Topics in Vâsi Ethnography

by

Zamân Xân

recorded and translated by

Richard F. Strand


13. History

[RS] âni šo mânšoa˜ sta tårix de kâča źâňala bunta? [RS] Is there anyone here who knows your people's history?
[ZX] biliuk ne? [ZX] A lot, right?
[RS] kor ste oa·saň. [RS] Where did you come from?
[ZX] tårix, âa, ṣâŋe, putći čâu·ki vo, putći âmo, puč, ći pur âmo, bâra âasta [?] oasomiš kunta sâip. [ZX] Uh, the history, they say that in ancient times a hundred heads of households came out, and we arrived here as a hundred households
[RS] kora? [RS] Where?
[ZX] kor, bâraň stâ˜. ina kor ârâbistân poara st☠oasomiš ne? kunta sâip. âćti âćti âćti nire kåmå kunta â·ki bi·samiš, â·kiste˜ âćti `ča âćti čare nire sâip âmŋi pič, egek sa â·ki bi·samiš, egek sa â·ki bi·samiš, egek sa, âni âćti če, ktivi `ča gustâi. eṭa sâip â·ki ktivi âmna nuristoni âćti, ea břo stea, püre sâip_â, řâmgal poar gu·so. ea břo sta püň gu·so; šo ina gul, xåli gul_âsa, so˜_âsa; šo gati âni ǰeň tåqât_âsa bo âni ǰeň kti, imo, âni vâa oasomiš kulâ, âmŋio˜ sta eǰosâ pto; âćti âni, ǰenastâi. [ZX] Somewhere from out there. They say we came somewhere from Arabia, right? We kept coming and coming to a place down there called Kâmâ, and we stayed there. Then we came up and spent so many years here and there up and down the Pech Valley; then they went up to Ktivi. When some of the Nuristânis came there to Ktivi, one of their brothers went over to the Willow Valley [Řâmgal] side. One of their brothers went over there, But they told us, "This valley is an empty valley; there's mountain pastureland; you go and settle here if you can endure it;" and so we came down the slopes to here, so they would say. They gave their permission, and they came here and settled down.
[RS] šo de, ktivi ǰena·saň â? nâi. vâr' to. [RS] Did you settle in Ktivi or somewhere else?
[ZX] ktivi gati âvâl âmna âlla mânša de sâip_â, dü, čând xånâ â·ki oastâi. â·kist☠âmŋio˜ meṣ vari meṣ etifoq kti âni âar oastâi. âni bummiš 'ti âćti ine to pâta bistâi. pâta bati če, ina gul to sâip_â, xudâ, io sta lu·sumât [?] to, bistâi ânü. [ZX] At first the people who came went to Ktivi; two, a few households came there. Then they made an agreement and they came to this side. They decided to stay here, and they remain in this [valley]. They remained and have been right here in this valley under their own lu·sumât [?].
[RS] pâmařu poar de, kâča nâ oa·sala â? [RS] Couldn't anyone have come from Munjân?
[ZX] pâmařu poar de, âmna nâ oastâi. ina put to, nire put to `ča oastâi. âmna eṭa mânša giǰa kunta sâip_â o·i [?] gekti bâdâxšon poara gati, gekti vü târistâi, `di kunta. eṭa giǰa kunta nâi, âmna de kâta âćti âni ina âar oastâi; imo gekti `ča oasomiš kunta. ou˜. [ZX] They didn't come from the Munjân side. They came up via this down-country path. Some people do say that they came via Badakhshân and crossed over this way. Some say no, that the Kâta came here via this way; but we came up the valley like this. Yes.
[RS] suara šo ǰe kâta de, ǰudo bi·saň â? nâi. küře˜ küře˜ mi_âsaň. [RS] Well, did you and the Kâta split up, or are you just separate?
[ZX] e˜, imo de, kâta, XXX totbřo suara suanti, dini vari to XXX ea målum buna sâip. mon; de·saňi; bâgiṣṭ; âmna âmna di vo bunta; imo di vo bummiš. âmŋio˜ sta qonun, râ·sam, but pârâsti dini kudüm âmŋio˜ kâi_âsala bo, imoa di âska_âsa. âskea, dini vari to pi·kir kařa bo de, ev_âsamiš sâip. štrak qâumiât de ev_âsamiš kummiš imo. ina řâmgula˜ sta; ktivaňi, sâip, imo püre, kâta. ea totbřo_âsamiš. ina kom čok pâapik_âsa kunta. gita ne? kunta kâi_âsala bo. kom de pâabik_âsa; imo ina ǰe ktivaňi gati če, peň řâmgula sta; vâi, âmna suanti ea totbřo_âsamiš kunta. ou˜, ea totbřo de vâi_âsa; imo ǰe kâta, püre kâta ǰe gati řâmgul poar âmna suanti ev_âsamiš kunta. gita_âsa ne? kunta sâip. ṣâŋe mânša. [ZX] Well, we and the Kâta [xxx] agnates, but in all the religious affairs they're known as one [?]. Mon, Disaňi, Bâgiṣṭ. They have them, and we have them, too. Whatever their laws, customs, idol worship, and religious business might have been, ours were that, too. If one thinks about the religious practices, we're one. Now we even say that we're one in our tribal descent. The ones from Willow Valley, Ktivi, and our Kâta over there [in the Lanḍai Sin Valley] -- we're one agnatic group. The Kom are a bit further away, they say. It's like that, right, they say, whatever that means. The Kom are further away; but we and the Ktivi people and the ones from Willow Valley over there and the Vâi are all one agnatic group, they say. Yes, the Vâi are one agnatic group -- we and the Kâta, the Kâta from over there and out to the Willow Valley side, we're all one, they say. It's like that, the old-time people say, right?
[RS] âni ṣâŋe delua˜ višta kuto˜ to ... [RS] In the old days here while they were praising the gods ...
[ZX] debaloala. [ZX] The God-Caller.
[RS] ou˜. âmgi šo viri to vilânâsi â? nâi. kâta viri to? [RS] Yes. Would they recite in your language or in the Kâta language?
[ZX] kâta vari, samtrua kti ča˜, imo vari čok sâxta vari_âsa? nâi â. kâta vari di samtrua kti vâllânâsi. ou˜. âmna sâip_â, bâr_aň sta âveti, ina pilâni sta `de sta, `de sta, ˁisât, pilâni `de sta, âa, nom, ina ândosâ to bulo, pilåni sta `de sta, pârâstiš; but pârâsti inâ ândosâ to bulo. pilåni `de sta but pârâsti ina ândosâ to bulo kti, vâllâla bunta âmŋi. tårix vâllâla bunta. â·kist☠oasomiš â·kist☠â·kist☠â·kist☠oasomiš gita suara kti vâllâla bunta. pštrak âmna iot nâ bistâi nâi â? imoa. nâibo streati nâčeati, âmŋi de vari_âsiâ! imo biâqal mânša sâip âmŋio˜ to imoa kušaš nâ kařâ! âni e riš sâfid_âsi, kor kor tårix loa˜ mânša ṣâŋe vari iot vo_âsi âska. kor zâmonâ zâmonâ vari vâllâla_âsi. âske to i·a sâip, ine to stroalomiš 'ti pi·kir_âsi; bârâbâr nâ bom âska de oasaom bo sâip, zavor mâřa·so. ou˜, gita sta âske sâip_â, iâ·kunim sât sål bi·sa âska. sâ·i vari iot vo_âsi, âǰabâ âǰabâ vari vo. inea vari, kâa vari bi bo, stroalom vašti fi·kir to bom? â nâi â. bârâbâr nâ bom sâip. ou˜. [ZX] In mixed up Kâta language, since our language is a bit difficult, isn't it? They would speak in mixed up Kâta language. Yes. They would bring it from outside, and they would be saying that such-and-such god's honor, uh, such-and-such god's good name should be this amount, and that such-and-such god's idol worship should be this amount. They would recite history. They would say that we came from there, and there, and there, and so on. Now these aren't remembered by us, are they? Otherwise, if they had been written down and kept, they would have been some story! We stupid people didn't make any effort toward them! There was a greybeard here; he had memory of former history way back many generations. He would recite stories from times way past. I thought that we should write it down from him; but I wasn't together, and when I came around to it, he had died, in the winter. Yes, like he was a hundred and fifty years old. He had memory of the correct story, wonderful stories. I thought that I should write down his stories, whatever they were, right? But I wasn't together. Yes.
[RS] vâre kâča de źâňala nâ bunta? [RS] Aren't there any others who know?
[ZX] vâre, kâča âni kâča âmna, ṣâŋe mânša kâča, nâ ü pćinastâi âa? mâřastâi o! suanti pâa guâ. eṭe eṭa mânša zâňala bula bi de âmna, ṣâŋe vari sâip, mâgâr âz i, lesta kti kṣṭa kti vâllâla mânša âni nâ_âi. pâa pâa guâ âni di. âmna ṣâŋe vari, tårixi to šâuq, imo mânša nâ vo bunta. püre mânša de šâuq vo bunta, ia˜ mâˁlum_âsa sâip. âmŋi de iotgâr biliuk lesta vo bunta. [ZX] There aren't any other old-time people settled here. They've died off! They're all gone. There might be a few who know these old-time stories, but there aren't any here who speak as well and purely as he. They've all passed on here. Our people don't have the passion for these old-time, historical stories. The people over there have the passion, I´m aware of that. They have very good remembrances.
[RS] püre kuiu? [RS] Over there where?
[ZX] âmna kâta bulâ, kom bulâ. mâgâr âni ânista čândon âmŋi gita stoa˜ to kušaš nâ vo bunta. debaloala ṣâŋe sâip âmna lesta tårix vâllânasi. [ZX] Like the Kâta and the Kom. But the ones from here don't have much effort toward such things. In the old days the God-Callers recited history well.


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