Zaimusht tribe (Tor Tarin)

The Zaimusht or Zaimukhts are a tribe of Tor Tarin Pashtuns who inhabit the hills between the Kurram and the Orakzai border on the north-west frontier of Kohat. The tradition among the Bangash is that they were fugitive slaves of the Tarins, and were given the country they now occupy, by them. The tribe lives on the southern slope of the Zawa Ghar Range, having for their neighbours, on the north-west the Turis, on the north and east the Orakzais, and on the south and south-west the Bangash.

In 1837 Aga Abbas of Shiraz passed through the country of Zaimukhts and gave the following account of the tribe:

“On 22nd Muharam i proceeded nine kos to Zaimukht, which is the name of a tribe of Tor Tarins, that emigrated from Herat, and colonized here. The fighting men formerly amounted to 3,000; they have increased. The cultivation depends partly on the rain, and partly on springs. There are 20 or 30 forts in the valley, belonging to the Zaimukhts, who extend to the border of Tirah. They are friends of the Turis, and enemies of Tal and Bulandkhel. Mules are plentifully produced in this country.” 

A 1912’s British report describe them as follow;

“With every one of these (Turis, Orakzais and Bangash) the Zaimukhts are at feud. Their country is very fertile, and they own, too, a number of villages in the Kurram and Miranzai in British territory. They are strong, well-built men with pleasing features, and can muster 2300 armed me, who appeared to possess good fighting qualities but so far none of the tribesmen have taken service either in the Indian army or in the local militia. They are all Sunni in religion and Samil in politics.”

There are two divisions in the tribe, the Mamuzais or western, and the Khoidad Khel or eastern Zaimukhts, who were always fighting against each other (as reported in 1895).

Map of Kurram
Location of Zaimukht tribe
tribes of kurram
British conflict with Zaimukhts at Zawa near Kurram Valley – Antique Print 1880



1- From the Black Mountain to Waziristan, p-397
2- Pathans: Compiled Under the Order of the Government of India at the Recruiting Office, Peshawar, p-87
3- Journal of a travel through parts of Panjab and Affghanistan, in year 1837. By Agha Abbas of Shirz, arranged and translated by Major. R Leech.


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