Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Gandapur tribe

A Gandapoor Pawandah with Jezail, 1868. From "Watson and Kaye's" collection

Gandapur is a Pashtun tribe of Ushtarani extraction. Ushtaranis allege themselves to be descended from the famous saint Syed Muhammad Gaisu Daraz by one of his Sherani Pashtun wives. Ushtarani had five sons, of whom the descendants of four (Tarri or Gandapur, Sheikhi, Mareri and Umra) are collectively known as Gandapur, while those of the fifth, Hamar, are alone known as Ushtarani. Grandchildren of Gaisu Daraz were raised by their maternal grandfathers. It is, however, very doubtful that Gesu-daraz had any relationship to any Pashtun tribe, including the Gandapur.

Gandapurs were originally a pawandah and pastoral tribe. When they settled down in Daman, they began to give up their periodical migrations westward, and their commerce with the countries in that directions but even in late 19th century, a few persons of each clan of Gandapurs followed commercial pursuits, and joined the pawandahs in their migrations, and resorted to Kabul, Kandahar and other cities . According to Hayat-i-Afghani [written in 1867] ;

"All (Gandapurs) are either engaged in cultivation and trade, and exhibit in these occupations a fair degree of industry and activity .The merchants wander down into Hindustan in the winter, and in the summer betake themselves to Western Afghanistan, Khurasan and even Turkestan. The Gandapur are generally in fairly easy circumstances. Camels and horses are abundant among them, and every family has a donkey for carrying water. Mules are unknown. Some of the merchants are wealthy enough to employ agents to represent their interests and accompanying the wandering caravans, while they themselves remain at home"