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Indian Celebrities: Babu Khan
This photograph of Babu Khan, probably a tribal Pashtun leader judging from his typical Afghan longi (turban), is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. During the British Raj of 1858–1947, prominent British administrators and military men, as well as Indian princely rulers and tribal chiefs, were often considered as “Indian” celebrities. The Second Anglo-Afghan War began in November 1878 when Great Britain, fearful of what it saw as growing Russian influence in Afghanistan, invaded the country from British ...
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Library of Congress
Group of Mountain Tribes
This photograph of a group of mountain tribesmen, most likely Afghan Pashtuns, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The term “Afghan” is very ancient and originally was used to denote only Pashto speakers or the Pashtun people, the dominant ethnic group in the country. But by the time of 17th-century Pashto poet Khwushḥāl Khān, Afghan already referred to any citizen of Afghanistan, regardless of tribal heritage. These men, apparently warrior tribesmen, are wearing traditional loose-fitting clothing and longis ...
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Library of Congress
A Loyal Afghan
This photograph of a white-clad Pashtun Afghan tribesman wearing a carefully wrapped turban and a medal pinned to his tunic, with his sword by his side, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The religious and ethnic identity of this individual is unknown. The caption states that he was "a loyal Affghan," so he may have fought with the British during the war and earned the medal for his service. The Second Anglo-Afghan War began in November 1878 when ...
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Library of Congress
Four Sons of Nawrūz Khan of Lalpoora
This photograph of four sons of Nowruz Khān, ruler of Lalpura, Afghanistan, is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The young men are wearing handsome traditional Afghan garments and pointed shoes called paizaar, usually adorned with gold-thread embroidery. The photographer, John Burke (circa 1843–1900), accompanied the Peshawar Valley Field Force during part of the war, and became one of the first photographers to take pictures of Afghanistan’s people, rather than simply of military personnel. The khan was ...
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Library of Congress
Group of Afridis at Jamrūd, 1866
This photograph of a group of Afridi tribesmen with rifles is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The Afridi are Pashtun Afghans, part of the Karlani tribal confederacy, who both fought against and with the British in Afghanistan during all three Anglo-Afghan wars. The British frequently classified the peoples that they conquered with fixed personality or “racial” traits. They regarded both the Punjabi Sikhs and the Afghan Afridi tribesmen as “warlike” peoples. Different Afridi clans cooperated with the British ...
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Library of Congress
Kohat Pass
This photograph of Afridi tribesmen at the Kohat Pass is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The Kohat Pass links the town of Kohat with Peshawar further to north. The pass is the home territory of the Pashtun Afridi tribe, who were regarded by the British authorities as a strongly independent and “warlike” tribe. The Afridi men shown here are observing the photographer, who might have been John Burke. He was rejected as an official photographer but accompanied the ...
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Library of Congress
Sir Bolan, an Achakzai Chief
This portrait of a seated Achakzai chief and five of his associates is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The Achakzai are a Pashtun tribal subgroup, residing primarily in eastern Afghanistan, between Quetta and Kandahar. Most of the tribe took up arms against the British Raj when its rule reached the Afghan border. Little is known about this chief’s background, his allegiance during the war, or what role he might have played in it. The Second Anglo-Afghan War ...
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Library of Congress
Afghanistan, 1879-80
Afghanistan, 1879-80 is an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878–80). The war began in November 1878 when Great Britain, fearful of what it saw as growing Russian influence in Afghanistan, invaded the country from British India. The first phase of the war ended in May 1879 with the Treaty of Gandamak, which permitted the Afghans to maintain internal sovereignty but forced them to cede control over their foreign policy to the British. Fighting resumed in September 1879 after an ...
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Library of Congress
History of the Afghans
The History of the Afghans, published in English in 1829, is the first history of the Afghan people translated from a non-Western language to appear in a European language. The original work was composed in Persian, in 1609-11, by Neamet Ullah (active 1613-30) in the court of the Mughal emperor Jahangir (1569-1627). Ullah based his work on material compiled by Hybet Khan, an attendant of the Afghan General Khan Jahan Lodi. The translation is by the German philologist and Orientalist Bernhard Dorn (1805-81), who worked from a copy of the ...
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Government College University Lahore