H.A. Rose writes that The word Awan is not unplausibly derived from Ahwan, 'helper,' but various explanations of its origin are given. According to one tradition the Awans, who claim Arab origin, are descendants of Qutb Shah, himself descended from Ali, and were attached to the Muhammadan armies which invaded India as 'auxiliaries,' whence their name. In Kapurthala a more precise version of their legend makes them Alwi Sayyids, who oppressed by the Abba sides, sought refuge in Sindh ; and eventually allied themselves with Sabuktagin, who bestowed on them the title of Awan. But in the best available account of the tribe1 the Awans are indeed said to be of Arabian origin and descendants of Qutb Shah, but he is said to have ruled Herat and to have joined Mahmud of Ghazni when he invaded India. With him came six of his many sons : Gauhar Shah or Gorrara, who settled near Sakesar; Kalan Shah or Kalgan who settled at Dhankot (Kalabagh) : Chauhan who colonised the hills near the Indus : Khokhar or Muhammad Shah who settled on the Chenab: Tori and Jhajh whose descendants are said to be still found in Tirah and elsewhere.
- 1. By Mr. W. S. Talbot in the Jhelum Gazetteer, 1905, pp. 102— 104. He disposes of Cunningham's theory that Janjuas and Awans were within historical times one race : (Arch. Survey Reports. II 17 ff) : and of Brandreth's theory that the Awans, though recent immigrants into the Punjab, are descended from Bactrian Greeks. Mr. Talbot also mentions the Gangs and Munds who are generally reckoned as Awans, but who are probably only affiliated indigenous clans.
Villages in Jaipur district
- A glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province By H.A. Rose Vol II/A,pp.25-29
- For Awan as equivalent to Auxiliary we may compare euergetai : McCrindle's Ancient India, p. 38
- One of his descendants was Khattar, founder of the Khattars of Attock.
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