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the health or efficiency of this invaluable animal is in question.

The Bilúchis of Sindh are the dominant party as the latest conquerors of the country, and came from the mountainous regions to the westward, invited by the rich valley of the Indus; they are feudatory holders of the soil, an indolent and insolent race, before whom even the late ruling princes were obliged to quail; for with arms in their hands, and looking upon the country as their own, their chiefs being in a measure elective, they exercised unbounded control over the administration of the affairs of the country, constituting a complete military despotism.

There are innumerable divisions and subdivisions of the Bilúchi tribes in Sindh, all tracing a common origin, however, to those now living in the western mountains, and all looking up to certain tribes as their superiors, such as the Rinds and others, who are located in Catchi beyond Gundava. In this way there is much of that family pride amongst them, which in India, and amongst the Rajpúts answers to caste. The Bilúchis in Sindh are not so muscular or large statured as their brethren of the colder mountainous region of Kilat and Catchi, though they are powerful and athletic for Asiatics.

The chiefs are many of them commanding and dignified, though haughty in their bearing and manner, but, as a class generally, they are bar

barously ignorant even to a proverb, wild, and untractable. A Bilúchi would unhesitatingly beard the Amirs of Sindh in open durbar, when his feelings were at all excited, for he acknowledges no respect of persons.

The Bilúchis are Jahgirdars and feudatories, occupying forts, or, rather, fortified villages, throughout the whole country. The constant feuds which are occurring between tribes renders this precaution absolutely necessary. The chiefs of any distinction generally live at or near the capital, visiting their farms or jahgirs as occasion may require. The Bilúchis are not a working people; they will only occupy themselves in breeding and rearing cattle and horses, but the cultivation of the soil is left to be carried on by the labour of the Jutt.

Some of the Bilúchi villages, or Tundas, are respectable in appearance; but, very generally, a mere shed, shared in common with the horses and cattle, forms the whole of their dwelling, a portion being screened off for the use of the women and family; the fort, or best dwelling in the village, being appropriated to the chief.

The ancient pastoral practice of vesting authority in the head of the community, as of the father of a family, is fully practised by the Bilúchis in Sindh: each tribe will obey its chief alone; his opinion being held as law, and his voice sufficient to settle any questions, not only for peace or war, but also

those of internal dissension. An order from the Amirs of Sindh themselves would only have influenced the body of the Bilúchi tribes, when received through their chiefs.

On any signal for a general rising, a swift camel carries the news from tribe to tribe, and from 20,000 to 30,000 armed men could be collected in a few days, every man being at all times prepared for war: in its practice they have no rules, and the strongest man is the best soldier.


Though living on the fat of the land, and passing a life of sloth and indolence, the Bilúchis have no appearance of luxury or comfort about them; their dwellings generally are poor, and as filthy and

miserable as those of the Jutts; their women are very plain and coarse, little cared for, and perfect slaves to their lords, performing every menial office, whilst the lazy Bilúchi passes his whole time in smoking, drinking, or sleeping. The Bilúchi dress is a loose shirt and exceedingly wide drawers, after the old Turkish fashion; the former reaching to the knees, and, when in full costume, they add a waistband of silk or coloured cotton, always of gaudy colours;- such is also twisted round the cap when travelling. The head is not shaved, as usual with Mahommedans; but the hair, on the cultivation and growth of which, like the Seikhs, they are very proud, is twisted into a knot at the top of the head. The hill Bilúchis wear it long over the shoulders, which imparts a very wild appearance: it is never allowed to become grey, but both sexes dye it with a preparation of senna and indigo. After a certain age, Seyuds and holy men affect red beards, and the "orange tawny" is by no means uncommon. Seyuds are distinguished also by green garments, the colour of the prophet. The turban has been superseded throughout Sindh by a cap, which in form looks something like an inverted English hat, made of bright-coloured silk or brocade, and is a bad imitation of a Persian head-dress. The Bilúchis are of dark complexion, handsome features, with fine eyes; prone to corpulency, which is encouraged, to a ridiculous extent, as a great mark of beauty. The late head

of the reigning family, Mir Nasir Khan, was considered the handsomest man in the country, and was scarcely able to walk from redundancy of flesh, though quite in the prime of life.

The dress of Bilúchi women, in common with that of the country generally, is a full petticoat, gathered in at the waist, and trowsers, a cloth which covers the bosom, being tied round the neck and under the arms, leaving the back exposed: the head is protected by a loose mantle, which is also thrown round the person. The Bilúchis seldom change their garments, and they are often dyed blue to hide the dirt, and this in one of the hottest climates of the East, and among the pretenders to a religion in which cleanliness is ordained as a law.

The arms of the Bilúchis are the matchlock, sword, and shield, with a great paraphernalia of pouches belts, steel, flint, &c. round the waist; in the use of weapons they are very expert, though they pride themselves particularly on their skill as swordsmen, always preferring hand-to-hand combat, rushing in on their foe under shelter of their large shields. The bravery of the Bilúchis has always been lightly esteemed, but although late events have proved, in addition to former instances, that they cannot cope with the steady discipline of our troops, they have now fairly earned a name for courage, which was not formerly conceded to them, yet your true soldier is seldom a worthless pretender, and it is impossible to imagine a greater braggart than a Sindh Bilúchi.

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