Saturday, December 18, 2010



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Major ethnic groups in Pakistan and surrounding areas in 1980 with the Baloch shown in pink
Balochistan (Balochi: بلوچستان) orBaluchistan is an arid, mountainous regionin the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia; it includes part of southeastern Iran, westernPakistan, and southwestern Afghanistan. The area is named after the numerous Balochtribes, Iranian peoples who moved into the area from the west around 1000 AD. All natives are considered Balochi even if they do not speak the Balochi language; Pashto,Hazaragi, Persian, and Brahui languages are also spoken in the region. The southern part of Balochistan is known as Makran.



[edit]Landscape and ecology

Balochistan's landscape is composed of barren, rugged mountains and fertile land. During the summer, some regions of Balochistan are the hottest. Most of the land is barren, particurarly in the Iranian and Afghan side of the region, and it is generally sparsely populated. In the south Makran lies the desert through which Alexander the Great passed with great difficulty.
Agriculture in the region is based on the cultivation of kharif or winter crops. Cultivation is often located in alluvial fans, along river-courses, and in fertile areas which are maintained through artificial irrigation systems such as qanats (holes sunk in the ground to trap water) and gabarbands (low stone and earth mounds which create raised beds which, in turn, become saturated by rainfall and water run-off from the surrounding hills). In the southern Makran and oasis region (south of the Chagai Hills) the date palm is grown and cultivated. Orange orchards are also typical in southern Balochistan, particularly Jhalawan and Sarawan.


The earliest evidence of occupation in Balochistan is dated to the Paleolithic, represented by hunting camps and lithic scatters (chipped and flaked stone tools). The earliest settled villages in Balochistan date to the ceramic Neolithic (c. 7000-6000 BCE), including the sites of Mehrgarh (located in the Kachi Plain, east of Quetta) and Kile Gull Mohammad. These villages expanded in size during the subsequent Chalcolithic, while interaction was amplified. This involved the movement of finished goods and raw materials, including chank shell, Lapis lazuli, turquoise and ceramics. By 2500 BCE (the Bronze Age) Balochistan became part of the Harappan cultural orbit, providing key resources to the expansive settlements of the Indus river basin to the east.
From the 1st century to the 3rd century AD, the region was ruled by the Pāratarājas (lit. "Pārata Kings"), a dynasty of Indo-Scythian or Indo-Parthian kings. The dynasty of the Pāratas is thought to be identical with the Pāradas of the Mahabharata, the Puranas and other Indian sources.[1]
They are essentially known through their coins, which typically exhibit the bust of the ruler on the obverse, with long hair within a headband), and a swastika within a Brahmi legend on the reverse (usually silver coins) or Kharoshthi (usually copper coins). The coins can mainly be found in the Loralaiarea of modern Pakistan.
Herodotus in 650 BC describes the Paraitakenoi as a tribe ruled by Deiokes, a Persian king, in northwestern Persia (History I.101). Arrian describes how Alexander the Great encountered thePareitakai in Bactria and Sogdiana, and had them conquered by Craterus (Anabasis Alexandrou IV). The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (1st century AD) describes the territory of the Paradon beyond the Ommanitic region, on the coast of modern Balochistan.[2]
During the Arab conquest of the Persian empire in the 8th century, Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world and many settled in Balochistan and its tributary state until the rise of the Mughals. Numerous Baloch tribes, an Iranian people, moved into the area from the west in the 11th century to escape the Seljuk Turks. Western Balochistan was conquered by Iran in the 19th century, and its boundary was fixed in 1872. Omani influence waned in the east and Oman's last possession, Gwadar, was bought by Pakistan in 1958. In 1998, Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in the Pakistani province of Balochistan.

[edit]People from Balochistan as ethnic minorities in other countries


There is a small ethnic minority of people from Balochistan in Croatia who settled there in the times of former Yugoslavia. Only 3579 people are recognized in Croatia as members of the Balochistan ethnic group. They have integrated into society well; their cultural center is near the city of Rijeka. Most of them speak Croatian language pretty well but have problems with hard Croatian letters as Č and Ć. They often participate in local traditional gatherings called "Marunada" (chestnut festival) presenting their own culture. In the times of Drug Tito, Yugoslavia had good relations with third-world countries including Pakistan, Iraq and Iran. Many people from the Middle East came to Yugoslavia as students and stayed there building their families.

[edit]Secessionist movements

[edit]See also


  1. ^ "New light on the Paratarajas" p11
  2. ^ "New light on the Paratarajas" p29-30

1 comment: