Gender Related Social Groups

Virtually the entire sociopolitical order of Swat is structured by the segmentary lineage system which is based on patrilineal descent. As mentioned in the "Cultural Overview," this system connects all Pathans in Swat to one another through reference to a genealogical pyramid that reaches back to a common patrilineal ancestor. This pyramid provides the framework for the political order, as men who are close patrilineal relatives are expected to ally against those who are more distant. Maternal links are officially completely excluded from this system, but Pathans do assume that they will have friendly relations with their mother's kinsmen, though those maternal kin cannot be obliged to participate in battles.

Patrilineal descent is also completely determinant of inheritance and residence. Land and rights are shared equally among sons or brothers, while the women of the lineage do not inherit. Villages consist of a core of men descended from a common paternal forebear and their dependents. Each village is further divided into wards (tuls) according to patrilineal kinship ties. Every tul has its own men's house where Pathan men and their clients gather to talk and show solidarity.

Households ideally are made up of a patriarch, his wife or wives, his unmarried daughters, and his sons and their wives and children. It is only within the household that a woman has any official authority. However, even there her orders can be overriden by her husband, though this rarely occurs.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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