Topics in Vâsi Ethnography

by

Zamân Xân

recorded and translated by

Richard F. Strand


3. Agnates

[RS] šo viri to totbřo ŋe t’âdbâ kunaň nâi â?. [RS] In your language you say t’âdbâ for ‘agnate,’ don't you?
[ZX] ou˜. t’âdbâ. t’âdbâ kummiš. [ZX] Yes. t’âdbâ. We say t’âdbâ.
[RS] ou˜. t’âdbâ, âmgi tuare˜ sta, e vâr nom_âsa â? šo sta viri to. [RS] Yes. t’âdbâ. Do the close ones have another name, in your language?
[ZX] âa, imo sta tuare˜ sta t’âdbâ âska nom_âsa sâip_â. pad’akpâk tâdbâ. imoa tuare˜ sta âmni âi. ou˜. [ZX] Uh, our close agnates have the name pad’akpâk tâdbâ. Those are our close ones. Yes.
[RS] ea pâćoa mânšoa˜ sta âi â? [RS] Are they from the people of one lineage ["branch"]?
[ZX] ou˜. ea pâćoa mânšoa˜ sta âi sâip âmgi. [ZX] Yes. They're from the people of one lineage.
[RS] â·kiste küře˜ küře˜ pa... [RS] Then separate pa...
[ZX] â·kiste˜ sâip_â, čok i-âar in'âar bi sta totbřo suanti bâ nâi â? mâgâr XXX totbřo imo sta; pad’akpâk. totbřo de hâr sta [?] biliuk âi. mâgâr âtüňa sta [?] imo sta, nom i·a_âsa. âlâqâ mi i·a_âsa. pat’akpâk kunta. [ZX] Then, all agnates are a little to this side or that side, aren't they? But our [xxx] agnates: pad’akpâk. There are a lot of agnates of every kind. But that's the name of our inner ones. That's just the concern [?]. They say pat’akpâk.
[RS] â·kiste âmgi de kâa šo pâmüč kâa kâřik enaň. [RS] So then, what do they --what you do among yourselves?
[ZX] io pâmüč de, totbřo âšta ne etifoq âi âmgi sâip. pad’akpâk i·a månå_âsa ča˜; âmni, kâča imo pâćoa sta mřeti biâulot bati mřeti pâi·salâ bi bo nâi â? ev âćti ǰenta sâip â·ki, imro âmo to ǰenta. ou˜. âküňe [?] mânša âi nâi â? imo sta âsxut. pâd’akpâk imo sta imo sta imro vâňi âskea âvalot nâ vo bati püs bi bo; âmna pâd’akpâk eṭa âćti sâip imo sta âmo to ǰenta. am’al to âmni bunta sâip. extior vo bunta. [ZX] Among themselves, they're agnates, right? They're unified. The meaning of pad’akpâk is this, that if someone of our lineage dies without offspring and there was a decision, right? Some come and occupy Imro's house. Yes. They're people of the family [? âküňe], aren't they? Our relatives. pâd’akpâk. If our guardian of Imro disappears without having offspring, some from the pâd’akpâk come and occupy our house. They settle in the am’al. They have the authority.
[RS] â·kiste vâre kâa kâřik io pâmüč totbřo, kâa kunta. totbřo vor šo sta âqidâ to kâi_âsa. [RS] Then what else do agnates do among each other? What is "agnation" in your opinion?
[ZX] totbřo vor de i·a_âsa sâip_â; ina eṭa, peič’âk tâdbâ kunta sâip_â. âska p’eičâk tâdbâ di_âsa, ev. âskea giǰa kunta de, âskea křâmkřam to p’eičâk âćti, kâmkřum to âvâl pařučkol unći bo. âvâl o, p’eičâk tâdbâ unći bo; âska kâmkřam to nâ enta eṭa mânša. bibârâkât buna_ âmna mânša, kunta. [ZX] Agnation is like this. There's this group called peič’âk tâdbâ. There’s this one p’eičâk tâdbâ. They say that if a p’eičâk comes to a threshing ground, if he shows up at a threshing ground first thing in the morning, if a p’eičâk tâdbâ shows up first thing, some people won't go to the threshing ground. These people say it would be unlucky.
[RS] strak di kti kunta. [RS] Do they still do that?
[ZX] nâi nâi nâi. ṣâŋe. ṣâŋe. [laugh] p’eičâk tâdbâ âćti; vâňi bo âvâl. pařučkol. utro lesta nâ bo ina bârâkât nâ bulo imo to. kâmkâm nâ kummo strak garǰor. kula bunta sâip. p’eičâk to gita kula bunta sâip_â. âmna vâra, suaroa˜ to gita sta nâ_âsa. suaroa˜ to de gita sta nâ_âsa. [ZX] No, no, no. Formerly. Formerly. [laugh] If they would come and see a p’eičâk tâdbâ first thing in the morning, they would say, "Son of a bitch, this isn't good; luck will not befall us; We shouldn't thresh today. They would say that to the p’eičâk. It wasn't like that with these others. It wasn't like that with the others.
mâgâr, vâsut mâra˜ to XXX skol buti; gul ḍâkara bi bo; pâzg’am tâdbâ gul; ir kšaň; sof kšaň; šo. imro sta qonun šo kšaňa; šo mi usar kšaň, â·küňe, â·küre sta_âsaň; imro sta, šo â·küre_âsaň. šo usar kšaň kunta. â·kist☠usar kâi_âsa, sâip. usar i·a_âsa ča˜ â·kist☠âṣṭić pâu; âni sâmr’i kunta nâi â? u kti u kti u kti ü_âṭleati; ea čârâk ânua pâćeř âtleati; sâmr’i kunta âskea. tua vâňi sta bâlla â? nâ vâňi sta bâlla bo. âṣṭić pâu mâsâmr’i kunta; gum. suara âṣṭić, vâsa bunta. âmŋio˜ âveti mâidon to u temmiš, gřâmi suanti âćanta; duvo kummiš sâip. duvo kařa bo sâip_â; â·kist☠gul ir buna kunta; šo totbřo, pad’akpâk tâdbâ pazg’am tâdbâ gul ir kšaňa šo; xudâi to usar kšaň imro to kunta nâi â? imo âṣṭić go âṣṭić pâu; sâmr’i. âṣṭić vâsa. âmgi âveti duvo kummiš. ou˜. â·kist☠gul ir buna kunta. i·a de_âsa sâip. [laugh] But in spring after there had been a lot of deaths [?], when the weather was bad, they would tell the pâzg’am tâdbâ to make the weather clear, to clear it up. "Follow Imro's law; just make a plea; you're part of Imro's family [? â·küňe]; you're part of the family. Make a plea." So then, what's a plea? A plea is this: eighteen pâu [roughly, ‘pounds’] of what they call here sâmr’i right? They make a lot a pancakes and throw them in; they throw in a čârâk [4 pâu] of ghee on top, and call it sâmr’i. Might you have seen it or not? Eighteen pâu of what they call mâsâmr’i, with wheat. Further, there would be eighteen nanny goats. We would bring them and set them up in the field; the citizens would all come, and we would pray. When the prayer was made, they say that the weather would become clear. They would say, "You agnates, pad’akpâk tâdbâ, pazg’am tâdbâ, make the weather clear; make a plea to God, to Imro," right? We would bring eighteen cows, eighteen pâu of sâmr’i, and eighteen nanny goats and pray. Yes. Then the weather would clear up, they say. There was that, too. [laugh]
[RS] âska mün nâ_âsa â? mün âmo to kâča ǰela bâlla. [RS] You know the mün? Who would occupy the mün's house?
[ZX] mün mi ǰena ča. âska kâča ǰeṣṭ_âsa bo. xâirât âta lâsi·sa bo. âska ǰena. [ZX] Just the mün would occupy it. Whoever was the elder. If he had put on [?] a feast. He would occupy it.
[RS] âska âmo mi pâta bula_âsa â? [RS] Would he just remain in the house?
[ZX] âmo âvâl pâta bula buna nâi â? ea de ćoa_âsa âske sta ćoa. âske sta totbřo_âsa nâi â? tâdbâ âske sta tâdbâ, to ea mânša ârovor vo buti, xâirât pta bo; xâirât kâa qonuni xâirât_âsa. âska špâi xâirât pta bo če, âska âćti, bâra i tu [for ]. müna u teati, XXX, xâirât kâřo, i. i. kunta. [ZX] At first he would be remaining in the house, right? There would be one from his lineage, his agnate, right? If there was a man from his agnates who was wealthy, and if he gave a feast, and if the feast was a legal one, if he put on a feast that was agreed on, he would come and say, "You get out." He would get the mün up and say, "I made the feast; get out."
[RS] e˜. â·kiste toř_âšana. [RS] So. Then would he kick him out?
[ZX] ou˜. suarea toř_âšanta sâip. [laugh] [ZX] Yes. They would kick the other one out. [laugh]
[RS] âska â·kiste âmu sta âmo to giti ǰena â? [RS] Then would he go and live in his own house?
[ZX] âmu sta vâre âmu sta âmo to ena sâip. âska suara xâirât kula mânša âćti âta lâsana. [ZX] He would go to his other house. The other man who had given the feast would come and take it over.
[RS] ṣṭâle˜ â? giǰa bo io pâmüč de kâṣkoṣ enta. [RS] Really? If that's it, they would compete for it among themselves.
[ZX] kâṣkoṣ_âsa sâip. ou˜ totbřoa˜ pâmüč. âska [?] suara koṭ kuna â·kiste˜ gati ṣâřa tena, ṣâřa tena. âska toř_âša mânša xâirât bârâbâr kâřa bo; di âska xâirât přeti âćti `di toř_âšana âska. peć bâra i kuna sâip. ou˜ i·a de_âsa. [laugh] [ZX] Yes, there would be competition among agnates. The other one prevails, then the evicted man goes and raises more livestock. If he gets a feast together, he gives a feast again and comes back and evicts the other one. "Go on, get out," he says. Yes, there was that. [laugh]
mâgâr suaroa˜ to i·a âsa; i˜ to nâ_âsa sâip. i˜ to sâip, ea ćoa kâa_âsamiš bo; âska mi âsam o˜ć. ou˜. âtra˜ [?] nâ âća˜ bânta sâip_â. But this happens to the others; it doesn't happen to me. With me, whatever there is about our lineage, I'm the only one. Yes. They can't intrude on me.
[RS] kedi? [RS] Why?
[ZX] imo de, kedi kařa bo sâip_â, imo sta, oal čâu·ki_âsa, nâi â? imo de hârâkât nâ_âsa sâip_â. imo de, då·im, âmešâ u psila_âsamiš. suara kâča xâirât kařa bo âta âćti âmŋio˜ u tioanta sâip. âmŋio˜ tâu [?] kunta sâip. [ZX] If you ask why, we occupy the big seat. We don't have to move. We are always settled down permanently. But if someone else made a feast, they would come in and stand him up. They would have the power.


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