Med people

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The Med are an ethnic community found in the coastal areas of Balochistan, Pakistan, mainly in the regions of Makran and Las Bela,[1][2] and the Makran region of Sistan and Baluchestan Province of Iran.[3]

Origin[edit]

There are different theories as to the origin of the Med community. According to their own tribal traditions, the Med originate from Gandava in the Kacchi region of Balochistan. It is likely that the Med are one of the earliest settlers of the Makran coast, and this is reinforced by the fact that the Med are mentioned in the chronicle of ancient Sindh, the Chachnama, as one of the tribes that inhabited coastal Balochistan. The Med now speak Balochi, and consider themselves as Baloch. However, in both Makran and Las Bela, they are seen as distinct by both the Sindhi and Baloch. The Mohana tribe of Sindh and southern Punjab claim to of Med origin. [4][5]

Social organization[edit]

In Lasbela District they are found mainly in the cities of Miani and Ormara, and villages in between these towns, while in Makran they are found in the cities of Gwadar and Sonmiani, and the villages in between. The Med are divided into four clans, the Chilmarzai, who claim descent from Numrio tribe of Sindh, the Jalalzai and Gazbur, who claim Baloch ancestry and the finally the Olmari who claim Pashtun ancestry. This suggests that the Med community is of diverse origin, absorbing different groups which migrated to Makran. In recent time the Med have absorbed groups of African ancestry such as the Siddi. Meds are Muslims and like many other Makran communities, they are also divided along sectarian lines. Many Gwadar Med belong to the Zikri sect while vast majority of Meds are Sunni Hanafis. Along coastal Balochistan, fishing is entirely in the hands of the Med, with an individual fishing boat owned by a particular lineages. The Med also form an important element within the Baloch population of Karachi.[6][7]


In Iran, the Med settlements cling to the coastline of Makran region of the province of Sistan and Baluchestan . They are largely engaged in fishing, but some of their settlements on the banks of the various seasonal streams also engage in agriculture. The Med have vague traditions of having originated in Sindh, but now considers themselves and looked by others as Baloch. Like other Iranian Baloch, the Med are Sunni, as distinct from the majority in Iran, who are Shia.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Balochistan District Gazetteers Lasbela State pages 57 to 59
  2. ^ Balochistan District Gazetteer Makran pages 105 to 107
  3. ^ Nomadism in Baluchistan by Brian Spooner in Pastoralists and nomads in South Asia by Lawrence S Leshnik pages 172 & 175 ISBN 3-447-01552-7
  4. ^ Conservatism and Change in Desert Feudalism: The Case of Southern Baluchistan by Carroll Pastner pages 247 to 260 in The nomadic alternative : modes and models of interaction in the African-Asian deserts and steppes / edited by W. Weissleder The Hague : Mouton, 1978
  5. ^ Balochistan District Gazetteer Makran pages 105 to 107
  6. ^ Conservatism and Change in Desert Feudalism: The Case of Southern Baluchistan by Carroll Pastner pages 247 to 260 in The nomadic alternative : modes and models of interaction in the African-Asian deserts and steppes / edited by W. Weissleder The Hague : Mouton, 1978
  7. ^ Balochistan District Gazetteer Makran pages 105 to 107
  8. ^ Nomadism in Baluchistan by Brian Spooner in Pastoralists and nomads in South Asia by Lawrence S Leshnik pages 172 & 175 ISBN 3-447-01552-7