The Info List - Balochi People

The Baloch or Baluch (Balochi: بلوچ‬) are a people who live mainly in the Balochistan
region of the southeastern-most edge of the Iranian plateau
Iranian plateau
in Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, as well as in the Arabian Peninsula. They mainly speak the Balochi language, a branch of Northwestern Iranian languages, and are an Iranic people. About 50% of the total Baloch population live in Balochistan, a western province of Pakistan;[8] 40% of Baloch are settled in Sindh; and a significant number of Baloch people
Baloch people
in Punjab of Pakistan. They make up nearly 3.6% of the Pakistani population, about 2% of Iran's population (1.5 million) and about 2% of Afghanistan's population.[9] Baloch people
Baloch people
co-inhabit desert and mountainous regions along with Pashtuns. Baloch people
Baloch people
practice Islam, are predominantly Sunni, and use Urdu as the lingua franca to communicate with other ethnic groups such as Pashtuns
and Sindhis, as is the norm for Pakistan.


1 Etymology 2 History 3 Balochi culture 4 Baloch tribes

4.1 Tradition 4.2 Divisions 4.3 Tribalism 4.4 Pakistan

5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 Bibliography 9 External links

Etymology The exact origin of the word 'Baloch' is unclear. Rawlinson (1873) believed that it is derived from the name of the Babylonian king and god Belus. Dames (1904) believed that it is derived from the Persian term for cockscomb, said to have been used as a crest on the helmets of Baloch troops in 6th century BCE. Herzfeld (1968) proposed that it is derived from the Median term brza-vaciya, which describes a loud or aggressive way of speaking. Naseer Dashti (2012) presents another possibility, that of being derived from the name of the ethnic group `Balaschik' living in Balashagan, between the Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea
and Lake Van in present day Turkey and Azerbaizan, who are believed to have migrated to Balochistan
during the Sassanid times.[10] The remnants of the original name such as 'Balochuk' and 'Balochiki' are said to be still used as ethnic names in Balochistan.[11] Some writers suggest a derivation from Sanskrit words bal, meaning strength, and och meaning high or magnificent.[11] An earliest Sanskrit reference to the Baloch might be the Gwalior inscription of the Gurjara-Pratihara
ruler Mihira Bhoja
Mihira Bhoja
(r. 836–885), which says that the dynasty's founder Nagabhata I repelled a powerful army of Valacha Mlecchas, translated as "Baluch foreigners" by D. R. Bhandarkar. The army in question is that of the Umayyad Caliphate after the conquest of Sindh.[12] History According to Baloch lore, their ancestors hail from Aleppo
in what is now Syria.[13] They are descendants of Hazrat Ameer Hamza, uncle of the prophet Muhammad, who settled in Halab (present-day Aleppo). They fled to the Sistan
region,[14] remaining there for nearly 500 years until they fled to the Makran
region following a deception against the Sistan
leader Badr-ud-Din. However, based on an analysis of the linguistic connections of the Balochi language, which is one of the Western Iranian languages, the original homeland of the Balochi tribes was likely to the east or southeast of the central Caspian region. The Baloch began migrating towards the east in the late Sasanian
period. The cause of the migration is unknown but may have been as a result of the generally unstable conditions in the Caspian area. The migrations occurred over several centuries.[15] By the 9th century, Arab writers refer to the Baloch as living in the area between Kerman, Khorasan, Sistan, and Makran
in what is now eastern Iran.[16] Although they kept flocks of sheep, the Baloches also engaged in plundering travellers on the desert routes. This brought them into conflict with the Buyids, and later the Ghaznavids and the Seljuqs. Adud al-Dawla
Adud al-Dawla
of the Buyid dynasty launched a punitive campaign against them and defeated them in 971-972. After this, the Baloch continued their eastward migration towards what is now Balochistan
province of Pakistan, although some remained behind and there are still Baloch in eastern part of the Iranian Sistan-Baluchestan and Kerman
provinces. By the 13-14th centuries waves of Baloch were moving into Sindh, and by the 15th century into the Punjab.[16] According to Dr. Akhtar Baloch, Professor
at University of Karachi, the Balochis migrated from Balochistan
during the Little Ice Age
Little Ice Age
and settled in Sindh
and Punjab. The Little Ice Age is conventionally defined as a period extending from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries,[17][18][19] or alternatively, from about 1300[20] to about 1850.[21][22][23] Although climatologists and historians working with local records no longer expect to agree on either the start or end dates of this period, which varied according to local conditions. According to Professor
Baloch, the climate of Balochistan
was very cold and the region was inhabitable during the winter so the Baloch people
Baloch people
migrated in waves and settled in Sindh
and Punjab.[24] The area where the Baloch tribes
Baloch tribes
settled was disputed between the Persian Safavids
and the Mughal emperors. Although the Mughals managed to establish some control over the eastern parts of the area, by the 17th century, a tribal leader named Mir Hasan established himself as the first "Khan of the Baloch". In 1666, he was succeeded by Mir Aḥmad Khan Qambarani who established the Balochi Khanate of Kalat under the Ahmadzai dynasty.[note 1] Originally in alliance with the Mughals, the Khanate lost its autonomy in 1839 with the signing of a treaty with the British colonial government and the region effectively became part of British Raj.[16] Balochi culture Gold ornaments such as necklaces and bracelets are an important aspect of Baloch women's traditions and among their most favoured items of jewellery are dorr, heavy earrings that are fastened to the head with gold chains so that the heavy weight will not cause harm to the ears. They usually wear a gold brooch (tasni) that is made by local jewellers in different shapes and sizes and is used to fasten the two parts of the dress together over the chest. In ancient times, especially during the pre-Islamic era, it was common for Baloch women to perform dances and sing folk songs at different events. The tradition of a Baloch mother singing lullabies to her children has played an important role in the transfer of knowledge from generation to generation since ancient times. Apart from the dressing style of the Baloch, indigenous and local traditions and customs are also of great importance to the Baloch.[30] Baloch tribes See also: List of Baloch tribes

Afghan Baloch men in Zaranj, Nimruz Province

Tradition Traditionally, Jalal Khan was the ruler and founder of the first Balochi confederacy in 12th century. (He may be the same as Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu the last ruler of the Khwarezmian Empire.[31]) Jalal Khan left four sons - Rind Khan, Lashar Khan, Hoth Khan, Kora Khan and a daughter, Bibi Jato, who married his nephew Murad.[32] Traditionally, these five are claimed as the founders of the five great divisions of the Baloch: the Rind, the Lashari (Laashaar), the Hoth, the Korai and the Jatoi. Divisions As of 2008 it was estimated that there were between eight and nine million Baloch people
Baloch people
living in Afghanistan, Iran
and Pakistan. They were subdivided between over 130 tribes.[33] Some estimates put the figure at over 150 tribes, though estimates vary depending on how subtribes are counted.[34] The tribes, known as taman, are led by a tribal chief, the tumandar. Subtribes, known as paras, are led by a muquaddam.[35] Five Baloch tribes
Baloch tribes
derive their eponymous names from Khan's children. Many, if not all, Baloch tribes
Baloch tribes
can be categorized as either Rind or Lashari based on their actual descent or historical tribal allegiances that developed into cross-generational relationships.[citation needed] This basic division was accentuated by a war lasting 30 years between the Rind and Lashari tribes in the 15th century.[36] Tribalism

Iranian Balouch man

Violent intertribal competition has prevented any credible attempt at creating a nation-state. A myriad of militant secessionist movements, each loyal to their own tribal leader, threatens regional security and political stability. Nationalist groups like the Baloch Students Organization, composed of armed rebels, and the Baloch Council of North America, made up of educated expatriates living in the United States, have simultaneously denounced Balochistan's traditional rulers and Pakistan's national government.[37][38][39] Baloch tribes
Baloch tribes
are markedly less egalitarian than Pashtun tribes.[40] Balochistan National Party, a group that engages in politics and violence, makes a point of advocating on behalf of the tribally distinct Baloch communities in Iran
and Afghanistan.[41][self-published source] Pakistan There are 180,000 Bugti based in Dera Bugti District. They are divided between the Rahija Bugti, Masori Bugti, Kalpar Bugti, and Daiga sub-tribes.[33][42][full citation needed] Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti led the Bugti as Tumandar until his death in 2006. Talal Akbar Bugti was the tribal leader and President of the Jamhoori Watan Party from 2006 until his death in 2015.[43] There are 98,000 Marri based in Kohlo
district,[33] who further divide themselves into Gazni Marri, Bejarani Marri, and Zarkon Marri.[33] Hyrbyair Marri
Hyrbyair Marri
has led the Balochistan
Liberation Army since his brother's death in 2007. Bharary is also one of the Baloch tribes
Baloch tribes
settled in Barkhan district of province Baluchistan, a fewer families of bharary Baloches are also settled in Bhakkar and jhang districts of the province Punjab, and Dera Ismail Khan of KPK. The Zehri are based in Zawa, Jhalawan
where they are the largest tribe.[44] Sanaullah Zehri, the Chief Minister of Balochistan, is the Zehri's tribal chief. The Zehri have Sasoli and Zarakzai subtribes. The Hooth tribe is led by Abdul Malik Baloch, the last Chief Minister of Baloch. The Mengal tribe has the Shahizai, Zagar and Samalani sub-tribes. Ataullah Mengal leads the Mengal tribe. See also

Baloch people
Baloch people
in the United Arab Emirates Balochistan
conflict Al Balushi Firoud Kai Khosrow Baloch cuisine Indo-Iranian peoples Baloch nationalism


^ A number of unrelated tribes with the name Ahmadzai exist.[25] There are two Pashtun tribes
Pashtun tribes
who are unrelated to each other with this name: the Ahmadzai who are a Waziri tribe and the Sulaimankhel
Ahmadzai, part of the Ghilzai
confederation.[26] However, the Ahmadzai Khans of Khalat were neither of these and belonged to a Brahui tribe.[27][28][29]


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Baloch tribes
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Dashti, Naseer (2012), The Baloch and Balochistan: A Historical Account from the Beginning to the Fall of the Baloch State, Trafford Publishing, pp. 33–, ISBN 978-1-4669-5896-8 

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Baloch tribes

Ashkani Bahawalanzai Bajkani Bangulzai Barazani Bhurgari Bijarani Buledi Bizenjo Bozdar Bugti Chandio Chhalgari Darzada Dashti Dehwar Dodai Dombki Gabol Ghazini Hasni Jalbani Jamali Jarwar Jatoi Kalmati Kanera Khel Khetran Khosa Khushk Kiazai Kunara Langhani Lango Lanjwani Lashkrani Lehri Loharani Lund Maretha Marri Mazari Mengal

Zagar Zakria Zae

Mirali Mollazehi Mugheri Muhammad Shahi Mullazai Nizamani Noohani Nothazai Pitafi Qaisrani Qalat Raisani Rind Sadozai Sanjrani Sasoli Sethwi Shaikhzadah Shambhani Tauki Umrani Yarahmadzai

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Ethnic groups in Afghanistan

Ethnic groups

Aimak Arabs Baloch Brahui Dalak Gurjars Hazaras Jat Kho Moghol Nuristanis Pamiris Pashayi Pashtuns Punjabis Tajiks Turkmens Uzbeks Qizilbash Wakhi

Foreign nationals

Armenians Indians Pakistanis Russians Turks

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Ethnic groups in Pakistan

Balti Baloch Brahui Burusho Hazaras Hindkowans Kalash Kashmiris Kho Muhajirs Pashtuns Punjabis Shina Siddi Sindhis Wakhis

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Iranian peoples

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Balochis Gilaks Kurds




Mazanderanis Ossetians



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Caucasus Iran

Wakhis Yaghnobis Zazas

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Ætsæg Din Bábism Khurramites Manichaeism Mazdakism Mazdaznan Yarsanism Yazdânism Yazidism Zoroastrianism

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Province of Balochistan


History of the Baloch people Mehrgarh Kalat (princely state)

Government and politics

Provincial Assembly Chief Minister Governor Tumandar Balochistan
conflict Hazara Democratic Party Baloch nationalism

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Baloch people List of Baloch tribes Language Cinema Cuisine Diaspora Music Brahui people Brahui language Hazara people

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Archaeological sites and monuments Pirak Gondrani Mehrgarh Gadani


List of cities Districts Balochistan


University of Balochistan


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