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Old July 9th, 2016, 03:22 PM   #62
Chuck Wagner
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Join Date: May 2008
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Rich,

Interesting remark from Eiland, I wouldn't have guessed that from his writings. Dick Parsons lived in Afghanistan for many years and didn't seem to have any trouble finding people who identified as Ersari. His book includes his own version of the clan and sub-clan structure. Even so, I would posit that people would be more inclined to identify at the clan and sub-clan level first, and maybe that's what Eiland encountered ...(just guessing).

The Russians don't seem to have that problem either; there are recent books and articles available online that discuss staffing choices and power sharing in Turkmenistani government structures based on tribal affiliations and inter-tribal rivalry, including passing over one individual (General Akmurad Rejepov) who was Ersari and considered unacceptable to the Ahkal Tekke elders.

It is easy to think that the number of persons who keep any interest in their own tribal affiliations has been dwindling rapidly for decades, thanks in particular to the Soviet Union's shake-n-bake approach to population redistribution.

Nevertheless, your larger point is still taken; there are many things we cannot know - after all, there is no formal written Turkoman historical record. In the meantime we organize by what we do know, or hypothesize, and then engage in interesting discussions...

Regards
Chuck Wagner
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