no status and no kin of their own. In both cases, the couple had separated again by the time we reached the village, but were on good terms with the affinal foster home.
Seniority among brothers confers authority. The standard Turkish address to an elder brother is agabey, a compound formed of two words of social respect, aga and bey. In the village this is often abbreviated to agam, `my aga', thus coinciding, significantly, with one possible and common address to a father. Aga and agabey are often used informally to refer to an elder brother.
Sets of brothers are numerous, and most of them seemed to conform more or less to the ideal. They normally shared or attended the same guest room, helped each other in the harvest, minded each other's families during absences from the village, stood by each other in sickness, and supported each other in fights and feuds. Many men probably spent more of their waking hours in the company of their brothers than in the company of their wives. When Musa (K) lost his wife, his elder brother conducted the negotiations for a new wife, although both were middle-aged men with adult children. In Elbashï, I was discussing household fission with the second of four adult brothers, when he remarked, although they were separate, `Yet we are still together. We are under the orders of my elder brother'.
In a few cases the relationship may be even closer. Brothers are normally expected to separate from their fathers household fairly soon after his death. The period that in fact elapses varies from days to years, so that at any given time one may expect to find one or two households that have not yet separated following on the death of their father. In a very few cases separation may be indefinitely postponed. Sakaltutan contained one such household