Report No.67 of 1863 detailing the tribes, trades and resources of the Gulf Littoral [2v] (4/58)
The record is made up of 29 folios. It was created in 13 Apr 1863. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.
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A1 Khanaferah Chief Hajee Hamdan 5,000 grown men On road to Dorack from
Bhawee „Akheel 8,000 On the Jerahee creek or mouth.
Zoorgan ,,Jubbur 8,000 „ On pastoral grounds.
Sherayfat „ Meer Muhanna. 10,000 „ Hindeean and Deh Moolla and on
Amoor „ Shooheetee 10,000 „ Wandering and pastoral.
Beni Khaled ,, Shadee 5,000 „ ditto ditto.
These tribes are scattered throughout the pasturage during winter and sprino-; and
concentrate at or near Fellahiah towards summer, for provisions and Trade.
17. It is interesting and necessary, when considering the Arabs, to distin
guish between a series of grades towards civilization, in which they may, at present,
be found. There is the Bedouin, wandering, pastoral, tent loving, disdaining to
trade, yet avaricious, and willing to sell his ghee, his mutton, or his horse. But the
Bedouin is always found in wide and open wastes, unpressed upon by adequate exterior
power. Yet, even the Bedouin bends to circumstances. He accepts the region
allotted for his pasture grounds. Plunder has its laws ; and vengeance its
chivalry. If he will not trade, he has still wants; and suffers the presence of a
Jew or Saleebah; * as the Afghan suffers that of the Hindoo.
18. A little higher in the scale you find, as with the Chaabs, the original
wandering pastoral Arab, in a district, where, he is pressed upon from without ;
and where boundless plunder and roaming are restrained by exterior force. The
Arab then partly turns to agriculture, and for this he must in some degree settle.
Society harmonizes to this level. Trade is possible. Corn is sold. Abbas are
woven and exported. Dates are planted. The appetite for trade grows by what
it feeds on. Huts of reeds replace tents; and one sees in their feeble efforts at reed
ornamentation, and in their rough twisting of thick reed rope for their Bunds, the
possible germ of some of the architectural efforts of our own savage ancestors.
Man, at first accepts from nature, what she spontaneously affords; and feebly,
through thousands of years, thinks towards artificial means.
19. let higher in the scale, you find the Arab flourishing, as an experienced
and wealthy merchant in a town; or administering a well-ordered, and comfort
able rural district.
20. What recurs to one in passing among these people, is, that, here, before
you, is society, in the making; or in its transitional state towards civilization. It
is probable that the Law under which human society now evolves, is that under
which it has always evolved. The circumstances around you may then be
data for the elucidation of a true theory. They are at least facts, fresh from
21. As to the political condition of the Dorack Territory, it is really tribu
tary to Persia; paying, I believe, a considerable sum into the Shuster Provincial
Treasury. Its element of greatest commercial strength and military weakness,
lies in its bountiful supply of water. It would be difficult to find a territory of
equal extent, where, fresh water containing sufficient silt, is poured along the
plain, in all directions, through channels, so numerous, and so easily manageable.
But it was by damming the exits of this water towards the sea, that the Persians
flooded the country, and reduced the Chaabs.
22. The district of Mahomera originally formed part of the Dorack Chief
tainship. But the present Sheikh of Mahomera separated his clan; fostered the
naturally excellent position of his Fort for commerce; and has since remained at
* X ote —I saw some men of this tribe at Koweit, and elsewhere. They worship the cross (Saleb)
and perform many ceremonies, more nearly allied to the corruptions of Asian Christianity than to
Islamism. Men and women dance round a sort of May Pole. They wear a carter's smock, coming down
to the feet, and which, like a boys' Pinafore, ties behind. They possess a beautiful breed of donkies,
which they ride, without girths, upon a saddle made like a cottage wooden chair bottom. They squat
on this seat, and twist their legs over a pummel peak; crossing them over the donkey's neck. They
seem to prize their saddles, as an Arab does his mare; and would not sell them. They seemed a merry
quick-witted, disreputable lot, with retrouse noses, and Irish features. There they stood, eyes twinkling
(legs and hands always on the fidget) and pelted as with the peelings of their fun.
About this item
Report from Pelly to the Chief Secretary to Government in the Political Department, Bombay, compiled in Bushire 13 April 1863.
The report details the tribes, trade and resources of the Gulf Littoral which is divided into seven areas according to their political administration. The report also includes a list of detailed statements of imports and exports at Bushire.
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- 29 folios
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Item foliated in the front top right hand corner of each folio with a pencil number enclosed in a circle.
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- English in Latin script View the complete information for this record
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