The story goes that one day four brothers (it does not say of what tube) went out for a stroll or to hunt on the plain (locality not specified), and as they went on they saw, as they knew by their dress, four young damsels coming their way As they approached, the eldest brother said - "What better sport than this, let each of us take one of these damsels to wife" His proposal was applauded, and they agreed to cast lots for them. The eldest brother, however, claimed his right of seniority to take his choice without casting lots, and this was conceded to him By this time the approaching parties met, and the eldest brother stopping the damsels, selected the most gaily dressed as his choice The others were apportioned by lot. When all were distributed, each brother unveiled his damsel, and it was discovered that the one in the finest and gaudiest clothes was a shrivelled-up ugly old maid, whilst the others in more simple and sober attire were comely young virgins. The more fortunate younger brothers laughing twitted the other on his bad taste in selecting such a bride, and repeating a phrase commonly used on occasions of like misadventure, said - "Pa khatta larye," that is, "You've gone into the mud," or, as we should say, "You've put your foot in it." From this incident, says the Afghan genealogist, is derived the name of Khattak, and then he goes on to add, that from each of the four damsels sprung a numerous progeny, who increased and multiplied and gave their names to all the sections and sub-divisions of the tribe. Under British rule the Khattak has proved a generally well-conducted and loyal subject. The salt mines of Kalabagh are in their hands, and many of them are employed as travelling merchants and salt carriers to the mountainous region between the Peshawar valley and Badakhshan The chief of the Khattaks, Khwaja Muhammad Khan, was made a Knight of the Older of the Star of India a few years ago in recognition of his loyalty and services to Government.
The Waziri who displaced the Khattak, or Shattak, as it is pronounced in the western dialect of Pushtu, from his ancient seat on the Suleman range, from the Sattagydia of Herodotus, for he is the only one of the ancient authors who has mentioned this people, appear to be identical with the Wairsi or Vairsl of the early Muhammadan historians. The Wairsi were a division of the Sodha tribe, which itself was a branch of the Pramara Rajput. The Waziri appear to have made their first assaults against the Khattak about five or six hundred years ago at a time when the country was sorely afflicted with famine; and the route they took was across the Sham plain into the adjoining valley and district of Barmal Here they settled and remained for some time before making a further forward move. In Barmal is the favourite shrine of an ancestral and saintly chief of the tribe, and here also are the lands of one of the tribal sub-divisions named Sodhaki. From their settlement in Barmal, the Waziri advanced by degrees, and in a long course of years, driving the Khattak before them, and subjugating the Chamkani, took the whole of the ancient Khattak country from the Sham plain on the south, to the Kohat valley in the north.
They are a powerful and entirely independent tribe, and mostly pastoral and nomade in their habits of life. In personal appearance they are very different from other Pathan tribes, and retain many customs peculiar to themselves. On the western borders of then territory they share the pasture lands with the Suleman-Khel, Kharoti, and other sections of the great Ghilzai tribe.