By Shelagh Weir

ISBN-10: 0292714238

ISBN-13: 9780292714236

ISBN-10: 0292795556

ISBN-13: 9780292795556

A Tribal Order describes the politico-legal process of Jabal Razih, a distant massif in northern Yemen inhabited by way of farmers and investors. opposite to the preferred photo of heart japanese tribes as warlike, lawless, and continuously against states, the tribes of Razih have sturdy constructions of governance and complex legislation and tactics for retaining order and resolving conflicts with at the very least actual violence. Razihi leaders additionally traditionally cooperated with states, supplied the latter revered their customs, beliefs, and pursuits. Weir considers the program within the context of the rugged setting and efficient agricultural financial system of Razih, and of centuries of constant rule by means of Zaydi Muslim regimes and (latterly) the republican governments of Yemen. The publication is predicated on Weir's prolonged anthropological fieldwork on Jabal Razih, and on her exact research of 1000s of handwritten contracts and treaties between and among the tribes and rulers of R\azi\h. those files supply a desirable perception into tribal politics and legislation, in addition to state-tribe relatives, from the early 17th to the past due 20th century. A Tribal Order is usually enriched by means of case histories that vividly light up tribal practices. total, this surprisingly wide-ranging paintings presents an obtainable account of a awesome Arabian society via time.

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Extra info for A Tribal Order: Politics and Law in the Mountains of Yemen (CMES Modern Middle East Series)

Sample text

Rı¯ ceremonies I witnessed in the late 1970s, the boys to be circumcised performed dagger dances ( yidarrimu¯) for two or three days before the main ceremony. ¯ır, 1979 cheerleaders exchanged rhyming badinage in high-pitched chants (sing. maghrad), poking fun at each other’s hamlets (see Caton 1990). ” (tarajjal). indb 39 11/27/06 10:56:32 AM The Tribal System vigor and grace (see Adra 1982); then they entered the mosque for midday prayers. Later the boys’ fathers entertained friends and relatives to a banquet, then socialized while chewing qa¯t.

Sahalı¯s follow the Sha¯fi ¯ı madhhab of Sunnı¯ Islam, not the Zaydı¯ madhhab of the highlands. Their dialect, dress, furnishings, and ceremonies also contrast with those of the highlands, and many have African ancestry—most obviously manifested in their physical appearance and circular thatched huts. Jabal Ra¯zih. has many rocky ridges and summits, and is deeply dissected by steep-sided watercourses, though permanent streams are few. Nine tribes have their territories in this steep and rugged terrain, and another occupies Jabal Ghamar, a lower mountain to the east.

17 Ra¯zih. also lies near the northern limits of coffee production in Arabia, and close to ports and markets in Ası¯r from whence coffee was historically shipped abroad, or transported northward by camel train. It was therefore probably in the vanguard of the coffee trade as it developed during the second half of the sixteenth century, and coffee was certainly being cultivated in Ra¯zih. , enhancing general prosperity, augmenting the wealth and power of the local mercantile and political elite, and creating attractive pickings for tax-collecting states.

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A Tribal Order: Politics and Law in the Mountains of Yemen (CMES Modern Middle East Series) by Shelagh Weir


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