A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 770 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01.
right hands.  Every hawk has a small thong of leather fastened round his neck, the ends of which hang down to the middle of his breast; and before casting off after game, they bow down the hawk’s head towards his breast, by means of this thong, with their left hand, lest he be tossed by the wind, or should soar too high [3].  The Tartars are most expert hunters, and procure a great part of their sustenance by the chase.

When the Tartars intend to hunt wild beasts, a vast multitude of people is collected together, by whom the country is surrounded to a large extent in a great circle; and by gradually contracting this circle towards its centre, they at length collect all the included game into a small space, into which the sportsmen enter and dispatch the game with their arrows.

From Cataya, and other regions of the east, and from Persia, and other countries of the south they procure silk stuffs, cloth of gold, and cotton cloth, of which they make their summer garments.  From Russia, Moxel, Greater Bulgaria, Pascatir, which is the greater Hungary, and Kersis, all of which are northern countries and full of woods, and from other countries towards the north which are subject to their authority, they procure valuable furs of many kinds, which I have not seen in our parts.  With these they make their winter garments; and they have always at least two fur gowns, one of which has the fur inwards, and the other has the fur outwards to the wind and snow; which outer garments are usually made of the skins of wolves, foxes, or bears.  But while they sit within doors, they have gowns of finer and more costly materials.  The garments of the meaner sort are made of the skins of dogs and goats.

They likewise have breeches made of skins.  The rich often line their garments with silk shag, which is exceedingly soft, light, and warm.  The poor line theirs with cotton cloth, wadded with the finest wool which they can sort out from their fleeces; and of the coarser wool they make felts for covering their houses and chests, and for sleeping upon.  Their ropes are likewise made of wool, mixed with a third part of horse hair.  Of felt they also make cloths to lay under their saddles, and caps to defend their heads from rain.  In all these things they use vast quantities of wool.  Your majesty has seen the habits of these people[4].

[1] Under the name of Kumyss, this liquor is much used by the Russian
    gentry, as a restorative for constitutions weakened by disease or
    debauchery:  and for procuring it they travel to the Tartar districts
    of the empire.—­E.

[2] Whether the author here means the dissolved sour curd, mentioned at the
    close of the former Section, or gruel made from meal and water, does
    not appear.—­E.

[3] Our falconers use the left hand for carrying their hawks.  I leave the
    inexplicable use of the thongs to be understood by professional
    falconers.—­Hakluyt, ad loc.

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