ancient indian history

Panjab Tribes

Geographical Distribution of Panjab Tribes and their Amalgamation

The major tribes of West Punjab (Pakistan) are the Jats, Rajputs, Arains, Gujjars and Awans. Prior to the partition in 1947, major tribes of West Punjab also included Khatris, Aroras and Brahmins. While in East Punjab (India), Jats are almost 20 per cent of East Punjab’s population. Sainis, Kambhos, Pakhiwaras, Bawris, Bazigars and Sansis,do dominate the minor communities of the state, at present.
The foregoing narrative gives rather a blurred picture of the geographical distribution of these tribes. It creates the impression of more than one tribe sometimes occupying the same territory, or even ruling over the same area. Consequently, it may be assumed that the territories of various tribes in the Panjab were overlapping, and that the ruling tribes were not the only inhabitants of a particular area. May be, the ruling tribe formed the majority, often a marginal one, with the result that occasions arose when a rival tribe forming another important section of the population came to power over the same area and the very same people. This co-existence of more than one tribe explains the confusion regarding their territorial distribution as also the occasional use of the same nomenclature for more than one tribe. Such a situation was bound to lead to
tribal admixture resulting in complete absorption of one tribe by another. Such intermingling of tribes is presupposed by the Gautama Dharmasutra, when it states that the children born of next, second or third lower castes become Sabaras, Ambashthas, Ugras, Nishädas, Daushyantas or Pärsaras. The Arthasastra holds similar views. It is interesting to note that whole tribes sprang from this intermingling. Intermarriages must have been very common.
The present day Panjab presents much the same picture of co-existence of many tribes or castes in the same area. Certain areas are dominated by Malavai Jats, others by Brahmans or Sainis or Rajputs and so forth, though many other castes live side by side with them.

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