CHJGAI DISTRICT 117
other plants, two varieties of tamarisk and Euphorbia occur. The
commonest of the occasional grasses are Eragrostis eynosuroides, Aristida
plumosa, and several species of Aeluropus. Asafoetida occurs on the
The deserts swarm with venomous snakes and scorpions, while skinks
(reg mdhi) are found in the sandhills. In the remotest parts the wild
ass occurs, and the Persian gazelle is fairly common.
The climate is dry and agreeable in the autumn and spring. From
May to September great heat is experienced by day, but the nights
are cool. The western half of the District is at this time exposed to the
effects of the bad-i-sad-o-bast-roz, or 120 days' wind, which carries with it
clouds of sand. The winter is cold. Much sickness is caused by the
presence of sulphates in the water, which is often fit for consumption
only after distillation. Between z and 3 inches of rain are received,
chiefly in winter. Snow falls on the hills.
Local tradition speaks of an Arab and Mongol occupation of the
country in early times. In 174o Nadir Shah conferred Nushki as a fief on
the chief of Kharan, but it fell into the hands of the
Brahuis shortly afterwards and became a nidbat of the History.
Kalat State. Henry Pottinger visited the country in 18 i o, and Sir Charles
Macgregor in 1877. In 1886 the Amir of Afghanistan sent a force to
occupy Chagai ; but ten years later it fell, with Western Sinjrani, within
the British sphere, by the decision of the Afghan-Baloch Boundary
Commission, and an Assistant Political Agent was thereon placed in
charge of the country from Nushki to Robat Kila. In 1897 the transit
dues levied by the Zagar Mengal chief were abolished, in consideration
of an annual payment of Rs. 7,000, of which Rs. 3,6oo is devoted to a
Mengal levy service. Finally, in June, 1899, the Nushki nicibat was
leased to the British Government by the Kalat State for an annual quit-
rent of Rs. 9,ooo, and a tahsil was established. In 19oi a sub-tahsil
was located at Dalbandin in Chagai.
The population enumerated in 19or was 15,689 ; allowing 6,ooo
for Western Sinjrani, where no Census was taken, the
total is 21,689. The table on the next page gives Population.
statistics of area, &c., by tahsils in rgor.
Nearly all the inhabitants are Muhammadans of the Sunni sect. The
languages spoken are Brahui, Baluchi, and a little Pashtu. The majority
of the people are Brahuis, the principal Brahui tribes being Zagar
Mengals (4,6oo) and Muhammad Hasnis (4,30o). The Rakhshanis,
another important tribe (3,500), claim to be Baloch. The tribes living
in Chagai and the Western Sinjrani country include Sinjranis, Damanis,
Kfirds, and Rekis. In Nushki most of the population are cultivators ;
elsewhere they are chiefly flock-owners. The permanent villages
number thirty-two, including NuSHKI the head-quarters station.