Labanas are a Punjabi tribe. The Labanas of Punjab region are mostly Sikhs, with a small minority of Muslims and Hindus.The labanas are basically from the suryavansh of Bhagwan Sri Ram Chandra. They are the sons of Sri Luv.
According to British records 33% of the Labana were baptised Sikhs and were found primarily in the Lahore, Gujranwala, and Sialkot areas. The Labanas (along with many other groups) saw the highest conversions into Sikhism during 1881–1891.
According to George Armand Furse, "The Jut and Lobana castes of Sikhs possess in a high degree the useful knowledge of the lading and care of beasts of burden".
Lubanas are offshot of Ikshwakus of Ramayana fame as well as Audumbaras or Damars. The lubanas have 11 Gotras and are mostly agricultural. In 1891 Census, they were categorized under Rajputs and are descendents of Suryavanshi and Chandarvanshi Kashatriyas.
In Ludhiana and Jhang districts, the Lobanas claimed to be the descendants of Chauhan Rajputs of Jaipur and Jodhpur. In Gujarat district, they claimed to be Raghu vanshi Rajputs. The Lobanas of Kangra and Hoshiarpur districts claimed their origin from the Gaur Brahmins of Pilibhit. A good number of them traced their origin from Gaur Brahmins who came to the Panjab from Ranthambore in Aurangzeb's time.
The name Laban may refer to the transportation of salt. "The term Labana is believed to be derived out from loon (salt) and bana means trade, and the lubana, Lobana or libana was doubtless the great salt-carrying and salt trading caste". Ancient Medieval The lobanas are of Rajput origin who traded as a profession in the medieval period on account of being displaced after repeated aggressions in the north western India. Now basically an agriculturist community spread over North Western India.
Role in Sikh History
Guru Nanak met many Lobana Traders during his journey and guided the path of truth. In an account of Bhai Bala Janamsakhi, During North Udasi, Nanak met a trader of Salt and guided him to be lowly. Following are some famous names in Sikh History: First Sikh Labana recorded in Sikh History was Bhai Mansukh, who came in contact with Guru Nanak, accepted the Sikh thought and preached it around South India and Sri Lanka region. Bhai Mansukh told King Shivnabh about Guru Nanak.
After Guru Harkrishan, the eighth Guru of Sikhism, died in 1664, there were confusions about the identification of his successor. According to Sikh legends, Makhan Shah, a great merchant of the Labana tribe, identified Guru Teg Bahadur as the successor of Guru Harkrishan. Makhan Shah was very helpful to Guru Teg Bahadur during his pontificate. The Labanas participated in battles fought by the tenth Guru.
During the Misl period, the Labanas joined the services of various "Misldars".
During the eighteenth century the Labanas began to follow a settled way of life. The Labanas of Lower Indus, Gujranwala and Jhang, settled as cultivators during Sikh rule.
Wherever the Labanas settled they named their villages as Tandas. Tanda in Labanki dialect means a travelling body encampment. In Kangra district, the Lobanas had four hamlets, each called Tanda. By the mid-nineteenth century, the Lobanas at some places owned not only parts of villages, but also entire villages and even groups of villages. They were chiefly found in the Punjab during the Sikh rule.
Labanas are said to have nomadic roots but are not related to the Lambada or Labada tribe of Andhra. There are some who believe that they are of the same stock as the Gypsies or Roma people of Europe. Labanas have been linked with Gypsies from Turkey.
Today Labana is a landholding-rich community of Punjab. A large number of Labanas are settled abroad in western countries. The people are hard-working and uplifted the community again to its pride, which was in crisis during the early years of partition. Most Sikh Labanas are of western Punjab origin (now in Pakistan) and are called Panahi, while a smaller ratio are of East Punjab origin and are called Jaddi.
In 1881, population of labanas was 48489 out of them 69% were Hindus, 25% were Sikhs and 3% were Muslims, the population was rose to 56316 in 1921 in which Sikh population rose to 77%, Hindu labanas to 15% and Muslim lobanas to 7%. In this era, maximum percentage of Hindu Labanas were converted to Sikhs, under Singh Sabha Lehar. In Punjab, Labanas started leaving merchant work and shifted to agriculture profession which turns them to landholding community.
The Labana Sikh community's main regions of concentration are: Tri State Area (NY City, New Jersey, Connecticut) and Michigan in the United States; the Greater Toronto Area in Canada; Brescia, Mantova, Pralboino in Italy; Hoshiarpur/Jalandhar/Kapurthala/Gurdaspur region in East Punjab and Ambala/Yamunagar/Pehowa/Naraingarh (Shapur) (Distt. ambala) region in Haryana. In addition, there is a sizeable Labana community present in California, Indiana, Illinois (USA); Frankfurt area (Germany); Birmingham, Southall (UK);Auckland(Newzealand) Jammu region (J&K); Mohali and Panchkula (Chandigarh); Karnal and Panipat region (Haryana); NCR (Delhi etc.); Rajasthan; Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, and Australia. In Nahan, Paonta Sahib (kolar)Distt Sirmour Himachal,Baddi Distt solan Himachal
Muslim Labanas (also called Rahmani) are scattered across Sheikhupura, Sargodha, Pakpattan, Gujrat, Sahiwal Sukkar, Rahimyarkhan, Khanpur, Bahawalpur, Hasilpur, Khanewal, Chichwatni and Lahore districts of Punjab in Pakistan.
Hindu Labanas live mostly in Himachal Pradesh (Kangra, Mandi, Sundernagar).
Most of the Sikh and Muslim Labanas speak Punjabi. Hindu Labanas speak other languages like Pahari-Potwari (Punchhi), Haryanvi (Bagdi), Harauti, and Mewari. The older generation of Sikh and Muslim Labanas used to speak a language called Labanki, which is now extinct.
The Labana Gotra names are derived from places, profession, ritual and prominent personalities; for example, the Multani Lobanas were named for Multan City when they came to the Punjab region during Nadir Shah's invasion of India in 1739.
The major Labana clans/gots include Ghotra or Ajrawat, Bawa, Baghyana,Gujjar', Ghotra Lakhman, Multani, Labana, Sujlana, Maniani, Chaniana and Gahra (most of the Gahra's belong to Nangal Labana,Mari-Tanda, Jaid). Other Clans are Badwalie, Belia, bakhelia, Bhagtaun, bharpoda, Bhonie, Khatedia, Dahgre, Danie, Dara Shah, Datla, Dhandsi, Dharim, Dotal, Fatra, Fidda, Gojalia, Gujjarwal , Jullon, jTatra,karsana, Kankanya, Kharrie, Khera, Khasria, Kulwana, Lahoriae, Lavana, Lulia, Makhan Shahi, Manhani/Maniani, Mathoan, mathaunie, Mochie, Nanaut, Narowal, Padurgi, Palsiya,Parwal, Pelia, TAdra, tarheem, tagarya, Vakhil, Wamial, Wamowal, Lalia, Azrot, Purbia, Tharimia, Ghare.karsana is not a common clan.They are from tahli village and are now found in nizampur village of distt kapurthala
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