Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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Preface

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pp. xi-xiv

This book is based on seventeen months’ fieldwork on Jabal Razih. in the far north of the Republic of Yemen, where I spent from March to October 1977, October 1979 to May 1980, and January and February 1993. The “ethnographic present” therefore refers to that period. Throughout my fieldwork I lived in the tiny “town” or madınah of al-Nazır, the main settlement of a tribe in southern Razih. . During my first two stays I maintained...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-xviii

I would like to thank all the Razihis who helped me during fieldwork for their immense kindness and generosity. I am particularly grateful to the women of Bayt Mansur 'Alı and Bayt Ahmad Muhammad Jubran, the shaykhs of Ilt Farah, and members of Bayt Abu Talib. I am also indebted to all those who allowed me to copy their family documents, and to...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

This book describes the politico-legal system of small tribes of farmers and traders which have existed on Jabal Razih, in much the same form, for at least four centuries, and considers their historical relationship with a continuous succession of religious rulers and the present republican state. Throughout the book I...

Part I: The Tribal System

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Chapter One: Environment and Economy

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pp. 11-36

Jabal Razih is a high massif which lies on the western edge of the Yemeni highlands overlooking the coastal plain (Tihamah) of the Red Sea next to the border with Saudi Arabia. Razih. has impressive natural defenses. Jabal Hurum (alt. 2790m), its highest sum-into the massif from the north or east. The deep gorge...

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Chapter Two: Social and Political Inequality

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pp. 37-65

The people of Razih are differentiated and ranked according to several criteria, innate and ascribed, with profound effects on their potential for wielding power or infl uence. Men monopolize the politico-legal sphere as a taken-for-granted gender right, while discriminating among themselves on the basis of age...

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Chapter Three: The Tribes of Rāziḥ

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pp. 66-94

Razihıs have a strong sense of common identity based on inhabiting the same remote massif, and their limited contact, until recently, with other regions. A few Razihıs traveled beyond their grimage to Mecca, or to petition shaykhs or government offi cials. But in contrast to the people of poorer regions in the Tihamah...

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Chapter Four: Tribal Leadership

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pp. 95-120

We have seen that the tribes of Razih are constituted by a constituents. In order to understand the operation and longevity of this tribal system we therefore need to examine the institution of tribal leadership more closely, and especially to consider how certain clans have monopolized...

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Chapter Five: Wider Structures and Relations

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pp. 121-139

We have seen that Razih is a zone of intensive trade, that each tribe is embedded in a matrix of other tribes, and that its people are interconnected by countless ties of friendship, marriage, and crossing tribal borders to shop, work, or fulfill their social obligations. Local fortunes also depend on the free flow of trade within...

Images

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Part II: Tribal Governance

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Chapter Six: Principles, Rules, and Sanctions

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pp. 143-166

The high population density of Razih, the consequent pressure traffic between tribes create a favorable environment for disputes and crimes. But their destructive potential is offset by a counter-vailing drive for order fueled by religious and secular ideals, and by a vivid awareness that everyone’s livelihood is intensely...

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Chapter Seven: Enforcing the Law

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pp. 167-189

Within the sanctity of the home, where outside interference would insult patriarchal “honor,” offenses are routinely dealt with, as elsewhere in Yemen, by members of the extended family (see Mundy 1995: 56). People can also order another family to “deal with your offender!”...

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Chapter Eight: Conflict and Violence

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pp. 190-226

The shibab of Razih strut and swagger, projecting a short-fused, uncompromising, tough-guy image. Men have boisterous public arguments. Leaders hurl abuse at their adversaries during confrontational meetings. Every market sells daggers, guns, and ammunition. Men wear daggers, and sometimes carry guns...

Part III: The State-Tribe Relationship

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Chapter Nine: The Qāsimī Period

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pp. 229-255

For most of the four centuries considered in this final part of the book, Razih was “ruled” by Zaydıdawlahs. Before considering the effect on its tribes of constant state governance, it is necessary to summarize key features of Zaydism and the Zaydı state, with particular reference to the long period of Qasimı rule which...

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Chapter Ten: The Ḥamīd al-Dīn Period

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pp. 256-283

In the early 1870s the Ottomans again occupied Asır and parts of highland Yemen (though not this time Razih, and again stimulated a resurgence and expansion of the Zaydı state. In 1879 a non-Qasimı sayyid, al-Hadı Sharaf al-Dın (1879–90), announced his claim (da'wah) to the imamate, seized S. adah from a rival...

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Chapter Eleven: The Republican Period

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pp. 284-306

Razihıs realized they must accommodate to the republican state. But they still regarded the state-tribe relationship as subject to ments. In early 1970, therefore, soon after the Civil War ended, they stipulated, should: rule justly according to the precepts of tract only zakat, not customs dues ( jamarik) “lest people...

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Conclusions

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pp. 307-314

This work has identified the entities I have called “tribes,” as the main units of governance in Razih. This key finding distinguishes the tribes of Razih. from those in so-called “segmentary” systems, including the tribes of Hashid and Bakıl, described by Dresch (1989:78), which have “no privileged level of organization that stands...

Appendix 1

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pp. 315-320

Appendix 2

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pp. 321-342

Notes

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pp. 343-354

Glossary

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pp. 355-358

Bibliography

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pp. 359-374

Index

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pp. 375-390