||come to the same village, whereas a woman married within her natal village
will be able to maintain, to a much greater extent, the kinship ties of her
childhood. Within the village, the pattern of these relationships will again
vary with the physical distance between her natal and her conjugal household,
and the existing relations between them. The women have no odalar, and
systematic observation of the gossip-groups, the co-operation in domestic
tasks, and the petty lendings and borrowings by which intimacy may be
gauged is not easy.
A womans social relations by no means follow those of her husband. Sisters
and daughters and mothers constantly visit each other, and continue to help
each other even when their menfolk are indifferent or even hostile. I have
already mentioned on page
the indifference of the men of FA and BK 1 to
each other in contrast with the intimacy of their womenfolk.
Neighbourhood plays an important part but, whereas for men neighbourhood
and kinship overlap, for a woman, even if she herself is married to her
fathers brothers son, her neighbours will include women who have married
in from other households and from other villages. The women, in fine
weather, in the slack period of the say, when they are not busy indoors
cooking, bring some portable work and gather in large groups. If the weather
is severe they gather in smaller groups in the evler, sitting round the tandir,
with their legs tucked under a great rug and their feet near the hidden fire.
Kinship and household ties play a large part in the composition of these
groups, and no less proudly than the men they will explain their kinship
relationships. But the main fact in the formation of these groups is
Women address other women who are their equals or inferiors as kiz - girl.
An older woman is usually addressed by her kinship term. Kinship terms and
their use roughly correspond to those of the men. Anne - mother - is used
only for a true mother, a step-mother or a mother-in-law. Amme and
hala - fathers sister and mothers sister - are also used in similar extensions
to those of Emme and Dayi. Since a woman is usually away from her
natal home, and since she travels and visits much less than a man, contacts with
her remoter kin are much less than a mans, and there is less opportunity for
detailed observation of uses.
A woman is not thought to take on completely her husbands kinship ties; in
addressing his kin she used the affinal terms. (See appendix B). But these
new relationship are of vital importance to her. Where she has left her natal
village and her close kinsfolk, she is bound to seek new and secure personal
||relationships among her affines and new neighbours, to replace those she has
left behind her.
The factors of proximity and day to day contact which, to say the least, are
fundamental factors in creating the bonds between close blood kin in time will
build up for her such a set of new relationships. At first her neighbours will
all be strangers to her; some of them, like her, will be strangers also to the
village. Among these neighbours, the wives of her husbands kinsmen, and of
his childhood playmates, she will make her lifelong intimate friendships.
Where she has a kinswoman or a fellow villager among her neighbours, there
will be a special bond of mutual sympathy and help.
Even women who are fortunate enough to stay in their natal villages will form
close and intimate ties with stranger wives of their husbands kin and
neighbours. But generally, it seems, blood kinship counts for more.
Kinswomen will visit each other from one end of the village to the other.
Medine, wife of Ahmet (VA 6) and sister of both Selahaddin (BA 5) and of
Sefers (BA 4) wife, and also Mustafas (BA 1) daughter, who was gelin to
Haci Ahmet (SA 2), were both frequently to be seen with their kinswomen in
the Lower Quarter.
Intimacy among women means much gossiping in groups, co-operation and
petty borrowing back and forth. It would, for example, be impossible to cook
a wedding feast, which consists of ten courses, on one tandir; for such needs
neighbours and kinswomen lend a hand, each household cooking a different
dish. To some extent on such festive occasions, even resources may be shared.
In day to day life, the sudden special needs for a guest, or an unforeseen
shortage in domestic supplies, is remedied by borrowing. Even my wife was
brought into this scheme and very often the small quantities of sugar or
coffee, or whatever it was, were duly returned. Bilal severely reprimanded
his wife, Nazife, for borrowing from her when she knew she could not pay
back. Normally a woman preferred to borrow from a kinswoman. Bilals
wife and Cemals wife (VA 12) were sisters, and several times a small boy
came to borrow a loaf or two of bread from Nazife while I was present - on
one occasion it was refused. These two women were always about together,
or in and out of each others houses.
The ev door, like the oda door, is never closed. Neighbours and children go
in and out without ceremony or even greetings. If anything, the women are
more gregarious than the men. Several women asked during the winter how I
could bear to be alone for such long periods, and later, whenever I left my
wife alone in the village, she was visited by streams of neighbours, all
expressing anxiety lest she should be lonely. Unless her duties force her to, no
||women ever stays alone in her ev - if she has no visitors she goes forth in
search of company. The complex set of intimate relations between the women
are even less susceptible of analysis and generalisation than those among the
men. Where physical distance alls, the closest kin ties are maintained by
visiting, and mutual services. Otherwise, the women associate with their close
neighbours, and the ties of blood kin that link particular people in these
neighbourhood groups are accidental, the chance results of their marriage.
||The village forms a very definite social unit, with common ownership of, and
interest in, a given area of land, common residence and a common political
organisation. Within these limits, kinship differentiates personal relationships,
providing special links between people all over the village, and forming a
complex web. But this differentiation only serves to give special emphasis to
already existing intimacy. From childhood up a man knows, as friends or as
enemies, his contemporaries in the village; though he may live at one end of it,
he will be continually coming and going to all parts of it, he will see daily
most of its inhabitants, he will hear about their affairs and know the details of
their family and personal history. There are no strangers within the village.
But a kinsman in another village is not a peak above a generally high level, but
an oasis in a desert of strangers. Instead, in that village, of being a complete
stranger, dependent upon the form of hospitality of the muhtar, there will be
one household where one has an intimate tie, where one can go and be
genuinely looked for, where one does not feel ashamed to accept hospitality.
The difference between various types of kinship outside the village are
subordinate to this factor, and differ in degree of intimacy rather than specific
quality. That is to say, inter-village agnatic kinship is more like other types of
inter-village kinship that it is like kinship ties within the village.
For men, in fact, inter-village agnatic kinship is rare. four men with living
brothers in Sakaltutan had moved away to other villages, one of them only
temporarily to solve the housing problem. In all these four cases there was
constant visiting. Men are readily able to visit each other, both because their
work is readily left for a day or two, unlike a womans, and because they can
travel alone without danger. Zubeyr (SI 4), had a carpenter brother in
Mimarsinan, a village near Kayseri, and another in Harsa, a richer
agricultural village about four hours east of Sakaltutan. Both of these visited,
to my knowledge, several times during my stay, and Zubeyr also visited them.
Mustafa, the carpenter brother, came to help with the harvest and took a share
of his brothers land which is still undivided.
||Kinsmen in different villages frequently visit each other. Very often there is
some special occasion such as a death or a wedding. When the three Hacis
returned from Mecca their kinsmen from villages far and near were among
the first of many visitors who came to pay them homage. No kinsmen would
allow such an occasion to pass. At every wedding, kinsmen from
neighbouring villages are invited, and at a death also, close kinsmen hurry to
the burial, or, if too late, console the bereaved. News that his daughters
father-in-law was at deaths door sent old Osman (PB 2) hurrying to Kb
village, where he attended the death and burial of the man and stayed all day
with the mourners. Sometimes the occasion of a visit may be business. Once
when we were setting off for a village over two hours away in search of a
bride, we met on the outskirts of Sakaltutan a man of the village whose wife
was from the village to which we were going. He immediately joined the
party, partly in order to have company on a visit to his affines, partly in case
he might help persuade the girls father, by their good offices, to let us have
the girl we were seeking.
Matrilateral kinsmen may provide economic help. Bilal, once, when in need
of a charm, which would otherwise have been too expensive for him, and
once, when in need of food just before the harvest, with no money to buy it,
went to matrilateral kinsmen in other villages for help. I also came across
cases of substantial loans between kinsmen from different villages. These
would have the advantage that ones neighbours need not know about them.
Even remoter degrees of kin can be relied upon to provide hospitality if one is
in need. One night, owing to deep snow, Bilal and I arrived exhausted in Ac
village, and there was no question of going on. Bilal accordingly took me to
VA 10s sisters husbands house, or rather oda, who fed us and put us up for
the night. Any villager is almost bound to have some sort of relation in every
village near his own. In this context bacanak - wifes sisters husband - is of
Although migration from village to village is rare, such migration as one does
find follows invariably matrilateral kinship lines. No one in fact could go and
live in a village without some link to give him entry. In the majority of cases
of which I had information, the village is the emigrants mothers village, in
every case it is his wifes village. Equally, if a man goes to live temporarily
in another village, it is to his wifes village that he goes. For example, in two
cases of men opening shops for the winter season in other villages than their
own, they went to their wifes village.
Between men, with few exceptions, inter-village kinship must be kinship
through a woman. But for women who marry away from their natal village,
||or for the mothers and sisters of such women, the most intimate kinship ties
will cross village boundaries. A young girl marrying into a strange village is,
they say, a stranger for one year. During this period she is not allowed to
visit her home, but her family may visit her. Her feelings are very much with
her home. Her first return, usually for a fortnight or a month, is marked with
festivities among her own womenfolk, and her new departure with fresh tears.
As years go by, she gradually acclimatises to her conjugal village and this
means a weakening of her ties to her natal village. But the connection never
dies. If she is in trouble or sickness her kinsfolk will come to her, or, if she
wishes, she can take refuge at home. Ali Osman feared lest his wifes sisters
husband divorced her, since, in that case, his wifes sister, having no brothers,
would have to come to him, her fathers brothers son, for her keep. In spite
of being decidedly unwell himself Bilal visited his sister, some four hours
away, because he heard that she was ill, yet she had been married for many
years and had grown children. The need to be with or to have ones own natal
kin with one, when ill, is commonly felt - I heard of several cases of geliner
going home because they were ill, and it is often said in such cases that the
illness is due to affinal neglect.
Affinal and matrilateral ties between women living in different villages are
weak. Once the ceremonies of betrothal and the wedding are over, unless the
villages are very close, opportunities for casual visiting are not frequent. No
woman can go any distance without the escort of a close male kinsman. But
her again, on special occasions, they do visit each other. At weddings the
bride is fetched by seven or eight women of the boys side. These yengeler,
as they are called, almost invariably include two or three kinswomen from
Kinsfolk in different villages maintain their relationship with each other by
their spontaneous interest in each others doings and welfare and by visiting
each other when they can. But it is not only their affection for each other
which maintains the link. The day to day contact and petty help which is the
stuff of kinship within the village is replaced by a less intimate but equally
important mutual dependence for services and liaison in an otherwise strange
environment. The villagers are constantly moving about on business or
pleasure in other villages. Equally they love to receive and entertain visitors
themselves. All this movement and visiting between villages follows the lines
of inter-village kinship, the obligations and affections of which are ostensibly
one of its main motives. Without these kinship links, essential contacts for
such matters as marriage, the sale and exchange of animals, the obtaining of
charms, would be impossible.
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