Writes Scott Robertson: ".......The Kams hold much better together,
and it is probable that it is for this very reason that, although not a
numerous people, THEY ARE GREATLY RESPECTED by neighboring tribes, as
well as by Chitralis and Pathans..." [Ref: The Kaffirs of Hindukush,
1896, p 84, Sir Scott Robertson].
Again observes same Scott Robertson: â€œAll the neighboring Musalman
tribes HAVE INTENSE HATRED OF THE KAFIRS, with the exception, perhaps of
the Kunar valley Gabar villagers and Minjanis. This does not arise, I
am convinced, from religious prejudices....â€¦as much as from the
injuries the Musalmans have had from the Kafirs through the long ages.
Similarily, the Kafirs love to dance to Gish (their god of war) after
killing the Musalmans, but their hatred of the Afghans is far more than
religious fanaticism. Even in times of remote past, it has kept the two
people at bitter feud. BOTH KAFIRS AND THE AFGHANS ARE BRIGANDS BY
INSTINCT, AND BOTH ARE CARELESS OF HUMAN LIFE. PERHAPS THE KAFIRS ARE
THE WORST OF THE TWO IN BOTH RESPECTS, but the Afghan makes the account
more than even by his added perfidy and cunning.â€ [Ref: The Kaffirs of
Hindukush, 1896, pp 567-68, Sir George Scott Robertson].
BUT CLINCHER IS THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT OF SCOTT ROBERTSON:
"...The Chtralis declared to me that the Kams and the Wei tribes are the
FIERCEST and MOST INTRACTABLE of all Kaffir tribes, while of those two,
the Kam were the MOST TO BE DREADED FOR THEIR MILITARY PROWESS. [Ref:
The Kaffirs of Hindukush, 1896, p 2-3, Sir Scott Robertson].
PERSONAL COMMENT: It appears that the Mohamdans' respect for the Kams
comes simply because of their military prowess, since power naturally
commands respect. Otherwise, there is stated to be centuries-old feud
hatred among the Kafirs and the Mohamadans. And ironically,
many of the Mohamdans clan, especially the eastern Afghans, are also
descended from the ancient Kambojs!.
08-27-2004, 01:49 AM
Even on Islamization in 1896,
Even on Islamization in 1896, the Nuristani Society is still divided into
(2}a class of SKILLED CRAFTSMEN/CLASS OF UNSKILLED
CRAFTSMEN [called Slaves...See The Kafirs of Hindukush by Scott Robertson].
The first class is the relic of the 'Ayyo'[=Arya] and the later the
'Daso' [=Dasa, Slaves] of the Buddhist Text, Majhima Nikaya [II.149]
with reference the YAVANAS and the KAMBOJAS of CENTRAL ASIA in ancient
cf "In Yona and in Kamboja, and also in the neighbouring countries,
there are only two classes of people, masters and slaves, and that a
master could become a slave or vice versa".
Yona-Kamboj.esuâ€¦.. dveâ€™va vannaâ€¦..Ayyo ca va daso ca
ayyo hutva daso hoti, da so hutva ayyo hotiDasavya mucceya [see Majjhima Nikaya II/149]
Note that since the Nuristanis had remained almost unaffected to the
outside cultural influences due to their isolation in the impassable
defiles of Hindukush mountain ranges, hence these people have kept up
mayny of their ancient social/cultural and religious customs still
intact as we already observed.
MODERN NURISTANI SOCIETY, EVEN AFTER ISLAMIZATION IN 1896, STILL CARRIES
THE RELICS OF THE ANCIENT SOCIAL CUSTOMS PREVALENT IN KAMBOJA/YAVANA
LANDS...... SEE BELOW.
"Nuristani community is pretty much the same as other communities in the
world. Memberships in Nuristani communities are based on different
cultural factors. Different villages speak different languages. Within
the same valley Nuristani people make distinction based on location as
well as reputation.Nuristani society is based on groups. People see
themselves as belonging to different classes, an individual is either a
member, by birth of a free land-owing and livestock herding class or he
is not. If not, he belongs to craftsman class which makes him
automatically belong to low status in Nuristani community. Craftmans
don't own livestocks but these are the people who are builders, carvers,
weavers, potters,smiths, and tanners in Nuristan. Craftmans play very
important role in the community but still are not valued for their
"These different classes are not found in every village in Nuristan; in
some villages there are no families of craftsman. In yet other villages
there are three distinct classes: the land-owing livestock-herding
elite, a class of skilled craftsmen, and a class of unskilled craftsmen.
Traditionally there were two ways in which a member of elite would
compete for higher status; by being a successful warrior and by being
public feast. Success was measured by the number of enemies killed or
number of people attending the feast. Feast system is still very popular
in Nuristan. (Jones 1969) "
This is because the Syaposh clans [the Kams (Kamoz), Katirs (Kamtoz)
etc] the dominant clans of Nuristan are stated to have descended from
08-27-2004, 02:19 AM
CLANS OF SIAPOSHE TRIBE:
CLANS OF SIAPOSHE TRIBE:
FROM RICHARD STRANDS' WEBSITE [with gratitude]
The kacirc;t'a, k'om, mum'o, kSt'o, bini'o, jacirc;mc'o, and jacirc;Å¡'i
Native Names: kacirc;t'a, k'om, mum'o, kSt'o, bini'o,
jacirc;mc'o, and jacirc;Å¡'i, all speaking dialects of a
Other Names: kacirc;ntozi, kacirc;mozi, kuÅ¡tozi (Pashto
names), "Katir", "Kam" (Robertson [1896 ]), "Bashgali" (from Khowar
baÅ¡gali 'Nuristani; person from baÅ¡gal [the lanDai sin Valley]').
Location: the kt'ivi (Kacirc;ntivacirc;) Valley in central
Nuristacirc;n, the Racirc;mg'al and kul'em Valleys of upper
Laghmacirc;n (western Nuristacirc;n), the
lacirc;nDacirc;i s'in Valley of eastern Nuristacirc;n,
some tributary valleys of the kun'aR (Kunar) River in Afghanistan, and
pockets along the Afghanistan border in Chitracirc;l District,
08-27-2004, 07:11 PM
[FROM SIAPOSH KAMBOJ TRIBE]
"Gul Mohammad (Nuristani tribe, sub tribe of Kamozi* or Kam) is
originally from Kamdesh. One of the biggest authorities in the District
is Mullah Sadiq, who is the Head of Kamdesh shura. Also Mohammad Omar,
who is one of the elders."
"Kamdesh district is located alongside the Kunar River in a very
beautiful valley and it borders with Narai district of Kunar (South) and
- Bargimatal district of Nuristan (North). To the East, Kamdesh borders
with Chitral agency of NWFP of Pakistan and Central Nuristan - to the
"Administration is located in the building (occupied school) on the main
road, right at the bottom of the hill, on top of which Kamdesh village
itself is situated. "
"The only reported conflict is between two sub-tribes of Nuristani
tribe: Kamozi [=i.e Kamoz of Robertson, Caumoje of Elphinstone] and
Kantozi (or Kate). Both live in Kamdesh district. Kantozi** tribe is the
minority (residing in three villages: Kushtuz, Mandagal and Oja
"Around 600 families of Kantozi tribe were displaced from Kushtuz village after Kamdesh armed attack to the village in 1997. "
"The District is hosting around 150 IDP families from Kushtuz village (Kamdesh district)."
"These families were displaced from Kushtuz due to armed conflicts
between Kamdesh (Kamozi* sub-tribe) and Kushtuz (Kantozi sub-tribe)
tribes in Kamdesh district. Currently IDP families are temporarily
settled with the host community (same tribe: Kantozi) in and around
"Around 150 Kushtuz IDP families, who fled in 1997 from Kamdesh district
(Kushtuz village) as the result of violent raid on their village by
Kamdesh tribe. They are settled in the areas of Nikmok village.
Reportedly IDP and local communities are having good relationships and
no tensions have been reported. However, as mentioned by one of the
Bargimatal shura members, a group of Kantozi** tribe living in
Bargimatal supports Kushtuz in the conflict (this group reportedly has
link and support from Mullah Afzal, the leader of Lashkari-Tayab in
Pakistan, while another group is unhappy with otherâ€™s link with Mullah
Afzal and tries to convince the other group to maintain neutrality in
*NOTE Kamozi [=Kam or Kamoz of Robertson, Camoje Caumoje of
Elphinstone]: The Kamoz clan is predominant in Bashgul valley/Kamdesh.
**NOTE: Kantozi [=Katir or Kamtoz of Robertson, Camtoz of Elphinstone]:
Kamtoz or Katir clan is predominant in Karirgul valley.
[a]KOM/KAM or KAMOZ CLAN [Richard Strands]
Native Name: k'om.
Other Names: "Kam" (Robertson ), kacirc;mozi (Pashto name),
"Bashgali" (from Khowar baÅ¡gal'i 'Nuristani; person from baÅ¡g'al [the
lanDai sin Valley]').
Location: the lower LanDai Sin basin and an adjoining portion of the
Kunar Valley. This land is traditionally called kacirc;m'aston in
ancient Kom songs.
[b] KATIR/KAMTOZ [Richard Strands]
Native Name: kacirc;t'a. The population of the Racirc;mg'al
and kul'em Valleys in western Nuristacirc;n were sufficiently
propagandized at the time of their conversion to Islacirc;m to
renounce their native name as synonymous with "infidel." They now prefer
simply to be called "Nuristacirc;ni."
Other Names: kacirc;ntozi (Pashto name), "Katir" (Robertson
), "Bashgali" (from Khowar baÅ¡gali 'Nuristani; person from
baÅ¡gal [the lanDai sin Valley]').
08-28-2004, 01:36 AM
Another connecting link.
"Physically, the Kafir do not seem to differ much from their neighbours;
they speak a language classed by some as Dardic. It is in their
religion that their ethnic individuality is most strikingly expressed.
They practice a form of polytheism; worship consists mainly in the
sacrifice of animals. Dancing is important, and shamans practice
divination. PRIOR TO MODERN LEGAL PROHIBTION OF THE CUSTOM, THE DEAD
WERE DISPOSED OF, UNBURRIED, IN HEAVY WOODEN COFFINS. LARGE WOODEN
STATUES OF ANCESTORS, OFTEN ON HORSE BACK***, TRADITIONALLY STOOD NEAR
GRAVEYARDS, many of these works now reside in museums. Housing in
Chitral and Nurestan consists of strong rectangular wooden buildings.
The economy is based on agriculture and the raising of goats and oxen".
***COMMENT: The HORSE here again powerfully links the Nuristanis to the
ancient Kambojas. The ancient Kambojas were noted for their love for
horses and were remarkable horsemen/cavalary-men. Some of the Kafirs
have a tradition that they moved from plain valleys into the
impenetrable mountanous regions of Hindukush in wake of medieval
Mohamadan invasions. In the impenetratble mountanous regions of
Hindukush, the horse could not be reared/utilised to a advantage. Hence,
though the intruding Kafirs stopped the practice of horse-reering, but
they started erecting effigies of their 'ancestors on horsees' to
commemorate the love/fad of their ancestors for the horses.
09-05-2004, 09:55 PM
Besides HORSES, the ancient Ka
Besides HORSES, the ancient Kamboj was also famed for its ELEPHANTS.
ASPASIOS ASSAKANOIS [ASVAYANS ASHVAKAYANS OF PANINI]:
Read the following:
 "............................. the first lephants Alexander
encountered were amongst the Assakenian Indians in mountainous north
Pakistan. They were said (Arrian 4.25.5) to possess 30 beasts in their
army that Alexander was "expressly anxious to find out about" (Arrian
4.30.6); so much so that of the Indians who were elephant hunters,
"Alexander took pains to have them among his attendants" (4.30.8). Two
of the elephants were lost during the subsequent expedition to snatch
them from their grazing grounds, but the rest were successfully
 Also, Chieftain Afrikes, the real brother of chieftain Assakenos
[=Ashvaka Kamboja chief....see Political History of Ancient India, p
216-217, Dr Raychaudhury, Dr P. N. Banerjee] is said to have a a fleet
of 15 elephants which he used against Alexandra. The name Afrikes
obviously points towards Apryti (Afridis) [Ref: History of Panjab, Vol
I, p 232, Dr L. M. Joshi, Dr Fauja Singh; Ancient Kamboja, People
the Country, p 287; These Kamboj People, 1979, K. S. Dardi, p
Besides 30,000 horses,the Ashvakas/Assakas had used 30 elephants against Alexander's army.
This shows that besides horses, the Kambojas also possessed elephants and used them in battles against Alexandra.
The Kambojas of Parapamisadea [Kabol/Kunar/Swat valleys] were noted for
their fine breeds of oxes, horses and elephants. Alexandra had captured
over 230,0000 of best variety of oxes, and had sent them to Macedonia.
cf "...It apears that the Asvayanas were good cattle breeders and
agricuturists. This is clear from big number of the bullocks, 230,000
according to Arrian, of a size and shape superior to what the
Macedonians had not known, which Alexander captured from them and
decided to send them to Macedonia for agriculture" [History of Panjab,
Vol I, p 226, Dr L. M. Joshi,
Dr Fauja Singh, op cit Dr Kamboj, p 247].
"...The Ashvaka Kambojas had fielded 30,000 cavalry, 30 elephants and
20,000 infantry against Alexandra..".[Ancient Kamboja, People
p 248, Dr Kamboj]
cf "....Sudakshina, O king, who had many thousands of wonderful elephants, hath been slain in battle by Arjuna....".
kadalI mR^igamokAni kR^iShNa shyAmAruNAni cha .
kAmbojaH prAhiNottasmai parArdhyAnapi kambalAn .. 19..\
gajayoShidgavAshvasya shatasho.atha sahasrashaH .
triMshata.n choShTra vAmInA.n shatAni vicharantyuta .. 20..\
pR^ithagvidhAni ratnAni pArthivAH pR^ithivIpate .
Aharankratumukhye.asminkuntIputrAya bhUrishaH .. 21..\
TRANSLATION OF ABOVE:
"..The king of Kambhoja sent unto him (as tribute) innumerable skins,
black, darkish, and red, of the deer Kadali, as also numberless blankets
of excellent textures. And hundreds and thousands and thousands of
she-elephants and thirty thousand she-camels wander within the palace,
for the kings of the earth brought them all as tribute to the capital of
"...The king of Kamboja gave innumerable skins of the best king, and
blankets made of wool, of the soft fur of rodents and other burroughers,
and of the hair of cats,--all inlaid with threads of gold. And he also
gave three hundred horses of the Titteti and the Kalmasha species
possessing noses like parrots. And he also gave three hundred camels and
an equal number of she-•••••
all fattened with the olives and the Pilusha..."
09-05-2004, 10:05 PM
SOME MEANINGS OF CLANISH TERM
SOME MEANINGS OF CLANISH TERM KAMBOJ:
(1)The term horse and the Kamboj were so much interconnected interwoven together that a HORSE from the country of
KAMBOJ was also called Kamboj.
(2)The ancient lexicographers have rendered another meaning of Kamboj as an ELEPHANT
Kambojo hastimede........[Ref: Nanamanjari 421; Ancient Kamboja, People the Country, p 247, Dr Kamboj]
(3)Yet Kambu/Kamboj also means SILVER. [Kautalyas's Arathshastra see below]
(4)Yet another meaning of Kamboj is GOLD
(5)....and yet another meaning of Kamboj is a Conch or Shell.
All these products were native to ancient Kambojas.
As is well known from ancient Sanskrit texts, in ancient times, a famed
product from a certain country was also known by the name of that
country. That a one meaning of Kamboja was a HORSE another was an
ELEPHANT clearly attests that besides horses, elephants were also
reared/found in plenty in ancient Kamboj country.
SEE MORE MEANINGS OF KAMBOJ BELOW:
Kamboja as m. pl., N. of a people and its country
â€¢ m. the king of this people Pan. 4-1, 175
â€¢ a shell L
â€¢ a species of elephant L. (cf. kamboja.)
kamboja mfn. (fr. kamboja g. sindhv-adi and kacchacirc;di), born in
or coming from Kamboja (as horses) R. v, 12, 36 c
â€¢ m. a native of Kamboja (a race who, like the Yavanas, shaved the whole head
â€¢ originally a Kshatriya tribe, but degraded through its omission of the necessary rites W.
â€¢ a prince of the Kambojas MBh. i, 6995
â€¢ a horse of the Kamboja breed W
â€¢ (as), m. pl., N. of a people= Kamboja Mn. x, 44 MBh. R.: Ragh. BhP. Rajat
09-06-2004, 03:05 AM
The foregoing two posts clearl
The foregoing two posts clearly attest
the fact that besides horses, the ancient Kambojs also domesticated
elephants, bullocks and cows etc.
And being a WARRIOR and AGRARIAN nation,[=VARTA-SHASTER-OPAJIVIS of
Kautalya Arathashastra and Varahamihira's Brahtasamhita] the Kambojas
made use of horses and elephants in the wars/battles with an enemy and
of the bullocks/oxes and the cows for agriculture.
But the most noted product of Kambojs was their war horses.[Sanskrit
ASHVA=HORSE]. And due to this fact, some of the Kamboja clans especially
those residing in Swat/Kunar valleys were also popularly known as
ASHVAKAS......ASSAKENOIS/ASPASIOS of Greeks; ASVAYANS and ASHVAKAYANS of
Panini.[See Panini's Ashtadshyai IV-1, 99; IV-1,110]
And this very Sanskrit name 'ASHVAKAYAN/ASHVAKAN' of these warlike
Kamboja clans, in later centuries, got transformed into ASHVAGAN, AVGAN,
ABGAN, APOKIEN[Chinese], VOKAN, APKAN, APAGAN, AFGHAN etc etc.