Reviews

In spite of the execrably poor technical quality of this posthumous publication, the readers must be informed of this important monograph on the Tajiks of the upper valley of the Warzab River, north of the capital city of Tajikistan, by a now deceased dialectologist, a disciple of the ethnographer Mikhail S. Andreev.  After having devoted most of her works to the dialectology of southern Tajikistan, the author proposes a rather classical geographic and ethnographic approach of the populations of a central valley of Tajikistan with a rich migratory history.  After a short historical introduction on the populating of the banks of the Warzab and its tributaries, with interesting notations on the status of agricultural land under the begs of Hisar in the nineteenth century, appears an introductory chapter on the present distribution of the population.  This chapter is followed by a first part on the valley’s main economic activities (agriculture, cattle breeding, silk worms), and a second one on the customs and family life (birth, childhood and youth, with the rituals linked with them; nuptial and funerary rituals and customs; culinary practices; architecture and dwelling).  Served by the author’s familiarity with Tajik Persian language and culture, by the numerous field observations inserted into the work by the two editors, by an excellent knowledge of Russian statistic and analytic literature of the Tsarist period, and of the main historical and ethnographic works of the Soviet period, the present works offers a major contribution to our knowledge on the Persian-speaking populations of a strategic mountainous valley of central Tajikistan.

The Redaction
CER: I-7.4.E-649