Profile Source: Harpreet
Introduction / History
Lobanas (or Labana) are a tribe which live all over India. Labanas have their own language called "Lubanki" which is a dialect. However, this language is only spoken by Labanas outside the Punjab, state of India. The Labanas of Punjab and Haryana are mostly Sikhs and speak mainly Punjabi or Hindi.
The term Lobana appears to have been derived from LUN ("salt") and the BANA ("trade"). The Lobanas were the great salt-carrying and salt-trading community. They were occasionally called Banjaras. Locally, they were known by different names in parts of the Panjab. In Ambala district, for example, on account of their versatility in adopting different vocations, the lobanas were called "Bahrupias"
It is said that Lobanas are of Turkish origin they travel from Turkey toward India and that is why they are also called "Banjaras" because during travel they have to set up some business on their way.
Different views are prevalent about the origin of the Lobanas. In Ludhiana and Jhang districts, the Lobanas claimed to be the descendants of Chauhan Rajputs of Jaipur and Jodhpur. In Gujrat district, they claimed to be Ragubansi Rajputs. The Lobanas of Kangra and Hoshiarpur districts claimed their origin from the Gaur Brahmins of Pilibhit. A good number of them traced their origin from Gaur Brahmins who came to the Panjab from Ranthambore in Aurangzeb's time.
It appears to be possibly appropriate to regard the Lobanas as a sub-division of the great Banjara tribe, forming one of their principal sub-castes.