|Apart from these means of livelihood within the village, some of the villagers|
make a living by buying and selling. Pedlars are the most common of these.
The only stock in trade needed for peddling is a donkey or two, and a little
money. In Sakaltutan three men, all with little land of their own, Abudllah
(PB 2), Mustafa (VT 3), and Halil Ibrahim (FA 1), were engaged in peddling
this summer. Mustafa (VY 3), had been a village shepherd the previous
summer. The other two were old men, one whose grown son went regularly
away to work, and the other whose brother ploughed his land as a yarici. His
sons, born of a young second wife, were still very small. These pedlars
collected eggs, rag, scraps of wool, and apricot stones in the village, sold them
in Kayseri, and bought back cheap seasonal fruit or vegetables, earthernware
cooking pots, trinkets and so on. These would make one or two trips a week
to the town, often trading in other villages as well. Profits appeared to range
from five to seven T.L. a trip.
At a slightly higher economic level, villagers may open a shop for a period -
that is, they may bring a load of goods out to the village from the town by
lorry, the goods being mainly apples, raisins, currants, fat, nuts, paraffin, soap
and perhaps cloth, and sell them until the stock is exhausted. In Sakaltutan,
Bilal ran a shop two years ago, Surriye (DS 4) also claimed to have run a shop
for a year or two some time back, Musa (IB 1) opened a shop early in my stay
with a small stock which he did not replenish, and a man from another village
with a Sakaltutanli wife (BA) came to the village for the winter, bringing in a
good stock of things, which he had sold out by the spring, then went away
leaving a number of debts for collection at the harvest. Such unskilled shop-
keeping gives uncertain profit. In some of the larger neighbouring villages
there are permanent shops, but, owing to the influx of migrant labourers in
the winter months, with money in their pockets, these are usually
supplemented by temporary competition during the winter. Among all these
occupations, there is a correlation between wealth in land and the level of non-
agricultural employment. The shepherds, labourers and pedlars come from
poor families with little or no land, the schoolmaster, the builders, the
|carpenters all belong to families whose land alone would give them at least a|
competence. Of the latter, only the carpenter is dependent to any considerable
extent to his craft, and then not for subsistence but for the maintenance of his
standard of living as one of the leading households.
Finally, these sources of income within the village are limited, covering in all
only about 24 households. Of these, the four main share-cropping families,
one landless labourer, and the eight herdsmen can all be said to be engaged
directly in agriculture; of the rest, the pedlars, the craftsmen and the
specialists have land of their own, one or two of them plenty. Only the
watchman is both landless and employed on non-agricultural work. Within
the village, then the economy is entirely agricultural.
|The reverse of these occupations seen as sources of income is their function as|
services. For the sake of completeness I therefore propose to digress at this
point in order to list briefly the main economic services to the villages. This
list will involve a little repetition.
Immediate agricultural needs are usually met either in the village or in the
local group of villages. That is to say the villagers trade with each other for
money, or barter grain, straw, seed for vegetables and so on Vine shoots are
given away gratis. Since most households are self-sufficient in all these things,
trade is slight. Animals also are often bought locally. If a man wants to by an
ox, the news travels around the village and those with oxen to sell hear of it.
Sooner or later he finds one to his liking. One man who wishes to buy a pair
of oxen went all the way to Adana because he heard a rumour that they were
cheaper there, but finding the rumour false he returned and bought one beast
each from Kb village and Ac village. Markets are held in Kayseri, and once a
week there is a market in Tomarza, the next nahiye centre out from
Sakaltutan, which is cheaper than Kayseri for animals and also for agricultural
products. Milling was, until recently, done in this town, but this year nine
|men of Sl village have clubbed together and built a mill, powered by a diesel|
motor. Their success has been followed up in Sakaltutan where a mill was due
to start operating very soon after I left. A miller takes, traditionally, a
twentieth part of wheat and rye and one fifteenth of barley, as his fee for
The larger and more wealthy villages have shops; in Zk village for example,
for two hundred households there were said to be no less than six. These
shops sell the obvious things, salt, sugar, cigarettes, fruit, paraffin (kerosene),
lamp spares, soap and so one, and an important item, plain white cloth for
making shrouds. Sakaltutan had no shop, and when a death occurred someone
had to rush to the nearest village with a shop to buy material for the shroud.
Other needs in Sakaltutan were met by pedlars, who brought the same range
of items, with the addition of earthenware cooking pots, cloth and agricultural
instruments, such as wooden forks, shovels and rakes.
Apart from these, certain craftsmen, for example, builders, and carpenters,
serve the whole area in which they reside. Others travel round, mostly
residing in the village as a guest, or setting up a combined workship and living
room in an empty oda. Twice during my stay a tinsmith arrived. A larger
proportion of drinking cups, pots and pans and water jugs are made of tinned
copper, which needs retinning regularly. Both men stayed about two weeks,
although owing to the bad harvest they said there was a good deal less work
than usual. another common visitor is the shoeing smith, who shoes oxen.
The animal is tied up to wheel of an ox cart, and two small metal plates are
nailed to each hoof. Once a family of sieve makers arrived, and set up camp
in tents on the village meadow. Sieves of different meshes are necessary for
several domestic purposes. They stayed only long enough to effect such
repairs and supply such orders as they got - two days in this case. Early in my
stay, Zubeyr (SI 4), resident carpenter, had brought two youngmen from a
distant village to saw up a large balk of timber into planks. These men
brought with them a huge saw, such as a carpenter would not normally
possess, especially for this purpose. This apparently was their speciality, and
they claimed to serve a wide area in this way.
|Village weaving in this area only comprises the making of rugs and saddle|
bags, and in some villages pile carpets. I did hear of threads spun in the
village being sent to villages some distance to the east to be woven into cloth
suitable for making trousers for the men, but almost all clothing is bought.
Sakaltutan, being near the town, and provided now with a lorry service, so
that coming and going are not difficult, relies for much of its services on the
town. Bulk supplies of foods, including cheap vegetables such as cabbage and
beet, paraffin, oil-lamps and oil portable stoves (Primus type), sheet iron
stoves for the mens odalar, cooper utensils, most tools, clothes, the wooden
trunks given to each woman at marriage, and so on, are all bought in town.
These purchases are entirely in the hands of the men. The village also goes to
town for medical services, medical as opposed to charms and cures
administered in the village. No Turkish doctor normally goes to a village
unless he is well recompensed, unless the journey is an easy one, and unless his
expenses are paid, which means, for all except suburban villages, never. If it
is necessary for a woman to go to the doctor, she must be taken by her
husband or a close male kinsman. No other professional services are needed.
One of the villagers own a pair of dental forceps with which he extracts
troublesome teath, and people cut each others hair, apparently for nothing.
To sum up, serving one village only, there is in some villages a shop. Serving
a number of villages one finds resident craftsmen like the carpenter in
Sakaltutan or the smith in Ac village, and wandering craftsmen and pedlars
who sell anything which the village is likely to buy and which sell anything
which the village is likely to buy and which can be carried on a donkey.
Besides these, the villager may go to town for supplementary food and clothes
and some services, and must go to town for machines, goods, copper and for
Economics dependence on the town is greater than this description might at
first sight lead one to suppose, because almost all the supplies of the shops and
the pedlars, and the tools and raw materials of the local craftsmen come
|originally from the town.|
|3.||External Occupations - Migrant Labour|
|As with internal occupations, I intend here to confine attention to economic|
activities outside the village mainly as sources of income.
With only one exception, all money from outside the village is earned by
temporary labour migration. The exception is trade in animals. Anyone with
a little capital may go to the villages more remote from Kayseri and buy
animals, usually yearlings, take them to Kayseri and sell them for a profit.
But I heard of little of this in the village during my stay, except for the
carpenter, Zubeyr, who went regularly on trading trips. He was always on the
look-out for opportunities, and once boasted to me of buying a yearling from
a man already in the lorry on his way to Kayseri, and selling it in the town for
6 T,L, profit. He would contrast his own initiative in this with the sloth of his
fellow villagers. In Sl village, close to Sakaltutan, one of the wealthy villagers
told me that in previous years, in company with other villagers, he had taken
truck loads of cattle, bought by going round the local villages, by rail from
Kayseri to Istanbul, where he sold them at a good profit. In one of the
villages nearer Kayseri, I was told that formaly a number of the villages made
money by trade in four and animals, but that now these families live by skilled
migrant labour. As a source of income in the villages of the area, therefore,
trade in animals is of no great importance.
Migrant labour includes a whole range of activities, from two or three days
reaping in Kayseri, to two or three years in a steady skilled job in Istanbul, the
one common feature being the incoming the money from outside the village to
supplement the household budget.
Out of the 103 households in the village, 28 do not at present send anyone to
two. These 28 include every grade of household from the well landed to the
two poorest households in the village. Many of these, it is true, would send a
member if they could do so easily, and only a few are in a position to do so
Return to the CSAC Ethnographics Gallery