Essays on Kom Ethnography

by

Qâzi Ghulâmullâh

translated by

Richard F. Strand


`mü moč `kâa_kula_âi?

What would men of rank do?

`kâa kti `mü moč bunâsi? `tre se to vik ˆkâṇa iâš teti `mü moč bula_âi. ˆvâsdor ˆânua iâš ˆšârvor ˆbâǰüṣânua kti ˆpřâŋćoala_âi. `sa pâ·se˜ ˆdâdü iâš tela_âi. `sua˜ pṭrüaku ˆugo kula_âi. ˆâ·kiste `mü moč bula_âi. `kor ćüvoa˜_kâṇa kti `kor ćüveati `sun âšala_âi. `mü ṣoa˜_kâṇa kti `mü moč ˆnu·i bâ·sano_âmčala_âsa. ˆšâřa_kula_âsa. ˆsâno_âmčala_âsa. `keć_vâćo âmčala_âsa. `keć_vâćo ˆšârčom sta šüala_âi, `se keća˜. suara ˆpâmo_âta `mü ḍukuk kula_âi. How were people becoming men of rank? They would give “celebration-feasts” for three years and become men of rank. In summer they would make “ghee feasts,” in autumn “gravy-and-ghee,” and serve them. Every year they would put on two feasts each. After all of them they would do a ugo, Then they would become men of rank. They would make the “ear-piercing celebration” and pierce their ears and put in gold [earrings]. The man of rank would do the “rank-dinner” celebration and put on new clothes. He would do up a turban. He would put on a robe. He would put on markhor-hair boots. They would sew markhor-hair boots from markhor skin, with the hair on. And in the house they would make a “rank plot.”
`mü moča˜ sta ˆkâṇa vosa˜_to `küře˜ âmo buli_âsa. ˆâmo sâkâti `vüčpü ḍikeati `bo˜ ṣṭoala_âi. `mü moč ˆâta giti `ǰela_âi. `mü moča˜ sta ˆâmo to `vâre˜ `nâ _âta utela_âi. `e moč ˆbâdu u ǰeti `âa vic̣ala_âsa. suara `e moč ˆbâdu `dor biti ˆkuři ǰe `pšâša˜ `nâ_âta utela_âi. `mü moča˜ `ǰe˜_âmo to `kâa ˆkuři `kâa `pšâš `kâa `ǰukuř pârmař ˆâta gu to, ˆkâṇa_kulea `gâṣ ḍen_kula_âi. suara `mü moča˜ sta `iupika˜_to `kâa `gum pul `kâa `ẓü `kâa `źül `kâa `vâre ˆḍâkara_lâtri vâňi to, `di kâṇa vâňi `gâṣ ḍen_kula_âi. `mü moč `küře˜ küře˜ `dâpil vo âi. ˆkâṇoa˜_to `mü moča `dâpil parea ˆbâṭa přela_âi. âska `dâpil ke˜ `mü dâpil kula_âi. `ćiṭ kâvo ǰe `šüt pâlol kâvo vâa ǰukuř `mü moč ˆpâput `ḍu bi to, `put uteti `vare âar ela_âi. suara `mü moč pâmo ˆpâparšüt ča `ečok ˆpâlol přeati `gum âšti `nâčoala_âi. ˆâske ŋe `mü ḍukuk kula_âi. There would be a separate room during the man of rank's celebration days. They would sweep the room and set up chairs all around in straight rows. The men of rank would go in and sit down. They wouldn't let others into the men-of-rank's room. One man would sit by the door and crush walnuts. And one man would be a guard at the door and not let in dogs and cats. If any dog or cat or women and children had gone into the men-of-rank's sitting room, they would fine him a billy goat. And if any wheat grain or hair or foreign object or other bad thing was seen, they would fine the celebration holder a billy goat also. Men of rank would have seprate wooden bowls. At celebratory feasts they would give the man of rank a wooden bowl full of meat. They would call that wooden bowl the “rank bowl.” If women with fertilizer baskets and night-soil baskets would confront a man of rank on the path, they would leave the path and go another way. And in the man-of-rank's house up in the area away from the door they would bring in a little dirt, plant wheat, and leave it. They would call that the “rank plot.”
e ˆmânša ˆkâṇa_kunam ˆviša bo, ˆnüštruk ˆâźor ˆdiṣo ǰe `tre vići `go tena. ˆâźor ˆdiṣo ǰe `tre vići `go `nâ tâřa vik ˆkâṇa_ku˜ `nâ bâla_âi. If a person wants to make a celebratory feast, he first raises 400 goats and 60 cows. As long as they didn't raise 400 goats and 60 cows, they wouldn't be able to make a celebratory feast.
ˆkâṇa `kâa kâi âi? 1. `dâa ćâroa˜. 2. `mü ṣoa˜. 3. ˆnâmün noṭ. 4. `pšor kârmor. What are each of the celebration feasts? 1. “wood cutting” 2. “rank dinner” 3. “nâmün dance” 4. “pšor slaughter”
`dâa ćâroa˜ kâṇe to ˆbâri `dâa ćâraň giti ˆmuṭa ˆpâtos teti `lâalu_kum âćla_âi. ˆmuṭoa˜ ˆnâna vâňi_mmo âṭleati `ṣoa˜ iuti `io âar ela_âi. ˆâ·kiste ˆpâřučkol ˆkârmor_kti `dâa ćâroa˜ kâṇa_kula_âi. `dâa ćâroa˜ kâṇe to `tre što ˆâṣe ǰâňala_âi. `e vići `gâṣ mâla_âi. At the wood-cutting celebration the bâris would go to cut wood, put the log on their shoulders, and come back singing songs. They would throw the logs into the owner's house, eat dinner, and go their own ways. Then in the morning they would make a ritual slaughter and do the wood-cutting celebration. At the wood-cutting celebration they would kill three or four bulls. They would slaughter twenty billy goats.
`mü ṣoa˜_to e ˆâraňe_âṣe ǰe `e vići `gâṣ mala_âi. ˆâraňe_âṣe to `tre tüř `skio `nâ bi bo, `mü ṣoa˜_kulea `e gâṣ `ḍen_kula_ai. At the rank dinner they would slaughter a fattened bull and twenty billy goats. If there were not three tüřs [about 30 lbs.] of fat on the fattened bull, they would fine the rank-dinner maker one billy goat.
ˆnâmün noṭ ˆvâstavor kula_âi. They would do the nâmün dance in the spring.
`pšor kârmor to `di `tre što ˆâṣe, `e vići `gâṣ mâla_âi. At the pšor slaughter they would also slaughter three or four bulls and twenty billy goats.
ˆkâṇa `pâa_âšti `pṭrüaku ˆugo tela_âi. ˆugo tela `e_âgař ˆpâmüso˜ ǰela_âi. e ˆuni kti ˆbřâkom ste ˆperkati bula_âi. ˆâ·kiste ˆpâmüso˜ ste ˆkâṭua_âṭpâřa˜ ˆpoňa_âšti ˆbâṣia âćti ˆugo `ü_âšti ˆmânšoa˜ přâŋćeati ˆâ·kiste ˆpâmo âćla_âi. ˆugo to ˆâźor tüř ˆkilâř âvela_âi. ˆpâṭlik_kti ˆânua meṣ `eṭoa˜ `io_kilâř `eṭoa˜ `io_kuṇuk přela_âi. As the celebration waned, after all they would set up the ugo. The ugo givers would sit for a week in the “rank-pasture.” They would set up a lean-to and remain remote from the village. Then they would load up their pots and pans, come to the dancing platform from the rank pasture, set out the ugo, serve the people, and then come home. At the ugo they would bring 400 tüřs of cheese. They would make large pancakes with ghee and would give some people a cheese each and some a half a cheese each.