| Sikhism, strictly, Does not support Casteism. This article is just for information purposes that how people from different castes came into Sikh folds so treat this article as general information.
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|Castes & Tribes|
|Classification||Tribal Community, Buisnessmen and Trading Community|
|Significant populations in||Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujrat, Pakistan & Other parts|
|Languages||Lubanki (Dialect), Punjabi, Hindi and many others|
|Religions||Sikhism, Hinduism & Islam|
Lobanas, Labana and lohana are a tribe that lives all over India. Labanas have their own language called "Lubanki" which is a dialect of Panjabi. However, this language is only spoken by Labanas outside Punjab, a northern state of India. The Labanas of Punjab and Haryana are mostly Sikhs and speak mainly Punjabi or Hindi. They are also called lohana (in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Lavana is another variation often heard.
Khushwant Singh has called Lubana Sikhs: "The Salt of the earth". It is said that Lobanas are a sub-division of the larger Banjaras (Vanjara) grouping. The Lobanas have played an important role in the history of the Panjab in general, and in that of the Sikhs in particular. Many Lobanas like Makhan Shah, Lakhi Shah and Sant Prem Singh have played important roles in the history of Sikhi. The social mobility among the Lobanas under British rule is also noteworthy. Originally involved mainly with transport and trading they have overwhelmingly became agriculturists. The socio-religious resurgence in Panjab during the period of the British Raj and thereafter introduced many reforms in this community. So the study of the Lobana community helps us to understand the geveral process of socio-cultural change in the whole of Panjab.
The term Lobana appears to have been derived from he words Lun (salt) and the word Bana/Vana (trade). The Lobanas were the great salt-carrying and salt-trading community. They were occasionally called Banjaras. Locally, they were known by different names in parts of the Panjab. In Ambala district, for example, on account of their versatility in adopting different vocations, the lobanas were called "Bahrupias".
It is said that the Lobanas are of Turkish origin. They travelled from Turkey toward India and that is why they are also called "Banjaras" ("travellers") because during travel they had to set up some businesses along their way.
Different views are prevalent about the origin of the Lobanas.
In Gujarat district, they claimed to be Ragubansi Rajputs. The Lobanas of Kangra and Hoshiarpur districts claimed their origin from the Gaur Brahmins of Pilibhit. A good number of them traced their origin from Gaur Brahmins who came to the Panjab from Ranthambore in Aurangzeb's time.
It appears to be more appropriate to regard the Lobanas as a sub-division of the great Banjara tribe, forming one of their principal sub-castes.
According to Para Singh Tanda Of Laban Sewak Jan 2008, Labanas were once part of the Rajputs (a warrior caste), he attributes the name laban to use of iron (loh) in the armor they wore. Some people from among these warriors started trading to earn their livelyhood in times of peace with the result that the name altered to Vanzaras (trade/transport). They first traded in food grains. When the army was in action they would supply foodstuff to the front lines using mainly Oxen or Bulls (thagha) as pack animals or to pull their wagons laden with the supplies neccesary to keep an army on the move. Travernier in his book, "Travels of India" wrote that an ox or bull can carry weight of around 300 to 500 pounds.
The kaafila was of 10,000 to 12,000 thagaas in which they took rice, wheat, salt, etc. Colonel Gulcharan singh said, "the lobanas took products from all over India to the harbours of Soorat to be sent to ports scattered around the world on ships that were often owned by Lobanas. Makhan Shah Labana was the maalik (owner/master) of many ships. Travernier also wrote that one Lobana owned at least 100 to 200 thagaas. The Sardar of a kaafila (caravan) was known as a Naik (also a modern term of rank in the Indian army). In the past the Naiks would wear a garland of diamonds and pearls around there neck.
They were fast walkers too because of dhagaas. Lobanas had to travel a lot for trade so they learned a lot about geographical areas and the needs of the people in those areas. Lobanas were also used by kings for the demand study of their prajaa. and also used by old kings as as intelligence or spies. Gulcharan Singh also claims that both Tipu Sultan and the Duke of Wellington were also labanas. lubanki have mixture of Rajasthani Gujrati & Marathi. The bodies of lobanas were fit and they were tall as they were fighters later they travel a lot. The Ladies of Lobanas were said to be beautiful and fair in colour. they were bold to as there husbands use to go out for trade so they control all activities household and were not like old women which use to live in purdah etc. they were not fearful. J.H Huttel in book the Triobe & caste wrote that the ladies of labans were famous for beauty & Ghareloo Azadee and also purtbeautiful clothes.
Labanas went outside india set in european countries and these are called Roma People
When Banda SIngh Bahadur needs money then a kaafila of labana helped them as in prachin panth parkash its written : Aayae Lubanae lag gayee laar, dayo daswandh uni kayi hazaar. When Banda SIngh need soldeirs then many lobana participated in his army. Kesar Singh Chibber in Banwalinama wrote, Saath Lubanya, behroopiya sikhan aad kharota, maal balad ladey hoyae, maarag chaley jaaya, chela bhej nayak sad mangaya.
After Guru's period
During the MISL period, the Lobanas joined the services of various MISLDARS. They mostly served in the Bhangi, Ramgarhia, Shaheed and Ahluwalia MISLS. Some of them were in the ruling class of the Ahluwalia Misl. During the time of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Lobanas were recruited into the Khalsa Army. They proved to be good soldiers.
Lobanas also joined in english forces, then there was a time when jameen kharidan shuru hoya the labanas purchases land in Ambala, Hoshiarpur, Jalnadhar, Ludhiana, ferozpur, ahore, Amritsar, gurdaspur so they have equal status as jatts.(By piara Singh Tanda)
During the eighteenth century the Lobanas began to follow a settled way of life. There are many instances regarding their settlement as cultivators by the Sikh rulers to extend cultivation. The Lobanas of Lower Indus, Gujranwala and Jhang, for instance, settled as cultivators during the Sikh rule. In Kangra district, the Lobanas ascribed their settlement by Raja Dharam Chand and Langrapal. In the early nineteenth century, the Lobanas had established their own important villages. For instance in Gujrat district, they had three villages named Bazurgwal, Khori Dunna Singh and Tanda. Tanda was a well-known Lobana settlement. It was situated on the land of Moth-sa-duddin which was a part of chhachhan TAPPA.
Wherever the Lobanas settled they mainly named their villages as Tandas. Tanda in Lobanki dialect means a travelling body or gang. In Kangra district the Lobanas had four hamlets each called Tanda. In this way the Lobanas replaced their nomadic and pastoral life by settled way of life. By the mid-nineteenth century, the Lobanas at some places owned not only parts of villages, but also entire villages and even groups of villages. They were chiefly found in the Panjab during the Sikh rule.
Upliftment of Labana Community
Originally, the Lobanas were transporters and carriers. They supplied grains and other things of necessity in different parts of country. They had their own pack of animals. The trade was conducted in the shape of caravans and was responsible for security particularly in the dangerous tracts like forests and deserts. It was his duty to arrange fodder and make other administrative arrangements. He lived like a prince and wore a chain of pearls hanging from the neck.
Under the Sikh rule, majority of the Labanas continued their former occupations on traditional pattern. Bulk of them earned livelihood as professional carriers and only some of them as traders. Cattle-trade was also prevalent among them. In the business management, they could not compete with the Khatris and Aroras. Their position was similar to few other carrying and trading communities like Bhabras, Prachas and Khojas. Like the other trading communities the Lobanas also harvested profits from the expansion of trade. Thus their financial position gradually improved. The improvement in their economic condition paved the way for upward social mobility among the Lobanas.
In the late eighteenth century some of the Lobanas followed pastoral pursuits. Under the Sikh rule, the Lobanas were entering the agrarian hierarchy. This process was accelerated by the agrarian policy of Maharaja Ranjit Singh to extend cultivation. The general policy of Maharaja Ranjit Singh towards the agrarian classes was guided by the security and development of revenues. The grants of waste land were given to new cultivators. Among other factors this gave an opportunity to the Lobanas to become agriculturists. For example, the Lobanas of Lower Indus settled as agriculturists during the period of Diwan Sawan Mal. Similarly, the Lobanas of Gujranwala and Jhang districts entered the agrarian hierarchy when the state repaired and dug the perennial an inundation canals. The land was given to them by Maharaja Ranjit Singh at nominal rent. They acquired proprietorship of the waste land cultivated by them. Thus, the Lobanas became peasant-proprietorship in some districts of the Panjab towards the end of the Sikh rule. Considering the premium attached to the possession of land in a predominantly agrarian society, this may be traced as signifying upward social mobility.
In retrospect, we see that the Lobanas became a well-known community in the Panjab towards the end of the Sikh rule. Their financial position gradually improved under the Sikh rule. A good number of the Lobanas followed pastoral occupation. They began to enter in the agrarian hierarchy by making the best use of facilities provided by the state. But majority of the Lobanas still continued with their traditional occupations.
Clans In Lobanas
View Article Lobana Clans
Ghotra( Or Ajrawat Or Lakhman), Multani, Labana, Sujlana, are main clans mostly found and well known.
Other Clans are Badwalie, Belia, Bhagtaun, Bhonie, Dahgre, Danie, Dara Shah, Datla, Dhandsi, Dotal, Fatra, Ghare, Gojalia, Gujars, Jullon, jTatra, Kankanya, Kharrie, Khera, Khasarya, Kulwana, Lahoriae, Lavana, Lohana, Lulia, Makhan Shahi, Maniani, Mathaun , mathaunie, Mochie, Nanaut, Narowal, Padurgi, Palsiya, Parwal, Pelia, TAdra, Wamial, Wamowal
Population in India:355,000
Largest States on file:
Punjab (283,000), Haryana (16,000), Rajasthan (11,000), Jammu and Kashmir (10,000), Uttar Pradesh (10,000), Delhi (8,000), Maharashtra (3,600), Uttaranachal (3,300), Chandigarh (2,200), Madhya Pradesh (1,900),
The Labana in the Punjab are equal to Jats in social standing and are a Landholding caste here. According to British records 33% of them were Kesh Dhari Sikhs and were found primarily in the Lahore, Gujranwala and Sialkot areas. The Labanas along with the Khatri, Arora, Churah, Suneaar and Tarkhans saw the highest conversions into Sikhism during the 1881-1891.
Source = Transformation of the Sikh Society (Ethene K. Marenco) p. 120
The Jat and Lobana castes of Sikhs possess in a high degree in millitary support.
Source = Studies on military transport By George Armand Furse P. 215
Primary Language: Panjabi, Eastern (318,000 Speakers)
Hindi (4,500), Harauti (20), Mewari (10), Pahari-Potwari: Punchhi (Unknown), Haryanvi: Bagdi (Unknown)
Dialect - Lubanki
- Sant Majha Singh (1866-1971)
GUJRANWALA DISTRICT : Chakian, Daliyanwalik, Dholan, Garala, Gunaur, Kajikot, Kurikot, Mandiran, Manjpur, Mirzapur, Garala, Nangal Dunna singh and Wando.
GUJRAT DISTRICT : Hatka, Bazurgwal, Baramla, Bhakhrewali, Buddhan, 28 Chak, Gujgrain, Khori Dunna Singh, Mehsam, Peroshah, Qila Sura Singh, Quankh, Surkhpur and Tanda.
GURDASPUR DISTRICT : Balarhwal, Behrampur, Bheni Paswal, Bhulechak, Dhianpur, Chak Shreef, Dhupsari, Galrhi, Ghot Phokhar, Jago Chak Tanda, Jhanda Lobana, Khojkipur, Kri Afgana, Kishanpur, Kotli, Manchopra, Mari Buchian, Mari Tanda, Mehre, Mirthal Tanda, Naushehra Nalbandhan, Nawan Pind Bahadur, Nirsiha, Saidowal Khurd and Shaale.
HOSHIARPUR DISTRICT : Budhabarkt, Chuhrian, Galowal, Himatpur, Khurdan, Mahadpur, Naraingarh, Passitbet, Salohpur, Tahli, Tanda Ramsahai, Terkiana and Uchi Bassi.
JALANDHAR DISTRICT : Bhatnura, Narohi, Patial and Rajpura.
JHANG DISTRICT : Chak No. 485.
KANGRA DISTRICT : 4 Tandas
LAhORE DISTRICT : 37 Chak Pattokji, Gopal Singh Wala, Paar Sadh, Shahpur Kanjra, Innobhati Jhugian Khasrian.
LUDHIANA DISTRICT : Balbgarh, Dholanwal, Garhi Fazal, Gopalpur, Lubangarh, Mangli Tanda, Rur, Sasrali and Tanda Kishan Singh.
LAYALLPUR DISTRICT : 13 Chak, 447 Chak, 476 Chak and 444 Chak, 115 G.B., 441 G.B., 77 G.B., 32 G.B., 202 G.B., 358 G.B., 301 G.B., 84 G.B., 518 G.B.
MULTAN DISTRICT : 24 Chak, 34 Chak, 36 Chak, 45 Chak, 50 Chak, 86 Chak, 88 Chak and 90 Chak.
SARGHODHA DISTRICT : 115 Chak South, 113 Chak South, 133 Chak S.B., 135 Chak S.B., 109 Chak S.B.
SHEIKHUPURA DISTRICT : Awan, Babakwal, Bhago Dial, Bhukanpur Aar Da, Bhukanpur Paar Da, Nangal Bhuchar, Nangal Bawa, Bohar Wala Ahiya(Ahiya Khurd), Ahiya Nagar Kalan, 32 Chak, 41 Chak, 48 Chak, Dhamkian, Dinga, Fatrehan, Garangwala, Ghuchli, Hitkipur, Kharial, Lubanwala, Mangat, Manjwala, Mansa Singh Da Ahiya, Maschak, Mehmatpur, Mikhowal, Mirpur, Muradpur, Najar Purana, Niranjani, Paarda Ahiya, Pindidass, Qaji Murali, Ratniwala, Bukanwal, Saad Amba, Sarawan, Shaam Ke, Sharihpur, Sindiala, Tibba Toria, Wadda Najar, 22 Chak, 23 Chak.
SIALKOT DISTRICT : Bhagowal, Bhodi, Chhana Atalgarh, Garhi Bhura, Khokharwali, Kunanpur, Nangal Shahu, Rajja, Shana Gopalpur, Baradari.
ROPAR DISTRICT : Graangan , Khokhar, Dalla, Behrampur Bet, Rampur Phasse, Tapprian Amar Singh, SallahPur, Makkowal Chotta , Sultanpur, Lobangarh, Bikkapur, Maddoli, Gochar.
LUDHIANA DISTRICT : Chak Lohat, Sherpur, Sehjomajra, Burj Kacha, Raipur, Behlolpur, Kanpur , Chakkli, Tanda, Hambowal, Pautt,
PEHOWA DISTRICT : Fatehgarh (Pipli Plot), Vada Siana, Chota Siana, Miana, Ghula, Cheeka, Puuna, 4 Number, Shambi, Ladwa.
Other parts of India
Besides Punjab, these tribes are also found in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharastra, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar and Gujarat. In these areas, they may not necessarily follow Sikhism.
- Book: The Caste an dTribes of Punjab - Author
- Piara Singh Padam
- Giani Harnam Singh - The Lobanas of PUnjab
- Khushwant Singh Article Labanas the salt of earth