A Punjabi Village in Perspective: Book I : A Punjabi Village in Pakistan: The Community and Book II : The Economic Life of a Punjabi by Zekiya Eglar

A Punjabi Village in Perspective: Book I : A Punjabi Village in Pakistan: The Community and Book II…

byZekiya Eglar

Hardcover | November 1, 2010

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The two volumes, the award-winning A Punjabi Village in Pakistan and The Economic Life of a Punjabi Village are based on extensive fieldwork in Pakistan and contain relevant insights into Pakistani society, particularly women, still pertinent today, as well as a more holistic and humanisticview of village life. Eglar's study is useful for precisely what she focused on-the patterns of ritual service and gift exchange which underlay every facet of life in the village.Together the two books present an in-depth outsider-insider perspective into the social and economic patterns of a village in Pakistan prior to the Green Revolution of 1958 which heralded the beginnings of change in village agriculture and land ownership. Of particular advantage to the research was the fact that Eglar's sources of information were not limited to one or the other gender. As a guest of the Chowdhry family she could initially stay in the baithak (guest house), traditionally an all-male preserve situated close to the main house wherevillagers would gather over a smoke and chat after their day's work. In addition, as a woman, she could freely enter the women's domain and participate in and observe their daily activities.In her work, Eglar found unwritten social contracts and relationships known as vartan bhanji that bound the community at different levels. The well-established networking patterns of vartan bhanji cemented relationships within the family. These patterns then extended beyond the family to the widervillage community and further, to other villages in the area. The unwritten code also sustained professional relationships between the landowning zamindars, the tenant farmers and the kammis (literally, 'those who work', people in service professions). Vartan bhanji in the male domain revolvedaround farming and its associated trades, with various reciprocal exchanges moving the economy along, rather than cash payments. However, women played a central role. It is this dual aspect that Eglar details in the sequel.Eglar's Mohla studies together make an important contribution to the understanding of women's role in this predominantly Muslim, agrarian society. A Punjabi Village records women as being central to the interdependent process. Women continued the traditions of vartan bhanji that bound the socialfabric of the village together, with the vartan bhanji primarily taking place through the daughter of the house. In the community-managed pattern of resolving disputes, they were also in a key position as married daughters or 'daughters of the village' who linked two households or villages and couldmediate in quarrels. These findings countered the prevailing wisdom about women's roles particularly in such a rural, predominantly Muslim setting. The Economic Life of a Punjabi Village takes this observation further: Women were central not just to the social relationships of the village culturebut also to the village economy and to the economic well-being of their families. Although many things have now changed, women today still retain their positions as managers of the house and family and social relationships in the village and beyond. It is they who determine what staples are needed-like salt or maize-and when. Some take care of these purchases themselves, goinginto town if needed. This role remains an active rather than a passive one, and counters the stereotype of Muslim women as submissive or irrelevant as decision makers.An especially interesting aspect of the studies is that Eglar uses human stories to illustrate larger patterns and issues. These volumes will be of value to anthropologists, sociologists, and all readers with a special interest in Pakistan.

About The Author

Zekiye Eglar was born on 10 December 1910 in Georgia, one of the 'little Russias' under the Czar. Her mother Lalendar was the daughter of a Georgian prince, and her father Suleyman Pasha, a general in the Czar's army, hailed from Azerbaijan. Their life in the southern Caucasus was strongly rooted in a Muslim cultural heritage. After t...

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Title:A Punjabi Village in Perspective: Book I : A Punjabi Village in Pakistan: The Community and Book II…Format:HardcoverDimensions:350 pagesPublished:November 1, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195477235

ISBN - 13:9780195477238

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Table of Contents

Book I : A Punjabi Village in Pakistan: The CommunityMargaret Mead: ForewordPrefacePrologue: The Wider SettingPart I: The Village of Mohla1. The Village2. The Compound3. The Village Castes4. Land and Prestige5. The Farmer's Calendar6. The Village in Winter7. The Calendar of Religion8. The Family and the Kin Group9. Parents and Children: The Years of 'Untying the Knots'Part II: Vartan Bhanji10. The Meaning of Vartan Bhanji11. The Daughter's Role12. The Groups Involved13. The Rules14. Establishing Relationships15. Women's Role and Men's Role16. At a Marriage17. The Focus of GivingEpilogue: Mohla in a Changing World 1949-1955Appendices:I. Seyp: Work and PaymentsII. The Farmer's Round of ActivitiesIII. Vehi: The family RegisterIV. Intermarriage among KinV. Main Ceremonies Connected with marriageGlossaryBibliographyIndexBook II : The Economic Life of a Punjabi Village: The Land and the EconomyDr. Mary Catherine Bateson: PrefaceBeena Sarwar: IntroductionPart I: The History of Mohla1. Social organization2. Geography and villages in the area3. Demography4. Family organization and household economiesPart II: Land5. Land - Village Set Up6. Land Tenancy7. Agricultural Cycles8. Land - Agriculture9. KhushiPloughingSowingSugarcaneTobaccoPaddyMilletMaizeCalendar of Intense and Slack Periods of Work10. CattleBuffaloCattle in AgricultureFodder11. Farmer's Budget12. Categories of CultivatorsBeena Sarwar: ConclusionBeena Sarwar: Zekiye Eglar: A bio-noteDr Shahla Haeri: Afterword