Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1780 Mughal najib
Subjectnajib 'noble' irregular infantry
Culture: Mughal
Setting: later Mughal empire, Hindustan 18th-mid 19thc
Evolution1605 Rajput bhumi > 1780 Mughal najib

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Irvine 1903 online p164
"Najib.  The word literally means 'noble', and Blacker, 'War', 22, tells us they were irregular infantry, who disdained uniform and carrying a musket, or blunderbuss, and a sword. They disdained to stand sentry or do any fatiguing duty, considering it their only business to fight and to protect the person of their prince. W. H. Tone, 50, says that long practice had enabled them to load with sufficient readiness, while their matchlock carried farther and infinitely truer than the firelock of those days. The Najibs was also excellent swordsmen. [SIC] 
    "....Their discipline was very contemptible; they answered very well for garrison duty, but could not stand the charge of cavalry, having no bayonets, while their arms were totally unfit for prompt execution. As for the Nawab's troops organized in imitation of the E. I. Company's battalions, they were, even on actual service."


* Irvine 1903 online p164
​"With regard to the Najibs in the Nawab of Oudh's service in 1780, Captain Thomas Williamson, 124, tells us that they were clothed in blue vests and drawers, furnishing their own arms and ammunition (matchlock, sword, shield, bow and arrows)."


* Richardson/Bennett 2015 p33
"[A] form of spear found all over northern India is the barcha, a spear made totally of steel, used by infantry rather than cavalry, but much lighter in weight than one might imagine.  Another spear usually used by foot soldiers is the ballam, a short broad-headed spear.  The same word was used in pandi ballam, the pig-sticking spear beloved of teh Birith Raj in India."