Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.
Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records
Barth, Fredrik, 1928-
Political leadership among Swat Pathans
Published By: Original publisher
London: University of London, The Athlone Press. 1965. 8,
143 p. ill., maps
By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication
HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.:
Human Relations Area Files, 2002. Computer File
Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis.
Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF
Political behavior (660);
Culture summary (105);
Acculturation and culture contact (177);
Interpersonal relations (570);
Form and rules of government (642);
Kin groups (610);
Chief executive (643);
Prophets and ascetics (792);
Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document
This revised Ph.D. thesis is Barth's early attempt to
describe the political structure of Pashtun society in the Swat valley of the North-West
Frontier Province of Afghanistan prior to state formation. Mutual aspects of patron-client
bonds are demonstrated in such contractual relationships as those between tenant and
landowner and between craftspersons and village farmers. The focus of political authority
is on landowners or those who have rights to land and who preside over a men's house
(hujra). Bonds between Saints (in this work mullahs receive less attention as tribal
leaders) and their followers are also said to constitute patron-client units. The ability
to command a large following signals to rivals that an army can be mobilized should
disputes escalate into warfare. Barth asserts that the contractual relationships between
leaders and their dependents underlie the territory's political system and the
establishment of social order within it. However, while Pashtun may comprise the majority
group in certain areas of Swat and only a minority in other regions, it is not clear how
Pashtun interests intersect with the wider society. It is not fully explained, though it is
implied, that the local disputes between landowners may involve the community outside of
the public assembly (jirga) and the two-bloc alliance. The differences between Pashtun-led
assemblies and those controlled by Saints are also unclear. Part of the difficulty in
identifying the political boundaries referred to in this work stems from the basic analytic
framework. Barth uses the Hindu system of social organization to compare the hierarchical
and descent groups in Swat and labels these divisions as 'castes' (see pp. 16-22).
According to Barth, landownership is the prerequisite for differentiating Pashtun from
non-Pashtun. This explanation does not adequately recognize other indigenous kinship
criteria which individuals in Swat use to distinguish among themselves. The author's
analytical approach seems not to allow for other distinctions between individuals and
groups, especially the role of ethnic differences which he and others have elaborated
Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents
Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits.
Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs.
Language: Language that the document is written in
Includes bibliographical references (p. 139-141)
Contact between British authorities and tribal groups loosely organized under local chiefs
is indexed for Acculturation and Culture Change 177. Information regarding the process of
redistribution of power to a central Pashtun ruler is indexed for Form and Rules of
Government (642) and Chief Executive (643). The political leadership role of saints and
mullahs, including their role in initiating holy wars is indexed for the all of the
Political Behavior subjects (66*).
Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document
February - November 1954
Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data
Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection.
Delores Walters ; Gerald Reid ; 1987-1988
Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date).
Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site)
Swat valley, northern Pakistan
LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings