Al Atif in Yemeni Folk Culture
Dr. Abdo Mansour Al-Mahmoudi, Yemen
In Yemeni folk culture, ‘Al Atif’ is an axe used to cut down trees and branches. It is also used for pruning, forestry and such, and as a weapon.
This study focuses on Al Atif in the oral discourse in Yemen, with a special emphasis on the two neighbouring districts of Mawiyah and Al-Hasha, using phonetic samples from the oral discourse in this location and neighbouring places with comparable spoken dialects.
The study uses the descriptive analytical approach. The researcher gathered his information from the study community's oral discourse about characteristics of rural living. He also employed descriptive method tools such as observation and direct listening as these were available to him in the geographical space of this study.
The study was structured around several foci, beginning with the semantic link between the word Al Atif and details of its function, moving to its industry and to common expressions that mention it. Derivations of this word are also traced and noted in this study and, finally, the conclusion summarises the study's most notable results.
The study clarifies the semantic link between the word Al Atif and its function by connecting its relevance to physical features in the fieldwork. Its primary functions, as described in the paper, are to cut branches to feed sheep and as a weapon.
The study describes the stages in the production of Al Atif, from attaching a wooden handle to a piece of iron to mending the grooves on its edge from time to time.
The study confirms that Al Atif's is renown among Yemenis by evaluating its oral transmission, which includes a number of traditional sayings and proverbs. The study also establishes a variety of derivations generated by the spoken dialect referring to various meanings such as pain intensity, tenderness, compulsion and coercion, neglect and hunger.
The study analyses the linguistic features of the Yemeni dialect where the term Atif exists within the framework of what is accepted in standard Arabic.