Swat History

SWAT IN THE YEAR 1862, AS DESCRIBED BY MAJOR HENRY GEORGE RAVERTY (PART 6)

Major Henry George Raverty’s brief work with the title, ‘An account of Upper and Lower Suwat, and the Kohistan, to the source of the Suwat River; with an account of the tribes inhabiting those valleys’  was published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal  (Volume XXXI, No.I. To V. 1862) Calcutta in the year 1862.  That work of Major Raverty is produced here on this website for the interest of the readers and research scholars. Raverty wrote: (PART 6)

“The Khan-khel too may be subdivided, according to what the KHAN SAHIB said. The one being the family to which the Chief de facto belongs, the whole of the males of which are called Khans; and the other, the family to which the Chieftainship rightfully belongs, or the Chief de jure, but whose family may have been set aside, or passed over, which is merely  the Khan-khel. For instance; if a Suwati be asked for what clan a certain person belongs, he will say the Khan-khel; but it must be then asked whether the person is Khan or only one of the Khan-khel. If he be a member of the family of the Chief de facto, he will reply he is a Khan; but if of the family who may be the rightful claimants to the Chieftainship, but passed over, or set aside, he will say he is of the Khan-khel. The Tarrnah Chiefs de facto, who are the heads of the Ba’i-zi division, are of two families, the bar-kor, or upper family or house or house, and the kuz-kor , or lower family or house, in reference of Tarrnah, and its dependencies above the Morey Pass, and Pala’i, and its dependencies below. These two families are descended from Jalal Khan, son of Hamzah Khan, above referred to, and are always at feud. Mir Ealam Khan, Chief of Tarrnah, Amir Ullah Khan ruler of Palai, and Maesum Khan , their brother , who dwells at Tarrnah, are the bar-kor; and Khursan Khan, ruler of Zor-manddai, Sher-khana’i, and the two Baz-darah villages , and Babu Khan, who resides also at Tarrnah, belongs to the kuz-kor. Mir Ealam Khan who is considered the greatest of the Tarrnah Chiefs, is about fifty years of age. The next in rank and consideration is Maesum Khan , his brother, who is about thirty years old; then comes Amir Ullah of Pala’i, aged forty, and Khurasan Khan of Zor-mandda’i who is about fifty years of age; and Babu Khan of Tarrnah aged fifty, besides numerous children.”

“The day passed away pleasantly  enough under the shade of these beautiful trees; and in the evening we went to the residence of the chief; and his guest chamber we remained the night.”

“Tarrnah, which is most considerable town in Suwat, contains more than 1000 houses, which, at the usual computation gives about 5000 inhabitants. The people are Afghans of the Ba-i-zi branch of the powerful and numerous tribe of the Yusufzis. About a hundred houses are inhabited by Hindus, Paranchahs, and other traders, who also follow such occupations as that of shoemakers, smiths, barbers, & co.”

“The town of Tarrnah lies a short distance from the skirt of the mountains bounding Swat to the south, and on the eastern bank of the river of the same name, the Suastus of the Greeks, from which it is distant about half a mile.”

“The village of Nal-Banddah, which was previously referred to, lies at the very skirt of the Morah mountains, on a spur which has become separated from the higher range and runs about three, or three and half miles a little to the mouth of Tarrnah.”

“After passing Nal-Banddah, the lands slopes down to the river, but not in such a manner that anything set a-going will, of itself, ride down the river. The land of the whole of Suwat, in fact, is like a boat, the sides of the boat are the mountains, and the bottom part the land, as different materially from the mountains. The lowest land in the valley is that portion through which the river flows; and it gradually rises until close up to the mountains. It may also be compared to the two hands placed together like as when one wishes to drink out of them ; but only just sufficiently raised so as to prevent the water from running out.”

Reference (Source Details):

‘An account of Upper and Lower Suwat, and the Kohistan, to the source of the Suwat River; with an account of the tribes inhabiting those valleys’  was published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal  (Volume XXXI, No.I. To V. 1862) Calcutta, pages 234-235.

The Chief Editor of the website (www.swatencyclopedia.com) is Jalal Uddin. He hails from Saidu Sharif, Swat. He is M.phil Scholar and his research field is Swat State. He regularly writes on Swat State and its various aspects.
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The Chief Editor of the website (www.swatencyclopedia.com) is Jalal Uddin. He hails from Saidu Sharif, Swat. He is M.phil Scholar and his research field is Swat State. He regularly writes on Swat State and its various aspects.
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