M. Miles, West Midlands, UK.
The article gives documentary evidence through 170 years on the so-called 'Chuas', 'rat-children' or 'mice' at the shrine of Shah Daulah, Gujrat city, Punjab, Pakistan. A religious and charitable activity for children with microcephaly and mental disabilities in South Asia was later misinterpreted with allegations of 'cranial deformation'. The abuse story was examined and rebutted by British, Indian and Pakistani investigators, district officers, physicians and anthropologists. The natural occurrence of microcephaly, and innocent local customs of manipulating infants' heads for beauty, gave sufficient explanation. However, some exploitation of people with microcephaly did happen and the government took control of the shrine in 1969. Begging continues within the religious tradition of the itinerant 'faqir', and some microcephalic adults earn their living independently in this role. The 'deformation myth' continues to be a dramatic focus for journalists.
Key Names and Terms
Key terms connected with the 'Chuas' have several spellings or transliterations, which can cause confusion. For convenience, 'Chua' and 'Shah Daulah' are used in this article. It is regretted that the chua name focuses on 'defect' instead of 'capability'. The name may appear in English as: chua, chuha, chuhar, chuva, chuwa, choha, and other forms. (The masculine noun 'chua' means a rat, the feminine 'chui' a mouse.)
The holy man's names may appear as: Shahdaula, Shawdowla, Shah Daula, Daula Shah, Daulah, Daulat, Dawlah, Dawlat, Dhola, Dola, Dowla, Dula, etc. (He was often refered to as the 'saint', or as a 'pir'. In this paper, the term 'holy man' will be used.
The city of Gujrat, in Pakistan's Punjab Province, is sometimes confused with the Indian state of Gujarat. The name of the province could be transliterated 'Punjab' or `Panjab'.
'Microcephaly' is a feature that may be associated with various medical conditions. It usually indicates a size of human head that is visibly small for the age of the person concerned, and does not seem an appropriate size for that person's body. People with this feature do not actually look like rats or other creatures, but something in the alignment of forehead and eyes probably suggests this demeaning name. Such a name then reinforces their reduction to 'animal status', with loss of human dignity, respect and rights. 
Other indexable terms: child abuse, anthropology, medicine, psychiatry, religious practice, theories of evolution, waqf, auqaf, social welfare, kidnapping, children's rights, exploitation, Islam, mental retardation, intellectual impairment, disability, independent living, cranial deformation, rat children, skull, brain, head, shape, cosmetic, female infertility, imperial history, Pakistan, India, Punjab, Panjab, Gujrat, shrine.
Children and adults having microcephaly, which caused them to be called 'rats' or 'mice', lived at Shah Daulah's shrine in the city of Gujrat, Punjab, for two hundred or more years with little attention paid to them. In 2009, only one or two chuas can still be found there. Microcephalic children are no longer received from their families.  Versions of their story have now become an 'internet myth', sustained by intrusive and exaggerated journalism, often evoking rage among distant campaigners against child abuse. Documentary evidence on the chuas, accumulating through 170 years, is shown here to provide a more serious basis for understanding.
The questions have all been asked decades ago. Why was the shrine associated with chuas? Why were so many people with microcephaly found in Gujrat? Were they brought there from elsewhere? Did their condition arise naturally through genetic variation, or through the holy man's curse? Were their heads subjected to deliberate deformation? How did they get along in this rural location? Was there any merit in employing chuas to earn their own living by itinerant begging? The written responses of health officials, district officers, religious authorities and anthropologists suggest how 'eye-witness' accounts have confused quite different customs. Interesting conclusions can be drawn about the shrine and the chuas.
Legends of the Shrine
Shah Daulah was born in the second half of the 16th century (Christian calendar), and he lived for some time at Sialkot.  Then he settled at Gujrat, and is credited with various buildings, charitable work, teaching and counselling. Shah Daulah is said to have cared for wild creatures. One report had him placing "helmets, or head coverings ... on his favorite animals".  Sometimes women seeking a cure for infertility would come to Gujrat, hoping that the holy man would pray for them.  After such prayers, some of these women were believed to produce chuas. In one version of the legend, the first child born after the holy man's prayer was a chua. Later, more chuas were conceived, because other women saw one of the chuas who was already there.
Another version held that Shah Daulah's prayers led to the first child being a chua, and by custom these were left at the shrine after they were weaned. Otherwise, people wanting a child would promise an offering, or dedicate the first-born to the shrine. If they failed to keep their promise, either the first-born would somehow be transformed at birth into a chua, or later children would all be chuas, until the parents paid. In a third version, all the first-born were chuas. They became mentally disabled, and found their own way to the shrine, if their parents failed to present them.
Flora Annie Steel, following Punjabi women's oral lore, wrote a further version in a tale of 'Shah Sujah's Mouse', who is obviously based on Shah Daulah's chuas. Her story has the chua out on a begging tour by himself. Other accounts showed the chuas accompanied by a fakir or a showman or some other kind of manager. Steel recorded the view that the babies that were dedicated to the shrine were normal, but that they were then secretly exchanged "through agents all over India ... for that percentage of microcephalous infants which Nature makes". 
Many of the legends seem hard to believe now. They were hard to believe in 1896, when Mohamed Latif of Jallandhar looked at them. What was the sense in asking the holy man for a child, only to receive a feeble-minded chua? It was not the blessing people hoped for. 
Shahamat Ali, Persian Secretary with the mission of Colonel Claude Martin Wade to Peshawar, reported chuas at Gujrat between 26 and 29 January 1839: "Here is the tomb of Dowla Shah, a saint who is highly respected in the Panjab. It is superstitiously visited by barren women, who, if they afterwards bear children, bring their first-born to the shrine of the saint, who are called chuhas. I saw some of them thus presented..."  The custom seems to have already become well established in 1839, so chuas were probably there much earlier. Their mental or physical condition was not recorded until later.
From the mid-19th century, European doctors and ethnographers began to look more closely at the chuas of Shah Daulah. The earliest published study is that of 1866 by Johnston, the Civil-Assistant Surgeon at Ludhiana. Visiting the shrine in 1866 he found nine chuas there, between three and forty years old. Johnston liked inventing medical jargon. He called their head shapes "trigonocephalous" or "triconocephaloid", and discussed how abnormalities of cranial development may occur. He did also mention "mechanical agency" that might be used in the head constriction, yet he knew two Hindus who "exhibit a development quite analogous to the Shawdowla chua, and whose crania have never been tampered with in any way". 
General Alexander Cunningham visited the shrine in 1879 and found 14 chuas there. An unknown number were reported to be out on begging tours with fakirs. W.O. Fanshawe reported that one or two more chuas were presented to the shrine each year. In the decade from 1857 to 1866, 14 boys and 3 girls were added. Harry Rivett-Carnac reported "a legend that the heads of children were sometimes purposely deformed in this manner", to give the distinctive chua appearance, "being restricted in infancy by a clay covering".  Johnston had mentioned deformation, but Rivett-Carnac was perhaps the first to give 'deliberate deformation' as part of the chua legend. Yet he could offer no confirmation of it.
In 1884, Superintendent Gray of the Lahore Lunatic Asylum noted that "attention has lately been directed to [the chuas] by the Government with the view of collecting information regarding this class of idiots".  Gray and his successor William Center gave some details of microcephalic patients known to them, but Gray remarked of one that he found "no evidence to prove that her head has been forcibly moulded or compressed - a practice which some suppose is resorted to in the case of all 'Shah Doula's mice'." Center had three people with microcephaly under his care at the Lahore asylum. In his view they were "exactly similar to those seen in the idiot asylums in Europe".  Mahomed Latif also studied the subject carefully in 1896 and also discounted supernatural or artificial theories of microcephaly. The chuas were "merely extraordinary creatures", born in the course of nature.
While these 19th century scientific observers were raising doubts about 'artificial deformation' as a cause, other people were picking up and extending the idea. The gadget which they imagined being used to clamp or cramp the infant heads now grew from being simply a 'clay cap' to being an 'iron vessel'. Yet other observers by then had heard of a different regional practice. Mothers often attached a clay bowl to their babies' heads to shape the broad, open forehead that was considered beautiful. A similar custom was recorded in the Punjab in 1929, with the clay cup being "bound tightly to the head and not removed for three or four years".  Such reports were still available in the 1990s.
Three stories now existed that would cause confusion: 1. the holy man putting helmets on the heads of his animals for decoration. 2. mothers innocently putting clay caps on their babies' heads to make them beautiful. 3. evil men putting metal clamps on babies' heads, to mutilate and produce a freakish appearance that could be exploited by a showman. There was some interaction between these ideas. Fears were expressed that innocent head-shaping might damage the brain. Haji Kalandar Khan found that women in Dera Ismail Khan made their infants beautiful by letting their heads lie in a small hollowed-out pit. They would not use hand pressure, which "weakens the intellectual faculties". 
A Well Qualified Advocate
The chuas were studied in more detail by Captain Ewens, Superintendent of the Punjab Lunatic Asylum at Lahore, along with Colonel Browne, Officiating Inspector-General of Civil Hospitals, Punjab. Visiting the shrine in May 1902, they met twelve chuas. Ewens was very likely the first man having significant experience in the field of mental disabilities, who would observe the chuas at the shrine. He did not view them as freaks or oddities. These were human beings with some personality and with different levels of ability. Ewens did not record their individual names, but his report includes individual observation. He also knew other microcephalic children. One at his own asylum had "considerable power of language". Ewens understood how to encourage diffident and disturbed people to 'open up' and display their ability, and thus to make a more accurate assessment of their language capacity. His carefully formulated views are more positive than anything from earlier observers. The shrine chuas were not a single type of 'speechless idiot'. Most of them had more language potential than was apparent. They could have some self-care skills. They were not liable to "wanton filthiness", "revolting tendencies or appetites" and "destructive and immoral acts". 
Ewens learnt that the income of the shrine was going down, which could threaten the chuas' future there. He was concerned about the chuas going out begging with their managers, believing there was "little doubt that these men to whom they are entrusted ill-treat and neglect them". In fact, there was a law requiring that mentally retarded people should be taken to an asylum. Ewens heard that the numbers had risen from 43 in 1885 to 100 in 1891. Yet Ewens paid tribute to the care received by the chuas at the shrine itself, asserting that "There is not the same objection to their retention in the shrine itself where, being well known, and its inmates always open to inspection, their condition is comparatively safe."
Ewens did not find the shrine activities ideal, but he considered that the chuas would do as well there as they would under his own care, since they would remain in the public eye. This was an unusually cordial, unsolicited compliment from the most experienced British psychiatrist in the Punjab. Ewens also dismissed the idea of artificial cranial deformation, as "utterly without foundation". Children with microcephaly were associated with this shrine probably because Shah Daulah had a known interest in the helpless and needy and a particular fondness for wild creatures. Originally the chuas had not gone out on begging tours, but such a custom had come up later, driven probably by the financial pressure of trying to support their growing numbers while funds were diminishing. Thus it became normal "for them all to be actually leased out on monthly payment". 
Ewens's positive observations and compliment remained unknown to, or ignored by, most later writers, who tended to go back to Johnston's less skilful report of 1866, and subsequent rumours. The Punjab Gazetteer in 1904 believed that superstitious parents "compressing their heads in infancy between boards and bandages", though it listed neither clay caps nor metal gadgets. The dozen chuas then at the shrine came from Kashmir, Kabul and Multan, up to 350 miles away. The Imperial Gazetteer in 1908 reported the chuas as "human monstrosities". Longworth Dames in 1915 believed that "the shape of the head is the result of pressure, and is caused by the mother". Sir George MacMunn in 1933 considered that the chuas "are kindly treated but are taken about as beggars".  Only Lodge Patch in 1928 gave a well-informed account of the Chuas.  A story about chuas in Urdu by Manto, possibly in the 1940s, gave a glimpse of the shrine, and a further spin to the legends, confirming that some public knowledge of the shrine was available in regional languages, not only in 'official' English documents. 
The Legend Persists
After Partition of the sub-Continent in 1947, the shrine of Shah Daulah, now in Pakistan's Punjab, continued to attract some credulous or critical scrutiny. In 1960, Sharif mentioned the "wilful arrest" of brain development by making children wear "a rigid metallic cap".  The Government's Auqaf Department, with responsibility for the administration of religious institutions, found this kind of story gave sufficient grounds for action, whether or not it was officially believed. In 1969, the Auqaf Department "took the shrine into its custody and prohibited this inhuman custom which had been practised for the past 300 years".  Yet in 1984 the allegation returned, that "metal caps" were being clamped on infant heads.  Zaman Khokhar, in a Gujrat newspaper of 1991, alleged that "At the present time, children are made disabled and are used for begging". 
Care, Service and 'Semi-Independence'?
Ideas of appropriate 'public responses' to people with significant impairments have varied greatly down the centuries, and between people of different cultures. In many rural areas, people with odd behaviour or weak intellect, talking to themselves while wandering in the fields doing no 'useful' work, have been treated with some tolerance, provided they did not wreck food crops. They were classified as being somehow 'God's people', so they should be given some respect and free food. Or maybe they did something useful by keeping watch on animals in the fields, for very small pay, as documented in many countries. In urban areas, where specialised services began to flourish, the idea was growing that mental illness was not unlike physical illness: both were treatable, and the treatment could restore mental or physical health. So the traditional policy of 'benign neglect' was not enough. Sufferers were being deprived of treatment that could restore them to 'normal life'. The focus should be on capability and preventing or reducing impairment or illness.
The benefits of occupational therapy, or of some regular light activities in which people with mental disabilities could participate, had also been recognised and implemented early in 19th century South Asia, in mental health services at Madras.  Such interests reflect the view of William Ireland, a British authority on microcephaly, who found it "not enough to know that a human being may grow up with a head no bigger than a garden turnip; the interest consists in knowing what mental power he possesses with his fraction of brain."  Yet that focus on practical living abilities was still too advanced for the general public. People with microcephaly were still thought by some scientists to be "a case of atavism, the appearance of a type of brain inherited from some very remote ancestral ape".  The later 19th century was a fertile period for semi-scientific skull studies and reports on head-shaping, rather than on the practical and beneficial merits in which Ireland was interested.
Among those interested in practical ability were some who wished to engage in care and formal service for people with disabilities, especially mental retardation. That condition has been a recognised 'problem' since Indian antiquity, or perhaps just a feature without very much negative value attached. Formal services for people with mental retardation and their families did not appear in North India before 1918, though it flourished in Madras a century earlier because a few people there found it worthwhile to innovate, and the results justified their optimism.
In most of the sub-continent, such care as was offered to mentally retarded people would been from their own immediate family. The local village or small town community might afford some tolerance, a little leeway to cross the boundaries of 'normal behaviour', or the role of the festival 'fool' or buffoon, licensed for one day to play monkey tricks. In terms of more formal resources of some benefit, shrines and holy men were used by ordinary people for counselling and help with problems that were beyond them or were perceived in religious terms. There were a few such specialist shrines, acquiring a reputation through some particular incident or story. Some of these were in the disability or mental health field. The Baba Ziarat at Buner in Swat was famous for the healing of "the crippled, the blind, the lepers".  It was a place of resort for families with mentally retarded members. Nearer Gujrat, the pirs at Chak Chattha in District Gujranwala reportedly still brand the heads of people with mental illnesses, and use other violent treatments, to drive out the 'spirit'. 
One outcome of the various developments of thought and practice in devising appropriate services is that there continued to be room for the idea of Chuas going around begging within the community, fulfilling a role of 'fakir' or assistant fakir, entitled to beg for food or money as one of 'God's people', while dispensing the 'blessing' of God. Such a role seems to have been acceptable to ordinary people. It accorded with Islamic charitable practice and duty.  This may partly explain the paradoxical situation described by Katherine Ewing after the Auqaf department took over administration of Shah Daulah's shrine. Ewing visited the shrine in 1976 and learnt from local faqirs, engaged in itinerant begging, that they "had hired the chuha from the Auqaf Department for an annual fee". Ewing found it hard to understand this "bureaucratization of a practice seemingly antithetical to the goals of the Auqaf Department". 
However, the Auqaf officials knew very well that to stop the chuas going out begging would make them dependent on the public purse or community chest, or some much more abusive situation. The Auqaf would then have needed to set up of some kind of institution, in which the chuas would have no useful role and would also probably be abused. Even if the chuas' fakir, manager or showman might engage in some unpleasant practices, there were benefits to the chuas in being out and about in the community, having a minor religious role and collecting money by their efforts. It was a kind of 'independent living'. It would hardly look attractive to 21st century western advocates of such policies. Yet witnesses 80 years ago found it quite impressive; and similar independent self-support activities continue to the present day. 
The notes above on care and services are needed for a balanced view of past activities at Shah Daulah's shrine. Whatever may be its religious value, the association of this shrine with people having microcephaly now seems anachronistic and abusive to many of Pakistan's mental health and education professionals. Yet the greater part of its work was done in earlier times. Any evaluation must take into account the historical context.
Belief in the power of curses to cause disability has weakened since Shah Daulah's time, though it is still widely attributed to rural people. There is also little reason to think the holy man cursed anyone seeking his help. He knew very well the imperfections of humankind. An early legend had Shah Daulah hurrying to plead on behalf of the rough-tongued Gujrat townsmen, when they offended Guru Hargobind as he rode through the city. 
Exactly when and how the chuas first became associated with the shrine is now impossible to know. The earliest shrine records do not mention chuas. Probably at some time a woman bore a microcephalic baby after visiting the shrine, and returned later to ask what it meant. One such infant, when staying at the shrine and being seen by many pilgrims, would be enough to draw others of similar appearance, reinforcing the legend. The holy man's known interest in animals would support the idea that he some hand in the matter. In fact, the holy man's hand was thought to play a part in shaping the chua's head. Some believed that chuas were born "with a panja marked on the forehead". The 'panja' was a paw, or five-fingered hand. 
The legend of Shah Daulah putting helmets on the heads of his favourite animals, together with the widespread innocent custom of shaping infant heads with clay caps or cups, could account for rumours of chuas having their heads artificially 'clamped'. The idea of deforming or mutilating children, far beyond any concern to improve their head shape, seems very odd. Yet there is some evidence that such mutilations have occurred in many parts of the world across centuries.  Microcephaly as a natural occurrence is certainly found worldwide. In fact, there is no scientific evidence that microcephaly can be produced by deliberate cranial deformation. It is very unlikely that it could actually be done without fatal damage to the growing brain.
Did artificial deformation take place at Shah Daulah's shrine? The evidence against this shrine is weak. It is not in some remote place beyond reach of the government's gaze. The shrine is at one edge of a city of some significance. Through much of the 19th century there were official visits, studies and enquiries about the shrine, yet as Lodge Patch remarked, "During the eighty years of British administration not a single charge of such malpraxis has been brought against the priests at the shrine of Shah Daulah..." 
No 'metal caps' or 'iron vessels' have been produced as evidence. If such gadgets existed for clamping infant heads, they must have been solid and made for the purpose, in several sizes. Plenty of officials, anthropologists and others would have liked to get an example, and willing to pay a reward to the finder. Thousands of people have visited the shrine annually in a country where very few secrets can remain hidden. The presence of chuas, and their curious appearance, drove many people to try to get to the bottom of the puzzle. If any serious public evidence had been produced for the 'deformation' idea, there would certainly have been an uproar. Yet there is no record of any such evidence or uproar. On the other hand, any glimpse or memory of the apparatus of 'innocent' head-shaping, using clay caps to make infant heads broad and beautiful, would be enough to support rumours of head clamping for exploitation.
Could the chuas have been artificially deformed elsewhere, then brought to Gujrat as part of the kidnapping and begging traffic? Again the case is weak for most of the reasons given above, though it cannot be entirely dismissed. Elliott in 1902 wrote that there were strong suspicions, but "the matter has been treated always 'confidentially,' and had better remain so. The papers and files are in the District Office".  Yet Elliott admitted that, "a more rational idea" was that such children occurred naturally and were brought to the shrine. By 1915, the clamping theory was losing ground. A local Settlement Officer, noting the allegations, wrote, "I understand that the artificial deformation is doubtful". In 1921 that view was recorded in the District Gazetteer.  If the District Office papers actually had any serious evidence, it is hard to see how the balance of official opinion could have swung over to dismissing it.
These practical objections then return the focus to the third way in which the presence of chuas at Shah Daulah's shrine may be accounted for. Microcephalic children born in this region as in all other parts of the world, were brought here and were cared for - at least in the earlier period of the shrine. For this, there is reasonable evidence. It is the view of the 'scientific' observers. The modern shrine-keepers give the same explanation. It does not involve any deformation process that would probably be fatal if it were tried. While it is not easy to prove that the chuas were well cared for in the earlier period, it is not an unreasonable guess. Families could hardly have forced shrine-keepers to accept their disabled child, if they were unwilling to care for such children, in Shah Daulah's tradition of care. Thousands of disabled children have been taken to shrines all over Pakistan for prayer and relief, as still continues today. Yet Gujrat seems to have been the only place where families left their child with others as a little community.
To take up the care of disabled children handed over by families, at a site regularly in the public eye and very near a Government District Office, was no light task. Presumably the chuas were seen as symbols or tokens of the holy man's supernatural powers, which helped to generate more income for the shrine, and to be part of the 'show'. Yet this gives further reason to think they would have been cared for reasonably well, both by the shrine custodians and the pilgrims. To have shown visibly abused children to the public would have been a very poor advertisement for the shrine and its religious claims.
The gathering of microcephalic chuas at the shrine of Shah Daulah was probably begun in a charitable spirit. It weakened over time to become a form of exploitation. Yet by their participation in 'begging tours', some of the older chuas grew up to live semi-independent lives. They generated income by their own efforts, and they were held in some respect and awe by the rural population. Some probably had sufficient understanding of their situation to enter into it with pride. The Auqaf Department of Pakistan was very likely justified to intervene in 1969 on welfare grounds, and as part of the country's modernisation of attitudes and services for disabled people. Yet no serious evidence has ever been presented to support charges of cranial deformation. In the context of South Asian living conditions in an earlier era, the shrine of Shah Daulah may have been a pioneer kind of 'caring service' for young people with a significant impairment. For some of them it provided the opportunity to move on to a form of independent living, in which the chuas, as 'God's people', provided a blessing to the rural believers, and those believers provided them with the means of livelihood as a legitimate response to religious duty.
REFERENCES & NOTES
LANGUAGE NOTE: Significant further information on the Chuas probably exists in local and regional languages (e.g. Punjabi, Urdu, Persian) at different historical periods. Scholars considering the events should not imagine that the European-language sources listed here are the sole sources, or even necessarily the most accurate. They are more accessible, having mostly been printed and published. Use of archival manuscript sources, where available, may add new detail, complexity or authenticity to the history.
BIBLIOGRAPHY NOTE: The numbered references appear immediately below. Then a full bibliography is appended, in which the chronological order of the references is approximately observed. This gives some indication of how 'public knowledge' developed over time concerning Shah Daulah's shrine and the chuas.
1. [Back to text.] Various types and causes of microcephaly appear in M.L. Buyse (ed.) (1990) Birth Defects Encyclopedia, 1139-45. Dover, MA: Centre for Birth Defects Information Services Inc. More recent work is conducted with very close definition, measurement and standard deviations, but that is confined to biomedical papers and the jargon is not used by ethnographers or other field workers.
2. [Back to text.] This was stated by Syed Jamal Mahmud, shrine custodian, during the author's visit in November 1992. Some years earlier the author had noticed two chuas dressed in green gowns, begging at Gujrat railway station. A colleague in Lahore also reported that, in the 1950s, when living in the vicinity of Gujrat as a child, she had been alone in the house one day when a chua knocked at the door and pushed his way in. He was begging from door to door. She was frightened at the time, but the man left the house without receiving anything and without any fuss.
3. [Back to text.] Several versions exist of Shah Daulah's life and dates. See e.g. Arthur Charles Elliott (1902) The Chronicles of Gujrat, pp. 53-65. Lahore: Civil and Military Gazette Press. A.C. Elliott, The legend of Shah Daula. In: H.A. Rose (ed.) (reprint 1978) A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, pp. 631-36. Lahore: Aziz Publishers. J.S. Grewal and Indu Banga (1975) Early Nineteenth Century Panjab, 59, translated and edited from Ganesh Das (original 1849) Char Bagh-i-Panjab. Amritsar: Navrang. Jadunath Sarkar (1901) The India of Aurangzib, with extracts from the Khulasatu-t-Tawarikh, etc, 99-100. Calcutta: Bose. A. Cunningham (1879) Chuha Shah Daula. Indian Antiquary viii (August), 234. Surinder Singh (1986) Muslim saints in the Mughal province of Punjab. Islamic Culture 60: 89-107 (on pp. 98-99). Edward Balfour (1885) The Cyclopedia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia, iii, 589. London: Quaritch.
4. [Back to text.] A.C. Elliott (1902) The Chronicles of Gujrat, p. 57. Lahore: Civil & Military Gazette Press. (The key word appears wrongly as 'rauris' in Elliott, The legend, 634.) M. Mujeeb (1967) The Indian Muslims, 310. London: Allen & Unwin.
5. [Back to text.] South Asian shrines, holy men and healing practices have attracted significant studies during the past century. See e.g. Aubrey O'Brien (1911) The Mohammedan saints of the Western Punjab. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, xli: 509-20. Beatrice Pfleiderer (1981) Mira Datar Dargah: The psychiatry of a Muslim shrine. In: Imtiaz Ahmed (ed.) Ritual and Religion among Muslims in India, pp. 195-234, New Delhi: Manohar. Harald Einzmann (1988) Ziarat und Pir-e-Muridi, pp. 173-74, Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag Wiesbaden. Richard Kurin (1990) The structure of blessedness at a Muslim shrine. In: Akbar S. Ahmed (ed.) Pakistan. The Social Sciences' Perspective, pp. 229-246, Karachi: Oxford University Press. Hafeezur Rehman Chaudhry (1990) The shrine and lunger of Golra Sharif. In: Ahmed (ed.) Pakistan. The Social Sciences' Perspective, pp. 190-205. Karachi: Oxford University Press. Harjot Oberoi (1992) Popular saints, goddesses and village sacred sites: rereading Sikh experience in the nineteenth century. History of Religions 31: 363-384. Katherine P. Ewing (1997) Arguing Sainthood. Duke University Press, pp. 79-81. Jamal Malik (1998) The literary critique of Islamic popular religion in the guise of traditional mysticism, or the abused woman. In: P. Werbner & H. Basu (eds) Embodying Charisma. Modernity, locality and the performance of emotion in Sufi cults, pp. 187-208. London: Routledge. Jürgen Wasim Frembgen (2006) Divine madness and cultural otherness: diwanas and faqirs in Northern Pakistan. South Asia Research 26: 235-248. See also J.W. Frembgen (2000) Reise zu Gott. Sufis und Derwische im Islam. Munich: Beck, pp. 106-107. John A. Subhan (2008) Sufism - Its Saints and Shrines. Read Books, pp. 245-247. Reference lists of the more substantial of these articles, chapters and books reflect a considerable depth of anthropological, ethnographic and religious investigations of shrine phenomena in South Asia.
6. [Back to text.] Flora Annie Steel (1893) From the Five Rivers, pp. 79-96. London: Heinemann. (New edition 1901).
7. [Back to text.] Mohamed Latif (1896) Correspondence. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, xxviii, 574-75.
8. [Back to text.] Shahamat Ali (1847) The Sikhs & the Afghans in connexion with India & Percia. London: John Murray. Shahamat Ali's report is the earliest mention of chuas found so far in European languages, and has the merit of including several key features of the Chua legends. Earlier texts may yet be found in Asian regional or local languages.
9. [Back to text.] J.W. Johnston (1866) Ethnology of the chuas of Shawdowla temple, Goojrat, Punjab. Indian Medical Gazette 1: 111-12. Reprinted in Punjab Notes and Queries III (1885), 117-118. Surgeon-Major John Wilson Johnston M.D. may have been a reliable observer, yet he was also considered somewhat eccentric. The newly-founded Indian Medical Gazette carried his Chua paper, followed by Johnston (1866) Strictures on sodomy. IMG 1: 213. Some months later came Johnston (1867) On glycerene. IMG 2: 42-44. The glycerene article took off in verbose style: "Glycerene as a catholic vulnerary is disparaged in India from equitable appreciation of its merit. As a calendar surgical subsidiary, I invoke revision of its modus operandi." The Gazette published this pompous piffle with jocular editorial footnotes: Was someone pulling the editorial leg? Could this really be Dr Johnston, and was he serious? Should it not have been sent to a tradesman in need of wrapping paper?
10. [Back to text.] A. Cunningham (1879) Chuha Shah Daula. Indian Antiquary viii (August), 234. W.O. Fanshawe (1879) An account of Shah Dawla's chuhas, abstracted from the Vernacular Settlement Report by Mirza Azam Beg. Indian Antiquary viii (June), 176-77. H. Rivett-Carnac (1879) Notes and queries. Indian Antiquary viii (June), 177-78. Rivett-Ccarnac also noted "the patience with which villagers will tolerate a troublesome beggar, if he is blind or half-witted".
11. [Back to text.] R. Gray (1884) Annual Report on the Lunatic Asylums in the Punjab for 1883, pp. 3-4. Lahore: Government Civil Secretariat Press.
12. [Back to text.] W. Center (1886) Report on the Lunatic Asylums at Delhi and Lahore, 1885, p. 3. Lahore: Government Civil Secretariat Press,
13. [Back to text.] Flora Annie Steel (1929) The Garden of Fidelity pp. 157-158. London: MacMillan. Steel speculated as early as 1893 whether the chuas' "typical distortion [is] produced by slow pressure - as in lesser degree the coveted bomblike foreheads of the Sindhi women are produced" (Steel, From the Five Rivers, p. 80). Such a link did not recur in the formal Chua literature until Steel was cited by C. Lodge Patch (1928) Microcephaly: A report on "the Shah Daulah's mice". Indian Medical Gazette 63: 297-301. Earlier attention to female sources of evidence, in a matter concerning children, bodies, and local customs in which they could (even then) have been considered useful witnesses, might have saved the male scholars half a century of argument and official enquiries. But Steel's point passed apparently unnoticed. (Steel herself noted the difficulty of following local women's talk, which used different grammatical forms from those used by the men).
14. [Back to text.] Haji Kalandar Khan (1902) Notes on the physical treatment of children in the Punjab, West of the Indus. Man, ii: 40-41. Sarat Chandra Roy (1915) The artificial moulding of physical features in India. Journal of the Bihar and Orissa Research Society 1 (1) pp. 27-30.
15. [Back to text.] G.F W. Ewens (1903) An account of a race of idiots found in the Punjab, commonly known as 'Shah Daula's mice'. Indian Medical Gazette 38: 330-34. Reprinted in: G.F.W. Ewens (1908) Insanity in India pp. 335-39. Calcutta: Thacker. Ewens's remarks about the chuas' communicative skills were echoed in 2005 by a western genetic researcher who met six chuas in the area and had some conversation through interpreters: "They can follow simple instructions and can say a few words... Some are more articulate and can speak intelligibly ... one could comment coherently, if sporadically, on the surrounding world as it passed him by." [Armand Leroi, personal communication]. These were human beings having some capacity to make their own way in the world and to find an acceptable role in life, regardless of their impairment, in sharp contrast to the view that they were all helpless idiots.
16. [Back to text.] Elliott, The Chronicles, pp. 53-65, in a chapter devoted to Shah Daulah, noted hire of chuas "at rates varying from Rs.17 to Rs.20 per annum to persons who take no care of them, and ill-treat and starve them."
17. [Back to text.] Cf. H.A. Rose (ed.) Glossary, p. 630, citing Johnston. The Glossary combined work by Rose, Denzil Ibbetson, E. D. MacLagan and others. It was published originally in three volumes, 1911 to 1914; yet Rose (page i) stated that he compiled it over 14 years, starting in 1903. The Chuas section (pages 630-37) is largely reprinted from H.A. Rose and A.C. Elliott (1909) The chuhas, or rat-children of the Panjab, and Shah Daula. Indian Antiquary, xxxviii (February): 27-32, That appeared after both Ewens's report and its reprint. Punjab Gazetteer, Vol.25A, Gujrat District, 1904, pp. 161-63. A similar passage appears in the Gazetteers from 1884 to 1921. Imperial Gazetteer of India 1908. Provincial Series. Punjab, Vol. II, p. 123. Calcutta. M. Longworth Dames (1915) Shah Daula's "Rats". Man xv: 88-90. T.W. Arnold (1920) Saints and martyrs (Muhammadan in India). In: J. Hastings (ed.) Encyclopedia of Religion & Ethics, xi. Edinburgh: Clark. Sir George MacMunn (1933) The Underworld of India, p. 179. London: Jarrolds. The 1931 Census report mentions merely that the data for insanity "include the congenital idiots, known in some places as 'chuhas' (literally meaning rats) owing to the shape and smallness of their heads and features." Khan Ahmad Hasan Khan (1931) Census of India, Volume XVII. Punjab Part I. Report. Lahore.
18. [Back to text.] C. Lodge Patch (1928) Microcephaly: A report on 'the Shah Daulah's mice'. Indian Medical Gazette 63: 297-301. See also C.J. Lodge Patch (1939) A century of psychiatry in the Punjab. Journal of Mental Science 70: 381-91. With practical development, psychiatric observation became more detailed and acute. Lodge Patch noted that microcephalics had been likened to various creatures other than 'rats'. He also knew a chua of normal intelligence. Closer attention to the observable capabilities of the people lumped together under the 'chua' label helped to take them beyond the narrow limits of helpless 'freaks'. How alike the chuas actually looked is a matter for speculation, as microcephaly arises from disparate causes, with various associated impairments. For comparison, it was only in 1932 that the first Indian description was published of Down's syndrome, where again there are some broad visible identifiers, with many variations. Amir Chand (1932) A case of Mongolism in India. British Journal of Children's Disease 29: 201-205.
The impression made on earlier visitors to the shrine could be underestimated now, when visitors might (or might not) see a single microcephalic person there. Seeing a single one, or perhaps two or three related people who look very odd, is something noticeable, but would hardly have been shocking in earlier centuries when deformities and facial disfigurements were common, as for example from smallpox or iodine deficiency, the primitive nature of dental care, and the near-absence of cosmetic surgery. Yet it might be different to hear of a shrine where there was a family of strange creatures, seemingly half human, half animal, and to travel to it and suddenly come upon maybe 20 or 30 chuas in close proximity, of different ages and sizes. That would apparently confirm that there were little ones 'born like that', who grew up to be adults who also 'looked like that', i.e. a whole tribe who have a striking difference. Tales of such tribes, who look 'different from us' were not uncommon -- people who supposedly had only one foot, or huge ears, or who barked and looked like dogs or kettles. The actual encounter with the chuas probably had a significant impact.
19. [Back to text.] Saadat Hasan Manto [1940s ?, transl. 2008] The mice of Shah Daulah. In: Manto: Selected Stories, translated from Urdu by Aatish Taseer, pp. 89-93. Noida, UP: Random House, India. The author is much obliged to Shilpi Rajpal for discovering this reference and supplying a copy of the translation.
20. [Back to text.] M. Sharif (1960) Inaugural Address. Mental Health in Pakistan. A Report of the Proceedings and Recommendations of Three-day Seminar on "Mental Health in Pakistan", 4-6. Karachi: Social Services Coordinating Council.
21. [Back to text.] An Auqaf Department publication on the shrine in Urdu, "Hazrat Kabiruddin Shah Daula Daryaie Ganj Bakhsh Ramatullah Ellai", Lahore: Auqaf Department, Punjab, 1983, reported that the Department took charge of the shrine. The pamphlet stated that Shah Daulah cared for disabled children, but his nominal followers took advantage of the good tradition and began ruthless trafficking in the children, beating them and hiring them out as beggars. (English translation of the pamphlet was kindly provided by Suleiman Shehzad, c. 1994).
22. [Back to text.] M.F. Hussain (1984) Manufactured microcephaly. Printed in a Conference newspaper at the Fifth International Psychiatric Conference of the Pakistan Psychiatric Society, December 1984, Peshawar.
23. [Back to text.] Zaman Khokhar (1991, 28 Oct.-4 Nov.) "Hazrat Shah Daulah Daryaie", in: Aina Haft Roza (Gujrat). Khokhar's article is largely hagiographical. (Cordial acknowledgement to Suleiman Shehzad for his translation from Urdu to English).
24. [Back to text.] A lunatic asylum was opened at Pursewaukum, Madras, as early as 1794 by Valentine Conolly, primarily for British officers and men. Henry D. Love (1913) Vestiges of Old Madras 1640-1800 traced from the East India Company's Records, etc. Reprinted 1968, New York: AMS Press, III: 411-414. Dirom G. Crawford (1914) A History of the Indian Medical Service, 1600-1913. London. II: 415-417. The asylum's service broadened and demand increased until "From 1841 to 1867 harmless idiots were kept in the Monegar Choultry, to avoid overcrowding the Asylum". (II: 417). For 1853, when 49 'harmless idiots' occupied the Monegar Choultry, a note appeared of their daily activities: "about 25 are employed in light occupation daily for a couple of hours in cleaning rice, sweeping the compound, assisting the cooks, and in drawing water." In: Selections from the Records of the Madras Government, No.VIII, Madras, 1855, p.8. (Report by Alexander Lorimer). Three years later, with 163 patients accommodated, "Many of the inmates are employed in drawing water, gardening, and similar domestic employment about the choultry, infirmary, and Leper hospital, under the serveillance of peons, and with much advantage to their health." In: Selections from the Records of the Madras Government, No.XLVI, Madras, 1856, Madras, 1857, pp.10-11, (report by A. Lorimer). To sustain this range of early 'occupational therapy' activities in an orderly way with a substantial number of mentally retarded inmates and an appreciable turnover, some informal instruction and training must have been a regular feature, though this has not yet been properly documented.
25. [Back to text.] William W. Ireland (1898) The Mental Affections of Children, Idiocy, Imbecility, and Insanity. London: Churchill, p. 93. Ireland cited Carl Vogt (1866) Mémoire sur les microcephales ou hommes-singes. Mémoires de l'Institut National Genevois 2: 1-232. See also serial translation of the last, beginning with: Carl Vogt (1869) On microcephali; or, human-ape organisms, Anthropological Review 7: 128-136.
26 [Back to text.] W.W. Ireland (1875) Report upon some cases of microcephalic idiocy and cretinism. Edinburgh Medical Journal xxi (August) pp. 109-120. It is likely that very little formal or published knowledge of the shrine and the chuas was available beyond the immediate locality. Such an idea is suggested by their absence from William Ireland's Mental Affections. He was a prominent British authority on idiocy and neurology, and had served as a young medical officer in the Punjab and gained a lifelong interest in Indian lore. He was there during the Mutiny (and was reported dead, mistakenly) and wrote a book about it. He wrote at least two novels situated in India, which are now hard to find. In 'Mental Affections', pp. 418-435, Ireland discussed idiotic 'wolf children' drawing on Indian material. Yet in a long chapter on microcephalic idiocy (pp. 85-132), with details of cases from all over Europe, chuas are not mentioned; nor do they appear in his worldwide references to head-shaping (pp. 184-186). Ireland was a prolific and tenacious correspondent, linguist and researcher. Somehow, despite a lifetime of professional work on idiocy and of personal and literary involvement with northern India, it seems that he never came across the Shah Daulah chuas; or if he knew of them, he omitted to mention them in the works cited here.
27. [Back to text.] Beatrice Pfleiderer comments that "Information concerning the special 'skills' of a particular saint seems to spread among pilgrims by word of mouth". B. Pfleiderer (1981) Mira Datar Dargah: The psychiatry of a Muslim shrine. In: I. Ahmed (ed.) Ritual and Religion among Muslims in India, pp. 195-234. New Delhi: Manohar. Sir Olaf Caroe does not mention mental retardation; yet most of the children with mental retardation assessed by Christine Miles at the Mental Health Centre, Peshawar, between 1978 and 1989, had first been taken by their families to Pir Baba's shrine. O. Caroe (1958) The Pathans 550 B.C.- A.D. 1957 pp. 198-99. Karachi: Oxford University Press.
It must be said, however, that the 'medical interventionist' approach, diagnosing a 'problem' and seeking to 'fix it', is a possible but hardly characteristic feature of earlier Islamic thinking in this field. Barbara Metcalf described an attractive response from some North Indian Tablighi Jama'at members in their itinerant religious practice, toward those wishing to take part while having significant mental impairment: "A person who is wholly inarticulate may be absorbed in the supplication that makes the trip a success. Similarly, whoever is in fact speaking is free to speak, never corrected or prompted but left, with God's help, to find his way. A cherished story sums up this inclusive appreciation of everyone's efforts: a village simpleton who joined a jama'at wandered with the group from place to place asking everyone to repeat the kalima to help him since he had never been able to learn it. His merit rested in being a stimulus to the piety of those thus constrained to articulate the attestation and offer him help." (p.56) Wandering with a 'cognitively lame' companion was perhaps not so strange an activity as it might now appear to the busy 21st century managerial mind. B. Metcalf (1996) Meandering Madrasas: knowledge and short-term itinerancy in the Tablighi Jama`at. In: Nigel Crook (ed.) The Transmission of Knowledge in South Asia, 49-61. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
28. [Back to text.] Nusrat Rana (1988) Torture as therapy. In: S. Haroon Ahmed (ed.) Proceedings of the Seventh International Psychiatric Conference, Karachi, December 1988, pp. 166-70. Karachi: Pakistan Psychiatric Society. Modern urban psychiatrists regularly see patients with serious mental illnesses, who have first been treated by shrine practitioners, sometimes with severe injuries and trauma. (They are, of course, less likely to see patients where the shrine practice has successfully relieved some neurosis or stress-related problem and the patient has simply gone home to take up her life again. Thus, the 'sample' may be biased).
29. [Back to text.] J.W. Frembgen (2006) Divine madness and cultural otherness: diwanas and faqirs in Northern Pakistan. South Asia Research 26: 235-248, on p. 243. See also Frembgen (2000).
30. [Back to text.] Katherine P. Ewing (1997) Arguing Sainthood. Duke University Press, pp. 79-81, "The shrine of Shah Daulah Shah".
31. [Back to text.] Lodge Patch (1928) Microcephaly, p. 299. Lodge Patch noted that "A certain number of chuhas can get about the country alone, speak quite well, and take care of themselves. One such was found wandering about the Mall in Lahore, and was examined at the Mental Hospital. His cranial circumference was slightly over 18 inches, but in appearance he was a typical chuha. He gave an excellent account of himself; said he was a 'pir' and prayed at the houses he visited; he stated that twenty-five years ago he had been at the shrine of Shah Daulah and returned to Gujrat occasionally; he denied ever having had sexual intercourse as he was a holy man and was above such things. He accepted only food and refused a monetary offering. He was scrupulously clean in his dress and person. He had a very shrewd idea of the prices of food-stuffs, knew that there were sixteen annas in a rupee and eight pice in a two-anna bit, and probably had a greater degree of intelligence than most villagers in the Punjab."
In the 1980s, it was quite common for some of the more cheerful, teenage, male students at the Mental Health Centre special school, Peshawar, to find out where weddings were taking place, informally invite themselves to such events, entertain the guests, and collect a significant amount of money for their efforts. (C.Miles, personal communication). There is a long tradition of such entertainment across the country, which seems to provide a reasonable and enjoyable 'exchange of benefit' between the different parties involved.
32. [Back to text.] J. Sarkar (1901) The India of Aurangzib, with extracts from the Khulasatu-t-Tawarikh, etc, pp. 99-100. Calcutta: Bose. J.S. Grewal & Indu Banga (1975) Early Nineteenth Century Panjab, p. 59, translated and edited from Ganesh Das (original 1849) Char Bagh-i-Panjab. Amritsar: Navrang.
33. [Back to text.] A. Cunningham (1879) Chuha Shah Daula. Indian Antiquary, viii (August), 234. W.H.D. Rouse (1896) Correspondence. "Shah Daulah's rats". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, xxviii: 793. Rouse mentions that each chua "is said to have on his head the marks of the five fingers of the saint who brought him into the world".
34. [Back to text.] Eric J. Dingwall (1931) Artificial Cranial Deformation. London: Bale, Sons & Danielsson.
35. [Back to text.] C. Lodge Patch (1928) Microcephaly: A report on 'the Shah Daulah's mice'. Indian Medical Gazette 63: 297-301. (Quotation from page 300).
36. [Back to text.] Elliott, Chronicles of Gujrat, pp. 63-65. Such papers have been searched for, but not yet produced.
37. [Back to text.] Punjab District Gazetteers. Vol.XXV-A. Gujrat District, 55. Report by H. S. Williamson, (Lahore: Govt of Punjab, 1921). The Settlement Officer, quoted from 1915, was not named. From 1870 to 1920, during which most of the Chua literature appeared, at least nine Indians served as Deputy Commissioners of Gujrat District (ibid. 25-26).
THE MICROCEPHALIC RATS (CHUAS) OF SHAH DAULAH, AT GUJRAT, PUNJAB, PAKISTAN. An annotated European-language chronological bibliography
DIRECT REFERENCE TO CHUAS
(approximately in chronological order)
SHAHAMAT `ALI (1847) The Sikhs and Afghans, in connexion with India and Persia, immediately before and after the death of Ranjeet Singh: from the journal of an expedition to Kabul, through the Panjab and the Khaibar Pass. By Shahamat Ali: Persian Secretary with the mission of Lieut. Col. Sir C.M. Wade, to Peshawr in 1839, and now Munshi to the Political Resident in Malwa. London: John Murray. Edition published 1987 at Delhi by Amar Prakashan.
Chapter VI, pp. 60-63. An expedition led by Lt. Col. Claude Martin Wade, with Shahamat Ali present, spent three days at Wazirabad; then on 26 January 1839 proceeded to Gujrat and spent three days there, a town reportedly of about 8000 homes. Gujrat was "known for the manufacture of the common swords of the country, matchlocks, daggers, &c. Here is the tomb of Dowla Shah, a saint who is highly respected in the Panjab. It is superstitiously visited by barren women, who, if they afterwards bear children, bring their first-born to the shrine of the saint, who are called chuhas. I saw some of them thus presented. The principal road to Kashmir branches off from this place." (p. 63)
Deduced from BEG (1866/68) & FANSHAWE (1879).
JOHNSTON, J. Wilson (1866) Ethnology of the chuas of Shawdowla temple, Goojrat, Punjab. Indian Medical Gazette, May 1, pp. 111-12. [Reprinted in Panjab Notes and Queries (Nov. 1885) 3: 27-28].
First detailed medical examination and report; largely on skull size, shape and possible etiology. Entertains the possibility of artificial deformation; but notes also two microcephalic boys known to Johnston "whose crania have never been tampered with in any way".
BEG, Mirza Azam. Vernacular Settlement Report of Gujarat, referred to by W.O. FANSHAWE (1879). W.G. Waterfield (1874) in Report of the Second Regular Settlement of the Gujrat District, Panjab, wrote (p. 16) that he could add nothing historical to Mackenzie's report (1861, see Bibliography below, 'Other Useful References'); but noted (p. 15) that Mirza Azam Beg, the Extra Assistant Settlement Commissioner, had made careful enquiries. Gave Beg's service dates as 1 Feb. 1866 to 31 March 1868 (p. 18).
TAYLOR, A. (1873) Annual report on Delhi Lunatic Asylum. Annual Report on the Lunatic Asylums in the Punjab for 1872-73, p. 6. Lahore: Government Civil Secretariat Press.
One sentence. None of the idiots at the Delhi asylum showed the features of the Gujrat Chuas.
CUST, R. (1879) Notes and Queries. Cretins. Indian Antiquary, June, p. 176.
One paragraph, requesting more information. Confused the Chuas with the 'Azteks' exhibited at Paris in 1856 (cf CUST, 1896, where he says this was in 1851).
BEG, MIRZA AZAM, Vernacular Settlement Report of Gujarat, abstracted by W.O. FANSHAWE, (1879) An account of Shah Dawla's Chuhas, Indian Antiquary, June, pp. 176-7.
Half page, reviewing legend of Shah Daulah. "A return of those presented between 1857 to 1866", shows that 17 children were brought to the shrine; but in 1866 there were 9 present there (possibly from JOHNSTON, 1866 ?). No reference as to what/where the 1857-66 'return' was. (According to W. HUNTER (1881) Imperial Gazetteer of India, Vol. 3, p. 463, London: Trübner, the first Census of Gujrat was in 1855; the next in 1868.)
RIVETT-CARNAC, H. (1879) Miscellanea. Indian Antiquary (June 1879) pp. 177-178.
One paragraph (p. 177). Second-hand report of a small-headed half-wit, begging with a faqir; and of a legend that heads were purposely deformed by restriction in infancy using a clay covering.
CUNNINGHAM, Alexander (1879) Notes and Queries. Chuha Shah Daulah - with reference to the query (ante p. 176). Indian Antiquary, August, p. 234.
One page, based on recent visit, reviewing various details. Also wrote a Report of a Tour in the Punjab in 1878-79 (Archaeological Survey of India Vol. XIV, Calcutta, 1882) in which he mentioned a bridge originally built by Shah Daulah (p. 45) but nothing more about the saint.
EASTWICK, Edward B. (1883) Handbook of the Panjab, Western Rajputana, Kashmir and Upper Sindh. London: John Murray.
One paragraph (pp. 235-6) on Shah Daulah's tomb, briefly mentioning the Chuas: "Some of them are deaf and dumb, with heads like those of the Aztecs".
GRAY, Robert (1884) Annual Report on the Lunatic Asylums in the Punjab for 1883, pp. 3-4. Lahore: Government Civil Secretariat Press.
Four paragraphs on a female microcephalic recently admitted to the asylum - recorded because the Government had directed attention to Chuas and wished to collect information. Detailed description of appearance and behaviour; but girl's head shape "not very typical" of the Gujrat Chuas, not having the slanting forehead. "No evidence" found of forcible moulding or compression.
Editorial (1884) 'Shah Dowla's Mice.' Indian Medical Gazette 19: 271.
Single paragraph, mentioning Gray's report (above) and opinion of Surgeon General Simpson that there was no foundation in the theory of forcible moulding or compression of Chuas' heads.
Gazetteer of the Gujrat District. 1883-84, pp. 113-14. Lahore: Arya Press.
Full page on Shah Daulah and Chuas. "Such deformed children are occasionally born", from which the superstitions arise; but some parents may be compressing heads, to fit infants for the shrine.
JOHNSTON, J. Wilson. Ethnology of the chuas of Shawdowla temple, Goojrat, Punjab. Panjab Notes and Queries (Nov. 1885) 3: 27-28.
Reprint of JOHNSTON (1866).
CENTER, William (1886) Report on the Lunatic Asylums at Delhi and Lahore. 1885. [In the series: Annual Report on the Lunatic Asylums in the Punjab. Slight variations occur in the titles] Lahore: Government Civil Secretariat Press.
One paragraph (p.3). Three microcephalics Chuas ("confined under Punjab Government orders") at Lahore asylum, plus one idiot less microcephalic than the others. They are like those seen in European asylums.
[Maclagan: Panjab Census Report, p. 198 : noted in 1915: DAMES]
MILLS, James (1893) Note on two idiots. Journal of the Anthropological Society of Bombay 3: 33-34 and plate.
Two pages, plus photo of two clearly microcephalic youths under charge of an older man, found wandering at Bombay, written by Principal of Veterinary College. Story of boys' dedication by parents to a Hindu temple, where priests "placed iron skull-caps" on heads - which bore "distinct circular marks of pressure". No mention of Shah Daulah, Chuas or Gujrat. This article is not cited in any other paper listed here.
STEEL, Flora Annie (1893) From the Five Rivers (1901 edn.) pp. 79-96. London: Heinemann.
Story about "Shah Sujah's Mouse", clearly modelled on a Chua of Shah Daulah, from the sole female observer in this bibliography. Discussed the legends and possible origins of Chuas. The novelist's Mouse wandered and begged by himself, for the purposes of the story.
LATIF, Mahomed (1896) Correspondence. Chuha Shah Daula. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 574-75.
Two page letter, after study of the alleged origins (e.g. 'squeezing in an iron vessel') of Chuas. Asserted that they were neither supernatural nor artificial, but merely extraordinary creatures born with small heads.
CUST, Robert N. (1896) Correspondence. Chuha Shah Daula. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society p. 574.
Brief note introducing letter by LATIF (1896). Confused Chuas with the 'Aztecs' exhibited at Paris in 1851. (cf CUST, 1879)
ROUSE, William H.D. (1896) Correspondence. "Shah Daulah's Rats." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society p. 793.
Half page letter. Cites North India N & Q v, #311, and Punjab N & Q ii, 27; iii, 27, with ref. to LATIF (1896).
CROOKE, William (2nd edn. 1896, reprint 1978) Popular Religions of North-West India, Vol. I, p. 220; Vol. II, p. 242.
Brief passing mentions. See CROOKE (1926)
McDOWALL, T.W. (1897) The insane in India and their treatment. Journal of Mental Science 43: 683-703.
Reproduced (pp. 687-88) a page of detail and speculation concerning Chuas, from the story by STEEL (1893) of 'Shah Sujah's mouse'.
ELLIOTT, Arthur Charles (1902) The Chronicles of Gujrat, pp. 53-65. Lahore: Civil and Military Gazette Press.
Two detailed chapters on Shah Daulah and Chuas. Elliott was District Commissioner of Gujrat, Nov.1899 - Nov. 1901. Refers to confidential files in the District Office, implying that they contain evidence of wrongdoing by the shrine custodians, e.g. kidnapping; but it is unclear whether or not they contain any evidence about artificial deformation of Chua heads.
EWENS, George Francis William (1903) An account of a race of idiots found in the Punjab, commonly known as "Shah Daula's Mice." Indian Medical Gazette 38: 330-34.
First report of shrine visit and examination of many Chuas by a mental health specialist. Tabulates details of 15 Chuas, and discusses in depth. Finds no evidence of artificial deformation; but concedes that there might sometime have been some such practice. Moderately positive about standard of care at shrine, but recommends that itinerant begging should be stopped. Ewens's report, unfortunately, seems not to have been used by subsequent writers.
Punjab Gazetteer. Gujrat District, Vol. 25A, pp. 160-163.
One page, detailed. Such children are occasionally born; Shah Daula's "priests" acquire them for begging; "strong reason to fear" that some result from parents compressing their heads in infancy, to fit them for the shrine. Repeats 1884 gazetteer report.
EWENS, George Francis William (1908) Insanity in India, pp. 335-39. Calcutta: Thacker, Spink.
Reprint of EWENS (1903).
Imperial Gazetteer of India. Provincial Series. Punjab. Vol. II: Rawalpindi Division, Gujrat District. Calcutta: Superintendent of Government Printing. 1908.
Three sentences in Gujrat town report (p. 123).
ROSE, H.A., ELLIOTT, A.C. (with editorial comment by R.C. TEMPLE) (1909) Indian Antiquary, February, pp. 27-32.
Detailed account including much from ELLIOTT (1902) (with a few small variations), and citing JOHNSTON (1866). Temple suggested, in a generally sceptical note, that to supplement the supply of naturally-occurring chuas, some were artificially produced, for financial reasons.
ROSE, H.A. (ed) (1911-14, reprinted 1978) A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province. Based on the Census Report for the Punjab, 1883, by the late Sir Denzil IBBETSON, KCSI, and the Census Report for the Punjab, 1892, by the Hon. Mr E.D. MacLAGAN, CSI, and compiled by H.A. ROSE, pp. 631-636. Lahore: Aziz Publications.
Reprint of ROSE, ELLIOTT, (TEMPLE) (1909).
COUCHOUD, Paul-Louis (1912, 10th March) Les rats de Shah Daula. Microcéphalie héréditaire, type Ewens. L'Encephale. Journal de neurologie et de psychiatrie, 7: 460-65.
Includes four photos of Chuas, taken by Couchoud during a visit in Feb. 1912. Repeated some of Ewens's data.
DAMES, J.M. Longworth (1915) Shah Daula's "Rats." Man, XV (#50): 88-9.
Brief note and bibliography (12 items). Chuas were produced by mothers deforming heads, in order to dedicate their children to the saint.
Settlement Officer, reported in 1921 Punjab District Gazetteer, p. 55. Casts doubt on 'artificial deformation'.
ARNOLD, T.W. (1920) Saints and martyrs (Muhammadan in India). In J. HASTINGS (ed.) Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Vol. XI. Edinburgh: Clark.
Punjab District Gazetteers. Vol. XXV-A. Gujrat District, p. 55. Lahore: Govt. of Punjab. 1921. (Report by H.S. Williamson).
Reports views by Settlement officer (1915, q.v.) and suspicions of the Commissioner of Rawalpindi, regarding Chuas. (Williamson was Deputy Commissioner, Gujrat, briefly in 1915 and three times subsequently).
CROOKE, William (n.d., apparently 1926) Religion and Folklore of Northern India, (Revised, R.E. ENTHOVEN), p. 369-70. New Delhi: Chand.
One sentence, mention only, and footnote refs (p. 370). Note (p. 369) that the rat is Ganesh's companion, and is treated with some respect.
LODGE PATCH, C. (1928) Microcephaly: a report on "The Shah Daulah's Mice." Indian Medical Gazette 63: 297-301.
Reviewing previous writing (unfortunately without full referencing) in the light of newer medical knowledge and commenting on Chuas, with current photographs, Lodge Patch noted why the 'iron cap' hypothesis continued to be popular, but rejected it with careful argument. This paper seems to be the last detailed study published on the basis of personal experience and examination of Chuas. Lodge Patch was medical superintendent of the Punjab Mental Hospital, Lahore.
DHUNJIBHOY, Jal Edulji (1930) A brief résumé of the types of insanity commonly met with in India, with a full description of "Indian hemp insanity" peculiar to the country. Journal of Mental Science 76: 254-64.
One paragraph (p. 256) on "microcephalic imbecile called "Chuvas" (the Indian name for mice)... commonly found in Gujarat." States that "Nothing is known as to how they originate..."; they can be "taught simple crafts".
SHAW, W.S. Jagoe (1932) The alienist department of India. Journal of Mental Science 78: 331-41.
One sentence, a passing mention only.
KHAN, Khan Ahmad Hasan (1933) Census of India, 1931. Volume XVII. Punjab Part I. Report, p. 195. Lahore.
One sentence, a passing mention only.
MACMUNN, Sir George (1933) The Underworld of India, p. 179. London: Jarrolds.
One paragraph. Chuas "are kindly treated but are taken about as beggars". Also mentions Mudavandi - lame beggars who claim all lame children as their right.
[MacMunn gave no detail, yet the "Mudavandi" do make a parallel case, from southern India. In the mid 19th century, a class of disabled child had been collected from its family and seems to have been adopted for begging purposes. Thus there were some common features with the situation of the Gujrat Chuas. Practice with the Mudavandi was also changing over time, as a family might complain of abduction to agents of the British in India, which would be investigated. The description from: E. Thurston & K. Rangachari, Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Govt. Press, Madras 1909, (Vol. 5, M - P) pp. 85-86 follows (using variants Mudavandi, Modivandi, Modavandi):
85 MUDAVANDI The Mudavandis are said to be "a special begging class, descended from Vellala Goundans, since they had the immemorial privilege of taking possession, as of right, of any Vellala child that was infirm or maimed. The Modivandi made his claim by spitting into the child's face, and the parents were then obliged, even against their will, to give it up. Thenceforward it was a Modivandi, and married among them. The custom has fallen into desuetude for the last forty or fifty years, as a complaint of abduction would entail serious consequences. Their special village is Modivandi Satyamangalam near Erode. The chief Modivandi, in 1887, applied for sanction to employ peons (orderlies) with belts and badges upon their begging tours, probably because contributions are less willingly made nowadays to idle men. They claim to be entitled to sheep and grain from the ryats." In a note on the Mudavandis, Mr. F. R. Hemingway writes that it is stated to be the custom that children born blind or lame in the Konga Vellala caste are handed over by their parents to become Mudavandis. If the parents hesitate to comply with the custom, the Mudavandis tie a red cloth round the head of the child, and the parents can then no longer withhold their consent. They have to give the boy a bullock to ride on if he is lame, or a stick if he is blind. A Revenue Officer writes (1902) that, at the village of Andipalayam in the Salem district, there is a class of people called Modavandi, whose profession is the adoption of the infirm members of the Konga Vellalas. Andis are professional beggars. They go about among the Konga Vellalas, and all the blind and maimed children are pounced upon by them, and carried to their village. While parting with their children, the parents, always at the request of the children, give a few, sometimes rising to a hundred, rupees. The infirm never loses his status. He becomes the adopted child of the Andi, and inherits half of his property invariably. They are married among the Andis, and are well looked after. In return for their services, the Andis receive four annas a head from the Konga Vellala community annually, and the income from this source alone amounts to Rs. 6,400. A forty-first part share is given to the temple of Arthanar Iswara at Trichengodu. None of the Vellalas can refuse the annual subscription, on pain of being placed under the ban of social excommunication, and the Andi will not leave the Vellala's house until the infirm child is handed over to him. One Tahsildar (revenue officer) asked himself why the Andi's income should not be liable to income-tax, and the Andis were collectively assessed. Of course, it was cancelled on appeal.]
[mid-1930s / 1940s ?]
MANTO, Saadat Hasan [transl. 2008] The mice of Shah Daulah. In: Manto: Selected Stories, translated from Urdu to English by Aatish Taseer, pp. 89-93. Noida, UP: Random House, India.
The Indian-Pakistani writer Manto produced a short story in Urdu describing the predicament of Salima, a young wife "native to Gujarat"*, who had no child after five years of marriage. She was advised to seek help from Shah Daulah, but with mention of microcephaly. The shrine is depicted (perhaps from personal observation) as being not "some old, decrepit building. It was a decent place which she liked well enough. But when in one chamber, she saw Shah Daulah's 'mice', with their running noses and their minds enfeebled, she began to tremble." (p. 90) Nevertheless, Salima persevered in prayer, and produced a son. (Manto was now obliged to select among the many legendary options...) The boy was eventually handed over to the shrine keepers, and Salima suffered vast grief and rodent nightmares. More than a decade later, having three more children, Salima briefly recognised her first son in the charge of an itinerant showman. *(Spelt so in the text. The confusion that appears in roman script, between Gujrat and Gujarat, does not reflect any problem in the original language).
Many more brief references almost certainly exist, e.g. newspaper articles in local/provincial press; especially c. 1969 when the shrine was taken over by the Auqaf Department. They may not necessarily be more than a re-hash of data from earlier references.
SHARIF, M. (1960) Inaugural Address. Mental Health in Pakistan. A Report of the Proceedings and Recommendations of Three-day Seminar on "Mental Health in Pakistan" organised by the Social Services Coordinating Council, Karachi, during the World Mental Health Year 1960, pp. 4-6. Karachi: S.S.C.C.
One sentence on 'Shah Dowla Ka Chooha'. "Sometimes the development of the brain is wilfully arrested.. by making the child wear a rigid metallic cap.."
MEHTA, V. (1972, reprint 1984) Daddyji-Mamaji. London: Picador.
The blind writer Ved Mehta reconstructed the early life of his father (Daddyji), born c. 1895, living at Nawankote, "about thirty miles north west of Lahore". He imagined that "Villagers too poor to bring up their children often gave their sons to the mosque, and the maulvi brought them up. He fitted the little boys with iron skullcaps, and they grew to manhood with the heads -- and the brains -- of children. They managed to keep alive by trooping behind religious mendicants -- begging and giggling -- from village to village, and were popularly known as Shah Daula ke Chuhe, or Mice of Shah Daula. (Shah Daula was a Muslim saint associated historically with madness." (p. 14). Ved Mehta had remarkable skill in constructing a 'sighted world' and reconstructing history. His creative abilities sometimes lacked a base in verifiable historical evidence.
GHOSH, A. (1974) Mental retardation: historical aspects. Indian Journal of Mental Retardation 7: 86-8.
One sentence on "Chuhas", saying that they are still trained to beg, by the fakirs controlling the shrine of Shah Daula Daryani.
EATON, Richard M. The profile of popular Islam in the Pakistani Punjab. Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies II (1) 74-92.
Footnote mention of Shah Daulah and Chuas, p. 75, quoting ARNOLD (q.v., 1920).
Hazrat Kabiruddin Shah Daula Daryaie Ganj Bakhsh Ramatullah Ellai, 1983, Auqaf Department, Punjab.
Urdu pamphlet, five pages. (Unpublished translation exists, by Suleiman Shehzad), giving legends of Shah Daulah. Notes that the saint's nominal followers abandoned his good works and began a cruel traffic; so in 1969 the Auqaf Department took custody of the shrine, and disabled children are no longer received.
PRABHU, G.G. (1983) The mentally retarded and their problems. In: S.N. Gajendragadkar (ed.) Disabled in India, pp. 1-18. Bombay: Somaiya.
Twelve lines citing Ewens (1907) [=1908] on Chuas and Shah Daula.
HUSSAIN, M.F. (1984) Manufactured microcephaly. (Article printed in a Conference newspaper at the Fifth International Psychiatric Conference of the Pakistan Psychiatric Society, December 1984, Peshawar).
Two page article by a doctor, asserting that Chuas are still being made by artificial deformation using "caps made of flat metal round the skulls", for begging to enrich the shrine custodians.
SHARMA, Shridhar & VARMA, L.P. (1984) History of mental hospitals in Indian sub-continent. Indian J. Psychiatry 26: 295-300.
One sentence only, (mis)quoting SHAW, 1932: "Shah-daula's Chauhas at Gujurat and [sic] in the Punjab".
SINGH, Surinder (1986) Muslim saints in the Mughal province of Punjab. Islamic Culture 40 (1) 89-107.
One page (98-9), derived from ROSE (1911-14), Ganesh Das (see GREWAL & BANGA, 1849/1975) and Khulasat-al-Tawarikh (see SARKAR, 1695/1901).
KHOKHAR, Zaman (1991) Hazrat Shah Daulah Daryaie. Aina Haft Roza (Gujrat) 28 Oct.-4 Nov. 1991.
Urdu newspaper article. (Unpublished translation to English kindly provided by Suleiman Shehzad). Reviews the legends. Notes that still nowadays Chuas can be seen begging, wearing green gowns; and "children are made disabled and used for begging".
MILES, M. (1992) Concepts of mental retardation in Pakistan: toward cross-cultural and historical perspectives. Disability, Handicap & Society 7: 235-55.
Footnote overview of Chuas (p. 251).
NAQSHBANDY, Sheikh Parvaiz Amin (1993) Hazrat Syed Kabeer-ud-Din Shah Daulah Daryai. Lahore: Umar Publications.
In 87 pp., with three colour photographs of the shrine, this hagiographical booklet represents earlier work on the religious life of Shah Daulah. Makes only brief mention (pp. 43-5) of the Chuas. Bibliography of 24 items, mostly local.
MILES, M. (1996) Pakistan's microcephalic chuas of Shah Daulah: cursed, clamped or cherished? History of Psychiatry 7: 571-89.
[Some of the historical material quoted or cited in the present online paper was first collected and published in the earlier print article in 'History of Psychiatry', originally published by Alpha Academic, later part of Taylor & Francis. The chuas' story appeared in a literary-historical format, with anthropological digressions, academic apparatus and heavy footnoting. The present online paper uses a different approach, presents further material and updates, presenting economic and 'independent living' themes which have become clearer over time, with the unexpected resurgence of interest in the chuas and the apparent legitimisation by the Auqaf Department of the chuas' quasi-religious role as itinerant faqirs.]
GALPIN, Richard (1998, 29 June) The rat-children of Pakistan - blessed by a Sufi saint but disfigured for profit. The Guardian, p.11
The subtitle indicates the flavour of this newspaper item: "Richard Galpin in Gujrat reports on a gruesome slave trade in new-born babies, fuelled by fear, a 300-year-old myth and religious fervour."
AHSAN, Syed Hamraz (1998, 2 July) Punjab women not savages for believing in Sufi saint. The Guardian, p.21
Correspondence. Irritated letter about Galpin's article, from someone who claims to have studied the subject some time earlier. Points out that Galpin's article is in the 'Orientalist' tradition. [Ahsan's view undoubtedly has weight. Much western reporting continues to focus on unpleasant and atypical events in Pakistan, bomb blasts, 'mad mullahs', conspiracies and corruption, while the hospitable and friendly welcome normally accorded to foreigners by the ordinary, decent, Pakistani individual or family is seldom reported.]
MALIK, Jamal (1998) The literary critique of Islamic popular religion in the guise of traditional mysticism, or the abused woman. In: P. Werbner & H. Basu (eds) Embodying Charisma. Modernity, locality and the performance of emotion in Sufi cults, pp. 187-208. London: Routledge.
While describing a story titled 'Bain' ('lament') by Ahmad Nadim Qasimi (pp. 192-203), supposedly set in the shrine of Shah Daulah, Malik gives some description of the shrine and cult (pp. 193-195), based mostly on Ibbetson & Maclagan (see Rose, above) and Sharif Kunjahi (1985). However, 'Bain' itself does not explicitly mention the Chuas. (See next items).
---- KUNJAHI, S. (1985) Hadrat Shah Daulah Darya'i Gujrati: Hayat o ta`limat. Lahore: Markaz Ma`arif Awliya Mahkamah Awqaf Punjab.
---- QASIMI, A.N. (1985) 'Bain'. In: Muhammad Yar (ed) Muntakhib afsane, 1983-85. Rawalpindi.
---- BHATTI, S.S. (1992) A Lament. Pakistani Literature 1 (1) 81-88. Islamabad: Pakistan Academy of Letters. [Translation of 'Bain'.]
NASIR, P. (2001, 1st May) Children with small heads. Dawn. At www.dawn.com/2001/05/01letted.htm [No longer accessible here.]
Dr Nasir, of Gujrat, refers to earlier letters on the same subject, and points out that they merely perpetuate a myth of chuas being 'made' and exploited at the shrine. The myth is then swallowed by naive journalists. Nasir refers to his own detailed article in The Nation, 19 Nov 2000, p. 10, on the subject.
SOOMRO, Akhtar (2001, 26th Oct.) The Rat People of Pakistan. EuropaWorld at: www.europaworld.org/issue54/theratpeople261001.htm [Accessible on 7 May 2010.]
Brief item about beggars in Karachi, with photographs of one called a "chuwa", complaining of their exploitation, mentioning "heads bound in steel cuffs and feet squeezed into iron shoes".
BRAGG, Rick (2001) Seeking miracles in a place of cruelty and beauty. The New York Times (28 Oct 2001). nytimes.com [Accessible August 2008.]
Describing a visit to the shrine and interviews with several people. (Bragg avoids some of the excesses of journalistic hype and exaggeration, while still attempting literary flourishes).
ABDULLAH, Shaila (2005) Beyond the Cayenne Wall. isbn 0595370098. Extract [accessed Jan. 2006; no longer online] appeared at: www.maybelogic.org/maybequarterly/05/0508AmuletForTheCagedDove.ht m Somewhat sensationalised account of a supposed visit to the shrine of Shah Daulah, and a subsequent pregnancy. A "legend of Shah Daullah" [sic] is given, in which the pious Kabiruddin becomes Shah Daullah, meets a curiously deformed holy man, Shah Massat, becomes his disciple, and sets out to save abandoned disabled children. After his death "in 1579", his shrine continues the work. Later, exploitation sets in and children are subjected to deliberate deformation. In the fictional present, the young woman's visit is a terrifying experience, with the "chuwa" gatekeeper depicted as an animal, have "fingers twice as long as a normal person's" and with "rodent-like teeth", who "pawed at her clumsily".
SELIM, Kumur B. (2006) Chuas of Shah Daulah. In: G. Albrecht et al (eds) Encyclopedia of Disability vol. I, pp. 263-264.
Brief factual summary, based on the article by Miles (1996) above.
LEROI, Armand M. (2006) What makes us human? The unfortunate 'rat people' of Pakistan could provide the answer. The Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/core/Content/ [navigate.]
Notes on a visit by Leroi to Gujrat, the shrine of "Shua Dulah", and interviews with several chuas and their family members. Mentions various legends and hypotheses on chuas, and current theories and applications of medical genetics for controlling the inheritance of microcephaly. (This article included much of the text of a Channel 4 TV presentation in UK on 12 August 2006, titled "What make us human". The visual medium added a lot of travel shots, genetic diagrams, artistic angles, and monkey business).
FREMBGEN, Jürgen W. (2006) Divine madness and cultural otherness: diwanas and faqirs in Northern Pakistan. South Asia Research 26 (3) 235-248.
Brief mention of the chuas (p. 243), suggests that they "are feared for their curses (badu'a) which are attributes of their authority". The author also cites pages in his earlier work (not seen by this compiler): J.W. Frembgen (2000) Reise zu Gott. Sufis und Derwische im Islam, Munich: Beck, pp. 106-107, probably having a closer focus on the chuas.
SUBHAN, John A. (2008) Sufism - Its Saints and Shrines. Read Books.
Passage reproduced from H. Rose on chuas, pp. 245-247.
OTHER USEFUL REFERENCES (not ordered by date)
(Some authors make no mention of Shah Daulah, the Chuas, or head-shaping in the works listed. It is possible that they did mention the chuas in some other publication, or in their unpublished correspondence).
BALFOUR, Edward (1885) Cyclopedia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia. London: Quaritch.
Vol. III, p. 589, a paragraph about Shah Daulah, building works and various details, but no Chuas.
BEAL, Samuel (1884) Si-Yu-Ki. Buddhist Records of the Western World. Translated from the Chinese of Hiuen Tsiang (A.D. 629). Popular Edition (two volumes in one). London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner. Vol. 1 p. 19; Vol. 2, p. 306.
Head shaping using a wooden board, at Kashgar (north of present-day Pakistan) in the 7th century CE.
BEAMES, John (1961) Memoirs of a Bengal Civilian. The lively narrative of a Victorian district officer. London: Chatto & Windus.
pp. 92-119 concern Beames's time as Assistant Commissioner of Gujrat, Feb. 1859 - Feb. 1861, giving a picture of the range and complexity of duties required of the young officer. No mention of Shah Daulah or Chuas. Beames must have known of Shah Daulah's shrine. But in that early period, the chuas were not yet 'under official investigation'.
BRAY, Denys (1913 reprinted 1977) The Life History of a Brahui, pp. 18-19. Karachi: Royal Book Company.
Head-shaping in Baluchistan, for beauty.
DINGWALL, E.J. (1931) Artificial Cranial Deformation. A contribution to the study of ethnic mutilations. London: Bale, Sons & Danielsson.
Includes the Indian subcontinent pp. 86-94. Notes (p. 86) that the White Huns, centred on Sialkot (about 30 miles from Gujrat) practised cranial deformation, probably c. 6th century CE. No mention of chuas. (Possibly Dingwall knew of them but omitted them because there was no evidence of artificial deformation).
Editorial review (1830) Phrenology of the Hindoos. The Asiatic Journal New Series I (1) Jan-April 1830, pp. 41-7.
Reviews a debate between James Montgomery and Corden Thompson, on the phrenology of the Hindoos and Negroes. Refers to a study of Indian heads by Dr Murray Paterson. This field of study was clearly alive in the 1820s in India.
Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers (1765). Vol. 16, p. 205, 'Tête-plate'. Neufchatel.
Head-shaping reported from the Amazon. Surprised is expressed that this practice does not seem to cause brain damage.
FAWCETT, F. (1902) Note on a microcephalic girl in Madras, Man 2 (#43): 57-58.
Physical measurements of the girl, from a family with seven children of whom three were microcephalic. No reference to any other work.
FRANKS, H. George (1932) Queer India, pp. 154-56. London: Cassell.
A few notes on 'cripple factories' that supposedly manufactured beggars.
GOSSE, L.A. (1855) Essai sur les déformations artificielles du crâne, Annales d'Hygiène publique et de Médicine légale, 2 Sér., 3: 317-93 and 4: 5-83.
GREWAL, J.S. & BANGA, Indu (1975) Early Nineteenth Century Panjab, translated and edited from: Ganesh DAS (1849) Char Bagh-i-Panjab. Amritsar: Navrang.
Two paragraphs (pp. 59-60) give brief note on Shah Daulah; one paragraph (p. 63) gives anecdote of Shah Daulah protecting Gujrat's rough-tongued bazaar traders from the wrath of Guru Hargobind. No mention of Chuas. Das recorded that Shah Daulah's descendants were alive in 1849.
HIPPOCRATES. Airs, Waters, Places, translated by W.H.S. Jones (1923). London: Heinemann. I: xiv, 1-18 (p.111).
The medical school of Hippocrates [5th and 4th centuries B.C.] preserved the following note on the "Longheads" (Macrokephaloi) in Asia Minor, hand-moulding their neonates' heads: "As soon as a child is born they remodel its head with their hands, while it is still soft and the body tender, and force it to increase in length by applying bandages and suitable appliances..."
HONIGBERGER, John Martin (1852) Thirty Five Years in the East. Adventures, Discoveries, Experiments and Historical Sketches relating to the Punjab and Cashmere, etc. London: Baillière.
Honigberger was physician to the ruler of the Punjab, Ranjit Singh, and also keeper of a mental asylum at Lahore with some mentally handicapped inmates. His memoirs make no mention of Chuas.
HUGO, Victor (1869, reprint 1985) L'homme qui rit. In: Oeuvres Complètes, Roman III, pp. 531-32. Paris: Robert Laffont.
Eloquent description of occult 'surgery of deformation' by which a rictus was fixed on the infant Gwynplaine. Set in 17th century Europe.
IRELAND, William Wotherspoon (1875) Report upon some cases of microcephalic idiocy and cretinism. Edinburgh Medical Journal XXI, (August 1875) pp. 109-120.
IRELAND, William W. (1898) The Mental Affections of Children, Idiocy, Imbecility and Insanity. London: Churchill; & Edinburgh: James Thin.
Ireland, a 19th C. authority on idiocy and microcephaly, spent several years in India and was interested in Indian culture and lore. He drew on a broad international experience for cases of microcephaly (pp. 85-132), discusses head-shaping (pp. 184-186) and Indian Wolf-children (pp. 418-435), but made no mention of Chuas.
KHAN, K.S. HAJI KALANDAR (1902) Notes on the physical treatment of children in the Punjab, West of the Indus. Man 2 (#31): 40-41.
Noted the practice of head flattening by laying infant's head in a depression, rather than pressing it - because, according to the women, to do the latter weakened the child's intellectual faculties.
KHERA, P.N. (1938) Social life in the Sikh Kingdom. Journal of the Panjab University Historical Society 5: 19-41.
Confirms that there was a regular traffic in girls and women, especially from Kashmir to the Punjab. (Thus it would not have been difficult to collect any Chua discovered in the villages across a wide area.)
MACKENZIE, Hector (1861) Report on the Revised Settlement of the Goojerat District, in the Rawul Pindee Division. Lahore.
Historical paragraph on Gujrat City (pp. 11-12) mentioned Shah Daulah and his building work, but not the shrine nor the Chuas.
MANUCCI, Niccolao (1907) Storia do Mogor, or Mogul India 1653-1708, transl. William Irvine. Vol. 1, pp. 117-19; Vol. 4, pp. 419. London: John Murray.
Vol. 1: Two paragraphs: The holy mendicant Xadaulah supported Humayun, and was rewarded by him with lands and privileges still held by his descendants. Editorial note (p. 117) that Humayun died 1556, before Shah Daulah's birth. Vol. 4.: Note that Manucci's story refers not to Shah Daulah but to Makhdum-ul-Mulk Abdullah. Manucci was in India in Shah Daulah's lifetime, and was writing c. 1710, within 30 years of the holy man's death. No mention of Chuas.
MARSHALL, William E. (1873) A Phrenologist amongst the Todas. London: Longmans, Green.
Phrenology was on the wane by 1860, but enthusiasts like Marshall in India continued to be obsessed with head shapes.
MUJEEB, M. (1967) The Indian Muslims London: Allen & Unwin, p. 310.
Cites Muhammad Sadiq, Tabaqat-i-Shah Jahani, and the Mir'at-i-Alam of Bakhtawar Khan [? actually by Muhammad Baqa] on relations between sufis and the courts of Emperors. Brief mention of Shah Dula'i of Gujarat in the Panjab keeping an extensive zoo.
OBEROI, Harjot (1992) Popular saints, goddesses and village sacred sites: rereading Sikh experience in the nineteenth century. History of Religions 31: 363-384.
Sikh historical texts say very little on e.g. magical healing, miracle saints etc. (May account for the absence of Chua data before 1830s).
PORTER, J.H. (1889) Notes on the artificial deformation of children among savage and civilized people. (With a bibliography). Annual Reports of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institute ... for the year ended June 30, 1887, Part 2, 213-235.
Annotated bibliography of 19th C. (and some earlier) work directly or indirectly bearing on artificial deformation. Stronger on the Americas. No mention of Chuas.
REID, R.W. (1895) Exhibition and description of the skull of a microcephalic Hindu. Journal of the Anthropological Institute 24: 105-180.
ROSE, H.A. (1902) Head-shaping in the Punjab, Man 2: 3-4.
Brief notes on flattening the back of infants' heads for beauty; and producing a broad open forehead using an earthenware cup.
ROY, Sarat Chandra (1915) The artificial moulding of physical features in India. Journal of the Bihar & Orissa Research Society 1: 27-30
Notes on head shaping elsewhere in India, following mention of the custom in Baluchistan and Western Punjab.
SARKAR, Jadunath (1901) The India of Aurangzib ... with extracts from the Khulasatu-t-Tawarikh and the Chahar Gulshan, translated and annotated. Calcutta: Bose, pp. 98-100.
In the Khulasat (from about 1695, within 20 years of Shah Daulah's death), the section on Gujrat is almost entirely a hagiography of the holy man. No mention of chuas.
STEEL, Flora Annie (1929) The Garden of Fidelity, pp. 157-158. London: MacMillan.
Three sentences on moulding infant heads for beauty, using earthen cup.
TANDON, Prakash (1961) Punjabi Century 1857-1947. London: Chatto & Windus.
Tandon, who grew up in Gujrat, wrote a lively and detailed description of life and customs in the city through 90 years. No mention of Shah Daulah or the Chuas.