DAWLATZĪ (singular Dawlatzay), ethnic name common among the eastern Pashtun on both sides of the Durand Line (see BOUNDARIES iii). The different tribal units bearing the name do not seem to be connected with one another. They are found in four different geographical locations, three on the Pakistani side of the boundary and one in Afghanistan.

In Pakistan. One of the seven subtribes of the Ōrakzī is called Dawlatzī. Its strength was estimated at 1,550 fighting men in 1900 and 2,100 in 1908, that is 6-7 percent of the tribe’s total population (King, p. 16; Frontier, p. 193). These Dawlatzī are Sunnites, though in one source it is erroneously reported that some of them are Shiʿite (Dictionary, p. 54). Their winter settlements are located in the lower Mastura valley, and they thus control several passes on the border between independent tribal territory and the settled district of Kōhāt (in the North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan). Early contacts with the British were alternately peaceful, during which they received annual allowances for guarding the passes (Aitchison, pp. 513 ff.), and hostile, when there were innumerable raids and counterattacks (Paget and Mason, pp. 395 ff.; King, pp. 162 ff.; Frontier, pp. 210 ff.; Wylly, pp. 367 ff.; Aitchison, pp. 498 ff.). The former ruling family of Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh, India) is said to have been descended from the Fīrōzḵēl, one of three branches of these Dawlatzī (King, p. 38).

Two minor fractions of the great Kākaṛ tribe also bear the name Dawlatzī, one belonging to the ʿAlīḵēl (also ʿAlīzī) section of the Sanjarḵēl subtribe, the other to the Domaṛ, an adopted subtribe, both living in the Zob district of Baluchistan. They counted 700 and 50 fighting men respectively in 1899 (Dictionary, pp. 54-55).

Finally, there are three Dawlatzī fractions among the northeastern Pashtun, the first among the Malīzī Yūsofzī in the central Barandū valley in Būnēr (Dictionary, p. 55: 1,500 fighting men in 1899; for a list of their villages, see Ridgway, p. 200; cf. Bellew, p. 175; Ḥayāt Khan, tr., p. 112); a second among their southern neighbors, the Amāzī (also Anāzī) ʿOṯmānzī Mandaṛ of the Sadūm valley (Mardān district; see Ridgway, pp. 185-86); and the third among the pashtunized Manṣūr Gadūn (also Jadūn) of the Hazāra district, east of the Indus (Ridgway, p. 239). In the latter instance, however, the Dawlatzī of the English authors are consistently called Dawlazī in indigenous sources (Ḥayāt Khan, pp. 154-55; Šēr Moḥammad, p. 204); the former is possibly a hypercorrective form of the latter. Similarly, Dawlatzī Yūsofzī is the form given in all Persian sources, but in 1184/1770 Raḥmat Khan, in his Ḵolāṣat al-ansāb, spelled it Dawlazī Yūsofzī (Neʿmat-Allāh, tr., p. 125 n. 50).

In Afghanistan. The best-known group of Dawlatzī belongs to the confederation of Ḡelzay tribes, though its status is somewhat controversial. According to Afghan genealogists the Dawlatzay constitute merely a section of the Ṣāleḥḵēl subtribe of the Solaymānḵēl tribe (Ḥayāt Khan, p. 164; Šēr Moḥammad, p. 214). Although most Dawlatzī acknowledge the connection, it has been reported that the Solaymānḵēl do not (Robinson, p. 159), considering the Dawlatzī an independent, non-Ḡelzay tribe. Similar situations are frequent among the Pashtun and usually reflect the genealogical transposition by adoption of a loose political alliance between a larger tribe and a smaller, vassal tribe.

The number of sedentary Dawlatzay families is unknown, but two villages named Dawlatzay are listed in the province of Kabul, two others in Paktīā, and one each in Nangrahār and Samangān (Nāheż, pp. 274-75). In the unpublished survey of Afghan nomads conducted in 1357 Š./1978 560 nomadic Dawlatzay families and 553 seminomadic ones were enumerated. In 1357 Š./1978 most of the former owned flocks and wintered in the Ḵōst basin of Paktīā, spending the summer on the northwestern slopes of the Solaymān mountains (Saydābād district). Most of the seminomads were landless peasants having a permanent winter settlement in Nangrahār and summer quarters in the vicinity of Kabul, where they performed any kind of unskilled work available, from harvesting in the countryside to casual labor in town. In addition, sixty-five nomad families, fifteen of harvesters, the rest pastoral, were migrating from southern Afghanistan to the upper Tarnak valley; 150 agricultural-pastoral semi-nomadic families from Čārbōlak, west of Balḵ, summered in northern Hazārajāt.

From its original home in southeastern Afghanistan the tribe separated geographically in two stages. In the late 19th century several hundred families were transplanted to Afghan Turkestan under the northern Afghanistan pashtunization scheme then in progress; in the 1880s 300 Dawlatzay families were reportedly living (perhaps only in winter) in the Balḵ oasis, and 30 others near Aybak (Samangān; Maitland, pp. 176, 461, 488; partly repr. in Gazetteer of Afghanistan IV, pp. 196, 254). Since the 1930s such impoverished lineages as the Māṇīwāl of Čārbōlak have also left southeastern Afghanistan (Robinson, p. 159), following the decline of trading nomadism across the border. The development of service nomadism among some other sections of the Dawlatzī is another aspect of the same process of proletarization.

In the 1930s some 200 nomadic Dawlatzay families from ten different sections were migrating between the basins of northwestern British India, where they camped in winter (in the Kurram Agency of the North-West Frontier Province and the Lōralāy district of Baluchistan), and the highlands of central Afghanistan, where they summered (Behsūd district of Hazārajāt; Robinson, p. 159). All were purely trading nomads, without land or flocks. Like other Ḡelzay nomads, the Dawlatzī penetrated into the heart of Hazārajāt during their participation in the military conquest of the area in 1310/1892-93 (Fayż Moḥammad, p. 715). In subsequent decades they took an active part in the flourishing summer nomad bāzārs of central Afghanistan (Ferdinand, pp. 144, 148; see BĀZĀR v). But in 1357 Š./1978 only one section, the Qalandarḵēl, comprising forty families, was still migrating across the Durand Line, though no longer carrying on trade or traveling via the Hazārajāt highlands (Balland, 1988, p. 185; idem, 1991, pp. 226-27).

Bibliography: C. U. Aitchison, ed., A Collection of Treaties, Engagements and Sanads Relating to India and Neighbouring Countries XI, Delhi, 1933; repr. Delhi, 1983. D. Balland, “Le déclin contemporain du nomadisme pastoral en Afghanistan,” in E. Grötzbach, ed., Neue Beiträge zur Afghanistanforschung, Schriftenreihe der Stiftung Bibliotheca Afghanica 6, Liestal, Switzerland, 1988, pp. 175-98. Idem, “Nomadism and Politics. The Case of Afghan Nomads in the Indian Subcontinent,” Studies in History (New Delhi) 7/2, 1991, pp. 205-29. H. W. Bellew, A General Report on the Yusufzais, Lahore, 1864; repr. Lahore, 1977. A Dictionary of the Pathan Tribes on the North-West Frontier of India, Calcutta, 1899. Fayż Moḥammad, Serāj-al-tawārīḵ, 3 vols., Kabul, 1131-33/1913-15. K. Ferdinand, “Nomadic Expansion and Commerce in Central Afghanistan. A Sketch of Some Modern Trends,” Folk 4, 1962, pp. 123-59. Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India II, Calcutta, 1908; repr. Quetta, 1979; repr. Delhi, 1983. M. Ḥayāt Khan, Ḥayāt-e-Afḡān I, Lahore, 1867; tr. H. Priestley as Afghanistan and Its Inhabitants, Lahore, 1874; repr. Lahore, 1981. L. W. King, The Orakzai Country and Clans, 2nd ed., Lahore, 1984. P. J. Maitland, Diary, with Notes on the Population and Resources of Districts Visited 1884 to 1887, Afghan Boundary Commission, Records of Intelligence Party II, Simla, 1888. M. Ḥ. Nāheżµ, ed. Qāmūs-e joḡrāfīāʾī-e Afghānestān II, Kabul, 1336 Š./1957. Neʿmat-Allāh Heravī, Tārīḵ-e afḡānān, tr. B. Dorn as History of the Afghans, 2 pts., London, 1829-36; repr. London, 1965; repr. Karachi, 1976. W. H. Paget and A. H. Mason, Record of Expeditions against the North-West Frontier Tribes since the Annexation of the Punjab, London, 1884; repr. as Tribes of the North-West Frontier, Delhi, 1980. R. T. I. Ridgway, Pathans, Calcutta, 1910; repr. Peshawar, 1983. J. A. Robinson, Notes on Nomad Tribes of Eastern Afghanistan, New Delhi, 1935; repr. Quetta, 1978; repr. Quetta, 1980. Šēr Moḥammad Khan, Tawārīḵ-e ḵoršīd-e jahān, Lahore, 1311/1894. H. C. Wylly, From the Black Mountain to Waziristan, London, 1912.




(Daniel Balland)

Originally Published: December 15, 1994

Last Updated: November 18, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. VII, Fasc. 2, pp. 150-151