The Traditional Heritage of Taysha Tribe

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Farah, Issa Mohamed
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University of Khartoum
• The author has focused on customs of the Taysha tribe arguing that customary law applied with a higher degree of flexibility taking into consideration economic situations particularly when the dispute in question involves the payment of diya (blood money) or compensation. For example, in homicide cases the author argues that the diya is 100 cows. However, in some occasions it was reduced to 70 cows due to difficult economic circumstances or hardships prevailing at the time. Furthermore, the fix amount of diya that shall be paid sometimes is also reduced by the Ajaweed councils (majlis) particularly when an 'oath' or a 'pledge' made between the disputing parties or between members of the tribes who swear an oath on the Quran • The author argues that customary law in some occasions is recognized by formal courts in cases when Ajaweed (conciliators) request formally from the court to adjourn deliberating the case (of course after getting the consent of the plaintiff) to give the Ajaweed the opportunity and time to resolve the dispute according to applicable customary laws. Normally courts do not refuse such a request believing that the tribal customs, if applied, will ultimately resolve the roots of the dispute rather than only relying on a court ruling which will not eradicate the root causes of the dispute in question, particularly in murder cases. Elders of the Tayisha tribes, the author argues, frequently request courts to apply the custom of diya in homicide cases. • The author argues that diya is only paid in 'intentional or deliberate homicide' cases and manslaughter. The former (intentional homicide) involves payment of 100 cows if the killing involves members of the Tayisha tribe and other tribes. However, this was reduced to 70 cows. In cases which involve unintentional homicide or manslaughter the family of the accused shall pay two cows as a symbol of 'karama' 'sacrifice' and the burial expenses including kafan. • Regarding customary law applicable in cases of crop damages, respected honourable members of the tribes normally organize themselves in a committee or form a group to estimate the damage caused and recommends to the Ajaweed Council which in turn requests from the person caused the damage (the respondent) to pay the estimated damage. The plaintiff has discretion to accept either the whole or part of compensation paid. • The author vehemently argues that customary laws are rooted in the societal tribal system and intellectuals shall promote tribal laws so as to attain or realize societal harmony.
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Traditional, Heritage,Taysha ,Tribe