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Of Sand or SoilGenealogy and Tribal Belonging in Saudi Arabia$
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Nadav Samin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164441

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164441.001.0001

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Marriage and Lineal Authentication

Marriage and Lineal Authentication

Chapter:
(p.115) Chapter Four Marriage and Lineal Authentication
Source:
Of Sand or Soil
Author(s):

Nadav Samin

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691164441.003.0005

This chapter examines marriage patterns in Arabian history and how knowledge of these patterns became a key element of Saudi Arabia's modern genealogical culture. It begins with a review of new historical evidence from the central Arabian oasis town of al-Ghāt, which reveals the way marital patterns preserve knowledge about premodern status hierarchies. It then considers Hamad al-Jāsir's use of marital patterns as a tool of lineal authentication, a practice epitomized in his study of a historically maligned Arabian tribe, Bāhila. It also shows how al-Jāsir made use of Arabian marital patterns as a form of ethnographic data that could serve as a basis for rehabilitating the reputation of historically maligned Arabian tribes and advancing a nativist ethical blueprint for modern Saudi society in which tribal and religious values could cohere harmoniously against perceived external threats.

Keywords:   marriage patterns, Arabian history, genealogical culture, al-Ghāt, status hierarchies, Hamad al-Jāsir, lineal authentication, Bāhila, Arabian tribes, Saudi society

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