Genealogy of the People of Ahar't


The descent charter of the people of Ahar't (the ahar'ta or S'ng) begins with the ancestor maC'k, who was driven out of cils in the Indus Valley in a power struggle, and branches out to encompass the various agnatic descent groups of today. The charter down through one line of each descent group (indicated by the plural ending -' or the Pashto word x'l troop') or inheritance group (kumb'a or k'r house', also a Pashto word) is shown below.

The transition from native pre-Islamic to Pashto Islamic forms is evident in the 8th to 7th ascending generations of the diagram below (ca. 1820-1840 AD). It is currently fashionable to replace the native plural ending -' of the eponymous ancestor's name with the Pashto word x'l troop' (from Arabic). Thus, the baDl' The Sledgehammers' [a name borrowed from Kmviri] become baDl x'l Sledgehammer's Troop(er)', the gbank' The gban'ks' become gbank x'l gban'k's Troop(er)', etc.

The discrepencies between this version of the descent charter and those reported by Alberto Cacopardo in his important forthcoming book Gates of Peristan (co-authored with his brother Augusto) indicate, aside from true loss of knowledge, a possible competition for "genealogical hegemony" among agnatic groups, with concomitant claims for inheritance and social superiority. Similar claims for the authenticity of one group's version over another's occur among the Kom and, undoubtedly, among the other ethnic groups of the region. In pre-Islamic Nuristn there was the institution (e.g., among the Kom) of the n'om Zu villi Name-Wailing Recitress', certain women who cried out a dead man's pedigree at his funeral. They were the main repositories of genealogical history, and their public performances probably checked the tendency for discrepant versions to proliferate. With the advent of Islm, the "kfir" funerary rights were swept away along with the rest of the former religion, and these women were relegated to silence. Since then, genealogical knowledge among the Kom has been kept mostly by interested men of various descent groups, and the tendency toward a proliferation of versions for political reasons has apparently increased.

In this and subsequent descent diagrams the scale on the left indicates the number of generations above that of current young adults (generation "0" = 1980 A.D.) in the longest generational line. Corresponding dates are, of course, rough approximations to reality; they are calculated based on a generation of 20 years, which accords well enough with observed rates in the region.


Gener-
ations
Ago
 
Agnatic Ancestors
ca.
|






| |
17 1640 maC'k lph'ur
(settled in l'aspur)
|





| | |
16 1660 C'k ?
(settled in kal's)
?
(settled in s'w)
|
15 1680 bT'
|
14 1700 mitra'i
|
13 1720 baDil w'al (baD'l)
|
12 1740 zariN w'al (zar'N)
|
11 1760 kTbaR' kharaT m'r
(an indentured servant from mum'oRm in Nuristn)
kharaT',
kharaT x'l
| |





|
| | |
10 1780 sur kh'N
surkhN',
surkhN x'l
girS'ng
girSng',
girS'ng x'l
lwr'k
| |




|
| | | | |
9 1800 phaT'ak
phaTak',
phaTak x'l
zar'N
zariN',
zariN x'l
baD'l
baDl',
baDl x'l
(includes adopted kl'Si)
gabar'T gul'ai
| | | | |
| | |

|
| | | | | |
8 1820 hydar l'i zamat ' rja kh'N t'n
tn_k'r
mangal b'k nil'ai
| | | | | |
7 1840 mus' mhamat ' malak mham'at talab d'n ("mul'")
mul_k'r
mr mhd'
mrmhdi_k'r
kh'emu
| | | | | |
6 1860 malik ' mehrab ' r l'i pasamb' zam'n bz't
| | | | | |
5 1880 r l'i sd wal'i mr l'am mr jah'n muqr'ab ar'ab
| | | | | |
4 1900 mhamat l'i guldli ' ** sd l'am st karam j'n sd ul-m'r * rm d'n
| | | | | |
3 1920 sd wat x'n rahama t ' dam x'n rahm ul' mahmad zam'n mhamat qd'im
| | | | | |
2 1940 Gzi ud'n x'n * r mhamat ' fazil wh'id ata ul' mahmat th'ir mhamat anbi'
| | | |
1 1960 siraj ud'in mukram ' zafar ul' Golm maham'at
| |
0 1980 burhn ud'in golb maham'at

* Author's informants, August, 1985.
** Author of the genealogy discussed in Cacopardo & Cacopardo (forthcoming).



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First posted 28 Nov. 1998      Last modified 27 June 2000

Copyright © 1998-2000 by Richard F. Strand