Report No.67 of 1863 detailing the tribes, trades and resources of the Gulf Littoral [12v] (24/58)
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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Diary, during my recent journey, from tlie lips of the present Chief and other
Sheikhs of Koweit.
128. The family of the present Sheikh, have ruled at Koweit, some five
generations or about 250 years; for, as these men live to the good old age of 120
years, their generations are, of course, nearly double ours; or about 50 years
each. Originally, the Sheikh's progenitors dwelt in a small Fort called Moom-
gussur; situate at the head of the Kore Abdullah, near Bunder Zobier. They
were the pirates of the North of the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. and lower channels of the
Shat-ul-Arab. But about 250 years ago, the Busreh authorities attacked and
expelled them. The original Sheikh then came down the Boobian creek with his
followers, and debouched on the bay, at present known as that of Koweit or
Grane. Crossing the bay, he settled on its southern shore; and there erected
a Fort or Khote: hence the name Khote, or Koweit. The term Grane, is rather
applied to the shore line of the entire Bay; from its resemblance to the curve
formed by two horns; Keor or Ghern, meaning horn. The settlement was
subsequently increased by the son of the founder, who erected the longer portion
of the present walls; which however, have since been again extended along the
shore line, as the increase of population, from time to time, demanded.
129. Perhaps no conjuncture of circumstances could have seemed less favor
able to the creation of a thriving commercial settlement, than the arrival of a band
of Arab Pirates on a barren shore, with brackish water, and back grounded by a
series of Bedouins. Yet what is the fact? Here is a clean, active town, with
a broad and open main bazaar, and numerous solid stone dwelling houses, stretch
ing along this strand, and containing some 20,000 inhabitants; attracting Arab and
Persian merchants from all quarters by the equity of its rule, and by the freedom
of its trade. It imports from Malabar and Bombay, some two lacs of rupees value,
principally in longcloths, rice, coffee, planks and spices. It exports some 800
horses at an average value of 300 rupees each. 40,000 rupees worth in wool;
60,000 rupees of dates, and perhaps, 40,000 rupees worth in miscellanies, or say
approximately nearly four lacs of rupees worth of exports against two and a half
lacs. Imports. Of the horses some 600 are shipped direct from Koweit; the
remaining 200 from Busreh. The horsedealers of Koweit have their agents among
the Shemma Anizee and other ISTejd and miscellaneous tribes; collecting accurate
detailed information as to all the pedigrees of horses, and as to all the foals coming
These Agents, towards the commencement of the Bombay season, in July
and August, bring down their purchased horses, overland to Koweit; preferring
this tedious route, with its cost of protection by the way, to running the gauntlet
of the Kiver Custom Houses, bad climate of Busreh, and other inconveniences.
130. The sailors of Koweit are highly reputed, and there may be some
4,000 of them afloat; but Koweit sends to Muskat for boat-builders, as they are
esteemed superior workmen. Among a long row of native craft of all sizes, I
observed two small boats made at Cochin.
131. Koweit* sends about 30 boats annually to Bombay, each boat on an aver
age of 100 tons, containing 2,000 baskets of dates; worth, say, 1,000 French rials.
Hence the date export of 30,000 rials or 60,000 rupees. The dates are
received or shipped from the Shat-ul-Arab. Horse forage comes in part
down the Boobian creek, from Bunder Zobeir. Mutton, which is good, and
milk, butter &c., they receive from the Bedouins, who flock to the town
and are pitched in tents or huts all along the outside of its walls. These
Bedouins are not allowed to enter the town armed; but they sell at the gate,
where the Chief daily sits, and looks on. Koweit may boast of some 6,000 fighting
men within its walls; but the policy has been to keep the peace internally, and
with all its neighbours. It pays no tribute to the Ameer Fysul; but maintains
friendly relations with him. It receives no tribute, customs or revenue from any
valuable, and de
mand rapidly in
The same re
mark applies to
Sessamum seed, at
I found English saddles much esteemed among the Arabs at Koweit, and it occurred to me that
if among the presents made by Government in this part of the world to the Native Chiefs, useful articles
like a saddle were included, not only would the receivers benefit by them, but some want might be
created, whose supply would involve subsequent trade.
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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Report No.67 of 1863 detailing the tribes, trades and resources of the Gulf Littoral [12v] (24/58), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F126/48, ff 1-29, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100022698109.0x000019> [accessed 26 June 2019]
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