Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/468

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432 Some Matrimonial Problems of

and mats within the location of a certain Border tribe, and encamped there for a considerable time. One of the Sweepers proceeded to sell his wife to a tribesman named Kalu for £(^ 6s. 8d. Kalu kept her with him during the period of iddat {i.e., the period during which re-marriage is illegal according to Muhammedan law), but, when the time for a formal marriage drew near,hethought he saw the chance of a deal, and accordingly exchanged her as a relation of his own with a minor girl of another tribe. The father of the minor, however, had calculated on his relatives' objections, and his cousins intervened to stop the girl from going out of the tribe, and prevented ratification of the betrothal. Kalu was full of indignation, and demanded compensation. The minor's father, acknowledging the justice of the claim, through a local headman offered to compromise for £\1 6s. 8d. This sum would have given our friend Kalu a clear profit of four pounds, but he was not to be fobbed off with less than the market price of girls of the other tribe, and he clamoured to the defaulter's chief for ^20, the prevailing rate. This was his undoing. The chief made certain enquiries, and on discovery of the base origin of the first woman insisted on her return to her own people. Kalu, thus deprived of both the women and his profit, returned to demand justice from his own chief, within whose territories the Sweepers were still living. He claimed that they should refund his money, and suffer punishment for deception. Here, too, he met with no sympathy, for the chief, looking to the small sum paid by Kalu, held that he could not have been deceived, and, further, like the chief of the other tribe, he would not allow members of his tribe to demean them- selves by consorting with menials. Thus, while the right of disposal by relatives was freely admitted, and compen- sation for breach of betrothal was also accepted, alienation from the tribe was hotly resisted, and intermarriage with menials interfered with by superior authority. The end of the matter was that Kalu lost £<^ 6s. 8d., and had a lesson