Patronage - Social Life

Social Life

There is patronage in social life as well. The best example is in the tribal society, where subjects of the tribe receive patronage from the chieftains of the tribe. One of the best examples for this kind of patronage is given in the recent book of Mordechai Zaken, Jewish Subjects and their Tribal Chieftains in Kurdistan (Brill, 2007). In his book, Zaken gives many details in describing the tribal patronage of the tribal Kurdish chieftains for their Jewish subjects. The Jewish subjects would give their tribal chieftains dues and taxes, commissions for agricultural products and commercial transactions, all kinds of services, as well as financial support in times of need. This was one side of the coin. The other side of this coin was the protection, at times nominal, at times physical, granted by the chieftains to their Jewish subjects. Another dimension of the tribal patronage, as described by Zaken in his important book, is the execution of justice by the chieftains on behalf of their Jewish subjects; another dimension of the patronage is the tradition according to which it was kept within some Kurdish tribes: some tribal chieftains and village heads Aghas would transmit to their heirs the social and tribal importance of giving patronage and supporting the Jewish subjects in the Kurdish tribal arena.

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