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Title: Tanoli  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Ghilji, Amb (princely state), Phulra, Pashtun tribes, Sherwan
Collection: Ethnic Groups in Afghanistan, Hindkowan Tribes, Social Groups of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Social Groups of Pakistan, Surnames
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The Tanoli (Hindko/Urdu: تنولی‎; Pashto: تنولي‎) might be either a Pashtun tribe or a Turkic one found in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,and some eastern parts of Afghanistan.[1][2]

The English writer Charles Allen, citing from a draft manuscript written by Major James Abbott at the British Library, London, writes that the Tanolis were "extremely hostile, brave and hardy, and accounted the best swordsmen in Hazara".[3]


  • British and later assessments 1
  • Tanoli resistance against the Sikhs 2
  • Sub tribes 3
    • Hindwal 3.1
    • Pallal 3.2
  • References 4
  • Sources 5

British and later assessments

The British considered the Tanoli a martial race, a term derived from the assumption that certain ethnic groups are inherently more militarily inclined than others and based on the observation that the Scottish Highlanders were more fierce in battle than other British races.[4] However, this theory has since been discredited in modern times.[5]

Tanoli resistance against the Sikhs

Mir Jehandad Khan, son of Mir Painda Khan fought hard against the Sikhs. It was said, "Of all the tribal chiefs of Huzara, the most powerful [was] said to be Jehandad Khan of the Tanoli Tribe.".[3] This Jehandad Khan was later given the princely state of Amb in the Mansehra region of Hazara district, by the British government in India, for his loyal services.[6]

Sub tribes

The Hindwal and Pallal are the major divisions of the tribe. The further sub–divisions of the tribe are :


Romal Khel; Haibat Khel, Mastkhel (Mast Khani), Painda Khel, Maddad Khel Jamal Khel; Charyal Khel, Ledhyal Khel, Abdwal Khel, Saryal Khel; Lalal Khel, Hedral Khel, Baizal Khel Jalwal Khel Bohal Khel Baigal Khel Tekral Khel An sal Khel Masand Khel Rains Khel


Labhya Khel (Suba Khani) Matyal Khel Bainkaryal Khel Dairal Khel Sadhal Khel Judhal Khel Baigal Khel Tekral Khel Asnal Khel Masand Khel Rains Khel Bhujal


  1. ^ JW Spain 'The Pathan Borderland' 1969 ed
  2. ^ Prof Dr Ahmad Hasan Dani 'Some tribes of Hazara and Kashmir' Islamabad, 1991, pp 104-107
  3. ^ a b Allen (2001), p. 139.
  4. ^ The People of India: A Series of Photographic Illustrations, with Descriptive Letterpress, of the Races and Tribes of Hindustan, Originally Prepared Under the Authority of the Government of India, and Reproduced by Order of the Secretary of State for India in Council By John Forbes Watson, John William Kaye, Meadows Taylor, Great Britain. India Office Published by India museum, 1872 Item notes: v. 5
  5. ^ Streets, Heather (2004). Martial Races: The military, race and masculinity in British Imperial Culture, 1857-1914. Manchester University Press. p. 241.
  6. ^ Allen, p 138-139. In 1851, Jehandad was offered the choice, by the then-administrator of Hazara, Major James Abbott, that 'he must decide whether to be treated as a loyal chief or a rebel' and Jehandad responded with strong protestations of loyal support


  • Allen, Charles (2001), Soldier Sahibs: The Men Who Made the North-west Frontier, New York: Abacus, .  
  • Scott, George Batley (1929), Afghan and Pathan: A Sketch, London: Mitre Press .
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