Monday, February 12, 2018

Khattak horsemen

Khattak horsemen. Illustration from the 'The Graphic', Vol. XVII, February 23, 1878.

From poetry of Khushal Khattak ;

"A Khattak, when he mounts on horse-back,
Binds his shield upon his back ;
Lets loose the end of his turban
Over his forehead long and broad " [1]

خټک چه به اس سور شي
درسته وتړی په کونه
شمله ډ دستار پريږدي
په ټڼدي کښي اوږده پلنه

The Marwat, the hereditary enemy of the Khattaks, says : "Though the Khattak it a good horseman, yet he is a man of but one charge," [2]

Khushal Khan Khattak in his Dastar nama says ;
"....Jousting of spears and hitting a mark are also useful on the horse-back. If a king is not involved in these practices he is not a king. Rather he is an unfortunate person. A person who can throw arrows on a horse-back that horseman is better than many Jousting fighters. A Verse: "A horse-man skilled in archery on a horse back is better than a big group of Jousting fighters." The best things in the world are best young men, best horses and best arrows." [3]

Khattak horsemen in chain armour, 19th century [4]


1- "Afghan poetry of the seventeenth century: being selections from the poems of Khushhal Khan Khatak", with translations and grammatical introductions; edited and compiled by C. E.. Biddulph, p-104
2- A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, Vol-III, p-248
3-  Dastar nama of Khushhal Khan Khattak - p-62
4-  "Across the Border: Or Pathan and Biloch" by Edward Emmerson Oliver, p-152