The term Tajuk is applied to all people of Afghanistan, whose vernacular language is Persian. They reside in villages and are essentially cultivators, never leaving a pastoral life. In
general they form the most peaceable class of the population, but in the Kohistan the case is reversed. Turbulent and vindictive their blood feuds are there endless. It is rare to see a man go to hunt or even ride out without being attended by some of hisclan as a guard. To the north of Akrobat, towards Toorkistan, also, they bear no high character. In that quarter, the Tajuk Chiefs, like the notorious Mahomed Ali Beg, of Syghan, often engage in forays into the Huzzareh districts for slaves to sell to the Uzbeks. Some years ago, one of them, the ruler of Kamurd, having been unsuccessful in his “chappaos” for human beings in the territory of his neighbour, deliberately seized the whole of the inhabitants of one of his own villages, and presented them to the Koondooz Chief. The figure on the left hand of the drawing, is a Kohistan Tajuk in his winter dress the child also belongs to that district, as does the cotton cleaner with his basket on his back, on the opposite side. A man and woman of Bameean, complete the group. The scanty dress and squalid appearance of this female, and the dejected look of her helpmates, indicate but too faithfully, the miserable state in which those “Troglodytes” exist in their subterraneous dwellings.
Bameean, so celebrated for its two colossal idols, (of which the smaller one is here seen) and innumerable excavations, forming the residence of the greater part of the population, was the station of a British detachment, and the scene of the defeat of Dost Mahomet by Colonel Dennie.It has latterly acquired an additional interest in British estimation, owing to the mud fort at the foot of the mountain being that in which the officers, ladies, and children, captives to Ukbar Khan, were confined when on their march to hopeless slavery in Toorkistan. Happily the Chief in charge of the party was won over to their cause by the promise of a large reward, and restored them to their country and friends.