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Homepage of Razwal Kohistani

Lesser Known Tribes of Indus Kohistan

Home Tribes

Shin Tribe Yashkun Tribe Kamin Tribe Chilis Tribe Gabara Tribe Marooch Tribe Other Cast


Chilis

These people migrated to Chillas from Jalkot. They are called Chillis due to their coming from Chillas. When they began to get stronger during mid-1500 A.D, the daRma group of Shin distributed them among different groups in the course of the "Wesh" (the tradition of re-allotting the local natural resources every two or three years) breaking their strength of unity. They associated some of their sub-groups with the castes in Jalkot, some in Maharan of Kolai and some in Madkhel. This way their population was scattered reducing their tribal strength.

Chillis are settled at a place named Jaglot in Gilgit also who are related with the Chillis of Maharan in Kolai. The Chillis in Gilgit had migrated from Kohistan around 150 years ago. Biddulph had written about them that they were given grants by the government of Kashmir. The Chillis and Gabaro inhabitants in Gilgit are known as Koloch due to originally coming from Kolai.

P 58. The five branches of Chillis namely Nasra, Shanra, Menta, Paindai and Ghanjie are found in Jalkot who are in parts associated with daRma and Khuka Manka. Their other branches are Lashra, Zamarshai, Fazalkhel, Khanrone, Mangal Beka, Bhuwakhel, Bachoi and Damsangian.

Damsangian were in Palas before. They are the offspring of Damsing. Damsing was killed in a place called Damsing in Palas after which these people had migrated to Kolai. Some of them told me in Kolai that their branches are found in Mardan as well. Possibly, as stated by Biddulph also, these people migrated to Buner or some area in Swat in the past. However, the word "Chillis" pertains to Chillas and not to "Chahal". John Biddulph writes that:

"About 200 families, who are called Chillis by their neighbours, but Galos by themselves. They have tradition that their home was originally in Buneyr. A few of them are found also in Jalkot and in Palus on the same bank of the River."  (Biddulph 1880 A.D, pp 10-11)

Biddulph thinks that Chillis are related with Tabarwal tribe of Swat. He may be right because in the past, their numerous tribes have been migrating and they all belonged to the same linguistic group. It is also possible that some of their branches in Chillas still retain their original names because the term "Chillis" only refers of them for migrating from Chillas. Their mother tongue is called Chilsio which is different than Shina and Kohistani.

By genealogy, Chillis are related with the western Kohistan, Kalam, Dir Kohistan and to the Kohistanis of Kunar valley (in Afghanistan).

They told me in Kolai that they had come to Kohistan from the land of Qarna around 900 years ago. This land is situated around 30 kilometers below Thakot. They believe that they are decendents of a person called Doma who lived in Khakaro, Kolai, and later on moved to other places of Kolai and Jalkot. They also mentioned that they were called Chillis because their ancestors lived under a juniper tree, which is locally called "Chili" (and Chillis means the people of Juniper). In my opinion this story is not true because juniper trees never existed in Qarna.

Few Chilis Branches

Area

Branches

Kolai, Jalkot, Jiglot

Damsingian, Menta, Mughalbika, Khanra, Pushoe, Lashra, Shanra, Nasra, Painde, Ghanje, Bholkhel, Zamarshae, Fazalkhel