Brahui people

Last updated on 23 November 2017

The Brahui (Brahui: براہوئی,) or Brahvi people are a Pakistani ethnic group of about 2.2 million people with the vast majority found in Baluchistan, Pakistan.[1] They are a small minority group in Afghanistan, where they are native, but they are also found through their diaspora in Middle Eastern states.[2] They mainly occupy the area in Balochistan from Bolan Pass through the Bolan Hills to Ras Muari (Cape Monze) on the Arabian sea, separating the Baloch people living to the east and west.[3][4] The Brahuis are almost entirely Sunni Muslims.[5]

Brahui
براہوئی, Baloch
Brahui people of Quetta.jpg
A photograph from 1910 with the caption reading "Brahui of Quetta"
Languages
Brahui
Balochi language
Religion
Sunni Islam (Hanafi)
Related ethnic groups
Balochis

Origins

The fact that other Dravidian languages only exist further south in India has led to several speculations about the origins of the Brahui. There are three hypotheses regarding the Brahui that have been proposed by academics. One theory is that the Brahui are a relict population of Dravidians, surrounded by speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, remaining from a time when Dravidian was more widespread. Another theory is that they migrated to Baluchistan from inner India during the early Muslim period of the 13th or 14th centuries.[6] A third theory says the Brahui migrated to Balochistan from Central India after 1000 AD. The absence of any older Iranian (Avestan) influence in Brahui supports this last hypothesis. The main Iranian contributor to Brahui vocabulary is a northwestern Iranian language, Baluchi, Sindhi and southeastern Iranian language, Pashto.[7]

The History of the Brahui emerges from total darkness with the displacement of a shadowy Hindu dynasty in Kalat called Sewa by the Mirwani Brahuis. There is a Mughal interlude and then Brahui ascendancy again.[8]

It is said that a Hindu dynasty, the Sewa by name, ruled over this part of the country prior to the seventh century, Kalat is still known as Kalat-i-Sewa.[9]

Tribes

There are three groups of Brahui tribes. The "nucleus" consists of the Achmadzai, Gurguari, Iltazai, Kalandari, Kambrani, Mirwari, Rodeni and the Sumalari, which altogether account for only a small proportion of the total number of Brahuis. The majority of the population is divided up between the Jhalawan Brahuis (which include the tribes of the Bizanjars, Harunis, Muhammad Hasnis, Mengals, Siapad, Nicharis, Pandranis, Sajdis and the Zahris), and the Sarawan Brahuis (comprising the tribes of the Muhammad Shahi, Bangulzai, Kūrd, Lahri, Langov, Raisani, Rustamzai, Sarparah, Satakzai, Shahwani and Zagar-Mengal).[10]

Language

The Brahui language is a Dravidian language, even though it is very far from South India. It is mainly spoken in the Kalat areas of Balochistan, Pakistan, and in Southern Afghanistan, as well as by an unknown very small number of expatriates in the Persian Gulf states, Turkmenistan, as well as Iranian Balochistan.[11] It has three dialects: Sarawani (spoken in the north), Jhalawani (spoken in the southeast), and Chaghi (spoken in the northwest and west) The 2013 edition of Ethnologue reports that there are some 4.2 million speakers; 4 million live in Pakistan, mainly in the province of Balochistan. Due to its isolation, Brahui's vocabulary is only 15% Dravidian, while the remainder is dominated by Balochi, and Indo-Aryan languages (for example, of the number names from "one" to "ten," "four" through "ten" are borrowed from Persian. Brahui is generally written in the Perso-Arabic script and there is even a Latin alphabet that has been developed for use with Brahui.

Dialects

Kalat, Jhalawan, and Sarawan, with Kalat as the standard dialect.

At present Brahui is spoken in Pakistani Balochistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Sindh and the Persian Gulf Arab states.

Genetics

Brahuis display a variety of Y-DNA haplogroups, the most important being haplogroup R1a1a-M17(35% to 39.09%) - with its mass diffusion among populations of Central/South Asia and associated with the early eastern migrations of Indo-Iranian nomads.[12][13] Haplogroup J, which is found among other subcontinental peoples and more typical of Near-Eastern populations occurs at 28%.[14][15] Other, relatively minor, low-frequency haplogroups among the Brahui are those of G, L, E1b1a, and N.[16][17]

References

  1. ^ "A slice of south India in Balochistan".
  2. ^ James B. Minahan. "Brahuis". Ethnic Groups of South Asia and the Pacific: An Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  3. ^ Shah, Mahmood Ali (1992), Sardari, jirga & local government systems in Balochistan, Qasim Printers, pp. 6–7
  4. ^ Minahan, James B. (31 August 2016), "Brahui", Encyclopedia of Stateless Nations: Ethnic and National Groups around the World, 2nd Edition: Ethnic and National Groups around the World, ABC-CLIO, pp. 79–80, ISBN 978-1-61069-954-9
  5. ^ Dictionary of Languages: The Definitive Reference to More Than 400 Languages. Columbia University Press. 2004-03-01. ISBN 9780231115698. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
  6. ^ [Sergent, Genèse de l'Inde]
  7. ^ J. H. Elfenbein, A periplous of the ‘Brahui problem’, Studia Iranica vol. 16 (1987), pp. 215-233.
  8. ^ Language and linguistic area: essays By Murray Barnson Emeneau, Selected and introduced by Anwar S. Dil, Stanford University Press. Page 334
  9. ^ Population Census Organisation, Statistics Division, Govt. of Pakistan, 1999, 1998 district census report of Kalat Page 7.
  10. ^ Scholz 2002, p. 28.
  11. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=bCkaAQAAIAAJ
  12. ^ "Separating the post-Glacial coancestry of European and Asian Y chromosomes within haplogroup R1a".
  13. ^ "Y-Chromosomal DNA Variation in Pakistan".
  14. ^ "Y-Chromosomal DNA Variation in Pakistan".
  15. ^ "Polarity and Temporality of High-Resolution Y-Chromosome Distributions in India Identify Both Indigenous and Exogenous Expansions and Reveal Minor Genetic Influence of Central Asian Pastoralists".
  16. ^ "Y-Chromosomal DNA Variation in Pakistan".
  17. ^ "Polarity and Temporality of High-Resolution Y-Chromosome Distributions in India Identify Both Indigenous and Exogenous Expansions and Reveal Minor Genetic Influence of Central Asian Pastoralists".

Bibliography

  • Scholz, Fred (2002) [1974]. Nomadism & colonialism : a hundred years of Baluchistan, 1872-1972. Karachi ; Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-579638-4.

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