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I stumbled upon this word in one of my anthropology readings. Here's the excerpt.

The robbers were from a tribe which had not yet submitted to French authority and were in open rebellion against it, and he wanted authorization to go with his mezrag-holder, the Marmusha tribal sheikh, to collect the indemnity that, under traditional rules, he had coming to him.

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There should be some kind of language-like tag here. I'm unsure if language itself is the appropriate one. –  Lohoris Feb 14 '12 at 9:39

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

This has been answered with a comment on English.SE:

mezrag seems to be a primitive barter/trade-pact custom, so this tribal sheikh is effectively someone acting in a "ceremonial" role ensuring the rules are followed. An honest broker, is my guess. Or maybe he's just the guy that looks after all the loot/danegeld our hero has collected. – FumbleFingers

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