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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

Illustration The Salaam of the Beluch Sardars at Nushki


An

opening was left large enough for me to enter the ring, and when I approached all respectfully rose and salaamed, and the chiefs, coming forward in turn, shook me heartily by the hand with the usual long Beluch salutation, each bowing low as he did so. Sitting in the centre of the circle on a carpet, which had been spread for me, I addressed them in a few words, which they seemed to appreciate, and each chief answered back in a simple, straightforward and most thoughtful, gentlemanly manner.

Mahommed Ali, the leading chief, in a red velvet coat, was the Mingal Sardar of the three powerful tribes, Jumaldini, Badini, and Mingal, and by his side sat Kaim Khan with his shield and sword, the second Sardar of the neighbourhood and brother of the Jumaldini Sardar. Jan Beg, who sat on the left hand side of the chief Sardar, was a thin tall man, and Alam Khan, a splendid old fellow with a fine inlaid sword, can be seen standing in the photograph reproduced in the illustration.

The last of the principal five Badini chiefs was a comparatively young man of black complexion, long jet black curly hair, and garbed in a gaudy poshteen, sword and belt. His name was Kasin Khan.

Then there was Kadar Bakhsh, uncle of the present Mingal Sardar, a man most useful to the British Government, and beside him his brother, Attar Khan.

Gauher Khan, nephew of the Mingal

Sardar, was a picturesque young man with heavily embroidered black coat and a black turban. He carried his sword in his hand.

As one looked round the circle it was really a most impressive and picturesque sight--colours of all sorts dazzling in the sunlight. Among the other most important men were Adal Khan (cousin of the Badini chief), a very old fellow, curved from age; and Bai Khan, his cousin, who looked somewhat stronger; Kaiser Khan, a smart young fellow with curly hair, black coat and trousers, was the son of the Jumaldini chief, and a young fellow of weak constitution, by name Abdullah Aziz, was son and heir of the Badini Sardar.

[Illustration: A Badini Sardar.]

[Illustration: The Salaam of the Beluch Sardars at Nushki.

(Sardar Alam Khan standing.)]

Sherdil and Mehrullah Khan, with elaborately embroidered coats and Snider rifles, sat among the elect, and the others were soldiers and followers, but a fine lot of fellows indeed, all the same.

When the formal reception broke up I showed them my repeating rifles, revolvers and various instruments, which interested them greatly; and the leading chiefs having been entertained to tea, they eventually departed after repeated salaams.

Although the Beluch and the Afghan shake hands on arrival, they seldom do so on departing, the handshake being for them an outward sign to express the joy of seeing a friend.

On surveying the neighbourhood from our high point of vantage at the bungalow, we found plenty to interest the observer. To the north and north-west directly below the hill could be seen a graveyard in two sections, the tombs being very high above ground, with prismatic tops of white stones, whereas the bases were of black pebbles. The tombs in the graveyard to the north-west were in bad preservation. There was at this spot a well known Ziarat called Kwajah Mahommed, and the British Government has given much pleasure to the natives by sanctioning a "mufi" or remission of revenue for ever of all the land belonging to this Ziarat in order to provide for the support of it.


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