Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Group of Afridis at Jamrud, 1866

This photograph of a group of Afridi tribesmen with rifles is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The Afridi are Pashtun Afghans, part of the Karlani tribal confederacy, who both fought against and with the British in Afghanistan during all three Anglo-Afghan wars. The British frequently classified the peoples that they conquered with fixed personality or “racial” traits. They regarded both the Punjabi Sikhs and the Afghan Afridi tribesmen as “warlike” peoples. Different Afridi clans cooperated with the British forces in exchange for subsidies, and some even served with the Khyber Rifles, an auxiliary force of the British Indian Army. Here Jamrūd refers to Jamrūd Fort, which was strategically located at the eastern entrance to the Khyber Pass in present-day Pakistan.

Credit: Library of Congress