Gigyani tribe

The Gigianis are reputed to be Pashtuns of the Khakhai or Khashi branch of the Pashtuns. Mukh or Makh, the second son of Khashi, by his first wife Marjina or Marjanai, according to Akhund Darweza, had only one child; a daughter Gagi, whom he married to his shepherd, named Bazarki or Ziraki of unknown parentage. The Gigyanis are the descendants of Gagi, the daughter of Makh.

Hotak son of Gagi had five sons and from them the different clans or sections of the Gigyani tribe are descended. From the very beginning they aligned themselves with other Khashi tribes. At the time of fight between Yousafzai and Tareen, they sided with the former and with them in 15th century; they migrated to Kabul valley where they lived happily with their kinsmen, the Yousafzai. They were led by their chiefs namely, Changaey, and later by his son Hasan and Shibli son of Turaey.

According to Hayat-i-Afghani, their first quarrel with Yousafzai originated over elopement of a Gigyani woman with a Yousafzai who was already betrothed to one of her own kinsmen. The Gigyanis pursued the matter vigorously, resulting into a serious feud with the Yousafzai. They connived with Mughal chief Ulugh Beg and killed 700 Yousafzai notables. The Yousafzai left the Kabul area and headed for Peshawar valley, where they succeeded in acquiring some lands. During the Babur’s rule over Kabul, the Mughals started harassing the Gigyanis around Kabul, however, in 1505 AD, Babur mentions them around Peshawar. In the same year one of the Gigyani Malik namely, Malik Khusru Gigyani had accompanied Babur during his march on Kohat. Babur writes,

“At the time the Gigyanis were located in Peshawar but, in dread of our army, had drawn off to the skirt-hills. One of their headmen. coming into this camp, did me obedience, we took him as well the Fajji, with us, so that, between them, they might point out the roads”.

Babur has not mentioned the name of Malik Khusru, however, Annete.S.Beveridge, the translator of Babur-nama, in the Index-I personnel ‘ of Volume-II, on page 771 mentions that ‘Khusru’s name be inserted in the last line of page 230.

The Gigyanis attempted to set a footing in Bajaur but failed and besought Malik Ahmad Mandanr for aid. He assigned the Doaba (area between river Swat and river Kabul) to them, but they soon found cause of quarrel with the Dilazaks, and even with the Yousafzais and Mandanrs also. In 1519 the Gigyanibrought Babar into the Hashtnagar tract, ostensibly against the Dilazaks, with whom the Yusufzai and Mandars left them to fight it out. In the result the Dilazak completely overthrew the Gagyanis. The former were elated at their victory, and thus aroused the jealousy of Malik Ahmad, who formed a great Khashi confederacy, including various vassals of Yousafzai and Mandanr. In a great battle fought in the Guzar Rud, between Katlang and Shahbazgharhi, the Dilazaks were defeated with great loss.

Gigyanis are divided into two main sections, Hotak and Zirak. During the Taimoor Shah Durrani’s period, the Gigyani tribe numbered about eight thousand families, and furnished a contingent to the Durrani army. They numbered 6,000 males at the census of 1901.


Categories Blog

Leave a comment