Skip to main content

Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

See other formats

56                      JOURNEYS IN PERSIA           LETTER xvm

which must he transmitted from father to son, and which
must affect the whole tribe. As a deterrent from acts
of violence it acts powerfully, and may account for the
singular bloodlessness of some of the tribal fights. Few
men, unless carried away by a whirlwind of fury, care
to involve a tribe in the far-reaching consequences
alluded to, and bad a& the custom of blood feuds is,
I think there can be no doubt that it acts as a curb
upon the passions of these wild tribesmen. " There is
blood between us and them/' is a phrase often heard.

Punishments are simple and deterrent, well suited to
a simple people. When a homicide is captured he is
handed over to the relatives of the slain man, who may
kill him, banish him, fine him, or pardon him. In point
of fact, "blood-money" is paid to the family of the
deceased person, and to save his life from their vengeance
a homicide frequently becomes a mendicant on the other
side of the mountains till he can gain the required sum.
Moslem charity responds freely to a claim for alms to
wipe out a blood stain. The Ilkhani has a right to fine
a homicide. " Blood for blood " is a maxim very early

The present feud between the Magawe and the Zalaki
tribes is of the first degree. It is undoubtedly a part
of the truly Oriental policy of Persia to foment tribal
quarrels, and keep them going, with the object of weaken-
ing the power of the clans, which, though less so than
formerly, is a standing menace to the central govern-

On reaching camp after this visit I found a greater
crowd than ever, and as " divers of them came from far,"
I tried to help them till nine o'clock, and as Aziz had
returned the crowding was not so severe. He said,
" You're very tired, send these people away, you've done
enough." I answered that one had never done enough