|Labana , Lubana|
|Country||Primarily India, a significant population in Europe, UK, United States and Canada|
|Populated states||Punjab Jammu , Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan.|
Lubana (sometimes also Labana, Lavana ) is a social and ethnic group in India. It is a landholding community whose members were traditionally transporters, carriers and loaders who are now mostly agriculturists. The Lubanas of Punjab region are mostly Sikhs and Hindus.
Originally, Labanas were nomadic traders and carriers, both on land and sea. They used animal-powered transportation and moved with entire families, cattle and dogs, around the country. Lakhi Shah Vanjara, a famous Labana Sikh, used bullocks for transportation during the Mughal period, while another Labana Sikh, Makhan Shah, had ships for transportation.
The major setback to their traditional profession was the introduction of motor- and rail-transport by the British. Thus, their dependence on agriculture increased. For additional income, they entered the military and served in both world wars and got lands and appreciation for their performances.
Their 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.
Labanki, the dialect of Labanas, is an extinct Indo-Aryan language. It is a mixture of Marwari, Saraiki, Gujarati and Marathi. The dialect is extinct among Labanas of Punjab, but Rajasthani Labanas still speak the same. Among Sikhs, the famous Labanki quote Guru Ladho Re(Found the Guru) was outspoken when Makhan Shah identify the 9th successor of Nanak, Guru Tegh Bahadur.
Traditionally, Labanas believes in Sati and Shaheeds. They also believe in Pipal, Cow and Gugga Worship. Sati-sthan(Temple), also called Amma Sati, is a building raised outside village, where milk given by cattle is dedicated to her. Other castes are not allowed to do the same. Shaheed worship, also called Martyr worship is prevalent among Labanas where a Samadhi is raised in memory of those labanas who sacrificed their life for good cause.
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. 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.
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.
- Page 171, THE LUBANAS OF PUNJAB, Kamaljit Singh, Guru Nanak Dev University
- Studies on military transport By George Armand Furse P. 215
- Chapter 8, THE MAKING OF EXILE: SINDHI HINDUS AND THE PARTITION OF INDIA;NANDITA BHAVNANI Westland, Jul 29, 201
- Page 87, THE LUBANAS OF PUNJAB: Researcher: Kamaljit Singh
- Sakhi 72, Bhai Bala Janamsakhi
- Sikh Heritage
- Mahankosh, Bhai Kahn Singh Nabha, Page 949
- Transformation of the Sikh Society (Ethene K. Marenco) p. 120