Topics in Vâsi Ethnography

by

Zamân Xân

recorded and translated by

Richard F. Strand


5. Agnation

[RS] xo, giǰa bo de strak râvoč de, kâi_âsa. šo pâmüč totbřo ... [RS] Well, if that's it, then what is the current custom between agnates?
[ZX] âska totbřo mi âšta sâip_â. âska totbřo. [ZX] They're still there, the clan.
[RS] io pâmüč kâa kunaň. [RS] What do you do among yourselves?
[ZX] io pâmüč âska totbřo nom vâ [?] sâip, vâre kudüm bo nâi, islomiât to dåxil bo, mânša. âmna viri pâa guâ. [ZX] Among themselves making a name in the clan -- other things happened, didn't they? The people entered into the knowledge of Islâm. These [old] ways subsided.
[RS] ea mânša tu sta totbřo ǰâňi bo. â·kiste kâra˜ kula tü bunša â? nâi. [RS] If a man kills your agnate, then do you become the one who does revenge, or not?
[ZX] ou˜. ina totbřo sâip kumâk nâŋgi, qomi nâŋgi. qom to ǧâirât kunta nâi â? i˜ sta qom ke gita sta bulo kti vâr' bâkul biliuk kumâk, âska kunta sâip. ina imo to gita sta, qom ǰângi nâ_âsa sâip_â. ina lot, umumi lot, gřâmi vâsaŋařati lot kâřa bo; âske to pe enta. nâŋ ǰângi ina gul to nâ_âsa sâip. ina qom; ḍâl bunta nâi â? âska ḍâl bo âšana to [?], imo gul to nâ_âsa sâip. o gita sta_âsa sâip. [ZX] Yes. The clan helps with tribal disgrace. They defend the honor of the tribe, right? They think, ‘Why should this happen to my tribe," and they give a lot of help [to their fellows] in other countries. We don't have this kind of intra-tribal warfare. If the citizens gather together and make a general peace, they keep to it. There's no warfare over honor in this country. This tribe becomes ḍâl [?], right? Since there's ḍâl, there's none of that in our country. That's the way it is.
[RS] šo de mâldâra vo bunaň â? [RS] Do you have mother's agnates?
[ZX] imo mâldâra vo_âsamiš, ou˜. [ZX] Yes, we have mother's agnates.
[RS] šo viri to kâi_âsa, mâldâra. [RS] What is "mother's agnates" in your language?
[ZX] imo, mel’igdar. mel’igdar. [ZX] Ours is mel’igdar. mel’igdar.
[RS] dar kunaň â? [RS] You say dar?
[ZX] ou˜. dar kummiš, ou˜. [ZX] Yes, we say dar.
[RS] šo viri to? [RS] In your language?
[ZX] ou˜. mel’igdar kummiš. [ZX] Yes. We say mel’igdar.
[RS] strak šo totbřo ǰü štri kula bunaň â? de. [RS] Nowadays do you marry your agnates' daughters?
[ZX] ou˜. ou˜. strak kåkåzâdâ kunta sâip_â. ṣâŋe de sâip_â; puč âa lo˜ sta nâ kunâsi kâča âsxut bi bo; tuare˜ tuare˜ epšak tuare˜ bi bo di, bilqo hârom c̣âmeati tuare˜ mi nâ enâsi sâip. strak kunta sâip. [ZX] Yes, yes. Nowadays they call them kåkåzâdâ [Pashto: ‘paternal uncle's child’]. Formerly, they wouldn't marry anyone within five generations. If any relative was slightly close, they would consider them absolutely prohibited and not even go near them. Now they marry them.
[RS] puč lo˜ ... [RS] Five generations ...
[ZX] nâ kulâsi sâip. nâ kulâsi. ou˜. [ZX] They wouldn't marry them. They wouldn't marry them. Yes.
[RS] puč lo˜ ter bi bo di, [RS] And if they were beyond five generations?
[ZX] tir bi bo ča kunâsi sâip. ṣâŋe gita kunâsi ou˜. [ZX] If they were beyond, they would marry them. That's how they used to do it in the old days. Yes.
[RS] suara, lâ·kâ, šo sta totbřo de, puč lo˜ to, ea bâdüř totbřo ǰü bi bo de, kula bunta â? [RS] So, for instance, if there were an agnate's daughter more distant than five generations, they would marry her?
[ZX] ou˜. kula bunta. ou˜. kui_âsa bo de bâdüř sta bi bo; kunâsi. imo sta epšak, ina imo to âa, imo mânša imo poara sta nâ·sal to nisdik; ina, tuare˜_âsa viša bo; nâ kunâsi kâča. strak di kunta o. strak ǰåri bo nâi ? pâa guâ âmna kudüm. ṣâŋe nâ kunâsi sâip. ou˜. [ZX] Yes, they would marry her. Yes. Wherever she would be, if she were a distant one, they would marry her. If they thought that she was even a little close to their line, no one would marry her. Now they do it! It's current now, right? Those doings are finished. Before they wouldn't marry them.
[RS] mâldâra de strak kâa kunta, šo ŋe. [RS] What do your mother's agnates do for you nowadays.
[ZX] mâldâra, mel, mâm, to oasam kti ea mânša giti, ina vâr' gul to de râvoč biliuk_âsa sâip_â. mâm, to ṣâŋe mâma gâati, iâš přeti, sâvât přela bunta sâip_â. dâvât to gâala bunta. ina XXX de biliuk kula bunta sâip. mâgâr vâr' gul to de, pamâlküř emmiš 'ti gekti biliuk lâtri âvela bunta; mâgâr âni čândon i·a nâ_âsa sâip. nâi. pamâlküř čândon nâ enta âni. ou˜. kâča âsxut bi bo de, kuiua kâa ḍagar' kudüm pâido bi bo, xârča bula bi bo, enta; âsxut to mi enta sâip. pamâlküř giti ča, âske to čândon, râvoč ... [ZX] In other countries here it is very customary for a man to go and say, "I've come to my maternal uncle, my mother's agnate." In the old days they would take a maternal uncle and feed him and give him sâvât [?] They would take him to parties. They would do this [?] a lot. But in other countries they would get a lot of things by going around to their maternal uncles. But here there's not so much of that. No. They don't go around to their maternal uncles much. Yes, they go if someone is a relative, and some bad business turns up, and if he has provisions. They just go to relatives. Going to maternal uncles isn't very customary ...


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