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Homepage of Razwal Kohistani

Lesser Known Tribes of Indus Kohistan

Home Tenure System

Wesh System Wesh Tools Forest Tenure Land Tenure


Types of land distribution systems

 

Three accepted types of the land distribution exist in Kohistan. Among these "Tang" and "Hor" have been more useful. The "MushBago" approach is used under specific circumstances.

 

Hor Wesh

The members of a tribe or group are not counted in this system. But the resources are divided into two groups regardless of the number of their individuals.

 

Tang Wesh 

This approach is opposite to the Hor Wesh. The members in a tribe or group are counted in this system and distribution is based on the number of people.

 

MushBago Wesh 

"MushBago" means manly share. This approach has been used under a few circumstances. For instance, in case of limited collective income, commodities acquired in looting, and in case of limited land in a "Ser" (plain fields in the mountains), etc. Only adults or those men, who may have participated in the missions of collective interests in the past, are entitled to shares in this approach such as a Zetu (see page 21).

 

Principles of quantity

A quantitative discrimination is found between the shares of men and women in the land distribution system of the Shins. The reason for discrimination is not religious, but cultural. Historically, there have been regular amendments in what is called "Bago" and "Tago" as explained below.

 

Bago

In the Wesh system, "Bago" literally means the share to a man. Only men were entitled to shares prior to 1992. Historically, the defensive importance of men has been superseding that of women's therefore, men have been entitled to a larger share.

 

This discrimination between men and women has been in practice among many nations and races. There is no prior specification to the amount of a "Bago". Its amount depends on the amount of available resource and the number of share holders.

 

Tago 

In the land distribution system, a woman or a child's share is called "Tago". It is the smallest unit of distribution. Its amount is derived from the amount of "Bago" and also from the factor of how many "Tago" are there in a "Bago”.

 

The amount of "Tago" has been changing in different periods. The concept of "Tago" has been eliminated altogether and now men, women and children all have become entitled to equal shares. In Palas, women's share is called "Chhik" in place of "Tago" and in these areas, still a proportion of one to two exists.

 

Measurement tools in “Wesh”

Measurement tools of various kinds or weighing stones have been used in distribution of natural resources among the groups, tribes and households which generally are simple and easy to use. The process of land measurement and distribution has been changing at different stages of natural resources distributions. For the purpose of distribution of agricultural land, the units of land have further been broken into "Hor", "Rat" and "Ruto". How big a piece of agricultural land is, or can be, in a "Hor" depends on the amount of the piece of land to be distributed and the branches and number of individual recipients.

When a piece of land is distributed on the basis of "Hor", then in the second phase, the "Hor" is turned into "Rat” at par with the number of its share holders. There are twelve to seventeen "Bago" in one "Rat” depending on the nature of fertility of the land. No comparison has been identified between "Hor", "Rat” and "Rato" from modern measurement tools. Therefore, the exact size of a “Hor", "Rat” and "Rato" are not known. In addition to agricultural land, i.e. the distribution of forests and "Bando" (the land occupied by trees with flat leaves on the bank of river Indus or at the edges of streams and gorges in the lower areas of the valleys), etc. has generally been executed on the basis of "Hor". 

 

 Proportions of sharing pattern

Period

Men

Women

Children

1000 (AD)

1

4

4

1500 (AD)

1

3

3

1800 (AD)

1

2

2

1992 (AD)

1

1

1

 

Measurement Tools in the Wesh

Measurement tools of various kinds or weighing stones have been used in distribution of natural resources among the groups, tribes and households which generally look simple and easy to use. The process of land measurement and distribution has been changing at different stages of natural resources distributions. For the purpose of distribution of agricultural land, the units of land have further been broken into "hor", "rat" and "rat". How big a piece of agricultural land is, or can be, in a "hor" depends on the amount of the piece of land to be distributed and the branches and number of individual recipients. When a piece of land is distributed on the basis of "hor", then in the second phase, the "hor" is turned into "raT" as par with the number of its share holders. There are twelve to seventeen "ba:go" in one "raT"  depending on the nature of fertility of the piece of land. No comparison has been identified between "hor", "raT" and "raTo" from modern measurement tools. Therefore, the exact size of a 'Hor", "raT" and "ra:To" is not known. In addition to agricultural land, i.e. the distribution of forests and "bando" (the land occupied by trees with flat leaves on the River Indus bank or at the edges of streams and gorges in the lower areas of the valleys), etc. has generally been executed on the basis of "hor". We will describe the distribution of various resources under Wesh system from the study perspective and by other examples so that one could perceive it from practical examples and approaches of it.