501. A Laplander. Un Lapon. A beautiful hand coloured stipple engraving by Edward Harding, showing one of the traditional dress of the various inhabitants of the Russian Empire. Costume of the Russian Empire. London, 1803.10 x 14.5 inches. £85
THE Laplanders are of the middling stature;
the greater part have flat faces, sunk cheeks, dark grey eyes,
thin beard, straight brown hair, and a yellowish brown complexion,
occasioned by the air, the smoke, and their want of cleanliness.
Their mode of life renders them robust and active; they are, nevertheless,
addicted to idleness. Their understanding is of the common cast:
in general they are peaceable, submissive to their superiors,
honest, sincere, and lively in society; but suspicious, deceitful
in their traffick, and proud of their country and constitution.
In their dress they use no kind of linen. The men wear close breeches, reaching down to their shoes, which arc made of untanned leather, pointed, and turned up at the toes. Their doublets fit close, and arc open at the breast: over them is worn a close coat with tight sleeves, and. skirts descending to the knees: it is fastened to the body by a leather girdle, ornamented with plates of tin or brass. To this girdle they hang their knives: their instruments for lighting a fire, and also their pipes, &c. Their clothes are of skin, leather, or cloth: the doublet, whether of cloth or leather, is always trimmed with fur, or strips of cloth of different colours. Their caps are bordered with fur: the greater part of the Russian Laplanders make use of the skins of rats for these borders. The caps are pointed at the top, and ornamented at the four seams with strips of cloth, of a different colour to the caps themselves.
Besides hunting, fishing, and attending the rein deer, the men employ themselves in building their canoes, which are small, light, and compact, in constructing sledges, similar in form to the canoes, and in attending to the concerns of the kitchen, in which the Lapland women take no part what-ever.
The Laplanders bury their dead without coffins; in some cantons with their clothes on, and in others entirely naked. The Pagan Laplanders inter their most celebrated huntsmen near the spots consecrated to the sacrifices. They generally place a sledge reversed over the grave, and leave food and household furniture with the body of the deceased: a custom which the baptised Laplanders practise, in secret, to this day. The richer sort give a repast to the bearers and attendants; but the greater part do not observe this custom.
502. A Woman of Lapland. Une Lapone. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
THE Lapland Women are short, but often
well formed, obliging, modest, and extremely irritable. 'Their
trowsers, shoes, doublets and close coats, are similar to those
worn by the men; but the girdle, to which they append their instruments
for smoking, is generally embroidered with brass wire. The cape
of' their coats reaches higher than that of the men. Besides these,
they wear neck-handkerchiefs, and small aprons made of Russia
linen painted, rings on their fingers and also in their ears;
to the latter they some-times hang two or three rows of silver
chains. Sometimes they wear caps plaited like turbans, and sometimes
they arc made to fit close to the head: they are always ornamented
with brass wire, or strips of cloth of different colours.
The women are employed in making fishing nets, drying fish and meat, milking the rein deer, making cheese, and tanning skins. They prepare the sinews of the deer for thread, and with the horns perforated they draw wire, which is at first round, but is afterwards flattened. They embroider their clothes (which they make themselves) with wire of tin, silver, or counterfeited gold, and sometimes with wool, which they are able to die of all colours.
The marriage of the children depends on the caprice of the parents, and interest alone is the passion by which they are actuated. On this account it is very common for the most forbidding objects to meet with a good offer. A young man is not permitted to marry until he is able to kill a rein deer.
The wedding takes place at the bride's house; she is decorated in her finest apparel, and appears before her guests with her head uncovered. The festival on this occasion is a species of pic-nic, to which each of the visitors contributes something to eat or drink. During the first year the new married couple live at the wife's relations; at the expiration of that period, they take a koie or hut to themselves.
A Female Peasant of Finland. Une Paysanne de Finland. 10 x 14.5
THE Female Peasantry wear shifts, trowsers, stockings, and slippers, or shoes which only cover the heel, sole, and toes : they also wear a habit similar in form to a shift, not very long, but wide and without sleeves : their aprons are small, but not so their doublets or corsets, which very much resemble a shift with wide sleeves. The head is covered with a. piece of linen, which descends to the shoulders and back. The neck and throat are decorated with several rows of glass pearls: besides this ornament, they wear large ear-rings. In summer the petticoat and corset are made of linen, which they dye them-selves : sometimes they are trimmed with embroidery of various colours, and sometimes with small white shells. In winter their dresses are made of stout cloth, or sheep-skins. Their aprons are without plaits, but bedecked with embroidery, glass-pearls, fringe, &c. The girdle goes twice round the waist, and is fastened by a knot on one side ; it consists of a band of skin or linen, about three inches in breadth, and is ornamented with fringe at the two ex tremities.The country women are industrious, and good housewives ; they manufacture linens, and a stout cloth called walmer; they are also skilful in
dying, &c. The inhabitants of Finland have long professed the Christian faith, and followed the ecclesiastical constitution of Sweden. Their marriage and burial ceremonies differ, therefore, in no greater degree from those practised Sweden, than it is customary for individual provinces of all great states to vary from each other. A bride is obliged to present each of her guests with four or five ells of cloth, and a pair of stockings ; who, in return, presents her with a piece of money ; but as this is never equal in value to the cloth and stockings, and is always considered as the property of the bride, the marriage of the daughter falls so heavy upon the mother, that the following expression is become proverbial: " Talon howith aial:" "The daughter's wedding makes the farm poor.
A Peasant of Finland. Un Paysan Finnois. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
IN his exterior the inhabitant of Finland strongly resembles
the Laplander; but in body and mind the former is more cultivated
than the latter. They are of the common stature, and dwell in
towns and villages. The dress of the citizens, or inhabitants
of the towns, varies in no respects from that of the towns of
Sweden. The peasantry also dress like the Swedish peasantry. The
greater part suffer the beard to grow, and others only the whiskers.
Large breeches are worn, and many twist their cast-off linen round
their legs in lieu of stockings. Some wear shoes made of skin,
and others of the bark of trees matted together. They also wear
a shirt, which tucks into the breeches, a doublet, and a short
coat which buttons. A skin girdle goes round the waist, to which
are hung a large knife, keys, and the instruments for lighting
a fire. The hair is worn straight, and is covered with a hat similar
to those worn by the Dutch. Their clothes are generally made of
the stout Walmar cloth manufactured by the women ; but sometimes
of a finer texture, which they purchase, and sometimes of skin
or linen. In winter they commonly wear sheep and other skins.
They profess the Lutheran faith, and adopt the Christian era in their chronology. Although their idols, and the worship paid them, have long since been abolished in Finland, much superstition is, nevertheless, to be met with among the country people; these ancient opinions are perpetuated, they pass from father to son, and it is extremely difficult to eradicate them; seeing that the farms arc so dispersed, and at so great a distance from each other, that the peasantry cannot enjoy a wholesome and rational system of instruction. The following are some of their superstitious notions. On Mondays and Fridays no person ought to look for success in any enterprise: whoever makes a noise on St. George's day is in danger of suffering by tempest: on Christ-mas clay the cattle must not be let out of the stable: on St. Stephen's day a coin, or piece of silver, must be thrown into the vessel out of which the horses water: on time evening of Shrove Tuesday no fire or candle must be lighted, &c.
A Woman of Finland in her Holiday Dress. Une Finnoise en Habit
de Fête. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85 In winter, the
country women, in easy circumstances, wear rich furs on holidays.
The summer dress is similar to that which we have just described,
but more elegant, and made with more taste and skill. The jacket
is of silk, longer than ordinary, and trimmed with a border like
a furbelow, of a different colour to the jacket. In the front
it, is ornamented, from the knee to the furbelow, with elegant
embroidery and glass pearls. The apron, though narrow, is striped
with various colours, embroidered, and richly ornamented with
medals and glass pearls. The girdle is decked with ornaments of
steel or brass, in the form of buttons, and tied before with several
ribbons. The front of the bosom is also carefully embroidered,
and adorned with glass pearls and shells. Several rows of false
pearls are worn round the neck. A quantity of ribbon, about six
inches in breadth, passes through their large ear-rings, and floats
upon the shoulders and sleeves of the chemise, which are wide,
open, short, and prettily embroidered with wool of different colours.
The head is covered with a scarf tied in the manner of a cap;
it passes through the girdle, and descends to the heel... [See Plate V]
505.* Back Figure of a Woman of Finland in her
Holiday Dress. * Une Finnoise en Habit de Fête, par derrière.
10 x 14.5 inches. £85 ...Under this head-dress is
worn a skin fillet, or caul, about the size of the hand, in order
to conceal the hair ; it is covered with shells and glass pearls,
and ornamented at the bottom with fringe.
The Finns call themselves Souami, which signifies marshy. The country inhabited by this nation extends to the north of the Finland, and to the west of the Bothnian Gulf. The ground is stony, and very uneven; in many parts totally barren, and every where rewarding but sparingly the labours of the husbandman. The families of their ancient chiefs are extinct, or at least forgotten. They have no longer a nobility: a degree of rank is however kept up amongst them. The inhabitant of the towns is considered superior to the peasant, and the peasant acknowledges himself inferior to the towns-man
Their towns are much dispersed, and even the houses are situated at a considerable distance from each other; the progress of knowledge and industry is consequently slow. In return for their hard labour, the earth barely produces them a subsistence. Of all the spots inhabited by this people, the marshy Carelia is the most unfruitful. Rye and oats are the only grain it produces. In the best seasons, their harvests are never superabundant. To avoid the famine that threatens them, they are forced to mix with their meal and bran the bark of the fir tree pounded, wild roots dryed, and whatever they can meet with, capable of supporting their wretched existence.
506. A Female Peasant of Ingria. Une Paysanne d'Ingrie.
10 x 14.5 inches. £85 THE Russians made a conquest
of Ingria about the commencement of the last century. At that
period the inhabitants of the flat country consisted of a Finland
race, differing, but little, in their language and customs, from
the Fins of Carelia. This people were called Ischorzi, from Ischora,
the name of a small river, which has its entrance on the left
bank of the Neva.
The men dress precisely the same as the peasantry of Finland; but, in this respect, the women of Ingria betray a greater portion of vanity than the females of that country. The neck and bosom are covered with several rows of glass pearls, and the ears are ornamented with a profusion of ear-drops. The unmarried women wear the hair in tresses, and uncovered. In their visits to the towns, they commonly wear a Russian cap, called Kakokschnik: to this cap is added a small pointed piece, which projects from the forehead; it is lined with fur, and sometimes trimmed with lace. Over the chemise is worn a long mantle or cloak, made of cloth or stuff, and fastened at the bosom with buttons.
The Ingrians abound in superstitious opinions, and pagan doctrines. They purchase their wives, and after the nuptials treat them with the utmost severity. A priest assists at the burial of the dead; but these deluded people return to the grave during the night, in order to furnish the deceased with provisions: this is repeated several times. It is their general opinion that we continue to live under ground, in the same manner as when on the surface of the earth, and that the tomb is only the dwelling place of the dead t fear. Some friends of the author of this work, acquainted with the Finland language, one day surprised an Ischorian woman in the neighbourhood of St. Petersburgh, and listened to her without being observed: a fortnight after the death of her husband she had married again, and to appease the manes of her departed spouse, she had repaired to his grave, where they discovered her prostrating herself, and uttering groans and lamentations.
A Woman of Estonia. Une Esthonienne. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
THE Esthonians vary in exterior appearance and stature, but,
in general, they strongly resemble the inhabitants of Finland.
The state of oppression in which they live, their poverty, their
education, and their general habits of life, have inured them
to the severity of the climate, to indigence and humiliation.
They are of a lazy disposition, dirty, and drunkards. The women
undergo fewer hardships than the men, and are not deficient in
beauty or vanity.
The men dress like the peasantry of Finland, excepting that all of them do not suffer the beard to grow. The dress of, the females is pretty, and, very much resembles that of the women of Sclavonia.
They wear stockings, and shoes, or slippers: the sleeves of the chemise are wide in the upper part, and narrow at the wrist: they also, wear long aprons, and a sort. of corset or stomacher, which only reaches to the petticoat. They ornament the neck with a collar of glass pearls, which descends upon the bosom, and as it consists of several rows, serves at the same time for a neck-kerchief: The borders of their garments are embroidered, and the corset is either made
variegated stuff, or cloth worked in different colours. The lower part of the petticoat and apron is decorated with a border six inches deep, made of a stuff different in colour to the petticoat. The girdle is also prettily ornamented.
The villages of Esthonia are small, and the habitations dirty. They consist of small huts, constructed with beams of timber piled one upon, another. This is the usual architecture of these northern nations; with wood and a hatchet the peasant builds his hut, without the assistance of any other tools. These huts are small, but warm and suitable to the climate, since they are more easily heated. in the severe winters. This people were formerly Roman Catholics, but force had a greater share in the conversion than , conviction. Towards the middle of the sixteenth century they were made to embrace the Lutheran faith. When the Knights of the Teutonic Order made a conquest of Esthonia, the inhabitants were declared their vassals, and considered as a part of their property; in which state they have continued to the present time. Their little villages are scattered about the territories of the nobility to whom they belong.
A Female Tschermiss. Une Tschérémisse. 10 x 14.5
inches. £85 THE Tschermiss are of Finland origin,
and have their settlements in the governments of Kazan and Niznei-Novgorod,
on both sides of the Volga, but chiefly along the left bank of
this river; whence they extend as far as Perm. At the time of
the dominion of the Tartars they were tributary to that nation,
and dwelt lower down towards the south, between the Volga and
the Tanais or Don. They had their Khans, or particular chiefs,
even after they fell into the hands of the Russians ; but the
race of these chiefs became extinct by the death of Khan Adai,
a Tschermiss prince of consider-able courage, and much devoted
to the crown of Russia. They have now neither princes nor a nobility.
They formerly led a pastoral life, but, by degrees, have imitated
the manners of the Russians.
The exterior of this people partakes of the medium between the Russians and the Tartars, but the men have neither the fire nor the resolute character of the Russian, and their females are greatly inferior both in beauty and vivacity, though in other respects they are sufficiently agreeable. The Tschermiss are slow, but laborious, stubborn, and suspicious. They reckon
neither by years nor months, and have only traditional stories of their ancestors.
The dress of the married women is the same as that of the unmarried, but the former is more decorated. They wear trowsers, and twist linen round their legs in lieu of stockings. Their shoes are made of the bark of trees matted together. When they wish to deck themselves, they wear over the chemise a dress resembling a morning gown, made of coloured cloth. It is generally trimmed with beavers' skin. Their caps are lofty, and in the form of a cone; they are called Schourki, and are made of the bark of the birch tree, covered with skin, or cloth; they are ornamented with glass pearls, small white shells, and little silver coins. From this cap a fillet
descends down the back, about three inches broad, decorated with the same ornaments as the cap.
It is the custom of this people to purchase their wives, and the sum paid for them is called Olou. The common price is from thirty to fifty, but some fetch as high as eighty, and even a hundred roubles. At the celebration of the nuptials, the husband, accompanied by his friends, goes to demand his betrothed bride. As they are preceded by music, they are generally joined in their march by the inhabitants of the villages through which they pass. The bridegroom then deposits the purchase money; he distributes presents to his guests, and the company sit down to a repast prepared for them. On the following day the husband conducts the bride to his own dwelling; and when the company retire, it is customary for them to cast a few copecks into the last goblet out of which they drink, as a present for the new married pair.
A Mordvin Woman of the Mokchanian Tribe. Une Mordvine, de la Tribu
Mokchanienne. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
THE head-dress of the females of the Mokchanien tribe is less costly than that of the Erzianian, and has no other ornament than a little embroidery, Two narrow fillets are fastened to it, which descend the bosom, are ornamented with small silver coins, and terminate in little chains of the same metal. To the clasp which fastens the tunic round the bosom is added a large escutcheon, or breast-piece, to which are appended several rows of coral. Glass beads of various colours serve them for necklaces: the apron is formed of four fillets or bands, which are united by small clasps, trimmed with tassels, and loaded with coral. The females advanced in years wrap linen round the head instead of a cap, and the hair either hangs loose down the back, or is fastened in tresses. (See Plate XIV, which represents AN OLD WOMAN OF THE MOKCHANIEN TRIBE.)
Anxious to profit by the labours of their daughters-in-law, the Mordvins frequently dispose of their children before they are marriageable, and some-times even promise them in their infancy. This agreement is made by an exchange of pipes. The girl, thus betrothed without her knowledge, is not bound by this rash engagement, but the young man cannot bestow himself on another, without paying a certain forfeit. It is very rare for a Mordvin to have several wives at a time; but when he has lost one, he readily marries her nearest relation.
The sum usually given for a wife is about fifty livres. When the bargain. is made, and a short time previous to the day fixed for the marriage, the father of the young man repairs to the house of the future bride, who is presented to him by her relations. Bread and salt are offered him in token of hospitality. After a short stay, he carries, or rather forces, his daughter-in-law away with him, who is covered with a veil, and bemoans the loss of her liberty. On his return home he places her at table, still veiled, beside his son. A large cake is then served up; the father cuts a slice, and, passing it under the veil of the young bride, he lifts it up, and says to her, " Behold the light, be happy, and become the mother of a numerous progeny." The young couple view each other for the first time, and from that moment are married. The company make merry, drink, sing, and dance to the sound of music; while the young couple, who probably conceive a reciprocal disgust for each other at first sight, are often plunged into the deepest misery.
An Old Mordvin Woman of the Mokchanian Tribe. Une Vieille Femme
de la Tribu Mokchanienne. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
An Ostiak of the Ob. Un Ostiak de l'Ob. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
ON the conquest of Siberia by the Tartars,
they distinguished the inhabitants by the name of Uschtiak, a
word denoting in their language, savage or barbarian. This appellation
was afterwards adopted by the Russians, with a small alteration;
and is now retained by three nations, distinct from each other
in descent and language, the Ostiaks of the Ob, of the Narym,
and of the Yenessei. The Ostiak of the Ob is the subject of the
present article. This nation is very numerous, and although the
severity of the climate and the wretchedness of the inhabitants
are unfavourable to the increase of population, a sensible diminution
of their number is not to be discovered. They rarely exceed the
middle size; are generally flat visaged, with straight, red hair,
yellowish complexion, and light beard. They are dull of comprehension,
and much inclined to superstition. Their knowledge of figures
extends no further than the number ten. They divide their time
by months, and not years; their first month commences with the
new moon in October. The art of writing is unknown amongst them,
but on particular occasions they have conceived the means of supplying
this deficiency. If, for instance, they wished to engage their
allies to unite in some military enterprise, it was customary
to send them an arrow. The chief who first received it, dispatched
it instantly to the chief of the neighbouring tribe, and by this
means it was speedily conveyed to a considerable distance.
Their clothes are generally made of the skins of animals, or of furs. The men wear short trowsers, and skin stockings, which serve them for boots, and are strengthened at the sole by an additional skin. A jacket is worn next the skin, and over that another much longer, which is furnished with a hood that entirely conceals the head, and leaves only the face uncovered. In the very severe weather they even wear a third over the other two.
The Ostiaks have two idols which they honour with a particular reverence: one carved in the form of a man, the other in that of a woman. The men worship the male, the women the female idol. Every hut has its particular household divinity, which is nothing more than an ill-shaped figure. To these domestic idols they offer the skins of small animals, birds, fishes, &c. The Ostiak priests are called Totibi. They interpret dreams, foretell events, raise spirits, cure the sick, and offer up prayers and sacrifices. They arc called in on all important occasions ; by the assistance of their drum, they pretend to discover the cause of the wrath of the gods, and the sacrifices necessary to be offered up in order to appease them.
An Ostiak Ermine-hunting. Un Ostiak à la Chasse d'Ermine.
10 x 14.5 inches. £85 ERMINE HUNTING. Fishing is
the principal occupation of the Ostiaks, and that in which they
are most successful. In summer they cover the rivers with their
canoes which they carry by land from one lake to another. On the
banks they construct small huts of the bark of trees and mats,
which serve them for resting places. 'When the rivers, covered
with ice, no longer permit them to fish, they employ themselves
in hunting, but with no great success ; which must be attributed
to their inactivity and want of skill. They assemble in parties
of eight or ten, and wander in the woods for the space of five
or six weeks, supporting themselves with dried fish, which they
draw after them in sledges. The bow is more in use with them than
fire arms. They startle the game, and seldom succeed in taking
them. They employ dogs to draw their sledges and pursue their
prey. To make up for their want of skill, and in order to procure
skins, they steal, in summer time, the young foxes from their
mothers, and rear them in their huts. These huts are partly sunk
into the ground. A whole family occupies one close apartment,
which, besides being the habitation of the dogs and foxes, is
also infected with a strong smell of dried fish, and the foetid
exhalations of old oil. Fresh fish is the ordinary food of this
people: some devour it raw, others either boil, or hang it, by
means of a short-stick, for a few minutes to the fire. Those who
traflick with the Russians purchase meal, but the bread they make
is reserved for the holidays. In winter time, and when there happens
to be a scarcity of fresh pro-visions, they have recourse to salted
or smoaked fish, and the flesh of savage animals. As their dogs
and rein-deer are extremely useful, those animals are never eaten,
but in cases of the greatest necessity.
The Ostiaks carry on a traffic with the Russians. They take skins, dry fish, glue, and oil, to the different towns, and receive in exchange either money, flour, oatmeal, or brandy. On their return they dispose of a part of these articles to their countrymen, for skins, &c. and return again with them to the Russians. But what they gain by labour is dissipated in drunkenness. Those who act more prudently acquire in time a stock of rein-deer. The richer sort sometimes possess two hundred of these animals. These people are hospitable, spare no expence to entertain strangers, and never let them depart without making them presents.
A Female Ostiak. Une Ostiake. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
THE Ostiak women, treated like slaves by their husbands, are employed
in drying fish, extracting oil, and manufacturing soap. Their
dress strongly resembles that of the men, and is only distinguished
by the head-dress. Among all the people of whom we have had occasion
to speak, we have remarked that the females, habited in other
respects like the men, nevertheless distinguish themselves by
a more costly head-dress; so natural is it for the sex to be pleased
with showy decorations, and to load themselves with ornaments
which too often disfigure them ! 'The Ostiak women wear a cap,
the extremity of which hangs down between the shoulders, and is
decorated with fringe. They divide the hair into two braids, to
each of which are attached narrow fillets of leather or cloth,
which descend the back. These fillets are adorned with fringe,
small pieces of money, counters, glass beads, and plates of brass
cut in the shape of flowers and animals.
It is unnecessary to repeat that poligamy is permitted amongst the Ostiaks, since it is so with all the nations of which we have spoken, as well as with those of which we shall hereafter have occasion to speak. They purchase their wives, and pay for them according to their means ; but every woman brings her husband some dowry. Before a wife can be obtained, the sum to be paid must be first agreed on, and as soon as a part of it is laid down, the bride may be taken home, but the nuptials cannot be celebrated till the whole of the purchase money is deposited. The bridal festival takes place at the house of the bridegroom.
The Ostiaks bury their dead on the day of their decease. The body is drawn to the grave by a rein-deer, which is afterwards sacrificed and eaten in honour of their departed friend. The corpse of the richer sort is followed by three empty sledges, drawn by rein-deer, which are also immolated, and the sledges left reversed over the grave. The apotheosis, common with the Greeks and Romans, is also to be discovered amongst the Ostiaks. They reverence, as inferior divinities, after death, those whom they esteemed while living. The puppet which represents their deceased relative hold its rank with their other idols. The Ostiak widows dedicate similar puppets to the memory of their departed husbands ; they even take them to their beds, and at their different meals do not fail to offer them a portion of their provisions.
A Female Tartar of Tomski. Une Tatare de Tomsk. 10 x 14.5 inches.
£85 THE Tartars of Tomski are distinct from the tribe
which occupies the environs of the town of Tomsk ; for the latter,
as well as the Tartars of Tobolsk and Tarn, are a Boukarian colony.
The Tartars of Tomski, properly so called, inhabit the two sides
of the Toni, and the neighbourhood of several small rivers which
run into it: their establishments extend from the mountains of
Kousnetz, above and below the town of Tomsk, to the mouth of the
Tom, on the right bank of the Ob. These Tartars are divided into
four volosts, of which Tschatzki is the most considerable. They
observe the same religious ceremonies, follow the same mode of
life, and dress in the same manner as the Tartars of Kazan; excepting
the difference which their poverty necessarily introduces. The
women wear a small cap, generally made of rich stuff, and over
it a flat bonnet trimmed with fur. The neck of the chemise is
richly embroidered in various colours, and strings of glass pearls
are worn instead of ear-rings.
The Tartars of Tomski are not much attached to agriculture. The chase is their favourite exercise, and this they pursue to considerable advantage on the mountains in the district of Kousnetz. Their poverty generally prevents them from buying or maintaining more than one wife. The prettiest female never costs her husband more than fifty rubles. Professor Muller being pre-sent at a wedding in the volost of Tschatzki, found the ceremonies similar to those practised by the Tartars of Kazan. The bride, who was twenty years of age, not pretty, but of a good complexion, cost only a horse and a holiday dress for her mother.
This people usually bury their dead in the neighbourhood of some forest. They raise wooden huts over the graves of their relatives. The traveller who beholds one of these burying-grounds at a distance, bends his steps towards it, with the expectation of reaching some village: he flatters himself with the hope of being shortly restored to the society of the living, and sadness seizes his soul when he discovers himself surrounded by sepulchres of the dead.
The Tartars of the Ob, and of Tobolsk, as well as the Touralines, appear to have the same origin as those of Tomski.
520.* Back Figure of a Female Tartar of Kazan.
* Une Tatare de Kazan, par derniére, 10 x 14.5 inches.
£85 SUBMISSIVE to the laws of the Alcoran, the Tartars
can never possess more than four legitimate wives ; each of whom
enjoys the same rights. The purchase-money paid to the parents
of the bride is called kalym. The agreement is celebrated by the
Moullah or priest, who offers up several prayers on the occasion.
The marriage is announced in the mosque, in the same manner as
the bans are published in our churches. A few days previous to
the wedding, the future bride is visited by her female acquaintances.
They find her covered with a veil, and unite with her in weeping
the loss of her virginity. On the eve of the nuptials, she is
carried concealed to the house where the wedding is to be celebrated:
she is there met by the female part of the bridegroom's family,
and receives their consolations and caresses. The ecclesiastical
ceremonies are extremely simple. They are not performed in the
temple, but the moullah is sent for, who asks the parties if they
are desirous of being united in the bands of matrimony: on expressing
their consent, he utters a short prayer, and declares them to
be united. The husband does not conceal from his wife her state
of dependance. The poor are obliged to permit them to enjoy an
equality : but the richer sort never allow their wives to eat
with them. They never go abroad without being veiled, nor shew
themselves before strangers, even in their own houses, unless
their husbands command them to appear ; which is considered the
greatest honour that can possibly be shewn to their guests.
The Moullahs or priests visit the sick, and pray over them. The dead are washed, and the body carefully enveloped in linen or cotton; except the head, which is left uncovered : after which they are sprinkled with water strongly impregnated with alum. The priest fastens on the breast of the de-ceased a paper, on which are written the following words in the Arabic tongue :"There is but one God, and Mahomet is his prophet." Their burying grounds arc always out of the town: the men only are allowed to follow the funeral. The dead body is conveyed in a coffin, but is afterwards taken out, in order to be let down into the grave, which is about five feet deep, and dug from the north-cast to the south-west. On one side of this grave, towards the bottom, they scoop out another grave, in which the body is so placed, that the earth of the former may not touch it : as they are persuaded that two angels will shortly come to seek the dead body, and convey it to judgment. For three days no fire may be lighted in the habitation of the dead. Prayers are offered up for the space of four weeks after his de-cease, at the expiration of which time they conceive his judgment to be pronounced. Over the grave of their relatives the rich generally place a small wooden edifice, or a cubic stone, with an inscription in the Arabic language. As a specimen of these inscriptions, we shall present our readers with one which is to be seen upon a sepulchre near the river Diouma, in the neighbourhood of Ufa : " Ghas-Housyam-Beg, a judge full of equity, and skilful in all the laws, is dead. We pray thee, only God, to pity him, and pardon his sins. He died in the 744th year of the hegira, on the seventh night of the sacred month. He projected ; he wished to execute; but death puts a period to the projects of men. No one is exempt from death. In approaching this sepulchre, be mindful of thy end."
A Female of the Nogais Tribe of Tartars. Une Femme des Tatars
Nogais. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85 NEXT to the Kaptchak
tribe, the horde of Nogai Tartars was, for a long time, the most
celebrated of the west. It was founded in the thirteenth century
by Nogai, Tartar general, who, after having subdued the nations
inhabiting the northern coasts of the Black Sea, was unwilling
that his conquests should become the property of the Khan of Kaptchak,
and therefore formed a colony of his own, in the country he had
conquered. We find it dispersed to the north of the Caspian Sea,
along the branches of Caucasus and the northerrn and western coasts
of the Euxine, near the Meotis Pall's, on the banks of the Volga,
in Kouma, Kuban, and in the ancient Taurca Chersonesus, to which
it has given the name of Crimea ; and lastly, on the banks of
the Dneper, the Dniester, and even as high as the borders of the
Danube. In the course of time, this horde subdivided itself into
a variety of hordes, more or less powerful : some of which have
repeatedly changed both their name and habitation. All, however,
have preserved their original language ; but it is much corrupted,
and divided into as many dialects as there are distinct hordes.
The dress of the Nogais differs but little from the Tartars of Kazan. The females of several hordes wear an ornament attached to the hinder part of the head-dress similar to that worn by the Tscheremisses ; it is loaded with beads of glass or coral, and several other ornaments. They decorate themselves with car-rings and bracelets; and sonic of them even pass through the nostrils a ring loaden with pearls and valuable stones, which descends as low as the mouth: this strange ornament is not uncommon to the females of Astrachan, and is generally worn by all those who dwell on the borders of the Akhtouba.
For a considerable time the Nogais were masters of Astrachan : some authors attribute to them the foundation of that town, while others assure us, that it existed before the incursion of the Tartars into the western countries. When this government was ceded to Russia in the sixteenth century, many of the conquered families submitted to the yoke, rather than abandon the place of their nativity. Their descendants are distinguished, according to their manner of living, into Tartars of the town, Tartars of the villages, and Wandering Tartars. The former occupy a considerable portion of Astrachan. Their Bazar, or market-place, contains many well-furnished shops. They carry on an extensive commerce with the Armenians, Persians, and Boukha-rians Their manufactories of morocco, cotton, camblets, and silks, are highly celebrated. The women spin a cotton remarkable for the delicacy of its texture.
A Bukharian of Siberia. Un Boukhara de Sibérie. 10 x 14.5
inches. £85 BUKHARIA is not dependant upon Russia
; and if we speak of the Bukharians in this place, it is because
a great number of them have been long established in Siberia.
They occupy the Tartar districts in Tobolsk, Tara, Tourinsk, and
Tioumen, and people, in a great degree, the environs of those
towns. They arc also to be found in the governments of Orenburgh
Bukharia, their native country, is situated to the south of the Caspian Sea and Lake Aral. It is bounded by Persia, the north of India, and several small Tartar provinces. Bukhara, the principal town, rises on the banks of the Syr-Daria. It is not at present in so flourishing a condition as in the year 1220, when it was taken and burnt by Tschinquis-Khan. The conqueror by whom it was destroyed ordered it to be rebuilt, a few years before his decease.
The Bukharians are tall and slender, with small eyes and large ears. In their physiognomy they are thought to bear some resemblance to the Indians. In their dress they differ but little from the Tartars of Kazan. The men wear lofty caps made in the form of a bee-hive. The women have a custom of colouring their nails with the juice of a balsamic plant, which gives to them a yellow tincture. The females of several neighbouring countries are also in the same practice, and particularly the betrothed girls of Astrachan, who are distinguished by this circumstance from the rest of their sex.
The language of the Bukharians is considered as one of the purest and most elegant of all the Tartar dialects. The Bukharians, like all the disciples of Mahomet, strictly observe the laws of the Alcoran; besides which they have also written laws peculiar to themselves. They are frugal in their re-pasts, and their tables are neat and simple. Faithful to the precepts of their religion, they partake of no food forbidden by the Mahometan law, and live much less on flesh than on vegetables. Every stranger is well received in Bukharia. Of whatever country or religion he may be, if he lives peaceably, and is obedient to the laws, he is sure of being protected by them. The Bukharians carry on a traffick with India, Persia, China, Russia, and all the Tartar nations. They assemble in caravans ; and as their affairs sometimes detain them in foreign countries, it not unfrequently happens that they forget their native spot, and never return to it. They cultivate cotton, and manufacture it into rich stuffs. They rear silk worms, and for the purpose of nourishing them, surround their gardens with mulberry trees. Their horses are much esteemed by the Indians, who pay very dearly for them. Their sheep, which they originally received from the Arabs, have much degenerated ; but their coats arc as fine as the wool of England. The Bukharians manufacture a fine sort of paper, of cotton and the bark of the mulberry tree.
523. A Katschintzian Tartar Girl. Une Fille Tatare
de Katschintz. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85. IN the province
of Krasnajarsk, on the banks of the Yenessei, and of several rivers
enriching that great stream, are to be found a tribe of Tartars
called Katschintzki. Their country is mountainous, but fertile.
They were in quiet possession of this spot, long before it was
discovered by the Russians. They consider themselves of Tartar
origin, and it must be confessed that they resemble the Tartars
much more than the Mongols. Their meagre complex-ion is common
to both these tribes; but their language is mixed with so many
expressions purely Mongol, that it is scarcely possible to question
their ancient affinity with that nation. They still possess an
order of nobility, out of which each tribe elects its chief. Accustomed,
in all seasons, to a wandering life, in winter they cover their
huts with felt, and in summer with the bark of the beech tree.
Their household furniture and utensils are nearly as wretched
as those of the hordes we have already mentioned; and their want
of cleanliness cannot possibly be surpassed by any nation whatever.
Some of them sow a little barley and other grain; others breed
horses and cattle; but their principal occupations are hunting
and fishing. They have no fixed hours for their meals, but are
entirely regulated by want, opportunity, and caprice. Their children
contract, in their very infancy, the habit of smoking; and so
passionately fond are the Katschintzians of tobacco, that they
cannot be said to be really wretched, while they possess a store
of that intoxicating herb.
The Katschintzians are at liberty to take as many wives as they are able to purchase and maintain ; but the greater part are contented with four. The acceptance or refusal of a pipe, by the father of the female, is a signal of his agreeing to, or dissenting from, the union. The price of a wife is from five to fifty oxen; but the poorer sort, who have nothing but their persons to offer, place themselves for a few years in the service of their intended father-in-law. If, (luring this state of servitude, his mistress should happen to die, he is then at liberty to marry her sister, and his former services arc placed to the credit of the new account. But should the nymph be an only daughter, or her sisters already married, the unfortunate youth, in that case, loses all the fruits of his past labour. When the lover dies first, his father immediately succeeds him, and takes to himself the bride destined for his son. Their marriage festivals, besides singing and dancing, are accompanied with horse-races; and it is customary for the bridegroom to distribute prizes among the victors. The husband who happens to be dissatisfied with his wife, is at liberty to put her away; but he is obliged to maintain the children born during their union, and forfeits the oxen paid to obtain her. The men wear no linen: their outer garment consists of a coarse cloth manufactured by their wives, or of the skins of horses, sheep, or the wild goat.
A Kabardian of Mount Caucasus. Un Kabardien du Mont Caucase. 10
x 14.5 inches. £85 CAUCASUS is that vast chain of
mountains, extending from the north-west to the south-east, between
the Euxine and the Caspian Sea. It is the boundary marked out
by nature between Russia and Persia. " At the intervals of
my short sojourn upon the mountains," says Professor Pallas,
in his ` Observations made (luring a Journey through the Northern
Governments of the Russian Empire in 1793 and 1794,' " 1
had repeated opportunities of making discoveries relative to the
inhabitants of Caucasus. Much has already been written respecting
the variety of nations, speaking different languages, established
upon these mountains. Some writers have divided them into as many
different nations, as they found names of tribes and families
among them. Guldenstaedt may be considered as the first traveller
who has had the merit, by discovering the affinity between the
various dialects, of presenting us with a correct classification
of all the tribes of these dispersed nations. I have endeavoured,
as much as possible, to collect together the facts with which
I have been furnished, partly from my own observation, and partly
from persons who have explored these mountains."
That warlike people, the Circassians, dwell chiefly in the mountains situated on this side of Caucasus, and extend as far as the beautiful plain which borders upon it, from which they have driven the ancient possessors, and taken possession of the greater part of it. These Circassians form a sort of knighthood, maintaining a system completely feudal between themselves and their vassals, similar to that which the German knights formerly introduced into Prussia and Livonia. Considered as vassals of the crown of Russia, by the last peace with the Ottoman Porte, the portion of territory belonging to that empire is distinguished into Great and Lesser Kabarda. The Kabardians trace their origin from the Arabs; and it is probable that they are the descendants of the armies sent, by the Caliphs of former times, towards the mountains of Caucasus. On the other hand, some writers suppose them to descend from the Mamelukes. The universal tradition, proving that they formerly inhabited the Crimea, is also confirmed, in this respect, by the de-nominations still existing. The upper part of the river Belbek in the Crimea is yet called Kabarda, in the same manner as the Tartars still give the appellation of Tscherkes-tus to the magnificent spot between that river and the Kastcha. The Circassians of Lesser Kabarda consider their frontiers as ex-tending from the right bank of the'Terek to the left of the Sunsha.
A Female Kabardian of Mount Caucasus.
Une Kabardienne du Mont Caucase. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
THE dress of all the Tartars of Mount Caucasus is nearly the same,
and chiefly consists of the long garment of the Orientals. The
Tartars of Kabarda are particularly distinguished by the richness
and majestic elegance of their apparel. They wear the finest linen,
loose drawers, and short morocco boots embroidered. Over their
tunic, which is fastened with a long silk girdle, is thrown a
large robe of fine cloth or silk, the sleeves of which hang down
be-hind. To their girdle is fastened a poniard, and their cimeter
is hung with silver chains to their side. They shave the head,
which is covered with a cap of gold or silver, ornamented with
rich embroidery, and partly concealed by a bonnet widening towards
the top. The poorer sort make their clothes either of cotton,
or of a coarse cloth which they manufacture themselves. The females
of Kabarda dress, in every respect, like the Armenians.
The tartars of Mount Caucasus live better than any of the other tribes. They eat at table, seated upon chairs. Strict observers of the laws of Mahomet in every other respect, they are, unfortunately, but too much addicted to strong liquors. They drink wine, brandy, hydromel and a sort of strong beer, which they brew themselves, similar to that made in England.
So great is the preference of the Kabardian to his first wife, that the situation of the others is rendered very uncomfortable. Their wives are, therefore, seldom numerous; but what they want in this respect, is made up in the number of their concubines. They pride themselves too much upon their generosity, to acknowledge that they purchase their wives; they only confess that they make a present to their father-in-law: they dispute, however, with as much warmth about the precise value of this present, as any of the other eastern nations.
All of them follow the religion of' Mahomet: those to the north of Cauca-sus are disciples of Omar, while those to the south arc of the sect of Ali. They are not provided with priests and places of worship in every district; and in no part have they yet established schools for the education of their children. They follow the faith of Mahomet without understanding its dogmas, and frequently confound its ceremonies with those of Christianity and Schamanism. Like the Mahometans, Friday is their Sabbath, and, like the Christians, Sun-day is with them a day of rest. They bury their dead according to the Mahometan ritual; and often, as if they were Christians, they erect crosses over their tombs.
A Barabintzian Woman. Une Barabintzienne. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
THE vast desert hemmed in by the Ob and the Irtisch, and extending
as far as the Altai mountains, is called Barama; this word the
Russians have corrupted into Baraba, and have given the appellation
of Barabintzi to the in-habitants of this country. At the time
of the conquest of Siberia, the Barabintzians were scattered over
the same territory which they now possess. They have suffered
too much from the restlessness and ferocity of their neighbours,
for their population to be numerous; they have only a remembrance
of their former miseries, and have even forgotten whether or no
they were ever governed by sovereigns of their own nation. Successively
oppressed by the Kirguishes and Zungarians, they at length enjoy
a state of tranquillity under the protection of Russia: they pay
a trifling tribute to that country, and in return for this tribute,
it engages to defend them from the attacks of their enemies. It
is easy to trace in their features a mixture of several nations.
In general they resemble the Tartars; but their flat countenances,
and their long ears, evidently prove, that many of them belong
to the Mongols. The language of the Barabintzians is a dialect
of the Tartar, and is a proof of their belonging principally to
that people. It is corrupted, but less so than that of the Baschkirs.
Every village has its chief, and every district its Yaouta, or prince. The nation allows no revenue to these chiefs; and the only advantage they derive from their elevated situation, is the pleasure of being respected and obeyed. In their mode of living, the Barabintzians closely resemble the Baschkirs. (See Plate XXVI I.) The care of their herds is their principal occupation. They sow a little barley and oats, but the produce of their tillage is extremely feeble. Their desert, unproductive in game, rewards but scantily the fatigues of the chase; their flocks are more profitable to them; and many of their fishermen are indebted to the lakes of Baraba for their principal subsistence. Unskilful in drawing the bow, they are under the necessity of snaring their game, or of catching them by the assistance of their dogs. These animals are excellent hunters, and their masters esteem them so highly, that they will not exchange a good dog for a horse.
Every Barabintzian man or woman, young or old, smokes tobacco to excess: in order to increase the quantity, they mix with it the cuttings of the birch tree, and always carry their smoking utensils fastened to their girdle. The women are principally employed in preparing the skins of those birds which frequent the lakes; these skins they make up into pelisses, and sell them to strangers. They are very warm, very durable, and impenetrable to the wet. (See Plate XXIX, which represents A BARABINTZIAN GIRL.
A Female Mestscheraik. Une Mestschéraike. 10 x 14.5 inches.
£85. THE Mestschcraiks are a Tartar branch, consisting
of about two thousand families. Four hundred and fifty of these
families dwell among the Baschkirs, in the province of Iset; the
rest inhabit the province of Ufa, and live partly with the Tartars
of Ufa, and partly with the Baschkirs of the same province. They
are, therefore, all to be found in Baschkiria, and, consequently,
in the government of Orenburgh. In the fourteenth century, and,
probably, still later, their establishments were in the interior
of the Oka, among the Mordvins and Tscheremisses. When they first
settled in Baschkiria, each family was constrained to pay twenty-five
kopecks, as a territorial tribute to the Baschkirs, the proprietors.
When the latter revolted in the year 1735, the Mestscheraiks remained
faithful to the crown ; in consequence of which, they were exonerated
from the tribute imposed on them by the Baschkirs.
In their persons the Mcstscheraiks strongly resemble the Tartars of Ufa: their moral character is much the same as the Baschkirs, but they are more civilized, more intelligent, and better subjects than that people. Even their language is a purer dialect of the Arabic. The Mestscheraiks of the province of Iset follow the customs of the Baschkirs, with whom they live on the most friendly terms : they often traverse Baschkiria with their flocks : their villages are the same as the Baschkirs, but, generally speaking, they are a poorer people than that tribe. The dress of the men is also the same, and the women can only be distinguished from the females of Baschkiria by their flat bonnets, ornamented with medals and glass beads, and by the wide sashes, covered with small plates of silver and steel, which they wear over the shoulder.
In their religion, manners, customs, habitations, and amusements, the Mestscheraiks closely resemble the Baschkirs and the Tartars of Ufa; their schools, however, are better conducted, and their priests more learned; they are consequently better grounded in the religion of Mahomet, are less superstitious, more civilized, more obliging in their manners, and more cleanly in their persons.
A Barabintzian Girl. Une Fille Barabintzienne. 10 x 14.5 inches.
£85. THE dress of the Barabintzians is similar to
that of the Baschkirians, but more wretched. Contrary to the custom
of the rest .of the Tartars, the men do not shave their head;
they also suffer their beard to grow, but not to any considerable
length. The married women divide their hair into two braids (See
Plate XX VI) ; the unmarried ones wear several of these braids,
which they ornament with ribbons: the head-dress of the married
women consists of a low bonnet, trimmed round with fur; while
that of the single is generally pointed, decorated with a border,
and less than that worn by the former. In a few of their districts,
it is not uncommon to see the women with bonnets ornamented with
glass beads, like the Basch-okirians. Their only dress, in summer,
consists of a chemise made of stout cloth, and embroidered in
different colours, like that worn by the Tscheremisses, and already
So late as the middle of the eighteenth century, the Barabintzians were devoted to Shamanism; but through the zeal of some neighbouring Moullahs, who came to preach to them in their deserts, they have since been converted to the faith of Mahomet. At present, they possess, a few huts which they call mosques, and a few men, not even able to read, to whom they have given the appellation of priests. They have gained little by the change .of -religion but an addition to their former superstitions, since they have religigously retained all those of their ancestors, and, particularly, their magicians. They still bury their dead with their clothes and household utensils, and carry provisions to the grave.
In their festivals, marriages, and funerals, they observe the same ceremonies as the Baschkirians; but they are more moderate in their amusements, 'and, in general, lead a more regular life than that nation. It is not often that they have many wives, but they always maintain them as well as their poverty will permit. Whether these wives are purchased with silver or cattle, the kalym is often as low as fifteen, and never exceeds two hundred and fifty livres. They sometimes borrow a sum of money of their Russian neighbours, in order to pay the purchase of their wives; to liquidate which, they engage to cultivate, on certain conditions, the lands of their creditors-engagements which they never fail to fulfil.
530. A Kirghis on Horseback. Une Kirguis à
Cheval. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85. THE Kirghises call
themselves Sara-Kaisaki, or Kosacs of the desert. If we may trust
their traditions, they originally came, in small numbers, from
the Crimea, and were soon after much increased by numerous emigrations
from different hordes. If this account were true, we should consider
them as descended from the Nogais Tartars: but Abulgasi, who calls
them Kirghises, traces them from the banks of the Ikran, in the
neighbourhood of the great wall of China. As this people were
not known till after the conquest of Siberia by the Russians,
we can have no certain account of their ancient history. They
are divided into three distinct hordes. The Great Horde wander
in the desert watered by the Syr-Daria towards Tourkestan: the
Middle, and Small Horde, more numerous, and richer than the former,
extend from the coast of the Kargaljin lake, and the banks of
the Noura and the Sourassou, as far as lake Aral and the borders
of the Caspian Sea.
The Kirghises lead a wandering life, and dwell entirely in tents, constructed nearly like those of the Kalmucks. Their riches consist in cattle. A pastor moderately affluent seldom possesses fewer than from thirty to fifty horses, from fifteen to twenty oxen, about a hundred sheep, and from twenty to fifty goats, to which may be added a pair of camels. In general, the Kirghises lead an easy life, and have a lesser share of misery. than almost any other of the wandering nations. They have no idea of tilling the ground, and even if they were so inclined, the barren and saline quality of the soil of their deserts would be very unfriendly to cultivation. The commerce which the Kirghises carry on with the Russians, Buekarians, Chinese, and other neighbouring nations, supplies them with every article necessary for satisfying their vanity, They devote themselves to fishing and hunting, merely for their amusement. They use an immoderate quantity of tobacco, which they smoke in small Chinese Pipes; but as these pipes arc dear, they commonly supply their place with the bones of sheeps feet.
The Kirghises dress in the Oriental Costume; but their clothes are generally better than those worn by the other Tartars, the men shave their heads, and leave their whiskers to grow, and also a small tuft on the chin. Their summer dress is generally of goats' skin, which they have an excellent method of preparing and dying of a yellowish brown. Particular in their own apparel, they arc not less so of theirs horses, which are richly caparisoned; the saddles are worked in the most costly manner with silver and gold, and the very bridles are loaded with ornaments.
A Female Kirghis. Une Kirguise. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
THE head-dress of the Kirghis females of distinction consists
of a large piece of thin stuff, folded in the form of a turban
: their robes are of silk, painted linen, and fine cloth, but
more frequently of velvet ; they are trimmed with gold lace and
with the richest furs. The women of the lower order constantly
cover their heads with a veil ; but on holidays they wear bonnets
trimmed with tassels, and beads of coral. The single women leave
the head uncovered, and plait the hair into a variety of braids.
The Kirghises purchase their wives. Those in easy circumstances gene-rally pay fifty horses, twenty-five cows, a pair of camels, and a hundred sheep. Ile who has already one wife, pays dearer for the second, and still more so for the third. The common people have only one wife, and this one they would often find it difficult to procure, if they were not to steal them from the neighbouring nations. The rich have generally four, besides a number of concubines. Every wife has a separate tent, and is charged with the education of her children. The Kirghis women are industrious, tender, and compassionate.
It was not till the beginning of the seventeenth century that the Kirghises embraced Mahometanism. They hold their religion in great veneration ; but as they have no public schools, and, in many of their districts, are unprovided with Moullahs, they continue extremely ignorant, and abound in superstitious notions. Their Moullahs are generally selected from among the Tartar prisoners who arc able to read and write; and though they arc often taken from the plough, and from the most menial occupations, respect is, nevertheless, paid to their learning, and their fortune is secured. The Kirghises, in renouncing their religion, have, however, preserved their magicians. These impostors set themselves up for astrologers, chiromancers, and interpreters of dreams. They pretend to raise and drive out evil spirits by the sound of their tambour ; to prevent barrenness in women and in cattle, and to cure all sorts of disorders by means of their delusions.
In their funerals the Kirghises confound the ceremonies of Mahometanism with those of Shamanism. They tear the best garment of the deceased into a variety of pieces, and distribute the relics to his friends. if he happens to have been a person of consideration, his memory is celebrated three times, during the year of his decease : his wife and children come each time to weep over his tomb, and his friends repair to it, dressed in their richest apparel: au eulogy on their departed friend is then delivered, and the solemnity concludes with a repast from which sadness is banished. Each district celebrates, once a year, a festival in honour of the dead. The inhabitants assemble in their burial grounds, and a sacrifice of several horses is there made. Part of the flesh is thrown to the dead, and the remainder devoured by the living. In passing the tomb of a relative or a friend, they stop, and, snatching a few hairs from the mane of their horse, they deposit them on his tomb.
532. A Katschintzian Tartar Woman. Une Femme Tatare
de Katschintz. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85. THE Katschintzian
females wear trowsers, and short boots in the shape of stockings,
made of skin, and ornamented with embroidery. Their under garment
is long, and is either of thin China cotton, or of silk; the outer
one is of fine cloth, skin, or silk ; it is a sort of robe with
long skirts, and is made to fold over in the front. Their holiday
dresses are decorated with embroidery, elegantly worked, and the
edges are trimmed with rich fur, or with different coloured stuff.
The hair is divided into two large braids, which descend the bosom.
They wear rings; to which are added ear-drops, and pieces of different
coloured ribbon. The head-dress consists of a flat bonnet, trimmed
with fur, and projecting beyond the head. The unmarried females
divide their hair into a greater number of braids than the married
ones ; they generally wear nine of these braids, each of which
is decorated with a ribbon and various other ornaments. The daughters
of the richer families wear a girdle over the under garment, and
leave the upper one open ; so that the former may be seen, as
well as their embroidered stockings, made in the shape of boots.
The Katschintzians deposit their dead in the earth with their clothes on, but without coffins ; the inside of the grave is lined with planks, in order that the mould may not touch them. Some household utensils are buried with the body, and a quantity of meal, with water, is left upon the grave. At the expiration of a twelvemonth, the relatives and friends of the deceased revisit his tomb : they commence with a long panegyric on his virtues; they drink to his memory; but, by the aid of strong liquors, they soon banish the remembrance of their sorrow, and what began in tears generally ends in drunkenness.
In the country of the Katschintzians, numerous vestiges of antiquity have been discovered, together with several rich tombs, enclosing the most finished productions of industry. But these monuments of arts, these re-mains of opulent pride, cannot be attributed to their forefathers. The country, at present inhabited by hordes of wandering Tartars, must formerly have been the residence of artisans, whose vices were probably' punished by barbarians, and of whom there now remains not the smallest remembrance.
A Tartar Woman of Kousnetzk. Une Femme Tatare de Kousnetzk, par
derrière. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85. A TELEUTAN
TARTAR WOMAN OF KOUSNETZK. THE Teleutans, or Telengoutes, known
by both appellations, apparently derive their name from the Telengout
lake, near the Ob. Although they are not a nation purely Kalmuc,
the Russians call them White Kalmucs either from their coining
from the White Mountains, from their being of a lighter complexion
than the other wandering nations, or, because the word "
white " sometimes signifies free. Subject, however, to the
Zungarians, or to other Kalmuc hordes, they were far from enjoying
freedom. Towards the middle of the last century several of their
tribes wandered as far as Kousnetzk, and became the subjects of
Russia. A trifling tribute secures them the tranquillity they
now enjoy. The remaining tribes continued under the Zungarian
yoke, and were afterwards involved in the ruin of that people.
The Teleutans, whom Abulgasi classes among the Kalmucs, bear a
strong resemblance to that nation, and also to the Tartars. They
are idle, in-different, and insensible; their understandings are
extremely limited, and totally without cultivation; it is difficult
to make them comprehend the most simple subjects. Bread, cattle,
children, and the supreme happiness of doing nothing, are all
they desire: they, therefore, live in perfect harmony with each
other, and pay their tribute to the Russians without murmuring.
Divided into small tribes, marrying with each other, the Teleutans,
subject to Russia, are scattered over both banks of the Tom, and
the rivers running into it. At the time of' their establishment
in the territories they now occupy, the Teleutans were a nation
of wandering hunters and pastors; but the example of' Russia and
a confined territory engaged them to construct permanent habitations,
and to turn their attention to the cultivation of the soil. Their
mountains contain a great quantity of game, and of animals valuable
on account of' their furs. The Teleutans are fond of the chase,
and their cattle, not very numerous, leave them sufficient time
to follow that diversion. Their villages seldom contain more than
ten houses: their summer dwellings consist merely of poles struck
into the ground, and covered with matting or the stalks of peas.
These mats serve them for coverings and carpels. Both rich and
poor sit, eat, and sleep upon benches. Their dishes are all of
wood, and they have scarcely a sufficiency
of cast iron to make boilers for cooking their provisions.
Back Figure of a Female Schaman, or Sorceress of Krasnajarsk.
Une Shamane, ou Devineresse de Krasnajarsk, par derrière.
10 x 14.5 inches. £85 BACK FIGURE OF A FEMALE SCHAMAN,
OR SORCERESS, OF KRASNAJARSK. THE Schamans are distinguished by
a singular dress, made, generally, of tanned hide; their stockings,
which serve them, at the same time, for boots, are also of skin:
their garments are covered with a number of idols made out of
plates of iron, with small bells, rings, eagles claws, the skins
of serpents stuffed, narrow strips of fur, &c. Their caps
are sometimes in the form of hoods, and sometimes like helmets;
they are decorated with the feathers of the owl, and hung round
with stuffed serpents. That this dress may have a greater effect,
they seldom wear it but for the purpose of performing their impostures.
For the scene of their magical operations, they generally select
a subterranean hut, in which no light is admitted but what is
derived from the gloomy reflection of their fires. In this state,
approaching to darkness, it may easily be conceived that their
appearance is frightful: they throw them-selves into violent agitations,
and, at every motion of their bodies, the noise of the plates
of iron, and the rattling of the chains, add greatly to the horror
they excite. To procure themselves a holy delirium, they inhale
vast quantities of the fume of tobacco. They leap round the fire,
roll their eyes and mouths in the most horrible manner, strike
with their hands, scream dread-fully, call upon their gods by
their respective names, and tremble in all their members. At length
they appear to fall into a profound swoon ; the ignorant spectators
imagine that their souls are then separated from their bodies,
and descend into the lower regions, where they hold converse with
the malevolent deities. After this frightful ceremony is over,
they acquaint their audience with the responses they have received
from the deities.
The tambour is the chief instrument used by the Schamans for performing their delusions: by the power of this tambour they pretend to raise spirits, and oblige them to work miracles and unveil the mysteries of futurity. It is of an oval form, about three feet long, and covered with skin on one side only, similar to a tambourine ; upon this skin are traced the representation of idols, stars, animals, &c. They strike the tambour with a small stick, which is covered with skin, in order to render the sound more dismal. The Schamans assert that, by the different modes of striking the tambour, they are enabled to raise or drive out spirits.
A Tartar Girl of Kousnetzk. Une Fille Tatare de Kousnetzk. 10
x 14.5 inches. £85 PLATE XXXVI. A TELEUTAN GIRL OF
KOUSNETZK. THE dress of the Teleutans is not less miserable than
their mode of living. Their women, however, sometimes wear garments
of silk, and decorate their ears with rings and small chains.
The hair is divided into two or more braids, and ornamented with
ribbons, small shells, and various other embellishments. The women,
married as well as single, arc in the habit of wearing a cap trimmed
with beads and small medals, over which they wear a flat bonnet
trimmed with a border of fur.
The price of a wife is as low as from ten to thirty horses, and the woman generally brings her husband a dowry nearly equal to the purchase; notwithstanding which, a Teleutans seldom takes to himself more than one wife. I t is customary for the father of the bride to keep her at his own house for the space of two or three years after the marriage ; but during this time she lives with her husband, and both are under the obligation of labouring for the benefit of their father.
More than half the Teleutans still follow the religion of the Schamans A few Christian families are to be found living together in villages ; the rest are scattered among the Pagans, and are permitted to enjoy their faith, with-out the slightest reproach for having abandoned the worship of their fore-fathers. But of all the religious denominations into which the Teleutans are divided, the disciples of Mahomet are not only the richest, but the most exemplary in their manners, the most cleanly in their persons, and the best provided for: they are supplied with mosques, public schools, and priests. The followers of Schamanism call the deity Kougai, the chief of the malevolent spirits Schaitan., their idols Talons, and their priests Kams or Kamaks "They assure us," says Fischer, " that they worship but one God. When they pray they turn towards the east: their prayer consists of a short ejaculation, beseeching the Almighty to preserve them from death." Their temples or keremets, which they call Taiga, consist only of four stakes driven into the ground, at the distance of a couple of yards from each other. In this place they sacrifice, at least once a year, a horse. They devour the flesh of the animal, and, after stuffing the skin, they place branches of trees in its mouth, and leave it in the Talga with its head turned towards the east. They also sacrifice hares and ermine. Formerly, the Teleutans either burned the bodies of their dead, or hung them upon trees, where they were left to putrify Their infants are still served in the same manner; but the bodies of their adults are thrown into the ground in miserable coffins.
A Yakut in his Hunting Dress. Un Yakout en Habit de Chasse. 10
x 14.5 inches. £85 A YAKUT IN HIS HUNTING DRESS.
THE Yakuti call themselves Zokha or Socha. They formerly occupied
the upper part oldie river Lena; but, oppressed and persecuted
by the Mongols, they followed the course of that river, and descended
lower down, till they reached the rigorous climate which they
now inhabit. They extend on both sides of the Lena, from Vitym
to the mouths of that river, and even to the borders of the Frozen
Ocean; some of their tribes are still to be met with, towards
the eastern extremity of Siberia, on the coasts of the gulph of
Pinjinzk, and the shores of the Kolyma In general, their climate
is severe; in some places the soil is rocky, and in others marshy,
but it is every where incapable of cultivation, and unfavourable
to the progress of population.
The Yakuti are of the middling stature. In their features and manners they resemble both the Mongols and Tartars. Their language has a stronger affinity to the latter; notwithstanding which, it is easy, from a number of expressions, to discover that they are no strangers to the Mongols, and that, formerly, they were in habits of intercourse with the Tongusians The Yakuti are rather flat-nosed, with small eyes, thin brown hair, and light beards. They have no great extent of capacity, but sufficient for their necessities and mode of living. Incapable of a strong degree of attention to any one object, arising more from indifference than idleness, they possess that indolence which moderate desires naturally inspire. Plain, but not rude, in their ordinary intercourse with each other, they possess that politeness which nature bestows, which art cannot teach, and which true benevolence can alone dictate.
The Yakuti form a numerous people, and are divided into tribes and districts. About the middle of the last century, their population was estimated at thirty-five thousand souls; but from the want of correctness in the registers, it may fairly be presumed, that they amounted to triple that number, and that the state of peace which they have enjoyed since that period must have considerably increased their population.
The Yakuti are hunters, pastors, and fishermen: their soil, which is every where unfriendly to cultivation, will never permit them to rise above those primitive occupations of man. Where the chase is unfavourable they arc more successful in their fisheries, and the districts that leave unrewarded the fatigues of the hunter and fisherman, generally prove friendly to the vigilance of the pastor.
Back Figure of a Yakut in his Hunting Dress. Un Yakout en Habit
de Chasse, par derriére. 10 x 14.5 inches. THE BACK FIGURE
OF A YAKUT IN HIS HUNTING DRESS ALTHOUGH the Yakuti are condemned
to a wandering state of existence, they rarely change their winter
habitations: in autumn they return to the same huts which they
occupied during the preceding winter. If, by accident, they have
so far wandered after their troops as not to be able to return
to their ancient dwellings, they easily console themselves for
this loss, and remain on the spot where they happen to be when
the severe weather sets in, and set themselves immediately to
building of huts. The construction of their dwellings requires
no great skill; it consists, chiefly, in piling pieces of ill-squared
timber upon each other, and closing the joints with moss. Large
benches are ranged round their huts; their household furniture
and culinary utensils are far from being costly, and are kept
in repair with little expcnce or trouble. Excepting the bottoms
of their boilers, they are all of wood, leather, and the bark
of the birch tree.
As they have no regular hours of repast, and eat at all tunes in the day, a boiler is constantly to he seen on the fire. The Yakuti devour every thing, excepting pork, frogs, and insects: plants, herbs, and roots, arc carefully collected by them; but above all, they are particularly fond of small mountain rats and mice. In summer they live chiefly on milk, and in winter on dried fish. The Yakuti of the North, during the whole of the year, live principally upon fish. In summer time they often intoxicate themselves with brandy and milk, and the fumes of tobacco: to bring on a state of intoxication more rapidly, they make use of the infusion of moukhomore, so common to the Kamtchadales and several other nations.
Notwithstanding this want of cleanliness in their houses, they are extremely desirous of being distinguished for the elegance of their dress : their summer garments are of shamois; in winter they wear skins, particularly those of the rein-deer: the sleeves of their garments are narrow; they descend to the knees, and are laced in the front. The men cut their hair extremely short: in summer they go hare-headed; in winter the skin of the head of some .savage animal serves them for a cap. Their breeches are short; skin stockings serve them instead of boots; they are drawn up tight, in order that they may take the shape of the leg and thigh, and are laced to their breeches.
A Female Yakut. Une Femme Yakoute. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
PLATE XXXIX. A FEMALE YAKUT. THE dress of the Yakutan women
resembles that of the man; but, in general, their garments are
better worked, and more loaded with ornaments. W hen they wish
to appear in their best attire, they throw over their usual dress
a waistcoat without sleeves, about six inches shorter than their
under garment. This waistcoat is either of skin or fine cloth
: the borders are decorated with fringe made of horse-hair, white
or coloured ; and the scams are ornamented with elegant embroidery
in red and blue stripes, covered with glass beads and coral. The
married women are distinguished by their head-dress, which consists
of a bonnet made of skin, taken from the heads of different quadrupeds
: the ears of the animal ate left standing, and have the appearance
of horns. The unmarried women divide the hair into a variety of
braids, and wear large fillets round their head, made of skin,
and covered wish embroidery and pearls of coral. Small rows of
glass beads are fastened to the right and left of this fillet:
another fillet, about eighteen inches long, and four broad, passes
over the crown of the head, and descends down the hack; this last-mentioned
ornament is also loaded with embroidery amid glass beads. See
Plates X L. and XLI.
The dress of the Yakuti nearly approaches that of the Tongusians. Of all the nations inhabiting these regions, the Yakuti and the Tongusians clothe themselves in the neatest and most elegant manner. The Yakutan women make their own apparel, instead of purchasing them ready made, as is the custom with all the other nations of Siberia : for this reason the attire of the Yakutan girls is particularly shewy, and made with much pains and attention. The Yakutan women are lively and industrious: they discover more activity and courage than the men. Some of them would he sufficiently handsome, were it not for the filthiness of their complexion, arising, principally, from their habit of smoking. See Plate XL.
A Yakutan Girl. Une Fille Yakoute. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
A YAKUTAN GIRL. SCHAMANISM is the only religion known to the
Yakuti. They acknowledge two superior beings; both of them nearly
equal in power, the one good, and the other bad. Inferior deities,
emanating from their substance, participate also of their qualities.
They marry, and have children of both sexes ; who, in their turn,
produce other divinities, inhabiting the air, the earth, and the
The Yakuti have a number of idols. These idols are shaped and dressed up like children's dolls; the eyes are imitated with glass or coral beads. They rub their deities all over with grease or blood, and smoke them over their fires, by which means their appearance is rendered extremely disgusting. Their priests are called Aiouns. In their prayers, they beseech the divinities that their troops may be numerous, and their game plentiful. Their most solemn festival is celebrated in the month of June. Each family collects together as much milk as their mares will afford them, which is thrown into a state of fermentation. Every person arrays himself in his best apparel. A young child about twelve years old is dressed up, and the Aioun or priest, is sent for. On his arrival, he advances to the middle of the hut, his face turned towards the east, and holding in his left hand a vessel filled with milk, and in his right hand a spoon. The child falls down upon one knee before him. The Aioun bows several times, calls upon the deities by their respective names, and at each name he throws into the air a spoonful of' the milk, as an offering to the deity he invokes. Ile then prostrates himself afresh ; after which he leaves the hut, pronouncing a few words in a low tone of' voice. The company follow and seat themselves around him. Ile devoutly drinks several spoons-full of the milk, and returns the vessel to the child, who receives it, still kneeling, drinks in his turn, and afterwards presents it to each of the company. The vessel again returns to the priest, and is again handed to the child, and by him to the spectators. This ceremony, which is the most important part of the festival, continues till the vessels are all emptied ; for they make it a rule never to depart while the least drop of the milk. remains.
Back Figure of a Yakutan Girl. Une
Fille Yakoute, par derrière. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
THE most learned and revered of the Yakutan Aiouns, or priests, are those who can remember the names of the greatest number of divinities; but they are more indebted for the consideration they enjoy to their powers of magic, their tambour, and the oddity of their dress, than to their sacerdotal functions. It is not unfrequent for the females to exceed the priests in the arts of their profession. " We sent," says Gmelin, in his Journey into Siberia, " for a female magician, who, though in the flower of youth, surpassed the most celebrated sorcerers. She assured us, without the smallest hesitation, that she had carried her art to such a pitch of perfection, that, by the assistance of the devil, she was able to thrust a knife into her body, without receiving the slightest injury. Her youth, vigour, and activity, rendered her superior to her companions in her contortions, and her imitations of the howling of bears, dogs, cats, &c. She called upon the spirits of the air and earth, affected to see and converse with them, and assured us that she had received the most certain answers to all her queries. She then called for a knife, and pretended to thrust it with much violence into her body. I was desirous of applying my finger to the spot, but, perceiving this, she informed us that the devil would not, this time, obey her, and begged us to wait till the morrow. To our utter surprize she made her appearance at the hour appointed, stabbed her-self in our presence, withdrew the bloody knife, and cutting off a small piece of the membranous fat, actually roasted it on the fire and eat it. The Yakuti, who happened to be present, expressed their astonishment by their gestures, and an exclamation peculiar to themselves. They appeared very much alarmed for her safety; but, in the course of a few minutes, she walked about as if nothing had happened, which greatly increased the admiration of the Yakuti. She afterwards applied a plaister to the wound, and bound it up with rags and the bark of the birch tree. Before we left her, she acknowledged that, till the present moment, she never had driven the knife into her body, and that it was her intention to have deceived us, as she was wont to do the Yakuti; but perceiving that we observed her too narrowly, and having learnt from her parents that if she were to thrust the knife slightly into the belly the wound would not prove fatal, provided she eat a small piece of her own fat, and bound up the Wound in the manner above mentioned, she resolved upon doing so, in order that we might not consider her an impostor."
542. A Samoyede. Un Samoyède. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
A SAMOYEDE. THE tribes of Samoyedes wandering
on this side the Yougoric mountains have long been. known to the
Russians. It is proved that, about the year 1525, they submitted
to that illustrious prince, Ivan Ivanovitch. They are scattered
on the borders of the Frozen Ocean, from the banks of the Mezen,
in Europe, as far as the banks of the Lena, to the north of Asia.
They are no where to be met with on this side the sixty-fifth
degree of latitude; but to the east of the Yenessey, they have
taken refuge under the seventy-fifth degree, in solitudes even
more northern than the greater part of Nova Zembla. A Samoyede
is rarely more than five feet high. Some, however, are to be found
of the middling stature. They have all large heads; flat faces,
small eyes, wide mouths, thin lips, long ears, a thick skin, a
yellow complexion, and straight black hair. Their dress strongly
resembles that of the Yakuti. Their winter garment is commonly
of the skin of the rein-deer, or the fox, trimmed with dog, or
wolf-skin, and sometimes. with the skins of birds in their plumage.
The Samoyedes, like every people who depend for subsistence upon the chace, are extremely sharp-sighted ; their sense of hearing is also very delicate. They send forth the arrow with a steady hand, and rarely miss their object. These savages, actuated scarcely by any passion, live, as it were, without laws and without crimes. Content with what they possess, they envy not the prosperity of their neighbours, and robbery is unknown amongst- them. An anonymous writer, who has left us some particulars relative to this people, one day assembled several of them in his chamber, that he might examine them more narrowly : " But," says he, " though I left upon my table money, fruits, strong liquors which I had given them to taste, and every thing that I conceived most calculated to tempt their cupidity; though I abandoned my chamber to their discretion, caused my domestics to withdraw, and retired myself into a corner, where I could see them unobserved, they never removed from their indifference, but remained seated on the ground with their legs crossed, without touching the most trivial article. Nothing but the looking-glass called forth the smallest surprize; and in a moment after, even that excited no longer their attention." Nothing can be made to rouse their curiosity; nothing can draw them from their state of indifference. Several of them have visited Petersburgh and Moscow, but, insensible to the beauties of those cities, and the ad-vantages they unite, they preferred their savage state of existence to all the conveniences of polished nations, they regretted their absence from their deserts; and hastened to return thither.
A Female Samoyede. Une Femme Samoyède. 10 x 14.5 inches.
A FEMALE SAMOYEDE. THE Samoyede women are better made than the
men, and their features are less forbidding; they are, nevertheless,
far from being handsome. They are, frequently, mothers at the
age of twelve or thirteen, are past child-bearing at thirty, and
never bring into the world a numerous progeny. Their dress so
strongly resembles that worn by the men, that it is not always
easy to distinguish them. In general, however, their garments
are better made, and decorated with fringe, glass beads, and a
variety of ornaments peculiar to the sex. They are particularly
fond of trimming the edges and sleeves of their dresses with strips
of bright coloured cloth, about an inch in width, or with glass
beads, small plates of tin, &c. The married women divide the
hair into two braids, which pass over the shoulders and descend
The unmarried wear three of these braids, which hang down the back. In summer both married and single go bare-headed: in winter they wear hoods of black fur.
Generally speaking, the Samoyedes are poor: almost all, however, are masters of a few rein-deer, and some of the richer sort have as many as a hundred, and even more than that number. They make them supply the place of saddle horses, fasten them to their sledges, and make offerings of them to the gods: but they never put to death any but those which are in-capable of service. Like the nations of which we have already spoken, the Samoyedes have little or no bread; but rejecting no kind of food, they are never in dread of a scarcity. If, by accident, they discover an animal which has died a natural death, if a whale, already half putrified happens to be cast on their coast, they set themselves down, and enjoy, at their leisure, what they conceive to be the presents of their beneficent divinites. Dogs, cats, squirrels, rats, and ermine, are, however, excluded from their tables. We know not whence arises this disgust, and it is most probable they are ignorant of the cause themselves. The Samoyedes use no salt. Frequently, even in times of repose, they devour raw the flesh of quadrupeds and fish. Before their connection with the Russians, it is most probable, they never cooked their provisions, and that from this circumstance they acquired the name of Samoyedes, " devourers of raw flesh." Since the introduction of kettles from Russia, they sometimes boil their food, but they never dress the fish that have been dried by the sun. Blood, still warm from the animal, is esteemed the greatest of all luxuries; they consider it as a preservative against the scurvy.
A Female Samoyede in her Summer Dress. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
A FEMALE SAMOYEDE. IN HER SUMMER DRESS. ALTHOUGH the Samoyedes
are permitted to marry as many wives as they arc able to maintain,
the greater part of them are contented with one. The price, of
a wife is from five to fifteen rein-deer. The poor lover, who
is unable to raise the purchase-money, is either condemned to
celibacy, or under the dire necessity of taking to himself a spouse
from among the females whom no one, with money, will condescend
to bargain for. The Samopedes hold incest in the utmost abhorrence,
and on no account will they marry a relation even in the most
distant degree. They seldom choose a wife from among their own
tribe. When the purchase-money is deposited, the bride is tied
.upon a sledge, and drawn to her husband's habitation. The lover
is generally obliged to carry her off by force; so great is her
reluctance to follow him! The nuptial ceremonies are similar to
those in use among the Ostiaks.
The Samoyedes treat their wives with contempt, and often with the most inhuman barbarity. The married women are more exposed to these cruelties than the single ; it is, therefore, natural to conclude, that the repugnance of the latter to matrimony does not, altogether, arise from affectation. As long as the wife continues to bear children, some degree of respect may be hoped for, but in proportion as she advances in years, these attentions disappear. The women are never allowed to eat with their husbands, and are obliged to be contented with the remnants of his table. In the hut a corner is appropriated to them, from which they dare not stir; and as the Samoyedes attribute a certain degree of sanctity to the fire, they are forbidden to approach, for fear of profaning it.
If the Samoyedes can be said to follow any religion, it is Shamanism. A few puppets, or figured stones intended to represent idols, are the only signs of an exterior worship. They neglect their divinities, and bestow all their attention on their priests or sorcerers, whom they call Tabid.
Their dead are not suffered to be carried out by the door, but are let through an aperture, which is purposely made on one side of the hut. They are dressed in their best clothes, wrapped up in rein-deer skins, and interred in a small shallow grave, which the Samoyedes, nevertheless, find extremely difficult to dig, from their want of proper tools, and the resistance of the frozen ground. On this account, in winter, they frequently bury their dead in the snow
A Tongusian in his Hunting Dress.
Un Toungouse en Habit de Chasse. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
A TONGUSIAN IN HIS HUNTING DRESS. THE Tongusians are indebted for their name to their Tartar neighbours, by whom it was first given them in derision. It signifies, in their language, " eaters of hog's flesh." The Tongusians call themselves Donke, but more commonly Boïe " men." They form the most numerous people of Siberia; over which country they are scattered, from the fifty-third to the sixty-fifth degree of latitude. They are subdivided into tribes, in the manner of the Orientals. As they are of a quiet and peaceable disposition, the inhabitants of various other nations have settled among them. They are of the middling stature, well made, and of a lively complexion. Their hair is black and straight; their beard is light, and it is not uncommon to see a Tongusian with no beard at all. Content with the necessaries of life, they are not anxious of obtaining its superfluities. Their present manners are those of their ancestors; their former customs are the only ones still known amongst them, and the communication they have had with foreign countries has not induced them to adopt any of their luxuries.
TheTongusians speak the same language as the Manjours. It is said to be soft and agreeable. The Tongusians subject to Russia are ignorant of the art of writing. They separate the year into two parts, which, according to their mode of dividing time, form two whole years ; the winter year, and the summer year. Thus the man who is thirty years of age, says that he is sixty. These years, or, more properly speaking, these half-years, are sub-divided into fifteen months.
Wandering over extensive deserts, or profound forests, part of them live on the produce of their chace and their fisheries, while the troops which are reared by the other part, supply them with the means of subsistence. The same Tongusians who hunt in the winter, become fishermen during the summer; but whether fishermen or hunters, they seldom remain more than three or four days in one spot. They are the most wandering of all the nations of the Russian empire; both hunters and pastors are free, in proportion to their poverty. A small number of hunting and fishing utensils, with which they. are badly supplied, the clothes on their back, a few dogs, and a tent, are the whole riches they possess. The Tongusian who has acquired some small property by hunting or fishing, generally purchases a few rein-deer, and turns pastor. These pastors possess from twenty to a thousand of these animals, and some of them a still greater number. The Tongusians wandering in more southerly solitudes, on the banks of the Argoun, the Onon, and the Bargouzina, possess horses, cattle, sheep, and camels. They .arc skilful huntsmen, sit well on horseback, and combat with much courage.
546. A Tongusian in his ordinary Dress. Un Toungouse en Habit ordinaire. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
A TONGUSIAN, IN HIS USUAL DRESS. INCESSANTLY
changing their place of abode, the habitations of the Tongusians
are as moveable as themselves. They consist of several poles driven
into the ground, and covered over with matting, made of birch-tree
bark, and very much resembling the coarsest cloth. At the top
of this tent an aperture is left for the purpose of letting out
the smoke. When they wish to go out or in, they lift up a small
door, made of the same materials. When they remove their dwelling,
the poles (unless they chance to be in deserts unfurnished with
wood) are thrown away, the matting is carefully rolled up, and
a new habitation is constructed in the first place where they
are desirous of taking up their abode. Men and women dress exactly
alike. A skin garment is worn next the body, which descends no
farther than the knees. Their breeches, which are short, and made
in winter of fur, and in summer of the skins of fishes, are fastened
by a lace to the girdle. Their fur boots are decorated with glass
beads, or striped of different colours. They wear a sort of small
apron, of brown or yellow leather, and trimmed at the edge with
fringe. Their outer garment is laced in the front, but as it is
too narrow to meet, the bosom is covered with a breast-piece,
embroidered with glass beads, or horse-hair of various colours.
Over this stomacher the most superstitious among them wear an
idol, cut out of a plate of iron, representing the figure of a
man, a bird, or a quadruped. They imagine themselves under the
protection of this idol, and hope thereby to obtain a successful
chase, or an abundance of fish. The greater part have lines or
figures traced upon the forehead, the cheek, or the chin. This
is done by the father, when the children are from six to ten years
of age. To perform this painful operation, they make use of thread
blackened with the soot of their cauldrons: by the aid of a needle,
the thread is passed under the skin of the unfortunate sufferer,
and the blue spots occasioned by this process remain on the countenance
for the remainder of his life.
The Tongusians eat a great quantity of berries, herbs, and roots. They devour every species of quadrupeds, even rats and carrion. The use of strong liquors is unknown to them; their only beverage is water, or broths. Both men and women are accustomed from their infancy to smoke tobacco. The Tongusians support hunger with great patience, and arc little affected by long fasting; but, in seasons of plenty, they eat to an excess. They have no regular hours of repast, and are governed, in this respect, entirely by hunger, opportunity, and caprice.
547. A Tongusian Priest, in theVicinity of the Argoun. Un Devin Toungouse, auprès de l'Argoun. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
A TONGUSIAN PRIEST, . IN THE VICINITY
OF THE ARGOUN. THE Tongusians are pagans of the sect of the Schamans.
Boa is the appellation given to the Supreme Being, Bougai is the
name of the devil, and their idolatrous priests and magicians
are called Schamans. The Tongusians believe in a future life,
which they imagine will be similar to their present state of existence.
They have no idea of future punishments. The children who are
subject to convulsions or frequent bleedings at the nose, are
thereby considered as called to the priest-hood, and arc placed
under the care of' a Schaman, who charges himself with their education.
The Tongusians enjoy a state of freedom, under the direction of' chiefs of their own choosing; in time of war, these chiefs are placed at their head, and in peace, they are appointed arbitrators of all differences. The descendants of their ancient chiefs enjoy a particular degree of consideration, and it is from this order of nobility that their new chiefs are selected. Upon the slightest differences the Tongusians have recourse to their chiefs. These men, who discover so much apathy in times of scarcity and of the greatest privation, carry their desire of revenge to the utmost pitch of extravagance. In their single combats they use the bow and arrow. Their duels arc subject to nearly the same laws and ceremonies as our ancient camp fights. Their old men are appointed to examine the arms, to mark out the place of battle, and to prescribe the distance at which the champions are to stand, and the moment of drawing.
If a person of the common rank seduces a girl with a considerable for-tune, or remarkable for her beauty, he is in danger of being shot by the relations, friends, or lovers of his mistress. In all matters of' dispute brought before their chiefs or elders, where it is difficult to discover the truth, the parties arc put upon their oath. The Tongusians have three kinds of oaths, each more solemn than the other. The slightest consists in raising the blade of a knife towards the sun, and in agitating it with violence, saying, at the same time, " If I am guilty, may the sharpest pains seize my body, and tor-" ment it as I agitate this knife!' The second is performed with more formality. The person accused is conducted to a sacred mountain, where he pronounces with a loud voice, "If I am guilty, may I never be successful in " hunting or fishing; may I be bereft of my children, and also of my own " existence!" But the third is still more terrible than the two former. A dog is killed and cast into the fire, but before it is consumed, it is taken out and thrown to the company; the accused person is obligated to drink some of the blood of the animal, uttering at the same time these words: " I drink " this blood in witness of the truth! if I lie, may I perish, be burnt, and " dried up like this clog!"
548. Back Figure of a Tongusian Priest, in the Vicinity of the Argoun. Un Devin Toungouse, auprès de l'Argoun, par derrière. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
POLYGAMY is permitted among the Tongusians. Some of them have five wives, but the greater number have only one. These wives are purchased with animals and furs. The bride presents her husband with a suit of clothes, which is the first proof she gives him of her skill, as it is always of her own workmanship. The marriage is merely a civil agreement, neither preceded by, nor accomplished with, any religious ceremony. When the husband takes his wife home to his hut, he gives a repast to his friends. If he happens to be a Tongusian of the south, the presents them with a horse. The Tongusian pastors regale their companions still better, for several rein-deer are killed on the occasion. The hunter presents his guests with the produce of his chase, which is sometimes a wolf, and sometimes a fox; but whether it be the one or the other, they feast upon it as if it were the most delicious venison.
The women are occupied in attending to the duties of the kitchen, in taking care of their children, in cleaning and drying their fish, in making the clothes of the whole family, and in dying the wool of their goats, &c. They are agreeable in their manners, and of a mild and lively disposition; but deep wrinkles make their appearance at an early period on their countenance, and bring on a premature old age. Nature has accorded them the power of pleasing but for a few years. The moment their children are born, they are placed in a cradle, and covered over with the powder of worm-eaten wood. At this age they strongly resemble the children of the Kalmucs, but their features improve as they grow older. The Tongusians are acquainted with few maladies. Their old men seldom grow grey, and are so lively and active, that, at first sight, a stranger would suppose them to be still in their youthful days; but, notwithstanding this apparent vigour, they seldom attain to a very advanced age.
The Tongusians bury their dead in their clothes, and great care is taken to supply them with their arms, their pipe, &c. If they have not ordered it otherwise in their last moments, they are interred on the spot where they died. Some wish to be buried near their fathers, or at the foot of some tree which they consider as sacred ; others object to be laid in the ground, and are merely covered over with rubbish and stones. This mode of burial is considered the most honourable, and is always observed with regard to their Schamans. Their tambour is always hung over them. The funeral is unattended with any ceremony. The friends of the deceased regale themselves upon the occasion, and carry provisions to his grave.
549. A Kamtschadale in his Winter Dress. Un Kamtchadale en Habit d'Hiver. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
A KAMTSCHADALE IN HIS WINTER DRESS. A
CHAIN of stony and barren mountains, extending from the fifty-first
to the sixty-second degree of north latitude, forms the peninsula
of Kamtschatka. Destitute of a soil capable of cultivation, and
exposed to the severest frosts during the summer, it is neither
capable of nourishing troops, nor of rewarding the toils of the
labourer. The Kamtschadales call themselves Itelmanns, that is
to say, inhabitants. They have long been established in these
gloomy territories. They have no traditions respecting their origin.
They consider their country as the happiest region on the face
of the globe, and themselves the favourites of the Gods, the most
fortunate of mortals.
The Kamtschadales are small and ill proportioned. Their head is particularly large, their limbs slender, and their step slow and ungraceful. They are of a tawny complexion, with dark hair and thin beard. It is with much difficulty that they reckon as far as three, without having recourse to their fingers, and their embarrassment is extreme when the number exceeds ten.. They distribute the year into four seasons and ten months, and measure the distance from one place to another by the number of nights passed upon the road.
In spite of their love of indolence, necessity obliges them to labour in all seasons, and both sexes have their respective occupations. In summer, the men are engaged in their fisheries, the women in cleaning and drying fish, and in collecting berries and roots, which serve both for food and medicine. They also prepare a particular herb, which, by fermentation, produces a sort of beer. In winter, the men devote their time to hunting the fox and the sable, until the spring again calls them to their fisheries.
The Kamtschadales never eat any food hot: this practice contributes greatly to the preservation of their teeth, and to strengthen the fibres of the stomach. No people drink so much water as the Kamtschadales. They have invented a beverage which produces the most intoxicating and fatal effects. The yellow mushroom called moukhomore, so well known to the Russians, and used by them for the purpose of destroying flies, is also to be found in Kamtschatka. The inhabitants steep it in water, and the liquor produces an effect similar to that of opium. When drank in moderate quantities, it makes them gay and cheerful, but taken to excess, it brings on a state of intoxication bordering upon madness.
A Kamtschadale in his ordinary Dress.
Un Kamtchadale en habit ordinaire. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
WHEN we consider the natural productions of Kamtschatka, and the severity of the climate of this peninsula, some idea may easily be formed of the clothing of its inhabitants. Their dresses are made of rein-deer skins, which they procure of the Koriaks in exchange, and of the skins of birds, dogs, and the sea-calf. In winter, the Kamtschadales wear two garments. The upper is the same for both sexes; but the under one, worn by the females, is some-what different. It consists of a pair of drawers and a waistcoat sown together. The women of Kamtschatka always wear gloves, even during the night. Formerly, the unmarried females divided their hair into several braids, in imitation of the Tartars : but at present, they separate it, at the crown of the head, into two only, which they collect together at the hinder part of the neck, so as to make it form a single tress, ornamented with ribbons, glass beads, &c.
The dog is the only domestic animal known in Kamtschatka: they are very numerous, and are much prized by the inhabitants. The care of them is confided to the women, who feed them with fishes bones; and so fond are they of these animals, that they often permit them to partake of the food provided for the family, and to eat out of the same bowl. These dogs are of the middling size, and commonly white, black, or grey. Kracheninikof, in his " Description of Kamtschatka," considers them a species of our domestic dog; and the editor of Captain Cooke's third voyage informs us, that they very much resemble the English hull-dog. Considering their size, they are remarkably strong : one dog will carry a load of seventy pounds weight. The team consists of eight dogs yoked two by two. The sledges are made of two curbed pieces of birch-tree wood, confined by four cross pieces, at the distance of twelve inches from each other. Instead of a whip, the driver holds in his hand a hooked stick, about three feet long, at the extremity of which are fastened several small bells, the sound of which serves to encourage the animals. When he wishes to stop, he forces the stick into the snow, and places, at the same time, one foot on the ground, in order to diminish their pace gradually. The men travel seated on one side of the sledge : the women only sit within, and it would be considered disgraceful to imitate them. They travel only at the rate of about eight leagues per day, and even to per-form this, it is necessary that the road should be well beaten, and that skaits, made of bones, should be fastened to the sledge.
551. A Woman of Kamtschatka in her Holiday Dress. Une Kamtchadale en Habit de Fête. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
THE Kamtschadale seldom chooses a wife
from among the females who dwell in the same hut with himself.
He repairs to the one which contains the object of his affection,
he solicits the happiness of labouring for her parents, and uses
every exertion to give them a favourable opinion of his zeal and
activity. If the lover is so unfortunate as to displease the parents
and their daughter, he loses the fruits of his labour ; but if
he proves agreeable to them, he demands and obtains permission
to touch his mistress; that is to say, to untie the strings of
her jacket. But this is generally found to be extremely difficult;
for the moment he obtains this permission, the object of his affection
is placed under the safeguard of all the matrons dwelling in the
same habitation; who make it their especial care never to lose
sight of her, and to redouble their vigilance in proportion to
the skill and activity of the lover. Besides this, the girl, who
is never left alone for a moment, wears, on these occasions, two
or three additional jackets, and is so over-loaded with garments,
which are fastened upon her in every direction, that it is with
great difficulty she can move about. Whenever she perceives her
lover, she immediately screams out; the women run to her assistance,
throw themselves upon the swain, and beat and scratch him in the
most unmerciful manner; so that, instead of an expected conquest,
he only carries off the bruises and scratches of his watchful
It frequently happens that these efforts last for whole years, and are always attended with the same success. Often, after seven long years spent in fruitless endeavours, the youth is thrown by the females from the top of some balagan, or summer hut, and is lamed for the remainder of his life. But the lover, who at length discovers his mistress alone, or badly attended, cuts the threads of her garments, pulls off the bands which fasten them, and tears jacket, drawers, and every part of her dress, into a thousand pieces. He has then touched her; and she bears witness to her defeat by exclaiming, in a mild and plaintive tone of voice, Ni, ni.
The marriage is immediately agreed upon, and the lover is no longer deprived of the reward to which he is so richly entitled. On the following night he pays a visit to his bride in the quality of a husband, and on the day after he conducts her in triumph to his own habitation.
552. A Woman of Kamtschatka in her richest Apparel. Une Kamtchadale dans sa plus grande Parure. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
But, notwithstanding the difficulties
mentioned in the preceding description, the lover has not yet
passed through all the formalities necessary to secure him the
title of husband: for in Kamtschatka, by a singular custom, the
marriage is not celebrated till after its consummation. The husband
returns, in a few days, to the bride's parents, and the nuptials
there take place. He is attended on the road by both their relations.
At a short distance from the habitation the company stop, and
the festival commences with songs suited to the occasion. These
songs are accompanied with various religious, or rather superstitious
ceremonies. Drum-sticks are interwoven with garlands, made of
an herb which they hold in great veneration, and to which they
at-tribute the most efficacious qualities; a few words of a mystical
signification are muttered over a dried fish's head enveloped
in the same herb, and the sacred charge is entrusted to the care
of an old woman. To the clothes which the bride has already on,
are added a jacket of sheep's-skin, and four other garments, which
are thrown one over the other. Arrived at the hut, she does not
descend into it by the usual ladder, but is let down by means
of bands placed under her arms. The old woman to whom the fish's
head was confided, places it at the foot of the ladder. The bride
and bridegroom trample upon it, each of the company hasten to
follow their example, and the old woman, who had hitherto preserved
her charge with the utmost care, is contented with being the last
to commit this outrage: she afterwards picks up the mysterious
head and places it over the fire. This strange ceremony is, doubtless,
allegorical; but, hitherto, no traveller has given us a satisfactory
explanation. After this, the bride takes off the four additional
garments, and distributes them among her relations, who, in return,
present her with various presents. The company then sit down:
the religious rites are concluded, and the rest of the day is
devoted to festivity. The new married pair remain for some time
with the bride's father, and their labours are devoted to his
Polygamy is allowed in Kamtschatka; but, as the husband is under the controul of his wife, he rarely takes more than one. Marriage is only for-bidden between fathers and children, brothers and sisters, Divorce is common among them, and is attended with no ceremony whatever.
554. A Koriak. Un Koriak. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
THE Koriaks are, principally, scattered
to the north of the Pengina lake and the peninsula of Kamtschatka,
as far as the coasts of the Eastern Ocean. It would be difficult
to mark out, precisely, the limits of the territory they occupy,
as it is intersected, in several places, by the habitations of
the Tschutski, the Kamtschadales and the Tongusians. The conformity
of their features, stature, customs, and manners with the inhabitants
of several of the Aleutian Islands, and even with the people of
America bordering upon the eastern confines of Siberia, furnish
us with reasons for believing, that these nations arc of one common
origin. So striking a resemblance exists between the language
of the Koriaks and the Tschutzki, and that of several tribes of
the Eastern islands recently discovered, that they appear to be
only different dialects of the same tongue.
This people are divided into wandering Koriaks and stationary Koriaks. The latter are to be found to the south, and differ little from the Kamtschadales; their huts are constructed in the same manner, but are more cleanly. They live principally by the chase. The wandering Koriaks are chiefly found to the north of the former, and are occupied in conducting into pastures of moss, their numerous troops of rein-deer.
Accustomed to stop at no place, but with the intention of abandoning it as soon as these animals have devoured the produce of the ground, they dig no permanent dwellings, but construct moveable habitations, similar to those in use among the Kalmucs and all wandering' nations.
The Koriaks dress in the same manner as the inhabitants of' Kamtschatka, but, unlike them, their hair is always clipped close to the skin. In then' winter excursions they make use of light sledges, drawn by rein-deer; but they know not how to ride upon these animals, like the Tongusians, and in summer time they travel on foot. They live upon the flesh of the rein-deer, and of every animal they meet with, excepting the dog and the fox.
555. A Koriak in his Holiday Dress. Un Koriak en Habit de Fête. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
THE ties of blood form no obstacle to
the conjugal union of the Koriaks. They are permitted to marry
their cousins, aunts, and even their mothers-in-law. Contrary
to the custom of the greater part of the people of the East, the
husband does not purchase his wife; but, like the Kamtschadales,
the lover is obliged to pass several years in the service of his
mistress's father: he must also succeed in touching her, in the
manner already described in Plate 51; and if he should happen
to fail in obtaining this object, he forfeits the fruits of all
his past labours. The rich are not exempted from these obligations.
The Koriaks are permitted to take several wives; the richer sort very frequently have four. They do not marry for the sake of keeping all their wives around them; but, as they are obliged to divide their rein-deer into several troops, and often go to visit them, they find it convenient to have a wife at each of these stations. This custom saves them the trouble of taking one of their wives with them; besides which, they find it highly serviceable to have a sort of confidential domestic, capable of watching over the conduct of their pastors. They rarely keep any concubines, but when that is the case, the unfortunate women are held in the greatest contempt. Even their legitimate wives are treated with little or no respect; their brutal and jealous husbands keep them in a state of abject slavery, set them about the vilest occupations, and even kill them upon the slightest suspicion.
It is the practice of the parents to present their male children with a flock of deer; of which they take possession, as soon as they are capable of super-intending it. In the mean while, they are brought up to labour and fatigue, to assist the pastors, fetch water, and carry burdens, in proportion to their strength.
556. A Female Koriak. Une Koriake. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
THE stationary Koriaks are far from entertaining
the jealous sentiments of their neighbours, of whom we have just
spoken: on the contrary, they feel a degree of pride whenever
their wives attract the attention of strangers; and, with that
view, will encourage them to pay the greatest attention to the
decoration of their persons. They are fond of seeing them dress
in their best apparel and paint their countenances with white
and red, that they may the more effectually captivate their visitors.
The stranger received into their hut, would be wanting in the
duties of humanity, and even of common civility, if he were to
reject the favours of their wives and daughters. Nay, they will
present them to him, and retire from the hut, in order to leave
them more at liberty : but if, upon returning, they find that
the stranger has not availed himself of their generous offers,
he is considered guilty of an insult, which can only be expiated
in the blood of the offender. For a particular account of this
singular custom, see the works of Kracheninnikof Georgi, and M
Little is known with regard to the religion of the wandering Koriaks. Kracheninnikof had the curiosity to interrogate a Koriak, whom, from his being one of the richest men in the country, he imagined to be one of their chiefs; but he appeared to have no notions of' a Supreme Being. The stationary Koriaks acknowledge the Koutkhou of the Kamtschadales to be the chief deity. They have the same expiatory festival as that people, and celebrate it at the same period. It continues a month: and, during the whole of this time, they neither leave their huts, perform any labour, nor receive visits.
Their Schamans, or sorcerers, are their only physicians; and the remedies they employ consist solely of foolish delusions, unintelligible speeches, and the magical sound of their tambour. When in spite of the grimaces and witchcraft of the Schaman, the patient expires, he is dressed in his finest apparel, placed on a sledge drawn by his favourite deer, and conducted to the pile which has been prepared for the purpose of reducing his body to ashes. The deceased is laid upon it, together with his arms, knife, hatchet, &c.; and, while the flames arc devouring the dead body, the attendants feast upon the flesh of the rein-deer, and what remains is thrown into the fire, as a sacrifice to the manes of their departed friend.
557. A Tschutzkian Woman. Une Femme Tschoutzkienne. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
A FEMALE TSCHUTSKIAN.
THE Tschutzki are a people strongly resembling the wandering Koriaks. They dress in the same manner, speak the same language, spring from the same stock, and have nearly the same manners and customs; but they are even more ferocious. They are the most cruel people of all Siberia. and the most difficult to govern, The Russians have not yet been able to subject them, and dare not even carry on a traffic with them. We have only a solitary instance of any negotiation between the two nations, and which supplies us, at the same time, with a sufficient proof of their mutual distrust. The Russians exposed their merchandize upon the shore and withdrew; the Tschutski then approached, took what suited them, and left in their place a number of fishes teeth. After this they retired; and the Russians came to take possession of what the Tschutski had left them.
Their flat and ugly countenances are rendered still more disgusting by the lines they trace out upon their cheek and forehead, and by the bones which they wear below the lips, and which project out like weapons of defence.
They are fond of a state of warfare, and carry it on with great fury. They have no chiefs; but they suffer themselves to be led to battle by the most courageous of their companions : they follow him without being subject to his orders, and abandon him at their pleasure.
Notwithstanding their ferocious disposition, they live together in great harmony, and all their different tribes are closely united to each other. They consider hospitality as a duty, and will kill a rein-deer for the purpose of regaling a stranger. If their wives are old, or their mistresses ugly, they go to the neighbouring villages in quest of others more agreeable to them.
Their country, which they call Cape Tschutski, and more commonly Cape Chelatskoi, forms an advanced point of the Frozen Sea, and the rest of its coasts are watered by the Eastern Ocean. The greater part of this nation dwell in huts constructed like those in Kamtschatka, but generally more extensive, and capable of receiving a greater number of families. For the purpose of' hunting, fishing, and conducting the rein-deer into fresh pasturage, they often wander from their habitations in summer, and sometimes even during the winter. At the places where they stop, they erect dwellings similar to the balaganes of the Kamtschadales. Notwithstanding the exterior cold, their subterranean huts are so excessively warm, that the women are under the necessity of going entirely naked while in them.
558. An armed Tschutzkian with a Woman and Child. Un Tschoutzkien armé, avec une Femme et un Enfant. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
A TSCHUTSKIAN IN ARMOUR WITH HIS WIFE
AND CHILD. THE Tschutski, dwelling in the interior, and in the
vicinity of the wandering Koriaks, are rich in rein-deer; but
those who inhabit the borders of the sea, and the two coasts of
the Cape to which they have given their name, maintain none of
those animals. It is principally the latter, who either construct
their habitations under ground, or take up their abode in caverns
formed by nature in the bosom of the mountains. They live by hunting
the wild rein-deer, and by pursuing, in their canoes, the whale
and other sea monsters.
Such is the mode of life which these people are obliged, of necessity, to follow; but it is avarice alone that induces the Tschutski pastors not to ameliorate their condition. On no account would they kill a rein-deer for their own subsistence, and they never partake of the flesh of this animal, unless it happened to die by accident or illness. They live upon the produce of their chase and fisheries, and upon the herbs and roots which their females collect.
Water is their only beverage, and, like all their neighbours, they mix with it the juice of the moukhomore, in order to bring on a state of intoxication. As this fatal plant is rarely to be met with in Tschutski, the inhabitants receive it of the Kamtschadales, in exchange for the skins of the rein-deer.
Their canoes resemble those in use among the Greenlanders. The body. is formed of whale's ribs, and is covered over with the skins of the sea-calf. Without waiting, like their neighbours, till the waves shall cast the dead bodies of the whale upon their shores, they put to sea in pursuit of those animals, in canoes capable of containing from eight to ten men. It is common for several parties to set out at the same time in quest of the same object.
559. A Man and Woman of Oonalaschka, one of the Aleutian Islands. Homme et Femme d'Oonalschka, une des Isles Aleutiennes. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85
A MAN AND WOMAN OF OONALASCHKA, ONE OF
THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS. THE first and most western of these islands
is that in which Bering, after a most disastrous navigation, was
compelled to seek an asylum in 1741, and in which he afterwards
died. It has preserved the name of this unfortunate commodore.
This island, which was at first only renowned for the melancholy
fate of this estimable navigator, and the brave companions of
his enterprize, supported a few of those animals much sought after
for the value of their furs. The Russians were first invited thither
by the thirst of interest, and the same motive induced them, shortly
after, to go in search of the Copper Islands: at length, in 1745,
they first explored the group of islands to which they have given
the appellation of Aleutian. Bering's Island, the Copper Island,
together. with the Aleutians, appear formerly to have formed part
of Kamtschatka. Their inhabitants are the descendants of those
who, in the time of the revolution, escaped the common disaster.
They have a tradition among them, that their ancestors inhabited
these same islands; and, it is certain that, before the arrival
of the Russians, they had no knowledge of any other country.
The Eastern Islands produce neither fruit nor grain ; and, destitute of forests, they maintain no kind of wild fowl: but, notwithstanding this, the inhabitants rarely experience a scarcity of provisions. Foxes, birds of prey, the flesh of whales, sea calves, &c. fishes thrown up by the tide, wild herbs and roots, all serve for the nourishment and support of' these hardy islanders.
Their huts are dug under ground, at the depth of a fathom and a half: They rarely make a fire in these subterraneous dwellings; notwithstanding which, the heat is almost insupportable. In several of the Aleutian Islands the inhabitants never light any fire; in others, they burn, during the most severe seasons, the dried herbs which they have collected in the summer. In these gloomy caverns fifty persons at least are generally assembled, and sometimes two or three hundred.
560. An Aleutian in his Winter Dress. Un Aleutien dans son Habit d'Hiver. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
AN ALEUTIAN IN HIS WINTER DRESS. THE inhabitants of the Aleutian Islands wear a species of tunic, which descends as low as the knee, and is generally decorated with leather fringe. It is made of the skin of sea fowls ; the females prefer the skins of otters, foxes, &c. The women arc employed in collecting these skins and sewing them together; and though they only make use of fishes bones for needles, and the sinews of animals supply the place of thread, they sew them with singular dexterity. As these skins are not impenetrable to the wet, they wear a sort of cloak made of the bladders of the sea lion, &c. To sec them in this garment, a stranger, like the companions of Captain Cooke, would suppose them to be dressed entirely in parchment.
They wear neither breeches nor stockings, and suffer no inconvenience from walking barefooted upon the snow. Their winter caps consist of birds' skins, with the wings and tail left standing. In summer they generally go bare-headed. Travellers speak, however, of a cap worn in this season ; but in all probability it ought rather to be considered as a defensive weapon. It is of wood dyed of various colours, and a sort of border, which projects nearly a. foot and a half in the front, gives it the appearance of an ancient helmet.
Compared with the custom of European nations, their marriages are scarcely deserving of that name. As soon as a man possesses the means of supporting himself by his labour, he pitches upon a female, whom he con-ducts to his hut, and from that moment they are married. Sometimes they lend their wives, and sometimes exchange them for the first object that happens to strike their fancy.
If one of them happens to fall dangerously ill, he is not suffered to remain in the common hut, but is carried to a separate cavern. The deceased is left, with his clothes on, in the hut where he happened to breathe his last: be-fore he is covered over with earth, his hunting and fishing utensils, and even his canoe, arc placed around him. This is the manner in which their dead are usually buried ; but to their chiefs and principal men the following singular honour is accorded. The dead body, dressed in the clothes of the deceased, is placed in a small canoe, and suspended, by perches, in the air, where it is left to putrify
561. A Kurilian. Un Kourilien. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
A KURILIAN. THE Kuriles are a chain of
islands extending from the south promontory of Kamtschatka as
far as Japan. The Japanese have long frequented these islands;
but Europe is solely indebted to Russia for a knowledge of their
existence. In the year 1706, the Russians discovered those islands
lying nearest to Kamtschatka; and, in 1710, some Japanese, who
were shipwrecked on that peninsula, furnished them with fresh
information upon this subject. In the following years, a few Cossacs
made several expeditions to the most northern of the Kuriles;
and in 1739 they were discovered by Walton and Spangberg, who
navigated as far as Japan.
The Kurilians are better formed than the inhabitants of Kamtschatka, and their physiognomy is much more agreeable. They are of the middling stature, are very hairy, and wear their beards remarkably long: generally speaking, they are round visaged, and of a swarthy complexion. They live together in the most perfect harmony, and are distinguished for the veneration they pay to old age. The Kurilians construct their huts in the same manner as the Kamtschadales, but are far more cleanly in their habitations. As they have no dogs, the use of the sledge is unknown to them, and they are obliged to travel on foot, even in winter. To avoid sinking in the snow, they make use of those large skates, to which our travellers have given the name of rackets. The men have a custom of blackening the middle of their lips, and the women of dying them all over of the same colour. Both sexes paint various figures upon their arms, &c.
Their dresses are left open in the front: they are made of the skins of sea-fowls, otters, and foxes. The Kurilians build canoes for the purpose of pursuing the whale, and are extremely sagacious in discovering the precise spot where the animal conceals itself. They wound it by means of poisoned darts. What with the chace and the traffic they carry on with their neighbours, the Kurilians are'a richer people than the inhabitants of Kamtschatka: the skin of a single sea-otter produces them more than a Kamtschadale gains by the sale of the skins of twenty foxes. The Kurilians have, commonly, several wives, besides concubines. MI. Georgi assures us, that the religion of the Kurilians, as well as that of the Kamtchadales, are branches of Schamanism.
A Kalmuc Housewife and Girl. Une Femme et Fille Calmouque. 10
x 14.5 inches. £85
A KALMUC HOUSEWIFE AND GIRL THE dress of the Kalmuc women differs little from that of the men. Their trowsers are the same; the outer garment is longer, the sleeves narrower, and the materials of which it is made finer and lighter. Both married and single bestow great pains in embroidering their bonnets. They wear earings, and paint their cheeks with rouge, introduced into their country by foreign merchants.
The father possesses an absolute power over his children; he can either sell them, or give them away, and can dispose of them in marriage according to his pleasure: but, before the marriage takes place, he is obligated to send for the priest. Upon his arrival, he inquires the name of the bride and bridegroom, with the day and year of their birth; he then consults the Soudar, or book of destiny. If the priest declares that the celestial powers are unfriendly to the match, it is immediately broken off; but, when his consent is obtained, they immediately proceed to agree upon the kalym. The bride brings her husband a dowry, which generally consists of a new tent, some cattle, and a few slaves of both sexes. The marriage is celebrated by the priest at the period of the new moon. He administers the oath to the married pair, before their household divinities; he then conducts them out of the tent, he commands them to look at the sun, and to prostrate themselves on the ground; he then reads several prayers, and concludes with uniting their hands. The religion of the Kalmucs is the worship of Lama. The Dalai-Lama, or high-priest, resides in Tibet, upon Mount Pontola, near Tonker. On the summit and at the foot of this mountain are scattered several monasteries, peopled by more than twenty thousand monks, who live under the most austere regulations. In their chief temple there are more than seven hundred idols, or attributes of the divinity. Crouds of pilgrims annually repair to this spot, bringing offerings to the pontiff from India, China, Mongolia, and Kalmakia. The women arc strictly forbidden to approach this sacred asylum. The Kalmucs fast three (lays every month, and have three solemn festivals in the course of the year, each of which lasts four days. A Kalmuc never passes a tsatsa, or temple without stopping and making an offering to the idols. If he happens to have nothing more valuable about him, he leaves behind him an arrow, or some hair plucked from the mane of his horse. The Kalmucs are commanded by their religion to burn the dead bodies of their princes. The head is preserved and enclosed in an urn with the cinders. They are both sent to the Delai-Lama, who is induced, by rich presents, to pray for the soul of the deceased.
A Turcoman, with his Bow, &c. Un Turcoman armé de son
Arc, &c. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85 A TURCOMAN. THE
Trukhmenes, or Turcomans, says Professor Pallas, are a wealthy,
well-formed, lively people, and more attached to ornamental dress
than any other tribe of the Steppes. They are by no means to be
compared with their brethren who inhabit the eastern shore of
the Caspian sea. These people are independent, but poor and uncivilized;
while the other Trukhmenes have, under their present political
constitution, improved much in comeliness and gaiety. Before the
Kalmucs took possession of the Steppe of the Volga, they subjected
these very people, made them tributary, and compelled them to
migrate over the Yaik. Here they, became subject to the Khans
of 'Forgot, who, however, granted them the free exercise of the
Mahometan religion. On the retreat of this horde from the Steppe,
the Turco-mans rose in arms, refused to accompany their fugitive
oppressors, and became vassals to Russia. They have since been
removed to the Steppe of Kislar, where they are permitted to lead
a wandering life, with their flocks and herds, between the Kuma
and the Terek.
They have a great number o f camels, cattle, sheep, and horses. Their horses resemble the English breed, and are much superior to the lean and narrow-chested horses of the Kalmucs. They dwell in felt tents exactly similar to those of the Kalmucs; and their only fuel is dried cow-dung and rushes. Their principal food is flesh, sour milk, a small quantity of groats and meal, which they purchase of the Russians; but their favourite food is horse-flesh.
These people appear to lead a tranquil life; being obliged to perform no other services than to furnish post-horses, and to do military duty. They are governed by a particular magistrate, called Pristaf who has a very good place, lives among them with several interpreters, watches over their con-duct, and determines all their disputes; to which they seem much inclined.
They are a lively, polite, officious, and communicative people, but extremely indolent. They are very expert in archery, and in their excursions on horseback are usually armed with ornamented bows and quivers. They have rich belts and sabres, and are fond of crimson-coloured dresses, adorned with lace. Their caps are generally round, and trimmed with black lamb-skins, similar to those of the Poles. They shave their heads quite bare, and many of them also shave their whiskers; but the old men allow their beard to grow under the chin. The dress of their women and girls exactly resembles that of the Nogais; and .the married women also wear a ring in one of the nostrils, as is customary among the female Tartars of Astrakhan.
565. A Circassian of distinction in his ordinary Dress, and a Princess of that Nation. Un Tscherkesse distingué dans son Costume ordinaire, et la Fille d'un Prince Tscherkesse. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
A CIRCASSIAN OF DISTINCTION IN HIS ORDINARY
DOMESTIC DRESS, AND A PRINCESS OF THAT NATION. The Cireassians
in general, and particularly the Kabardians, ( dwell in villages,
which, partly on account of the increasing uncleanliness, partly
from the insufficient security they afford, and other causes,
are from time to time deserted. On such occasions they demolish
their habitations, carry off the timber, together with their house-hold
furniture, and burn what they cannot remove. Their attention is
next directed to the choice of another convenient situation for
erecting a new village. If they happen to settle at some distance
from water, their ingenuity enables them to form a canal, which
they conduct from the next rivulet, by means of small banks; a
practice in which they are as expert as the Tartars of the Crimea.
Their houses are built contiguous to each other, either in the
form of circles or squares, so that the inner space serves as
a common large cattle-yard, provided with only one gate. The residence
of the Usden usually stands detached from these circles, and consists
of several apartments. Small solitary houses, or rather square
rooms, arc, here and there, built for the accommodation of visitors,
with a chimney, a small divan, and every other convenience.
The Circassians are, upon the whole, a handsome race of people. The men, especially among the higher classes, arc mostly of a tall stature, and Herculean structure; they are very slender about the loins, have a small foot, and are uncommonly strong in the arms. The women are, indeed, not uniformly Circassian beauties, but, for the most part, they are well formed, have a white skin, dark-brown or black hair, and regular features. A greater number of beauties are, however, to be met with than in any other uncivilized nation. In their villages and houses the Circassians are extremely clean; and this domestic virtue they likewise display in their food and dress. The opposite engraving represents a Circassian Nobleman, and the Daughter of a Circassian Prince, in their ordinary domestic apparel. The females uniformly dress in this style, till they arc delivered of the first child, after which they begin to cover the head with a white handkerchief, drawn close over the forehead, and fastened below the chin. When the females go abroad they wear a species of wooden clogs, to preserve their feet clean. Painting the face is considered as an indication of the want of chastity; but girls are permitted to dye the nails of their fingers with the flowers of the balsamina, which in their language is called Kna.
566. A Circassian Prince or Nobleman completely armed. Un Prince, ou Noble Tscherkesse, complétement armé. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
A CIRCASSIAN PRINCE OR NOBLEMAN COMPLETELY
ARMED. IT is a practice among the Circassians to compress the
waist, from early infancy, as much as possible, by means of the
straps on which the sabre is suspended; hence they are, in general,
uncommonly thin between the loins and the breast. Their feet are
of an extraordinary small size, because they force them, in the
tightest manner, within their morocco slippers, which gives them
the air of dancers. The dress of the men is light, neat, and becoming;
and, in many respects, resembles that of the Tartars, but is of
a more elegant shape. The upper garment is furnished with a small
embroidered pocket on each side of the breast, for containing
cartridges. On the head, which is shorn in the Polish fashion,
they wear an embroidered cap quilted with cotton, in the form
of a melon, but occasionally lower, and ornamented with various
gold and silver laces, especially among the wealthy. Above the
lower dress, which is made of light stuff, persons of distinction
sometimes wear a short rich waistcoat, as it were to supply the
place of armour, either with or without a great-coat. The upper
dress, consisting either of cloth or other strong woven stuff,
is somewhat shorter than the under garment, while the sleeves
are slit open, and frequently bordered with furs. When a prince
or noble pays a visit of ceremony, he arrays himself with all
his accoutrements arid coat of mail, as is represented in the
opposite engraving. These coats of mail arc manufactured of polished
steel rings, and imported partly from Persia, and partly from
Kubescha. The helmet and the arm-plates, from the former of which
a net of rings hangs down as far as the shoulders, are manufactured
of polished steel. In the girdle they usually carry their dagger
and pistols, while the bow and quiver are tied by straps round
the hips. In common visits, the coat of mail is worn below the
upper dress, and on this occasion they arm themselves only with
a sabre, and cover the head with an ordinary cap.
567. A Circassian on Horseback in complete Armour. [Un Noble Tscherkesse à Cheval, complètement cuirassé et armé.] A beautiful hand coloured stipple engraving by Edward Harding, showing the traditional dress of the various inhabitants of the former Russian Empire. Other engravings from this series feature people of states which are now independent of Russia including Estonians, Tartars, [Tatars] etc.Scarce. London, 1811.10 x 14.5 inches. £85
A CIRCASSIAN ON HORSEBACK, IN COMPLETE
ARMOUR. THE opposite engraving represents a Circassian on horseback,
in his complete armour, a description of which has been given
in the preceding Plate. The Circassian clergy and learned men
let the beard grow to its utmost length; the former generally
wear a deep red turban, and scarlet breeches, somewhat longer
than those of the latter. Although the Circassians arc ignorant,
and only nominal Mahometans, yet the few priests among them are
highly respected. The Princes and Knights pursue no other occupation
than war, pillage, and the amusements of the chase; they live
a lordly life, wander about, assemble in drinking parties, and
undertake military excursions. The Usdens, or Knights, keep the
lower classes of people in proper subordination, pay no duties
to the Prince, but are obliged to render personal services in
In their amusements, the youth of both sexes freely converse with each other, as the Circassian women, in general, are neither confined nor reserved; yet in their courtships every attention is paid to the rank of the parties. No Usden dares to court the daughter of a Prince; and, if such an amour should ever take place, or the Princess be seduced by an Usden, the lover, on the first occasion, forfeits his life without mercy. When a young couple marry, they dare not present themselves before their parents during the first twelve-month, or till the birth of a child. During this period the husband continues secretly to visit his young wife through the window of the apartment. He is never present when she is visited by strangers. The husband is even displeased to hear others speak of his wife and children, and considers it as an insult if inquiries be made after the welfare of his spouse. The father does not give his daughter her full marriage-portion till after the birth of her first child ; on this occasion he pays her a visit, takes off the cap she wore when a virgin, and with his own hands covers her with a veil, which, from that period, becomes her constant head-dress. When the head of a family dies, the widow, in token of her grief, is obliged to scratch her face and breast till the blood issues. The men, on a similar event, strike their faces with a whip, in order to produce spots, which they exhibit, for a certain time, as expressive of their grief.
Two Ingushians. Deux Ingusches. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
THE Ingushians are a tribe differing entirely from all the other inhabitants of the Caucasus, in language as well as in stature, and the features of their countenance: their national name is Lamur, which signifies `inhabitants of mountains;' their nearest relations both of consanguinity and language are the Tshetschentzes, who are called by them Natshka. " I had an opportunity," says Professor Pallas, " of seeing two deputies from this nation, in the Russian camp near the Baksan. On account of the characteristic national features of their face, their stature, and armour, I caused an exact representation of them to be made, which my designer has executed in the most accurate manner." From their manner of pronunciation, a person would imagine their mouths were full of pebbles. They are said to be an honest and brave set of people, maintaining their independence, and subject only to their elders, by whom their religious sacrifices are performed. They are almost the only nation inhabiting the Caucasus among whom the shield has been preserved as a part of their accoutrements. Their bucklers are made of wood, covered with leather, and bound with iron hoops of an oval form. The short knotty pike which forms part of their armour, serves not only as a weapon of defence, but is likewise used for supporting the gun between its forked branches, by fixing the pointed end in the ground, which enables a person to take a more accurate aim. The Ingushians are excellent marks-men, but bestow little attention either to agriculture or the rearing of cattle, and are consequently in a state of poverty. They inhabit the vicinity of the sources of the Kumbelee and Sunsha, and extend their habitations along the high mountains to the eastern bank of the Terek, where they border on the
We are assured by a Roman catholic missionary, that these people possess an old church, which is built according to a model taken from the sepulchre of our Saviour. The Ingushians, though rather inclined to profess the Mahometan faith, keep this building in constant repair. It is held in such profound veneration that nobody ventures to enter it, and the natives, when viewing it at a distance, prostrate themselves in adoration. Their most sacred oaths are made in the name of this church.
569. The Wife of a Cossac of the Don, and a Girl of Tscherkask. La Femme d'un Cosaque du Don, et une Fille de Tscherkask. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
THE WIFE OF A COSSAC OF THE DON, AND
A GIRL OF TSCIIERKASK DURING the last twenty years, Tscherkask,
the capital of the Cossacs of the Don, has been considerably enlarged
and ornamented with many beautiful private houses, inhabited by
Cossac officers who have been invested by their sovereign with
honours and titles; but the narrow and irregular streets of this
city, the confined situation of its buildings, most of which have
not even the convenience of a yard, and the annual inundations
in spring, all conspire to render it extremely unwholesome, and
for ever to prevent any effectual improvements. It is also impossible
to speak favourably of the moral character of its inhabitants,
of either sex. A continual habit of good living, indolence, and
debauchery, have thoroughly corrupted their manners; and their
ancient simplicity has been almost entirely superseded by luxury.
Tscherkask consists of eleven Cossac stanitzes, or districts, and the whole body of the Cossacs of the Don occupy one hundred of these stanitzes. The city of Tscherkask has an extensive traffic by sea, and might become a commercial town of still more importance, if the general quarantine at Kertsch, which has long since been proposed for all the ports situated on the coast of Azaf, could be effectually established.
The dress of the Cossac women and girls at Tscherkask, and in the neighbouring districts, differs in every respect from that worn above the lines of Tzaritzyn. It is a complete deshabille of a peculiar kind, as is obvious from the opposite Plate, representing the Wife of a Cossac of the Don, and a Girl of Tscherkask. In their domestic employments they go bare-footed, and wear trowsers, which hang down as low as the ancles. When in full dress, they wear slippers and stockings of yellow morocco, in which they tuck the extremities of their trowsers. The shifts are commonly of dyed cotton, or Asiatic silk stuffs, either of a yellow or blue colour. About thirty or thirty-five years ago, the women usually wore large triangular head-dresses, which were nearly eighteen inches in height, and of a similar breadth below, when measured from one angle to the other. At present, the head-dress, in general, corresponds with the one represented in this Plate, and that before mentioned is worn only in the vicinity of Severnoi-Donetz.
570. A Nogais Tartar Lady of distinction. In the centre of the group a Princess of that Nation, attended by a Female Slave. Une Femme Tatare Nogais de distinction; au milieu la Fille d'un Prince de cette Nation plus en arrière une Esclave. 10 x 14.5 inches. £85.
A NOGAIS TARTAR LADY OF DISTINCTION IN
THE CENTRE OF THE GROUP IS A PRINCESS OF THAT NATION, ATTENDED
BY A FEMALE SLAVE. THE Nogais wandering between the rivulets Berda
and Moloshna, the small remains of the numerous horde which was
lately distinguished by the name of Kubanian Tartars, have within
the last ten years been transplanted from their former habitations
in the vicinity of the Kuban, to these beautiful pasture-grounds,
where they enjoy tranquillity and abundance; for, while dwelling
between the turbulent Circassians and Calmucs, they were involved
in continual warfare. These Nogais, as well as their kinsmen near
the lines of the Achtuba, live in small huts constructed of felt.
These huts are distinguished from those of other tribes by a vent
hole for conducting the smoke, and a cover applied to it with
a handle, from which a line is suspended for the purpose of opening
and closing the aperture, and securing the hut from the inclemency
of the weather,
The dress of the men consists of sheep-skins, and a coarse kind of cloth; their caps are of different shapes, but those most generally worn are small and round, so as to cover the Lead only as far as the ears, and are manufactured of lamb-skins. As to the dress of their women, ".I caused," says Professor Pallas, " a drawing to he made of that of a young lady of' distinction, the daughter of Bajazid Hey." An engraving of this drawing is given in the opposite 'ate, where she is represented in company with her mother and a female slave. The girls generally wear the Circassian cap;. the married women have adopted the veil, according to the custom of that nation. The Nogais Tartars do not shut up their females. Conf nimbly to the usage of all Asiatic nations, a Kalym, or marriage portion, which with the opulent consists of forty mares, two horses completely caparisoned, a suit of armour, a gun, and a sabre, is, on the celebration of the nuptials, delivered to the father of the bride. Their food, like that of the ancient Mongoles, consists principally of horse flesh and mare's milk: this mode of living is, however, entirely relinquished by the Tartars of the Crimea. The language of the Nogais is said to vary in many respects from that spoken in the 'Taurida, which is a Turkish dialect. These people possess more activity and vivacity, but they are likewise more rapacious and ungovernable, than the inhabitants of the Crimea, and retain the primitive customs of their forefathers, as well as a predilection for a wandering life.
The Equestrian Statue of Peter the Great, in bronze, of a colossal
size; the pedestal of which is a huge rock, brought to the spot
at a great expense : the Legislator and Civilizer of his Country
appears in the attitude of ascending a precipice, the summit of
which he has nearly attained. It is considered as one of the greatest
ornaments of Petersburgh. A particular description of it will
be found in Mr. Coxe's Travels, Vol. IL 10 x 14.5 inches. £95
DRESS is a no less striking distinction of nations than customs, language, and bodily configuration. The different races of people which form the principal nations of Europe have long assimilated with each other, and gradually adopted the same garb and outward appearance. In some nations, however, this distinctive characteristic is still preserved, and in none more than in the Russian Empire. An intelligent author, who has given the best account of this part of the globe, has observed, in his description of Peters-burgh, that "a traveller who frequents the houses of the Russian nobility "will be struck with the variety of complexions and faces which arc observed " among the retainers and servants; Russians, Fins, Laplanders, Georgians, " Circassians, Poles, Tartars, and Calmucs. He will be no less surprised on "being informed that many of the servants who belong to the English and " other foreigners are Mahometans, of whom numerous colonies are still " resident in this vast empire." * The author might have added many others, as all the different subjects of this vast empire are still distinguished by their peculiar habits, manners, and language.
The Russian Empire in its present state is the most extensive that ever existed; it stretches from the shores of the Baltic to the Eastern Ocean, and from the Icy Sea, to the Euxine, and comprehends many Islands in the North Pacific Ocean, as well as various settlements on the north-west coast of America.
The origin of this mighty empire is derived from the petty Duchy of Moscow; which was scarcely known to the rest of Europe before the end of the fifteenth century, when it was governed by Ivan Vasilievitch the First, under the title of Grand Duke of Muscovy, from Moscow his capital. On his accession, Russia was divided into a number of petty principalities, engaged in perpetual wars with each other, some nominally subject to the Great Duke, and all, with himself, tributary to the Tartars. Ivan gave a new aspect to the affairs of his country; he annexed to his dominions the Duchies of Imer, and other principalities, subdued Novogorod, and rescued this country from the Tartar yoke. His success opened a way for a closer connexion of the other European powers, and, during his reign, Moscow saw, for the first time, ambassadors from the Emperor of Germany, the Grand Signior, the Kings of Poland and Denmark, and the Republic of Venice. [*Coxe's Travels in Russia, &c. Vol. IL p. 156.]
On this foundation the superstructure
of Russian greatness was raised by his grandson, Ivan Vasilievitch
the Second. He instituted a standing army, abolished the use of
the bow, hitherto the principal weapon among the Russians, and
introduced a more regular discipline. By means of this military
force, he extended his power into Asia, conquered the kingdoms
of Casan and Astrakhan, and opened a communication with Siberia,
which, under his successors, finally led to the acquisition of
that extensive region.
Still, however, Russia was considered as an Asiatic, rather than an European power, till the era of Peter the Great; who, having wrested Ingria from the Swedes, founded Petersburgh, and transferred the seat of empire to the shores of- the Gulph of Finland. This acquisition was followed by the con-quest of Carelia, Esthonia, and Livonia; and Russia, from this period, took a prominent part in the affairs of Europe.
The late Empress, Catharine the Second, consolidated this vast empire, and considerably extended its limits by the acquisition of half Poland, Crim Tartary, and considerable territories round the shores of the Euxine and the Sea of Azof, together with the possession of Georgia and Imeretia.
This vast empire contains a population of not less than 34,000,000 souls. The people of such extensive regions, stretching over a considerable part not only of Europe, but of Asia, exhibit a singular diversity in their Manners, Customs, and Dress: it is, therefore, presumed that a collection of their most striking Costumes, accompanied with succinct Descriptions, cannot fail to be acceptable to the Public.
The subjects are partly selected from Miiller's interesting Description of all the Nations of the Russian Empire, and partly from the invaluable Travels of Professor Pallas. The Engravings are coloured with the greatest correctness; and in collecting the materials for the Historical Descriptions, recourse has been had to the labours of Muller's Pallas, Coxe, Fischer, Krackeninikof, and to most of the writers of merit on this subject.
To conclude; no pains nor expense have been spared to render this Volume worthy of public attention; and, without depreciating the merit of other performances of a similar nature, the Publisher flatters himself that it will be found the most complete work of the kind that has hitherto appeared in this or in any country.