MAKRAN is a province which extends from Jashk to the Hingor river. Makran has Persia on the west, the provinces of Las and Jhalawan on the east, Persia, Afghanistan, and the Kharan dis trict on the north, and the Arabian Sea on its south. Its western portion is under Persian rule, and its eastern under the Khan of Kalat ; the boundary being at long. 62° E. Its name is supposed to be the combination of two Persian words, Mahi-khoran, Ichthyophagi. It was also known to the ancients as Karmania altera. From Cape Jashk on the Purali river, a distance of 500 miles, the shores of the coast of Makran are washed by the Arabian Sea. It is a district of hills and valleys, in parallel ranges running east and west, but almost rainless. On many of the hills are beds of clay, 50 to 150 feet thick, con taining fossil shells of tho mioceno formation. Between Gwadur and Ras Kucheri are many of the mud volcanoes called Chandra kup, and near Has Jashk is a hot spring with a temperature of 128°. One group of the Chandra kup, consisting of three cones, is a mile to the westward of Huki and about 60 miles from Sunmiani. The other group, consisting of two cones, is about 10 miles north of Ormara.
It is the most westerly of the Kalat territories, and is sometimes called Kej Makran. It is the Gedrosia of the Greeks. It is inhabited by many tribes. of whom the Gitchki is the most numerous.
but about half the population is of a sect of Muhammadans called Zigger. Its chief town is Kej ; Gwadur and Ormara aro seaports, and Panjgur is an inland town. The Makran and Las region has been familiar to Europeans over since the trying march across it of Alexander the Great. He left Patala in Sind (presumed to be Tattah on the Indus) some time in March or April, and proceeded in the direction of Bela, crossing in his route the lower ranges of the Brahuik mountains. Thence he marched in the direction of Jao (Jhau) in Makran, forcing a very difficult pass some distance south of the ancient town of Gwajak, where he was opposed by the natives. Ho then kept nearer the coast, traversing the present Kolwali district, experiencing much difficulty in obtaining water, and suffering from fatigue, hunger, and thirst, until ho reached the fertile valley on the western border of Gedrosia, the present Banpur, from which ho passed into Karmania, the present Persian province of Kirwan.
The names of tho places mentioned by Arrian on the Las and Makran shores, viz. 3falana, Arabs, Kalama, Derembosa, and Kophas, are still retained in the modern designations Malan, Araba, Kalamat, Darambab, and Kophan. The Asthm of Ptolemy and Kamina of Nearchus, is the small island of Satadip, called Asthilal by Arabs and Baluch, lying a short distance off the Makran coast, be tween Ormara and Pasni, its other names being Astola Island, Haftala, Sataluh, and Sangadip.
It was much resorted to by the Juasmi pirates. Hindu pilgrims visit it.
In the time of Marco Polo traffic seems to have been directed through Makran, whose people, he says, live by merchandise and industry, for they are professed traders, and carry on much traffic by sea and land in all directions. And you must know that this kingdom of Kes Makran is the last in India as you go towards the west and north-west.' The habits of the people on the coast seem to be identical with those of the races who are known to have dwelt there two thousand years ago, and described by the ancients as the Ichthyophagi. From Basrah to Hormuz, and eastward to the Indus, the sea-coast people still principally live on fish. The Mahi-abah and Mahi-aslinah, literally fish-bread and fish-soup, used among the people of Las, is prepared from fish (more particularly a small kind found near Hormuz), dried by exposing it to the sun. Strabo and Arrian relate that the ancient lehthyophagi made into bread in a similar manner, the fish, which they dried and roasted. The region of the Ichthyophagi, as known to the ancients, commenced at Malana, near Cape Arabah, and ended between the ancient Dagasira and the place now called Cape Jashk. Churchill's col lection of voyages mentions that 'the coastes of Persia, as they sailed in this sea, seemed as a parched wildernesse, without tree or grass ; those few people that dwell there, and in the islands of Las and Callon, live on fish, being in manner themselves transformed into the nature of fishes. So excellent swimmers are they, that seeing a vessel in the seas, though stormie and tempestuous, they will swimme to it five or six miles, to begge alines. They eate their fish with rice, having no bread ; their cats, hennes, dogges, and other crea tures which they keepo have no other dyet.' nign whn travollnti in 1 uli anva that about Gambroon, the common people make use of dates instead of bread or rice ; for it is observ able that the ordinary food of the Indians, all along the coast from Basora to Sinde, is dates and fish dried in the air ; the heads and guts of the fishes they mix with date-stones and boil it alto gether with a little salt water, which they give at night to the cows after they come out of the field, where they meet with very little herbage.' At the island of Kharak, also, at the present day, fish and dates are the chief articles of the people's food, and fish is still the staple article of food of the inhabitants on the sea-coast of Baluchistan.