||Apart from the large scale local units such as the village and the quarter,
every household can be thought of as belonging to a neighbourhood group
with vague boundaries, more or less centring on itself. Very often this group
consists mainly of close kin, members of the same kabile, and perhaps
matrilateral and affinal kin. Conversely a large part of a mans kin, those
with whom he has most pressing and active ties, are also his closest
neighbours. With a residentially stable society, with no exogamous social
groups, this coincidence between kinship and neighbourhood makes it doubtful
how much of the intimacy between such neighbours is due to kinship and how
much to neighbourhood. Certainly some of the behaviours of close
neighbourliness are the same as those of close kinship. From childhood
upwards, neighbours make free with each others house, play, talk and work
together, know the details of each others affairs, and very often end with
inter-marriage. Such close familiarity is also the stuff of close kinship ties
within the village. Indeed, often for a woman, her most intimate associates
will be her non-kin neighbours, especially if she is in a village far from her
own people. Haydar (FB 1) and Haci Ali (VA 13) were close neighbours -
their fathers had moved together away from their old homes in the centre of
the village, to the site they now share a little apart from any other households.
The two men were intimate friends and Haci Ali and his sons were to be found
in Haydars oda far more often than in the company of their agnatic kinsmen.
The relationship between neighbours is clearly recognised, the word Komsu
- neighbour - having as in English a friendly intimate tone. I saw young
Mehmet (SC 2) helping Osman (AG 1) to build a dovecote. My attempt to
discover some special reason for this unusual co-operation came up against the
repeated reply komsuluk, neighbourliness. Often when I asked visitors to
the village if they were kinsmen of someone, they would reply yes, but on
being pressed to give details would say that there was no kin connection, what
they had meant was that they were neighbours. The word used for kinship,
akraba, covers any kind of kin ties, including affinal. The yengeler, who,
as I mentioned above, go to fetch the bride at a wedding, and also the larger
party of men who go with them, should always include some non-kin
neighbours, since they say the new gelin will have to get on with her
neighbours as well as with her new kinsfolk, and these should, therefore, have
some part in the ceremony.
On the other hand, distance may weaken a kinship tie. Bilal had close, if not
always cordial, ties with his fathers brothers son, Mustafa, his next door
neighbour. During a quarrel between the two wives, Bilal remarked to me
about Mustafas wife, This is mine, too. But neither of them had much to do
||with Ibrahim who lived at the other end of the village. Mustafa (VA 5) had
no very close day to day associations with his brothers, Ahmet and Sevket,
who lived at the other end of the village. Equally, the three branches of PB,
though no very far away from each other, were not close neighbours and did
not maintain very close ties.
Iba (FA 3) serves as an example both ways. His day to day associates were his
neighbours - his house belongs to his wife and his neighbours were her people.
But when he needed help with the harvest because he was ill, it was his kabile
from the centre of the village that came to help him. Similar examples both of
kinship maintained in spite of distance, and of kinship allowed to lapse because
of it, could readily be quoted from among the women.
I have already discussed the composition of the odalar in detail showing the
influence of locality relative to agnatic and matrilateral kinship. Similar
observations might be made for the out-of-doors group that forms
spontaneously during off seasons or in the evenings when the weather is fine
enough. These groups are even more informal that the oda groups - it is
simpler to join a group sitting and talking in the open than to enter an oda.
An analysis of these groups would probably show that locality counts even
higher in their composition that was the case for the oda groups. One group,
of the Upper Quarter, would form in the space outside Haci Ahmets house,
another, consisting mainly of users of the communal DS-DG oda and DT,
congregated in the open space near the Mosque. Sometimes a group would
form on the other side of this space right by the Mosque, of people living
nearby, but more often they would go either down to the school or across the
road to the Lower Quarter group. The members of the AM oda often come
down to the school to sit. Even the three brothers (KU 1, 2 and 3), who lived
at the far end of the village, used to come down here - why I do not know, for
they seemed to lack any obvious motives, but they were the only exception to
the formation of these groups by locality.
The largest and most permanent group sat either by the school or across the
road outside Selahaddins (BA 5) oda. Sometimes there would be a group in
both places. This group was augmented by passers-by along the village road
and by men from the Upper Quarter or from neighbouring villages waiting
for lorries. Generally speaking, all these groups were local, and if a man
joined a group which he did not normally sit with or which was not near his
house, he was usually treated with a slight degree of extra interest and extra
politeness due to a guest - this is a matter of nuance, on which I would not like
to speak too confidently.
||Another joint social activity illustrates the same overlap between kinship and
neighbourhood. On the whole, unless there is a special reason for co-
operation, all agricultural work is done strictly by the household concerned.
But during the harvest, though they reap and thresh household by household
they join forces for bringing the crops in from the field. A man will
announce his intention of bringing his wheat and rye in early the next
morning. His kabile, his other kinsmen, and his neighbours, and anyone else
who wishes, come with their kagnilar - ox carts - at dawn, and all go to the
fields to bring in his crops to the threshing floor. They arrive back in the
village together, a fine sight, and having unloaded, they go together and eat a
special meal provided by the owner of the crops they have brought in.
Although to provide such a meal is costly and no small reward, it is
undoubtedly less than the service rendered. The act must, therefore, be
considered a spontaneous service and it is performed not only by a mans close
kin, but by his neighbours also. Ali Osman helped Yakup (AK 2) in this way,
with whom he had no special connection, not even close familiarity; and Bilal
did the same for Osman (PB 2) with whom he had similarly no special ties.
In this section I have tried to bring out the point that within the village,
especially in the smaller local units into which every household fits, the
relations of neighbourhood and the relations of kinship overlap and reinforce
each other, since both are based on the same easy day to day intimacy and
similar help and co-operation in small ways. Kinship is, of course, a more
permanent and more definite bond, carrying with it more precise obligations
and help on a large scale, even to the point of fighting. But the quality of
kinship ties in the village is partly shaped by neighbourhood. The intimacy
between two households is not simply due to the fact that their heads are
brothers, but that it so happens that the brothers are also neighbours. That
this is so becomes clearer still if we consider the whole field of kinship ties,
including ties outside the village. This between brothers are at once the most
consistently local ties between brothers are at once the most consistently local
ties and the strongest. Ties between affinal and matrilateral kin vary in
warmth with the distance of the parties for each other, and outside the village
such ties take on a more formal character involving, as the first duty, the
provision of hospitality and a footing in an otherwise strange environment.
||This section I insert here, although it forms a digression, because it seems to
tie up more with the general topic of kinship than with any other chapter
heading, and is too small to stand on its own.
||In their treatment of the age principle, as in general in their society, the
villagers have no formal groups or age sets. Such age groupings as occur are
spontaneous and informal, and being of a certain age never constitutes a bar to
entering a house or room or to joining a group in the open. On the other
hand, seniority is constantly recognised in social relationships between both
men and women, and old age is held in high respect.
Among men, four rough categories are recognised at least linguistically -
children, cock, youths, delikanlik, young young here means in the prime
of life, up to about fifty. The delikanlik are the unmarried or newly
married young men up to about twenty-five. At about twenty all young men
grow moustaches - there are no clean shaven adult men in the villages. At
about the age of fifty or so a man allows his beard to grow, this being the sign
that he has reached the state of ihtiyar. A beard carries religious prestige.
The only young men who wear beards are either imams, or of special
religious zeal and knowledge.
In the odalar, all ages of men gather, but seniority plays a large part in their
conduct. Small children must keep quiet, and behave decently, or they are
ordered out. Young men will say little unless there is a gap in the
conversation, or they are called upon. The older men sit nearest the hearth,
and if one of the older men of the village, such as Hasan (VA 1) arrives, a
place is immediately made for him besides the hearth. Every time a man in
middle years enters an oda, his rough equals all shove down, forcing him to
take a seat above them, while the new arrival tries to seat himself below them.
It is always left to juniors to insist on paying respect, and such respect is
always deprecated by the recipient. If a man wish to drink, a boy will bring
him a drinking cup from the water jar always kept in every room used for
human habitation, bowing respectfully as he does so. The drinker will offer
the cup to anyone senior to him who is sitting near him, who almost invariably
refuses. Similar scenes occur when coffee is drunk, every one refusing to take
a cup until all whom he considers senior to himself have drunk.
Informally, the villagers do sort themselves out into rough age groups, or
rather the young men detach themselves and form groups on their own. Even
in the odalar, the young men sometimes form a group of their own and
conduct a conversation in low tones at the lower end of the oda. In the open,
these groups are more marked, and one often finds the delikanliklar sitting
together in a group. At weddings, when they are dancing, if the older men
join in the young men will stand back. I once saw a group of fifteen year old
boys give way to the youths in a dance in this way, and soon afterwards the
youths in turn gave way to the more mature men.
||Though with less formality, the same principles are at work among the
women. Older women are treated with respect, and always given a place to sit
round the tandir, younger women and girls gather in groups of roughly
similar age. Before and after a girl or young woman dances, she kisses the
hand of all the old women present, and similarly on all occasions for exchange
of greetings, a young woman kisses the hand of her seniors.
The same respect is shown by girls to their senior male relatives, and by
young men to the senior women of their household. When Haci Ali (BK 3)
came home on leave after a long absence in the army, his neighbours and
kinsmen came to him where he sat among them in a large ev. The children
and younger adult women came and kissed his hand, which he would allow
them to do without interrupting his conversation; his equals among the men he
would stand up and embrace, or shake by the hand; his elders - both men and
women - he would stand up to embrace and then kiss their hands. The last act
of a bride before mounting her horse when leaving her home is to kiss the
hands of her uncles and her father. Letters home from men on military
service consist almost entirely of a list of all kin and neighbours who should
be remembered, with their appropriate greeting written out in full separately
for each person.
Respect for age goes beyond these formalities; the old people wield a
considerable power in the household and in the community. An old man
expects his sons to work for and wait on him and an old woman looks to the
young women of the household to do most of the housework, and to her sons,
if need be, to keep her.
||The division of labour between the sexes follows the lines familiar in most
human societies, the men being responsible for the main sources of livelihood,
the women for the care of the house and children and the preparation of food.
What is of interest is not so much the details of this division, as the degrees of
strictness with which it is observed and its place in the total social
The various tasks which are necessary to the village life might be arranged in
a list, starting with things only a man can do, and continuing through things
which men usually do, things which either sex may do, to things which are
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