Introduction / History
The Atishbaz belong to a relatively small Muslim community found in Uttar Pradesh.
The word Atishbaz comes from two Persian words. "Atish" means "fire" and "baz" means "to play". Since the group manufactures fireworks, it is believed that this name is derived from that occupation. Their own tradition holds that the people were brought by the Mughals from Central Asia. Once the Mughal Empire waned, they began to work manufacturing fireworks.
Where Are they Located?
Most of the Atishbaz are found in several districts of Uttar Pradesh. A few are also found in Pakistan.
In India most of them speak Urdu, while the community in Pakistan speaks Sindhi.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Besides the manufacture and sale of fireworks many now work on private farms or as agricultural workers. In addition, some of them are factory workers or even businessmen.
Their society is divided into several settlements, each with its own caste council (the "panchayat"), which governs that community. The Atishbaz prefer to marry their close kin exclusively.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Atishbaz are Sunni Muslims.
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|