Introduction / History
The Atishbaz belong to a relatively small Muslim community found in Uttar Pradesh.
Where Are they Located?
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.
Most of the Atishbaz are found in several districts of Uttar Pradesh. A few are also found in Pakistan.
What Are Their Lives Like?
In India most of them speak Urdu, while the community in Pakistan speaks Sindhi.
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.
What Are Their Beliefs?
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.
The Atishbaz are Sunni Muslims.
Wikipedia / Joshua Project