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X-Posted from H-NET List for African Expressive Culture <H-AFRARTS@H-NET.MSU.EDU> From: Michael Conner <MWCONNER1@COMCAST.NET> _________ From: pido <email@example.com> Date: May 9, 2010 Qabileh is an Arabic word meaning tribe. However, understanding Arabic nouns requires understanding the meaning of the triliteral root - and all its permutations. The triliteral root of qabileh and kabila is qaff be lam. All the Arabic dictionaries I found online fell short in that they didn't give the triliteral roots and their meanings so I went back to my ancient copy of Wehr. I've tried pasting in pages 739 -742 that cover the permutations of qaff be lam. It didn't work but I can send them off list to anyone who is interested and doesn't already have a copy. The core meanings of qaff be lam encompass good reception, hospitality, and face to face encounters. If we imagine ourselves in the Arabian peninsula several millennia ago we can well understand how important it must have been to know if you were moving in a direction that would bring you to people who would receive you well when you got close enough to meet face to face. These would have been your near or distant kinsmen or lineages aligned with your own. One cannot help recalling the scene in Lawrence of Arabia where Omar Sharif shoots the young man at his well because he was of the wrong tribe. And how about Anthony Quinn with the fake nose shouting that his tribe doesn't carry water? Now we'll have to figure out how the Arabs forced the locals to reconfigure their self-definition without colonizing them farther inland than Bagamoyo and Kitui and that for only one purpose. We will also have to look at how local Bantu, Nilotic and Cushitic languages name the political and social forms of all the peoples of the coast and interior in what we now call East Africa. I'll put this topic out to my students in the hope that they will pick it up and that other academics will do the same in their respective countries. Maybe we can develop a new vocabulary that will be definitive but non- offensive to anyone. That way everybody can take a step toward responsibility and ownership instead of blaming 'the colonial powers' for everything they don't like. Off list emails to Dar are bouncing back. Donna Pido H-AfrArts H-Net Network for African Expressive Culture E -Mail: H-AFRARTS@H-NET.MSU.EDU http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~artsweb/