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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1421] (482/688)

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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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Negroes and half-castes, bond and free, have not been shown in this table as the
number, which is large, cannot be estimated.
Population, settled and nomadic.—The following is an estimate by districts of the
settled population of the 'Oman Sultanate, exclusive of Gwadar.
Batinah .. .. .. • • • • ♦ * 105,500
Dhahirah .. .» •• •• •• 31,100
Dhufar .. .. • • • • • • * • 4,500
Eastern Hajar .. .. • • • • • • 98^400
Western Hajar .. .. •• «• •• 85,750
Ja'alan .. .. • • • • • • • • 12,000
Masqat .. .. . • • • • • • • 40,650
'Oman Proper.. .. .. •• •• •• 34,300
South-Eastem Coast of 'Oman (outside Ja'alan) .. .. 1,500
Ruus-al-Jibal .. .. .. • • • • • • 13,750
Sharqiyah ., -. .. •. • • • • 44,200
Total .. .. 471,650.
The tribal tables contained in the preceding paragraph yield the following statistics of
population, both sedentary and nomadic:—
Ghafiris .. .. .. •. • • • • 205,540
Hinawis .. .. .. • • • • • • 220,820
Others .. .. • • • • • • • • 60,000
Total .. .. 486,360
A secrutiny in detail of these tribal tables will show, however, that the number of Bed
ouins in the Sultanate cannot be less than 30,000 souls, and as regards settled pupula*
tion the estimate by districts (which includes negroes) is probably more reliable than that
by tribes. We may therefore conclude that the total population of the 'Oman Sultanate
is not less than 600,000 souls, of whom at least 30,000 are Bedouins.
Occupations and mode of life. —The greater part of the fixed population of 'Oman live
by agriculture, of which date cultivation is the commonest form. Cultivation, whether
of date trees or of other crops, is dependent on irrigation. In the hills and where springs
exist the water is brought to the field by a carefully constructed channel, sometimes
subteranean and in that case called a Falaj: an open channel is called Saqlyah. Where
irrigation is from wells, as in Batinah, the water is raised in leathern hoists, as in some parts
of India.
On the sea-coast agriculture is supplemented or replaced by fishery, and inland by the
keeping of flocks and herds. In Batinah, where the fisheries are important, the nets are
sometimes a mile long and form the principal possession of the village. The fishermen
of 'Oman ply their business along the coast of Makran at certan seasons.
The livelihood of the inhabitants of Masqat and Matrah is exceptional, depending
Upon the presence of the Sultan's government and on foreign commerce : Stir and Khabu-
rah also are ports of which sea-borne trade is the mainstay.
In some of the larger inland towns part of the population live by retail trade or by
simple industries and manufactures: such are indigo dyeing at Nizwa and 'Ibri, copper and
brasswork to an insignificant extent at Kizwa, pottery at Nakhl, and the weaving of cloth,
turbans and lungis in other places. Masqat Town is renowned for its gold and silver
work, especially the sheaths and mounting of daggers and swords; the workmen are
Local trade and trade between the coast and the interior maintain a carrier class;
Maqniyat in Dhahirah, for instance, is a place which subsists largely by the earnings of the
donkey and camel owners.
The Bedouins are altogether pastoral in their habits, depending for a livelihood on
their camels and flocks.
In hilly districts and their vicinity the houses are generally of stone and mud, but in
some of the SharquTyah towns, as also in Masqat and Matrah, the better houses are of

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' [‎1421] (482/688), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/16/2/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 25 February 2020]

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