Topics in Vâsi Ethnography

by

Zamân Xân

recorded and translated by

Richard F. Strand


15. Community Administration

[RS] ina gřom bâṭa bâṭa kti_âsa â? lâ·kâ âmgio˜ sta gřom to čem čem vo bunta. âni de gita sta_âsa â? [RS] Is this village divided up into divisions? For instance, in their [my companions from Nišeigrâm] villages they have čems. Is it the same here?
[ZX] ou˜. l’ârek p’alâik. in' âara sta. ni’oriok p’alâik. niň poara sta. l’ârek p’alâik. ni’oriok p’alâik. ž’üriok p’alâik. v’âriok p’alâik. [ZX] Yes. l’ârek p’alâik ‘the ones from this side’. ni’oriok p’alâik ‘the ones from the down river side’. l’ârek p’alâik. ni’oriok p’alâik. ž’üriok p’alâik. v’âriok p’alâik.
[RS] pal’ek kâi_âsa. [RS] What's pal’ek?
[ZX] pal’eik. [ZX] pal’eik.
[??] ... paleik, baral vora tâň mânša. niriok p’aleik, nir vor tâň mânša. lârek p’aleik, âtar vor tâň mânša. voriok p’aleik, baral vor tâň mânša. ǰasta buna. [??] ... paleik, the people toward the river. niriok p’aleik, the people down river. lârek p’aleik, the people away from the river. voriok p’aleik, the people toward the river. It's like that.
[RS] `ča paleik âi âni? [RS] How many paleiks are there here?
[ZX] što paleik âi o. [ZX] There are four paleiks.
[RS] âmgi totbřo iâio paleik a˜ to bunta â? nâi â. muṣara kti. [RS] Do the clans live in their own paleiks, or are they mixed up?
[ZX] nâi nâi nâi. muṣara bati. totbřo de muṣara bunta sâip. [ZX] No, no, no. Mixed up. The agnates are mixed together.
[RS] âmgi ea to˜ nâ bunta âa? [RS] They don't live in one place?
[ZX] ea to˜ nâ bunta ou˜. [ZX] They don't live in one place.
[RS] âmgi paleika˜ to. âmgio˜ sta kâa küře˜ küře˜ hu·kumât âsa â? [RS] Are there separate governments for each of the paleiks?
[ZX] nâi nâi nâi. imo kuiu, io pâmüč kuiu vari to, âvolâ, kâřa bo nâi â? l’âriok p’aleik de, egek přelo, n’iriok p’aleik egek přelo, v’oriok p’aleik egek přelo, tâqsimât âvolâ bi bo; gekti vřâgâmmiš. ou˜. [ZX] No, no, no. Whenever we make assignments among ourselves for some business, right? The l’âriok p’aleik should give so much; the n’iriok p’aleik should give so much; the v’oriok p’aleik should give so much; if there's an assignment by divisions, that's how we get it. Yes.
[RS] âmgi eraŋsta eraŋsta bomrik ... [RS] Are they all about equal ...
[ZX] ou˜. eraŋsta eraŋsta bomrik âi. ˀisob âi, âmgi. ou˜. [ZX] Yes. They're all about equal. They're counted up. Yes.
[RS] ura de ... [RS] What about the ur’a [village policemen].
[ZX] ur’i. [ZX] ur’i.
[RS] ur’i. kâakti nuksoanta. paleika˜ to nuksoanta â? nâi â. [RS] ur’i. How do they choose them? Are they chosen by paleiks, or not?
[ZX] ura de kuiu kudüm ḍu bi bo, âske to sâip_â, âska kudüm ḍu bula vari to, ura, âćti če˜, tü gita kša, tü ina kša kti ča˜, ḍu bula våqi vari to âmna ur’i nuksoanta sâip. ou˜. [ZX] Whenever some problem shows up, the ur’i come to that problem and tell people, "You do this and you do that." They choose the ur’i for something that shows up. Yes.
[RS] suara âmgi paleika˜ to de, nâ ... [RS] So for the paleiks ...
[ZX] pal’eika˜ to nâ_âsa. ura de, vari to âsa, nâi â? e vari ḍu bi bo; âskea vari to, âmna, tü gita kša tu sta vari ina bo i·a bo kti vâllânta sâip. âska de umumi vari_âsa sâip. ou˜. [ZX] They're not by pal’eiks. The magistrates are for a problem, right? If a problem shows up, they tell them, "You do this; your job is this and that" That's a general affair. Yes.
[RS] vâre kâa kudüm_âsa, âmna pal’eika˜ to. [RS] What other business do the pal’eiks have?
[ZX] pal’eika˜ to vâre kâa kudüm nâ_âsa sâip_â. ina kuiu kâa vålâ [?] bi sta e lâtri vřagâla bummiš bo; tu paleik egek přeloš, tu, n’iriok p’aleik egek přeloš. v’oriok p’aleik egek přeloš. ina gita sta_âsa. dâa vřâgâla bummiš bo, suara kâa e viščo ḍu bi bo, ou˜. âmno˜ to sâip_â tü egek přeloš. n’iriok p’aleik egek přeloš, v’oriok p’aleik egek přeloš, gekti vřâgâmmiš, ou˜. [ZX] The pal’eiks don't have any other business. Whenever we have to get something for some assignment, we say that you should give so much to your paleik; you should give so much to your n’iriok p’aleik; you should give so much to the v’oriok p’aleik. It's like that. If we have to get wood, or if a guest shows up, then we say that you should give them so much; you should give the n’iriok p’aleik so much; you should give the v’oriok p’aleik so much. Yes, that's how we get it.
[RS] â·kiste io pâmüč âr pal’eik e ǰeṣ bomrik mânša buna â? [RS] Then is there a leader among each pal’eik?
[ZX] nâi nâi nâi. ǰeṣṭ nâ XXX. [ZX] No, no, no. There's no leader.
[RS] âmna mün de strak di kti âi â? [RS] Are there still müns?
[ZX] ou˜. mün, nom to štrak di âšt', ou˜. [ZX] Yes. They still exist in name.
[RS] lâ·kâ tü mün_â·ša â? [RS] For instance, you're a mün, right?
[ZX] ou˜. ou˜. [ZX] Yes, yes.
[RS] što mün âi â? âni. [RS] Are there four müns here?
[ZX] ou˜. [ZX] Yes.
[RS] âmgi ǰeṣṭ bunta â? â·kiste. [RS] Then, do they act as leaders?
[ZX] â·kiste âmna mün sâip_â, nom, lâqâb mün âsa? nâi â. âmna sâiba totbřo sta ǰeṣṭ kša âa? totbřo sta ǰeṣṭ. [ZX] The müns have the name or title mün, right? You mean the leaders of the agnates? The agnates' leaders.
[RS] suara gřâmi, ˀumumi kudüm ḍu bi bo, âmgi viria˜ to ǰeṣṭ kâča bunta. [RS] But if some general business shows up, who gets to be the leader of the citizenry for these things?
[ZX] âni ˀumumi vari bi bo sâip, suanti ǰeṣṭ vâsaŋařeati, ǰeṣṭ kâča_âsa bo, vâsaŋařeati kudüm kunta. kâa, sâriât vari bi bo; mulo kâča bi bo âske to enta. [ZX] If there's some general business here, all the leaders, whoever they may be, are gathered together and do the business. If there's some business relating to Islamic law, they go to a mullah, whoever he may be.
[RS] suara ǰeṣṭ kâča bunta. mün de ǰeṣ koř bunta â? [RS] But who becomes a leader? Are the müns made leaders?
[ZX] mün ǰeṣṭ nâ bunta sâip_â. [ZX] The müns don't become leaders.
[RS] nâ bunta â? [RS] They don't?
[ZX] ǰeṣṭ nâ bunta. giâ noma sta lâqâb nom_âsa nâi â? oal' âmo vo âšt' âmŋi sâip. suara, mâlak kâča âi bo, u·kumât to ni gati `ča âlla mânša ǰeṣṭ âska buna! suara âmna riš sâfit måbâin kâča âi bo âmna âćti vari sâip, e vari bi bo âmna pok kula bunta. ou˜ gita sta âi. [ZX] They don't become leaders. It's just a title, right? They have big houses. But whoever is a mâlak, a man who goes down to the government and comes back, he becomes a leader. But some among the greybeards will come when there's a problem and clear it up. Yes, they're like that.
[RS] malak, `ča mâlak âi âni břâkom. [RS] How many mâlaks are there here in the village?
[ZX] břâkom, â, ea mi_âsa âa? ou˜. âska ea mâlak muqoror nâ_âsa sâip. kui ea buna, kui suara buna sâip, kâča vari zâňala bi bo âmŋio˜ utioammiš. suara vari sâip_â, imo sta pâtâni, ˀislo to; måbâin kâča riš sâfit bi bo, lea lea riš sâfit. âmŋio˜ tü di âć tü di âć kti vari pok kummiš. ou˜. [ZX] I guess there's just one in the village. Yes. That single mâlak is not fixed. Sometimes it's one; sometimes it's another. We raise up whomever knows the situation. But if there are some greybeards in the midst who can improve the situation, some good greybeards, we tell them each to come, too, and clear up the affair. Yes.
[RS] nire di gita sta_âsa? pal’eik vo bunta â? nire. [RS] Is it like that down the valley? Do they have pal’eiks down there?
[ZX] ou˜. [ZX] Yes.
[??] ou˜. â·ki di čând pal’eik vo bula âi, ou˜. [??] Yes. They have a few pal’eiks there, too.
[RS] âr gřom to pal’eik âi â? [RS] Are there pal’eiks in every village?
[??] âr gřom tâ pal’eik âi, ou˜. [??] Yes, there are pal’eiks in every village.
[RS] ur’i de âi â? [RS] Are there ur’i, too?
[ZX] ur’i di âsala, â·ki di. ur’i di vo âi, ou˜. [ZX] There probably are ur’i there, too. Yes, they have ur’i, too.


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