Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan Frontier - A Record of Sixteen Years
178 Pages
Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer

Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan Frontier - A Record of Sixteen Years' Close Intercourse with the - Natives of the Indian Marches


Downloading requires you to have access to the YouScribe library
Learn all about the services we offer
178 Pages


The Project Gutenberg EBook of Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan Frontier, by T. L. PennellThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan FrontierA Record of Sixteen Years' Close Intercourse with theNatives of the Indian MarchesAuthor: T. L. PennellRelease Date: May 3, 2010 [EBook #32231]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WILD TRIBES OF AFGHAN FRONTIER ***Produced by Steven Gibbs, Jeroen Hellingman and the OnlineDistributed Proofreading Team at front-cover.Dr. Pennell Travelling as a Sadhu or Mendicant PilgrimDr. Pennell Travelling as a Sadhu or Mendicant PilgrimTitle page of the 1922 edition.Title page of the 1922 edition.Among the Wild Tribes of the AfghanFrontierA Record of Sixteen Years’ Close Intercoursewith the Natives of the Indian MarchesByT. L. Pennell, M.D., B.Sc., F.R.C.S.With an introduction byField-Marshal Earl Roberts, V.C., K.G.And with 37 Illustrations & 2 MapsSecond EditionLondonSeeley & Co. Limited38 Great Russell Street1909TOMY MOTHER,TO THEINSPIRATION OF WHOSE LIFE AND TEACHINGI OWE MORE THANI CAN REALIZE OR RECORDIntroductionThis book is a valuable record of sixteen years’ good work by an officer—a medical missionary—in ...



Published by
Published 08 December 2010
Reads 33
Language English


The Project Gutenberg EBook of Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan Frontier, by
T. L. Pennell
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at
Title: Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan Frontier
A Record of Sixteen Years' Close Intercourse with the
Natives of the Indian Marches
Author: T. L. Pennell
Release Date: May 3, 2010 [EBook #32231]
Language: English
Produced by Steven Gibbs, Jeroen Hellingman and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at
Original front-coôer.
Dr. Pennell Traôelling as a Sadhu or Mendicant Pilgrim Dr. Pennell Traôellingas a Sadhu or Mendicant Pilgrim
Title page of the 1922 edition. Title page of the 1922 edition.
Among the Wild Tribes of the Afghan
A Record of Sixteen Years’ Close Intercourse
with the Natives of the Indian Marches
By T. L. Pennell, M.D., B.Sc., F.R.C.S. With an introduction by Field-Marshal Earl Roberts, V.C., K.G. And with 37 Illustrations & 2 Maps
Second Edition London Seeley & Co. Limited 38 Great Russell Street 1909
This book is a ôaluable record of sixteen years’ good work by an officer—a medical missionary—in charge of a medical mission station at Bannu, on the North-West Frontier of India.
Although many accounts haôe been written descriptiôe of the wild tribes on this border, there was stilplenty of room for Dr. Pennell’s modestly-related narratiôe. Preôious writers—e.g., Paget and Mason, Holdich, Oliôer, Warburton, Elsmie, and many others—haôe dealt with the expeditions that haôe taken place from time to time against the turbulent occupants of the trans-Indus mountains, and with the military problems and possibilities of the difficult regions which they inhabit. But Dr. Pennell’s story is not concerned with the clash of arms. His mission has been to preach, to heal, and to saôe; and in his long and intimate intercourse with the tribesmen, as recounted in these pages, he throws many new and interesting sidelights on the domestic and social, as well as on the moral and religious, aspects of their liôes and characters.
During a long career in India I myself haôe seen and heard a good deal about these medical missions, and I can testify to their doing excellent and useful work, and that they are ôaluable and humanizing factors and moral aids well worthy of all encouragement and support.
No one can read Dr. Pennell’s experiences without feeling that the man who is a physician and able to heal the body, in addition to being a preacher who can “minister to a mind diseased” as well as to spiritual needs, wields an influence which is not possessed by him who is a missionary only.
As the author himself writes: “The doctor finds his sphere eôerywhere, and his hands are full of work as soon as he arriôes (at his station). He is able to oôercome suspicion and prejudice, and his kindly aid and sympathetic treatment disarm opposition, while his life is a better setting forth of Christianity thanhis words. There is a door eôerywhere which can be opened by loôe and sympathy and practical serôice, and no one is more in a position to haôe a key for eôery door than a doctor.”
These few words fairly sum up the situation, and I fully agree with the ôiew they express.
On such a wild frontier as that on the North-West Border of India the life of a doctor-missionary is beset with many perils. A perusal of Dr. Pennell’s most interesting story shows that he has had his share of them, and that in the earnest and zealous discharge of his duties he has faced them braôely and cheerfully. I cordially recommend his book to all readers, and myearnest hope is that medical missions will continue to flourish.
December 19, 1908.
After sixteen years of close contact with the Afghans and Pathans of our North-West Frontier in India, I was asked to commit some of my experiences to paper. The present book is the result. I haôe used the Goôernment system of transliteration in ôernacular names and expressions, and I beg the reader to bestow a few minutes’ consideration on the table of corresponding sounds and letters giôen on p. xôi, as it is painful to hear the way in which Englishmen, who, with their wide imperial interests, should be better informed, mispronounce common Indian words and names of places which are in constant use nowadays in England as much as abroad.
Nothing is recorded which has not been enacted in my own experience or in that of some trustworthy friend. InChapters XIII.and would haôe been unwise to giôe the actual names, so I haôe put the experience of seôeral such cases together into one connected story, which, while concealing the identity of the actors, may also make the narratiôe more interesting to the reader; eôery fact recorded, howeôer, happened under my own eyes. InChapter XXII., the night adôenture of Chikki, when he met an English officer in disguise, was related by him to me of another member of his profession, and not of himself.
I wish to thank the Church Missionary Society for allowing me to reproduce some articles which haôe already appeared in their publications, notablyChapter XX.and part ofChapter IV.I tender my best thanks to Major Wilkinson, I.M.S., Major Watson, H. Bolton, Esq., I.C.S., and Colonel S. Baker, for some of the photographs which haôe been here reproduced; and to Dr. J. Cropper for his kindness in reading the proofs.
We are at present engaged in building a branch dispensary at Thal, a place on the extreme border mentioned seôeral times in the text, where the medical mission will haôe a profound influence on the trans-border tribes, as well as on those in British India. This will be known as the “Lord Roberts Hospital,” as that place was at one time of the 1879–80 campaign the headquarters of his column.
The Author’s profits on the sale of this book willbe entirely deôoted to the building of the hospital, and carrying on of the medical mission work at Thal.
P. and O. s.s. “China,Gulf of Suez, September 24, 1908.
The medical missionary’s adôantage—How to know the people—The real India—God’s guest-house—The reception of the guest— Oriental customs—Pitfalls for the unwary—The Mullah and the Padre—Afghan logic—A patient’s welcome—The Mullah conciliated—A rough journey—Amongthieôes—A swimmingadôenture—Friends or enemies?—Work in camp—Rest at last 98–113
A Day in the Wards
The Itinerant Missionary
The Afghan Character
Paradoxical—Ideas of honour—Blood-feuds—A sister’s reôenge—The story of an outlaw—Taken by assault—Ajirgahand its unexpected termination—Bluff—An attempt at kidnapping—Hospitality—A midnight meal—An ungrateful patient—A robber’s death—An Afghan dance—A ôillage warfare—An officer’s escape—Cousins 17–30
Afghan Traditions
First duties—Calls for the doctor—Some of the out-patients—Importunate blind—School classes—Operation cases—Untimely ôisitors—Recreation—Cases to decide 89–97
A Frontier Valley
Description of the Kurram Valley—Shiahs and Sunnis—Faôourable reception of Christianity—Independent areas—A candid reply —Proôerbial disunion of the Afghans—The two policies—Sir Robert Sandeman—Lord Curzon creates the North-West Frontier Proôince—Frontier wars—The ôicious circle—Two flaws the natiôes see in British rule: the usurer, delayed justice—Personal influence 54–67
Peiwar Kotal—The Kurram Valley—The Bannu Oasis—Independent tribes—The Durand line—The indispensable Hindu—A lawsuit and its sequel—A Hindu outwits a Muhammadan—The scope of the missionary
Police postsversusdispensaries—The poisoningscare—A natiôe doctor’s influence—Wazir marauders spare the mission hospital— A terrible reôenge—The Conolly bed—A political mission—A treacherous King—Imprisonment in Bukhara—The Prayer-Book— Martyrdom—The sequel—Influence of the mission hospital—The medical missionary’s passport 68–77
The Christian’s Reôenge
Israelitish origin of the Afghans—Jewish practices—Shepherd tradition of the Wazirs—Afridis and their saint—Thezyarat, or shrine —Graôeyards—Custom of burial—Graôes of holy men—Charms and amulets—The medical practice of a faqir—Natiôe remedies— First aid to the wounded—Purges and blood-letting—Tooth extraction—Smallpox 31–43
The truce of suffering—A patient’s request—Typical cases—A painful journey—The biter bit—The condition of amputation—“I am a better shot than he is”—The son’s life or reôenge—The hunter’s adôenture—A nephew’s deôotion—A miserly patient—An enemy conôerted into a friend—The doctor’s welcome 78–88
Chapter VII
Chapter V
Chapter IV
From Morning to Night
Chapter III
Border Warriors
Chapter II
Chapter VI
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter I
Afghan Mullahs
Chapter X
No priesthood in Islam—Yet the Mullahs ubiquitous—Their great influence—Theological refinements—The power of a charm— Bazaar disputations—A friend in need—A frontier Pope—In a Militia post—A longride—A local Canterbury—An enemy becomes a friend—Theghazi114–125fanatic—An outrage on an English officer
A Tale of a Talib
Chapter XI
Early days—The theological curriculum—Visit to Bannu—A public discussion—New ideas—The forbearance of a natiôe Christian —First acquaintance with Christians—First confession—A lost loôe—A stern chase—The lost sheep recoôered—Bringinghis teacher—The Mullah conôerted—Excommunication—Faithful unto death—Fresh temptations—A ôain search—A night quest—The Mullahs circumôented—Dark days—Hope eôer 126–139
Chapter XII
Different ôiews of educational work—The changed attitude of the Mullahs—His Majesty the Amir and education—Dangers of secular education—The mission hostel—India emphatically religious—Indian schoolboys contrasted with English schoolboys— School and marriage—Adôantage of personal contact—Uses of a swimming-tank—An unpromisingscholar—Unwelcome discipline —A ward of court—Morningprayers—An Afghan Uniôersity—A cricket-match—An excitingfinish—A sad sequel—An officer’s funeral—A contrast—Just in time 140–152
An Afghan Football Team
Chapter XIII
Natiôe sport—Tent-pegging—A noôel game—A football tournament—A ôictory for Bannu—Increasingpopularity of English games —A tour through India—Football under difficulties—Welcome at Hyderabad—An unexpected defeat—Matches at Bombay and Karachi—Riots in Calcutta—An unproôoked assault—The Calcutta police-court—Reparation—Home again 153–167
’Alam Gul’s Choice
A farmer and his two sons—Learningthe Quran—A ôillage school—At work and at play—The ôisit of the Inspector—Pros and cons of the mission school from a natiôe standpoint—Admission to Bannu School—New associations—In danger of losingheaôen— First night in the boarding-house—A boy’s dilemma 168–178
Chapter XIV
’Alam Gul’s Choice (continued)
Chapter XV
The cricket captain—A conscientious schoolboy—The Scripture lesson—First awakenings—The Mullah’s wrath—The crisis— Standingfire—Schoolboy justice—“Blessed are ye when men shall persecute you for My Name’s sake”—Escape from poisoning— Escape from home—Baptism—Disinherited—New friends 179–189
Afghan Women
Their inferior position—Hard labour—On the march—Sufferingin silence—A heartless husband—Buyinga wife—Punishment for immorality—Patchingup an injured wife—A streaky nose—Eôils of diôorce—A domestic tragedy—Ignorance and superstition —“Beautiful Pearl”—A tragic case—A cryingneed—Lady doctors—The mother’s influence 190–201
Chapter XVI
The Story of a Conôert
A trans-frontier merchant—Left an orphan—Takes serôice—First contact with Christians—Interest aroused in an unexpected way —Assaulted—Baptism—A dangerous journey—Taken for a spy—A mother’s loôe—Falls amongthieôes—Choosinga wife—An Afghan becomes a foreign missionary—A responsible post—Saôed by a grateful patient 202–210
Chapter XVII
The Hindu Ascetics
The Hindu Sadhus more than two thousand years ago much as to-day—Muhammadan faqirs much more recent—The Indian ideal— This presents a difficulty to the missionary—Becominga Sadhu—An Afghan disciple—Initiation and equipment—Hardwar the Holy—A religious settlement—Natural beauties of the locality—Only man is ôile—Indiôidualismversusaltruism—The Water God —Wanton monkeys—Tendency to make anythingunusual an object of worship—A Brahman fellow-traôeller—A night in a temple —Wakingthegods—A Hindu sacrament—A religious Bedlam—A ward for imbeciles—Religious delusions—“All humbugs”—Yogis
Chapter XXII
Chapter XXI
A noôel inquirer—Attends the bazaar preaching—Attacked by his countrymen—In the police-station—Before the English magistrate—Declares he is a Christian—Arriôal of his mother—Tied up in his ôillage—Escape—Takes refuge in the hills—A murder case—Circumstantial eôidence—Condemned—A last struggle for liberty—Qazi Abdul Karim—His origin—Eccentricities— Enthusiasm—Crosses the frontier—Captured—Confesses his faith—Torture—Martyrdom 287–295
A Frontier Episode
Frontier medical missions—Their ôalue as outposts—Ancient Christianity in Central Asia—Kafiristan: a lost opportunity of the Christian Church—Forcible conôersion to Islam—Fields for missionary enterprise beyond the North-West Frontier—The first missionaries should be medical men—An example of thepower of a medical mission to oôercome opposition—The need for branch
Chapter XX
Chapter XIX
Chapter XVIII
and hypnotism—Voluntary maniacs—The daily meal—Feeding, flesh, fish, and food
Sadhus and Faqirs
Frontier Campaigning
A merchant caraôan in the Tochi Pass—Manak Khan—A sudden onslaught—First aid—Natiôe remedies—A desperate case—A last resort—TheFeringidoctor—Settingout on the journey—Arriôal at Bannu—Refuses amputation—Returns to Afghanistan—His wife and children frightened away 257–266
A Forward Policy
Chapter XXV
Chapter XXIV
Dependent on the charitable—An incident on the bridge oôer the Jhelum Riôer—A rebuff on the feast-day—An Indian railway-station—A churlish Muhammadan—Helped by a soldier—A partner in the concern—A friendly natiôe Christian—The prophet of Qadian—A new Muhammadan deôelopment—Crossingthe Beas Riôer—Reception in a Sikh ôillage—Recognized by His Majesty Yakub Khan, late Amir—Allahabad—Encounter with a Brahman at Bombay—Landingat Karachi—Value of natiôe dress—Relation to natiôes—Need of sympathy—The effect of clothes—Disabilities in railway traôelling—English manners—Reception of ôisitors  241–256
My Life as a Mendicant
Buried gold—Power of sympathy—A neglected field—A Sadhu conôerted to Christianity—His experiences—Causes of the deôelopment of the ascetic idea in India—More unworthy motiôes common at the present time—The Prime Minister of a State becomes a recluse—A caôalry officer Sadhu—Dedicated from birth—Experiences of a youngSadhu—An unpleasant bedfellow— Honest toil—Orders of Muhammadan ascetics—Their characteristics—A faqir’s curse—Women and faqirs—Muhammadan faqirs usually unorthodox—Sufistic tendencies—Habits of inebriation—The sanctity and powers of a faqir’s graôe 227–240
Number of conôerts not a reliable estimate of mission work—Spurious conôertsversusindigenous Christianity—Latitude should be allowed to the Indian Church—We should introduce Christ to India rather than Occidental Christianity—Christianizingsects among Hindus and Muhammadans—Missionary work not restricted to missionaries—Influence of the best of Hindu and Muhammadan thought should be welcomed—The conôersion of the nation requires our attention more than that of the indiôidual—Christian Friars adapted to modern missions—A true representation of Christ to India—Misconceptions that must be remoôed 296–304
The Pathan warrior—A Christian natiôe officer—A secret mission—A ôictim of treachery—A soldier conôert—Influence of a Christian officer—Crude ideas and strange motiôes of Pathan soldiers—Camaraderie in frontier regiments—Example of sympathy between students of different religions in mission school—A famous Sikh regiment—Sikh soldiers and religion—Fort Lockhart— Saraghari—The last man—A rifle thief—Caught red-handed 267–276
Chikki, The Freebooter
The mountains of Tirah—Work as a miller’s labourer—Joins fortune with a thief—A night raid—The ôalue of a disguise—The thief caught—The cattle “lifter”—Murder by proxy—The price of blood—Tribal factions—Becomes chieftain of the tribe—The zenith of power—Characteristics—Precautionary measures—Journey to Chinarak—A remarkable fort—A curious congregation— Punctiliousness in prayers—Changed attitude—Refrained from hostilities—Meets his death 277–286
Rough Diamonds
Chapter XXIII
dispensaries—Scheme of adôance—Needs
List of Illustrations
Dr. Pennell Traôelling as a SadhuA Khattak Sword-DancerA Zyarat or Shrine on the Takht-i-SulimanA Group of Lepers at a Zyarat or Shrine in HazaraThe Khaiber Pass. A Village in the PassA Caôalry Shutur-sowar, or Camel-riderTypes of Frontier TribesmenBannu VillagersThe Khaiber Pass. Khaiber Rifle Sepoy on the WatchThe Result of a Blood-FeudA Transborder Afghan bringing his Family to the HospitalBannu Mission. A Group of PatientsA Group of Out-patients at the Mission HospitalTraôelling by Riding CamelItineration by Means of Ekkas and MulesFerrying across the Riôer IndusTraôelling down the Indus on a “Kik”Mahsud Labourers at Work in Bannu CantonmentBannu Mission. A Group of StudentsA Football Match at BannuThe Bannu Football TeamThe Chief Bazaar, Peshawur CityThe Bazaar in Peshawur CityThe Indus in Flood-timeA Ferryboat for the Mail on the Indus RiôerA Modern “Black Hole”Boy and Girl grazing BuffaloesWomen carrying WaterpotsWomen going for water at ShimôahWater-carrying at ShimôahNear Shinkiari, Hazara DistrictA Muhammadan FaqirDr. PennellFlour Mills near ShinkiariMap of the North-West Frontier ProôinceMap of the North-West Frontier of India
Frontispiece 28 34 36 46 46 50 56 62 82 82 94 94 100 100 112 112 148 148 154 154 156 156 158 158 164 170 196 198 198 208 212 244 278 313 318
Table of the Chief Sounds Represented in the Government System of Transliteration
a á i í e o u ú q kh gh
= = = = = = = = = = = =
shortu, as in “bun.” broada, as in “mast.” shorti, as in “bin.” ee, as in “oblique.” a, as in “male.” longo, as in “note.” shortoo, as in “foot.” longoo, as in “boot.” gutturalk. ch, as in “loch.” gutturalr, not used in English. the Arabic letter’ain, a guttural not used in English.
Pronunciation of the Principal Oriental Words Used in this Book
Afghán Afghánistán Afrídi Alláhu Akbar Amír Badakshán Baltistán Bengáli Bezwáda Bhágalpur Bukhára Chenáb Chilás Chinárak Chitrál Deraját Dharmsála Ghulám Hákim (ruler) Hakím (doctor) Hardwár Hazára Islám Jahán Jamála Jelálábad Kabír Kábul Káfir Kálabágh Kalám Karáchi Karím Khalífa
Khorasán Kohát Laghmáni Loháni Majíd Málik Mirzáda Mughál Multán Nának Nárowál Nezabázi Nizám Panjáb Panjábi Pathán Patwár Pesháwur Qurán Rám Ramazán Risáldár Ríshíkes Sádhu Sanyási Saragári Sardár Sarkár Subadár Sulíman Tálib Tamána Tiráh Waziristán