A photograph from 1910 with the caption reading "Brahui of Quetta".
Balochi, Sindhi, Urdu, Arabic, Persian spoken as second languages
|Sunni Islam (Hanafi)|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Dravidian people of South India, Gonds, Kurukh people, Telugus, Nearby Balochis|
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|Dravidian culture and history|
The Brahui (Brahui: براہوئی,) or Brahvi people are a Pakistani ethnic group of about 2.2 million people with the vast majority found in Baluchistan, Pakistan. They are a small minority group in Afghanistan, where they are native, but they are also found through their diaspora in Middle Eastern states. They mainly occupy the area in Balochistan from Bolan Pass through the Bolan Hills to Ras Muari (Cape Monze) on the Arabian sea, separating the Baloch people living to the east and west. The Brahuis are almost entirely Sunni Muslims.
The fact that other Dravidian languages only exist further south in India has led to several speculations about the origins of the Brahui. There are three hypotheses regarding the Brahui that have been proposed by academics. One theory is that the Brahui are a relict population of Dravidians, surrounded by speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, remaining from a time when Dravidian was more widespread. Another theory is that they migrated to Baluchistan from inner India during the early Muslim period of the 13th or 14th centuries. A third theory says the Brahui migrated to Balochistan from Central India after 1000 AD. The absence of any older Iranian (Avestan) influence in Brahui supports this last hypothesis. The main Iranian contributor to Brahui vocabulary is a northwestern Iranian language, Baluchi, Sindhi and southeastern Iranian language, Pashto.
The History of the Brahui emerges from total darkness with the displacement of a shadowy Hindu dynasty in Kalat called Sewa by the Mirwani Brahuis. There is a Mughal interlude and then Brahui ascendancy again.
There are three groups of Brahui tribes. The "nucleus" consists of the Achmadzai, Gurguari, Iltazai, Kalandari, Kambrani, Mirwari, Rodeni and the Sumalari, which altogether account for only a small proportion of the total number of Brahuis. The majority of the population is divided up between the Jhalawan Brahuis (which include the tribes of the Bizanjars, Harunis, Muhammad Hasnis, Mengals, Nicharis, Pandranis, Sajdis and the Zahris), and the Sarawan Brahuis (comprising the tribes of the Bangulzai, Kurd, Lahri, Langav, Muhammad-Shahi, Raisani, Rustamzai, Sarpora, Satakzai, Shahwani and Zagar-Mengal).
The Brahui language is a Dravidian language, even though it is very far from South India. It is mainly spoken in the Kalat areas of Balochistan, Pakistan, and in Southern Afghanistan, as well as by an unknown very small number of expatriates in the Gulf states, Turkmenistan, as well as Iranian Balochistan. It has three dialects: Sarawani (spoken in the north), Jhalawani (spoken in the southeast), and Chaghi (spoken in the northwest and west) The 2013 edition of Ethnologue reports that there are some 4.2 million speakers; 4 million live in Pakistan, mainly in the province of Balochistan. Due to its isolation, Brahui's vocabulary is only 15% Dravidian, while the remainder is dominated by Balochi, and Indo-Aryan languages (for example, of the number names from "one" to "ten," "four" through "ten" are borrowed from Persian. Brahui is generally written in the Perso-Arabic script and there is even a Latin alphabet that has been developed for use with Brahui.
Kalat, Jhalawan, and Sarawan, with Kalat as the standard dialect.
Brahuis display a variety of Y-DNA haplogroups, the two most important being haplogroup R1a - with its mass diffusion among populations of Central/South Asia and associated with the early eastern migrations of Indo-Iranian nomads - and haplogroup J, which, though found among other subcontinental peoples, is nevertheless more typical of Near-Eastern populations. Other, relatively minor, low-frequency haplogroups among the Brahui are those of L, E1b1a, G, and N.
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- James B. Minahan. "Brahuis". Ethnic Groups of South Asia and the Pacific: An Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
- Shah, Mahmood Ali (1992), Sardari, jirga & local government systems in Balochistan, Qasim Printers, pp. 6–7
- Minahan, James B. (31 August 2016), "Brahui", Encyclopedia of Stateless Nations: Ethnic and National Groups around the World, 2nd Edition: Ethnic and National Groups around the World, ABC-CLIO, pp. 79–80, ISBN 978-1-61069-954-9
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- [Sergent, Genèse de l'Inde]
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- Language and linguistic area: essays By Murray Barnson Emeneau, Selected and introduced by Anwar S. Dil, Stanford University Press. Page 334
- Population Census Organisation, Statistics Division, Govt. of Pakistan, 1999, 1998 district census report of Kalat Page 7.
- Scholz 2002, p. 28.
- Raheel, Qamar; et al. (2002). "Y-Chromosomal DNA Variation in Pakistan". American Journal of Human Genetics. 70: 1107–1124. PMC . PMID 11898125. doi:10.1086/339929.
- Sengupta, S; Zhivotovsky, LA; King, R; Mehdi, SQ; Edmonds, CA; Chow, CE; Lin, AA; Mitra, M et al. (2006).
- Scholz, Fred (2002) . Nomadism & colonialism : a hundred years of Baluchistan, 1872-1972. Karachi ; Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-579638-4.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brahui.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Brahui.|
- South Asia Language Resource Center
- Brahui people, Britannica.com
- Qamar, Raheel; Ayub, Qasim; Mohyuddin, Aisha; Helgason, Agnar; Kehkashan, Mazhar; Atika, Mansoor; Zerjal, Tatjana; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Mehdi, S. Qasim (2002-03-15). "Y-Chromosomal DNA Variation in Pakistan". American Journal of Human Genetics. 70 (5): 1107–1124. PMC . PMID 11898125. doi:10.1086/339929.