Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Music, Musician families

In Circle Bakote

And their social role

 Written and compiled by


Senior Journalist, Anthropologist and Historian

(Cell # 0331-5446020)


The musical tradition of Circle Bakote was inherited from the earlier Hindu civilisation. Music is a compulsory element of Hinduism, and when Muslim tribes entered here the music was also changed and it changed into a profession rather than a religious tradition, that adopted by special families called "Mirasies". These families performed not only on wedding but on seasonal occasions as Grass Cutting ceremony ("LAITRY"), Roof Building of a House, ("PAHCHI") Etc. The other duties of Mirasies were to distribute invitations of weddings in shape of sweets homemade items, they were also used to spy on rival tribes or tribal chief before wedding caravan ("Janj").   
Downfall of Music and Arts in the Sikh Era
       The mountains of Circle Bakote and Murree Hills were under the control of Gakhars and Dhond Abbasies and Karhrals were their sub-feudal lords since four centuries. Sikh army personal of Gulab Sing and Lahore Darbar were illiterate, greedy and very brutal against Muslim tribes of area Downfall of Music and Arts in the Sikh Era . They looted and gutted their houses, slaughtered them and got rewards of Rs. five Nanakshahi per child head and Rs. 10 for adult ladies or male heads. These circumstances compelled inhabitants of area to change their names as SOLLA KHAN, PUNNU KHAN etc in every tribes of Kohsar.
Mirasi as a Social Institution

There are the most dutiful wedding customs in Circle Bakote including all Kohsar.  From the first day to the last event in laws house, groom  and bride  pend the life time memories in old days but it is a dream in new age and society.  The main part of this ceremony acted practically by MIRACIES and NAIES. These are both socially recognized institution at that time and their opinion was ultimately the final decision making factor in this regard.

The nature of Mirasies as institutions

Mirasi as we termed a musician is not correct in old days when a society in Kohsar living with a social contract, Mirasi was a social institution with importance of social performance of his duties. He was a symbol of society bonds from first day as a son of a feudal lord or a common man tied up with the same family daughter. Mirasi had got a back bone of a couple in selecting a groom or bridal, if he passed “Yes” vote, the decision was final.

Who was Mirasi?

Miras (میراث) means heritance from father or mother to he or she descendants based on unobjectionable family tree that narrated by Mirasies. Mirasi was a recite of society and people past generations at that time when printing press, Radio, television, computer, face book and internet was existed. As a holder of tribes and families ancestral highly verified   record he called Mirasi or guardian of inheritance.

Mirasi nature of duties

Mirasi was a highly ethnological knowledge holder of his time both in Arab and Indian societies. Arab called him Nassab or نسابین and Science of Ethnology (علم الانساب) while in India Mirasi was a investigator in blood relationship building between two families or tribes. He started his work when his feudal or any person of his village or society appointed him for a relationship in his tribe or same social status holder. He works slowly but with fully devotion with his task as in detail:

A…….. He wear yellow dress that was a symbol that Mirasi was on way to a girl parent hous inside or outside a town.

B……..He carried a basket on his head full of sweet breads (پكوان). No one asked him about his task because everybody know his job and duty.

C…….He received with full protocol by father or brothers or guardians of proposed girl with other party Mirasies, he came in house bed room where all ladies were busy in their house matters without any hesitation. He watched inner matters of house, ladies working in common kitchens, analyzed social and monitory status of host family as live stock and other things. Family chief met with him and introduced all his family members including opposite sex one by one. The host family Mirasi was on special duty about “honorable gust” till next day morning. The upper side of bed was reserved by “honorable Gusts” always and Mirasi was sitting on upper side of bed as a representative of a groom family in status of a “honorable Gusts”. He hosted with all norms and social values of that time, relatives of host family shacked hand and gave full honor to “honorable Gusts”.

Yes or No

Mirasi good by host family and sleep with hope and his shoes are on a right way in arranged order it means that blood relation terms were approved by groom family but shoes are same condition as he left at night disclosed that no blood relation with Mirasi masters. Mirasi first of all looked on his shoes than decided his next strategy of coming day, in case of “No” he breakfast and left the groom house with all his sweet that returned to him. I his shoes reflected the will of groom family positively he get up, performed Fajer Prayer, recited the Holy Qur’an with male members of family in morning, breakfast at 8 AM and then he walked in paddy fields and other borders of host family property. He discussed matters with the other side Mirasi family and often he successfully got a bride for his son on same day. Host family re-cooked sweets for groom family and Mirasi left back third day of his arrival to his way. Groom family confirmed their blood relationship with their counterpart as Mirasi arrival delayed and they received him with joys as their own family member. They invited all their notable tribe’s elders and gave them tidings of new blood relationship.

  1.  Sikh Era 
  2. The People of India by Herbert Risley, William Crooke (Chapter III) published by Asian Education Services, New Delhi in 1915. 
  3. The Cambridge History of India,Edward James Rapson, Sir Wolseley Haig, Sir Richard Burn, Henry Dodwell, Mortimer Wheeler,CUP Archive, 1963 -page 42 
  4. The Life of Music in North India: The Organization of an Artistic Tradition by  Daniel M. Neuman, University of Chicago Press, 15-Mar-1990, page 131 
  5. The Hollow Crown: Ethnohistory of an Indian Kingdom, By Nicholas B. Dirks,University of Michigan Press, 1993