Thursday, October 29, 2015

Walwar

Walwar means (the bride price). In tribal usage walwar is the right of the father to receive for his daughter's marriage or the right of the brother to receive for his sister's marriage. [1]

After the girl is approved , the father of the bridegroom with some of his relations ( maraka) goes to girl's father, and if the preliminary overtures are well-received, the amount of  walwar is discussed . The portion of it is to be paid in cash and in kind, and the presents, which the father will , at the wedding,  give to his daughter [2].

Should the girl die before the nikah, half the walwar paid is refunded. Besides the walwar, the bridegroom has to supply provisions (Khushai) to the father of the girl for the entertainment of the wedding guests. [3]

The custom of Walwar also exists in Central Asian countries Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kirghistan, Tajikistan  and non-Pashtun regions of Afghanistan. Turks call it qalin while Tajiks use the term haqqi shir for bride price. According to historical dictionary of Tajikistan ,
"Cash, livestock, and other goods that the bridegroom or his parents pay to the parents of a bride at the time of marriage are called qalin in Central Asia. Tajiks often call this haqqi shir.  This pre-Islamic tradition is widely practiced , specially in southern parts of Tajikistan. It is set by agreement between the two joining families and depends on their social and financial status. Qalin is usually divided into three parts, one part goes to bride, another part to her parents and the third is spent on the wedding ceremony. Soviet rule failed to eradicate this practice." [4]

References:

1- M. Ibrahim Atayee, "A dictionary of the terminology of Pashtun's tribal customary law and usages", p-103

2- Zhob district Gazetteer , 1907, p-59

3- Loralai Gazetteer, 1907, p-62

4- Kamoludin Abdullaev, Shahram Akbarzaheh, "Historical Dictionary of Tajikistan", p-287