Author Topic: BRAHUI BALOCH  (Read 3396 times)

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« on: April 26, 2011, 02:51:42 PM »
Brahui Baloch

The Brahui baloch or Brohi baloch or people are a distinct ethnic group of about 2.2 million people with the majority found in Kalat, Pakistan, but also found in smaller numbers in neighboring Afghanistan and Iran. They are closely linked to the Baloch with whom they have substantially intermingled and whose cultural traits they have absorbed. Linguistically they were believed to be a remnant of the inhabitants of the Indus Valley civilization. The Brahui language, also called Bravi, has been theorized as the remnant of a North Dravidian language. Due to its isolation from the other Dravidian tongues it has considerable Balochi vocabulary and counting begins with Balochi numbers. There is no distinct indigenous script for Brahui; like Balochi it is written in Perso-Arabic alphabet. Brahui is spoken in the following areas: Merv area of Turkmenistan, Sindh, Zahedan and Zabol in Iranian Balochistan, southern parts of Afghanistan, Pakistani Balochistan and with the bulk in the Jhalawan region.

Origins, geography, and demographics

There are two main theories regarding the Brahui that have been proposed by academics. One theory is that they are an ancient hold-over of some sort of indeterminate Elamo-Dravidian origin that descended from the people of the Indus Valley civilization. Another theory is that they are migrants from northern India who arrived in the region either before the Aryan invasion, but probably before the Baloch. Over the centuries, due to their location, the Brahui have mixed with Iranian peoples notably the Baloch as well as with the Indo-European people(s), notably the Sindhis and other groups and culturally more closely resemble their neighbors. In addition, they are almost entirely Muslim, usually of the Sunni sect.Generally dominated by various invaders during their history, including the Baloch, the Khans of Kalat, who were of Brahui origin, became rulers in their own right and dominated Balochistan for decades, while holding off the Persians until the coming of the British in the 19th century.


Main article: Brahui language
The Brahui language is mainly spoken in the Kalat areas of Balochistan, Pakistan, although there are a considerable number of speakers in Southern Afghanistan and Iranian Balochistan. It includes three dialects including Sarawani (spoken in the north), Jhalawani (spoken in the southeast), and Chaghi (spoken in the northwest and west). According to a survey it has about 2,000,000 speakers in Pakistan (1998), 200,000 speakers in Afghanistan and 20,000 speakers in Iran, which would amount to 2,220,000 in the world. Due to its isolation, Brahui's vocabulary is only 15% Dravidian, while the remainder is dominated by Perso-Arabic, Balochi, and Indo-Aryan, while the grammar and overall morphology still resemble other Dravidian tongues. Brahui is generally written in the Perso-Arabic script and there is even a Roman alphabet that has been developed for use with Brahui. In Pakistan when doing a BA (bachelor of Arts) program, the Brahui Language can be taken as an optional subject.

Tribal dialects

Baloch society is divided in tens of tribes, including Bangulzai, Bizenjo, Langov, Lehri, Mengal, Mohammad Hasni, Mohammad Shahi, Raisani, Shahwani, Sumulani, Yusufzai (Dehwar) and Zarakzai (Zehri). Some tribes speak Brahui and some speak Balochi, and there are many that speak both. For instance, the Langov tribe, inhabiting central Balochistan in the Mangochar area, speak Balochi as their first language and Brahui as second. The Bizenjo tribe that inhabit Khuzdar, Nal and regions of Makran, along with the Muhammadsanis, one of the largest Baloch tribes, speak both languages. Another example is the Bangulzai tribe which is a Brahui-speaking tribe but the sub-tribe of the Bangulzai, the Garanis, speak Balochi and are known as Balochi speaking Bangulzais.Presently Brahui is spoken in Balochistan (Iran), Pakistan, Afghanistan, northern Iran[citation needed], Turkmanistan, Sindh and Gulf Arab states. Historically, all Khans of Balochistan were Brahui speakers[citation needed] but their court language was Balochi and they still speak Balouchi inside their homes.
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