Category Archives: Professor Brian Spooner

Investment and Translocality Recontextualizing the Baloch in Islamic and Global History

(Research Paper)

By Brian Spooner *1
Department of Anthropology

University of Pennsylvania, USA

Professor Brian Spooner

Professor Brian Spooner

The Baloch are one of the best documented ethnic communities in the modern Islamic world. But the information comes from non-Baloch, who saw them as a tribal population, with their own history and culture, separate from the people around them. This conventional approach masks the continuities in their history, from their raiding of urban populations over a thousand years ago to their current national opposition movements in Iran and Pakistan and their recent association with international terrorism. But if studied in a larger context, both historical and geographical, the available information illustrates the continuities, through qualitative changes, from the earliest available sources down to the present. Enlarging the context in this way has an additional advantage: it enhances our understanding of other world-historical processes that are currently playing out under globalization.

An important variable in this history is locality, the cultural evaluation of location, and translocality, the way locality changes as the social context becomes more complex—variables that have received little attention from either historians or ethnographers. Locality is determined mainly by investment and the social interests resulting from investment. Where there was sufficient soil and water to support investment in irrigation engineering and agricultural development, small communities settled and grew into cities. As the cities grew, they developed trade networks, which further increased their investment potential. The Baloch, like other ‘tribal’ peoples in the arid zone of the northern hemisphere, formed from people who did not find a place in this urban social dynamic.

They are people without investment, who remained historically independent of the cities, but were always there to replenish the cities demographically in times of economic growth, and to take in their economic refugees in times of decline. This history of demographic interdependence, between the cities which could increase their productivity by means of investment and the tribal people who could not, generated a culturally distinctive sense of locality throughout the arid zone, which was different from the temperate and subtropical zones to the north and south.

More recently, as translocality has accelerated with the increasing social complexity of globalization, the people without investment have been forced into political and economic dependence on the cities, but the new city-based nation-state governments responsible for them have so far largely continued to leave them without investment. In the new political framework of the information age the tribes rebel. Similar developments are evident among tribal populations in other parts of the modern Islamic world, and make interesting comparison with similar populations elsewhere.

1. Recontextualizing the Baloch
The Baloch, who form the majority population in southwest Afghanistan, southeast Iran and the west of Pakistan, may be the best documented tribal population in the Islamic world. But our knowledge of them comes from several different types of research, carried out at different times over the past century and a half. Each comes with its own assumptions and presents the Baloch in a particular way, with little or no reference to other sources, or to a larger historical context that would accommodate all the available information. In order to make the best use of all the available sources, it is necessary to consider them more holistically and historically as part of a geographically larger social process, rather than simply an isolated ‘tribal’ population. We are inhibited in this effort by the peculiar history of Baloch studies, and the fact that all our information is from non-Baloch sources.

Each source has been culturally flavored by the particular Western academic context in which it was produced. Although the data have been strung together in a comprehensive encyclopedia article (Spooner 1988), there has been no attempt to integrate it into a larger picture either of Islamic civilization or of modern society. Before we can do this, however, two theoretical issues must be addressed: the problem of change, and the use of the term ‘tribe.’

Change has always been inherent in all human situations. But in most cases until recently it has not been fast enough to be appreciable in the course of a field research project. Where historians have mainly looked for political or other narratives in literate societies, or sometimes for memory of the past in non-literate societies, anthropologists have looked for the functional interdependence of various social institutions among the non-literate. Neither has been sensitive to the underlying dynamics of longer-term qualitative socio-cultural change. Even political scientists who study the contemporary Baloch in terms of modern Pakistani politics do not ask how or why Baloch activities have changed since their Pakistani province was first formed in 19482. In fact, change has received relatively little theoretical or methodological attention in social science in general. As an ethnographer of the Baloch in the 1960s, I confess that, although I knew the Baloch had not always been the same and that some of them were currently attempting to change their situation, I focused only on the day-to-day life in which I was participating among them. Even though this was the end of the colonial period, I had not been trained to expect change or to seek to explain it. I was there to collect data that would contribute to the major anthropological discussions of the time, which concerned the social and economic organization of small pre-industrial communities and their ecological viability, not their past (which was generally assumed to be unknowable) or their political future. Furthermore, no social scientist at that time (and few since then) focused on the explanation of how people arrived at the condition in which they were observed, or what sort of trajectory of change they were on and where they were heading. We were working in the theoretical age of structural-functionalism. We wanted to understand how the system worked, not how it was changing.

Change had begun to appear in the curriculum in the 1950s, when the rate of change in the world at large began to accelerate, as the comparative study of a particular community at two different times, or later as the investigation of a ‘prime-mover’ such as population growth. But it did not appear in research design until much later, and has still not become a major focus. Even now, when the rate of social change everywhere, especially in the post-colonial world, has increased to the point where it cannot be ignored, social science has not worked out how to deal with it methodologically, except perhaps in quantitative, statistical terms, which while they provide handy analytical descriptions, do not explain. This paper selects from all the available data with the purpose of showing inter-related processes and themes over time, continuities from the earliest data down to the present, rather than a succession of discrete situations. The basic assumption is that culture grows from experience, and in order to understand the cultural factors in day-to-day life we need to investigate the historical experience that conditioned it.

The term ‘tribe’ has a long history, starting as a section of the population of ancient Rome. We adopted the term in the 17th century for all small-scale, non-literate communities outside the world’s historical civilizations, communities organized around the group experience of kinship and descent, in (for example) Siberia, Sub-Saharan Africa or the pre-Columbian Americas. Then we easily extended the term to non-literate peoples like the Baloch who, although their lives were organized in similar terms of kinship and descent, were encapsulated within a literate civilization, such as Islam, because we studied them in the same way, as isolates. We were interested in them not because they were part of Islamic civilization, but as examples of small-scale, non-literate society. But as a translation of (Ar.-Pers.) `ashira, qabila, tā’ifa, or (Pers.-Turk.) il in the Islamic world, ‘tribe’ is not the same social formation as the other non-literate peoples we call tribes outside the world’s historical civilizations, who (unlike the Baloch) before the colonial period had no dealings with markets or
administrations based on literacy, that maintain a written record of the past, providing a control for living memory and extending the cultural sense of time. That extension of the same analytical term for non-literate communities into the Islamic situation, where people who do not read or write are nevertheless aware of the larger society which is governed by literacy, has misled us into ignoring the larger social history of the Baloch.

The Baloch may have written no history of their own (at least until the 1950s), but they know they have a place in other people’s history, if only because of their awareness of Islam. They are not the same category of social formation as those who were recently given a place in the literature as “The People without History” (Wolf 1982). Most research on the Baloch has ignored this, and focused on nomadism, pastoralism and tribalism alone, because of the academic interests and assumptions of the investigators.

The Baloch are known outside their own territory from four major sets of external sources: early Arabic and Persian sources from over a thousand years ago; the Imperial Gazetteers of British India, which are based on data collected by missionaries and administrators in the second half of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th; anthropological studies based on ethnographic research that was carried out between 1958 and 1978, and investigative journalism of the past three decades or so (such as Harrison 1981 and Wirsing 2008). Baloch studies began in the 1850s, following the extension of British Indian administration northwestwards through Sindh and Punjab to secure the only vulnerable land frontier of the Subcontinent by including areas inhabited by Baloch and Pashtuns. Geographical, linguistic and ethnographic studies that served British administrative interests were carried out in the following decades mainly under British government auspices, but also to some extent by missionaries, and brought together in 1908 in the publication of the eight volume Baluchistan District Gazetteer Series3. The study of the Balochi language began to be included in Iranistics in the 1930s (cf. Morgenstierne 1932, 1948). In the 1950s anthropologists were attracted to the area. First Pehrson (1966), then Nina and Warren Swidler (1973 and 1968), followed by several others (listed in Spooner 1985 and 1998), carried out ethnographic research in Baloch communities in Iran and Pakistan in the 1960s and early 1970s. These writers were pursuing questions of social organization, economy and ecology that had been posed by Fredrik Barth (1961), and were generally ahistorical. Starting at about the same time textual scholars began to pay attention to earlier information on the Baloch from pre-Islamic Persian sources and from the Arab geographers of the 9th and 10th centuries. All this information has been analytically reviewed (Bosworth 1976), and presents a very different picture of the Baloch from the Gazetteers and ethnographies. Finally, starting in the 1980s, and especially since 2001, a new genre has emerged, of journalistic political science, concerned with Pakistani national development, relations with Afghanistan, and terrorism (cf. e.g. Kaplan 2009).

Meanwhile, studies of the Baloch by Baloch authors began to appear in Pakistan, in Balochi, Urdu and English in the 1950s. The Balochi Academy was established in Quetta by the Federal Government of Pakistan in 1961, and the Balochistan Study Centre was formed in the University of Balochistan in Quetta in 1997. An increasing number of books have been published about the Baloch by Baloch authors in recent decades (of which the most notable is Baloch, 1987), which are mainly vehicles for modern nationalist ambitions4. Still relatively little attention has been given to this field beyond the Baloch themselves and the small number of European and American scholars who have studied them. The furthest they have moved towards international recognition has been in the international meetings organized by the Newsletter of Baluchistan Studies (IsMEO, Rome), and the
History of Baluch Studies meetings that have been organized at Uppsala University by Dr. Carina Jahani (see especially Jahani and Korn 2003, and Jahani, Korn and Titus 2008). Perhaps the recent UNESCO-sponsored Workshop on Baluch Identity and Culture (Brock University, Sept. 8-9, 2012) presages an upswing in international attention to the Baloch. But the focus is still on the cultural interest of the Baloch and what they can tell us about human cultural diversity, rather than the part they have played in the history of the region and in world history in general.

The early Arabic and Persian writers see the Baloch very differently from the later sources, from the perspective of what Hodgson (1974, Vol. 1, pp. 107-109) called an agrarianate citied civilization: as people who challenged the economic and political order of the city, as outlaws to be controlled or eliminated5. The Gazetteers, on the other hand, were compiled a century ago in order to facilitate efficient colonial administration. Half a century later, in the 1950s, the anthropologists were seeking answers to contemporary anthropological questions about surviving pre-industrial economies and their ecological viability. Finally, the journalists studying them more recently have been concerned with Pakistan’s current problems of national integration and international relations.

In each set of sources each author type-casts the Baloch according to his/her particular research interests. None of them appears to have studied the other sets of publications. Few recent commentators have read even selectively from all four sets. Each set, therefore, presents a synchronic view of Baloch culture and society, and fails to see them in historical perspective. Since the Baloch left no contemporary record of their own before the mid-20th century, there is no reliable guide for understanding all four sets in relation to each other. Since literacy and the literate record were organized by the urban elites, we know the Baloch historically only from the work of urban historians who were ideologically opposed to them. But since the sources cover a period of fifteen hundred years, they may be used for a historical reconstruction that will allow us to see the Baloch today in terms of a historical trajectory. Here, therefore, we attempt to develop this trajectory by setting out what seems to be the more significant data from each source. This is a historical summary only. More detail is available in Bosworth 1976 and Spooner 1988.

The people who originally brought the Balochi language to the area that after 1839 became known as Balochistan (or Baluchistan) first in British India (now Pakistan) west of the Indus valley and later in southeastern Iran, also brought with them the oral tradition of Balochi epic poetry (cf. Dames 1904, Elfenbein 2008). They appear to have arrived as one or more of a series of waves of migrants that entered the area from the northwest between roughly 1000 and 1600 CE. This immediately raises questions: what was causing them to move? Where were they coming from, and why were people moving into this area in particular? Were they displacing others or taking them over? Did their arrival change the geo-political or geo-economic relationship of this area with surrounding areas? Since it is a large area, some 500,000 square kilometers, bordering on the Persian Gulf which has been a major seaway between Mesopotamia and India since the earliest times, the questions carry some larger historical significance.

The earliest (pre-Islamic) references to the Baloch pair them with the Kuch (from Kufich or Qufs, ‘mountain people’). These sources were used in the Shahnama, the classical Persian epic, which was composed in the early 11th century. Several 10th-11th-century Arabic geographical writers mention them in the Kerman area south of the central desert of the Iranian Plateau. Linguistic evidence has been used to suggest that they had come from the northern side of the Iranian Plateau, and their language has been classified as Northwest Iranian (a category that includes Kurdish). But no one has explained why they moved south, or why they later moved east.

In most of these sources the Baloch are mentioned as fighters and outlaws, more than as pastoralists, and they appear never to be identified with any particular location or territory. For example:
“They appear above all as a bellicose and rapacious race of bandits, and this not only in the historical and geographical sources, but also in the Shah-nama of Firdausi, where the Kuch u Baluch are mentioned more than once for their hardihood and prowess in battle, e.g. as part of Kai Khusrau’s forces, and for their skill in fighting with the dagger” (Bosworth 1976: 12).

Again, Maqdisi (in the Ahsan at-taqāsim fi ma’rifat al-aqālim, in ca. 375/985) has a classic description of the barbarism of the Kufichis and Baluch, who in his time were terrorizing the caravan routes across the great central deserts of the Lut and the Kavir. Ibn Hauqal’s information of a decade or two earlier that the Baluch were a pacific, pastoralist people who helped travelers rather than preyed upon them does not accord with that of Maqdisi. The latter states, in his section on the Great Desert, which he himself had crossed:
“The whole of it [sc. the Great Desert] is a fearful place, because of a people called the Qufs, who inhabit some mountains in Kirman which adjoin the region of Jiruft. From these mountains, they sweep down to the Desert just like locusts. They are a race with no propensity whatsoever towards goodness; they have savage faces, stony hearts, fierceness and hardness. They never spare anyone, and are not satisfied with just taking money. Nor do they put to death with their weapons anyone they get hold of; on the contrary, they pound their heads with a stone, just as one kills snakes; you see them hold a man’s head down on a flat stone and pound it with a stone until it is split open. I asked them why they did this, and they replied, ‘In this way, we don’t damage our sword blades!’ Only rarely does anyone manage to escape from them. They possess places of concealment and impregnable mountains, and whenever they are cornered in one administrative region, they merely flee to another. They fight with [bows and] arrows and carry swords. The Balus used to be even worse than the Qufs, until ‘Adud ad-Daula destroyed them, and wrought damage amongst the Qufs also. He carried off as hostages 80 of their youths, and up to this present time, they are kept in imprisonment at Shiraz; every so often these are sent back home, and another 80 taken in their place. The regions of Dailam adjoining the Great Desert are safe from them, but the fringes of Khurasan are liable to their depredations. However, provided that a caravan has an armed escort from the ruler of Fars, they do not molest it. Amongst the whole of God’s creation, they have the most tenacious qualities of endurance of hunger and thirst. Their staple food is only a modicum, such as nuts from the lotus tree, from which they derive nourishment. They profess Islam, but are more savage against the Muslims than the Byzantines or Turks. When they take a man captive, they make him run with them 20 farsakhs or so, with bare feet and no food. They have no inclination for riding horses, and do not employ mounts at all; they go on foot essentially, except that sometimes they ride on swift camels” (Bosworth 1976: 14).

The fact that ibn Hauqal’s account differs from Maqdisi’s I would understand not as invalidating the former, but as validating the hypothesis that they were ready to take advantage of whatever opportunities they saw and their activities varied. We know very little about the history of Balochistan before their arrival. What information does exist suggests that before the 17th century it figured very differently in the geo-politics of the region. During the Achaemenian Empire (650-330 BCE), and later when Alexander the Great moved his army from India through Makran in 324 BCE on the way back to Mesopotamia, the area was an administrative province known as Gedrosia (though this name is not known from Achaemenian sources), which suggests that it was at least primarily agricultural (since there is no pre-modern historical example of nomads under an imperial administration). Arrian’s account of the passage of Alexander’s army suggests that the region was not prosperous, but the fact that it is named as a province under Achaemenian rule implies that its administration had been worthwhile, and it is noteworthy that both Iranian and Pakistani Balochistan today contain many small agricultural settlements which have names with apparently pre-Baloch etymologies, such as Bampur, Dezak, and Qasr-e Qand in Iran and Khārān, Panjgur and Torbat in Pakistan, and Qal`a-i Fatḥ in Afghanistan (cf. Spooner 1988). But when the Arabs arrived in the middle of the 7th century, they (like Alexander) found it generally unattractive and apparently without any local ruler, though Sasanian sources (224- 651 CE) name four administrative entities within it, each with “kings” (cf. Bosworth 1968: 1-25).

In the 13th century Marco Polo mentions Kesmacoran (i.e. Kech-Makran), suggesting that the agricultural settlements along the Kech river (now in the Makran district of the Pakistan province) were the most flourishing part of the area. Food is mentioned as abundant and good, with the full range of staples (rice, wheat, meat and milk). Again, Kech had its own king [malek], and the people, who included non-Muslims, apparently traded both overland and by sea in all directions, and spoke a language Polo did not recognize. He also makes it appear that the area is more closely connected to India than to the political centers on the Iranian Plateau to the north or northwest.

It is not surprising then that when the Baloch arrived in their current location they did not name it6. It would appear that when the area ceased to be administered from one of the major imperial centers to the northwest, the north or the east (e.g. Kerman, Qandahar, Delhi), there was nothing to give it a unitary identity, and it became a refuge area for people who lost their place under those citied administrations. People who could not find a place in those city-centered economies did not pursue tribally organized nomadic pastoral life by preference, but by default. So long as they could not find a place in the city-centered investment7 economies, they went off with their animals and took advantage of whatever resources became available to them, including raiding the cities, when feasible. Nomads in general historical terms have been people who were unable to build an economic base to support themselves in larger clustered numbers that would enable them to marshal the labor necessary for investment and engineering that would increase agricultural productivity and generate inter-urban trade. Since their society did not become large enough to develop urban institutions, it operated on the basis of the their own cultural version of the relationships that come with the life-cycle processes of reproduction and socialization, which we recognize as the tribal criteria of kinship and descent. They move from one resource to another, taking with them the only assets that are mobile, their flocks. They are not so much pastoral nomads as multiple-resource freebooters with sheep and goats and no irrigable land (cf. Salzman 1972).

When agricultural centers were available, they took them over. But control of land changed their social organization. Pastoralism depends on cooperation and collective responsibility; agriculture depends on management and labor. Management becomes land-ownership and class differentiation.

So in Balochistan some families were able to take over the existing agricultural centers (irrigated from springs, without the need for investment in irrigation engineering), and establish their own independent political centers. The Baluchistan described by the British in the late 19th century and by anthropologists in the mid-20th was one in which all the locations with some ten hectares or more of cultivable soil and surface water that could be used for irrigation had been taken over by one or another leading tribal family (khans) who managed the land with people who had been reduced to the status of peasants, helots or serfs (their status varied from place to place)8, while the remaining parts where there was insufficient surface water to irrigate crops were roamed by nomadic groups of varying sizes. Since the nomadic groups were small they looked for opportunities to serve the land-owning families, and cultivated various types of relationships with them.

This was a small-scale variant of the pattern suggested by ibn Khaldun in the 14th century as a model for the political history of most of the Islamic world up to the 19th century. Ibn Khaldun saw ruling groups rising and falling “according to the strength and weakness of their internal coherence, their ‘group feeling’ (‘asabiya); their progress from simplicity through power and wealth as necessary for civilization (‘omran) to wasteful luxury under the preeminent force of economic factors; and their inevitable replacement in endless cycles—a combination of psychological and material determinants of human society” (Rosenthal 1997; cf. Rosenthal 1967) with the result that most power centers in Islamic civilization, both large (such as the Persianate empires of the Saljuqs, Timurids, Ottomans) and small (such as agricultural centers in Makran) have been headed by families with tribal origins, and have maintained their position on average only some three generations, before personal power and land ownership disturbed their esprit de corps [‘asabiya]; and they were supplanted by the next tribal group with stronger ‘asabiya.

We can now expand ibn Khaldun’s model: the advantage of the more complex urban society is that although the morale of the ruling family decays (loses its `asabiya) its investment potential still facilitates accelerated growth, which increases social complexity, whereas the population outside the cities is tribal, not because they have the `asabiya of ‘noble savages’, but because they do not have the resources or the ability to increase productivity and develop the social complexity of cities.

Before the industrial age, identity in complex societies was always in land. The overall geographical mobility of most of the world’s population has been restricted since the beginning of agriculture because the primary resource was agricultural land. When the opportunity of migration to the Americas opened up in the early modern period, the attraction was not only religious freedom, it was new land. When industrialization began to release people from land in the 18th century, mobility began to increase, and has continued to increase as attachment to agricultural land has diminished.

The groups we call tribal are groups that have no significant fixed assets such as land, but only mobile assets, or assets without investment that restricts mobility. Their identity is in their interdependence with each other, which develops in the course of the life cycle, forming a society based on kinship and descent—the social formation we call tribal. Although they develop a counter-culture outside the cities, they also emulate the activities of the cities wherever the opportunity arises. The tribal leaders who established themselves over the years in the various agricultural centers of Balochistan were following the model of tribal leaders who periodically took over the big cities of Islamic civilization. Since none of the larger cities to the immediate northwest (e.g. Kerman), north (e.g. Qandahar) or east (e.g. Lahore or Delhi) saw any advantage in investing in Balochistan and controlling it, it became identified with the Baloch from the outside, and was eventually formalized with that identity in the post-colonial era of nation-states. But because of its internal inability to generate investment, it has failed to achieve its own independent status as a nation-state. Although the people who brought the Balochi language to Balochistan succeeded in ‘Balochizing’ this vast area, they did not draw all its inhabitants into a homogeneous Baloch identity.

All Muslims who settled there came to identify as Baloch (i.e. all except some small groups of Hindu or Sikh traders), but they also claim diverse origins—as diverse as Arab, Indian, Iranian and Pashtun. Some identify with their local village and may be descended from the earlier inhabitants. All talk of the (relatively) few remaining nomads, who live away from the agricultural settlements, mainly in mountainous areas, as baloch, i.e. the real Baloch (i.e. descendants of the cultural and linguistic ancestors). Although all use Balochi as the lingua franca, many speak other languages among themselves. A form of Persian is spoken around Kalat, and in the Saravan district of western Baluchistan. A form of Sindhi (known as Jadgāli9) is the language of Dashtiāri (the extended coastal plain on the Iranian side of the modern border with Pakistan, and there are several groups of Brahui10 speakers in the area known as Saravan south of Kalat, and also scattered along the Afghan border. What makes an inhabitant of Balochistan a Baloch is Islam, the use of the Balochi language for public purposes, and a political relationship with one of the leading families in the agricultural settlements (cf. Barth 1964).

There are also a significant number of Baloch outside Balochistan, who migrated from Balochistan in pursuit of opportunity before or during the colonial period, without retaining any attachment to the area or to other Baloch. Some moved north into the Turkic areas that became northern Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, where living among Turkmen communities in the 19th century they took up carpet-weaving, developing a new genre, which has attracted the attention of collectors only in recent decades (cf. Spooner 1986). In the 16th and 17th centuries many became involved with, and exploited the presence of, the Portuguese, and later the Dutch and the British in the Persian Gulf. Some were taken on as mercenaries by the Alam family in the Qaenat11. Some migrated to Oman and other parts of the Arab side of the Persian Gulf. In Oman the Sultan of Muscat recruited them to serve as a militia for his maritime empire in the 19th century. Many settled in Zanzibar and East Africa (Nicolini 2006 and 2007). Baloch traders were operating in western Congo in 1958 (Kopytoff 1968). Many more moved into Punjab and Sindh. But their territorial identity did not spread with them. Since the middle of the 20th century many have found employment in merchant shipping and other opportunities to move further afield into Europe and America.

When European ships began to arrive in the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf in the 16th century, they found the area occupied by Baloch, with little if any control from the Persian capital in Esfahan or the provincial center in Kerman. Moreover they found the Baloch to be dangerous, but also ready to be taken on as mercenaries. It was probably the arrival of the Europeans that awakened Safavid (Persian) interest in the coastal area, and the resulting activity of the Safavids that drew the attention of the Mughals in India. The city of Qandahar (in what was later to become southern Afghanistan), which had been the closest city to the area and the most influential, actually changed hands more than once between the Safavid and Mughal Empires during this period. But the interests of both began to wane later in the 17th century, and in 1666 Ahmad Khan, a Baloch (from a Brahuispeaking family) managed to supplant the Hindu ruler of Kalat, and establish an independent Baloch political identity. Kalat was the largest agricultural center on the eastern side of the area, and it then became the major Baloch political center, a proto-city in the Islamic world, that would later become recognized as the political center of the Princely State of Baluchistan. But Ahmad Khan did not call it Baluchistan (or Balochistan). Throughout its history the political primacy of this center was under varying degrees of threat not only from Iran, India and (after 1747) Afghanistan, but also from tribal leaders in the lesser agricultural centers of the area (Kharan and Torbat). It maintained the same line of succession down to its inclusion into Pakistan in 1948. But its strongest period was the second half of the 18th century, under Nasir Khan, and its identity might not have survived through the 19th century, had the British not decided to use it for indirect rule.

It is interesting that the history of Balochistan down to this point is roughly parallel to the history of Afghanistan, though on a somewhat reduced scale. The ‘Afghanization’ of Afghanistan began only in 1747, when another Ahmad Khan, Ahmad Abdali (mentioned above in footnote 3) established a major empire from Qandahar in the area that had been known historically as Khorasan. In the 19th century when Russian and British encroachment reduced the territory of the Afghan empire to the present borders of Afghanistan, it was cut off from the inter-city trade of the Central Asian Silk Route and began to be named by outsiders (initially the British) as the separate territory of Afghanistan, and was treated by them in a way similar to the ‘Princely States’ that were directly subordinated to the British Government in Calcutta. Like Balochistan, its survival into the 20th century was the result of British support, in this case because the British wanted to maintain a buffer between themselves and the Russian Empire.

In the 19th century, the beginning of the period for which information is more abundant, although there was some armed resistance to British control, Balochistan was generally peaceful, with a mixed agricultural-pastoral economy. British influence had also spread westwards from India up into the Persian Gulf, first with the laying of the telegraph line in the 1860s, and later in order to counteract German activity at the time of the First World War. The extension of British interests into Balochistan from the east was countered by the extension of Persian interests southeast from Kerman in the north west under Muhammad Shah Qajar in the 1840s. The border between India and Iran was eventually formalized in 1871, dividing Baluchistan between India and Iran, and later (in 1893) cutting off the northeastern fringe as part of Afghanistan. Although the criteria for this division were somewhat unclear (cf. Goldschmid 1876), the line appears to have been drawn along the furthest extent of the historical influence of the Khan of Kalat.

In the following decades, on the western side of the border, as Persian attention faded again, local landowning families began to re-exert their independence. In 1907 Bahram Khan Baranzai in Dezak (in Saravan district on the Iranian side of the border) began a movement to establish a state parallel to Kalat. He was the leader of a Pashtun Barakzai group, related to the Afghan dynastic line that had migrated through Sistan into Western Baluchistan from Afghanistan in the early 19th century, probably escaping from the internecine fighting in the Afghan ruling clans in Herat at the time of the change of dynasty in the early 1820s. They had assimilated to Baloch identity, and spoke only Balochi and Persian, but remembered their Afghan heritage. When Bahram died without male offspring in 1921, his nephew, Dost Muhammad Barakzai (namesake of the Afghan Shah of 1826 to 1839 and 1845 to 1863), took his place. After the change of dynasty in Tehran in 1925 the new shah of Iran, Reza Shah Pahlavi, who had a more modern (i.e. national and territorial) orientation towards Iran than his Qajar predecessors (who had continued to think in the traditional terms of empire rather than modern terms of nationalism), turned his attention to the tribal populations around the borders. As the furthest from Tehran, Baluchistan was the last on his list. When his army finally arrived there in 1928, Dost Muhammad Khan’s forces dispersed and he was captured. Western (Iranian) Baluchistan was separated from Kerman, and became the southern part of Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan, centered on Zahedan. The Barakzai family that had led the resistance took refuge on the British side of the border for a decade before arranging a peaceful return. From then until the British withdrawal from India in 1947, Baluchistan remained calm under the Persian and British Indian administrations. On the British side the northern strip along the border with Afghanistan was administered directly from Calcutta (later New Delhi) as British Baluchistan, with a major administrative center in Quetta, while the core areas of Baloch khans in Kalat, Kharan, and Makran were ruled indirectly as a Princely State with Kalat as the main center. But the price of this calm was the subsidies that the British were paying down to their departure to several of the Khans not only on the Indian side of the border but also from time to time on the Iranian side. Baluchistan was still peripheral territory with sparse population and no investment (even in the agricultural centers), but the Baloch were becoming increasingly aware of opportunities in the cities beyond their territory.

The imposition of nation-state frameworks on the Baloch, starting in Iran in 1928, changed not only the formalities of administrative relationships with two modernizing countries, Iran and later Pakistan, but also the nature of the relationship between the Baloch and other countries in the surrounding region, especially Afghanistan, Oman and the Emirates of the Persian Gulf. On the Pakistani side, when the British withdrew in 1947, the Khan of Kalat, supported by the other Khans in Kharan and Makran assumed, like the government in Afghanistan, that everything would return to the way it was before the British arrived: Baluchistan would be an independent state. But only seven months later, in March 1948, the Khan of Kalat was persuaded to sign Baluchistan over to Pakistan, and both the Princely State and British Baluchistan together became the new Pakistani Province of Balochistan with Quetta as its administrative center, circumscribed by the borders drawn by the British12. In Afghanistan the Baloch are a small ethnic minority in the southeastern provinces of Nimruz, Helmand, and Qandahar, but they did not receive any formal recognition as an ethnic or linguistic community until after the revolution of 1978.

In all three countries the Baloch now found their status changed. They were no longer the excluded (but independent) people in a marginalized territory. They were now administratively integrated into a nation-state that they did not choose, and formally subordinated to a central urban authority in each country, with minimal representation at the center, and still experiencing the mediaeval discrimination of the cities against the people who were not part of the agricultural hinterland that benefitted from investment. Their investment potential had not changed. It was not long before opposition and hostility became evident on both sides of the border. The Afghan response to British withdrawal had been to assume that borders drawn by the British (in particular the Durand Line drawn in 1893 that divided Pashtun territory between Afghanistan and India) lost their validity and most of what had become West Pakistan would return to Afghan rule. They therefore promoted the idea of a Pashtunistan to include not only all the Pashtun lands of southern Afghanistan, but also Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province and Balochistan. (The latter had been under Afghan rule during the first decade of Ahmad Shah Durrani’s rule, and continued to maintain a close relationship with Afghanistan until the arrival of the British.) It is not clear to what extent this Afghan action may have strengthened any Baloch resolve to remain independent of Pakistan.

In Iran the leading members of the Sardārzai tribe in Bahu Kalāt (the main settlement in the Dashtiāri plain) were involved with independence movements that had arisen among Baloch on the other side of the Persian Gulf, supported by Iraq, against the government in Tehran. In 1973 a cache of bombs was found in the Iraqi embassy in Islamabad (which became the capital of Pakistan in 1970), which may have been destined for delivery to the Baloch in Iran (because of Iraq’s border disputes with Iran), but was blamed on the Marri tribe in Pakistan. After Iran’s revolution in 1979, several Baloch opinion leaders in Iran took refuge again across the border, this time in Karachi, and began to seek American assistance against the new Islamic Republic. They claimed to have been funded by the CIA at an earlier time to organize raids across Afghanistan into the Soviet Union.

Another group, from the Rigi tribe in the Sarhadd (northern Iranian Balochistan), launched a new resistance movement called Jundullah in the early 2000s (designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in 2010 by the U.S. Bureau of Counterterrorism). In Pakistan open rebellion began before the end of the 1950s, but was contained until the discovery of the arms shipment in 1973, after which a significant number of Marri migrated across the (poorly marked) border into Afghanistan and launched the Baloch People’s Liberation Front, which later became the Balochistan Liberation Army. The Marri returned to Pakistan during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and the political situation between them (and an increasing number of other Baloch) and the Federal Government in Islamabad has been deteriorating ever since, to the point where it is now critical.

This synopsis summarizes some fifteen hundred years of history in a brief narrative, distinct from the separate unlinked episodes that were previously available. It achieves this by representing the Baloch as part of the history of the larger region in which they had no option but to play the part of the people excluded from the investment dynamic of the citied agrarianate civilization, reduced to making the most of unimproved resources in marginalized territory. The Baloch had been adapting historically, not to their natural environment, but to their socio-economic and political marginalization from the investment centers of the region. In order to understand this long historical process of adaptation we need to explore not how a community chooses and exploits resources, its human ecology, but how geographical space becomes defined within a civilization, how the cultural sense of locality was acquired, and how it changed as the society became more complex.

2. Investment and Translocality
The concept of translocality13 usefully alerts us to the significance of changing orientations towards location, resulting from population growth, increasing social complexity and the expansion of arenas of social interaction that comes with globalization. Translocality grows from locality. Locality is location in socio-cultural context, and translocality is the changing relationship between social life and geographical space, the cultural significance of the way geographical perceptions change according to social interests.

Cities are important in the geography of every civilization. But since the cultural core of the Islamic world occupies almost the entire Old-World northern arid zone, from the western coast of North Africa through the Middle East and Central Asia into China, the contrast between space containing cities and the agricultural hinterlands in which they have invested in irrigation engineering, on the one hand, and the space between them with no cities on the other, is greater than elsewhere and more directly and exclusively related to the development of social formations.

For this reason the various cultural traditions of this arid zone, which are all closely related by theircommon Islamic history of the past millennium and a half, are characterized by a sharp division between the areas dominated by cities and the areas between them. Although colonial administrations began to change this sense of locality a century or so ago and post-colonial nationstate administrations and economic development are changing it more decisively now, the old sense of locality still shows through, because it is rooted in the local identities of people like the Baloch. It has an important social dimension that has not been recognised, and is a significant factor underlying the way the Baloch think about themselves, how they are assessed in the cities around them, their place in the modern world, and their current opposition to the governments of Iran and Pakistan.

This assessment raises some larger questions. Firstly, why did agrarianate citied society develop when it did in the Middle East, before other parts of the world that were better watered? Secondly, when the Arabo-Islamic empire took off in the 7th century, why did it expand east-west through the arid zone, when all earlier empires, however large, had spread in different patterns? Thirdly, how did the Islamic world from the Umayyad Caliphate (661-750) until the 20th century, from northwest Africa through the Middle East and Central Asia into China, maintain its cultural unity as a civilization without political centralization over such a vast area before modern communications? And fourthly, how has the introduction of Western hegemony over the past century changed the way peoples like the Baloch inter-relate with the larger society, both within the Islamic world and beyond?

1. Why did agrarianate citied society develop in the Middle East before other parts of the world that were better watered?

A city begins as an agrarian settlement that has grown large enough to develop division of labor, investment activities and trade with other cities. Archaeological evidence suggests that cities began to appear in southern Mespotamia in the 6th millennium BCE. Sedentarization had begun in the Fertile Crescent as a result of the opportunities offered by climate change following the end of the last glacial period. Sedentism increased birth rates, and before long the growing settled populations had to intensify their relationship with the land by cultivating crops in order to feed themselves (cf. Boserup 1964). As their population continued to grow, they moved from the hillsides of the Fertile Crescent down to the rivers in the arid Mesopotamian plains, so that they could further increase production by irrigation of rich alluvial soils. Cities developed in the increased clustering of population on the rivers. From then on into the first millennium BCE these cities in Mesopotamia were the primary world centers of growth in population, agricultural production and trade. It was here that the level of social complexity first advanced, increasing the potential for collective learning and innovation. Gradually, similar urban centers of investment in irrigated agriculture and trade developed where soil and water was available throughout the arid zone. This type of population growth and the clustering that would raise levels of social complexity did not begin in the temperate or subtropical zones until later.

Although other factors have played a role since then, this original social dynamic (settlement, increasing fertility rates, urbanization, investment, trade, collective learning, innovation) set the historical pattern that took off before long on all the other major arid-zone rivers: the Nile, Oxus, Indus, the Yellow River—a process that lasted down to the colonial period (when a new process that had evolved in temperate Europe, where resources were much more evenly distributed) expanded and took over, and continues to condition the relations between urban and non-urban populations like the Baloch in the modern world. It took off in the arid zone rather than the better watered temperate or tropical zones to the north and south because the emergence of the fertile crescent offered the original opportunity, the resulting population growth generated the need for food production, and the necessary soil and water was along the nearby rivers of the arid zone. The resulting clustering of population along the rivers generated the social process of collective learning, investment in the labor necessary for irrigation engineering, other technological innovation and inter-city trade. The domestication of crops and animals began as a response not only to population growth but to clustering in settlements. From then on, down to the colonial period, the population in the arid zone was divided between the investment centers of the citied society and the people who either lost their place in them or could not find a place. They did not themselves have the resources that would enable them to cluster in large enough communities to develop the necessary investment, and therefore did not experience the same rate of social change and the benefits of rising social complexity as the cities.

The people who did not find a place in the urban growth, and in the agricultural development it financed, continued to live in small mainly mobile groups organized in terms of the relationships that evolve informally in the process of socialization and are culturally formalized according to rules of kinship and descent, i.e. tribal societies. They formed counter-societies in the spaces between the cities, some of which were large, such as the areas now occupied by the Baloch, Kurds, Pashtuns and others. As the carrying capacity of the urban economies fluctuated, some lost their place in the urban economy and joined the tribes, taking their animals (their mobile assets) with them, becoming pastoral nomads on the lookout for any opportunity, such as raiding caravans or cities. From then until the colonial period the history of the arid zone was the history of urban growth and decline (resulting from a variety of factors, including periodic drought and violent conflict) and the  response of the sparse tribal populations without investment in the wilderness between them, with whom they continually exchanged population. We know from ethnographic studies (e.g. Barth 1961, Cohen 1965) that interchange of population between cities and tribes was common.

2. When the Arabo-Islamic empire expanded in the 7th century, why did it expand east-west through the arid zone, when all earlier empires, however large, had spread in different patterns, especially into better-watered areas?

Although Hodgson recognized the special ‘citied’ quality of Islamic civilization and developed a rich analytical description of the distinctive social qualities of Islamic society in his monumental work, he did not attempt to explain why it expanded east-west, throughout this arid zone (which could not at the time support growth without investment in irrigation), creating a newly configured administrative entity, rather than (like earlier empires) spreading into and through its predecessors, especially Rome and Persia, which were contemporary rivals in religion as well as empire. In the 7th century once the Arab armies from the Arabian peninsula had broken the resistance of the Roman and Persian empires in Syria and Mesopotamia they pushed not north into the better watered regions of Anatolia or the Caucasus, not into India (until much later), or up the Nile into Ethiopia or Sudan, but east through desert, into Sindh and round the north of the Himalayas towards China, and
west along the arid north coast of Africa, uniting for the first time under a single administration a vast area over three thousand kilometers in length, but relatively narrow in latitude.

The answer may lie in the particular stage of urban development and trade that had been achieved by the 7th century. The east-west trade routes, between the Atlantic and China and Japan, which had already become arterial by the beginning of our era, had never before been linked throughout politically or administratively. But now the urban entrepots throughout this zone had grown to the point where they provided seductive stepping stones for the extension of an empire supported by trade interests. By connecting the arid-semiarid zone from the Atlantic to China, even at the slow pace of camel traffic (estimated to have averaged no more than 10-20 miles a day, cf.

Knauer 1998), Islam created a uniquely new situation—a geographically homogeneous political unit in which economic growth and political stability depended on the economic trade-off between investment in local irrigation engineering and the profits from long-distance trade, each of which depended on urban growth and the trade and competition between the cities.14

In the three millennia of empire building before Islam each empire had been built out from the local power base of an aspiring leader. The objective had been economic growth by capture (a major force in history until the middle of the 20th century, since which time the expansion of trade has become a better recipe for growth). Succession on the death of the leader tended to be uncertain, and few dynasties and not many empires lasted more than ibn Khaldun’s model of three generations. The expansion of Islam in the 7th century was the first (and perhaps the only) historical example of religiously inspired expansion. The longevity of the Islamic empire was not dependent on the success or failure of any particular succession. It also benefitted from the earlier heritage of longterm political stability under the Roman Empire in the West and the interconnectedness of (what
later came to be known as) the Silk Road to the east. Its future did not depend on any local political process, but on the sense of belonging to a vast community with common legal values, an ecumene.

For this reason it became the longest lasting empire in world history, with the result that the social arrangements it supported became culturally validated to the point where they are now seriously resistant to change. But its survival is now at risk, because of new political rivalries resulting from the change in the sense of locality resulting from a new relationship with the temperate zone starting in the 19th century (under colonialism). The problem has intensified under globalization. In the `asabiyabased communities without investment, in the interstices between the cities, the long-term social inequalities between populations of different densities, that had been confirmed over the centuries, began to take on a new significance.

3. How did the Islamic world from the Umayyad Caliphate until the 20th century, from northwest Africa through the Middle East and Central Asia into China, maintain its cultural unity as a civilization over such a vast area before modern communications without political centralization?

This pattern of geographical expansion provided a relatively uniform land-use base for social relations throughout the core zone of the Islamic world, which was sustained by inter-city trade, and provided the sense of locality that underlay the culture of Islamic civilization, making the universality of the shari`a [Islamic law] more easily acceptable. It was a distinctively different sense of locality from that of the temperate and tropical zones to the north and south, which had very different social formations with different land-use histories and social formations, mostly understood in Christian or other cultural terms. All cultural traditions have peculiarities that start from historical accidents and become emblematic. But cultural process in general is embedded in social processes. The cultural unity of the Islamic world relative to the Christian or Buddhist worlds has generally been put down to the Islamic ideological emphasis on the ummah, the unitary, undifferentiated community of believers, and the hajj, the religious duty to participate in the centripetal ritual of annual pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime. But the uniform social matrix throughout the relatively homogeneous ecology of the arid zone would have been an important contributing factor15. There were no similar factors in the Western, Christian, or Buddhist civilizations.

Given this cultural basis of locality, it is likely that translocality also would work differently in the Islamic arid zone from elsewhere. Although the concept has broadened our understanding of globalization, little attention has so far been given to cultural variation in the processes it helps us to analyze. Locality has rarely drawn the attention of ethnographers or been analyzed by social or cultural anthropologists. This is a gap in the ethnographic literature16. Before the Industrial Revolution people measured time in terms of space and space in terms of time. In the last 200 years we have learned to measure them separately and come to disregard the relationship between them.

Not only the scientific discoveries of the 20th century, and the advancing technology of transportation, but the forces driving globalization, have changed the meaning of both. However, there are also other cultural factors from the past playing into the process of change. Students of the history and sociology of Islamic civilization have long been aware that locality works differently in the Islamic world compared to Western and other orientations. But there has been no comprehensive analysis. Besides the linguistic classification of land types in Arabic and Persian (which are the koines of Islamic civilization), toponyms in the arid zone, from northwest Africa through the Middle East and Central Asia into China, generally have a different range of connotations from those of other parts of the world. For example, names like Hijaz and Tihama (the Red Sea coastal regions of Arabia and Yemen), or Khorasan (historically the great northeast frontier territory of the Iranian Plateau), or Iraq (in its mediaeval sense of both the Mesopotamian lowland and the uplands to the northeast, now in Iran) are large unbounded regions, defined in somewhat vague geographical terms, but closely associated with the names of the cities located within them.

These terms would not be used to refer specifically to the territory between the cities (although they contain much of that territory), which would be something like Pers. biyābān [the equivalent of wilderness, but etymologically land without water], or perhaps Pers. kavir, Ar. sabkha [salt desert], or Pers. lut [gravel desert]. This is the locality dimension of the agrarianate citied society of the Islamic world. All such geographical terms have social connotations and imply either the presence or absence of cities17.

Locality is an important aspect of the unevenness between social arenas as they merge under globalization. Each community at the time of merging is at a different stage of translocality as well as a different level of social complexity. These unevennesses underlie most violent conflicts and other political problems in the modern world, both within the Islamic world and between Muslim communities and their neighbors. But the problems vary because of the historical difference in the conception of locality. Under the accelerating rates of modern change, geographical relationships begin to look very different. The merging of different experiences of locality into the process of translocality is part of the general merging of cultural traditions that we are experiencing in the modern world. The imposition of nation-state borders, their initial consolidation, and now their incipient loss of validity in the face of intensifying flows, not just of people that disregard them, but of information, are simply the most tangible factors in this process. The development of new resources, such as oil and gas, and changing routes of transportation are others. Apart from the annual movement of large numbers of people from all corners of the Islamic world to Mecca and back once a year, which has increased significantly in recent decades, the patterns of movement between populations in different parts of the Islamic world resulting from unprecedented changes in the markets for labor and for services are a new development that introduces new forms of

While translocality changes the relationships, it takes longer for the identities to be reevaluated according to the new conditions. For example, the Baloch were never held in high regard in the cities. But they were relatively independent and they could be valuable as mercenaries, or they might be feared as raiders. They were free to threaten. More recently, although they have not benefited in terms of investment or any other advantage from their new formal relationship with the urban government of the nation-state into which they have now been included, they are still looked down on and have now lost their independence without gaining meaningful representation at the federal level. However, the relationship between the Baloch and the state is different in each of the countries we are considering. It was first defined in nation-state terms in Afghanistan under Abdu’l- Rahman between 1880 and 1901, next in Iran by Reza Shah following their defeat in 1928, and finally in Pakistan after the accession of Kalat in 1948. The relationship has gone through phases in each country and the heyday of the nation-state is now over: each government is having difficulty controlling its entire territory.

Not only in these three countries but throughout the northern arid zone, from present-day Morocco to China, the human response to geographical relationships has changed over time as the relative ability to invest in increased productivity has changed—which has occurred as a matter of course as population has increased, and society has become more complex and more closely interrelated with activities in the rest of the world. The historical experience generates relationships and cultural values that influence the way communities interact with each other for generations ahead.

Now that under globalization the arid zone is becoming more closely inter-related with the rest of the world, its past is throwing a shadow not only over the regional present but into the global future. The relationship between cities and tribes in the arid zone has outgrown its regional context and mutated into a problematic relationship that demands international attention. We will understand the Baloch situation better if we put it into a comparative context. Other similar tribal identities in the Islamic world include the Kurds, the Pashtuns and the Tuareg18. The Kurds in northern Iraq, eastern Turkey and the adjoining parts of Syria and Iran (c. 40 million), the Pashtuns in southern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan (c. 45 million), and the Tuareg in southern Algeria and Libya, northeastern Mali and western Niger (perhaps a million) are historically comparable to the Baloch, because in each case they are mainly identified with a single large area that until not much more than a century ago was a refuge area, beyond the reach of any urban control, and which within the past hundred years or so has been divided by modern nation-state boundaries. Since these territories have no historical cities and have not been included historically in the agricultural hinterland of any significant cities, they have functioned as refuge areas for people who either lost their place in the citied economies or could not find a place in them. Nowhere in these refuge areas, which in each case were named by the surrounding populations, was the population able to cluster sufficiently to support the development of an investment center that could join the urban network. We have ethnographic and historical data that suggest continuous exchange of population between such refuge areas and the surrounding cities as the carrying capacity of the urban economies fluctuated. Families in the refuge areas which succeeded in building their social position emulated the urban elites, even though the populations of the refuge areas and the cities remained ideologically opposed to each other. Occasionally, a force from the refuge area succeeded in overtaking one of the cities and forming a new government. Most new dynasties in the history of the Islamic world provide examples of this historical interdependence of urban investment centers and refuge areas unable to generate investment, as ibn Khaldun explained (Rosenthal 1967). More recently, in every case where nation-state governments have been installed in the primary cities over the past century they have failed to change the investment ratio between the cities and the refuge areas, and in recent decades the populations of the refuge areas have reacted by becoming an increasing threat to the stability and integrity of the nation-states.

4. How has the introduction of Western hegemony over the past century changed the way peoples like the Baloch inter-relate with the larger society, both within the Islamic world and beyond?

The dialectical relationship that had developed through the period of agrarianate citied civilization between the investment dynamic of the cities in locations rich in soil and water and the investment-incapable population reserves (such as the Baloch) in the resource-poor wilderness, formed opposing cultural identities of city and tribe. The city did not control the tribe, but had to make deals with it to ensure the security of trade between the cities and discourage raiding. The tribe was always on the lookout for new resources, including the possibility of raiding and even taking over a city. At the same time the cities drew on the tribes to satisfy rising labor demands, and the tribe absorbed the rejects when the city’s labor market declined. The urban population developed identities based on location and land, while the tribes developed identities based on descent and kinship. These identities became historically opposed to each other, despite their continual inter-change of population.

The colonial period introduced a new way of thinking territorially into the arid zone. The European powers were interested not in agriculture but in raw materials and trade for their industrial economies. They therefore valued land differently and introduced a new sense of locality. The change affected not only relations between the Islamic and non-Islamic societies, but also relations between the urban and non-urban Islamic societies. Most modern boundaries were drawn by Western powers since 1870 and are Western cultural constructs, but despite some uncertainties in the middle of the last century (referred to above) there is no longer any expectation that they should be undrawn. When the European powers withdrew, Islamic civilization was divided into nationstates, and the states are now accepted on the international level, even if the national identities are in some cases uncertain at the local level. Every square kilometer, from Mauretania to the borders of China, came under the authority of a national government. Every resident became the citizen of a Muslim-majority state (although such social division of the umma conflicts with the essential Islamic concept of tawḥid and the shari`a), with constitutionally equal rights guaranteed by a national government. But this fundamental reorganization of society did not change the investment ratio between the cities and the tribes. Human societies have generally used the past to provide stability and legitimacy in the present. The cultural attitudes built into longstanding relationships have always been slow to change, except insofar as social interests change. In this case the cities gained formal responsibility for the territory and resources of the tribes, but had little interest in them. The tribes are minority populations in the nation-states. They have not found a way to ensure sufficient political voice for adequate representation in the cities. It is not surprising, therefore, that to begin with, in the middle of the last century, little changed. But as information flows increased, and the tribes became more aware of what they could claim, tribal populations gradually became a major force of opposition to the perceived controllers of the status quo in the cities. Before the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 most conflicts were state sponsored. Since that date most have been driven by community interests against the state or against perceived transnational forces. In the last two decades all these tribal populations have become actively rebellious against their state governments.

3. The Larger Historical Significance of the Baloch under Global Urbanization

We have summarized the available data on the Baloch and reinterpreted it in terms of the social history of the Islamic arid zone and the relationship between the arid zone and the larger regional context. Starting in the 19th century it becomes difficult to explain anything regionally without reference to what is happening in other parts of the world. The closer we come to the present the more necessary it becomes to expand the framework to a global context. But although globalization is a common paradigm for the discussion of anything in the modern world, there is little agreement on its definition, what drives it and how it works.

Globalization results from the intensification of interaction among larger and larger numbers of people—a process that has accompanied accelerating population growth. It is essentially a social process, rooted in the demographic factors that have been the primary engine of change in human history. While exogenous factors, such as climate change, volcanic eruptions and other natural disasters have here and there caused significant human change, differential life cycles and changing fertility and mortality rates have always been the continuous drivers of change. However, while population growth has spread the species, gradually populating almost the entire land-surface of the world, and then increased the average density of population, growth alone does not determine distribution. Increasing density is at least as likely to cause conflict over resources as cooperation in
efforts to increase their productivity. But despite the significance of conflict in human history, cooperation has won out and in recent times generated the increasing global interconnectedness that we now understand as globalization. What is driving globalization is the human response to growth. The response is to cluster in larger and larger numbers to the extent that is ecologically viable, up to the limits of carrying capacity. Carrying capacity supported only very low densities until about ten thousand years ago when climate change increased it significantly. The result was not only increased growth but increased cooperation, increasing collective learning and ambient awareness.

The larger the number of people working together, the greater the innovative capability, the more intensive the human-land relationship becomes, generating technological innovation and increasing the carrying capacity (Boserup 1964, Spooner 1972). Increased clustering (up to the limits of carrying capacity) has been an evolutionary tendency, evident in most species, since the prokaryotic age. In the human case, as numbers increase, people come into contact more. Each individual not only interacts with more others but engages in more interactions per day and interacts more intensively, in a larger social arena.

Whereas most humans, as late as fifty years ago, still lived in communities in the scores, hundreds or at most thousands, and interacted mostly face-to-face in the dozens, even in big cities, now more and more of us are interacting remotely more than face-to-face, with larger numbers of others, through a variety of media that can potentially connect us with anyone of our seven billion odd cohumans irrespective of location. Mobility has also been increasing, bringing people from different social arenas into contact with each other, increasing the proportion of interaction occurring between individuals with different cultural experience. As our range of interaction extends, everyone becomes more aware of what others (who have different experience and think differently from themselves) are doing and thinking. Our minds experience more associations, which give us new ideas, leading to more innovation. As a result the general level of social awareness rises, irrespective of formal education or training. Whereas awareness had previously been a product of education and professional training, it now rises independently of education. More people participate in the formation of public opinion, and in public decision making. The process of collective learning accelerates and expands. Rates of innovation rise. Productivity also increases, further accelerating social change.

Cities, where before the age of remote communication clustering was most advanced and interaction most intense, have always been the engines of innovation and economic growth. When the cities of China and the Islamic world were larger than those of Europe (in the later mediaeval period), they were the world’s main centers of technological innovation. But at the end of the mediaeval period European society began to grow faster. Why? Possibly because of the unprecedented series of disruptions it experienced, starting with the Black Death, which decimated the upper classes, weakened social controls, and provided new opportunities, leading to the Reformation, followed by the religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries and the first age of revolutions, starting with the English in 1649. Until that time, as political structures had expanded, authority had always worked from the top down. After the Reformation in Europe top-down authority began to give way to increasing degrees of bottom-up power. The democratic process developed very slowly, but gradually accelerated, first in Europe and America and more recently in most other parts of the world.

The rate of intensification of our interactive lives has been especially significant in global cities such as New York, London or Paris. Studies of the acceleration of daily life have already been published (Rosa 2013). Urban life has begun to extend beyond the city everywhere. City-based administrations now reach out into the countryside incorporating rural populations into urban life. Scarcely any part of the world is any longer independent of urban interests. This process has been steady in rural parts of the Western world. In large parts of Africa and Asia it has been revolutionary, tearing apart the intricate systems of interaction on which traditional societies were based. In general the reaction to this intensification has been positive. Humans have without hesitation taken advantage of opportunities for more frequent interaction among more people than was possible with smaller numbers, changing the quality of life, sometimes with chaotic results. This type of change, when it accelerates to the point where everyone is aware of it, generates conflicting responses. The underprivileged in the cities, especially the young, see new opportunities. The privileged, especially those with vested interests, want to hold on to the past. The most conservative, apart from the Islamic scholars (whose social roots are often in villages), are in the least complex parts of the society, in the smaller tribal and rural communities. Where the past can no longer be restored, they seek to re-establish an idealized version of the past as they remember it, as they would like it to be.

These changes are characteristic of the modern world, but occur at different rates in each community, in each arena of social interaction—until continuing growth merges each arena into those of its neighbors. As globalization has sped up over the past fifty years, the merging process has connected arenas at more and more incompatible stages in the general process of increasing social complexity. Each community is drawn into the process at a different stage of growth, and of social complexity. When communities merge they are at different stages of growing social complexity. All dimensions of globalization, whether political, economic, or linguistic, proceed unevenly in different arenas, because each arena of interaction is at a different stage of growth, a different level of social complexity. Tribal populations, like the Baloch, are at the lower end of the spectrum of unevenness, because, so long as they continue to be autonomously tribal, they cannot grow in social complexity and awareness. However, now they have begun to benefit from the increasing flows of information, raising their awareness of possibilities.

As the rate of change increased, the thresholds19 of change into rising levels of complexity have come faster. The emergence of cities in early agrarian societies introduced the period of world history in which it was no longer necessary for everyone to be a food producer. The next threshold was crossed with the Industrial Revolution, which began to reduce significantly the proportion of the world population occupied in food production. The next came when the nation-state framework was adopted as the criterion for membership in the United Nations in 1945, which spread the idea of national societies. As imperial administrations withdrew after the Second World War, converting their colonial territories into independent nation-states, they created the global framework for everyone to have equal citizenship status within the formally delineated boundaries of a state. The arrival of the service economy in the 1980s raised the level of social complexity another degree into a condition where social service became a major economic concern in addition to production. In the past decade we crossed yet another threshold as global urbanization passed the 50% mark. Urban life became culturally dominant in every state. People now communicate and move between cities, irrespective of state borders. As a result of the growth of remote communication, the growth of social intensity is no longer restricted by location, and increasing social mobility everywhere has further advanced translocality. The level of socio-political awareness has risen globally, in tribal societies as well as in cities.

But we are still in a phase of globalization in which each society, each arena of social interaction, is at a different stage of growth and of increasing social complexity. The differences sometimes fade as the arenas merge. Sometimes they create social boundaries that become cultural borders, and potential sites conflict, sometimes ideologically opposed. Until now we have simply seen tribal societies as different, and we have studied them separately. We noticed that neighboring cities and tribal communities developed ideologically opposed attitudes toward each other, that the social difference became a social boundary, and although individuals could cross the boundary (cf. Barth 1969) the communities were opposed to each other, and the opposition had hostile implications. But we failed to draw the conclusion that each was participating in the same long-term social dialectic (between resource-rich and resource-poor communities) that was a core process of human history. The reason we can see it differently and more productively now is that the acceleration in the global rate of change in recent decades, resulting from the approaching climax in world population growth, forces us to take change into account, and as we learn to do that we see the past in longer and longer term trajectories.

The case of the Baloch spans this whole trajectory of social development. They are a sample of people who, although they served as a reserve pool for the expanding citied society, were not included in it and continued to live at a simpler level of social complexity. The current phase of change is particularly difficult for them, because they are finally being enveloped by the expanding citied society and being forced to adapt to higher levels of social complexity very quickly. At the same time relationships that were formed before the last two thresholds were crossed, while no longer determinative, have not entirely faded away. They continue to influence current developments everywhere, in a manner that is similar to racism (which is a historical product of similar factors). The Baloch are at a disadvantage in the transition to the nation-state era, both because they are relatively few in number (less than 5% of the population of each country) and sparsely distributed over a large territory (43% of the total in the case of Pakistan), which unlike that of the Kurds or the Pashtuns has relatively little economic or strategic value.

We have upgraded the status of the Baloch in the modern world from that of ethnographic curiosity (as sought out by anthropologists in the mid-20th century), and the historical source of urban insecurity in Islamic civilization (as seen by ibn Khaldun), to that of necessary player in the longterm dialectic of the social history of the arid zone. The Baloch case helps us understand how the unevenness in the historical development of social complexity in world history has become a problem in the current stage of globalization.

This account of the Baloch also provides some historical illumination of larger political problems, especially with regard to Pakistan, but also Iran, and in a different way Afghanistan. It provides a model that can be tested in other parts of the arid zone, and at a more general level it helps to clarify the current problems in the larger relationship between the Islamic world and its neighbors. These problems began with the merging of the Western (temperate) and the Islamic (arid) arenas in the 19th century. The imposition of Western imperial conceptions of locality, British and Russian to begin with, followed by French, Italian and Spanish, was the first threshold of change. The second was the replacement of Western administrations with the administrations of nation-states in territories that had been defined by imperial powers. The third has come in the last two decades with the increased mobility and information flows of the current stage of globalization. Each of these thresholds introduced a fundamental change in the relationship between tribe and city, by breaking the historical reciprocity, and restricting the options of the tribes, while subordinating them to the cities and raising their awareness of their disadvantage. The tribes are now minorities in nationstates without the numerical power to even out their relationship with the cities. The cities still look down on the less complex society of the tribes, and are not constrained to extend their investment activity into tribal territory.

The country with the largest Baloch population, Pakistan, is an improvised country. It was assembled at Independence in 1947 from the historical cities of the Indus plain in Sindh and western Panjab and large tribal areas of Baloch and Pashtuns on the fringes of the Iranian Plateau, which before the arrival of the British had been more closely related to Qandahar than to Delhi. It was reorganized in 1954 in an attempt to manage the political imbalance of its West and East Wings, and revised after the secession of its East Wing (as Bangladesh) in 1971. Since then its main political problem has been between the urban populations of the Indus plain and the tribal populations of Baloch and Pashtuns, which though small in numbers are large in territorial significance, and threaten to tear it apart. The problem is similar in Iran, though less strategically significant because the proportions are smaller (both of population and of territory), and the sense of ethnic identity and nationalism is less well developed. However, Iran has other tribal populations around its borders, each of which has had a similar historical relationship with the cities and must now be integrated into the national economy. Afghanistan’s case is different. Where Balochistan would probably not have survived politically till the British came if it had not been for the prowess of Nasir Khan (reg. 1749- 1794), Afghanistan owed its survival to Ahmad Shah. Under his rule (1747-1772) the Afghan Empire was the most powerful political entity between India and the Mediterranean. But in the course of the 19th century both Afghanistan and Balochistan would have disappeared, like the typical Islamic citycentered polities before the colonial period (e.g. Ghazni, Herat, Nishapur, Bukhara, Samarqand), if their continued existence had not served British and Russian imperial interests. The British preserved them mainly because of their different cultural approach to territory. They converted the disintegrating Afghan Empire into the nation-state of Afghanistan. Since the majority of the population were tribal, and roughly half of them were Afghan (Pashtun), the whole population became Afghanized. In British India the Baloch came under indirect British rule as a Princely State, and gradually became known as Balochistan.

The particular geographical and demographic relationship between the Baloch and the rest of Pakistan makes them a special case (a) for the Baloch in general, (b) for tribal populations in the Islamic arid zone, and (c) for tribal populations under globalization in general. Our Western efforts to understand these relationships has been hindered by the way we have formulated our research questions, which has been partly due to the fact that our research has been divided up in the modern period into separate fields of specialization, isolated from each other by discipline and method, and often further divided between subfields. But the period of history in which we could manage growth by increasingly minute classification and division is over. The continued increase in growth that has made us conscious of globalization is breaking down all these divisions in our organization of knowledge. Not only do both anthropologists and historians now have to view their material in world-historical terms, but they have to work together. Because of the speed of change and the continual merging of social arenas social scientists must look at their material historically, and historians must view their material in a larger social context. Our understanding of the modern world so far has been deficient because it is not sufficiently interdisciplinary. The importance of translocality as an analytical concept is that it draws our attention to a particular type of globalizing change in the way we understand geographical relationships over time.

By offering an interpretation of the current Baloch situation based on the use of social factors to answer questions about their history and the changing evaluation of locality under globalization, we may have appeared to suggest that all current problems are in the hands of the governments of the countries involved. But it would be possible to take this argument further and suggest that all nation-state governments are now losing the authority that would allow them to solve such problems. The idea that nation-state governments embody the final authority for their populations may never have been entirely true, but it is now visibly losing its validity.

The research presented here was part of the competence network ‘Crossroads Asia,’ funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, Germany. I would like to thank the funding institution, as well as Crossroads Asia for making this possible. I am also grateful to Just Boedeker, David Gilmartin, Beatrice Manz and Dietrich Reetz for comments that have enabled me to clarify the argument. All remaining inadequacies are of course my own.

2 See Boedeker 2012 for an anthropological discussion of the change.

3 ‘Baluch’ is a transliteration from Persian [fārsi]; ‘Baloch’ is the transliteration from Balochi and Urdu. Hence ‘Baluch’ was the standard English spelling through the 19th century into the 20th, but ‘Baloch’ has now become more common outside Iran.

4 The folkloristic publications of Dr. Sabir Badalkhan are an exception.

5 In Hodgson’s words: “Even the pastoralists, including the desert nomads, who depended on the agriculturists for much of their food and goods, were part of the same social complex. Accordingly, the type of social order which was introduced into the agricultural regions (and the areas dependent on them) with the rise of cities may be called agrarian-based or (to be more comprehensive) agrarianate citied society. (I say ‘citied’, not ‘urban’, because the society included the peasants, who were not urban though their life reflected the presence of cities.)”

6 The territory as a whole (in Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, and even beyond) has been called Baluchistan only by modern nationalists, beginning some fifty years ago. The part within India was named by the British in the 1840s. The part in Iran was named as part of the new province of Sistan and Baluchistan only in 1928 (see below). The name is not used in Afghanistan and there is no single Afghan province with a majority Baloch population.

7 “Investment” is used in this paper in the sense of socially organized economic investment, designed to increase the productivity of resources, as distinct from the non-economic investment—in the knowledge of their environment—made by non-food-producing communities, enabling them make better use of resources.

8 In the 19th century the East African slave trade provided an additional source of agricultural labor, and “gulams” (slaves) of African origin continue to be a significant proportion of the population of Makran.

9 In view of the phonemic importance of long vs. short /a/ in Persian and Balochi, I have added makrons where appropriate, except in place names which occur without them in the literature (e.g. Tehran).

10 Brahui is a Dravidian language. Its existence in Baluchistan has been discussed by Elfenbein (1989) and Morgenstierne (1932).

11 The Alams of the Qā’enāt in eastern Iran (in exile since 1979) are descended from one of the generals of Nader Shah (reg. 1736-1747), whose rivalry with fellow general, Ahmad Abdali, who became Ahmad Shah Durrani, the first Shah of Afghanistan, was the major factor defining the modern border between Iran and Afghanistan.

12 It was collapsed into the ‘one unit’ of West Pakistan in 1954, and reconstituted as a separate province in 1971.

13 The term was coined (Appadurai 1995, 1996) to draw attention to the increasing significance of the way our sense of geography has been changing in the modern world.

14 It is interesting here to enlarge our comparative context even further and compare the expansion of Islam with the expansion of Christianity. Although Islamic civilization began with the Arab conquest in the second half of the 7th century, conquest did not bring immediate conversion to Islam (cf. Bulliet 1979). Conversion came gradually over the following four centuries. It was not politically or militarily enforced. It was a community process (very different from the Christian experience of conversion, which was individual by individual), and seems to have been related to the practicality of Islamic law in the expansion of trade between cities, since contract is a special concern of Islamic law. Later, starting towards the high mediaeval period, when Islam began to spread further, outside the arid zone, into the Indian subcontinent, on into Southeast Asia, and southwestwards into sub-Saharan Africa, it was once again following the trade, when trade began to spread in those directions. Islam spread between partners in trade, and flourished in trade centers. The spread of Christianity, on the other hand, both before and after the historical spread of Islam, followed very different social
processes, all of which had to do political power. It began with the Roman Empire, first in the army, then in the 4th century by the emperor’s policy. From then through the mediaeval period down to the beginning of colonialism under the Spanish and Portuguese, the Pope legitimized all political authority in the Christian world, and from then until the 20th century, as the Christian world expanded, all political expansion by Christian powers actively encouraged the spread of Christianity.

15 For example, the plant communities in the Hexi corridor of western China are almost identical to those of the western steppe over four thousand kilometers away in northeastern Iran.

16 Evans-Pritchard 1940:94-138 is an exception, but even here it is time rather than locality that is the focus of attention.

17 The only historian of Islamic civilization who has contributed significantly to our understanding of this dimension of Islamic cultural history is Annemarie Schimmel (2000). Although her interest focuses on the treatment of locality in poetry, she also draws attention to the importance of cities.

18 We will omit the Bedouin in the west, and the Turkmen in the east, since they are dispersed through a number of separate areas. We shall omit also the smaller groups, mainly in Afghanistan and Iran, such as the Aimaq, Bakhtiari, Boir Ahmad, Lur, Qashqai, and Shahsavan, since they have been more closely integrated into the national administrative systems of Afghanistan and Iran over the past century and politically neutralized.

19 A concept introduced by David Christian in his periodization of “Big History” (Christian 2004).

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This article has been Published:
Crossroads Asia
Working Paper Series, No. 14.
Center for Development Research/ZEFa
Department of Political and Cultural Change
University of Bonn

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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. 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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.


The diaspora

By: Brian Spooner

Beside the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, the Iranian province of Balūčestān o Sīstān, and the neighboring corner of Afghanistan, Baluch communities extend into neighboring areas in each country—Sind and Punjab in Pakistan, Farāh, Herat, Bādḡīs, Fāryāb, Jūzjān (Jawzjān) in Afghanistan, and Kermān, Khorasan, Semnān, and Gorgān in Iran. They also extend into neighboring countries—Soviet Turkmenistan, India, the countries of the Persian Gulf, Oman, Kenya, and Tanzania (especially Zanzibar).
Very little has been published about these diaspora communities, and it is difficult to obtain reliable information about them. They tend not to be encouraged to develop their ethnic identity. In Iran, those in Gorgān moved in from Sīstān as migrant labor in the 1960s. Others, in Khorasan and Semnān, have been there longer, in some cases much longer. Many of them have lost their language, some within living memory. Those to the north of Baluchistan are all pastoralists, or have been until recently. As for the carpets that are known as Baluch in international trade see baluchistan v, baluch carpets, below. The best Baluch rugs were made before the middle of this century in Baluch communities living among Turkmen on either side of the current border between Afghanistan and Soviet Turkmenistan. Their handicraft is derivative of the Turkmen product, though distinctive in both design and texture. The Baluch in Soviet Turkmenistan include Shiʿites. They all came from Sīstān, some from the Afghan and some from the Iranian side of the border. There were three main waves of migration. The first arrived in the late 19th century; the second between 1917 and 1920; and the last and largest between 1923 and 1928. In 1959 they numbered 7,842, but had increased to 18,997 in 1979 by natural fertility. They live in the Mary oblast’ on kolkhoz and sovkhoz. There are also small groups of Baluch in Tajikistan but these have already assimilated linguistically to the Tajik. Small groups of Brahui in Turkmenistan still speak Brahui but are rapidly assimilating to Baluchi. The Soviets seem to favor the ethnic survival of the Baluch (Bennigsen, pp. 120-21), probably for reasons similar to the Pakistani encouragement of the Brahui. The Baluch of Ḏahīra in Oman have been there so long that they are now classed as an Omani tribe. They retain no direct connection with the Baluch on the Bāṭena coast or elsewhere in Oman. Another group is located some ninety miles to the south of Boraymī in the interior. In Zanzibar the Baluch had established themselves in the service of the Muscadine empire. After the coup in 1963 they lost their privileged status and, in order to avoid being ruled by an African government which did not respect their separate identity, some of them wrote letters to distant relatives in Makrān, attempting to make arrangements to return. In 1965 a Baluch from Kenya enrolled as a foreign student at Tehran University.
There are records of migration out of Makrān since about 1800, and most of the diaspora seems to have occurred in the 12th/18th and 13th/19th centuries. But some moved out as early as the 9th/15th century, while others may have followed different itineraries from earlier points of dispersal in Iran, and may hold clues relevant to some of the problems treated in the first section of this article. They moved mainly for economic reasons, and worked in the pearl industry before the oil industry. They have wandered as soldiers of fortune possibly since Sasanian times. Many of the émigré communities have assimilated in language and other respects to the surrounding society, but still retain their identity. Many more may have assimilated and lost their identity. It is characteristic of areas of low biological productivity such as Makrān that they are net producers of people.


The modern period

By: Brian Spooner

Since the end of World War II great changes have occurred for all Baluch throughout Baluchistan—gradually at first, accelerating since 1970 because of the changed political economy of the Persian Gulf. At the same time Baluch history has diverged. Since the state of Kalat became an integral part of the new independent state of Pakistan, three separate national governments, none of which included Baluch representation, have sought to integrate and assimilate them into national life at minimum cost. In Afghanistan the major factors affecting the Baluch have been the Helmand river development schemes, the government’s Pashtunistan policy, and (most recently and drastically) the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. In Iran the successive Pahlavi governments attempted to neutralize the sardars and at the same time suppress any activity among the Baluch that could lead to ethnic consciousness or solidarity. Their tactics were similar to those of the Qajars, and the tactics of the Islamic Republic since 1979 have not differed significantly. However, the significance of these tactics and the relative power of the government of Iran to control the area have changed in important ways. In Pakistan, where ethnic awareness has been most developed, the political discourse has revolved around the general objective of reestablishing the autonomous Baluch polity, the khanate, in something resembling its mid-13th/19th-century form, independent of Afghan (local Pathans or Pashtuns), Persian, or Punjabi (in the guise of Pakistani bureaucracy) interference, though probably connected in some form of federation with Pakistan. Failure to achieve this objective led to fighting with the Pakistan army in 1973-74 and isolated guerrilla activity before and since. Overall, as a result of increased literacy and access to the outside world, this period has seen the growth of ethnic and cultural awareness among all Baluch, which should be evaluated in the context of similar phenomena in other parts of the world during the same period.
The Baluch in Afghanistan have received the least attention from their national government. The main effect on their lives of the Helmand project that began in 1948 and continued in various forms until the end of the Dāwūd regime in 1978, was that it brought a steady stream of outsiders into an otherwise isolated part of the country. The declaration of the Afghan government for a “Pashtunistan,” which (though left purposely vague) was inspired by the idea of restoring to Afghan rule the areas lost to Kalat and the British which were ruled from Qandahār in some cases as late as the mid-13th/19th century, similarly barely affected them. Until 1978 many Baluch in Afghanistan related more closely to their kin in Iran and Pakistan than to the rest of Afghanistan.
Soon after the coup in April, 1978, however, officials of the new government entered the area and attempted to reconstruct community life in accordance with Marxist principles. The Baluch reacted strongly, especially to measures that interfered with their ideas of gender relations, property, and authority. Since the Soviet occupation in 1980, most of the estimated ninety thousand Afghan Baluch have moved into Iran or Pakistan. A relatively small number are engaged in resistance activity inside Afghanistan, with medical and other support from relatives mainly in Iran. Generally, the great majority of the Baluch of all three countries have avoided commitment either for or against the Kabul regime, because of their rivalry with the Pashtuns and the Punjabis in Pakistan and with the national government in Iran.
One policy of the Ḵalq regime in Afghanistan (1978-79) deserves special notice. Immediately after the coup, Baluchi (along with Uzbek, Turkman, Nūrestānī) was added to Pashto and Darī in the list of official languages of Afghanistan. Baluchi, therefore, became a language of publication and education in Afghanistan. However, there is currently no evidence that the policy continues, or that books or periodicals in Baluchi continue to be published.
In Iran the Baluch were barely the majority of the population in the province of Balūčestān o Sīstān. There were no institutions that could serve as a focus for the development of a Baluch ethnic or cultural awareness. Publication in Baluchi was illegal. Education was in Persian only. Baluch dress was not allowed to be worn in school or in any official activity.
The Bārakzay, who returned to Iran after the departure of the British, campaigned successfully for the return of the ḵāleṣa lands which had been their main support up to 1928. Government policy was to provide a livelihood for the old ruling families throughout the province in order to make them dependent and coopt them into the national system. They also used them for local positions such as town mayors. The policy worked in the long term, and with few exceptions in the short term as well. On the other hand, the province was barely touched by the economic and social reforms that were carried out at the national level. For example, no Baluch owned enough land to be affected by the land reform law. The province was still not entirely quiet, but serious incidents were rare. Minor revisions were made to the border with Pakistan in 1958.
Several members of the old ruling families, especially the Bārakzay and the Sardārzay in Sarāvān, Sarbāz, Qaṣr-e Qand, and Daštīārī, showed an interest in a Free Baluchistan movement beginning in the 1960s. They had a small but loyal following among the nomads in the Makrān mountains and connections with Baluch of a similar mind in the émigré communities across the Persian Gulf. Through these connections they developed contacts with the government of Iraq, which was always ready to stir up Baluch in Iran in retaliation for the shah’s interference among the Kurds in Iraq. Mīr ʿAbdī Khan Sardārzay was the major figure in this movement, but he eventually submitted and was pardoned by the shah on condition he live the rest of his life in Tehran, which he did. Another figure in the movement was Amān-Allāh Bārakzay, who took up the cause again after the revolution of 1357 Š./1978-79.
The most significant events in Baluch history since the departure of the British have occurred, as might be expected, in the area they vacated. They left behind a significant degree of confusion about the status of the princely states, such as Kalat, in relation to the successor governments of India and Pakistan. Kalat, in addition, had made it clear that its position was different from that of other princely states, because it was not “Indian.” On August 15, 1947, the day after the creation of Pakistan, the khan accordingly declared the independence of Kalat. But he offered to negotiate a special relationship with Pakistan in matters of defense, foreign affairs, and communications. His offer was rejected. The strategy pursued by the government of Pakistan in the following decades was conditioned partly by Afghanistan’s Pashtunistan policy and partly by the imperative need to build a viable state. We still do not know to what extent international interests in the stability of the region, especially on the part of the British and the Americans, may have played a role. In March, 1948, the khan was persuaded by Mohammad Ali Jinnah (the founder of Pakistan; 1876-1948) to bring Baluchistan into Pakistan, despite the fact that the sardars had not agreed to the move. Less than a month later the Pakistani army annexed Baluchistan (Baluch, Inside Baluchistan, pp. 150-66).
A major factor in the opposition of the Baluch sardars to straightforward accession to Pakistan was the fact that Pakistan had insisted on perpetuating the separate status of the three “leased” Baluch territories (Las Bela, Kharan, and Makrān) that had been detached by the British (Harrison, p. 24). But the use of coercion was mitigated by its action a few years later in constituting the Baluchistan States Union within West Pakistan (1952-55), which provided for substantial autonomy and postponed final integration (Wirsing, p. 10). The final blow to Baluch aims came in 1955 when Baluchistan along with all the other provinces of West Pakistan were incorporated into One Unit. (Gwadar remained with Oman until it was purchased by Pakistan for 3 million sterling [$8,400,000] in 1958.)
To begin with, the biggest problem of the Baluch was lack of strong leadership. As resistance built up during the One Unit period (1955-70), three men gradually began to stand out as potential modern leaders. These were Khair Bux Marri (Ḵayrbaḵš Marī), Ghaus Bux Bizenjo (Qawsbaḵš Bīzenjō), and Ataullah (ʿAṭāʾ-Allāh) Mengal (Harrison, pp. 40-69). When the One Unit was dissolved in 1970 the Baluch reacted cautiously. In the following general election, Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) won no seats in Baluchistan, only 2 percent of the vote, and no seats in the provincial assembly. The National Awami Party (NAP) emerged with three seats in the National Assembly and eight seats in the Baluchistan provincial assembly. The NAP was headed by Khan Abdul Wali (ʿAbd-al-Walī) Khan, a Pashtun who was the son of the veteran Pashtun nationalist Khan Abdul Ghaffar (ʿAbd-al-Ḡaffār) Khan, and was basically a regionalist alliance of Baluch and Pathans. It had been founded in 1957 and was to some extent a descendant of a pre-independence anti-partition movement. Within days of the election Bhutto attempted to set aside the results by appointing one of his own supporters among the Baluch, Ghaus Bux Raisani (Qawsbaḵš Raʾīsānī), as governor of Baluchistan. Under pressure, however, he agreed to let the NAP, in coalition with the conservative Jamiat-ul-Islam (Jamʿīyat-al-Eslām) party (JUI), form a government. Mir Ghaus Bux Bizenjo was appointed governor of Baluchistan in April, 1972. The NAP-JUI parliamentary coalition in the Baluchistan Provincial Assembly elected Sardar Ataullah Khan Mengal as its leader, who thus became chief minister of the province. In February, 1973, Bhutto replaced both governors, and dismissed the government of Baluchistan on the pretext that the NAP-JUI government had allowed and even encouraged the spread of lawlessness and violence throughout the province, and that it aimed at independence. A cache of Soviet arms was discovered in the Iraqi embassy, supposedly destined for Baluchistan. Bhutto then appointed Akbar Khan Bugti, the leader of the Būgṭī tribe and hostile to NAP, as governor. But Bugti was forced to resign in less than a year, and the disorder and violence spread. Ghaus Bux Bizenjo and Ataullah Khan Mengal, as well as Khair Bux Marri, who was the president of NAP in Baluchistan, were arrested. Between 1973 and 1977 eastern Baluchistan became the scene of a major tribal rebellion against the government of Pakistan. At its height in 1974 an estimated 55,000 Baluch were engaged, mainly from the Mengal and Marī tribes. The number of Pakistani troops has been estimated at 70,000. Iran, which continued to fear Baluch separatism, sent a number of helicopters. Many Baluch fled to Afghanistan. As many as 10,000 Marī remained there in 1986. The major part of the fighting was over in 1974, when the government of Pakistan published its view of what had happened in a white paper, but hostilities continued intermittently until the end of Bhutto’s regime in 1977. In April, 1976, Bhutto announced the abolition of the “sardari system” in a speech in Quetta, making illegal the traditional tribal system of social control and revenue. (Ayyub Khan had already attempted to abolish it, without success.) In 1977 the martial law administration released the NAP leaders and hostilities ceased (Wirsing, p. 11).
Meanwhile, in Pakistan Baluchi had been given the status of an official language for both publication and education. Two academies were established for the promotion of Baluchi and Brahui languages and cultures. (It was in the government’s interest to see Brahui develop as a distinct identity, which would weaken Baluchistan solidarity.) Quetta radio became the major producer of programs in Baluchi. (Radio Zāhedān and Radio Kabul had less than ten hours a week each.) Baluch writers published magazines and books in Baluchi, English, and Urdu. Beginning in the 1960s an increasing number of Baluch writers have published on the history and culture of the Baluch.
In Pakistan Baluch nationalism continues to be a political factor at the national level. It has been suggested that the idea of Baluch nationalism began with Dūst-Moḥammad Khan’s resistance to Reżā Shah in Iran in 1928 (Harrison, p. 3). But it is doubtful whether the combination of general ethnic awareness, interest in political unity, and potential for strong leadership, which are necessary for a successful nationalist movement, existed in a significant proportion of the Baluch anywhere before the 1960s at the earliest. Since then it has motivated an increasing number of young Baluch in Pakistan, Iran, and the Persian Gulf. In February, 1981, Khair Bux Marri and Ataullah Mengal were persuaded to help create a London-based coalition of Baluch émigré groups called the World Baluch Organization, the purpose of which is to raise money for the Baluch cause.


The British period, 1839-1947

By: Brian Spooner

The next hundred years saw an explosion of publications on the Baluch and Baluchistan. The information was produced through the interest of the neighboring powers, who finally achieved a definitive division of the area into three separate provinces of the adjacent nation-states.
Early in the 19th century the British set about gathering and organizing information on the whole of India, which they eventually published in the form of district gazetteers. The district gazetteer series for Baluchistan (1906-08) comprises eight volumes. Each gazetteer deals with an administrative district or group of districts and is organized into four chapters: basic geographical description, including an historical review of the social situation; a statement on the economic condition (agriculture, rents, labor and prices, weights and measures, forests and other natural resources, trade and transportation); an account of the administration (revenue, justice, police, public works); and finally miniature gazetteers describing individual settlements. The Baluchistan series is an extraordinary compendium of information, and ranks among the best of all the Indian gazetteers (Scholberg, p. 49) as well as other literature of the same type. This section is based on information taken from the gazetteers, the Persian syntheses by Taqīzāda and Jahānbānī, and the author’s unpublished ethnohistorical research except where otherwise noted.
The extension of British interest westward through Makrān stimulated Persian interest in pursuing ancient claims to the area. As they sought to reestablish their authority the Persians also began to gather information. Early efforts resulted from the interest of governors-general of Kermān under Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah (see Farmānfarmā, Wazīrī, Sepehr). Later and more detailed efforts followed on the pacification of the area under Reżā Shah (see Jahānbānī, Kayhān, Razmārā, Taqīzāda). The Russians began to explore Persian Baluchistan around the turn of the century (see Rittikh, Zarudnyĭ). Other Europeans, especially Germans, also took an interest (e.g., the Austrian Gasteiger), though they published little new information.
From 1839 to 1947 the greater part of Baluchistan was—formally or informally—under the British Empire, whose interest was essentially in securing and protecting its North-West Frontier Province from both Afghanistan and Iran. At a particular stage in this endeavor the British negotiated formal international borders through the territories of Baluch tribes with both Iran and Afghanistan, roughly according to the effective sphere of influence of the khan of Kalat, but with some attention to the interests of local leaders. They then sought to control the administration of the state of Kalat, at first through the khan, later in the name of the khan, and they gradually took on the direct administration of buffer areas between them and Afghanistan as well as some other especially troublesome areas such as the eastern districts of the Marī and Būgṭī tribes. The British intervened in the life of the Baluch mainly in order to bolster the authority of the khan and the subsidiary rulers in Makrān, as a means of maintaining peace and internal security, to establish the frontier, to lay the telegraph line, and (after some delay) finally to abolish the slave trade. The government of Afghanistan paid little attention to its Baluch population. But the Persian government sought to control as much as possible of Baluchistan by exploiting the ambitions and animosities of the local rulers; it did not establish a functioning administrative structure for the area until later.
The agreement between the British and Mīr Meḥrāb Khan in 1839 soon ran into trouble. Many of the sardars opposed it, and some of them sabotaged it by waylaying Burnes on his way back from Quetta, stealing the document and making out that they were acting on the instructions of the khan. The British were deceived, and resolved to punish the khan. In November of the same year they invaded Baluchistan and attacked Kalat. Mīr Meḥrāb Khan was killed in the action. Determined to control the route into Afghanistan, the British then installed in Kalat a great grandson of Mīr Moḥabbat Khan, the fourteen-year-old Mīr Šahnavāz Khan, with a Lieutenant Loveday as regent, and dismembered the khan’s dominions. Mastung and Quetta were given to Shah Šojāʿ, though the British continued to control them in his name. Kacchi was placed under the political agent for Western Sind. However, Meḥrāb’s son, whom he had named Mīr Naṣīr Khan II, was able to rally the tribes and retake Kalat in the following year (Rooman, pp. 41-43). Benefiting from a wave of popular support Naṣīr was able soon after to regain Quetta, Mastung, and Kacchi. Local skirmishes continued till 1842, when the British retired from Baluchistan because of more pressing problems in Afghanistan and elsewhere. As a condition of their withdrawal, Sibi remained under the British and Pishin was reoccupied by the Afghans, though Quetta remained with Kalat. The British undertook to help Naṣīr in case of outside attack, while Naṣīr accepted Shah Šojāʿ and the East India Company as suzerain powers who could station their forces anywhere in Kalat in emergency. The khan further agreed to act under British advice, refrain from any engagement without their previous sanction and to fix a pension for Mīr Šahnavāz and his family (Aitchison, XI, pp. 210-11). Essentially, the khan had secured British support for local Baluch autonomy under conditions similar to his historical relationship to the Afghans. The new ingredient was the role the British now played in Afghan interests. Shortly afterward the British also contrived to control the Marī through the khan, though the relationship did not last. The British annexed Sind in 1843, and Punjab in 1849. In 1854 the situation was formalized by a treaty in Khangarh (later Jacobabad) which included an annual subsidy to the khan of Rs 50,000 (Rooman, p. 44).
The state of Kalat was now incorporated into the British colonial system. Even the Baluch who were not controlled by Kalat were deeply influenced by the British connection. The khan was essentially a paid official, an intermediary between the British and the sardars (who continued until recently to hold real authority with the tribes). As a result the khan gradually lost his authority with the sardars (N. Swidler, p. 49), and the British were obliged to an increasing extent to work directly with, and to subsidize, each sardar. This practice was later extended into western Baluchistan (Iran) with the construction of the telegraph in the 1860s.
Naṣīr was succeeded in 1857, on his death, by his stepbrother Mīr Ḵodādād Khan, aged sixteen. Ḵodādād ruled until 1893—a period marked by serious conflicts with the sardars. Ḵodādād appears not to have understood the significance of the colonial power, which continually frustrated his efforts to rule, while not only he but many of the sardars were dependent on British subsidies. For a while the British were content simply to contain events through diplomacy and subsidies. But in 1875 in response to the Russian advance into Turkestan they decided to construct a railway and a telegraph link to Baluchistan. They sent Captain Robert Sandeman to Kalat to develop the basis for a more positive “forward” policy. Sandeman succeeded in composing outstanding disputes between the khan and the sardars, and designed a way of administering the tribes through their own chiefs in accordance with tribal custom but under British supervision, which later became well known as the Sandeman system of indirect rule (Thornton). In the following year Sandeman concluded the Mastung Settlement, according to which the Treaty of 1854 was renewed and enhanced: the khan was to have no independent foreign relations, a permanent British garrison was to be posted in Kalat, the khan was to send a representative to the government of India, the British were to be the sole arbiters in disputes between the khan and the sardars, and the projected railway and telegraph were to be protected in the interests of both parties. The khan’s annuity was raised to Rs 100,000, beside Rs 25,000 for the construction of more outposts and for ensuring the security of transport and communications. The trade rights of the khan with Afghanistan and India were also transferred to the British for another Rs 30,000 per year (Aitchison, XI, pp. 215-18).
The subsidies paid to the sardars were contingent upon their loyalty to the khan and the maintenance of internal peace. The sardars were still encouraged to settle disputes by traditional procedures, through sardar circles for intratribal cases, and jirgas when disputes were intertribal. However, all jirga decisions were subject to review by the British political agent. In general, the British system seemed to fit the tribal system well (N. Swidler, p. 53). The sardars and the British agents understood each other’s conception of authority and were able to work together. But in the long term the British system had the effect of dividing the Baluch into numerous personal fiefdoms based on individual sardars, and elevated the khan to an exclusively ceremonial status.
In 1877 Sandeman occupied Quetta, and with the khan’s consent established the administrative center of the Baluchistan Agency. Quetta was used as a base for the second Afghan War (q.v.) in 1878 (brought on by increasing British fear of Russian influence in Afghanistan). The war was concluded by the Treaty of Gandamak in 1879, which ceded Pishin to the British. One after another all the districts along the border with Afghanistan were leased to the British in return for an annual payment and incorporated into the province of British Baluchistan. Kalat was sealed off from all territories that were of strategic interest to the British. The Quetta cantonment soon surpassed Kalat and Mastung both as an administrative and as a commercial center. Although Baluchistan remained a relatively isolated area, peripheral to the Indian economy, the social effects of British investment should not be underestimated. Gash crops were introduced close to the major routes. A certain amount of sedentarization took place as new villages were built. Some sardars were knighted, and British Indian dress and pomp began to appear in Baluchistan (N. Swidler, p. 51).
Mīr Ḵodādād Khan did not accommodate to the changing situation. Gradually his position became untenable, and in 1893 he was forced to abdicate. He was succeeded by Mīr Maḥmūd Khan II, who ruled until 1931. Maḥmūd identified himself with British interests and received strong British support, but at the price of continued erosion of the power of the khanate. In 1899 a treaty was signed which leased out Nushki in perpetuity for Rs 9,000 per year (Aitchison, XI, pp. 224-25). Another treaty in 1903 added the perpetual lease of Nasirabad for Rs 115,000. In 1912, as one of a series of bureaucratic reforms, a state treasury was established with branches at Mastung, Khuzdar, and other provincial centers. A veterinary hospital was opened at Kalat. A road was built to Wad and to Panjgur, and some schools were opened. The khan also made a nominal contribution to the British war effort, but the sardars were beginning to react to his subservience and the British were forced to intervene more than once to put down a revolt.
After the death of Maḥmūd in 1931, Mīr Aʿẓam Jān, the third son of Ḵodādād, who ruled for two years, showed some sympathy for local anti-British sentiments. He was succeeded in 1933 by Mīr Aḥmad-Yār Khan, who ruled for the remainder of the British period. On the accession of Mīr Aḥmad-Yār Khan the state of Kalat was comprised of Sarawan and Jahlawan, Kacchi, with Kharan, Las Bela, and Makrān as client principalities. Chagai, Nushki, Nasirabad, Zhob and Loralai and the Mari-Bugti district constituted the British province of Baluchistan under British political agents; Dera Ghazi Khan was part of Punjab, and Jacobabad was in Sind.
Although not entirely unaffected by British influences from the east, the western Baluch had fared very differently. After the death of Nāder Shah in 1160/1747, what is now Persian Baluchistan had for a time been under the Dorrānī rulers of Afghanistan, but after 1795 it was divided among local rulers. Although for a short time the khans of Kalat, and especially Mīr Naṣīr Khan I, were able to extend their hegemony into parts of it, the rulers of the small agricultural settlements scattered throughout the area, and of the nomadic groups, continually rebelled against any imposition of taxes or other exaction, and even relationships based on marriage alliance were never reliable for long. There was always a tendency to play off one leader against another, and Qandahār competed with Kalat for the allegiance of local leaders.
Persian interest was re-aroused in 1838 when the Āqā Khan (q.v.), head of the Ismaʿili sect, fled to India after rebelling against Tehran. In 1843 he was given asylum by the British in Karachi, which they had recently occupied. At the end of the same year, his brother, Sardār Khan, took 200 horsemen with him by land to Čāhbahār, where the small Ismaʿili community provided a base from which he was able by intrigue to gain possession of Bampūr. He was soon defeated by the governor-general of Kermān on orders from Tehran. But from then on the Persians took a more serious interest in Makrān, and began to pursue a policy of encouraging the local rulers to compete for formal titles in return for the obligation to levy and remit annual taxes (Lorimer, I/2, p. 2157). A garrison was established at Bampūr (which has always been the major agricultural district in western Baluchistan) and military expeditions were mounted periodically toward the east and southeast. Bampūr was occupied on a permanent basis in 1850, and one by one the local rulers of Dezak, Sarbāz, Geh, and Qaṣr-e Qand acknowledged the obligation to pay taxes to the governor, Ebrāhīm Khan (Taqīzāda). In 1856 Moḥammadšāh Khan of Sīb rebelled, trusting in the impregnability of his fort, which (judging by the almost contemporary description given by Sepehr, and what could still be seen in 1965) was probably at least as high and strong, if not as large as the Bampūr fort. But the Sīb fort was taken by a force from Kermān.
The British telegraph project changed the geopolitical balance of relations in the area (Saldanha). A report to Bombay in 1861 by a Rev. G. P. Badger (who had experience as British chaplain and interpreter in Persia and the Persian Gulf) explained clearly the British problem of having to deal with both the local chiefs, the sultan of Oman, and the Persian government. They dealt with the problem by respecting the authority of each wherever they found it in force, and resolving conflicts among them as and when they arose. They made agreements for the passage and protection of the line with Kalat, Las Bela, Pasni, and Kech. When construction began in 1863 Ebrāhīm Khan, the governor in Bampūr, threatened the Omani representatives in the ports, and incited Rind tribesmen to harass communities on the outskirts of Gwadar, though he did not molest the telegraph working parties. Tehran actually repudiated his efforts, though official communications continued to emphasize that both Gwadar and Čāhbahār were part of Persia. British plans to build the telegraph had reawakened in the Persians their ancient territorial consciousness and determined them initially to claim the whole of Makrān up to the British frontier in Sind. At the same time they desired the security of a formal agreement. They therefore bargained hard and actively from a position of relative weakness. The Persian envoy who visited Kalat in 1862 declared that Persia had no designs on Kech or Makrān, and requested negotiation of the boundary. Similarly, Ebrāhīm Khan, the governor of Bampūr, wrote to the political agent at Muscat in April, 1863, saying that Gwadar was not under his authority. The British meditated on the problem for two years and finally demurred; they had nothing to gain, and they stood to lose the good will of the local rulers without gaining the protection of the Persian government (Lorimer, I/2, p. 2163). The Persian government continued its policy of playing off the local rulers one against another with the aim of reducing their authority and establishing its own as far as possible, and gave out that they were planning an attack on Kech (ibid., p. 2157). During this period the principal rulers in western Makrān were Mīr ʿAbd-Allāh Bulēdī of Geh who controlled the coast from Jāsk to Čāhbahār, and Dīn-Moḥammad Sardārzay in Bāhū who beside Daštīārī controlled the coast from Čāhbahār to Gwadar. They were related by marriage, but they were potential rivals, since both accepted payment from the sultan of Oman to protect the ports. (Protection was essential both against local disorder and against the claims of Kalat: In 1847 Faqīr Moḥammad, the khan’s nāʾeb in Kech and the principal power in eastern Makrān, had attacked Gwadar with 1,000 men in order to extort from Saʿīd Ṯowaynī, the regent of Oman, a supposedly customary annual present which had been withheld for two years in succession, but was unsuccessful. The khan of Kalat continued to claim Gwadar, and periodically sent similar expeditions.) ʿAbd-Allāh and Dīn-Moḥammad had both acknowledged Persian suzerainty, but now that the telegraph was coming they let it be known that they would work with the British. Around 1866 Shaikh ʿAbd-Allāh who ruled Qaṣr-e Qand and Sarbāz had recently been murdered, and the Persians had recognized his son as ruler of Qaṣr-e Qand, but had given Sarbāz to the head of another family, who was devoted to the Persian interest.
The telegraph line was finally continued in 1869 to Jāsk and Hanjām Island, and in 1870 the British were obliged to set up a tripartite commission (with representatives of Persia, Kalat, and Britain) for the definition of the frontier (Lorimer, I/2, p. 2034). From 1863 a British assistant political agent was stationed at Gwadar, and from 1879 a native agent took his place. They reported to the director of Persian Gulf Telegraphs in Karachi. Beginning in the 1870s yearly subsidies for the protection of the Indo-European Telegraph line were paid by the British to the khan of Geh (Rs 1,000), to eleven elders of the Baluch communities of the oasis of Geh (Rs 1,600), to the leader of the Nārūʾī tribe (Rs 600), to the sardar of Daštīārī (Rs 600), to three elders of Baluch communities of the oasis of Daštīārī (Rs 400 each), to the sardar of Bāhū Kalāt (Rs 100), among others (Pikulin, p. 123). The subsidy to the ruler of Geh was reduced from Rs 3,000 to Rs 1,000 in 1899, the remainder being distributed among minor chiefs along the line; Daštīārī and Bāhū then received Rs 1,000 each. In 1864 the protection of Čāhbahār devolved upon two local chiefs, Dīn-Moḥammad Jaḍgāl of Daštīārī, and Mīr ʿAbd-Allāh of Geh, who received Rs 900 and 200 respectively per year from the revenue of 7,000. In 1868 or 1869 Dīn-Moḥammad quietly occupied it, and it was never recovered for Oman. But a period of struggle and negotiation ensued between Oman, Dīn-Moḥammad, and Persia, in the course of which the Persian governor-general of Kermān appeared in Qaṣr-e Qand. In 1869 Ebrāhīm Khan occupied Čāhbahār, but in 1871 the Persians waived all claim to Gwadar (ibid.). In 1872 Ebrāhīm Khan annexed Čāhbahār permanently to Persia, initially under the protection of Ḥosayn Khan of Geh. Its thriving commercial community soon dispersed apparently with the encouragement of Ebrāhīm Khan, much of it to Gwadar (Lorimer, loc. cit.; Goldsmid, p. lii). Despite Ebrāhīm Khan’s efforts the British Sandeman system of indirect rule with the aid of subsidies had extended into western Makrān, and when he died it was the major power in the area.
In the meantime, a division of influence between Kalat, Afghanistan, and Persia had been worked out and legitimized for the time being by the boundary commissions. But the Persians (working through Ebrāhīm Khan) both preempted and disputed some details of the commission’s findings. They took Pīšīn (east of Rāsk; not to be confused with Pishin north of Quetta) in 1870, and Esfandak and Kūhak in 1871—directly after the commission had awarded it to Kalat. In the north Ebrāhīm Khan also defeated Sayyed Khan Kord, known as sardar of the Sarḥadd, in Ḵāš (Sykes, 1902, p. 106). From then on Ebrāhīm controlled most of the settlements of the Sarḥadd and Makrān up to the present border by a combination of force, threats, and the posting of minor officials, but he was not able to control the tribes of the Sarḥadd (see Pikulin, p. 122; Zarudnyĭ, p. 164; Galindo, p. 251), and Baluch raiding remained a problem on both sides of the Iran-Afghanistan border (Ferrier). Ebrāhīm Khan was the son of a baker from Bam, and had achieved almost total subjugation of western Baluchistan. He died in 1884, after three decades in the position. His son died a few months later, and Zayn-al-ʿĀbedīn, his son-in-law, became governor, but in 1887 he was replaced by Abu’l-Fatḥ Khan, a Turk. Abu’l-Fatḥ Khan was, however, dismissed, and Zayn-al-ʿĀbedīn Khan reappointed.
During the remainder of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah’s reign the pattern of Persian exactions continued unchanged, with consequent hostilities between competing chiefs. Around 1883 ʿAbdī Khan Sardārzay, son of Mīr Dīn-Moḥammad was put in charge of Gwatar. In 1886 the population of Gwatar moved across the frontier to avoid his exactions, but returned in 1887 on the death of Mīr Hōtī in Geh. In 1896 it was reported that 2,000 people had emigrated from the district, and the British Indian traders of Čāhbahār who had reestablished themselves complained that their trade was ruined. Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah agreed to a new Perso-Baluch boundary commission because of unrest on the border (Sykes, 1902, p. 225). Minor revisions were made to both the Persian and the Afghan borders in the mid-1890s.
During this period the Bampūr governors had been encouraged in their aggressive treatment of the local Baluch rulers by the governors-general in Kermān who made frequent winter visits to Bampūr. In 1891, after an absence of two years, the governor-general revisited the district, making solemn promises that he would imprison nobody, but the promises were broken, and several Baluch leaders were seized and detained for several years (Sykes, 1902, p. 106).
After the death of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah in 1313/1896, the Baluch thought there was no new shah, and the absence of a Persian force fostered this delusion. Because of fear of the Kermān governor-general (Farmānfarmā) there was no rebellion until he left Kermān. But in 1897 the Acting Superintendent in the Indo-European Telegraph Department at Jāsk was robbed and murdered while camping on an annual tour of inspection near the Rāpč river east of Jāsk. In the same year Sardār Ḥosayn Khan attacked Fahraj (Sykes, p. 132; Zarudnyĭ, p. 200) and led a general rebellion against the Persian government in the Sarḥadd, Sarāvān, and Bampūr, demanding reduction of taxes. This was refused and the revolt spread to Sarbāz, Dezak, Lāšār, and Bampošt. Ḥosayn Khan occupied Bampūr, Fahraj, and Bazmān and other places which had small Iranian garrisons, and controlled most of the northern part of the province, and several Baluch groups which had hitherto remained neutral in troubles between ruling families and the “Qajars” (as the Baluch now called Persians) joined him. A large Persian force sent from Kermān to restore order in 1897 was defeated. The uprising lasted about three years and finished only when Ḥosayn Khan was given the governorship—a major precedent. Now a Baluch leader, the head of a principal family, officially had the right and duty to collect the taxes of the whole of Baluchistan within Iran. In return for the added legitimacy of the title the Baluch leader had acknowledged all Persia’s claims. Up to this time the Baluch seem not to have acknowledged such claims, though they expected to have to deal continually with the claims of outside powers, including Persia, Oman, Qandahār, and Delhi. On the other hand, in this new arrangement the Persian government appeared to acknowledge the local autonomy of the Baluch. It might be expected that in this situation unless there was a strong governor in Kermān no taxes would leave Baluchistan, and in fact from this time until 1928 Persian control of Baluchistan was once again only nominal (Pikulin, pp. 123-26).
In January, 1898, in consequence of the murder of Graves and the generally unsettled state of the country, 150 rifles of the Bombay Marine Battalion under two British officers, of whom 100 were to be located at Čāhbahār and 50 at Jāsk, were dispatched from India. No objection was made by the Persian government. In April the Čāhbahār detachment was reduced to 50 rifles and Indian officers replaced the British. As the presence of these guards had an excellent effect in giving confidence at both places, they were maintained after the troubles subsided, and permanent barracks were built at Jāsk and Čāhbahār. However, away from the ports there were other difficulties. In 1903 two despised communities, one of Mēds (fishermen) on the coast and another of Lattis (mixed farmers) inland, were driven out of Bāhū. They moved across the border to Jiwanri and Paleri. Around the same time Moḥammad Khan Gīčkī of Kech had fled across the border in the other direction when his uncle, Shaikh ʿOmar, was expelled from the fort of Turbat by the khan of Kalat’s nāʾeb in Kech. Increasing disorder in Makrān, along with Russian and French activity in the Persian Gulf, caused anxiety among the British, who by now were concerned to protect Indian trade interests in the Persian Gulf, as well as the telegraph, beside their general interest in border security. The Persian government was unable or unwilling to meet the British halfway by matching British power on their side of the border. The British, therefore, tried to protect their interests unilaterally. In 1901 they asked permission to set up a vice-consulate at Bampūr for the protection of British subjects. Persia opposed it, but allowed them to set one up in Bam instead. Later Persia allowed the British to lead a punitive expedition against Magas and Ērafšān.
On the death of Ḥosayn Khan, Saʿīd Khan, his son, succeeded to the forts of Geh, Bent, and the ports. He also inherited Qaṣr-e Qand from his mother. He decided to expand, and took Sarbāz. Next, he joined up with Bahrām Khan Bārānzay (from a tribal group also known as Bārakzay, apparently from the Afghan Bārakzay [see bārakzī], who had entered the area from Afghanistan early in the 19th century, though by this time they were fully assimilated as a Baluch and Baluchi-speaking) who ruled Dezak, and they took over Bampūr and Fahraj in 1907 when there was no governor in residence. An army was sent against them from Kermān in 1910. Saʿīd submitted. But Bahrām resisted. Saʿīd was made governor of Baluchistan, but the real power in the province remained with Bahrām Khan (Jahānbānī, pp. 35-38).
Early in 1916 German agents extended their activities to the Sarḥadd and endeavored to raise the tribes there against the British. Seeing their supply lines in danger, the British sent a Colonel R. E. H. Dyer to organize the Chagai levies. At this time the Gamšādzay under Halīl (Ḵalīl) Khan held the area around Jālq and Safēdkoh. West of them were the Yār-Moḥammadzay under Jīānd Khan (an elderly man who had been informal overlord of the Sarḥadd for many years). West of Ḵāš were the Esmāʿīlzay under Jomʿa Khan. Each tribe had around a thousand families, or one to two thousand fighting men each. Dyer succeeded in his task with the help of a small local tribe, the Rīgī, and the conventional British strategy of subsidizing the local leaders for their efforts to enforce order.
Mīr Bahrām Khan died in Bampūr in 1921. Having no son, he was succeeded by his nephew, Dūst-Moḥammad Khan. The Bārakzay family had become the most powerful government in Persian Baluchistan, by virtue of personal control over both Fahraj-Bampūr and Saravan and marriage alliances with the rulers of the major settlements of Makrān. Dūst-Moḥammad made considerable progress in consolidating the power of his predecessor, mainly through more strategic marriage alliances.
In March, 1924, the control of the tribes of the Sarḥadd district of Persian Baluchistan (who had enjoyed conventional British subsidies since the occupation of the country in 1915-16 under Dyer) was formally surrendered by the British to the Persian government, which undertook to continue the payments. Not surprisingly, the Persians failed to keep this undertaking, and disturbances broke out in the Sarḥadd during the summer of 1925 and again in 1926, owing partly to the high-handed methods of certain of the military officials and partly to discontent due to loss of the subsidies. The disturbances were quelled, without serious fighting, after further assurances had been given by the Persian government (Aitchison, XIII, p. 37; cf. Pikulin, p. 200).
In 1928, however, the new Pahlavī government of Iran was sufficiently well established to turn its attention to Baluchistan. Dūst-Moḥammad Khan refused to submit, trusting in the network of alliances he had built up over the whole of the province south of the Sarḥadd. However, as soon as Reżā Shah’s army under General Amīr Amān-Allāh Jahānbānī arrived in the area, the alliances dissolved. Dūst-Moḥammad Khan was left with a relatively small force and few allies of any consequence. The Persian army had little difficulty in defeating him. Once again Baluch political unity proved highly brittle. Dūst-Moḥammad eventually surrendered and was pardoned on condition he live in Tehran. After a year, he escaped while on a hunting trip. In due course he was recaptured, and having killed his guard in the escape was hanged for murder. In the meantime the rest of the Bārakzay family sought refuge in British territory, and the leading members of the family were given allowances there so long as they remained. The Persians continued to govern through local rulers. They recognized Jān-Moḥammad Bulēdī as sardar of Qaṣr-e Qand; Meḥrāb Khan Bozorgzāda as sardar of Jālq, returning to him the property which he had lost to Dūst-Moḥammad Khan; Moḥammadšāh Mīr-Morādzay as sardar of Sīb; and Šahbāz Khan Bozorgzāda as sardar of Dezak (Baluchistan, pp. 30-33).
Intermittent outbreaks of disorder continued in Baluchistan throughout the remainder of Reżā Shah’s reign. They were due to a number of factors, including the zealousness or corruption of Persian officials, and Baluch inability to understand why the Persian officials should be interfering in their affairs. Major examples were the rebellion of Jomʿa Khan Esmāʿīlzay in the Sarḥadd in 1931, who was subdued and exiled to Shiraz; and a rebellion of a number of tribes in Kūhak in 1938, demanding reduction of customs duty on livestock, in which 74 were shot under orders from General Alborz (Jahānbānī; Pikulin, p. 140).
No account of this period would be complete without some mention of slavery (see bardadārī), which was allowed to continue in Baluchistan (as in other parts of the Persian Gulf) long after it had been prohibited internationally. In the mid-13th/19th century along the Makrān coast there appears to have been both an export trade and an import trade in slaves. Unsuspecting Baluch tribesmen (probably from the despised groups such as the Mēd) were picked up in raids along the coast and sold to merchants, who shipped them from isolated western coastal settlements, such as Galag and Sadēč. It is not clear how late African slaves were still arriving in Makrān. Gwadar and Čāhbahār were excluded from the British agreement with Oman for limiting the slave trade in 1839, when Pasni was set as the western limit of prohibition. Baluch tribesmen were still indignant in the 1960s about the prohibition on slavery. On several occasions between the 1880s and 1930s groups of Rind tribesmen at Mand caused trouble over British attempts to restrict their use of slaves (Lorimer, I/2, p. 2475). Slavery was abolished officially in Persian Baluchistan in 1929 (Pikulin, p. 144), but the status of black slaves in western Makrān barely changed until well into the second half of this century.


The Aḥmadzay khanate of Kalat up to the intrusion of British power (1666-1839)

By: Brian Spooner

The major factors in the history of Kalat in this period (before the encroachment of the British and the reawakening of Persian interest in the area) were the expansion of Kalat territory under the early khans, the effects of Nāder Shah’s activities with regard to India, and the Persian Gulf; the power of Nāder Shah’s successor in Qandahār, Aḥmad Shah Abdālī; the decline of the khanate after the death of Mīr Naṣīr Khan I in 1795; the ambitions of Moḥammad Shah Qājār, and the development of British interest. The uplands and the lowlands continued to have distinct political histories, though the success of Naṣīr Khan I in the second half of the 12th/18th century integrated them to some extent for the duration of his reign. From this period onward the history of the area has been seen in relatively exclusive terms as the history of Baluchistan (though its exact boundaries were often vague). Outside interest in the area, such as that of Oman (in Gwadar) and of Afghanistan (in “Pashtunistan”), have been seen as intrusive. However, a deeper historical perspective makes it clear that up until this period the area was neither an exclusive nor an integrated political or cultural unit; rather it formed part of a larger area that included Qandahār and Sīstān to the north and Oman to the south, and lay between the political poles of Iran and India. Within Kalat the highlands and lowlands were only loosely related: The lowlands were closely related to Oman, and the highlands were an extension of Qandahār. The subsequent history of the area is easier to follow when seen in these larger geopolitical terms. (This section is based on the more detailed discussions in Baluch, Lockhart, Rooman, the Gazetteers, and the author’s unpublished ethnohistorical research.)
Continuity of authority in Kalat dates from the accession of Mīr Aḥmad Qambarānī in 1666. Mīr Aḥmad ruled for thirty years and became an ally of the Mughal emperor Awrangzēb ʿAlamgīr I. He spent his life fighting the Bārōzay Afghans to the north and the Kalhora rulers of Sind to the south in order to preserve and expand his territory. He finally succeeded in controlling both Sibi and the Quetta-Pishin area. But his son, Mīr Meḥrāb Khan I, was still obliged to fight the Kalhoras. He defeated them in 1695, though he died in the battle. Mīr Samandar Khan, Meḥrāb’s brother’s son and successor, continued to keep the Kalhora family in check and also defeated a military expedition from Iran under Ṭahmāsb Bēg, who planned to annex western Baluchistan to Iran. Samandar was rewarded for these services by the Mughals with the port of Karachi and other gifts.
The acquisition of power by a local leader, who was able to establish the framework for dynastic succession in Kalat, transformed the political economy of the area, and set the scene for the later development of Baluch society. During the two centuries up to the time when the British took over the affairs of Kalat the general pattern of the khan’s external relations was accommodation with the political power in Qandahār and in Delhi, hostilities with Sind, and disorder in relations with Kermān. Baluch tribes in western Makrān and the Sarḥadd often raided into Iran—especially during the reign of Shah Sultan Ḥosayn, the last Safavid monarch 1105-35/1694-1722 (Lorimer, I/2, p. 2152). In 1721 the British and Dutch factories at Bandar-e ʿAbbās (q.v.) were attacked by a force of four thousand Baluch on horseback, who (apparently encouraged by the Afghan invasion of Persia) overran the province of Kermān and raided westward into Lorestān.
The rise of the Ḡelzay under Mīr Ways in Qandahār early in the 12th/18th century changed the political climate in Baluchistan. Quetta and Pishin were reattached to Qandahār in 1709. Mīr Aḥmad Khan II, the son of Mīr Meḥrāb Khan, whose profligacy displeased the Baluch sardars, was killed by his younger brother Mīr ʿAbd-Allāh Khan who then succeeded him. ʿAbd-Allah (r. 1714-34), who was known as Qah(h)ār Khan, was one of the stronger Aḥmadzay rulers, and remained relatively free to pursue his military and political ambitions during the period immediately preceding Nāder Shah’s appearance at Qandahār. He managed to conquer Kacchi in the south, Harand and Dajil in the northeast, Panjgur, Kech, and even Bandar-e ʿAbbās to the west, and Shorawak in the northwest. The last brought him into more direct conflict with Shah Ḥosayn Ḵaljī (r. 1725-38) of Qandahār, who joined forces with the Kalhoras in Sind in an attempt to defeat him. They were successful, and the khan tried to punish the Kalhoras again, but was defeated and killed in Kacchi.
Though the Aḥmadzay’s alliance with the Mughals had served them well, their enforced accommodation with the highland power of Nāder Shah and his successor in Qandahār, Aḥmad Shah Abdālī, served them even better. The conflict between Nāder Shah and the Mughals allowed the Aḥmadzay to establish themselves to the point where the British would later decide to rule through them, despite their declining abilities.
In concentrating his attention on the south, Mīr ʿAbd-Allāh Khan had served the Mughals too well and incurred the wrath of Nāder Shah. Nāder had named ʿAbd-Allāh his governor of Baluchistan and required him to move against the ʿAbdālīs in Qandahār from the south, while he, Nāder, moved in from the west. Owing to his entanglement with the Kalhoras, which led to his death in battle, ʿAbd-Allāh had failed to respond. Before Nāder was able to punish Kalat, ʿAbd-Allāh’s son, Mīr Moḥabbat Khan, was found unsatisfactory by the Baluch sardars, and replaced by his brother Mīr Ahltāz Khan. However, the sardars soon found Mīr Ahltāz no better and reinstated Moḥabbat (though Ahltāz seems to have retained some power among the Dehwār in Mastung). Nāder sent Pīr Moḥammad, the beglarbegī of Herat, against Kalat. In 1149/1736, rather than fight, both Moḥabbat and Ahltāz went to Qandahār and submitted to Nāder Shah, who took the elder, Moḥabbat, into his service and appointed him governor of Baluchistan including Makrān. Nāder also gave them the lowland plains of Kacchi (then ruled by the Kalhoras of Sind) as blood compensation for the death of Mīr ʿAbd-Allāh Khan. As a result the khanate now controlled both highland and lowland grazing and more land for cultivation throughout the year. Their resource base was greatly increased and the stage was set for further internal political development.
Following the assassination of Nāder Shah in 1160/1747, Aḥmad Shah Abdālī, later known as Dorrānī, who was heir to Nāder Shah’s paramountcy over Kalat, deposed Moḥabbat and put in his place another younger brother, Mīr Naṣīr Khan, who with his mother had been a hostage in Nāder’s camp since 1737. Naṣīr was historically the most significant of the Aḥmadzay rulers. He ruled for nearly half a century, and established the organization of the state of Kalat for the remainder of its existence. He was the only khan who successfully transcended tribal loyalties.
Of the land that had accrued to the state of Kalat up to this time half was reserved for the Aḥmadzay as crown land and the other half was divided among the tribes that made up the fighting force from Sarawan and Jahlawan. The khan allocated land to the tribes in two categories: gām lands and jāgīr lands. Gām lands were allocated according to the number of fighting men supplied by each tribe, with the stipulation that the land be used to raise crops to support the fighting force in the field. Since it was communal property of each tribe, it could not be alienated. One-twelfth of the income was gathered by the leader of each tribe and submitted to the khan as revenue. Unlike the jāgīr this land could be confiscated by the khan if the tribe failed in its obligations. It is interesting to note that this communal tenure originated with the khan and was not generated by the tribal community itself, as is often assumed. The khan’s crown lands were worked by Dehwār, whereas the tribes used Jat cultivators.
Naṣīr set about building his fighting force in three “regiments”: the Sarawan regiment, the Jahlawan regiment, and a special regiment directly under his own command. He chose one tribe each from Sarawan and Jahlawan (which may have laid the basis of the later ranking of the tribes) to lead and to be responsible for recruitment from their respective areas. He also formed a bureaucracy, by creating offices of government: a wazīr was given charge of internal and foreign affairs; a wakīl was made responsible for the collection of tribute and blood compensation, and the revenue from crown lands; a dārōḡa was put in charge of the organization of the Dehwar cultivators on crown lands, and worked through Brahui nāʾebs (deputies). Finally, a šāh(ā)qāsī (after Nāder’s ešīk-āqāsī was given direction of darbārs and the seating arrangement for leaders according to their rank. Beside these officers, he created two councils. Membership in one of the councils (majles-e moṣāḥebīn) was by his own nomination, and primarily from among his close kinsmen, but it also included the two leaders of the tribes of Sarawan and Jahlawan. The second was a council of sardars (majles-e mošāwarat). Members of the first council, or their representatives, had to remain at Kalat continuously along with one-twelfth the number of soldiers raised by each tribe (gāmē paškar). Judicial powers were vested in the sardars who were subject to guidance by qāżīs (judges) according to the religious law (Šarīʿa), except that local custom took precedence in matters of adultery and murder. The written language for state business was Persian, and bureaucratic positions were recruited from the Persian-speaking Dehwār peasant community.
Quetta had come under Nāder Shah when he took Qandahār, and he assigned it to Naṣīr and his mother during the time that Mīr Moḥabbat Khan held Kalat. Aḥmad Shah is said to have finally given it to Kalat after receiving assistance from Naṣīr in a campaign in eastern Iran in 1751—as a kind of šāl (lit. present of a shawl) for his mother, Bībī Maryam. But Pishin remained under the Dorrānīs.
Kalat was still subordinate to the Abdālī court of Qandahār. The treaty between them called for an annual payment of Rs 2,000 from Kalat to Qandahār, and the provision and maintenance of 1,000 soldiers in Qandahār. An apparent act of insubordination on the part of Naṣīr, who failed to respond when summoned to Qandahār, led to the negotiation of a new treaty after Aḥmad Shah Abdālī failed to defeat him outright.
Because Aḥmad Shah needed Naṣīr’s support elsewhere, the new treaty was more equal. The khanate no longer paid tribute or maintained a force at Qandahār. Instead, Kalat provided a fighting force only when the Afghans fought outside their kingdom, and then the khan would be provided with money and ammunition. The new treaty was sealed by a pledge of loyalty to Qandahār and the marriage of the khan’s niece to Aḥmad Shah Abdālī’s son. In the settlement with Qandahār the final accommodation was that the shah gave Naṣīr the title of beglarbegī while the khan recognized him as suzerain.
With the security and freedom of action afforded by the new treaty with Qandahār and the resulting stabilization of the northern and eastern border, Naṣīr was able to move against the neighboring territories of Kharan, Makrān, and Las Bela. The Gīčkī (who had become dominant in Makrān in 1740) and most of the Bulēdī were Ḏekrī. Naṣīr made nine expeditions against them. The struggle was ended, apparently before 1778, by a compromise under which the revenues of the country were divided equally between the Gīčkī leaders and the khan, with the direct administration remaining in the hands of the Gīčkī, who were divided into two branches, a senior branch in Panjgur and a junior one in Kech and Gwadar.
Naṣīr led some twenty-five military expeditions during his rule. Beside the Gīčkī in Makrān, he fought against Las Bela, Kharan, the Marī, and the Baluch Tālpūr family that had succeeded the Kalhoras in Sind. All these accepted his suzerainty. He also fought with the Sikhs of Punjab and with ʿAlī Mardān Khan of Tūn and Ṭabas in eastern Iran. At the end of his rule his authority extended over an area not very different from the later Pakistani province of Baluchistan, though it did not extend so far to the north or northeast, and only the central parts were directly administered.
Meanwhile, the course of events in the Makrān lowlands had been changed by activities in Oman and by the interest Nāder Shah had taken in the Persian Gulf—although Nāder’s officers were incompetent and corrupt and were defeated by the Gīčkī. The imam of Oman continued a practice, possibly originated by the Portuguese, of recruiting Baluch from Makrān into his service. At least one exclusively Baluch community on the Omani coast today dates from this period. In 1740 Aḥmad b. Saʿīd, governor of Sohar, conducted a coup and founded the Āl Bū Saʿīd dynasty. Being a merchant and shipowner, he was unable to rely on tribal connections and was obliged to recruit Baluch and African slaves as mercenaries. In 1784 a pretender to the government of Oman, named Sayyed Solṭān b. Aḥmad, sought refuge in Makrān. According to local traditions Solṭān came first to Zik, a fortified village of the Mīrwārī tribe in Kolwa, and thence, having been joined by Dād-Karīm Mīrwārī, proceeded to Kharan, where his cause was espoused by Mīr Jahāngīr, a Nowšērwānī leader. The group then paid their respects to Mīr Naṣīr Khan at Kalat. Naṣīr at first seems to have undertaken to help the supplicant to establish himself in Oman, but in the end only gave him Gwadar. At the time Gwadar had declined in prosperity and was an insignificant fishing village. There is no record of Naṣīr’s intention. He appears to have given no thought to the interests of the Gīčkī. Later Oman claimed that the gift was intended to be in perpetuity—which later khans denied but were generally unable to contest. The situation was contested by the Gīčkīs, who argued that Naṣīr could alienate only his own half of the revenue, not the half that belonged to them. Until 1792, when Solṭān finally became ruler of Oman, he appears to have made Gwadar a base for expeditions against the Omani coast. After establishing himself in Oman he made Gwadar a dependency and sent a representative with troops to occupy it and build a fort. He then sent a force to Čāhbahār, which (with the aid of the Ismaʿili merchant community) entered the harbor under the pretext of fishing, and then took the town by surprise. Čāhbahār had been under a Bulēdī, named Šafīʿ Moḥammad, who paid a quarter of his revenue to Mīr Sobḥān, the Jaḍgāl ruler at Bahu, though he had for some time also paid another quarter to Oman. Čāhbahār seems to have been lost to Oman on the death of Solṭān in 1804, but to have been recovered again after a short interval. Its revenue in 1809 was Rs 5,000 per year, which still went entirely to the Sultan of Oman. Little more is known of Gwadar and Čāhbahār until the encroachment of the British attracted the interest of the Persian government in the 1860s, except that it rapidly overtook the neighboring ports, Pasni and Jiwanri, in prosperity. The rulers of the major Makrān settlements were in continuous contact with Oman with regard to the status and security of the ports.
Mīr Naṣīr Khan was a strict Muslim. He protected the Hindu traders in his territory, and felt an obligation to combat the heresy of the Ḏekrīs (Zikris) in Makrān. The half-century of political stability he provided had significant economic results. Both agriculture and trade increased. Some sections of the Nārūʾī in Kharan, Chagai, and southern Sīstān turned to agriculture. But after Naṣīr’s death the decline was rapid. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Maḥmūd, who was still a minor aged seven. Almost immediately the influence of Kalat ceased to be felt in Makrān and the area became divided among the local leaders. The circumstances of the succession are unclear. But it appears that it was disputed by a grandson of Moḥabbat, called Bahrām. Bahrām took Karachi, but was defeated by the regent acting in the name of Maḥmūd, with assistance from Shah Zamān, the ruler of Qandahār.
When he came of age, Maḥmūd proved inadequate to the task of rebuilding his father’s state. Seeing his lack of aptitude for the position, the peripheral territories all reasserted their independence. In 1810 Henry Pottinger, one of the first English travelers to visit Baluchistan, found the sardars acting independently. Maḥmūd’s son, Mīr Meḥrāb Khan II, stopped the decline for a while. He regained Kech, but had trouble with his ministers, which caused him losses in the north and east.
For this period immediately preceding British intervention in the area, there is for the first time some relatively detailed economic data. The khan had crown lands in most of the provinces of the state, but most of the revenue was consumed by the agents who collected it. Most of his income was drawn from Kacchi, which was the most productive of his provinces. His revenue from this source was estimated at Rs 300,000 per annum. Kalat had earlier (as Kīzkānān) been an important entrepôt for merchandise from Khorasan, Qandahār, Kabul, and India, but by the 1820s its trade was insignificant (Waaltyer, II, p. 528; Masson, II, pp. 122-23). The entire income of Baluchistan and its dependencies in 1810 was estimated at no more than Rs 200,000 (Schefer, p. 7). Ḥājī ʿAbd-al-Nabī (who according to Leech undertook a secret reconnaissance of Makrān in 1838) traveled part of the way from Mastung toward Panjgur with the khan’s šāh-qāsī, who was on his way to collect the revenue with a body of 300 horse, foot, and camelry. The revenue is later stated to be 2,000 Kashani rupees, plus a proportion of the crop. The same traveler reported that at Kharan, which was independent of Kalat and under the suzerainty of Qandahār, there were five or six ironsmiths, one Hindu trader, many carpenters, and sixty weavers. At Dezak in the west he found at least 1,000 cotton weavers and fabrics exported in all directions, and a hundred Hindu traders. He continues to give figures for many of the settlements of the Sarḥadd and the Makrān, with many interesting political and economic details and accounts of his adventures. Beyond the authority of the khan of Kalat and the sultan of Oman the territory—most of what is now Baluchistan within Iran—was generally divided into miniature republics based on forts in the agricultural settlements. Pottinger in 1810 found that Persian authority was held in contempt by the ruler of Bampūr. The Persian claim to the whole of Baluchistan up to India had continued since the Achaemenids, though in the medieval period only Nāder Shah Afšār sought to enforce it. It was finally the activity of the rebellious Āqā Khan (q.v.) between 1838 and 1844 that led Moḥammad Shah Qājār to send forces into the area.
During the same period the eastern part of Baluchistan appears to have had more trade. We are told that Bela had about 300 houses, one third occupied by Hindus. Wad in Jahlawan was a small town, comprising two groups of mud houses about 100 yards apart, the western group containing about 50 houses mainly inhabited by Hindu traders, the eastern group containing 25-30 houses of Muslims including sardars of the Mengal tribe, ʿĪsā and Walī Moḥammad. Nal, the seat of the Bīzenjō tribe, 15 miles to the west, was roughly the same size but had a fort. Khuzdar had a ruined fort and several small hamlets of 2-3 houses each, perhaps 60 houses altogether, only three of Hindus, though there had formerly been 30. Kalat itself had as many as 800 houses, many inhabited by Hindus, and two outlying settlements inhabited by the Bābī tribe of Afghans in exile (Masson, II, pp. 121-23).
Early in the 19th century the British in India began to take a more serious interest in the interior because of their concern about their northwestern frontier. In 1809, when the first Englishman, a Captain Grant, set out to explore whether a European army might enter India from that direction, the British resident in Muscat (Captain Seton) advised him that the whole area was unsettled. Gwat(a)r, where Grant landed, belonged to Mīr Sobḥān, a Jaḍgāl leader who ruled from Daštīārī and Bāhū and was the strongest ruler in Makrān (Lorimer, I/2, p. 2154). From there he marched to Čāhbahār, then to Nigwar, the coastal plain to the east of Čāhbahār, where he met Mīr Sobḥān and was well received. At the end of February he reached Qaṣr-e Qand, where he found an independent ruler, Shaikh Samandar. He waited there for Moḥammad Khan, the ruler of Geh (now Nīkšahr), under whose protection he was to travel into the interior. Geh was second only to Kech in local power. From Geh he marched to Bampūr. The ruler in Bampūr was unreliable, and Grant returned to Qaṣr-e Qand, Geh, and Čāhbahār, and then along the coast to Jāsk, and on to Bandar-e ʿAbbās. Grant reported that his journey was possible only because of the letters of introduction he carried from the British resident in Muscat to Mīr Sobḥān. Grant also carried letters of credit from Muscat, and there was plenty of trade between Muscat and Čāhbahār. He traveled in European clothes and found everyone “more civil and hospitable than they had been represented.” Like Pottinger, he found no Persian influence in Makrān.
In 1839 the failure of a British diplomatic mission to Kabul and the arrival there of a Russian envoy led to the British viceroy’s decision to invade Afghanistan and reinstall Shah Šojāʿ in Kabul (see anglo-afgan wars, i). In order to ensure safe passage of the army to Qandahār, it was necessary to control Baluchistan. Leech, the first Englishman formally dispatched to conclude an agreement with the khan, failed. Later Sir Alexander Burnes was sent and an agreement was arrived at in March, 1839, which guaranteed the sovereignty and borders of Kalat and made the khan responsible for the safe passage and provisioning of the British troops in return for Rs 15,000 in addition to the cost of provisions (Aitchison, XI, p. 209). This agreement marked the end of the autonomy of Baluchistan.

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