Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Mohmand tribe

Muhammad Gunge, an Utmanzai Mohmand of Dakka. The Illustrated London News, August 9, 1879

The Utmanzai Mohmands inhabit a small tract of country between Dawezai and Kamali Halimzais and the Isa Khel. They , along with Dawezai and Kukuzai, are thought to be affiliated clans of Mohmands. Through prolonged sharing of the Mohmand politics and habitat they have acquired the Mohmand customs and traditions. The affiliated clans have two main divisions , the Wudredunkais and Kuchis. The former live in Pipal valley , the latter are nomads in Nangarhar area in Afghanistan. ("History of the Pathans" by Haroon Rashid, Voli-II, p-456)

Noor Gul, chief of the Halimzai Mahmands, wood engraving, 1852, The Illustrated London News.

The Halimzai is said to be an offshoot of the Tarakzai clan, however, now they are quite distinct from them. They inhabit the Gandao and Kamali valleys. They were considered the best fighters of the Mahmand tribe. Because of their location they, in the past , exercised great influence in the area and used to control the transit of the 'kafilas' through the Mohmand territory.

Four Sons of Nawruz Khan of Lalpura with attendants, 1878. Photograph by John Burke

Malik Morcha (from Tarakzai clan of Mahmands) was the progenitor of the Khans of Lalpura and Morcha Khels. Malik Morcha was a contemporary with Mughal Emperor Akbar. In 1586 A.D, he joined by the other Ghoria Khels , having nominated Jalala (son of Pir Roshan), their leader, revolted against Mughals and stormed the fort of Bagram (Peshawar) killing Syed Hamid , the Mughal faujdar. Later Akbar won him over by conferring on him honours and awards. He along with his other family members, joined the Mughal service. Later he was appointed commander of the Mughal fort at Dakka, of which he and his sons acquired the hereditary command. (W.R.H.Merk, "Report on Mohmands", p-20)