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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


It is unanimously believed about the YashkuN that they are related with Aryan. They migrated via Hindu Kush to the Northern Pakistan. Dr. Leitner reports that they are a mixed race. But many other scholars such as Durand, Drew, Schomberg, John Keay and Schmidt have refuted it.

In the history, YashkuNs came via Pamir to the sub-continent before the Shin tribes. They are in majority in Giglit, Punial, Yasin, Ishkoman and Chitral. In Kohistan, Chhilas, Astor, Gurez, Dras, Gultari, Talil and Soro, the Shins are in majority.

People call them differently in different areas. For instance, Borish, Dorshak, Boristi and so on. I think that these are the terms for the tributaries of the YashkuN. It is not the reason that they are YashkuN and are called by different names in different places. Although the comprehensive tribal system has finished among them but there are the remnants.

Rono are indeed YashkuN. Their social status is known with reference to their mother by the term of Gushpoor and Rono used for them. The sons born with the Raja's wife coming from the Raja's own kinship, were called Gushpoor and others are called Rono.

The belief that Shins are superior and so reluctant to marry among YashkuNs is based on the hypothesis founded about them in marriages. This distinction exists internally even among Shins also who are same by genealogy. The Shins preferably marry within the ranges of their own castes. In reality, there is no up and low in terms of their castes as Shin and YashkuN both are counted as "Ulsia" ( subjects, bonafied residents. Ulsia is a Pashto word meaning public).

Dr. Leitner speaks of the YashkuNs as a caste formed by the intermixture between Shin and a low (aboriginal) race; this view does not recommend itself to me. It is more likely that the Kremin had some such origin; but that the YashkuN, who follow all the same occupations as the Shins, and in physique and physiogronomy are their equals, should have so originated is far less probable.

'The Brushos and YashkuNs are the same people or different ones'; this issue is still to be looked through. A deep and thorough study is needed of their branches to find an answer to this question.

YashkuN is a big community who exist from Northern Pakistan to Chitral having countless branches. They took the rule from Shins in Northern Pakistan in 1200 A.D and ruled as "Raja" for quite a long time. During their reign, the influential people took control of the local collective resources and the law and order situation had been worse.

During that ime, feuds were common and people were made slaves. One well known and respectable YashkuN woman, Queen Jawari ruled over Gilgit. Perhaps she was the first and last woman ruler, not by name but in true sense, in the land of a merciless and tough cliffs of Korakoram.

Sherbaz Ali Khan Bircha says,   "They (YashkuN) are the second ancient people in this area. Some historians consider them the important branch of the Great Yuchis. Currently, they are in majority in Hunza, Nagar and Ghizar."

Many branches of YashkuN are found in Indus Kohistan. These people are formally absorbed in the local Jirga system. Their many other branches are found in Chhilas, Darel, Tagir, Tumar, Harban and Sazin.

In Harban, the YashkuN branches are that of Mohlea, shatie, Baksurie, Kashar Jie, and Bakhdarie.

In Gial of Darel, the entire population belongs to YashkuN. In lower Mankial are found salie, shatae, Mohlae while in lower Samigal are found Karimae, Metkalie, Yardate and Goene branches. In Basha, their only branch Sadarkhane is found. Their branches found in Tagir are called GuRkai, JashTe:re, Ragarkhane, Masarkhane and Siptarlie.

One thing may be mentioned here. A new study is required in North Pakistan on the subject of YashkuN and their caste branches to sort out those groups who have intermixed with the YashkuN but in fact they are not YashkuN.

Few Yashkun Branches


Name of Branch

Kolai, Palas, Jalkot

Mhaboe, Kute, Shate, Judra, Bade, Menta, Didroe, Hinbeka, Gona


Muhle, Bakdure, Kisharche, Bakhdure,


Sure, Shatae, Muhlae, Jabka, karimae, Metkule, Yardata, Gole,




Gurke, Jashterae, Ragarkhane, Misarkhanae, Siptarae