Author Topic: "Balochi Oral Tradition"  (Read 1526 times)

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Offline Perozai R!nd

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"Balochi Oral Tradition"
« on: August 01, 2006, 05:12:40 PM »
What is Oral Tradition?

The oral tradition of the Baloch belongs to an ethnic group speaking a northwest Iranian language called Balochi and inhabiting Balochistan, a country now divided among Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan. It was until recently—and to a great extent in many parts of the country it remains even now—a living art. It is, however, an art that is losing ground rapidly to the written word and to modern means of communication and entertainment.

A few decades back oral tradition was present in a Baloch's life from cradle to grave. It was so diffused, authoritative, and highly esteemed that among some Baloch tribes a newborn baby boy was presented with the recital of several heroic epics—either three or seven—by an old man in place of the call of prayers, azan (the proclamation of faith among Muslims saying that Allah is the only God and Muhammad is his Prophet), as is usually done in many other Muslim communities. A special session of epic recitation would be arranged and male elders of the family would be invited, animal(s) would be sacrificed, and a male elder of the family or someone else from the family or tribe would recite these epics for three to seven nights (Badalkhan 1992:38, n. 39). This was the first lesson the newborn boy would receive from the elders of his family, who expected him to behave accordingly and to follow in the footsteps of past Baloch heroes who left their legacy in historical epics with heroic deeds that safeguarded true Baloch values (balochiat). After that, the baby was sung lullabies by his mother, sisters, and maidservants until he grew old enough to be circumcised, wear trousers, enter the ranks of men, and assume all the obligations and duties that a man of the tribe had to manage. From then on, he was expected to participate in tribal warfare and other affairs of the tribe and to involve himself in cycles of revenge as necessary. Before that age he...