau region in 1966-67 looking especially for Paleolithic sites and also discovered a few later prehistoric sites. The pottery from these sites was studied by Judith T. Marucheck who later conducted a systematic archeological survey of that region (see Miragliuolo, 1979) in 1975. The only other archeological research completed to date was Maurizio Tosi’s study of the Damin grave goods in 1970.

Baluchistan may have been inhabited first during the Pleistocene as proposed by Hume (1976), based on Paleolithic sites found in the Ladiz valley. The most important were three locations which yielded simple stone tools such as choppers, flakes, and flake tools. These tools stylistically resemble those associated with the Lower Paleolithic period in areas outside of Iran. Precise dating of these materials is debated, but the finds suggest a potential for other Paleolithic research in this region.

There is little other evidence of subsequent human settlement in Baluchistan until the late fourth millennium b.c. Based on her Bampūr excavations de Cardi (pp. 257-68) thought these early settlements, Periods I-IV, had close cultural affiliations with contemporary settlements in Kermān Province and that, as a group, they may have had ultimately some type of indirect cultural affiliation with developments occurring farther to the west. Using more recent data Tosi (1970) and Lamberg-Karlovsky (1972; Lamberg-Karlovsky and Tosi, 1973) have argued that the Bampūr data reflect an extension of basically indigenous cultural developments which occurred in Turkmenistan, eastern Iran, especially Šahr-e Sūḵta, and southern Afghanistan. The number and size of these archeological sites which date between ca. 3200-2000 b.c. are very modest and appear to reflect the activities of village agriculturalists and pastoral nomads. At the same time, several scholars (Dales, 1977; Kohl, 1978; Lamberg-Karlovsky and Tosi, 1973; Potts, 1978) contend that these communities were also involved in extensive trade networks which linked such areas as Turkmenistan, Sīstān, Pakistani Baluchistan, the Persian Gulf, and the Indus valley. These same scholars, as well as de Cardi, feel that after 2500 b.c., Bampūr Periods V-VI, this area became increasingly involved with a Persian Gulf trading network linking Mesopotamia, southeastern Iran, Oman, Bahrain, and the Indus valley. Despite the possibility of involvement in such extensive trading networks, the extent and intensity of which may be debated (Shaffer, 1982), cultural developments in Iranian Baluchistan remained modest by comparison with surrounding regions.

Early in the second millennium b.c. many of these settlements were abandoned, suggesting a population decrease or, perhaps, a shift to increased pastoral nomadism. These changes are often attributed to the impact of the Indo-Aryan invasions and/or a long period of drought. During the first millennium b.c. and especially in the Parthian and Sasanian periods, the situation altered and there was a population increase suggested by a larger number of archeological sites. One important factor in this increase was the introduction of qanāt (q.v.) irrigation which allowed the first major settlement of lowland plain areas. Consequently both agricultural and pastoral nomadic elements of the economy expanded. This expansion continued into the latter half of the first millennium a.d., resulting in the increasing use of ever more marginal agricultural lands and a decreasing ability of the region to meet subsistence and surplus production requirements. Population increases and competition over resources ultimately required stronger political controls reflected in the appearence of early fortifications. The problems of increasing population combined with a decreasing carrying capacity of the land, due to overgrazing and soil exhaustion, continued into the medieval period. Ultimately these insurmountable problems of ecological decline resulted in another widespread abandonment of the region until the Baluchis arrived in approximately the seventeenth century.

Bibliography : F. G. Dales, “Shifting Trade Patterns between the Iranian Plateau and the Indus Valley in the Third Millennium B.C.,” in Le plateau iranien et l’Asie Centrale des origines à la conquête islamique, ed. J. Deshayes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, 1977, pp. 67-68. B. de Cardi, “Excavations at Bampur: A Third Millennium Settlement in Persian Baluchistan, 1966,” Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 51, 1970, pp. 233-355. G. W. Hume, The Ladizian: An Industry of the Asian Chopper-Chopping Tool Complex in Iranian Baluchistan, Philadelphia, 1976. P. Kohl, “Western Asian Trade in the Third Millennium B.C.,” Current Anthropology 19, 1978, pp. 463-92. C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, “Trade Mechanisms in Indus-Mesopotamian Interrelations,” JADS 92, 1972, pp. 222-29. Idem and M. Tosi, “Shahr-i Sokhta and Tepe Yahya: Tracks on the Earliest History of the Iranian Plateau,” East and West 23, 1973, pp. 21-53. J. T. Marucheck, A Technological and Comparative Analysis of Pottery from Iranian Baluchistan, M.A. thesis, 1972, Department of Anthropology, The American University, Washington, D.C. J. T. Miragliuolo, Non-Urban Sites and Mobile Settlement Patterns: A Survey of an Unknown Corner of Baluchistan, Ph.D. dissertation, 1979, Department of Anthropology, The American University, Washington, D.C. D. Potts, “Towards an Integrated History of Culture Change in the Arabian Gulf Area: Notes on Dilmun, Makkan and the Economy of Ancient Sumer,” Journal of Oman Studies 4, 1978, pp. 29-51. J. G. Shaffer, “Harappan Commerce: An Alternative Perspective,” in Anthropology in Pakistan, ed. S. Pastner and L. Flam, South Asia Occasional Papers and Theses no. 8, Ithaca, 1982, pp. 166-210. Sir M. Aurel Stein, An Archaeological Tour in Gedrosia, Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India, no. 43, New Delhi, 1931. Idem, Archaeological Reconnaissance in Northwestern India and Southeastern Iran, London, 1937. M. Tosi, “A Tomb from Damin and the Problem of the Bampur Sequence in the Third Millennium B.C.,” East and West 20, 1970, pp. 9-50.


Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Balochistan


Bibliography of Brian Spooner Research

Given its historical marginality, the size of the literature on Baluchistan is remarkable. But this is due to the interest of the neighboring and other powers that competed to control it as their hinterland—the Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Afghans, British and other colonial powers, Pakistanis, and finally in recent decades the Baluch themselves. The sources therefore fall into the following general categories:
(I) pre-Islamic sources;
(2) works by Muslim (Arab, Persian, and Mughal) historians and travelers before the arrival of the British in India;
(3) works by British administrators, scholars, and travelers;
(4) official publications of the government of India;
(5) official publications of the government of Pakistan;
(6) works by Pakistani scholars;
(7) works by Western and Soviet scholars since 1947;
(8) reports generated by U.N. and other international and bilateral development projects since 1950;
(9) works by Baluch scholars since 1950. What follows is an alphabetical listing of the more significant and accessible sources, including those which have served as the basis of the present article.

Ḥājī ʿAbd-al-Nabī (Hajee Abdun Nabee), ed. Major Robert Leech (see below). I. Afšār, “Bīst šahr o hazār farsang,” Yaḡmā 19, 1345 Š./1966, pp. 87-94, 255-62, 314-19. C. U. Aitchison, A Collection of Treaties, Agreements and Sanads Relating to India and Neighbouring Countries XI, XIII, Calcutta, 1933. Abu’l-Fażl ʿAllāmī, Āʾīn-e akbarī, ed. Blochmann. Arrian, Anabasis and Indica, ed. and tr. P. A. Brunt, London, 1983. Ẓahīr-al-Dīn Moḥammad Bābor, Bābor-nāma, tr. A. S. Beveridge, London, 1922 (repr. New Delhi, 1970). Mir Khudabux Bijarani Marri Baloch, The Balochis through Centuries. History versus Legend, Quetta, 1965. Idem, Searchlights on Baloches and Balochistan, Karachi, 1974. Mir Ahmad Yar Khan Baluch, Inside Baluchistan: A Political Autobiography of His Highness Baigi: Khan-e-Azam-XIII, Karachi, 1975. Muhammad Sardar Khan Baluch, History of the Baluch Race and Baluchistan, Quetta, 1962 (repr. 1977). Baluchistan: List of Leading Personages in Baluchistan, Government of India Central Publication Branch, Calcutta, 1932. F. Barth, “Ethnic Processes on the Pathan-Baluch Boundary,” in Indo-Iranica. Mélanges présentés à G. Morgenstierne, Wiesbaden, 1964, pp. 13-20. Idem, “Competition and Symbiosis in North-East Baluchistan,” Folk 6, 1964, pp. 15-22. A. Bennigsen and S. Enders Wimbush, Muslims of the Soviet Empire, London, 1985. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Abolishes Sardari System, from his speech at Quetta, 8 April 1976. N. M. Billimoria, Bibliography of Publications Relating to Sind and Baluchistan, Lahore, 1930 (revised 1977). W. T. Blanford, Note on the Geological Formations Seen Along the Coasts of Baluchistan, etc., Records of the Geological Survey of India, Calcutta, 1872. E. Blatter and P. F. Halberg, “Flora of Persian Baluchistan and Makran,” Journal of the Bombay Natural Historical Society 24, 1910. H. Bobek, “Beiträge zur klimaökologischen Gliederung Irans,” Erdkunde 6, 1952, pp. 65-84. C. E. Bosworth, Sistan under the Arabs, from the Islamic Conquest to the Rise of the Saffarids (30-250/651-864), Rome, 1968. Idem, “The Kūfichīs or Qufṣ in Persian history,” Iran 14, 1976, pp. 9-17. C. E. Bosworth, R. M. Burrel, K. McLachlan, and R. M. Savory, eds., The Persian Gulf States. A General Survey, Baltimore, 1980. D. Bray, Life-History of a Brahui, London, 1913. Idem, “The Jat of Baluchistan,” Indian Antiquary 54, 1925, pp. 30-33. C. Brunner, “Geographical and Administrative Divisions: Settlements and Economy,” in Camb. Hist. Iran III/2, pp. 747-77. Cambridge History of India, Delhi, 1958-63. M. L. Chaumont, “Ētats vassaux dans l’empire des premiers Sassanides,” in Monumentum H. S. Nyberg I, Acta Iranica 4, Tehran and Liège, 1975, pp. 133-46. G. B. Castiglioni, “Appunti geografici sul Balucistan iraniano,” Rivista geographica italiana 67, 1960, pp. 109-52, 268-301. B. D. Clark, “Tribes of the Persian Gulf,” in Bosworth et al., pp. 485-509. G. F. Dales, The Role of Natural Forces in the Ancient Indus Valley and Baluchistan, Anthropological Papers 62, University of Utah, 1962. Idem, “Harappan Outposts on the Makran Coast,” Antiquity 36/142, 1962, pp. 86-93. M. L. Dames, Popular Poetry of the Baloches, 2 vols., London 1904a. Idem, The Baloch Race, Asiatic Society Monographs 4, London, 1904b (quoting Elliot, History of India). J. Dresch, “Bassins arides iraniens,” Bulletin de l’Association des géographes français 430, 1975, pp. 337-51. Idem, “Cuvettes iranaises comparées: Djaz Murian et Lut,” Geography (Tehran) 1, 1976, pp. 8-19. R. E. H. Dyer, Raiders of the Sarhad, Being an Account of a Campaign of Arms and Bluff against the Brigands of the Persian-Baluchi Border, London, 1921. W. Eilers, “Das Volk der Maka vor und nach der Achämeniden,” in Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte der Achämenidenzeit und ihr Fortleben, ed. H. Koch and D. N. Mackenzie, Berlin, 1983, pp. 101-22. J. Elfenbein, A Baluchi Miscellanea of Erotica and Poetry: Codex Oriental Additional 24048 of the British Library, AIUON 43/2, Suppl. no. 35, Napoli, 1983. Mountstuart Elphistone, An Account of the Kingdom of Caubul, London, 1815. A. T. Embree, ed., Pakistan’s Western Borderlands, Durham, 1977. W. A. Fairservis, Preliminary Report on the Pre-Historic Archaeology of the Afghan Baluchi Areas, American Museum Novitates, American Museum of Natural History, New York, 1952. Fīrūz Mīrzā Farmānfarmā, Safar-nāma-ye Kermān o Balūčestān, ed. M. Neẓām Māfī, Tehran, 1342 Š./1963. K. Ferdinand, “The Baluchistan Barrel-Vaulted Tent,” Folk 2, 1960, pp. 33-50. Ferešta, tr. Briggs. J. P. Ferrier, Caravan Journeys and Wanderings in Persia, Afghanistan, Turkestan and Beloochistan, London, 1857. H. Field, An Anthropological Reconnaissance in West Pakistan 1955, Peabody Museum, New York, 1959. E. A. Floyer, Unexplored Baluchistan. A Survey with Observations Astronomical, Geographical, Botanical, etc., of a Route through Mekran, Bashkurd, Persia, Kurdistan and Turkey, London, 1882. R. N. Frye, “Notes on a Trip to Biyabanak, Sistan and Baluchistan in the Winter 1951-2,” Indo-Iranica 6, 1952, pp. 1-6. Idem, “Remarks on Baluchi History,” Central Asiatic Journal 6, 1961, pp. 44-50. A. Gabriel, Durch Persiens Wüsten, Stuttgart, 1935. Idem, “The Southern Lut and Iranian Balutschistan,” Geographical Journal 92, 1938, pp. 193-211. Idem, Aus den Einsamkeiten Irans, Stuttgart, 1939. E. G. Gafferberg, Beludzhi Turkmenskoĭ SSR, Institut Etnografii Miklukho Maklai, Leningrad, 1969. R. E. Galindo, A Record of Two Year Wanderings in Eastern Persia and Baluchistan, Simla, 1890. Y. Gankowsky, “Social Structure of Pakistan’s Brahui-Baluchi Population,” Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 5/4, 1982, pp. 57-73. A. Gansser, “The Taftan Volcano (SE Iran),” Ecologae Geologicae Helvetiae 64, 1971, pp. 319-44. A. Gasteiger, Von Teheran nach Belutschistan. Reise-Skizzen, Innsbruck, 1881. Gazetteer, Baluchistan District Series, ed. R. Hughes-Buller and C. F. Minchin, Bombay, 1906-08. I. Gershevitch, “Travels in Bashkardia,” Royal Central Asiatic Society Journal 46/3-4, 1959, pp. 213-25. F. J. Goldsmid, ed., Eastern Persia. An Account of the Persian Boundary Commission 1870-1872, London, 1876. Government of Pakistan, White Paper on Pakistan, Quetta, 1974. N. P. Grant, “Journal of a Route through the Western Parts of Makran,” JRAS 5, 1839, pp. 328-42. W. Haig, draft of unpublished book concerning the period 1913-1918 in Persia including Baluchistan, in Collection of Private Papers, St. Anthony’s College, Oxford. J. Hansman, “A Periplus of Magan and Meluhha,” BSOAS 36, 1973, pp. 553-86. J. V. Harrison, “Coastal Makran,” Geographical Journal 97, 1941, pp. 1-17. Idem, “The Jaz Murian Depression, Persian Baluchistan,” ibid., 101, 1943, pp. 206-25. S. S. Harrison, In Afghanistan’s Shadow: Baluch Nationalism and Soviet Temptations, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, New York, 1981. R. B. Hetu Ram, Tārīḵ-eBalūčestān, Quetta, 1907. A. Houtum-Schindler, “Notes on Persian Baluchistan. From the Persian of Mirza Mehdi Khan,” JRAS 7, 1877, pp. 147-54. A. Jahānbānī, ʿAmalīyāt-e qošūn dar Balūčestān az Mordād tā Bahman 1307, Tehran, 1336 Š./1957. Idem, Sargoḏašt-e Balūčestān, Tehran, 1338 Š./1959. Kayhān, Joḡrāfīā. Kent, Old Persian. N. de Khanikoff, Mémoire sur la partie méridionale de l’Asie Centrale, Paris, 1864. J. H. Lace, “A Sketch of the Vegetation of British Baluchistan,” Journal of the Linnaean Society 28, 1897, pp. 228-327. Lambton, Landlord and Peasant. R. Leech, “Brief History of Kalat Brought down to the Disposition and Death of Nawab Khan Braho-ee,” JASB 12, 1843, pp. 473-512. Idem, “Notes Taken on a Tour through Parts of Baloochisthan, in 1838 and 1839, by Hajee Abdun Nubee, of Kabul, Arranged and Translated by Major Robert Leech,” ibid., 13, 1844, pp. 667-706, 786-826. L. Lockhart, Nadir Shah. A Critical Study Based Mainly upon Contemporary Sources, London, 1938. Lorimer, Gazetteer. Markwart, Provincial Capitals. M. Maroth, “Sistan nach den arabischen geographischen Quellen,” in Studies in the Sources on the History of Pre-Islamic Central Asia, ed. J. Harmatta, Budapest, 1979, pp. 145-51. C. Masson, Narrative of Various Journeys in Balochistan, Afghanistan and the Panjab, London, 1842. S. B. Miles, The Countries and Tribes of the Persian Gulf, London, 1919 (repr. 1966). V. Minorsky, “Mongol Placenames in Mukri Kurdistan (Mongolica 4),” BSOAS 19, 1957, p. 81. G. Morgenstierne, Report on a Linguistic Mission to North-Western India, Oslo, 1932. Erwin Orywal, Die Baluc in Afghanisch-Sistan, Kölner Ethnologische Studien 4, Berlin, 1982. C. McC. Pastner, “A Social, Structural and Historical Analysis of Honor, Shame and Purdah,” Anthropological Quarterly 45/4, 1972, pp. 248-61. Idem, “Cousin Marriage among the Zikri Baluch of Coastal Pakistan,” Ethnology 18, 1979, pp. 31-47. C. McC. Pastner and S. Pastner, “Agriculture, Kinship and Politics in Southern Baluchistan,” Man 7/1, 1972, pp. 128-36. R. N. Pehrson, The Social Organization of the Marri Baluch, ed. F. Barth, Viking Fund Publications in Anthropology 43, New York, 1966. Persia, Geographical Handbook Series, Naval Intelligence Division, London, 1945. M. Pikulin, Beludzhi, Moscow, 1959. Marco Polo, The Book of Ser Marco Polo, the Venitian, Concerning the Kingdoms and Marvels of the East, tr. H. Yule, rev. and enl. H. Cordier, London, 1926. H. Pottinger, Travels in Beloochistan and Sinde; Accompanied by a Geographical and Historical Account of Those Countries with a Map, London, 1816 (repr. Westmead, 1972). R. B. Diwan Jamiat Rai, The Domiciled Hindus, ed. Denys Bray, Delhi, 1913. R. L. Raikes, “The Ancient Ghabarbands of Baluchistan,” East and West, N.S. 15/1-2, 1964-65, pp. 26-35. H. G. Raverty, Notes on Afghanistan and Baluchistan, Lahore, 1878. Razmārā, Farhang. P. A. Rittikh, “Poezdka v Persiyu i Persidskiĭ Beludzhistan 1900,” Izvestiya Russkogo geograficheskogo obshchestva 38, 1902. K. M. Röhrborn, Provinzen und Zentralgewalt Persiens im 16 und 17 J., Studien zur Sprache, Geschichte und Kultur des Islamischen Orients, Berlin, 1966. A. Rooman, The Brahuis of Quetta-Kalat Region, Pakistan Historical Society, Memoir 3, Karachi, 1960. E. C. Ross, “Memorandum of Notes on Mekran, together with Report on a Visit to Kej and Route through Mekran from Gwadur to Kurrachie,” Bombay Geographical Society 18, 1867, pp. 36-77. J. P. Rumsey, “Some Notes on Leadership in Marri Baloch Society,” Anthropology Tomorrow (University of Chicago) 5, 1957, pp. 122-26. J. Saldanha, Official History of the Mekran Telegraph Line from Karachi to Jask, n.p., 1895. P. C. Salzman, “Adaptation and Political Organization in Iranian Baluchistan,” Ethnology 10/4, 1971, pp. 433-44. Idem, “Multi-Resource Nomadism in Iranian Baluchistan,” Journal of Asian and African Studies 7, 1972, pp. 60-68 (also published in W. Irons and N. Dyson-Hudson, eds., Perspectives on Nomadism, Leiden, 1972). Idem, “The Proto-State in Iranian Baluchistan,” in Origins of the State: The Anthropology of Political Evolution, ed. R. Cohen and L. R. Service, Philadelphia, 1978, pp. 125-40. Idem, ed., When Nomads Settle, Processes of Sedentarization as Adaptation and Response, New York, 1980. C. Schefer, tr., Histoire de l’Asie Centrale par Mir Abdoul Kerim Bouchary, Paris, 1876. W. H. Schoff, tr., Periplus of the Erythraean Sea: Travel and Trade in the Indian Ocean by a Merchant of the First Century, New York, 1912. H. Scholberg, The District Gazetteers of India. 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By: Brian Spooner

The gazetteers provided a data base for the study of the habitat and society of British Baluchistan, and the states of Kalat, Las Bela, Kharan, and Makrān, which is unique for the Iranian area. Since the middle of this century a handful of contemporary scholars have sought to build on this base by applying modern theoretical approaches in new field studies, often asking new questions.
Modern ethnographic work began with Pehrson, who worked among the Marī for six months before he died in 1955. Barth visited the same group briefly in 1960 while editing Pehrson’s work for publication.
Pehrson’s work deals mainly with the social relationships of everyday life in herding communities, including gender relations. From 1963 to 1965 N. and W. Swidler worked among Brahui-speakers in Sarawan and Kacchi. W. Swidler established the connection between ecological conditions, the technological requirements of herding and pastoral production, and the social dynamics of camp and herding groups. N. Swidler reconstructed the political development of the khanate on the basis of a combination of ethnographic observation and a reading of the historical sources. In 1963-67 Spooner conducted a series of studies in Sarāvān and Makrān (Iran). He also worked briefly in the Baluch areas of Afghanistan in 1965, and later in 1982-83 he was able to make several brief tours of Pakistani Baluchistan. He focused on the ecology of pastoralism and the dynamics of leadership in what was effectively a mixed, pluralist society, especially the function of the ḥākom (Ar. ḥākem). His main concern was to work out to what extent ecological explanations might illuminate the history of the Baluch. Salzman worked among the Yār-Moḥammadzay (renamed Šahnavāzī under Reżā Shah) of the Sarḥadd (Iran) in 1967-68, 1972-73, and 1976. He showed how nomads may rely not only on pastoralism but on a variety of unrelated resources and use their mobility to exploit each geographically separate resource at the appropriate season. He has also explored the relationship between ecological adaptation and political organization and the conditions under which nomads might modify their ecological adaptation and become settled farmers, and he applied an evolutionary approach to the analysis of variation in political organization, and investigated under what circumstances a state structure might develop out of tribes and settled life out of nomadism. In addition to pursuing similar interests C. and S. Pastner also investigated gender relations in Panjgur in 1969 and in a Baluch coastal village outside Karachi in 1976. In 1976 also Bestor described a community of Kord during a brief stay at the foot of Kūh-e Taftān in the Sarḥadd (Iran), and Orywal worked for a season among the Baluch in Afghanistan in 1976-77. This final section gives basic information on traditional Baluch society, culture, economy, and habitat, based on the works of the above scholars and the unpublished field notes of the author.
Baluch society is stratified. There are four social classes, which are essentially hereditary and occupational: ḥākomzāt, Balōč, šahrī, and ḡolām; convenient glosses for these terms are aristocracy, nomads, cultivators, and slaves. Ḥākom is the Baluchi pronunciation of ḥākem, the Qajar term for ruler; ḥākomzāt are the extended families of sardars who were able to establish a direct relationship with the governor in Bampūr or otherwise usurp that status. (Nawab and sardar carry similar connotations in Pakistani Baluchistan.) Balōč are those nomads, or descendants from nomadic tribes, who are considered to have been the original Balōč who brought the name and the language into Baluchistan. Šahrī (from Baluchi šahr “cultivated area”) signifies settled cultivator. Ḡolām entered Baluch society as slaves (other terms are also found, such as darzāda, naqīb). Although there were slaves of various origins, physiognomies, and skin color, since abolition only those of African origin are unable to manage any change in their social status. They are now free according to the law of each country, but at least through the 1960s their status and options within Baluch society had changed little. Apart from African ḡolām, mobility across class boundaries is possible but it is relatively uncommon.
Secondary distinctions are also made within these classes on the basis of tribe (zāt), and the relative status of a Balōč and a šahrī varies in practice according to tribal affiliation and the experience of particular communities, since a šahrī community may accumulate wealth and cultivate honor over generations, and a Balōč community may lose its honor. There is a wide range of status within the šahrī category. Some are equivalent to helots. Many are probably descendents of pre-Balōč communities, and have retained relatively large holdings. Although all are now spoken of in tribal terms, it is very likely that this idiom derives from the cultural dominance of the tribally organized Balōč, and that before the Baluchization of the area the population was not tribal. Tribalism seems to have become the pervasive idiom of social organization with the arrival of the Balōč, whose leading families were able to take over some of the settlements and acquire a new basis of power (though they lost some of them to later immigrants). If this interpretation is valid, recent assessments of Makrān as a detribalized part of Baluchistan may be misinterpretations: it is possible that tribalism was always weak or nonexistent in communities that were originally not tribal but only adapted their discourse to the tribalism of their masters. But the tribal ideology, which is implicitly associated with the Balōč, pervades all communication.
Baluch tribal organization is not uniform. Some tribes follow a strict patrilineal reckoning of descent, give no inheritance to daughters, and in assessing social status ascribe little importance to the origin of the mother, while others reckon descent bilineally, give equal inheritance shares (of land) to sons and daughters, and ascribe equal importance to the origin of the mother in questions of social status. (Unlike Persian, Baluchi makes no terminological distinction between matrilateral and patrilateral kin.) The model of patrilineal genealogy is used to model links between groups and to represent political affiliation and legitimacy, and as a means of relating historical events to the present. Where the father is an important leader and it is likely that the eldest son will take his place, it is usual for the father to set aside an extra portion for him before the general division of the inheritance. This must be done with the consent of the other sons and daughters, and is known as mīrwandī.
The tribal ideology extends throughout Baluchistan and beyond, but each family belongs to one or another small community, whose size and stability is related to the local conditions of pastoralism or agriculture. These primary groupings are strung together in chains of hierarchical relations, which integrate the various types of larger grouping. Each community is encapsulated in an asymmetrical model of the larger society, which is rationalized in tribal terms. It may have little or no interest in lineage or genealogy to provide a framework for everyday social relations.
Each individual is identified by membership in a tribal group, and each tribal group belongs to one or other of the four classes. Many tribes, though now accepted as Baluch, are of known recent alien origin—from Iran (e.g., the Nowšērvānī), Afghanistan (e.g., the Bārakzay), Muscat (possibly the Bulēdī), or the Indus valley (the Gīčkī). Most tribes are small, a few hundred or at most a thousand or so families. (The Marī with a population of 60,000 are by far the largest.) Each is generally known as belonging to one of the four classes, and each family has a place in a chain of allegiance or fealty relationships which cut across class categories. Marriage between classes occurs (especially in the few cases where a tribe which is Balōč or šahrī has a branch which has become ḥākomzāt), but a woman should not marry down. In the case of mixed parentage the lowest status prevails. The settled and nomadic communities are closely interrelated economically, and interdependent. Names of the major tribes in each district of Baluchistan are given in the geographical section above. A fuller list may be found at the end of Baloch (1974) and Jahānbānī (1957).
The tribes of the khanate were ranked in two distinct groupings, one of Sarawan and one Jahlawan. The rank was symbolized in a number of ways: Seats in the khan’s council (majles, dīvān) were assigned. Those nearest the khan had the greatest prestige. The Sarawan sardar ranked first and sat on his right; the Jahlawan sardar sat on his left. Then the sardars from Sarawan and Jahlawan alternated according to rank. The presents given by the khan upon the succession of a new sardar also varied according to the position the tribe held in the rank order. The khan would formally recognize a new Zarakzay sardar by conferring on him a Kashmir shawl, a length of brocade, a horse with a silver harness, and a dagger with a golden hilt. A new Mengal sardar would receive the same with the exception of the dagger. A Bīzenjō sardar would receive only the shawl and brocade, plus a broadcloth coat. Similarly, the sum of money given by the khan at the death of a sardar or a member of a sardar’s family also varied according to rank. When a high-ranking sardar died, the khan would personally visit the bereaved family. The death of a middle-rank sardar called for a visit by the khan’s son or brother. For minor sardars the khan would send one of his officials (Gazetteer VI/B, p. 112).
Beside the classes there are other categories of tribe, such as Kord, Brahui, Dehwār, Jat (Jaṭṭ), Jaḍgāl, Lāsī, Lorī, Mēd. In some sense these categories were and are both Baluch and not Baluch, depending on the context, and some were high status while others were low. All these categories, however, as distinct from others that will be discussed briefly below, were essentially within Baluch society because they were incorporated into the political structure of the Baluch polity. While there is presently a tendency to emphasize the ethnicity of these terms, historically their meaning has probably fluctuated and there is some evidence that they have been somewhat elastic categories. It has been assumed generally that the Kord have migrated from Kurdistan, and the Kord themselves currently make the same assumption (for which there seems to be no evidence). The Kūfeč or Kūč of the early Islamic period were considered to be a kind of Kurds (Ebn Ḥawqal, p. 221.1). They are found today in two areas: around Kūh-e Taftān in the Iranian Sarḥadd, and in Sarawan (Pakistan). In status they are equivalent to Balōč. The Brahui are distinguished only by their language, which shares a large amount of vocabulary with Baluchi (which most Brahui also speak). The core of Brahui-speaking areas are Sarawan-Jahlawan, but scattered Brahui-speakers are also to be found in most of the northern districts, including Sīstān and Soviet Turkmenistan. The Dehwār speak a form of Persian, close to Darī and Tajik. They appear to have been the agricultural community of the plateau, in Mastung and Iranian Sarāvān, and could be the descendants of the pre-Islamic agricultural community, when these areas were controlled by the provincial ruler of Sīstān. They have been important in recent history as the ūlūs (Baluchi olos) of the khan, forming both his peasantry on the plateau and his bureaucracy. (Ūlūs, which has been used as the name of a Baluchi magazine, also includes Baluch who for one or another reason have lost their tribal connections.) The relationship between the khan and his ūlūs differs from that between a sardar and his tribesmen. In the latter case both are members of the same kawm (Arabic qawm), related by ties of kinship and the obligation to share in the common weal and woe (šādī-ḡam). No idiom of kinship or shared honor obtains between the khan and his ūlūs (N. Swidler, p. 151), and they were not subject to military service. Under the khan, therefore, the Dehwār had a separate non-Baluch status. Their status under the Bārakzay in Iranian Sarāvān may have been similar, but currently among the Iranian Baluch they enjoy a status similar to šahrī. Jat, Jaḍgāl, and Lāsī (assumed to be related to the Jats of India) all speak related forms of Sindhi. The Lāsī are the peasants (ūlūs) of the jām (hereditary ruler) of Las Bela. The Jaḍgāl are the population of Daštīārī. The Jat are the peasants (again, the khan’s ūlūs) of Kacchi. The Lāsī and Jat have a relatively low status within the ūlūs of the khan and the jām, but the Jaḍgāl of Daštīārī enjoy a higher status because of their local autonomy under their own ḥākom. Finally, the Lorī and the Mēd are despised and barely differentiated from the ḡolām. The Lorī are gypsies who wander throughout Baluchistan, entertaining and performing other services. The Mēd are the small fishing communities that live on the beaches of Makrān. There is some evidence that these sub-ethnic identities are not absolute even where they involve the use of different languages. Morgenstierne (p. 9) first noticed the evidence suggesting that some communities had switched back and forth between Baluchi and Brahui (a Dravidian language) at least once. In seems likely on linguistic grounds that the original Brahui probably migrated from south India around a thousand years ago (J. Bloch apud Morgenstierne, pp. 5-6, and Elfenbein, personal communication). Baluch and Brahui were not mutually exclusive identities (as has been claimed by some both among the Brahui and among writers such as Rooman). Similarly, we should not assume that the Jaḍgāl are necessarily descended from the Jat or Lāsī because of their language. The Mēd probably represent a pre-Islamic population that may be descended from the Ichthyophagi encountered by Alexander’s fleet. The Jat and Jaḍgāl (literally “Jaṭṭ-speakers”), and the Zott (referred to in early Islamic sources), could be descendents of the Yutiya or Outii of the Achaemenian empire, and represent an earlier settled population of Indian origin (cf. Brunner, p. 772). The remaining ḡolām were brought in through the Muscadine trade mainly in the 13th/19th and early-14th/20th centuries.
The relationship between the Baluch and the Pashtuns also deserves some attention. Pashtuns constitute a very large minority in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan. Most of them live in the northern districts, which were never occupied by Baluch, but there are also Pashtun entrepreneurs and traders elsewhere in the province. In the northeast there is some evidence that the Baluch-Pashtun relationship also is less absolute than at first appears. Barth (1964 explains the relationship by contrasting the structures of the two societies, Baluch and Pashtun. He shows that the cultural border between Baluch and Pashtuns in northeast Baluchistan (Pakistan) has moved slowly and intermittently northward at the expense of the Pashtuns, without any associated movement of population. Groups known to have been formerly Pashtuns and Pashto-speaking were, when he was there in 1960, Baluchi-speaking and fully accepted by themselves and others as Baluch. Others have suggested that the Marī may be of Pashtun origin because of similarities in their tribal organization. Although several factors suggest that the border would move in the opposite direction (e.g., relative population growth rates, comparative affluence and aggressiveness), this Baluch assimilation of Pashtuns could have been predicted on the basis of a comparison of the ways their social and political relations are organized. The structure of Baluchi-speaking society is better adapted to the problems of incorporating refugees. Owing to the disorder that had been chronic in the area for over a century before its incorporation into India, many whole communities disintegrated into bands of refugees. The model for the whole Pashtun system might be characterized as a group of brothers, each of which expects to be equal with the others. But Baluch society, though ostensibly derived from the same concepts of kinship and descent, is not based on an egalitarian council. Defense of honor is important among the Baluch, but the essential model for their society is the relationship between a father and his sons. In Baluch society, everyone knows implicitly where he stands in relation to everyone else—in terms of authority and loyalty, status and honor. Equality of authority and honor do not have to be upheld in every interaction. Refugees in Baluch society find a secure position by operating in Baluchi. By speaking and doing Baluchi they come to be assimilated into the Baluch polity. (Other explanations of the apparent assimilation of Pashtuns by Baluch are of course possible. For example, Pashtuns could have become Baluch simply as a result of being isolated from their main polity. The phenomenon of change of identity and its relation to change of language and change of social status requires more careful investigation.)
There are also other groups that live in Baluchistan and are not considered to be part of Baluch society or capable of assimilation. The most significant of these are Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Ismaʿilis, and Bahais, who have traditionally formed small trading communities around the forts of sardars and in the ports. In what is now Pakistan these were encouraged and protected by the British as well as the sardars. Partition saw a significant decline in these communities on the Pakistan side. In Iran the Bahais have been generally free from persecution in Baluchistan. There are also communities of Hazāras, especially in Quetta, who migrated from Afghanistan in the late 13th/19th and early 14th/20th centuries. Finally there are Persians (mainly Yazdis) and Pakistanis (mainly Punjabis) who moved to Baluchistan as civil servants and bought land and stayed.
The most important event in the life of a Baluch is marriage. Even in the relatively small number of cases where a man marries more than once, the first marriage is the most important socially. It gives him a new set of relatives, or (if the marriage is to a close cousin) rearranges his existing kin ties and establishes his social position for the rest of his (and her) life. The main prestation associated with the event is the Islamic mahr, which is high. It was rials 10,000 (about $130,00) for poor Baluch nomads in eastern Iranian Makrān in 1964. For ḥākomzāt it was reckoned as 75 percent of the expected patrimony of the groom, as a way of ensuring that at least three quarters of his property would be inherited by the bride’s children. However, in most Baluch communities divorce is rare.
Weddings are the classic celebration, among the Baluch (see Gabriel, 1935, pp. 233-61 for an example). Details vary from place to place but the following are standard practice for relatively affluent Baluch. The rite and the celebration take place in the bride’s community and are accompanied by music and dancing; by tās-gardēn, passing round the bowl to collect toward the expenses; by ceremonial washing of bride and groom, separately, the groom preceded by dancing musicians to a convenient stream; by ḥannā-gardēn, circulating the henna (with which the nails of the bride are tinted) for a collection for the bride’s nurse; by čam-dīdukānī, literally “eye-seeing,” a toll taken by the bride’s old nurse from the groom for the right to see his bride’s face as he enters the ḥejla (bridal chamber). (For examples of songs sung at each stage, see Morgenstierne, 1948, p. 278.)
Much of Baluch culture is not unfamiliar to students of other tribal populations in the Iranian world, but there are a number of distinguishing features. One of the more obvious distinguishing features of Baluch society is the high respect accorded to status and authority and especially to the authority of the sardar or ḥākom. Marī talk about the pāg-wāja (Pehrson, p. 26), the “turban-chief,” and to confirm a man in the position of sardar is to tie the turban on him. A sardar (and even more so a ḥākom or na(w)wāb, or the khan himself, who had managed to establish a supra-tribal status for themselves) was based in a fort in the main agricultural center under his control. His income depended more on what he could control than on what he owned. It consisted of the produce of land personally owned by him (worked by ḡolām who received their keep, or local šahrī who took a share of the harvest or some other compensation such as use of the ḥākom’s water for their own land); a tithe (dah-yak) on all agricultural produce of the šahrī whom he controlled (this included all in his center plus a hinterland which varied according to his strength and prestige); service (Baluchi srēnbandī) from all Balōč who acknowledged his position; tax (mālīyāt) from both šahrī and Balōč (originally tax due to Qajar, khan, or British representatives). These are Baluch revenue concepts—practice varied from place to place. Basically the ḥākom relied on the labor of his subject peasant population for income and on the allegiance of nomadic pastoralists for physical strength. The sardar is obliged to make himself available to his tribesmen, to hear disputes and petitions when they are brought to him. Informants talk about this in terms of mardomdārī. Each person has the right of direct appeal, and a good portion of each day the sardar is in residence is spent holding court (Swidler, 1977, p. 113). One of the more common words in Baluch usage is kamāš, which denotes senior. In any social situation someone is implicitly recognized as kamāš (whether inter pares or not), and there is never any doubt about who it is (except in cases of open conflict). The rulers of agricultural settlements vie with each other for the allegiance of the nomads. In their forts in the agricultural settlements they are able to store grain, which they can then use to finance a militia. Such militias were used to impose a tithe and other contributions on the agricultural or pastoral populations they could control. The nomads are egalitarian, but they are encapsulated in a hierarchical system.
The overwhelming majority of Baluch are Hanafite Muslims. Although there is wide variation in the degree of religiosity, being Muslim is for these an essential component of being Baluch. There are, however, two important non-Hanafite communities. The first of these is the Bāmerī community centered on Dalgān west of Bampūr, who are Shiʿite—probably as a result of their location, which put them in close contact with the Qajar authorities. (However, it is not known when they became Shiʿite, and it should be remembered that some of the early Islamic sources suggest that some of the Baluch were Shiʿite.) The second was in the 12th-13th/18th-19th centuries a relatively large community in Makrān, Māškay, and the coast of Las Bela, who called themselves Ḏekrī (Zikri, Bal. Zigrī). Zikrism appears to have begun as a branch of the Mahdawī sect which was established late in the 9th/15th century by Sayyed Moḥammad Kāẓemī Jawnpūrī (847-910/1443-1505, q.v.), who proclaimed himself mahdī. The leaders of the sect in Makrān are said to have books, including Ṣafā-nāma-ye Mahdī and Tardīd-e mahdawīyat. Moḥammad Jawnpūrī was expelled from Jawnpūr; went to Deccan where he converted the ruler, but on the outbreak of a religious rebellion he was driven out. Eventually with a small group of followers he arrived in Sind. Again he was expelled. He went to Qandahār, where Shah Bēg Arḡūn, son of Ḏu’l-Nūn Bēg is said to have become his disciple. But the people and mullas demonstrated against him there as well. Next he went to Farāh, where according to the Tardīd he died. However, the Makrān Ḏekrīs allege that he disappeared from Farāh and after visiting Mecca, Medina, Aleppo, and other parts of Syria traveled through Persia by way of Lār to Kech, where he settled on the Kūh-e Morād outside Torbat. He preached there for ten years, converted all Makrān and died. The sect appears to be the remnant of the Mahdawī movement which assumed a definite shape in India at the end of the 9th/15th century through the teaching of Sayyed Moḥammad but died out early in the 11th/17th century. It was most probably introduced into Makrān by his disciples. As noted above, there seems to have been some connection between the success of Zikrism and rise of Bulēdī power. At the beginning of the eighteenth century when Mollā Morād Gīčkī (who has a special place in Ḏekrī history) ousted the Bulēdī, Zikrism was advanced again. (There is no evidence of any connection between this and the supposed Sikh origin of the Gīčkī tribe in Makrān.) Mollā Morād may have introduced the idea of Kūh-e Morād as substitute for the Kaʿba, and he may have dug the well known as čāh-e zamzam in front of the Torbat fort. Naṣīr Khan I sought to wipe out the heresy, and attacked and defeated Makrān partly for that purpose during the rule of Malek Dīnār, the son of Mollā Morād.
The principal doctrines of Zikrism are: that the dispensation of the Prophet has come to an end and is superseded by the Mahdī; that the Prophet’s mission was to preach and spread the doctrines of the Koran in their literal sense, but that it remained for the Mahdī to put new constructions on their meaning (the Mahdī is ṣāḥeb-e taʾwīl; ḏekr replaces namāz (ritual prayer); the fast of Ramażān is not necessary; the šahāda (confession of faith) is changed to “lā elāh ella’llāh wa Moḥammad Mahdī rasūl Allāh;” zakāt (alms tax) is replaced by ʿošr (tithe); and, finally, this world and the goods of this world should be avoided. Religious observance takes the form of ḏekr and keštī. Ḏekr is performed at stipulated times throughout the day, similarly to namāz which it replaces, and keštī is performed on specific dates. Ḏekr is repeated in two ways: ḏekr-e jalī, the formula spoken aloud and the ḏekr-e ḵafī formula is said silently. The ḏekrs are numerous, and each consists of ten or twelve lines. They are said six times a day: before dawn, early dawn, midday, before sunset, early night, and midnight. Keštī is held any Friday night which falls on the 14th of the month, and during the first ten nights of the month Ḏu’l-ḥejja, and the day following the ʿīd al-żoḥā. Principal keštī is held on the 9th night of Ḏu’l-ḥejja. It is also performed at births, circumcisions, and marriages, and in pursuance of vows. Performers form a circle, as for a typical Baluch dance. One or more women with good voices stand in the center, while the men circle round. The women sing songs praising the Mahdī and the men repeat the chorus. The ceremonies continue into the night. Ḏekr is held in places set apart as ḏekrāna. In settled communities the men and women are segregated, but not among nomads. There is no burial service. The Ḏekrī are said to hold their mullas in greater respect than Muslims (Gazetteer, VII, pp. 116-20). Since Naṣīr Khan’s crusades in the 12th/18th century, and more especially since the increased association of Islam with the ideas both of Baluch autonomy and of Pakistan, the number of adherents appears to have declined. The practice of taqīya makes it difficult to assess the number of adherents. In Iran it may have died out completely, but it appears still to be significant in Pakistani Makrān.
A number of factors seem to have led to an increase in Islamic consciousness among the Baluch in recent decades. The power of the sardars has suffered at the hands of the state in all three countries. The mawlawī (religious authorities educated in India) have taken the place of secular sardar authority in many communities—especially in Iran, where they also represent Baluch Sunni Islam, as distinct from the Persian Shiʿism. With the increase in Islamic awareness there has been an increase in the practice of secluding women among the higher classes in settled communities. However, the type of religious interest that made many Baluch susceptible to Zikrism is still in evidence in the widespread use of shrines (which may be developed out of graves or simply from natural features such as trees or hills), and the attention given to wandering dervishes (religious mendicants). It may be significant that dervishes wear their hair long, and it appears that it was customary earlier for all Baluch to wear long hair (see two photographs of Mīr Ḵodādād Khan, the tenth khan of the Baluch who ruled 1857-93 in Baluch, 1975, after p. 108).
The primary values of Baluch society are those of the pastoral Balōč, and Islamic precepts tend to be suppressed where they conflict. The Baluch are proud of their code of honor, which embodies the following principles: to avenge blood with blood; to defend to the death anyone who takes refuge in one’s dwelling; similarly to defend any article of property that is entrusted to one’s safekeeping; to extend unquestioning hospitality to any that seek it and to defend one’s guest with one’s life so long as he chooses to stay, escorting him to one’s borders (if necessary) when he chooses to leave (however, a guest who chooses to stay more than three days becomes a client and is required to explain his situation); never to kill a woman, a minor, or a non-Muslim; in a case of homicide or injury, to accept the intercession of a woman of the offender’s family; never to kill within the ḥaram of a shrine; to stop fighting if a mulla, a sayyed, or a woman carrying the Koran on the head intervenes; to kill an adulterer. None of these principles differs essentially from the similar code held by the Pashtuns and by other tribal societies in southwest Asia. They are obviously not the principles of a society with a centralized system of social control.
Other values which are prominent in Baluch discourse about the ideal Baluch society include the principle that Baluch do not engage in trade and especially that though they may sell grain and meat that they produce, they would not sell fruit or vegetables. It is the right of any traveler to sate his hunger on growing crops as he passes by. The underlying principle of the relationship of the Baluch to his land is that this territory (that all outsiders despise as waterless mountain and desert) is the ideal country, and it is up to the Baluch to adapt themselves to it, to know its resources and enjoy them. The Baluch is first and foremost a warrior and a pastoralist, and serves his community by being unquestioningly loyal to his sardar; though he may take up many other activities, he does not forget what makes him Baluch. Many writers have remarked on Baluch inattention to matters of hygiene and prophylaxis—an attitude that may derive from these principles.
The idea that Baluch society is a society of travelers is highlighted by the importance given to the institution known as ḥāl. This is a ritual of greeting and exchange of information that is enacted in various degrees of formality whenever two or more Baluch meet, whether as host and guest or away from village and camp. In the classic case, two groups of riders whose paths cross in the desert, first dismount, shake hands, and sit facing each other. Then they determine who is kamāš, who ranks senior among them. Usually this is obvious to all, or can be accomplished by a nod. The kamāš then “takes the news”—presides over a session in which each asks after the health of the others and their families and recounts what is newsworthy in their recent experience. The ritual may or may not include real or important news. It is carried out even if both sides have met recently. It is often done in Baluchi, even by travelers who have another native language. Most of the phrases are stereotyped and given in a peculiar intonation. The right to take the news is the test of social rank in Makrān.
The code along with these other related values constitutes the ideal against which Baluch-ness is measured. In practice there is much deviation. In the case of vengeance killing it is interesting to see how some of those interested in establishing some degree of centralized authority in Baluch society (not only the khan) modified the code. The Marī tribal council recognized a graded scale of blood compensation for men: sardar or other member of ruling lineage, Rs 8,000; wadēra (leader of a section of the tribe), mukaddam (Ar. moqaddam, leader of a community), and other prominent men (muʿtabarē mard), Rs 4-7,000; kawmī mard (commoners), seyyāl (other Baluch, Pathans), Rs 2,000; women and non-Baluch, Rs 1,000. In western Baluchistan there was a traditional blood price alternative to vengeance killing, which varied from tribe to tribe, generally between twelve and eighteen thousand rupees earlier in this century. For instance, for the Rind it was Rs 12,000: if a Rind were killed by a man from another tribe Rs 12,000 would have to be paid to the dead man’s family to settle the feud. However, it was not usually paid in cash, and the interpretation in kind varied according to circumstances. Furthermore, before settlement could be made the two parties had to be brought together, which would be difficult unless both parties acknowledged the same sardar. If they did, the sardar would exact a fine from the offender (say 500 rupees) and attempt to bring them to agreement. For instance, in an area where donkeys were valued, a good donkey might be accepted as the first Rs 1,000. If the settlement was earnestly desired by the injured party, Rs 100 might be accepted for another thousand, and so on. If agreement could not be reached, the close relatives of the dead man (father, brother, son, uncle, or cousin, according to age and means) would seek to kill the killer, or, in some cases a comparable man from the same tribe. Such a second killing again would require settlement in the same way and negotiations would reopen. Once the settlement was made the offending party might give a woman (of suitable social status) in marriage to a close relative of the dead man to seal it. Alternatively, the killer would go to the home of the killed according to the refugee principle in the code of honor. But he would be likely to do this only if the killing had been accidental, or if he very much regretted it. He would normally take with him a shaikh (religious man) or other kamāš. The Bārakzay, who aspired to create a centralized Baluch state, claim that they had no hūn (Persian ḵūn “blood”); they would either kill or forgive.
The material culture and technology of the Baluch also differ little from those of their neighbors. The dress of men is wide baggy trousers drawn in at the ankle and tied at the waist, a long shirt, and turban. But women’s dress is distinctive—a full shift with a deep front center pocket. The women’s dress still (and the men’s dress previously) is distinguished by embroidery. It is not clear to what extent the ornateness of men’s dress until recently was a function of the pomp that developed around the khan of Kalat under the British, and may have been derived from India. But although they are generally geometrical (like, for example, those of the Turkmen) it is difficult to trace the designs of women’s embroidery to non-Baluch origins. Carpets (see v, below) do not appear to have been woven in Baluchistan until very recently. The only textiles of any significance produced traditionally in Baluchistan, other than clothing, were a coarse thick one-sided flatweave, and the dhurrie that was woven in Las Bela. Other handicrafts that deserve mention are the products of the ubiquitous pīš. Nomads weave the dried leaves into matting and elaborate basketry and even spoons and water pipes; they twist them into rope from which they make sandals (Baluchi sawās) and harnesses. There is also local pottery made by specialists in a few village communities. The subject of dwelling construction requires a special note. Beside goat-hair (black) and pīš-matting tents and mud-brick and adobe houses, there are a number of dwelling types in Makrān that are less mobile than tents and less permanent than mud. One of these is a frame constructed of date-palm leaf stems tied with pīš rope and covered with pīš matting in the shape of an egg cut lengthwise. Another type is domed; the dome is covered with pīš stems, the walls built of reeds or date palm stems, covered with mats and sometimes roughcast with mud, resembling a yurt. There are also flat-roofed shelters without walls (Baluchi kāpar, Persian kapar), and the water-cooled ḵār-ḵāna, in which an opening on the windward side is packed densely with camel thorn (Alhagi camelorum) and kept wet. Most of these types are also found elsewhere in southern Iran (see Gershevitch, 1959, passim, with illustrations).
The material culture and technology of Baluch pastoralism emphasize accommodation to the variation in natural conditions. Apart from their seasonal movement between pastures, and their movement from camp to camp in the continual reshuffling of camp-communities, nomadic Baluch are always on the move. They need to travel widely in order to cultivate small plots of land, to find stray animals, to keep up visiting obligations, to purchase grain and other nonpastoral commodities, to make pilgrimages, and to cultivate political connections. They live in a mētag or halk (ḵalq “camp”); typically they cooperate with kin and affines in the management of one or more flocks; they cultivate small plots which provide fruit and vegetables and sometimes a little grain or a fodder crop, and they have a reciprocal relationship with a farming community which allows them to participate in the date harvest in return for sharing their milk and dairy products in the spring. In the summer of 1964 a typical area for Makrān mountain nomads (Salāhkoh) contained 72 tents in an area of some 400 square miles. They were distributed in twelve encampments of two to nine tents each. The camps move irregularly according to rainfall. Rains produce various effects: a slow steady rain resuscitates the range, but does not produce runoff to irrigate a crop; a flash flood often alters the configuration and depth of a torrent bed and the subsequent availability of surface water, and affects rights to agricultural land. Beside different combinations of agriculture and pastoralism, the Balōč run varying numbers of camels, sheep, goats, cattle, and even water buffalo, with the addition of donkeys for transport, and in some parts mules or horses for prestige riding. Their nomadism allows them the flexibility not only to exploit the best pasture within reach, but to integrate other resources into their annual cycle. They think of their society in terms of a community of camps rather than a collection of separate camp communities. Although there has been a tendency toward sedentarization since the 1960s, it has been stronger in the Sarḥadd, Sarawan-Jahlawan, and the northeast than Makrān, where it continues to be possible for nomads to offset drought years with earnings in the Persian Gulf states.
The main fixed point around which the annual cycle revolves is āmēn (Persian hāmīn), the date harvest, when all (except a minimum number of shepherds who remain behind with the flocks) move off to the vicinity of a large date-growing area. For while the greater part of the date crop is probably grown by šahrī settlements, dates are of no less importance to the Balōč than to the šahrī. Āmēn is looked forward to as the axis of the annual cycle. Prophesies are made of the exact day when the dates will turn color (which happens a month before ripening). Everyone talks about how much fruit the palms will bear this year, and later how the season is progressing, and takes samples from community to community for comparison. There are no other essential agricultural or pastoral tasks. Āmēn is the season for visiting and all forms of celebration that do not have to be held at another time of the year.
Many nomads spend a disproportionate amount of their time on band cultivation. A band maximizes the use of irregular and ephemeral stream flow or runoff and at the same time accumulates and evens out soil deposits in mountainous or undulating terrain, where either soil or soil moisture would otherwise be insufficient for cultivation. It is a dry stone or earthen structure built across the course of drainage in order to hold the water while it drops its silt and sinks slowly through the accumulated deposit. As a low investment technology in isolated mountainous areas with sparse population such as Baluchistan, and especially Makrān, it provides them with the capability of raising small quantities of fruit and vegetables and supplementary crops of grain. It may have been more important in pre-Balōč times (Raikes, 1965).
Throughout most of Baluchistan direct rainfall is of negligible value for agriculture, but one of the most important sources of water for irrigation is the runoff and wadi flooding which are the immediate results of rainfall. With little assistance the runoff from a whole catchment is gathered by the nature of the terrain itself and directed onto prepared fields, along with its invaluable sediment. However, although a considerable volume of water is thus made available, the supply is extremely irregular, and will not generally support permanent settlement. In some parts wells are operated by hand by means of counterpoised water-lifts (see ābyārī). The most important example is probably in the Dalgān, west of Bampūr. In places where there is a shallow water table with a large catchment these can be reasonably reliable, but nevertheless do not provide enough water to justify permanent agricultural settlement. In the mountain ranges which cross the southern part of the area many of the larger river beds retain flowing water in parts throughout the year. Staple crops include wheat, barley, millet, sorghum, rice, beans, onions, and dates, but pomegranates, bananas, papaw, mango, and many other fruits and vegetables are also grown.
The conditions of irrigated agriculture in settled communities in Baluchistan are very different from the cultivation of nomads. Communities vary between a few hundred and a few thousand, but conform mostly to a recognizable pattern: The cultivation is done largely by serfs or helotized smallholders; in the center is a fort—often high and imposing; the fort was traditionally occupied by a ruler, who by means of various forms of taxation or ownership effectively commanded the greater part of the agricultural production, and used his position to build and rebuild networks of alliances with similar agricultural centers and with the nomads who controlled the expanses of mountain and desert between the settlements. Although most holdings in Baluchistan were small compared to the more fertile part of the plateau, some sardars accumulated considerable estates. The most significant were those of Mīr Aḥmad-Yār Khan Aḥmadzay, Ataullah Khan Mengal (the sardar of one of the largest tribes), Qaws Bux Bizenjo, Qaws Bux Raisani, Dōdā Khan Zārakzay, Nabī-baḵš Zehrī. Similarly, in Kharan the Nowšērvānī, especially Ḡolām Moṣṭafā Nowšērvānī; in Makrān the Gīčkī; in Sibi the Būgṭī, especially Nawab Moḥammad Akbar Khan Būgṭī, and the Marī, especially Nawab Khair Bux Mari, and in Chagai and Afghanistan the Sanjarānī, Jamāldīnī, and Bādīnī. In Iran the Bārakzay had by far the largest holdings, but the Bozorgzāda, Bulēdī, Sardārzay, and Šīrānī were also wealthy.
Despite these large holdings, Baluchistan is extremely arid, and for the most part suited to only the most extensive forms of resource use, such as goat or camel husbandry. Perennial irrigation on any significant scale has until recently been available only at Bampūr. Other historically important agricultural areas are Kolwa, Dasht, Las Bela, Daštīārī, and Kacchi (the last three of which have been developed recently to varying extents); but these depended traditionally on seasonal flood diversion and were less reliable. Otherwise, reliable cultivation is supported only in a certain number of well-defined locations, where cultivable soil and an accessible supply of water suitable for irrigation coincide, mostly in river valleys, especially the valleys of the Māškīd and its tributaries, the Kech and the Sarbāz. Investment in qanāts (Baluchi kahn; the standard term in Pakistan otherwise is kārēz) irrigation, which has always been important in the Māškīd and Kech basins, possibly from the earliest times, began to be expanded in the last century. Since the middle of this century irrigation has expanded again as a result of the availability of cheap energy for pumping ground water—diesel in Iran and the national electricity grid which has been extended into Sarawan in Pakistan. Kārēz building is being expanded again in Makrān, financed by remittances from the Persian Gulf.
Final remarks. Compared to most of the other tribal or ethnic minorities of the Iranian world the Baluch (in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) are probably more linguistically diverse and stratified and pluralistic. The nature of the topography has made communication difficult and the paucity and sparseness of natural resources have limited the size of settlements. Potential leaders have been unable to build up large confederacies or otherwise extend their authority beyond their immediate constituencies. Pashtuns, Punjabis, Sindhis, Bashkardis, Sistanis all experience natural conditions similar to those of their nearest Baluch neighbors. Apart from the use of Baluchi as a lingua franca and a particular hierarchical type of political structure, most Baluch cultural features are also shared by their neighbors. Similarly, the history of most parts of the world is to some extent a function of interference from outside. The geography and ecology are directly related to the settlement pattern, which places special constraints on political development and others particular opportunities to outside influence. The structural factors are a function of both the settlement pattern and the cultural history of the populations that came to the area. The final result could not have come about if the history of Iran and India had not led to particular types of interference and withdrawal at particular times. What distinguishes the Baluch (as distinct from the Balōč) from their neighbors is presumably, therefore, the peculiar combination of their geography, culture, and dependency which has led them to subscribe to a common language and set of political ideas.

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