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The Tale of Suto and Tato: Kurdish Text with Translation and Notes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 December 2009

Extract

The story of Suto and Tato is in no way fiction, it is a lively reality, and anyone even slightly acquainted with these far-distant, but beautiful and picturesque countries and their inhabitants, will confirm my statement. The principal actors, Shaikh Muhammad Sadiq, the Shaikh of Barzan, Tato, Osman—Suto's elder son, are no longer alive. I am not certain about Suto himself. This old man, a perfect type of a Kurdish chief ruling over the most impregnable region of Central Kurdistan, may yet be alive. At any rate, in 1918 he was. Mulla Said, the narrator, was murdered in Urumia in July, 1918, by his countrymen. Peace be on him!

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Papers Contributed
Copyright
Copyright © School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 1923

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References

page 69 note 1 Suto was alive in 1920. (E. B. S.)

page 69 note 2 Also known as Oramar. (E. B. S.)

page 70 note 1 The Turkish administration classed Horamar as a “nahiya” of the “kaza” of Giaver, , “sandjak”Google Scholar of Hakkiari, and vilayet of Van. Horamar has on north, Ishtazin and Giaver; on north-west, Djilou, Baz, Tkhouma, Tiari; on south-west, Artosh, Rekan; on south, Barzan; and on east, Shemdinan. Horamar is not one village, as shown on the maps, but an agglomeration of many hamlets, more or less important. The following are their names: Chami Prizan, Oveski, Haousha Deri, Mle Amandje, Naw Gound (the largest), Fravink, Avithir, Bikandalava, and Bin Djerta. Bin Djerta has six hamlets: Bin Djerta, Bi Hanava, Mari Mamou, Bi Mamaga, Meytarava, Bin Djana. All these villages belong to Suto, but besides them the following places are also his property: Hyarta, Shatounis, Banoviye, Chami Touyan Bire, Chi, Artis, Sheh Mama, Nerva, Shoukia, Seve, Biryi, Kenianish. One knows the importance attached by the Kurdish chiefs to their pedigree. This in one of the “Mala Miri”, clan of Suto:—

I think all these details were never printed.—B. N.

page 70 note 2 Rekan, is a “mahall”Google Scholar of the “kaza” of Amadia, Mossul vilayet. The chief village is Razgia. The name of Agha was given in 1917 as San'an. Probably the son of Haiou, who was killed by Tato.—B. N.

page 71 note 1 i.e. “admit myself to be a coward, and resign myself to the status of a slave.”

page 71 note 2 Lit. strike Suto's arm with mine.

page 71 note 3 Lit. every time.

page 72 note 1 “Chirpa” seems to be a kind of Roman “vinea”, a moving fence or shelter for the attacking side.

page 72 note 2 Originally sūvānd.

page 73 note 1 Shemdinan, known also by a Kurdish name of “Naw Tchiya” (i.e. “between the mounts”). In Turkish administration it was a “kaza” of the “Sandjak” of Hakkiari. Shemdinan has three “nahiya”: (a) Zerzan, governed directly by the Kaimakam, residing in Neri; (b) Houmarou, with a “mudir” in the village of Benbo or in Surunis; (c) Girdi Harki, with a “mudir” in the village of Bietkar (Bi Kar). This last nahiya is divided in three districts: (i) Girdi-ye Baroja (i.e. “open to the east”); (ii) Girdi-ye Nawpar (i.e. “middle”); and (iii) Girdi-ye bin-Tchiya (i.e. “below the mount”). As far as I know these details have not yet been published. There are 126 villages in Shemdinan, twenty-one of them are Christian. North of Shemdinan is Giaver, west Oramar, south Baradost (Turkish B., not to be confounded with Persian B.) and Barzan, east Persian districts of Desht, Mergever, and Oushnou.—B. N.

page 74 note 1 Pawa is a village of Juanrud near Sina (Persian Kurdistan) mentioned in the Sharaf Nama as Fāvej, the inhabitants of which are noted for cunning.

page 75 note 1 Chaush = sergeant in the Turkish army. The Kurds use it to distinguish a man in charge of a small body of fighting men.

page 75 note 2 Lit. become Tato's Jews.

page 77 note 1 The tribes living under the Shaikh's rule in Shemdinan are the following: (a) Harki, their Agha (in 1917) Temer, son of Sartip; (b) Girdi, with Oguz Bek, son of Zulfekar Bek; (c) Shemdinan (two sections: Zarza and Humarou), with a nominal chief, Samed Khan Bek, son of Mustafa Bek. These three ashirets number about 13,000 persons. I do not know why Mizouri are mentioned here. They are not a Shemdinan tribe, but live close to Barzan, in the “kaza” of Zibar. Their chief village is Shive-Benan.—B. N.

page 79 note 1 The following description is interesting, as it gives the itinerary from Neri to Razga. I think Capt. B. Dickson went over in this direction, but on that journey he left Oramar unvisited, going to the “Tangi Bylinda” on the Great Zab.—B. N.

page 81 note 1 The family of the Shaikhs of Neri (“Sadat-i Neri”) is very old and respectable one, ascending to the Shaikh Abd-ul-Kader Gilani himself. Here is their pedigree during the past few generations:—

page 82 note 1 A very powerful and rich family of Sheikhs, living on the Great Zab. The rebellion mentioned below took place under the Shaikh Abd-us-Salam the 2nd of Barzan, against the Turkish general from Mossul, Fazil Pasha. The Kurds completely defeated the Turkish regular troops in a canon near the village of Bab-Sefan. But the end of this Sheikh was very sad, for he was hung by the Turks in Mossul at the beginning of the war.—B. N.

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