Black Mountain (Tor Ghar) tribes

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The Black Mountain tribes live in the vicinity of the Tor Ghar (Black Mountain) range in the Hazara region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Tor Ghar (tor, "black"; ghar, "mountain") is the Pushto name for the mountains. It is known as Kala Dhaka in the Hindko dialect, spoken by residents of Tanawal and Agror on the mountain's eastern side. Tor Ghar, east of the River Indus, extends from Thakot to Darband. The mountain is about 25–30 miles (40–48 km) long, with an average height above sea level of about 8,000 feet (2,400 m). It rises from the Indus basin at its southern end, near the village of Kiara, to its watershed near the village of Baradar, running north-northeast to its peak (Chitabat). From here the range runs north, descending to the Indus in two large spurs; at the foot of the eastern spur is Thakot. After passing Thakot, the Indus turns west along the northern foot of the mountain; it passes the western spur, turns south and runs below (and parallel to) the range's western foot.

Boundaries[edit]

Tor Ghar is bordered on the south by Tanawal; on the east by Agror, Pariari, Tikari, Nandihar and Deshi; on the north by the River Indus and Thakot, and on the west by the Indus. The mountains slope steeply for about 2,000 feet (610 m), followed by gentle, well-cultivated slopes and a steep drop from 4,000–5,000 feet (1,200–1,500 m) to the Indus. The Indus Valley, varying in width from a few hundred yards to nearly 2 miles (3.2 km), is narrowest at Kotkai and widest at Palosi. Although the river is crossed at 11 points by ferries (each holding from twenty to thirty passengers), the people cross the river at will on inflated skins.[1]

Mountain[edit]

Tor Ghar extends from 34º32' to 34º50' N and 72º48' to 72º58' E. The mountain may be described as a long, narrow ridge, with peaks and occasional passes; its general outline is rounded. Spurs projecting from its sides are precipitous and rocky, with glens or gorges between them in which smaller tribal villages are located; larger villages are on the Indus. The mountain's upper portion is thickly wooded with pine, oak, sycamore, horse chestnut and wild cherry. Its crest is cut by several passes.[2]

Climate[edit]

Tor Ghar's climate is temperate in spring and autumn. Winters are severe, with snowfall halting communications over the crest. From the mountain to the Indus Valley, summer heat rivals that of the plains. Heavy rain falls in the spring and early autumn, with frequent storms.[3]

Clans[edit]

The western slope of Tor Ghar is inhabited by the Mada Khel, Hassanzai, Akazai and Chagharzai clans of the Yousafzai Pashtun tribe. Isa, Yousafzai's second son, had three sons: Mada, Hassan and Aka; the Mada Khel, Hassanzai and Akazai are their descendants. The Chagarzai are descendants of Chagar, a son of Mali (a brother of Isa).[4][5][6]

Mada Khel[edit]

The Mada Khel are a sub-clan of the Isazai clan of the Yousafzai tribe. They live primarily on the northern slopes of Mahaban Mountain (bordered on the north by the Hassanzai, on the east by the Indus and on the south and west by the Tanoli and Amazai), with two villages on the Indus. The Mada Khel, with three smaller clans, are most accessible through Hassanzai territory.[7][8]

Mada Khel
Sections Sub-sections (khels)
Hasanbaz Khel Bara and Gunda Khels
Bazid Khel Alrabi and Tota Khels
Hassan Khel Said Ali and Sultan Khels
Mada Nama

Hassanzai[edit]

The Hassanzai, a sub-clan of the Isazai clan of the Yousafzai tribe, live on either side of the Indus. They are bordered on the north and east by the Akazai, on the west by the Indus and on the south by the territory of Tanawal, the former state of Amb. The Hassanzai are divided into ten sections:[9][10]

  • Khan Khel
  • Kotwal
  • Zakaria Khel
  • Mir Ahmad Khel
  • Lughman Khel
  • Kaka Khel
  • Dada Khel
  • Mamu Khel
  • Nanu Khel
  • Nasrat Khel

Akazai[edit]

The Akazai inhabit a portion of the crest and western slopes of Tor Ghar north of the Hassanzai, bordered on the east by portions of Agror and Piriarey, on the north by the Nasrat Khel and Basi Khel Chagharzai and on the west by the Indus. They inhabit the southern face of Machai Sar, Tor Ghar's highest peak. Their principal villages are Kand (upper and lower), Bimbal and Bilianrey; others are Darbanrey, Kanar, Bakrey, Laid, Lashora, Bakianra, Moraata, Torum and Larey. Under Sikh rule until 1868, the Akazai held the village of Shahtut in the Agror Valley (Oghi).[11][12]

Akazai
Sections Sub-sections (Khels)
Painda Khel Awal Khel, Jogi Khel and Lal Khels
Barat Khel Biba, Khan and Shahi Khels
Tasan Khel Ghazi Khan and Mamuzai
Aziz Khel Darja, Sain and Kala Khels

Chagharzai[edit]

The Chagharzai, or Chagarzai, are a division of the Malizai clan of the Yousafzai tribe. Descendants of Chaghar, the son of Mali (a son of Yousaf), they inhabit the country on either side of the Indus and are divided into three sub-divisions. The Chagharzai are bordered on the south by the Akazai, following the spur of the Tor Ghar running from Machai Sar to the Indus. On the west and north they are bordered by the Indus, and on the east by the territories of the Deshiwals and the Pariari Saiyids.[13][14]

Chagharzai
Sections Sub-sections (khels)
Ferozai
Basi Khel Daud, Shahu, Khwaja, Kalandar, Kasan and Babujan Khels
Nasrat Khel Hanju, Haider, Lukman and Badha Khels

Black Mountain campaigns[edit]

Although the tribes were never part of the British Raj, the region was generally acknowledged as part of the Frontier Regions since about 1901 and nominally attached to the Hazara district.[15] The tribes had long fought the British, and a number of Black Mountain expeditions took place between 1852 and the 1920s:[16][17]

  • Under Lieutenant Colonel F. Mackeson in 1852–53 against the Hassanzai, after the murder of two British customs officers. A force of 3,800 British troops traversed the region, destroying villages, granaries and crops.
  • Under Major-General A. T. Wilde in 1868, after an attack on a British police post at Oghi in the Agror Valley by all three tribes. A force of 12,544 British troops entered the region, and the tribes made peace.
  • First Hazara expedition (1888), after raids on British-held villages culminated in an attack on a small British detachment in which two British officers were killed. A force of 9,416 British troops traversed the region, punishing the tribes.
  • Second Hazara expedition, 1891: After the tribes fired on a force in British territory, 7,300 British troops traversed the region. The tribesmen made peace, forging an agreement with the government to preserve peace on the border. The tribes provided 2,000 Hassanzai, 1,000 Akazai, 4,000 Mada Khel and 6,000 Chagharzai for the December 1863 Umbeyla Operation.[18]

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa district[edit]

After the creation of Pakistan on 14 August 1947, Tor Ghar became part of the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) and was administered by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (then the North-West Frontier Province). Torghar became the 25th district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on 28 January 2011.[19] Its capital is Judba, and it consists of the tehsils of Judba, Kandar Hassanzai and Mada Khel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ H.C. Wylly (1912). "From the Black Mountain to Waziristan". London, Macmillan. pp. 24–53. 
  2. ^ Wylly H.C. From the Black Mountain to Waziristan, Chapter-II pages (24-53).https://archive.org/details/fromblackmountai00wyll
  3. ^ Compiled by the Intelligence Branch, Division of the Chief of Army Staff, Army Headquarters India. Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India. Vol I. page 94.https://archive.org/details/frontieroverseas01indi
  4. ^ H.D. Watson. Gazetteer of Hazara District, 1907. page 166.https://books.google.com/books?ei=LqhXTY6QJI_RrQfV--GHBw&ct=book-thumbnail&id=V1NuAAAAMAAJ&dq=gazetteer+of+hazara+district&q=Akazais
  5. ^ Wylly H.C. From the Black Mountain to Waziristan, Chapter-II pages (24-53).https://archive.org/details/fromblackmountai00wyll
  6. ^ Compiled by the Intelligence Branch, Division of the Chief of Army Staff, Army Headquarters India. Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India. Vol I. Chapter III and IV.https://archive.org/details/frontieroverseas01indi
  7. ^ J. Wolfe Murray. A Dictionary of the Pathan Tribes on the North-west Frontier of India.https://archive.org/details/adictionarypath00brangoog
  8. ^ Compiled by the Intelligence Branch, Division of the Chief of Army Staff, Army Headquarters India. Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India. Vol I. Chapter III and IV.https://archive.org/details/frontieroverseas01indi
  9. ^ J. Wolfe Murray. A Dictionary of the Pathan Tribes on the North-west Frontier of India.https://archive.org/details/adictionarypath00brangoog
  10. ^ Compiled by the Intelligence Branch, Division of the Chief of Army Staff, Army Headquarters India. Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India. Vol I. Chapter III and IV.https://archive.org/details/frontieroverseas01indi
  11. ^ J. Wolfe Murray. A Dictionary of the Pathan Tribes on the North-west Frontier of India.https://archive.org/details/adictionarypath00brangoog
  12. ^ Compiled by the Intelligence Branch, Division of the Chief of Army Staff, Army Headquarters India. Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India. Vol I. Chapter III and IV.https://archive.org/details/frontieroverseas01indi
  13. ^ J. Wolfe Murray. A Dictionary of the Pathan Tribes on the North-west Frontier of India.https://archive.org/details/adictionarypath00brangoog
  14. ^ Compiled by the Intelligence Branch, Division of the Chief of Army Staff, Army Headquarters India. Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India. Vol I. Chapter III and IV.https://archive.org/details/frontieroverseas01indi
  15. ^ Hazara District Gazetteer 1902 edition, Govt of NWFP, Peshawar, pp.159-161
  16. ^ Compiled by the Intelligence Branch, Division of the Chief of Army Staff, Army Headquarters India. Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India. Vol I. Chapter III and IV https://archive.org/details/frontieroverseas01indi
  17. ^ Wylly H.C. From the Black Mountain to Waziristan, Chapter-II pages (24-53).https://archive.org/details/fromblackmountai00wyll
  18. ^ Sir Willium Wilson Hunter.The Indian Musalmans (1872) page 30 (Foot Note 1) (https://archive.org/details/indianmusalmans03huntgoog
  19. ^ Tor Ghar: Kala Dhaka becomes 25th K-P district The Express Tribune. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.