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0090 Innermost Asia : vol.1
Innermost Asia : vol.1 / Page 90 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000187
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Though in language and racial descent there is probably little, if anything, to distinguish the Tangiris (Fig. 39) from their eastern neighbours, yet I noticed marked differences in the character of the population. The most striking, perhaps, is the fact that throughout Tangir the population lives scattered in clusters of hamlets and isolated holdings. Of those large villages resembling townships in which the Darél people now congregate, at least for a great portion of the year, there are none to be found in Tangir. Nor could I hear of ruined sites corresponding to those fortified villages or ` kôts ' in which the Darélis seem to have sought shelter ever since early times. What dwellings and canals I saw all appeared of distinctly ruder construction than most of those seen in Darél. On the other hand I noted a distinctly more manly bearing in the people and, as the result probably of a natural reaction against the new régime, a sullenness of temper quite absent among the meeker Darélis. Though Pakhtûn Wall's power had been established in Tangir far longer, yet the strength of smouldering animosities was manifest. This accounted for the increased care with which our ever-watchful escort safeguarded us from any attempt on the part of their chief's oldest subjects—and foes. Thus flanking parties were conspicuous as we moved up the valley on August loth. To what extent the Tangiris' reputation for greater valour and turbulence is connected with the spirit of fanaticism with which they are also credited I am unable to judge. But it is certain that the easy disregard of the Islamic prohibition against wine that prevails throughout Dare! is unknown here. Nor could it escape me that the defiant attitude of the numerous religious students we found gathered round a famous Mullah at the old mosque of Prôri (Fig. 29) at first threatened to cause a fracas with our escort.

As we moved up the valley above Kam', all of it held by Gabar-khéls, I noticed much fertile ground between the fields once probably cultivated but now overgrown by scrub and Ilex jungle. Before reaching the clustering hamlets of Prôri and Pâpat, we passed the side valley of Darô-gah, up which a track leads into upper Gayal-gah and thence to the main Darél valley. About three miles farther we reached Dobats, where the large side valley of Kachilô-gâh comes down from the west. Through it access can be gained to the Gabriàl valley at the head of the as yet unexplored hill-tract of Kandia. Close to the junction of the Kachilô-011 and the main river coming from Satil, I found the crest of a rocky eminence occupied by a small ruined fort, known as Birnao-kat (Fig. 33) and probably intended to guard the route from the north. Its remains did not look very old. A little over a mile above this point, at an elevation of about 7,50o feet, we passed the outlet of another large valley, the Maichar-gah, coming from thé west. Its stream seemed as large as that of the main valley, which our track continued to follow to the north and which from here onwards is known by the name of Satil.

Wood-   A magnificent forest of pines and firs extends right down to the bottom of the valley, which

cutting in is wide and occupied by gently rising wooded plateaux (Fig. 34). Here timber-cutting had during Satil.

recent years been carried on extensively and big clearings had been made. At the end of that day's march, after passing through glorious sylvan scenery, we arrived at the camp of Mian Shah-zâda, a Kàka-khél from Ziârat and uncle of my surveyor Afrâz-gul. For years he had been in charge of the wood-cutting operations that Kâka-khél contractors were carrying on in this great forest belt, employing hundreds of Pathan and Kôhistâni hillmen from Upper Swat and the independent tracts on the Indus. It was his opportune intercession that had helped to overcome Raja Pakhtûn Wall's original scruples about my passage through this territory. Shah-zada had undertaken to keep all fanatical characters in these woodcutters' camps out of mischief, and the influence of this quasi-sacrosanct agent had much to do with assuring our safety on ground where Pakhtûn Wall's authority was evidently none too effective.

munity claims descent from a great Saiyid saint who is   venerated among all Pathan tribes from the upper Kabul

supposed to be buried at Kaka Sahib's Ziârat and is greatly   river to the Indus.

Character of Tangir population.