Topics in Vâsi Ethnography

by

Zamân Xân

recorded and translated by

Richard F. Strand


11. Justice

[ZX] mâgâr ina_âsa ča; ina gul to štri kâři [?] ina ˀu·kumât to, di gati ârizâ kti, kâča, nâ ni gustâi. åǰas mânša âi nâi â? âmni gati [?] ârizâ ârizâ bådi bi to ča˜, âlok bulâsi, pâi·sâ sta, ˀu·kumât to. püs bunâsi. ˀu·kumât to qâtâina nâ ela âi. hu·kumât to ni nâ ela âi sâip. âni io pâmüč lot 'ti bula âi. hu·kumât pâqât âskâr gâana; âska âskâri biti guâ kti u·kumât âni ânna; mâliâ gâana; vâre kâa lâtri nâ_âsa sâip. qâifiât nâ_âsa imo to. ou˜. [ZX] But there's this. In matters of wives, no one in this country has gone to the [national] government and filed a petition. They're [politically] weak people, aren't they? If they go with all kinds of petitions, they would be wiped out [?] financially by the government. They would have been lost. They absolutely do not go to the government. They don't go down to the government. They make peace among themselves and stay here. The government only takes military conscripts. After their military service the government comes and asks, "Did they go," and it takes taxes. There's nothing else left. We don't have sufficiency. Yes.
[RS] břâźa_âsa ne? [RS] It's a pain, isn't it?
[ZX] ou˜. břâza [laugh] imoa oal' kudüm bi bo de sâip, io pâmüč lot_âs sâip, u·kumât to kâča ni nâ enta sâip. ou˜. ou˜, âǰâp kudüm_âsa i·a sâip. tårix to ṣu nâ_âsa če, mânša u·kumât to utiasta bulo. kâča nâ enta sâip. ea dü mânša gati sâip_â, XXX noqot noqot to řâma bi mânša gati hu·kumât to gu bo nâi â? âskea suandi kti âskea pâpili☠enta sâip âska mânša. i˜ to [?] bârbot kunta âni. ou˜. imo ḍen ŋuti sta [?] nâi â? ou˜ sâip. kâča ni nâ bânta sâip. ou˜. [ZX] Yes. A pain. [laugh] If we have some big problem, peace is made among us. No one goes down to the government. Yes. It's an astonishing situation. It's unknown in history that some person had stood before the government. Nobody goes. If two men go, [xxx] if a man who is acquainted with noqot [?] goes to the government, everybody attacks him. They make bârbot [?] to him here. Yes. We get a fine from him, right? Yes, sir. No one can go down there. Yes.
imo nire ćućum bâkul puae, e mânša gati nâ bu, imo kudüm imo sta, přasü˜ŋul to, ina ǰâm nâ_âsa sâip_â. nâ ǰâňistâi kâča. âska e ǰuku billi bo, ina i˜ sta moč nâ bi bo, tua kunam, kuli âska. âska močasta, e râzil pâido bâlla nâi â? e˜, âska pâido bati gati, pâso˜ gati ča âtkistâ, kâṭi, kâṭvâṭ kti če, kâṭa peṭti âmo kusta ŋe kâṭa peṭti âvelo kti âska âaṭi guâlla bo â·ki sâip_â kâṭi peṭaste to, ǰoi to âska_ di gu·sa! Last year down in Ćućum country a man went -- this kind of business didn't happen in Přâsü Country. No one had been murdered. There was this woman who said, "If my husband didn't exist, I would marry you." He must have gotten a râzil [?] for that husband, right? Well, when that happened, that boy must have gone there to the mountain pasture then, because [the husband] went to cut some timbers and bring them back to make a house. He, too, went to that timber-cutting place.
oa·ša â? "You've come?"
ou˜. "Yes."
tü kâa kti oa·ša? "Why have you come?"
kâṭi peṭa ste ŋe â·ki gu·sam ŋunâsi sâip. ia˜ de čând dånâ kâṭa pâkor_âsi; gekti oasom. kulo. "I've gone there to cut some timbers," he said. "I needed a few timbers; that's why I've come."
lesta; âni âćti kša, kudüm kša kti ča˜ kudüm kti. "Good, come here and do your work," he says, while working.
â·kiste˜ sâip_â, âska kâṭi peṭti âmŋi `ča u kṣoana nâi â? âska âaṭi `ča u kṣoa to˜ to âni ânü âgřâ·sa sâip. ânü âgřâa to ča˜, pâṣea peṭti ča˜, io! dâm utiati âčuṇi·sa âska. âčuṇam gati e to přeati, ćâŋ, âṭloa˜ gu·sa. âgřâi·sa nâi â? zålim âni ina lâtri u kṣoa kařa sta [?]. xârkus â·ki lâtri u kṣoa kařa·sa. âska lâtri u kṣea to di, mâřa·sa âska âtki. âćti sâip âni čâu·ku bâra kṣeati âmŋio˜ iol kâřa·sa âska. ǰüt mâa sta kulom; ǰüt, nâča iol_âsa. ǰüt mâi·sa kulâ kti, âni čâuku meṣ peṭti peṭti âa, iola iol kti, oaso. Then he cut down the timber and was stripping the bark off, right? While the boy was stripping the bark, he was hacked right here. After he was hacked right here and his head was broken, he up and ran off. He ran somewhere, and when he arrived, ćâŋ he got thrown down. He was hacked, right? The tyrant had pulled off this thing here [?]. The donkey cunt had pulled the thing off there [?]. After he had pulled the thing off, he [the husband] died there. He came and pulled out his pocket knife and made marks on him, thinking that he would say that a leopard had killed him and that they were leopard claw marks. He cut him all over and made marks, so that they would say that a leopard had killed him, and he came back.
â·kiste˜ mânša nâ ânna mânša nâ ânna kti â·kiste˜ sâip_â, čum pâṣčeati gustâi. â·ki, âṭlea sta vâňistâi. utro. ǰüt mâi·so, i·a mânša kti ča˜. ǰüt mâi·so kti âveti, sâṭi·sa. Then they kept wondering why the man hadn't come back, and they lit torches and went after him. They saw him dumped there. "Son of a bitch, a leopard has killed him," they said; and they brought him back and buried him.
sâṭti kâi zâňalâ sâip. ǰuku biâqal âi nâi â? âska ǰuku âmu sta, nua to giǰa kuli, ina nâ bi bo, i·a, kuXXX, kunâsi, ina nâ vina sta bulo, kuli âska ǰuku. âmu sta nua to ina sâip_â, ina i˜ sta moč [end of tape]. nua âska bâra gati vari XXX XXX buti nâi â? ina ǰuk gita kuna, pilåni nâ vina sta bulo, kuli. xâbâr bulâ [?] âni, gita, våqi gita_âso ma. âskea vina·so ma. kâie kti, bulo. After he was buried, what would they know? Women are ignorant, right? The woman said to her mother, "If this hadn't happened, [xxx], if he hadn't been struck down" She told her mother, "If my husband ..." [end of tape] The mother goes out and spreads the word [??], right? "This girl is saying that so-and-so shouldn't have been beaten." So they would get the news here, that something like that has happened [?], that he had beaten him, or whatever.
â·kiste˜ suanti přâsüa˜ âni sta di kti nire břâkoma˜ sta di pâṣkia˜ sta di `ča âćti âska imoa [?] âaṭi vâllea·sa. ina tua iqror kša, lot kummo imo. tua vina sta_âsala i·a. ina â·kařa [for âgřâa] iol_âsa tua vina sta di i. tua lot kummo inea iqror kša, lot nâ kunša bo tua u·kumât přemmiš. nâabo de imo di kumâk kummo; šturi [?] kša. kâřa·sa. So then all the Přâsü˜ from here and from the villages down there and from Pâṣki came up, and we called for that boy. They told him, "Confess; and we'll make peace. He was probably beaten by you. There's a hack mark that you made. We'll make peace with you; confess it. If you don't make peace, we'll give you to the government. Otherwise we'll help you; make šturi [?]."
âskea mun·kir bi·sa. mun·kir bi to âmno˜ giǰa kařa·sa, přećaň âa? šo; ea mirâs xur vřâ ŋâ kti, gâati hu·kumât to přeň i·a. He denied it. When he denied it, he told them, "Go on. You grab an heir and take him and give him to the government."
šå·it přemmiš imo. ina de âmu ŋe xâir_âsa, âmu ŋe lea kudüm_âsa; lot bulo kti oasomiš imo. "Perhaps we'll give one. It would be better for him; it would be good for him. We came so there would be peace."
ina nâi nâi [?] kula bi bo šo u·kumât to gâi eň. kulâ! He's probably saying, "No, no; you take him to the government."
vârxâto bi·sa âska âaṭi. via˜ de ia˜ vino. šo lot kšaň. via˜ de ia˜ vina·sa. mâgâr ǰuk i˜ poar buli bi bo lesta_âsa. [laugh] âska biâqal giǰa kâra·sa. The boy got scared. "I really did strike him. You make peace. I really struck him." "But, it would be good if I get the girl," the idiot said. [laugh]
xo, tua vin·so, gita kša ne? lesta štri vari [?] kša, nâ kummiš â? â·kist☠suanti vâsaŋařastâi. imo sta tårix tårix to gita sta kudüm ṣu nâ_âsa sâip. tua kâřo! ṣâŋe ṣâŋe zâmonât to io pâmüč gita sta sâip_â, sâip_â, ǰâňǰuň vari imo to nâ_âsi; tua kâřo. vâre zot [?], kâa fâido boš? tu ŋe sâzo i·a_âsa ča˜ imo âlol kummiš pštrak. â·indâ gita sta kudüm nâ bulo. â·kist☠âska [for âskea] u teati gâati âska mânša sâṭi·sa nâi â? â·kü vü sâneati âlol kara·sa sâip. âlol kti, če˜. â·ki ǰânosâ nâ kâřâ â·ki vü_âṭleao! e˜ gita sta bulo kti. tu to gita XXX â·ki tu to ste [?] in·tiqon i·a be·s_âsa. imo ina ˀumar ˀumar to ina kudüm kâřa sta kua nâ kařa·sa, tua kâřa·so. tu to gita kummiš kti â·kistâ âtleao sâip. "Well, since you struck him, you do this. Say something good for the woman [?]," we say, right? Then they all gathered together. "In all our history no business like this is known. You did it! In all former times there was no such murderous affair among us. You did it. vâre zot, what use are you? This is your reward," and we're slaughtering him now. "In the future such business shouldn't happen." Then he was picked up and taken and buried, right? Right there they united and slaughtered him. After they slaughtered him, they threw him in there without a funeral, because that's the way it should be. From you [xxx] like that, then this is enough retribution from you [?]. "In all our lifetimes no one had done this kind of deed, but it turns out you did it. We're doing this to you," they said, and then they threw him over.
[RS] ṣṭâle˜_âsa â? [RS] Is that true?
[ZX] ou˜. ia˜ vâňiŋe ne? sâip. [laugh] ea uṣma·sa [?] buna â? egek bâlla. ou˜. [ZX] Yes, before my very eyes, right? [laugh] It happened in a yawn [?]. That much happened. Yes.
[RS] i·a_âsa bo de, `di gita sta kudüm de nâ buna. [laugh] [RS] Well, if that's it, then that kind of business shouldn't happen again! [laugh]
[ZX] sâxt kudüm kařo i·a sâip_â. âmna kâča âsxut di sâip, čüšt_ âšti bâ sâip. ˀumumi itifoq bo nâi â? vidařiâ, mânša. [ZX] They did a harsh deed. As for his relatives, they just kept quiet. There was a general consensus, right? The people were afraid.
[RS] čüšt âšti ǰenastâi â? [RS] They're sitting back quietly?
[ZX] ou˜. čüšt âšti ǰenastâi. âmna gita sta itifoqi to biliuk, âni mânša, lesta âi. ṣâŋe mânša itifoqi, ṣâŋe sta qonun to de, biliuk itfoq mânša âšta âni; âmna, âmna tålibon tålibon pštrak pâido bistâi nâi â? bitifoqi âmŋio˜ to oaso sâip_â. ou˜. âmna vâr' vari vâr' viri vo bati; ḍen teň kti mânšoa˜ i·a, pâaň kti vâaň kti ča˜, vari, ine to epšik ... [ZX] Yes. They're sitting back quietly. The people here are very good at that kind of consensus. The old-time people here would be very united toward the old law. Now these religious students have shown up, right? Disunity came through them. Yes. They've got other kinds of ideas; they tell us to fine people and so on, and since then things are a little ...


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