Gojal area of the Karakorum mountains
pakistan
 
GLOSSARY
Pakistan glossary

Hayat Begum

(PAKISTAN 9)

Sex

female

Age

60

Occupation

farmer

Location

Shimshal

Date

30 December 2000

 

transcript

Section 1
Today I am interviewing my foster mother Hayat Begum. She is sitting with her kind husband Baig Daulat janab (Mr, sir), her step-son Shambi Khan, her grandson Rehmat ullah Baig, and her daughter in-law Bibi Mahram. In this cold winter day I also joined them and am sitting around the fire stove. I am preparing for the interview in a comfortable environment. Her house is located in such a place from where one can view the entire Shimshal village. For being located on an elevated place the scenic beauty of the valley looks impressive. It is a winter day and the valley is covered with snow. The view is impressive. To make the environment more peaceful, the children have been asked to leave the house and they left for the dairy farm to feed a new breed of sheep called Umri. They are the first to introduce this new breed in Shimshal. I am interviewing the woman amid the severe cold weather but I hope that despite the coldness she will continue the interview.

Amma jee (term of endearment/respect for older women)! Would you like to tell us, how old are you?
I am about sixty years old

How many brothers do you have?
I had two brothers; one was martyred now I am left with one brother. My mother and father are not alive. I had a young son from my second husband; he also died in his youth.

Would you like to tell us, when the stitching and knitting works started in Shimshal? Do you recall?
It started here quite earlier.

Who else was alive at that time?
My father in-law Ghulam Nasir was alive at that time. Aunt Rehan was married here from Gircha. First of all she introduced the stitching and knitting work in Shimshal. She was the wife of khalifa (local religious leader) Nazar Muhammad. Beyond that I donít recall. After Rehan introduced this work, women started knitting socks and sweaters. Refining of wool, making thread and knitting works started since then.

Aunt Rehan had introduced knitting and stitching works in her time. Do you recall the old dress?
At that time we would wear woollen dresses.
Section 2
Okay! Woollen shirts as well?
Yes, we would make long woollen shirts called raghz. Then there came the era of cotton cloths, we would make only long women shirts from cotton cloth, the cloth was named kanai.

Was the cloth named kanai Pakistan made or imported?
Yes it was Pakistan made. Another cloth called berakht shah towor (plain raw silk) was also used to prepare a set of clothes. We would use this one set throughout the year, however a pair of looq (woollen clothes) also supplemented it. There were not several varieties of clothes available like it is today.

At that time it was the common dress among the people. Please tell us, were they satisfied with that kind of dress and what was their impression about that dress?
People were living according to the conditions and resources that were available at that time, because nobody knows about the circumstances in the future. We would feel cold but we would compromise with it. We were happy and satisfied with that dress and the food. Those were the best cloths available to us.

In your opinion, which dress was comfortable, the old dress or the present dress?
The dresses available today are much more comfortable. God has bestowed us with surplus blessings. Today every kind of clothes - socks, shoes, long shirts and womenís clothes Ė are available in abundance. In former times no such dresses were available and we would thank God for what he had granted us, but today God has blessed us with everything. These were not available to our mothers and grandmothers, they would use simple dress, and silk cloths were not available to them. Everything is available today. The only deficiency is the contentment and our thanks to God. There is a need to thank God, I mean it should be our duty to thank God for his blessings.

You mean that todayís dresses are comfortable.
Yes these are quite comfortable.

Do you think that the class differences of rich and poor has decreased today as compared with olden time?
Today there is no difference between poor and rich. In olden times the poor would beg from the rich fellow, they would beg for wool and cloths. They would also borrow foodstuff from one another. But God has eliminated the difference between the poor and the rich and everything is available to everyone today.

In your view how was the difference between rich and poor eliminated? How did the perception change?
It changed because God blessed the people with more resources and they are no more dependent on each other. In former times people would borrow the daily use commodities from each other. There was more unity and they would assist each other in work. They would borrow commodities from one another and in turn they would make free labour for each other. Those who were rich would fulfil their needs unconditionally. Now changes today are due to the blessing of God. I mean today multiple sources of earning are available to us and we can easily fulfil our daily needs.
Section 3
The tradition of helping each other was more in old times. Does it exist even today?
Yes it exists even today but it has decreased as compared to the former times. Because most of the people go out in search of employment due to which the tradition of seeking and extending help has declined. Women still help each other in works like herding livestock and extracting butter from milk.

Amman jee! What was the approximate population of Shimshal at the time of your childhood?
There were very few people in Shimshal. On the occasion of certain festivals or marriage they would accommodate in one house. These few would also attend the Jamat khana (religious and community centre of Ismaili Muslims) for prayers and all would also participate in funerals and marriage ceremonies. But now the population has increased manifold.

Volunteer service! Have you ever rendered volunteer services to the community and in which institution?
Yes I have rendered volunteer service to the community through Village Women Organisation (VWO). I served the institution for about four years.

Correct
I served the community along with non (mother) Zainul and non Ainul.

Would you please tell us what was the impact of this volunteer service on your personality and your family? Did you enjoy the service or you faced difficulties?
I faced no difficulty in it; instead it gave me real pleasure. When one takes the responsibility then they get the opportunity to learn, there is nothing to worry about. I entered into the volunteer services when I was the wife of your Uncle, late Muhammad Nayab. After the death of your uncle one day I was invited to a meeting held at langar (communal kitchen of Jamat khana) where I was nominated as vice president of Village Women Organisation. I served the institution for about five years.
I also served the institution of Aga Khan; Women volunteer corps Shimshal and I still continue my services with the volunteer corps. When your uncle was mukhi (local religious leader), I served as mukhiani (female religious leader; wife of mukhi).

Very good, excellent. In your tenure what important tasks did you carry out for the community?
The important task was such that when we organised the works to be undertaken by the volunteer. Customarily, during meetings issues were discussed and after taking tea and bread the meetings were dispersed but when we took over them on the advice of your uncle Muhammad Nayab, we started saving Rs.2 per head on every meeting. We collected the money from the women and pooled it. After some time it became a handsome amount, which was sufficient to cover the expenses of volunteers. Father Muhammad Sofi and Wali were the custodians of this amount.
Section 4
Excellent; you told a very interesting thing.
Thereafter we started collecting wheat grain. First of all your uncle Muhammad Nayab donated one tabaq (wooden pot of about 10-kg capacity used for grain measurement) wheat grain, my present husband Baig Daulat donated two tabaq wheat grain.

Well, Uncle arbob (Mirís main representative in the village, narratorís husband) also donated that is good.
In this way we collected 12 gharbal (scale for measurement of food grain) and 12 juti (16 -juti = 1 gharbal= 13kg) out of this 3 gharbal and 3 juti was barley grain.

Correct, you talked about a very important thing.
We stored this food grain in Brother Shah Nazarís house, from there brother Madís children and other people purchased it and the amount whatsoever it was, were deposited with father Muhammad Sofi and Wali Baig.

It means you handed over the money to menís volunteers
Thereafter when mother Bargoon and Gulshad took over the responsibility they also continued the fund raising campaign. They collected Rs.2 from every house but from my house my husband numberdar (government representative in the village) donated Rs.100. This was the foundation for the women volunteersí savings. The Rs.2 was the foundation stone of this fund raising campaign. Bargoon Nasreen and myself collected the funds and your uncle masterminded the programme.

Thank you very much for the very important discussions. Regarding the fund collection, did any of your members ever oppose it or disagree with it in your meetings? Please comment on it.
Nobody opposed the idea; instead every woman and gent member thanked us for this meritorious job. On the occasion of Salgirah (important Ismaili celebration on 11th July) we were given the assignment to collect butter from every house, we collected it and preserved it in animalís hide for consumption on Salgirah occasion. Under the management of Mushk we prepared molida (local dish; bread mixed with qurut Ė local dried cheese - and butter) with pure butter and offered to the community on Salgirah occasion. People appreciated the work of women volunteers, as it was a good work.
Section 5
You feel proud of your work I also appreciate it, being a woman in Islamic society one can hardly look after her children but to think and work for the community is really a remarkable job. Have you ever heard from the old women that in ancient time women had also rendered services for the community?
The tradition of volunteer services in Shimshal is very old but there were no institutions available at that time. Institutions were formed in the recent past and now people serve the community through these institutions, like the institution of women and men volunteers.

You served the community through these institutions?
Yes my son. We were also rendering services through these institutions. The community would assign us tasks and we would accomplish these tasks through the institutions. On the occasion of Haji Baigís marriage we undertook the task to provide the travellersí hut at Shams (sacred place; it is believed that the pious man Shams had spent time at this place) with appropriate and clean bedding facility. For this purpose we collected wool and processed it in Wali Baigís house and prepared quilts, cushion and pads from it. Then we prepared pads for volunteerís office. Such kinds of activities continue till today but God knows better what will happen in the future.

In former times, have our grandmothers also rendered services to the community or they simply carried out their household activities?
Yes of course! They also helped each other. For example they would ask each other for assistance in the works of processing and carding wool and spinning thread out of the refined wool; such works were usually carried out in the night. In this way they would accomplish such kind of works collectively and this was the tradition of our village.

What is the practice of helping each other at Pamir (Shimshalís mountain pastures)?
At Pamir people help each other in extracting butter from milk, grazing livestock, and in delivery and transportation of animal dung for fuel etc.

It is very interesting and informative, now let us come to the knitting and thread spinning activities. The instruments/machines used for making threads were locally made or imported from down country (refers to the rest of Pakistan)?
The instrument called teer (spindle), used for making woollen threads was made from wood. We would spin the filament with the help of this instrument, the threads were then coiled in a spherical shape and then knitting/ fabrication works were carried out.

Were the threads used for knitting sweaters, prepared locally or imported from down country?
It was prepared from the raw material locally available e.g. from the sheepís wool. In former times we would card the wool in the night. Approximately six, seven sometimes twelve women would sit together in a house and would card the wool and prepare the yarn for coarse woollen cloth and sweaters. Very few women now do this work because women have taken over the assignments that were normally carried out by men in the past. In olden times women would fabricate sweaters and socks. In socks, Gul Begum design (named after the woman who introduced it) was the most popular design of that era. Even today few women knit this design. In this design all the coloured threads were used simultaneously. Different designs and flowers were used to make the socks impressive.
Section 6
Was the knitting of socks and sweaters introduced by grandmother Rehan or it existed already?
It is said that it existed prior to aunt Rehan, but only one design of flower was used which was known as chikan and Gul Begum style/design was introduced in the near past, which I also recollect. There were several designs of flowers, the popular designs were known as paleech, chikan, qazil bashi and gureen etc. Women introduced this Gul Begum design in recent past.

Dear mother, thank you very much, for the very interesting information particularly about the knitting designs and you also narrated the names of different designs. Were there such designs also employed on chugha (woollen overcoat)? Please tell us about that embroidery designs.
My son! Different designs were used for chugha for example for womenís chugha, a red coloured ribbon made from woollen threads was stitched on the boarders of the chugha. Different designs were stitched on the menís chugha, one such design was called chashmi-bulbul (nightingaleís eye). This was particularly stitched on menís trouser to make it impressive. The stitching was made by thick filament in extremely fine manner.

Is the embroidery works of chugha, coats and caps since ancient times or was it introduced recently? Please tell us in accordance with your experience and memory.
I donít exactly remember whether it was since ancient times but as far as my recollection is concerned, my aunt Bibi Nasab, who was married here from Hussani, was stitching the chugha and handkerchiefs with different designs. I was quite young but still I remember that she would prepare women cap with different designs of flowers and would also stitch on raw cotton cloth that were used for women cap.

What kind of caps did the women use? Were these woollen caps?
My son! Caps called kubri (embroidery design for womenís caps in the past) were used at that time. Kubri was a kind of womenís cap with a stairway like design. The caps with five step designs were called five-kubri and with seven steps were called seven-kubri cap.

Was kubri the popular cap of that time?
Yes - this type of cap was very popular among the women of that time. After that another design called qalami (printed cloth) was introduced. Then women would use this design. On qalami caps the design of several kinds of flowers were stitched to make it more artistic.
Section 7
Prior to the kubri-designed caps, what kind of caps did the women normally use?
At that time simple white caps were used sewed by hand, which were call dhorm. It was without flowers design, and prior to that where there was no caps available, women would cover their head with white cloth, over which sheets (scarves?) were used. Instead of caps plain raw silk called khoom was used commonly whereas on special occasions white fine silk was used to cover the head.

Was the raw silk which was used for cap and as a sheet fabricated locally or imported from elsewhere?
These were imported from Kashghar (China) or from other areas. My father late Shireen Shah was imprisoned by the Chinese. When he was released and he returned home, he brought with him the Chinese cloth that was Chinese raw silk. Normally on the occasion of marriages, 9-pair of raw silk cloths were customarily presented to the bride.

Why was your father imprisoned?
There was a dispute on the proprietary rights of Pamir between China and Shimshal and my father on his turn was nominated for looking after the yaks at Pamir. He along with his colleagues was imprisoned on the charges that they were grazing yaks in Chinese territory. The Mir of Hunza (rulers of Hunza state up to 1974) were on good terms with Chinese; therefore they were released soon and the Chinese allowed them to do some shopping. Though I was quite young but still I remember that my father had brought raw silk and silver coins. Then we came to know about the currency of China. People would also bring coins from Gilgit and later on Pakistan also issued silver coins.

People would purchase cloths with these coins or they would purchase other commodities?
We would import very few things from outside, almost everything we would produce in the village. We would sit in one place and would make woollen threads, for sweaters, socks and woollen cloths. These were made from the wool of our domestic animals. The wools were graded and the best quality wools were used to make coarse woollen cloths and the ordinary wools were used to make threads. We would transport very little things from Hunza and the things were not available like they are today.

Threads are being made even today or not?
No, it has vanished completely; women have almost abandoned it because today things are available from multiple sources in abundance.

Do the women of your age feel that the young generation makes more savings in terms of dress etc?
Today men spend all their money by purchasing everyday essential commodities; they earn more money through their education and skill but spend all that money.

Mother! Why have the women abandoned the embroidery work, should it continue? Should we import the commodities from outside or we should make savings?
The embroidery work should be continued. In former times the firewood that was used for lighting was hard to find, and all these works were carried out in the night. We would work throughout the night, making coarse woollen cloths and socks etc and would hardly sleep. I advise the women to make in their homes, the woollen cloths, socks, sweaters and quilts instead of wasting the wool.
Section 8
In former times firewood was used for lighting and all these works were done. Today kerosene and electricity is available for lighting then why do the women not work?
Today 4, 5 lanterns, 4 number gas lamps and electricity are available in my house and I advise them to work hard in embroidery and they should not abandon it. I also advise them to make at least sweaters, socks and quilts if they could not make fine embroidery.

According to your analysis, who works hardest, the men or women?
Men do more efforts, some men are busy with their education, some are engaged with tourists and some do other outdoor works. It is the duty of women to card the wool and make yarn and etc. Women have also got plenty of work to do, for example to make natural fertiliser, delivery of fertiliser, fetching firewood and fetching water from the river. But still if they have spare time, they should do weaving and knitting work at night.

Mother! In former times women were responsible for the household and embroidery works, what were the men doing?
At that time men would not travel so frequently. They would travel to Hunza, Gulmit twice or thrice in a year. Firstly they would transport the sufra (literally, gifts; refers to some of the taxes paid by Shimshalis to the Mir) load, secondly yeelban (taxes) of the Mir and thirdly before the spring season, they would go as far as Gulmit to bring dried apricots and other dried fruits. In addition, they would do all the agriculture works such as delivery of fertiliser, watering of the fields, fetching firewood, making fertiliser [from dung], constructing a boundary wall around the fields, men were responsible for all these works. Customarily women did not carry out these works but today women fetch firewood, prepare fertiliser and deliver the fertiliser to the field. Men are engaged in other works such as working with tourists as porters in summer.

According to you, women have taken over menís work such as watering the fields, fetching firewood etc then how would they spare time for making threads, knitting and weaving of patto (coarse woollen cloth)?
Women have all the facilities, they have electricity for lighting, and they can spare time for these things. There is a thread spinning machine available in the village and those who have insufficient time can hire this machine. I also work on the machine. We can best utilise the machine.

Most of our daughters (young girls of the community) attend the school and they hardly spare time for embroidery works. Do you think that they should be trained in the school?
Yes they should be. In school they should be trained to card wool, make bread, knit sweaters and do other related work, because for most of the time they are in school. Sewing work is carried out in almost every house.
Section 9
Can little Farzana in your house, make bread?
Yes she can prepare bread.

Did Farzana learn bread making from her mother or in school?
She learnt it from her mother but it should be mandatory to train them in school regarding the household works such as making bread, making threads and knitting socks etc.

Thank you mother. AKRSP (Aga Khan Rural Support Programme) introduced a spinning machine in the village. Do you think that the machine works better than the traditional way?
The machine works more. In former times teer were used for spinning threads and four or five women would spin throughout the night, now the same work is being carried out by machine in 3 or 4 hours. The machine works efficiently if the people are trained to operate it; otherwise it is also of no use.

Since when has the sewing machine been used?
In ancient times sewing works of chugha were made by hand. Nooran had sold the machine to your uncle late Muhammad Nayab.

Was every woman capable of stitching / sewing cloths?
Mother Sher Sultana and Rehan were more skilful in sewing. Some other women were also capable of sewing chugha and trousers but not everyone. Those who did not know would take the help of those who were skilled.

Sewing and spinning machines are available and we can term it as a machine age. To what extent have these machines changed our condition? Have these machines weakened us or caused development?
It has caused development.

How? Please give your comments.
The machine works faster than traditional ways. We would sew pirhan (womenís long shirt or dress) and chugha by hand and it would consume considerable time but the machine does the job at once.

Do you have a machine in your house?
Yes there is one.

Among you who works on the machine?
My stepson, Shambi Khan works on the machine, he sewed our cloths.

When you were a child, were there any sewing machines available?
There was no machine available, later on it was introduced by Uncle Nooran who came here from Gulmit with his sewing machine. Since then people use sewing machines. Uncle Nooran was sewing cloths in Uncle Bakhti Baigís house. Later on you Uncle Muhammad Nayab purchased this machine and stated stitching the cloths in Shimshal. After that numberdar purchased a sewing machine for his son Shambi Khan. In this way people started buying the machines. Prior to the machine people would stitch cloths manually.
Section 10
Are the machine made socks and sweaters imported from outside, more durable than locally hand made socks and sweaters?
Our local woollen socks are very warm and extensively used in winter, but my stepson purchased woollen socks from the market that were also quite warm and durable. Handmade products are more durable and machine made products are less durable and of poor quality.

Were there any shops in Shimshal?
No, there were no shops in Shimshal and nobody had even heard of them.

How was the feeling of selling products and when did it start?
When the Pakistan military was deployed here at that time people started selling sweaters and socks made by the women and earned money. This money was used to buy other necessities from Gulmit and Hunza.

What is your comment about the availability of firewood?
In former times firewood was delivered from the mountains; now the source is depleting rapidly because the population has increased. Our brothers would fetch large quantities of firewood from the mountains.

Did the mountains undergo any changes as compared to the former times?
Now the firewood source is depleting and is hardly found in the mountains. In olden times it was abundantly available along the trek leading to Pamir and we would easily meet the fuel requirements.

Is there any difficulty in terms of cooking?
No.

If the firewood source is exhausted what could be the possible alternate fuel source in the village?
At present kerosene stoves and electricity is being used and coal would be the next source if explored.

Let us discuss about the dress. What kinds of dress was used in ancient times? What is the major difference between the modern and the old dress?
Woollen dresses were used in ancient times. A woollen shirt was used over which a woollen chugha was used. But today we use warm cloths like feather coats and velvet is used for women dresses. The modern dresses are warm as compared to the olden dresses.
Section 11
Would you like to tell us about your favourite dress?
I like thick and warm cloths such as feather coats. I like plain cloths. I also like red and black colours.

What was your favourite dress in your childhood?
There were no choices of dresses at all, only locally made woollen cloths were available. We would use hand made shoes and socks. Rainfall and snow spoiled the shoes, therefore we would walk barefooted even in the snow. Stones and sand would stick to our feet due to extreme cold and bruised our feet.

Let us come to the foods. What kinds of foods were used at that time?
At that time soup was prepared from dried apricot; mutton and qurut were extensively used. Bread with daghove (kind of soup: qurut mixed with water and butter) was used for lunch, some times meat and butter was also used with bread.

Other than these, what kinds of foods were used?
There were no iron stoves available at that time we would make dildongi (thick bread cooked in a mud oven) and distributed it among the family. There was no tea available, dry and crisp breads were used.

Is the same system of cooking practised till today?
That procedure is no longer followed. Every household possesses iron stoves and dildongi cannot be made in iron stoves.

What kinds of foods are used commonly today?
Nowadays, potato, mutton, pulses and rice are commonly used

Were there rice and pulse available in olden times? What foods were commonly used?
No rice and pulses were not available; bread was mostly used with vegetables, meat and butter. Sometimes vegetables were dried in the summer for use in winter. More expenses were made on marriage and other occasions. Five or six deg (cast iron cooking pot; 100 litre capacity) beth (local dish, wheat flour mixed with butter, water and salt served with mutton) were prepared on marriage and other occasions. The surplus food on these occasions was distributed among the households and these foods were frozen and stored. Sometimes yaks were slaughtered by a family and were used throughout the year.

Are the old foods systems practised today?
The old foods systems are in decline and are not practised.
Section 12
In your view what is the reason for the decline?
Due to the increase in population, fewer expenses are made on marriage and other occasions, because one cannot afford to feed such a large population.

Has any change occurred in marriage foods?
Yes, now rice and sweets dishes are the additional items in todayís marriage menu. In old times, beth was served with meat only.

Are rice, sugar and ghee (clarified butter) local products or imported from outside?
These are imported from outside.

What is your impression about it?
Modern foods have a very positive impact on our life. People are more comfortable with these foods. We use sugar with tea that keeps our body warm.

Dear mother! What is your favourite food?
Paratha (deep fried flat bread) is my favourite food.
(Everybody laughed(.

Why is paratha your favourite food?
I like it naturally?

Every time have you an appetite for paratha or you take it once a day?
I take paratha once a day.

What is your opinion about tea and soup?
Soup is better than tea.

Would you tell us about the merits and demerits of tea?
It is said that tea possesses disease, but in our cold area it keeps the body warm. In former times most of the people would suffer from pneumonia, it has abated today. There is more energy in soup. It would be much better to use soup but it is in decline nowadays.

People would take more food in former time or today they take more?
At that time people would take more food they would take breakfast and lunch together. Now people take less food and more tea. Normally the people in old times would take more food in comparison with today.

Do we produce our food indigenously or import it from outside?
Major parts of our food are produced locally: only tea, sugar, salt, rice and pulses etc are imported from outside.
Section 13
In your view, is storage of foodstuff in a house more today or was it more in the past?
Abundant food is available because food is also imported from outside. At that time we had only the locally produced food and we had to live within that, but it is not like that today.

What is the role of a housewife in the family management system? Do you manage the food stock or does your daughter in-law manage it?
We jointly manage the house.

What was the role of a housewife in house management in olden times?
The senior woman of the family would issue rations from the stock and the junior or daughter-in-law would prepare the food. It is not like that today, [now] everyone has free access to the food stock. For example any of my daughters-in-law, whoever is available at home gets the food from the stock and prepares it.

Donít you think that access of everyone to the food stock will cause loss to the stock? Is it part of the training?
No loss is caused to the stock, it is very simple that whoever is available at home can select the menu such as tea, flour or meat and prepares the food.

For example, a government officer is responsible for the treasury, but if the subordinates i.e. the clerks without his permission start disbursing the treasury then what will happen to the treasury? If the same is practised in a house what will happen to the home?
Actually I am custodian of the treasury (food stock) of my house but my daughters-in-law act in accordance with my advice.

It means you supervise and issue instructions?
Yes, my daughters-in-law carry out easy routine works on their own that are not complex.

Thank you very much. Dear mother! When did you marry for the first time?
I was married when I was about 22, 23 years old

What was the marriage system at that time? Would they seek the consent of their son or daughter?
At that time the will of parents was dominant. The procedure of betrothal was such that the brother and father of the girl were contacted. Whenever the girl or the boy was asked to give their consent and their decision was negative even then the parents would impose their decision on them. They would prefer their own will rather than the will of the boy or girl. They would not bother asking the girl or boy - they would deem this as their defeat.

Was your first engagement in accordance with your consent?
Nowadays parents seek the consent of their children and such marriages are very successful because they develop mutual understanding. In former times marriages were made against the will of their children and very few people would enjoy a successful marital life, most of the marriages would end with divorce.
Section 14
At what age marriages were normally made?
At that time marriages were made at very young age but today people marry in middle age.

Approximately at what age people would marry?
Approximately at the age of 12 or 13 marriages took place, which was an injustice.

In your view was it not a successful marriage?
Yes, due to the minor age and lack of understanding, they would not properly plan their future.

Was your first marriage in accordance with your consent or did your parents impose their own decision on you?
I was very young and couldnít know when my engagement took place. It was the will and decision of my parents but I was happy with this marriage but due to some misunderstanding I was divorced.

After the wedding ceremony which major events were celebrated before the marriage ceremony?
First of all two or three persons would to the girlís home for the engagement. After that the entire tribe would go to the girlís house for the necklace tying ceremony. The religious representative would offer prayers and the necklace was tied around the neck of bride, on this occasion the bridegroom would also participate and a white cap was offered to the bridegroom. Then at a particular day a senior woman would launch the marriage ceremony by putting bread on the stove and for about six days breads and meat were prepared and on a predetermined day the marriage would take place.
For the necklace tying ceremony: one-deg beth with 20-kg butter was consumed, some people would prepare molida. Engagements were made one year prior to the marriage due to the expenses. The whole year they would make the arrangements so that they can celebrate the marriage with pomp.

What were the expenses of a marriage? What foods were prepared?
From the bride side five or six pair of cloths, roipok (veil), printed over coat, two pair of scarf and a pair of shushk (long shoes made of animal hide), were presented to the bridegroom. In turn the bridegroom would offer eight raw silk suits, 10 metres of patto, one sheep and one yak, which were presented to the girlís father.

What was the bridegroomís dress?
The bridegroom would wear white shirt with white trouser and a woollen over coat on this occasion.