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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1366] (421/688)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (341 folios). It was created in 1917. 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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A strong infusion of negro blood and a considerable proportion of full negroes are said to
exist in the southern districts, especially in Aflaj and Widyan Dawasir. The information
available regarding the distribution and numbers of the tribes mentioned will be
found in the articles under their names and the names of the districts which they
The Bedouins of Southern Najd are for the most part these:—'Ataibah in the
vast stretch of country between Qasim and Mecca and in the districts of Wadi Sabai',
Wadi-as-Sirr, Washam, Sadair, 'Aridh and Kharj ; Dawasir in Widyan Dawasir, Afiaj
and Kharj ; Mutair in Sadair, Washam, Wadi-as-Sirr and in the direction of Miskah and
Dharlyah, etc.; Qahtan in Wadi Tathlith, Wadi Sabai', Washam and even Sadair ; and
Sabai' in Wadi Sabai', Kharj and 'Aridh. Besides these some 'Ajman visit Kharj and
some Buqum frequent Wadi Sabai'. The Sulaba wander in Southern Najd as they do
elsewhere in the interior of Arabia.
The following is a rough calculation of the population of Southern Najd, excluding
Wadi Tathlith for which no estimate is possible:—
Aflaj ..
'Aridh ..
Widyan Dawasir ..
Wadi Sabai,
Sulaba, etc.
Washam ..
.. 137,000
This gives a total population of 170,000 souls distributed over a region of which the
area is not less then 50,000 square miles ; the average deasity of population consequently
appears to be less than 4 persons to the square mile.
The people of Southern Najd are of good physique and often attain an age which would
be considered advanced even in Europe ; among the manhood of the country the palm
is awarded to the Bani Tamim, especially of Sadair, whose more than average physical
development is attributed to the quantity of camel's milk that enters into their diet. The
description of the settled population and nomads of Jabal Shammar applies in the main
to those of Southern Najd, with this modification, that the inhabitants of Southern Najd
are for the most part professed Wahhabis.
Trade. —The meagreness of exports and imports bears testimony, in spite of the agri
cultural wealth of a few favoured localities, to the general poverty of the country and
to the almost total absence of surplus produce. Horses to India and ghi to Hasa are per
haps the only articles exported, while imports are chiefly arms and ammunition, piece-
goods and coffee. About half of the general imports is obtained through Hasa, while the
other half is almost equally divided between Kuwait and the ports of Hijaz, The trade
in arms is of an exeptional character and may not be of long duration ; at present it is
conducted by Najdi merchants who visit the Masqat market once a year and, after
purchasing a stock of arms, introduce them into Southern Najd by way of Qatar, a
neighbourhood in which their operations are not exposed to interference by any

About this item


Volume II of III of the Gazetteer of Arabia. The Gazetteer is alphabetically-arranged and this volume contains entries K through to R.

The Gazetteer is an alphabetically-arranged compendium of the tribes, clans and geographical features (including towns, villages, lakes, mountains and wells) of Arabia that is contained within three seperate bound volumes. The entries range from short descriptions of one or two sentences to longer entries of several pages for places such as Iraq and Yemen.

A brief introduction states that the gazetteer was originally intended to deal with the whole of Arabia, "south of a line drawn from the head of the Gulf of 'Aqabah, through Ma'an, to Abu Kamal on the Euphrates, and to include Baghdad and Basrah Wilayats" and notes that before the gazetteer could be completed its publication was postponed and that therefore the three volumes that now form this file simply contain "as much of the MSS. [manuscript] as was ready at the time". It further notes that the contents have not been checked.

Extent and format
1 volume (341 folios)
Physical characteristics

Foliation: This volume's foliation system is circled in pencil, in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1366] (421/688), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/16/2/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 15 September 2019]

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