The Endless Day. Some Case Material on Asian Rural Women by T. Scarlett Epstein

By T. Scarlett Epstein

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Cash and material items flow from the groom's to the bride's family in far larger sums than the amount she brings as her dowry, unlike in other societies on the Subcontinent, where dowry consists of jewellery, furniture and cash (Goody and Tambiah, 1973; Lewis, 1958; Mayer, 1970). In marriage, bridex See page 46. Binary and Opposing Models of Pukhtun Womanhood 37 price may often be paid in instalments after the marriage (nikah) if the person is not well-off. Society considers keeping a daughter at home after she is 15 or 16 a sign of disgrace.

There is a big mosque where people from the surrounding villages go to pray on Friday. This central place also has a Forest Department rest house. 49 The Role of Women in a Punjab Village The economy of Khalabat is primarily based on agriculture. Besides agriculture, the main occupation for men is service in the forces. Among the younger generation the trend is changing due to education, and they are also going in for other jobs besides the forces. Not many of them get good jobs or attain high ranks as they are not well educated.

No Pukhtun, supremely conscious as he is of his honour being tied to that of his women, would divorce his wife. 4% in our entire field work area. 2% were polygamous with two or, in very rare cases, more living wives. We may conclude that Mohmand society is largely monogamous. It has been shown (see for instance Barth, 1953:68 Table III) that endogamy is more prevalent among Muslim tribal societies than among non-tribals. Endogamous family marriages of tribals were as high as 71% and contrasted with 37% for non-tribal families, while non-tribal village endogamy was 78%, almost as high as for tribal village endogamy, 80% (Ibid: 68).

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