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Offline AhmedHout

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Balochi Oral Literature
« on: September 26, 2011, 12:33:34 AM »
CHAPTER 7
Balochi Oral Literature
Josef Elfenbein 1
It was in the early nineteenth century, as a consequence of the westwards expansion of the British in India, that the Balochi language first came to the notice of Europeans, and several brief sketches of it were written (for the most important of these see LSI X, 2 p. 335). By 1880 three good grammatical descriptions had been published (those of Pierce, Marston, and Mockler; see LSI X) and the first scientific studies of the language, by a leading Iranist Wilhelm Geiger, were written in the next few years.
It had also been noticed that a substantial amount of oral literature appeared to exist— much more than expected— and small collections of it were made and published in the early nineteenth century, mainly by English missionaries in India. As is only to be expected, however, the published grammars showed little grasp of details like dialect geography, and the literary specimens had no pretensions to anything more than curiosity value.
All of these collections were made and published by Europeans (Hittu Ram was employed in the Indian Civil Service); the sole exception known up to now is the BM Codex Oriental Additional 24048, which the present writer believes (it bears neither colophon nor date) was prepared c 1820 in Kalat, Baluchistan, at the request of H. H. Wilson, later Boden Professor of Sanskrit in Oxford. It is well known that during his time in India Wilson was an enthusiastic collector of specimens of the exotic languages of the Subcontinent,

1 This article was written in 1998. At the author’s request, the system of transcription normally used in academic publications is adopted in the Chapter.
2LSI X is used throughout for Grierson 1921 (Ed.). 167

Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 167.

Offline AhmedHout

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Re: Balochi Oral Literature
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2011, 12:34:29 AM »
ORAL Literature OF IRANIAN Languages
and it is most likely that this manuscript was prepared especially at his request (see Elfenbein 1983).
The end of the prehistory of Balochi studies and the beginning of systematic and scientific studies is marked by the appearance of M. L. Dames, whose works from the 1880s marked a watershed. In them we see for the first time a large collection of Balochi classical ballads and other poetry, as well as many prose narratives. Dames’ publications superseded all previous studies, and with only a few reservations are still usable today. But there was at the time little stimulus locally for native Baloch to continue Dames’ work, and Balochi was, to all intents and purposes (except for European writings), an unwritten language.
But Dames had shown concretely what had until then only been suspected, that there indeed existed a large body of oral literature, mostly in the form of ballads, as well as quite a large number of the expected little stories in prose, which only awaited collection and recording. But such an enterprise had to await, with only a few exceptions, the period after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, when a new stimulus for undertaking such labor could work upon a new generation of educated native Balochis.
Balochi literature can be fairly clearly divided into four periods: (1) The classical period from perhaps the sixteenth century to c 1700; (2) A post-classical period to c 1800; (3) The nineteenth century; (4) The modern period after c 1930. 1. the classical period up to the modern period all Balochi literature is oral, preserved only in the memories of poets, professional reciters, or amateur enthusiasts, all of whom were, of course, illiterate. Such enthusiasts were, at least until very recently, much more numerous than might be imagined; in the 1980s most villages contained at least a few. All of our information on the oral periods of Balochi literature comes from them, and it is only thanks to the efforts of literate collectors of these traditions in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries,

168
Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 168.



Offline AhmedHout

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Re: Balochi Oral Literature
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2011, 12:35:04 AM »
BALOCHI Literature
who patiently listened to ballad recitals and wrote down what they heard (but not necessarily understood), that we have any information at all about earlier literature.
The main written sources are collections by M. L. Dames; Mohammad Sardar Khan Baloch; Shêr Muhammad Marî; Elfenbein 1990 (mostly from written sources, but checked orally); Mâhtâk Balôčî; Mîr ʿĪsâ Qômî (whose unparalleled manuscript library was mainly collected by himself from oral recitations, shared with the present writer during a long visit to him in Turbat in 1961); the periodicals Nôkên Dawr and Ulus have also occasionally published short pieces; for a fuller list see Jahani (1989, pp. 25– 33, 229– 30).
The literature of the classical and post-classical periods consists entirely of ballads. Prose of a literary quality makes its appearance only in the modern period. Before the twentieth century, hardly any attempt was made by the Baloch themselves to write their language; but after 1947 “Balochi Academies” sprang up in Pakistan, societies whose purpose was to stimulate new writing and collect the classical, so as to make the written word play a role in Balochi society. The center of Balochi literary culture has always resided in what is now Pakistan, particularly in Quetta and Karachi; nothing of any lasting importance in this regard has ever emerged from Iran. In Afghanistan after 1978 Balochi was accorded the status of “national language” and some publications have appeared from Kabul. (sporadic publications in the Gulf States and in East Africa by emigrant Baloch communities are not included in this discussion).
script and dialect
Only variants of the Arabic script have ever come seriously into question for native writing in Balochi. The first Balochi writing was in the Pashto script, with the usual problems of vowel representation. Dames and other Europeans used the modified Roman script usually employed by Christian missionaries (mainly British) in India; it is, in the main, quite acceptable. Geiger, of course, used the scientific script employed by Iranists. There have been official efforts in Pakistan, especially since 1960, to adopt a Roman script
169
Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 169.



Offline AhmedHout

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Re: Balochi Oral Literature
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2011, 12:35:44 AM »
ORAL Literature OF IRANIAN Languages
for Balochi, but they have come to nothing; the script used today in Pakistan for Balochi is based on urdu, whereas that adopted in Afghanistan is based on Pashto.
There are six dialects in Balochi, of which two have long ago achieved prestige status as vehicles for classical balladry: Coastal dialect, and Eastern Hill Balochi, with some use of Kêčî. 3 These dialects have long exercised a strong influence on other dialects. Co is relatively uniform over its whole area, but EHB has a number of widely varying sub-dialects; writing in it tends to be in the variety used in the Marî-Bugî tribal area. Ke is without important sub-dialects.
Here a word must be said about dialects in Balochi literary composition. Oral transmission over centuries by speakers of all dialects has inevitably meant that dialects get mixed in transmission; a sort of mixed dialect is used in nearly all ballads except those in Co dialect, and balladry in EHB is strongly influenced by the Co dialect as well. By general consent, Co is the proper dialect for classical and post-classical ballads, with EHB coming second. A tradition exists in which speakers of other dialects (now also) often try to imitate the Co dialect in literary composition, even when they do not know it well. The result is a peculiar mishmash, with false Co dialect forms popping up in writings by speakers of other dialects. Similarly, Ke is often the preferred dialect for literary prose, with the same sorts of mixtures. Rakhšânî is by far the most widely spoken dialect, but it is only in the modern period that it is used at all for literary composition.
Eastern Hill Balochi is the dialect of all the publications of Dames, since all of his reciters came from the territory in the extreme east, British Baluchistan. It is also the native dialect of both Shêr Muhammad Marî and of Muhammad Sardar Khan Baloch. Mîr ʿĪsâ Qômî (hereafter Qômî) lived in Turbat and spoke Kêčî. 3 On dialects see Elfenbein, “Baluchistan III,” “Baločî”; for fuller notes on dialect characteristics see Elfenbein, Anthology, vol. 2, pp. vii– xviii. The following abbreviations will be used here: Ra = Raxšânî; Co = Coastal; EHB = Eastern Hill Balochi; Ke = Kêčî; Sar = Sarawânî; La = Lâškârî. For a full description of dialect characteristics, see Elfenbein 2003. 170

Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 170.



Offline AhmedHout

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Re: Balochi Oral Literature
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2011, 12:36:25 AM »
BALOCHI Literature
the composition by individuals of classical oral ballads The tradition that many ballads were composed by important chiefs, themselves the individuals named in the short prose prefaces to them, or by (anonymous) professional bards who were attached to the various tribes, is worth taking seriously. In fact, most of the ballads are prefaced by a short introduction of fairly standard form, giving the authorship; it runs “X son of Y sings; of the fight at Z he sings”; or “X son of y sings; he challenges/replies to z and sings.” The word used for “sings” (and so translated by e.g. Dames) is gušît, the ordinary word for “says, speaks.” But Dames was certainly right in supposing that classical ballads were in fact “sung,” though perhaps “chanted” would be a better word. It was not customary for a chief or other important person to recite his own poetry; the custom was rather for him to teach it, line by line, to a professional reciter called often pahlawân (as in Persian), or more commonly ômb, lôŕî, or lângaw. These latter were professional reciters and musicians of much lower social status than the pahlawân, usually belonging to a special caste. It was usual to accompany the recital by music on an important occasion, in which the music followed the poetry in a fixed canon using one or more instruments such as the tabla (drum), surnâ (double-reed pipe), surôd (short-necked fiddle), dambûrô (long-necked fiddle), giraw (nose flute), or nar (flute). Recitals could also take place without music, and very popular from earliest time was the mušâʿîra, a sort of concert of poetry, in which several recitals took place. The occasions for composing a ballad are countless: any important event, such as a birth, death, wedding, harvest, battle, migration, etc. Once the reciter had learned the poem he could add it to his professional repertoire, and recite it elsewhere on any appropriate occasion, naming (or not) the true author. This, of course, greatly contributed to the tendency of ballads to become anonymous with the passage of time. 171

Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 171.



Offline AhmedHout

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Re: Balochi Oral Literature
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2011, 12:36:56 AM »
ORAL Literature OF IRANIAN Languages
Daptars
A good claim to being some of the oldest poetry handed down can be made for the daptar šâʿirî “ballad of genealogy, register ballad.” Although not many of these ballads have been preserved, they have such a similarity of form and content, as well as the occasional linguistic archaism, that they are particularly interesting. Only six of them are known to me, all rather short; four of them have been published:
i. LSI X, pp. 370– 73, of sixty lines. It is basically in Coastal dialect, but very mixed with both Raxšânî and Persian (see below).
ii. Barker and Mengal 1969 II, pp. 273– 77, also in Coastal dialect, of seventy-two lines, of which only lines 22– 64 are a daptar: a Mullâ Šôrân (otherwise unknown) names himself in the poem as the author. iii. Barker and Mengal 1969 II, pp. 266– 67, of only nineteen lines, basically Coastal, but recited by a Raxšânî speaker.
iv. Dames 1907 I, pp. 1– 3, of seventy-six lines in Eastern Hill Balochi, of which only lines 11– 52 are a daptar. The last lines 53– 76 concern the thirty-year War (see below).
I have seen two others in Qômî’s collection, unpublished; both are in Coastal dialect and their content does not differ greatly from these.
The content of all these daptars is basically the same— the oldest migrations of the Baloch tribes, which runs as follows. The Baloch tribes rise up from their original home in Aleppo, all sons of “Mîr Hamza” (generally taken to refer to the uncle of the prophet Muhammad) to fight against the second Umayyad Caliph Yazid I at Karbalâ’ in 680. After Hoseyn is slain, the angered Balochi tribes wander away eastwards. It is clear that there is no real history in this narrative: nothing is said about the journey from Aleppo to Karbalâ, and there are no details of a Balochi battle engagement there. It seems clear that the point is to assure the Baloch a good Islamic pedigree. Thence the Baloch tribes continue their migration eastwards. The first places mentioned are Lâr and Rôdbâr: Lâr is, of course, in southern Iran, but “Rôdbâr” can be anywhere. The next places, 172

Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 172.



Offline AhmedHout

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Re: Balochi Oral Literature
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2011, 12:37:28 AM »
BALOCHI Literature
which can be historical, are Pahra (= Fahraĵ) and Bampûr. Thence no places at all are mentioned until they arrive in Makrân, at Kêč. The mention of Kêč is common to all daptars: it was a place of central importance from very early times. From this point on the daptars suddenly become very much more detailed, with differing particulars. In all of them migration is steadily from west to east, identified places are named, in the right order, and real history can be contained in them. But this history, whilst containing a grain of truth, must in any case be of fairly late invention, for it really only begins with the arrival of the Baloch in south-east Iran, and details only appear with their arrival in Kêč. It seems clear that the lack of real memory of (or lack of interest in) events prior to their arrival in the eastern part of Baluchistan is because the real purpose of the daptars is not to recount early history but to furnish a background to the Rind-Lašârî Wars (see below). These migrations could have taken place at any time between the eighth and twelfth centuries, and at least a kernel of the ballads could be genuinely old, from perhaps the sixteenth century, when the wars took place. It is now generally agreed, mainly from linguistic evidence, that the real original Baloch home was somewhere to the southeast of the Caspian Sea, and that the Baloch migrations to the southeast of Iran began in late Sasanian times probably caused by the disorders attendant on Sasanian disintegration and the first Arab invasions in the seventh century. Whatever the details may be, it is certain that Baloch migrations from their original home did not take place all at once, but were rather spread over several centuries, probably in independent groups. Also to be borne in mind is that there were many reverse migrations, when tribes wandered back to previous dwellings or stations. It seems very likely that much of the Balochi population of Iran has migrated back from more easterly abodes; this is demonstrated by the fact that dialects of Balochi spoken mainly in Iran (Sarawânî, Lâšârî) contain the same IndoAryan loanwords as the other dialects, retaining their Indian phonology with the retroflex stops , , and ŕ, hardly loanwords from the east, and which could hardly have developed their phonology spontaneously on Iranian soil. 173

Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 173.



Offline AhmedHout

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Re: Balochi Oral Literature
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2011, 12:38:13 AM »
ORAL Literature OF IRANIAN Languages
Mîr Ĵalâl Khan features in all ballads as the overall chief, before the division into the traditional bôlaks (tribes), but nothing is otherwise known of him. There are traditionally five tribes: Rind, Lâšârî, Hôt, Kôraî, and Ĵatôî, but the only two mentioned in the early parts of the daptars are the Rind and Lâšârî, the largest. The leaders mentioned are Jalâl Khân, Šayhak, Nôdbandag, and Čâkur. All of these except perhaps the first are anachronisms, interpolated from the sixteenth century. (Many individual lines from the daptars are known to practically everybody, and it is easy to see how famous names from a famous era could be inserted in what is in effect a cultural heritage: a reciting bard simply put in a name well-known to his audience.)

A quotation from part of a typical daptar may make these points clearer. Here is a possible reconstruction of the badly bowdlerized text given in LSI X. The text is based in part on the two other similar versions I have seen (but detailed commentary cannot be given here):
1. râĵâ ač halab zahr bîtant â rôč ki yazîd sar zîtant : The tribes from Aleppo became angry On the day that their heads were attacked by yazid

2. sultân šâh husayn kušta râjân purr hasad bad burta : Sultan Shah Hoseyn was killed The tribes, full of jealousy, bore it badly.
3. lâšâr mizzilê pêš kaptant nôdbandag saxîên rapta : The Lâšârî s advanced one stage (farther) Nôdbandag the Generous (went with them).
4. šahaykk pa padâ-ê gôn kapta rôdbârê darâ êr-kaptan: Šahayk went along after him They descended beyond Rôdbâr .
5. gwastant ač gîyâbên lârâ dêm pa pahraî bazaar: They passed by grassy Lar Facing the bazaar of Pahra.
6. bampûrê darâ ganĵênân : Beyond the boundaries of Bampûr …

The following three couplets mention no new names or places; then:
9. … lâšâr ništa mân lâšârâ

10. rind mân pahraî bâzârâ 
… The Lâšâri settled in Lâšâr The Rind in Fahraj town

The next places mentioned are:
174
Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 174.
 

Offline AhmedHout

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Re: Balochi Oral Literature
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2011, 12:39:22 AM »
BALOCHI Literature
14. gurrânâ šutant čô râdâ : In roaring they went like thunder.
kêč o makurân tâ sindâ : (To) Kêč and Makrân up to Sind.
The meter is a steady eight-syllable line in three feet, with the stress on the first syllable; the apparent extra syllable in couplet four is eliminated by reading padâ-ê as two syllables. Rhyme is very irregular, as expected in early verse. Archaisms are: râd; Makurân; bâzâr ‘settlement with a market.’ In other daptars we have Sêîstân as three syllables, nîδârâγ ‘resting place’ (now ‘stage in a theater’), the phrase kêč râstên pallawâ-int, ‘Kêč is on the right side,’ i.e. to the east, for marchers from Sistan.
It is not to be denied that, in the long transmission of these early ballads, the principle of lectio facilior has played an important role, making it very difficult to know how the ballads, if they are really old, originally looked. Balochi is by nature an extremely conservative language, and a thousand years ago it cannot have looked very different from what it is today: it is, for example, phonologically older than the Pahlavi of the third century inscriptions.
Classical poetry
Balochi classical poetry is most conveniently divided into several cycles of what may be called “heroic balladry,” and the main subject is tribal conflict. Most ballads, as mentioned above, begin with a short prose statement in which the composer names himself, usually as the main protagonist of the events of the ballad. But in the total lack of any details of the oral transmission, it is impossible to be sure. Dealt with are exclusively the (likely) historical events of the eastern parts of Baluchistan, in present-day Pakistan, from about 1500 ce onwards. There are, indeed, passing references to places in Iran, but none of them seem convincing. It is also impossible to say how old the originals of the ballads are, but the tradition that many of them are contemporaneous with the events they describe seems in many cases credible.
175

Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 175.



Offline AhmedHout

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Re: Balochi Oral Literature
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2011, 12:39:48 AM »
ORAL Literature OF IRANIAN Languages
A brief description of the kind of society mirrored in the oldest ballads is a necessary preliminary. It is a “heroic” one, entirely tribal, hierarchical and male-dominated, in which the individual is entirely subordinated to his tribe. Women, however secondary, have a marked influence on many events: a principal cause of conflict was rivalry for their favors. Women’s purview is, however in principle the family, both before and after marriage, and only rarely do they take an active part in public life.
In classical times Baloch tribes were only loosely organized, with a chief, usually hereditary, at their head, assisted by his closest friends and advisors in council. The powers of a chief are, however, limited, and derive from the consent of his “subjects” and his Council, and an especially able or ambitious member of the tribe can always be a source of conflict. The chief’s principal functions are to uphold riwâĵ (see below) and to decide disputes both inside and outside the tribe. Here the Council of Elders plays a major role. This Council, or ĵirga of kamâš (graybeards), was in classical times not permanent but chosen by general consent for each occasion as it arose, but from the time of Nasîr Khan I of Kalat (r. 1749– 95) members of the Great Council were appointed on a permanent basis.
Baloch existence was at least until the fourteenth century— and thereafter also to a large extent— in the main nomadic, as is to be expected, given the barren and inhospitable nature of their territory. Only after this time did tribes begin to settle and acquire recognized lands, mainly for grazing sheep, goats, and camels, of which large herds were not uncommon. Grazing rights were also always a potential source of conflict. Agriculture and commerce of any sort were alien to the Balochi mentality until fairly recently. The main activities were stockbreeding, in which women could own their own herds independently, and fighting. For many tribes, even into the nineteenth century, fighting was the main purpose of life. Thus for men, life meant self-assertion over other men, usually with violence. But only in special cases did an individual actually engage in an act of violence, a raid, for example. The standard picture is one of a “group of heroes” acting for their tribe; probably the most serious punishment that could be meted out was to expel
176

Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 176.



Offline AhmedHout

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Re: Balochi Oral Literature
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2011, 12:40:19 AM »
BALOCHI Literature
A man from his tribe and make him an outlaw. This is a fruitful source of much tragic balladry, for then a man must lose his grip on his own identity and be lost forever. The origins of many tribes are to be ascribed to criminal expulsions: the eponymous founder of the tribe was expelled from another tribe.
Life is thus entirely conditioned by tribal law (riwâĵ), unwritten until Nasîr Khan had it written down (in Persian) in the eighteenth century, but still all-powerful in classical times before then. The customs described above, together with the following specific duties prescribed by riwâĵ had always been deeply embedded in Balochi society. These three main duties, “pillars of Balochi tribal life” were:
i. bâhôdâri “(custom of) asylum.” It is required to offer to any person bâhô (asylum) upon request, with no questions asked. The person affording bâhô is the bâhôdâr and may expose himself to considerable personal risk; but in principle he may not refuse it, and must aid and succor his bâhô.
ii. mihmândârî (hospitality), offered to guests, mainly travelers, and lasts three days in principle. The mihmândâr (host) is often the tribal chief or his deputy.
iii. bêrgirî (revenge-seeking) is mainly inter-tribal, but can also be inter-familial. It is incumbent on all male tribal members, and in its working it illustrates very clearly the “impersonal” status of an individual member of a tribe. He is duty-bound to seek revenge for slights, insults, or wrongs done to him, his family, or even his tribe. As object of his revenge, anyone of an “equivalent status” may serve, any “equivalent member” i.e., a person of equivalent social status, of a family or tribe. The duty of revenge-seeking may neither be questioned nor avoided, and of course is the cause of many a tragedy when individual needs and desires conflict with the impersonal duty of a tribesman. The rule is thus “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Adultery required the murder of both guilty parties; forgiveness was not allowed.
A man who cares strictly for these things is “honorable” (nangdâr) and “honor” (nang) is what makes life meaningful— without it nothing is possible. One’s honor must be defended with one’s life,
177

Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 177.



Offline AhmedHout

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Re: Balochi Oral Literature
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2011, 12:40:57 AM »
ORAL Literature OF IRANIAN Languages
if necessary. Of such stuff were Balochi heroes made, and often the Balochi hero is a tragic hero.
All collections of these “heroic cycles” are in the Pakistani Coastal, Eastern Hill, or Kêčî dialects. As far as can be ascertained, nothing in this category has been published in Afghanistan or elsewhere except for the brief specimens in zarubin 1930, which are in Raxšânî. 4 The original dialect of this poetry was undoubtedly Coastal (“Rindî”), and it is to be noted that Eastern Hill Balochi is most closely related to that dialect.
Historical confirmation of the events described has proved very difficult, but it has been possible to identify some proper names (though not of the Baloch) and some places; the locations are all to the east of Kêč in Pakistani Makrân, through Sibî and into West Panjab. None of the events take place in Iran or Afghanistan.
The Čâkur Cycle
This most important and extensive cycle concerns the events of the Rind-Lâšârî Wars of perhaps 1475– 1525, or possibly a bit later. A large amount of balladry about these wars has been composed, some of it likely to be contemporary or near-contemporary with the events described. Some of the older compositions have survived either as individual ballads ascribed to their authors or incorporated into other ballads. With the passage of time, different whole ballads got worked together, so that today it is difficult to identify the original components of a composition. During the eastwards migrations of the Baloch, two major tribes began to separate out, the Rind under Šayhak and his son Čâkur, and the Lâšârî under Gwaharâm (Eastern Hill Balochi: Gwâharâm). Relations, at first friendly, began steadily to worsen, especially after the death of Šayhak, and at last peace could no longer be maintained between them.

4 In Afghanistan, Raxšânî is the officially approved dialect. For its early use see zarubin, “K izucheniu Beludzhskogo ïazyka i fol’klora.” Sarawânî and Lâškârî are only spoken in Iran, and are not written. 178

Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 178.

Offline AhmedHout

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Re: Balochi Oral Literature
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2011, 12:41:28 AM »
BALOCHI Literature
There was a rich young woman named Gôhar, of the Mahêrî subtribe of the Lâšârî, and who perhaps lived near Bampûr (according to one version; this cannot be right). She was courted by Gwaharâm, whose suit she spurned. There is a fair amount of unpublished poetry containing an exchange of messages between the two; Gwaharâm sends love-messages, and Gôhar spurns them, apparently because of consanguinity (not usually a hindrance in Balochi society, where first-cousin marriage is quite usual). But in one unpublished version of the affair, Gwaharâm already has four wives and refuses to divorce one of them to make a place for Gôhar.
Gôhar, together with her camel herds, seeks refuge (bâhôdârî) with Čâkur, who accepts her and undertakes her protection. In most versions, Čâkur lives near Sibî. He himself begins to court Gôhar, who for her part prefers him. There is a colorful exchange of insults between Gwaharâm and Čâkur, the (unpublished) ballads purporting to be the original compositions of each. It is finally agreed to settle the matter by a horse race, to be run by Rêhân Rind and Râmên Lâšâr, who also happened to be good friends. Both are said to have composed ballads about the race, which turned out to be a neck-and-neck affair. The Rind judges however award the winner’s prize to Rêhân Rind, leaving Râmên furious. In his rage he secretly organizes a few young Rind hotheads to raid and kill some of Gôhar’s young camels.
Čâkur comes to know about the deaths of Gôhar’s camels and is in his turn very angry. Gôhar tries to pacify him by telling him that her young camels died a natural death, but Čâkur will have none of it and determines on an all-out fight with Gwaharâm and the Lâšârî. The likely outcome of such a struggle is foreseen by Čâkur’s best friend and chief lieutenant Bîbarg, who seizes the rein of Čâkur’s horse to restrain him. “We will not strike down the whole realm for the sake of a woman’s camels.” Bîbarg is taunted as a coward and lawbreaker by several young Rind heroes, and no one listens to him.
The first battle is joined at the Nalî Defile (near Sibî). After heavy losses on both sides (all descriptions of the actual fighting are very brief) the Lâšârî are victorious, and Čâkur finds himself standing alone, sword in hand, on the field of battle. He is saved by 179

Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 179.




Offline AhmedHout

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Re: Balochi Oral Literature
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2011, 12:42:00 AM »
ORAL Literature OF IRANIAN Languages
the generosity of the Lâšârî Nôdbandag (Gwaharâm’s father) who rescues him on his horse Pull. For this act Nôdbandag is reviled and insulted by Gwaharâm. But Čâkur lived to fight another day. 5 Thus the first and most important encounter of the entire thirtyyears’ war. Some other short episodes have been published in the periodical Mâhtâk and elsewhere:
i. The Rind regroup and there is another battle; the outcome is undecided, but many named heroes are killed.
ii. The Nuhânî, another Baloch tribe, join the Lâšârî, and there follows another defeat of the Rind (unpublished).
iii. A very large battle is joined in North Baluchistan near Nuškî, where the Lâšârî suffer a decisive defeat (unpublished). iv. Some years later, Čâkur tries to form an alliance with the “Turks” of Herat. This episode is described in Dames 1907
IV: The “Turks” in question may be troops under Dhu’l-Nûn Beg Arghun, of Kandahar and Herat, c 1500. They are disposed to help Čâkur and the Rinds, but are bribed not to do so by Gwaharâm. Three times Gwaharâm bribes them to summon Čâkur and to set him a hero’s task. Čâkur successfully accomplishes all of the tasks, whereupon the “Turks” assemble an army and together with the Rind fight a successful battle against the Lâšârî below the Bôlân Pass, between Quetta and Sibî.
v. Another battle takes place “much later”; the outcome is undecided, but there are heavy losses on both sides (unpublished).
vi. The “Turks” again agree to fight with Čâkur, and there is a final decisive battle in which the Lâšârî are virtually exterminated, and they play no part in subsequent Baloch history. Gwaharâm escapes with a few followers to the plains of Sind, and Čâkur settles near Sibî, where he builds a palace (some ruins of which are still to be seen). Čâkur sings a lament for the great destruction of the wars: Sêwî, môkal-ên (Sibi, Farewell!); a widelyquoted poem of twelve lines, one version of which is given in Elfenbein 1990, p. 332, no. 1. The text is partly unpublished.

5 The most complete versions of this story are in Dames 1907, II– VIII. A shortened version is given in Baluch 1977, pp. 87– 95, of fifty-six couplets. The unpublished versions I have seen do not add any new details. Perhaps all, up to this point, stem from one original.
180
Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 180.

Offline AhmedHout

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Re: Balochi Oral Literature
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2011, 12:42:30 AM »
BALOCHI Literature
Ballads by or about personalities of the Čâkur Cycle
i. Bîbarg (EHB: Bîwaragh, also Bîwragh; Dames 1907: Bîbrak; Arabic Abu Bakr), a Rind, son of Mîr Bahâr Khan, nephew of Čâkur, proverbially brave and wise, a hero of many martial and romantic adventures. There are several ballads about his exploits in Dames 1907, no. XX; in Marri 1970, with titles by the author (Lal Saδô, p. 29 f., 70 lines; Syâlî Ghussawa, p. 34 f., 22 lines; Grânnâz, p. 40 f., 136 lines (= no. 67 in Elfenbein 1990, pp. 390– 98); Ô warnâî, p. 47 f., 62 lines); and in Baluch 1977 (p. 115 f., 50 couplets; p. 157 f., 9 couplets; p. 168, 10 couplets; p. 172 f., 19 couplets; p. 178, 30 couplets). Many of these ballads are said to have been composed by Bîbarg himself; there are many unpublished versions as well. The most interesting of these ballads is titled Grânnâz by Shêr Mohammad, said to be composed by Bîbarg himself. Part of the story of the Rind-Arghun alliance in the thirty years’ War, it deals with the romance between Bîbarg and Grânnâz, who is called “The King of Kandahar’s Daughter.” Bîbarg abducts her from her home in Kandahar and brings her to Sibî. Because of the Rind-Arghun alliance, he cannot expect any sympathy from Čâkur, and so he seeks refuge with Gwaharâm. There is at least one unpublished ballad, purportedly from Bîbarg to Čâkur explaining his actions and asking for forgiveness. Čâkur approves and obtains the retirement of the Arghun army which had arrived in Sibî to take Grânnâz back, and Bîbarg and Grânnâz are married. Marri’s (1970) Ô warnâî (above) is a marriage song, perhaps original.
ii. Haybat(ân) (EHB: Haywatân; Dames 1907: Haibat, Haivtân), a Rind, Bîbarg’s son. Four (or five) heroes come together and make vows. The episode is also known as the “Oaths of the Rinds” (Rindânî Kawl/Kôl ), 6 and there are many versions, of which two are given in Elfenbein 1990 (no. 60, pp. 354– 59; no. 61, pp. 360– 61); Dames 1907 (nos. XII, XIII, XIV); Dames.
6 Qôl is a commonly used etymological spelling of kôl ‘oath’; most Arabic loanwords in Balochi are spelt as in Arabic, as is the case in Persian.
181
Kreyenbroek, Philip G. (Editor); Marzolph, Ulrich (Editor); Yarshater, Ehsan (Editor). History of Persian Literature, Volume XVIII : Oral Literature of Iranian Languages, Volume 2 : Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik.
London, GBR: I.B.Tauris, 2010. p 181.