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Thread: Mer/Mair/Maher

  1. #1
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    Mer/Mair/Maher

    I have recently come across this group of people by accident. I have never heard of them but I started to look through traditional native Indian surnames of my matches. These matches are distant but heavily populous in my mums matches.

    I found surnames such as Solanki, Odedra, Chauhan etc. All these surnames have one thing in common in that they relate to the Mahers/Mairs.

    Does anyone know much about them? As far as I can tell they were classed as Rajput/Kshaytria and came from Georgia ends through Iran and Baluchistan? Further to this the Odedras settled in Sindh.

    I do seem to have high readings for Sindh and Baluchistan in more ancient DNA admix's for those who have seen my results.

    Your thoughts would be appreciated...
    One's homeland is not where you are born, but where all your attempts to escape, cease.

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  3. #2
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    I know I am replying to an extremely old post, but in case you are still active @vintage_sky and see my reply - do you also have any Mer matches on Gedmatch?

    Mer is a community centered around the former princely state of Porbandar in the Kathiawar peninsula and in the Barda hills at Porbandar-Junagarh border. I wrote about them a while ago here : https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....nalysis/page89 (#8866). They also have a huge diaspora in the U.K., so you might have come across them over there (the most common surnames being, apart the ones you listed, Khunti, Jadeja, Keshwala, Jethwa, Modhwadiya, etc.).

    They claim Kshatriya lineage and were close and loyal warriors for the Jethwa clan of Porbandar, the former Rajput rulers of Porbandar state. According to many, they descend from the Soomro and Samma clans of Sindh, but they themselves are very strongly connected to Porbandar area since a very long time.

    They speak a distinct dialect of Kathiawari and are mostly landowners and horse breeders today.




    They are famous in Gujarat for their beautiful Dandiya Raas (Gujarati folk dance) called Maniyaaro




    This one is truly sick lol (video quality is not that good, sadly). It looks even cooler if you witness it live:




    They are a very martial caste (just like most of Kathiawari tribes, who had a long tradition of outlawry starting from the medieval period untill 1950s). One of the most recognizable figures from this community is Santokba Jadeja, a.k.a. "The Godmother". She became a big gang leader after her husband Sarman Munja Jadeja, himself a local don, was murdered. She still enjoys an Escobaresque popularity in Porbandar. The 1999 film Godmother, starring the sublime Shabana Azmi, was inspired by her.

    Last edited by Kirtan24; 11-17-2021 at 11:35 AM.
    ta.āruf rog ho jaa.e to us kā bhūlnā behtar
    ta.alluq bojh ban jaa.e to us ko toḌnā achchhā
    vo afsāna jise anjām tak laanā na ho mumkin
    use ik ḳhūb-sūrat moḌ de kar chhoḌnā achchhā...

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  5. #3
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    Punjabi Suniyars also call themselves Mair/Mehr Rajputs, although I doubt there's a connection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyDLuffy View Post
    Punjabi Suniyars also call themselves Mair/Mehr Rajputs, although I doubt there's a connection.
    Yeah probably not, although interestingly, in the Punjabi version of Sohni Mehar, Sohni is a Kumhar girl, whereas in the Sindhi narration, Sohni is either a Jut or a Mer/Maher (versions vary). But this is probably just a case of the story adapting itself according to the place it is narrated in.
    ta.āruf rog ho jaa.e to us kā bhūlnā behtar
    ta.alluq bojh ban jaa.e to us ko toḌnā achchhā
    vo afsāna jise anjām tak laanā na ho mumkin
    use ik ḳhūb-sūrat moḌ de kar chhoḌnā achchhā...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirtan24 View Post
    According to many, they descend from the Soomro and Samma clans of Sindh]
    The Mahar tribe of Sindh is a sub-tribe of the Soomra tribe, although the various clans have their own Chiefs/Sardars. The current chief is Sardar Muhammad Bux Khan Mahar


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    Quote Originally Posted by heksindhi View Post
    The Mahar tribe of Sindh is a sub-tribe of the Soomra tribe, although the various clans have their own Chiefs/Sardars. The current chief is Sardar Muhammad Bux Khan Mahar

    Is Khan used by people of non pashtun decent too?

  12. #7
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    Per Elliot from Mujmal-ut-Twarikh
    Historians of Sind
    History of the Jats and Meds
    "The Jats and Meds1 are, it is said, descendants of Ham. They dwelt in Sind and (on the banks of) the river which is called Bahar. By the Arabs the Hindús are called Jats. The Meds held the ascendancy over the Jats, and put them to great distress, which compelled them to take refuge on the other side of the river Pahan, but being accustomed to the use of boats, they used to cross the river and make attacks on the Meds, who were owners of sheep. It so came to pass that the Jats enfeebled the Meds, killed many of them, and plundered their country. The Meds then became subject to the Jats."
    https://books.google.com/books?id=W9gix7jzhfcC&pg=PA104



    https://books.google.com/books?id=DzcrDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA51

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  14. #8
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    Yes,

    My family tree has tons of names having "Khan" as the last name.
    Kashmir

  15. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyDLuffy View Post
    Is Khan used by people of non pashtun decent too?
    In Sindh it's used as a formal title roughly equal to Chief/Lord. In practice that means the various Sardars/Tumandars/Jams of the (many) Sindhi tribes/sub-tribes use the title to signify that their family is the current head of the tribe. I've occasionally seen it used by some families without a formal claim to hereditary leadership of a tribe/clan, but that's rare. In all cases, its always suffixed with the name of the clan/tribe.

    Colloquial usage in Sindhi is a little different and far more common. In everyday speech (by Sindhis of a certain age), Khan is roughly equivalent to Mr. My grandmother, as an example, addressed all her adult male children as 'xxxxx Khan'. It differs from Saeen in that it doesn't have the associated hierarchy. You would never address your gardener, cook or driver as Saeen, but assuming they were adults and/or older than you, you would certainly suffix their name with Khan.

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  17. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by heksindhi View Post
    The Mahar tribe of Sindh is a sub-tribe of the Soomra tribe, although the various clans have their own Chiefs/Sardars. The current chief is Sardar Muhammad Bux Khan Mahar

    Interesting, the Mer/Maher of Porbandar are exclusively Hindus though. Do you know when the last of the Soomra tribes adopted Islam?
    ta.āruf rog ho jaa.e to us kā bhūlnā behtar
    ta.alluq bojh ban jaa.e to us ko toḌnā achchhā
    vo afsāna jise anjām tak laanā na ho mumkin
    use ik ḳhūb-sūrat moḌ de kar chhoḌnā achchhā...

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