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Baloch بلوچ
Regions with significant populations
 Pakistan 6.2 million (2008) [1][2]
 Iran 1.484 million (2009) [3][4]
 Afghanistan 567,920 (2009) [5]
 Oman 425,000 (2009) [6][7]
 United Arab Emirates 100,000 [8]
 Turkmenistan 28,000 (1993) [9]
 Kuwait 20,000 (1993) [10]
 Qatar 13,000 (2007)
[citation needed]
 Saudi Arabia 12,000 (2007)
[citation needed]
 Somalia 8,200 (2007)
[citation needed]
 Bahrain Unknown (2009)
[citation needed]
Languages

Balochi, Brahui and Sindhi

Religion

Islam Sunni (predominantly) and Zikris around Turbat[11][12][13]

Related ethnic groups

Kurds, Brahuis and other Iranic groups

The Baloch or Baluch (بلوچ) are the majority ethnic inhabitants of the region of Balochistan in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia, including parts of Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It is believed that they belong to the larger Iranian peoples.

The Baloch people speak Balochi, which is a branch of the Iranian languages. They mainly inhabit mountainous terrains, which have allowed them to maintain a distinct cultural identity and resist domination by neighbouring rulers. The Baloch are predominantly Muslim, with most belonging to the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam. Some 60 percent of the total Baloch population live in Pakistan. About 25 percent inhabit the contiguous region of southeastern Iran. In Pakistan the Balochi people are divided into two groups, the Sulaimani and the Makrani, separated from each other by a compact block of Brahui tribes.[14]

Contents

Demographics

The Baloch-speaking population worldwide is estimated to be in the range of 14 to 15 million.[citation needed] However, the exact number of Baloch and those who are or claim to be of Baloch ancestry is difficult to determine. In the Punjab province of Pakistan almost 10% of peoples are Balochi.[citation needed] Most of them speak Saraiki but in the Jhang area of Punjab, the majority of the Baloch population speak Punjabi also.[citation needed]

Major ethnic groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan and surrounding areas, 1980. The Baloch are shown in pink.

It is possible that there are more Baloch than simply those who claim Balochi as their mother tongue. This, however, raises the question as to who is and is not a Baloch, as many surrounding peoples claim to be of Baloch descent but do not speak Balochi. The Brahui, having lived in proximity to the Baloch, have absorbed substantial linguistic and genetic admixture from the Baloch and in many cases are indistinguishable. Despite very few cultural differences from the Baloch, the Brahui are still regarded as a separate group on account of language difference.

The higher population figures for the Baloch may only be possible if a large number of "Baloch" are included who speak different languages like Saraiki, Sindhi, Panjabi and Brahui, and who often claim descent from Baloch ancestors. Many Baloch outside of Balochistan are also bilingual or of mixed ancestry due to their proximity to other ethnic groups, including the Sindhis, Brahui, Persians, Saraikis and Pashtuns. A large number of Baloch have been migrating to or living in provinces adjacent to Balochistan for centuries. Balochs make up 2% of Iran's population (1.5 million) and live in its southeastern provinces. In addition, there are many Baloch living in other parts of the world, with the bulk living in the GCC countries of the Persian Gulf.

There is a significant population of Baloch in some Western countries such as Sweden and Australia. Many Baloch settled in Australia in the 1800s; some fourth-generation Baloch still live in Australia, mainly in Perth.

Baloch in Oman

The Southern Baloch of Oman began migrating from coastal Balochistan to the Arab lands some 200 years ago before oil was discovered there. The Baloch in Oman have maintained their ethnic and linguistic distinctions. The Southern Baloch compose approximately 22% of the country's population. The traditional Baloch economy is based on a combination of trade, farming and semi-nomadic shepherding.

History of the Baloch people

Officers of the 27th Bombay Native Infantry (1st Balochis), made up of Balochs, from the British Indian Army circa 1867.
Baloch men in their national dress, 1910.

Not much is known about the origin of the Baloch. One source of early Baloch history is a number of chronicles written in verse form that were written during the Chakarian Era (1479-1524 AD). The main subject matter of these ballads was the migration of Rind-Dodai Baloch to the Punjab and their internecine wars. One ballad from the Daptar Shaar ("Chronicle of Genealogies") suggests that the Baloch were Shia Muslims, who migrated from Halab (modern-day Aleppo), Syria, to Bampur in Seistan, Iran, and subsequently to Makran and other parts of Pakistani Balochistan:[15]

We are followers of Ali, firm in faith and honour though the grace of the holy prophet, lord of the earth. We are the offspring of Amir Hamza, victory rests with God's shrine. We arise from Halab and engage in battle with Yazid in Karbala and Bampur, and we march to the towns of Seistan.[15]

However, such ballads have been dismissed as unreliable historical sources by many Western historians.[15]

Turks, Iranis, Kurdish due to linguistic similarities with Kurdish and Greek, who migrated to Balochistan with Alexander the Great and did not return. It is very likely that the Baloch are a mixture of the above races, as their geological location is within central Asia.

L. M. Dames says that Balochs are ancestral Irani who migrated from the southern coastline of the Caspian Sea. L. W. Oshanen, a well-known anthropologist of the Soviet Union, has supported Dames' theory. The northern and southern Baloch, however, think of themselves of Arab descent, and the city of Halab (Aleppo) as their first homeland. There is no doubt that Baloch tribes, particularly Bugti and Rind, joined the Balochis during wars in Baloch regions, so there were many Arabs in that area at the time. Rai Bahadur Hetoraam agrees that some Balochis were of original Arab blood and identifies them as descendants of Hazrat Ameer Hamza, uncle of Hazrat Muhammad.

Now have an overview on those anecdote that are based upon Balochi ancient poetry, reasoning that the Balochis are Qureshi Arabs (Generation of Hazrat Ibrahim). On the other hand Balochi curls are Imitation of Spiritual Hierarchical. Prayers of al-Aqsa Mosque never shaved their poll hair. Baloch also follow the Practice of Hazrat Abraham to judge the Truth and Falsehood by moving the suspicious person on the live coal (Baloch use special wood of "Kaheer" (because its coal does not turns into ash within about 24 hours).

First a channel (about 10 ft (3.0 m) in length, 4 ft (1.2 m) in width and 3 ft (0.91 m) depth) is dug and wood of Kaheer (commonly) is burnt to prepare coal. Meanwhile a reciter recites some verses of the Qur'an; then the suspicious person is asked to walk on the blazing coal in the presence of Above All (Muqadams, white beard men). If he is true then the coal never burns his feet; a blameless Baloch has faith in this fact to that day. It is known by "Patt" in Balochi.

Languages

Geographic distribution of Balochi (yellow) and other Iranian languages

The national language of the Baloch is Balochi. In Balochistan, their second-most commonly spoken language is Brahui, a language of unknown origins with many Iranic (mainly Balochi) loanwords. Brahui has been hypothesized to have been of proto-Dravidian origin.[16] Recent studies on the origins and affinities of Brahui mostly confirms a relationship with Dravidian in general, and with North Dravidian in particular.[17]

The Baloch do not only live in Balochistan, but can also be found in Sindh and Southern Punjab of Pakistan, in Southern Afghanistan, Eastern Iran, the Persian Gulf states and in the Mari region of Turkmenistan. There are also Baloch who migrated to the East African coast and still live in towns such as Mombasa and Dar es Salaam. The Baloch Talpur Leghari ruled Sindh before the British annexation of Sindh to the British Raj. The Baloch in Sindh, South Punjab can speak four languages: Balochi, Sindhi, Panjabi and Saraiki.

Baloch society is divided in several tribes and sub-tribes. Some of these tribes speak Brahui, while most speak Balochi. Multilingualism is common, with many Baloch speaking both Brahui and Balochi, while some, such as Jamalis, speak Sindhi and Siraiki as well. The Marri tribe and the Bugti tribe speak Balochi. The Mengal tribe, who live in Chagai, Khuzdar, Kharan and in southern parts of Afghanistan, speak Brahui. The Lango tribe, who live in central Balochistan in the Mangochar area, speak Balochi as their first language and Brahui as their second. The Bizenjo tribe living in the Khuzdar, Nal, and parts of Makkura, along with the Muhammadsanis, speak both languages. The Bangulzai tribe mostly speaks Brahui, but has a Balochi-speaking minority (known as Garanis).

The Mazari in Rajanpur and Rahim Yar Khan speak Balochi, while the Leghari living in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rahim Yar Khan speak Saraiki. The Leghari in Sindh speak both Sindhi and Saraiki. The Gopang in Rajanpur, Sadiq Abad and Rahim Yar Khan speak Saraiki while those living in Sindh speak Sindhi. The Bullo Baloch (a sub-clan of the Jatoi tribe in Sindh) speak Sindhi. The Ahmedani tribe is the largest in terms of number both in Sindh and Punjab. In Punjab, the tribe is mainly settled in Dera Ghazi Khan division. The Bijarani tribe in Sindh speak Balochi. Malghani Baloch living in the tribal areas of the Dera Ghazi Khan and Sindh province of Pakistan speak Saraiki, Sindhi and Balochi, while those living in the Sibi district of Balochistan only speak Balochi. The Malghani are part of the Nutkani tribe, which is the largest tribe of the Tehsil. The Talpur, Mastoi, Jatoi, Gabol, Lashari, Chandio, Khushk, Khosa, Bozdar, Jiskani, Heesbani, Magsi, Zardari, Rind, Jakhrani and other Baloch tribes that settled in Sindh speak Sindhi, Balochi and Siraiki. Qaisrani Baloch living near Taunsa Sharif speak Saraiki and Balochi, while their clansmen living the Dera Ghazi Khan tribal areas speak Balochi. Lund Baloch living in Shadan Lund speak Sindhi, Sairaki and Balochi. Most of the Baloch tribes living in Jhang speak Punjabi as their first language. The Tauqi Baloch settled in the Khara, Noshki, Chaghi and Washuk Districts of Balochistan and can speak both Balochi and Bravi, but their primary language is Balochi.

Notable people

See also

References

  • Note: population statistics for Baloch (including those without a citation) in foreign countries were derived from various census counts, the UN, the CIA World Factbook and Ethnologue.
  1. ^ Population by Mother Tongue, Population Census Organization, Government of Pakistan (retrieved June 7, 2006)
  2. ^ Census of Afghans in Pakistan, UNHCR Statistical Summary Report (retrieved October 10, 2006)
  3. ^ Languages of Iran, Ethnologue.com (retrieved June 7, 2006)
  4. ^ Iran, Library of Congress, Country Profile (retrieved December 5, 2009)
  5. ^ Afghanistan, CIA World Factbook (retrieved December 5, 2009)
  6. ^ Languages of Oman, Ethnologue.com (retrieved December 5, 2009)
  7. ^ Oman, CIA World Factbook (retrieved December 5, 2009)
  8. ^ Languages of United Arab Emirates, Ethnologue.com (retrieved 5 December 2009)
  9. ^ Languages of Turkmenistan, Ethnologue.com (retrieved June 7, 2006)
  10. ^ Languages of Kuwait, Ethnologue.com (retrieved June 7, 2006)
  11. ^ Pakistan - Library of Congress Country Studies
  12. ^ Library of Congress Country Studies
  13. ^ Baluch - U.S. Library of Congress
  14. ^ Baloch - Britannica Online
  15. ^ a b c Ahmed, Lt. Col. Syed Iqbal (1989). "Chapter 2: The Baluch." Strategic Importance of Baluchistan in the Wake of Afghan Crisis. PhD thesis, University of Karachi, Karachi. p. 36.
  16. ^ Emeneau, Murray B. 1962. Bilingualism and structural borrowing. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 106.5: 430-442.
  17. ^ David W. Mcalpin (2003). "Velars, Uvulars and the North Dravidian Hypothesis". Journal of the American Oriental Society 123 (33): 521–546. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_go2081/is_3_123/ai_n9578250/. 
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Simple English

The Baloch (بلوچ) (other spellings: Baluch, Balouch, Bloach, Balooch, Balush, Balosh, Baloosh, Baloush) live in the part of Balochistan in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia, including parts of eastern Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

The Baloch speak Balochi language, an Iranian language. They mainly live in mountainous places of the Iranian plateau in Iran, Pakistan and parts of Afghanistan.



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