Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

duced in the independent) territory of Bajaur, north-west In the low brushwood scattered over porcions of the dreary plains of Peshawar, from magnetic iron sand, and is exported. Of the papilionaceous sub-order, such as camel-thorn (Hedysarum

of the “Khorasan" table-lands, we find leguminous thorny plants Kabul is chiefly supplied from the Permúli (or Farmúli) Alhagi), Astragalus in several varieties, spiny rest-harrow (Ononis district, between the Upper Kurram and Goal, where it spinosa), the fibrous roots of which often serve as a tooth-brush; is said to be abundant. Iron ore is most abundant near plants of the sub-order Mimoseæ, as the sensitive mimosa; a plant of the passes leading to Bamian, and in other parts of Hindu

the Rue family, called by the natives lipâd ; the common worm

wood ; also certain orchids, and several species of Salsola. The Kush. Copper ore from various parts of Afghanistan has

rue and wormwood are in general use as domestic medicines—the been seen, but it is nowhere worked.

former for rheumatism and neuralgia; the latter in fever, debility, Lead is found, e.g., in Upper Bangash (Kurram district), and dyspepsia, as well as for a vermifuge. The lipad, owing to its and in the Shinwari country (also among the branches of heavy nauseous odour, is believed to keep off evil spirits. In some Safed Koh), and in the Kakar country. There are reported places, occupying the sides and hollows of ravines, are found the

rose bay (Nerium Oleander), called in Persian khar-zarah, or assto be rich lead mines near Herat scarcely worked. Lead, bane, the wild laburnum, and various Indigofere. with antimony, is found near the Arghand-ab, 32 miles In cultivated districts the chief trees seen are mulberry, willow, north-west of Kala't-i-Ghilzai; in the Wardak hills, 24 poplar, ash, and occasionally the plane ; but these are due to man's

planting miles north of Ghazni ; in the Ghorband valley, north of

Uncultivated Products of Value.-One of the most important of Kabul; and in the Afridi country, near our frontier. these is the gum-resin of Narthex assafoetida, which grows abunMost of the lead used, however, comes from the Hazara dantly in the high and dry plains of Western Afghanistan, especountry, where the ore is described as being gathered on cially between Kandahar and Herat. The depot for it is Kandahar, the surface.

whence it finds its way to India, where it is much used as a condi. An ancient mine of great extent and elabo

ment. It is not so used in Afghanistan, but the Seistan people rate character exists at Feringal, in the Ghorband valley. eat the green stalks of the plant preserved in brine. The collection Antimony is obtained in considerable quantities at Shah of the gum-resin is almost entirely in the hands of the Kakar clan Maksud, about 30 miles north of Kandahar.

of Afghans. Silicate of zinc in nodular fragments comes from the luxury. The plants grow wild in the mountains. The bleached

In the highlands of Kabul edible rhubarb is an important local Zhob district of the Kakar country. It is chiefly used by rhubarb, which has a very delicate flavour, is altered by covering cutlers for polishing.

the young leaves, as they sprout from the soil, with loose stones or Sulphur is said to be found at Herat, dug from the soil an empty jar. The leaf-stalks are gathered by the neighbouring in small fragments, but the chief supply comes from the

hill people, and carried down for sale. Bleached and unbleached

rhubarb are both largely consumed, both raw and cooked. Hazara country, and from Pirkisri, on the confines of The walnut and edible pine-nut are both wild growths, which are Seistan, where there would seem to be a crater, or fuma- exported. role. Sal-ammoniac is brought from the same place.

The sanjit (Elaagnus orientalis), common on the banks of waterGypsum is found in large quantities in the plain of Kan

courses, furnishes an edible fruit. An orchis found in the moun.

tains yields the dried tuber which affords the nutritious mucilage dahar, being dug out in fragile coralline masses from near

called salep; a good deal of this goes to India. the surface.

Pistacia khinjak affords a mastic. The fruit, mixed with its Coal (perhaps lignite) is said to be found in Zurmat resin, is used for food by the Achakzais in Southern Afghanistan. (between the Upper Kurram and the Gomal) and near

The true pistachio is found only on the northern frontier; the nuts Ghazni.

are imported from Badakhshan and Kunduz.

Mushrooms and other fungi are largely used as food, especially Nitre abounds in the soil over all the south-west of by the Hindus of the towns, to whom supply a substitute for Afghanistan, and often affects the water of the kârez, or

meat. subterranean canals.

Manna, of at least two kinds, is sold in the bazaars. One, called VEGETABLE KINGDOM. 2—The characteristic distribution thorn, and also from the dwarf tamarisk; the other, sir-kasht, in

turanjbin, appears to exude, in small round tears, from the camel. of vegetation on the mountains of Afghanistan is worthy large grains and irregular masses, or cakes, with bits of twig im. of attention. The great mass of it is confined to the main bedded, is obtained from a tree which the natives call siah chob ranges and their immediate offshoots, whilst on the more

(black wood), thought by Bellew to be a Fraxinus or Ornus. distant and terminal prolongations it is almost entirely AGRICULTURE.-In most parts of the country there are absent; in fact, these are naked rock and stone.

two harvests, as generally in India. One of these, called Take, for example, the Safed Koh. On the alpine range itself by the Afghans bahârak, or the spring crop, is sown in the and its immediate branches, at a height of 6000 to 10,000 feet, we

end of autumn, and reaped in summer. It consists of have abundant growth of large forest trees, among which conifers wheat, barley, and a variety of lentils. The other, called are the most noble and prominent, such as Cedrus Deodara, Abies pâizah or tirmâi, the autumnal, is sown in the end of excelsa, Pinus longifolia, P. Pinaster, P. Pinca (the edible pine), spring, and reaped in autumn. It consists of rice, varieties and the larch. We have also the yew, the hazel, juniper, walnut, wild peach, and almond. Growing under the shade of these are

of millet and sorghum, of maize, Phaseolus Mungo, tobacco, several varieties of rose, honeysuckle, currant, gooseberry, haw- beet, turnips, &c. The loftier regions have but one harthorn, rhododendron, and a luxuriant herbage, among which the vest. ranunculus family is important for frequency and number of genera. Wheat is the staple food over the greater part of the The lemon and wild vine are also here met with, but are more common on the northern mountains. The walnut' and oak (ever country. Rice is largely distributed, but is most abundant green, holly-leaved, and kermes) descend to the secondary heights, in Swat (independent), and best in Peshawar (British). It where they become mixed with alder, ash, khinjak, Arbor-vitæ, is also the chief crop in Kurram. In much of the eastern juniper, with species of Astragalus, &c. Here also are Indigoferce mountainous country bâjra (IIolcus spicatus) is the chief and dwarf laburnum.

Lower again, and down to 3000 feet, we have wild olive, species grain. Most English and Indian garden-stuffs are cultiof rock-rose, wild privet, acacias and mimosas, barberry, and Zizy- vated; turnips in some places very largely, as cattle food. phus; and in the eastern ramifications of the chain, Chamærops The growth of melons, water-melons, and other cucurbihumilis (which is applied to a variety of useful purposes), Bignonia taceous plants is reckoned very important, especially near or trumpet flower, sissu, Salvadora persica, verbena, acanthus, varieties of Gesnerce.

towns; and this crop counts for a distinct harvest, The lowest terminal ridges, especially towards the west, are, as

Sugar-cane is grown only in the rich plains; and though has been said, naked in aspect. Their scanty vegetation is almost cotton is grown in the warmer tracts, most of the cotton wholly herbal ; shrubs are only occasional ; trees alınost non cloth is imported. existent. Labiate, composite, and umbelliferous plants are most Ferns and mosses are almost confined to the higher Ghazni and Kandahar districts, and generally over the

Madder is an important item of the spring crop in ranges

west, and supplies the Indian demand. It is said to be | Chiefly from Bellew.

very profitable, though it takes three years to mature.

common.

Saffron is grown and exported. The castor oil plant is

The castor-oil plant is | Mustela crminca, and two ferrets, one of them with tortoise-sheil everywhere common, and furnishes most of the oil of the marks, tamed by the Afghans to keep down vermin; a marten (11.

flavigula, Indian). country. Tobacco is grown very generally; that of Kan

Bears are two: a black one, probably Ursus torquatus; and one dahar has much repute, and is exported to India and of a dirty yellow, U. Isabellinus, both Himalyan species. Bokhara. Two crops of leaves are taken.

Ruminants.--Capra ægagrus and C. megaceros; a wild sheep Lucerne and a trefoil called shaftal form important netted in watches when they descend to drink at a stream; G.

(Ovis cycloceros or Vignei); Gazella subgutturosa—these are often fodder crops in the western parts of the country, and, dorcas, perhaps ; Cervus Wallichii, the Indian barasingha, and when irrigated, are said to afford ten or eleven cuttings in probably some other Indian deer, in the north-eastern mountains. the season. The komal (Prangos pabularia) is abundant in The wild hog (Sus scrofa) is found on the Lower Helmand. The the hill country of Ghazni, and is said to extend through wild ass, Gorkhar of Persia (Equus onager), is frequent on the sandy the Hazara country to Herat. It is stored for winter exists within many hundred miles of Afghanistan ; but there is

tracts in the south-west. Neither elephant nor rhinoceros now use, and forms an excellent fodder. Others are derived ample evidence that the latter was hunted in the Peshawar plain from the Holcus sorghum, and from two kinds of panick. down to the middle of the 16th century. It is common to cut down the green wheat and barley Erinaccus collaris (Indian), and Er. auritus (Eurasian),

Talpida.-A mole, probably_T. Europca; Sorex Indicus ; before the ear forms, for fodder, and the repetition of this,

Bats, believed to be Phyllorhinus cineraceus (Panjab species), with barley at least, is said not to injure the grain crop. Scotophilus Bellii (W. India), Vesp. auritus and v. broastellus, Bellew gives the following statement of the manner in which both found from England to India. the soil is sometimes worked in the Kandahar district: Rodentia. - A squirrel (Sciurus Syriacus!); Mus Indicus and M. Barley is sown in November ; in March and April it is Gerbellinus; a gerboa (Dipus telum?); Alactaja Bactriana ; Gerbiltwice cut for fodder; in June the grain is reaped, the ensis, a central Asian species. A hare, probably 1. ruficaudatus. ground is ploughed and manured, and sown with tobacco, BIRDS. -The largest list of Afghan birds that we know of is given which yields two cuttings. The ground is then prepared by Captain Hutton in the J. As. Soc. Bengal, vol. xvi. p. 775, seqq.; for carrots and turnips, which are gathered in November but it is confessedly far from complete. Of 124 species in that list,

95 are pronounced to be Eurasian, 17 Indian, 10 both Eurasian and or December.

Indian, 1 (Turtur risorius) Eur., Ind., and Eth.; and 1 only, Of great moment are the fruit crops. All European Carpodacus" (Bucanctes) crassirostris, peculiar to the country. fruits are produced profusely, in many varieties, and of Afghanistan appears to be, during the breeding season, the retreat excellent quality. Fresh or preserved, they form a prin- of a variety of Indian and some African (desert) forms, whilst in cipal food of a large class of the people, and the dry fruit

winter the avifauna becomes overwhelmingly Eurasian.

REPTILES. — The following particulars are from Gray:-Lizardsis largely exported. In the valleys of Kabul, mulberries Pseudopus gracilis (Eur.), Årgyrophis Horsfieldii, Salea Horsfieldii, are dried, and packed in skins for winter use. This mul- Calotes Maria, C. versicolor, C. minor, C. Emma, Phrynocephalus berry cake is often reduced to flour, and used as such, Tickelii-all Indian forms. A tortoise (T. Horsfieldir) appears to be

peculiar to Kabul. There are apparently no salamanders or tailed forming in some valleys the main food of the people.

Amphibia. The frogs are partly Eurasian, partly Indian. And the Grapes are grown very extensively, and the varieties same may be said of the fish; but they are as yet most imperfectly are very numerous. The vines are sometimes trained on known. trellises, but most frequently over ridges of earth 8 or 10 DOMESTIC ANIMALS.- The camel is of a more robust feet high. The principal part of the garden lands in vil and compact breed than the tall beast used in India, and lages round Kandahar is vineyard, and the produce must is more carefully tended. The two-humped Bactrian camel be enormous.

is sometimes seen, but is not a native. Open canals are usual in the Kabul valley, and in Horses form a staple export to India. The best of these, eastern Afghanistan generally; but over all the western however, are brought from Maimana and other places on parts of the country much use is made of the karez, which the Khorasan and Turkman frontier. The indigenous is a subterranean aqueduct uniting the waters of several horse is the yâbû, a stout, heavy-shouldered animal, of springs, and conducting their combined volume to the about 14 hands high, used chiefly for burden, but also for surface at a lower level. Elphinstone had heard of such riding. It gets over incredible distances at an ambling conduits 36 miles in length.

shuffle; but is unfit for fast work, and cannot stand excesANIMAL KINGDOM.—As regards vertebrate zoology, sive heat. The breed of horses was improving much under Afghanistan lies on the frontier of three regions, viz., the the Amir Dost Mahommed, who took much interest in it. Eurasian, the Ethiopian (to which region Biluchestan Generally, colts are sold and worked too young. seems to belong), and the Indo-Malayan. Hence it natu The cows of Kandahar and Seistan give very large quanrally partakes somewhat of the forms of each, but is in tities of milk. They seem to be of the humped variety, but the main Eurasian.

with the hump evanescent. Dairy produce is important MAMMALS.— Monkeys are stated by Mr Bellew to exist in Yusuf- in Afghan diet, especially the pressed and dried curd zai, and perhaps extend to some other districts north of the Kabul called krût (an article and name perhaps introduced by the river; but no species has been named.

Mongols). Felidæ.-F. catus, F. chaus (both Eurasian); F. caracal (Eur., There are two varieties of sheep, both having the fat tail. Ind., Ethiop.), about Kandahar; a small leopard, stated to be one bears a white fleece, the other a russet or black one. found almost all over the country, perhaps rather the cheeta (F. jubatus, Ind. and Eth.); F. pardus, the common leopard (Eth.

Much of the white wool is exported to Persia, and now and Ind.) The tiger is said to exist in the north-eastern hill | largely to Europe by Bombay. Flocks of sheep are the country, which is quasi-Indian.

main wealth of the nomad population, and mutton is the Canido. —The jackal (C. aureus, Euras., Ind., Eth.) abounds on the Helmand and Argand-ab, and probably elsewhere. Wolves (c. chief animal food of the nation. In autumn large numbers Bengalensis) are formidable in the wilder tracts, and assemble in

are slaughtered, their carcases cut up, rubbed with salt, troops on the snow, destroying cattle, and sometimes attacking and dried in the sun. The same is done with beef and single horsemen. The hyæna (H. striata, Africa to India) is com camel's flesh. mon. These do not hunt in packs, but will sometimes singly attack a bullock: they and the wolves make havoc among sheep.

The goats, generally black or parti-coloured, seem to be A favourite feat of the boldest of the young men of southern

a degenerate variety of the shawl-goat. Afghanistan is to enter the hyæna's den, single-handed, muffle and The climate is found to be favourable to dog-breeding. tie him. There are wild dogs, according to Elphinstone and Pointers are bred in the Kohistan of Kabul and above Conolly. The small Indian fox (Vulpes Bengalensis) is found; Jalalabad — large, heavy, slow-hunting, but fine-nosed also v. favescens, common to India and Persia, the skin of which and staunch ; very like the old double-nosed Spanish is much used as a fur.

Mustelidæ. -Species of Mungoose (Herpestes), species of otter, pointer. There are greyhounds also, but inferior in speed

I. – 30

to second-rate English dogs. The khandi is another The trade with India was thus estimated in 1862:sporting dog, most useful, but of complex breed. He is

Exports to India.

Imports from often used for turning up quail and partridge to the

Indin.

Totals. hawk.

By Peshawar....

£156,513 £120,643 £277,156 INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS.—These are not important. Silk By Ghawalari Pass 130,000 164,000 294,000

31,870

18,892 is produced in Kabul, Jalalabad, Kandahar, and Herat, and By Bolan Pass..

50,762 chiefly consumed in domestic manufactures, though the

£318,383 £303,535

£621,918 best qualities are carried to the Panjab and Bombay.

Excellent carpets-soft, brilliant, and durable in colour— But this omits some passes, and the Bolan exports do not inare made at Herat. They are usually sold in India as clude the large item of wool which enters Sind further south. Persian. Excellent felts and a variety of woven goods

A relic of the old times of Asiatic trade has come down are made from the wool of the sheep, goat, and Bac- to our day in the habits of the class of Lohani Afghan trian camel. A manufacture, of which there is now a con- traders, commonly called Povindahs, who spend their lives siderable export to the Panjab for the winter clothing of in carrying on traffic between India, Khorasan, and Bok. our irregular troops, besides a large domestic use, is that hara, by means of their strings of camels and ponies, of the postîn, or sheepskin pelisse. The long wool remains banded in large armed caravans, in order to restrict those on, and the skin is tanned yellow, with admirable softness recurring exactions that would render trade impossible. and suppleness. Pomegranate rind is a chief material in Bullying, fighting, evading, or bribing, they battle their way the preparation.

twice a year between Bokhara and the Indus. Their sumRosaries are extensively made at Kandahar from a soft mer pastures are in the highlands of Ghazni and Kala't-icrystallised silicate of magnesia (chrysolite). The best are Ghilzai. In the autumn they descend the Sulimani passes. of a semi-transparent straw colour, like amber. They are

At the Indus, in these days, they have to deposit all largely exported, especially to Mecca.

weapons ;

but once across that, they are in security. They TRADE.--Practically, there are no navigable rivers in leave their families and their camels in the Panjab plains, Afghanistan, nor does there exist any wheeled carriage. and take their goods by rail to all the Gangetic cities, or Hence goods are carried on beasts of burden, chiefly camels, by boat and steamer to Karachi and Bombay. Even in along roads which often lie through close and craggy Asam or in distant Rangoon the Povindah is to be seen, defiles, and narrow stony valleys among bare mountains, pre-eminent by stature and by lofty air, not less than by or over waste plains. Though from time immemorial the rough locks and filthy clothes. In March they rejoin larger part of the products of India destined for western their families, and move up again to the Ghilzai highlands, Asia and Europe has been exported by sea, yet at one time sending on caravans anew to Kabul, Bokhara, Kandahar, valuable caravans of these products, with the same destina- and Herat, the whole returning in time to accompany the tion, used to traverse these rugged Afghan roads.

tribe down the passes in the autumn. The Povindah trade The great trade routes are the following:

by all the passes is now estimated to reach £1,500,000 in

value annually. 1. From Persia by Mesh'hed to Herat. 2. From Bokhara by Merv to Flerat.

INHABITANTS OF AFGHANISTAN.—These may first be 3. From the same quarter by Karshi, Balkh, and Khulm, to divided into Afghan and non-Afghan, of whom the Afghan Kabul.

people are predominant in numbers, power, and character. 4. From the Panjab by Peshawar and the Tatara or Abkhanah The Afghans themselves do not recognise as entitled to Passes to Kabul. 5. From the Panjab by the Ghawalâri Pass towards Ghazni.

that name all to whom we give it. According to Bellew 6. From Sind by the Bolan Pass to Kandahar.

they exclude certain large tribes, who seem, nevertheless, There is also a route from eastern Turkistan by Chitral to Jala to be essentially of the same stock, speaking the same labad, or to Peshawar by Dir; but it is doubtful how far there is language, observing the same customs, and possessing the any present traffic by it.

same moral and physical characteristics. These are recogTowards Sind the chief exports from or through nised as Pathâns, but not as Afghans, and are all located Afghanistan are wool, horses, silk, fruit, madder, and assa in the vicinity of the Sulimani mountains and their offfoetida. The staple of local production exported from shoots towards the east. We do not attempt to name KO ahar is dried fruit. The horse trade in this direction them, because the information on the subject seems conis chiefly carried on by the Syads of Pishin, Kakars, Bakh- tradictory. There are tribes of somewhat similar character tiyaris, and Biluchis. The Syads also do, or did, dabble elsewhere, such as the Wardaks, to the south of Kabul; largely in slave-dealing. The Hazaras furnished the largest and there are again some tribes, in contact with these and part of the victims.

with Afghan tribes, who speak the Afghan language, and Burnes's early anticipation of a large traffic in wool from have many Afghan customs, but are different in aspect, the regions west of the Indus has been amply verified, for and seem not to be regarded as Pathan at all. the trade has for many years been of growing importance; the Túris and Jâjis of Kurram. and in 1871-72 2,000,000 fb were shipped from Karachi. Of the Afghans proper there are about a dozen great The importation to Sind is chiefly in the hands of Shikar-clans, with numerous subdivisions. Of the great clans pûr merchants. Indeed, nearly all the trade from southern the following are the most important:Afghanistan is managed by Hindus. That between Mesh'hed, The Durranis, originally called Abdalis, received the Herat, and Kandahar is carried on by Persians, who bring former name from a famous clansman, Ahmed Shah. Their down silk, arms, turquoises, horses, carpets, &c., and take country may be regarded as the whole of the south and back wool, skins, and woollen fabrics.

south-west of the Afghan plateau. The chief imports by Peshawar from India into Afghanis The Ghilzais are the strongest of the Afghan clans, and tan are cotton, woollen, and silk goods; from England, perhaps the bravest. They were supreme in Afghanistan coarse country cloths, sugar and indigo, Benares brocades, in the beginning of last century, and for a time possessed gold thread and lace, scarves, leather, groceries, and drugs. the throne of Ispahan. They occupy the high plateau The exports are raw silk and silk fabrics of Bokhara, gold north of Kandahar, and extend, roughly speaking, eastand silver wire (Russian), horses, almonds and raisins, and ward to the Sulimani mountains, and north to the Kabul fruits generally, furs (including dressed fox skins and river (though in places passing these limits), and they sheep skins), and bullion.

extend down the Kabul river to Jalalabad. On the British

Such are

invasion the Ghilzais showed a rooted hostility to the to be called Moghals by the Ghilzais; and one tribe, still foreigner, and great fidelity to Dost Mahommed, though bearing the specific name of Mongol, and speaking a of a rival clan. It is remarkable that the old Arab geo- Mongol dialect, is found near the head waters of the graphers of the 10th and 11th centuries place in the Murghab, and also further south on the skirts of the Ghur Ghilzai country a people called Khilijis, whom they call a mountains. But it is remarkable that the Hazaras generally tribe of Turks, to which belonged a famous family of speak a purely Persian dialect. The Mongols of the host Dehli kings. The probability of the identity of Khilijis of Chinghiz were divided into tomans (ten thousands) and and Ghilzais is obvious, and the question touches others hazaras (thousands), and it is probably in this use of the regarding the origin of the Afghans, but it does not seem word that the origin of its present application is to be to have been gone into.

sought. The oldest occurrence of this application that M. The Yusufzais occupy an extensive tract of hills and de Khanikoff has met with is in a rescript of Ghazan valleys north of Peshawar, including part of the Peshawar Khan of Persia, regarding the security of roads in Khorasan, plain. Except those within our Peshawar district, they dated A.H. 694 (A.D. 1294–95). are independent; they are noted even among Afghans for Though the Hazaras pay tribute to the Afghan chiefs, their turbulence.

they never do so unless payment is enforced by arms. The The Kakars, still retaining in great measure their inde- country which they occupy is very extensive, embracing pendence, occupy a wide extent of elevated country in the upper valleys of the Arghand-ab and the Helmand, the south-east of Afghanistan, among the spurs of the both sides of the main range of Hindu Kush, nearly as far Toba and Sulimani mountains, bordering on the Biluch east as the longitude of Andarâb, the hill country of tribes. But the region is still very imperfectly known. Bamian, and that at the head waters of the Balkh river,

Of the non-Afghan population associated with the Af- the Murghab, and the Hari-Rud; altogether an area of ghans, the Tajiks come first in importance and numbers. something like 30,000 square miles. The Hazaras are They are intermingled with the Afghans over the country, accused of very loose domestic morals, like the ancient though their chief localities are in the west. They are Massagetæ, and the charge seems to be credited, at least regarded as descendants of the original occupants of that of certain tribes. They make good powder, are good part of the country, of the old Iranian race; they call shots, and, in spite of the nature of their country, are good themselves Parsiwân, and speak a dialect of Persian. riders, riding at speed down very steep declivities. They They are a fine athletic people, generally fair in com are said to have a yodel like the Swiss. They are often plexion, and assimilate in aspect, in dress, and much in sold as slaves, and as such are prized. During the winter manners to the Afghans. But they are never nomadic. many spread over Afghanistan, and even into the Panjab,

They are mostly agriculturists, whilst those in towns follow in search of work. Excepting near Ghazni, where they mechanical trades and the like, a thing which the Afghan hold some lands and villages, the position of the Hazaras never does. They are generally devoid of the turbulence found in the proper Afghan country is a menial one. They of the Afghans, whom they are content to regard as masters are Shiahs in religion, with the exception of one fine tribe or superiors, and lead a frugal, industrious life, without called the Zeidnat Hazaras, occupying the old territory of aspiring to a share in the government of the country. Badghîs, north of Herat. Many, however, become soldiers in the Amir's army, and Eimák is a term for a sept or section of a tribe. It has many enlist in our local Panjab regiments. They are zealous come to be applied, much as hazara, to certain nomadic Sunnis. The Tajiks of the Daman-i-Koh of Kabul are or semi-nomadic tribes west of the Hazaras of whom we said to be exceptional in turbulent and vindictive character. have been speaking, and immediately north of Herat.

The Kizilbúshes may be regarded as modern Persians, These tribes, it is said, were originally termed “the four but more strictly they are Persianised Turks, like the Eimaks.” It is difficult in the present state of information present royal race and predominant class in Persia. They regarding them, sometimes contradictory, to discern what is speak pure Persian. Their immigration dates only from the broad distinction between the Eimaks and the Hazaras, the time of Nadir Shah (1737). They are chiefly to be unless it be that the Eimaks are predominantly of Iranian or found in towns as merchants, physicians, scribes, petty quasi-Iranian blood, the Hazaras Turanian. The Eimaks traders, &c., and are justly looked on as the more educated are also Sunnis. Part of them are subject to Persia. and superior class of the population. At Kabul they con Hindkis.—This is the name given to people of Hindu stitute the bulk of the Amir's cavalry and artillery. Many descent scattered over Afghanistan. They are said to be serve in our Indian regiments of irregular cavalry, and of the Kshatri or military caste. They are occupied in bear a character for smartness and intelligence, as well as trade; they are found in most of the large villages, and in good riding. They are Shiahs, and heretics in Afghan eyes. the towns form an important part of the population, doing

It is to the industry of the Parsiwans and Kizilbashes all the banking business of the country, and holding its that the country is indebted for whatever wealth it pos-chief trade in their hands. They pay a high poll-tax, and sesses, but few of them ever attain a position which is not are denied many privileges, but thrive notwithstanding. in some degree subservient to the Afghan.

The Jats of Afghanistan doubtless belong to the same The Hazâras have their stronghold and proper home vast race as the Jats and Jâts who form so large a part of in the wild mountainous country on the north-west of the population of the territories now governed from Lahore Afghanistan proper, including those western extensions of and Karachi, and whose origin is so obscure. They are a Hindu Kush, to which modern geographers have often fine athletic, dark, handsome race, considerable in numbers, applied the ancient name of Paropamisus. In these their but poor, and usually gaining a livelihood as farm-serhabitations range generally from a height of 5000 feet to vants, barbers, sweepers, musicians, &c. 10,000 feet above the sea.

Bilûchis.- Many of these squat among the abandoned The Hazaras generally have features of Mongol type, tracts on the lower Helmand; a fierce and savage people, often to a degree that we might call exaggerated, and professing Islam, but not observing its precepts, and holdthere can be no doubt that they are mainly descended ing the grossest superstitions; vendetta their most stringent from fragments of Mongol tribes who came from the east law; insensible to privation, and singularly tolerant of with the armies of Chinghiz Khan and his family, though heat; camel-like in capacity to do without drink; superior other races may be represented among the tribes called to the Afghans in daring and address, which are displayed Hazaras. The Hazaras generally are said by Major Leech in robber raids carried into the very heart of Persia.

There remain a variety of tribes in the hill country highly aquiline. The hair is shaved off from the forehead north of the Kabul river, speaking various languages, to the top of the head, the remainder at the sides being seemingly of Prakritic character, and known as Kohistanis, allowed to fall in large curls over the shoulders. Their Laghmanis, Pashais, &c.; apparently converted remnants step is full of resolution; their bearing proud and apt to of the aboriginal tribes of the Kabul basin, and more or

be rough. less kindred to the still unconverted tribes of Kafiristan, to The women have handsome features of Jewish cast (the the Chitral people, and perhaps to the Dard tribes who lie last trait often true also of the men); fair complexions, to the north of the Afghan country on the Indus.

sometimes rosy, though usually a pale sallow; hair braided An able officer of the staff in India (Col Macgregor) has and plaited behind in two long tresses terminating in silken lately made a diligent attempt to estimate the population tassels. They are rigidly secluded, but intrigue is frequent. of Afghanistan, which he bring to 4,901,000 souls. This In some parts of the country the engaged lover is admitted includes the estimated population of Afghan Turkestan, the to visits of courtship, analogous to old Welsh customs. people of Chitral, the Kafirs, and the independent Yusufzais. The Afghans, inured to bloodshed from childhood, are We shall deduct the three first:

familiar with death, and are audacious in attack, but easily

4,901,000 discouraged by failure; excessively turbulent and unsub. Afghan Turkestan.

642,000

missive to law or discipline; apparently frank and affable Chitralis and kafirs

150,000
792,000

in manner, especially when they hope to gain some object,

but capable of the grossest brutality when that hope ceases.

4,109,000 They are unscrupulous in perjury, treacherous, vain, and inwhich may be thus roughly divided

satiable, passionate in vindictiveness, which they will satisfy Eimaks and Hazaras..

400,000

at the cost of their own lives and in the most cruel manner. Tajiks....

500,000 Nowhere is crime committed on such trifling grounds, or Kizilbashes..

150,000

with such general impunity, though when it is punished the Hindkis and Jats..

500,000 Kohistanis, &c.

200,000

punishment is atrocious. Among themselves the Afghans Afghans and Pathans, including 400,000 independent Yusufzais, &C......

2,359,000

are quarrelsome, intriguing, and distrustful; estrangements and affrays are of constant occurrence; the traveller con

ceals and misrepresents the time and direction of his Total........

4,109,000

journey. The Afghan is by breed and nature a bird of The Afghans, in government and general manners, have prey. If from habit and tradition he respects a stranger a likeness to other Mahommedan nations; but they have within his threshold, he yet considers it legitimate to warn also many peculiarities.

a neighbour of the prey that is afoot, or even to overtake Besides their division into clans and tribes, the whole and plunder his guest after he has quitted his roof. The Afghan people may be divided into dwellers in tents and repression of crime and the demand of taxation he regards dwellers in houses; and this division is apparently not alike as tyranny. The Afghans are eternally boasting of coincident with tribal divisions, for of several of the great their lineage, their independence, and their prowess. They clans, at least a part is nomad and a part settled. Such, look on the Afghans as the first of nations, and each man e.g., is the case with the Durrani and with the Ghilzai. looks on himself as the equal of any Afghan, if not as the

Nomad Afghans exist in the Kabul basin, but their superior of all others. Yet when they hear of some atroproper field is that part of their territory which the Afghans cious deed they will exclaim—“An Afghan job that!” They include in Khorasan, with its wide plains. These people are capable of enduring great privation, but when abund. subsist on the produce of their flocks, and rarely cultivate. ance comes their powers of eating astonish an European. They may, perhaps, pay something to the Kabul govern- Still, sobriety and hardiness characterise the bulk of the ment through their chief, and they contribute soldiers to people, though the higher classes are too often stained with the regular army, besides forming the bulk of the militia; deep and degrading debauchery. but they have little relation to the government, and seldom The first impression made by the Afghans is favourable. enter towns unless to sell their produce. They are under The European, especially if he come from India, is charmed some indefinite control by their chiefs, to whom serious by their apparently frank, open-hearted, hospitable, and disputes are referred. Petty matters are settled by the manly manners; but the charm is not of long duration, and "greybeards of the community, guided by the Afghan he finds that under this frank demeanour there is craft as traditional code. Many of the nomad tribes are professed inveterate, if not as accomplished, as in any Hindu. and incorrigible thieves. Among certain tribes the cere Such is the character of the Afghans as drawn by Ferrier mony of naming a male child is accompanied by the sym- and other recent writers, and undoubtedly founded on their bolical act of passing him through a hole made in the wall experience, though perhaps the dark colour is laid on too of a house, whilst a volley of musketry is fired overhead. 1 universally. The impression is very different from that

The settled Afghans form the village communities, and left by the accounts of Elphinstone and Burnes. Yet most in part the population of the few towns. Their chief of the individual features can be traced in Elphinstone, occupation is with the soil. They form the core of the though drawn certainly under less temptation to look on nation and the main part of the army. Nearly all own the darker side, owing to the favourable circumstances of the land on which they live, and which they cultivate with his intercourse with the Afghans, and touched with a more their own hands or by hired labour. Roundly speaking, delicate and friendly hand, perhaps lightened by wider agriculture and soldiering are their sole occupations. No sympathies. Sir H. Edwardes, who had intimate dealings Afghan will pursue a handicraft or keep a shop, though, with the Afghans for many years, takes special exception as we have seen, certain pastoral tribes engage largely in to Elphinstone's high estimate of their character, and travelling trade and transport of goods.

appeals to the experience of every officer who had served As a race, the Afghans are very handsome and athletic, in the country. “Nothing," he sums up, “ is finer than often with fair complexion and flowing beard, generally their physique, or worse than their morale." black or brown, sometimes, though rarely, red; the features Many things in Afghan character point to a nation in

decadence—the frank manners and joyous temper, the Of one tribe, at least, of which this is told, the Afghan blood is hospitable traditions, the martial and independent spirit, Houbtful.

the love of field sports, the nobility of aspect, suggest a

« ElőzőTovább »