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.

[4] Probably this concluding sentence means, that as the king of France had
    seen some Tartars in Syria, the author did not deem it necessary to
    describe their form and fashions.—­E.


Of the Fashion of their Hair, and the Ornaments of their Women.

The men have a square tonsure on their crowns, from the two front corners of which they shave two seams down to their temples.  The temples also, and hinder part of the head, to the nape of the neck, are shaved, and the forehead, except one small lock which falls down to the eyes.  On each angle of the hind head, they leave a long lock of hair, which they braid and knot together under each ear.  The dress of unmarried women differs little from that of the men, except in being somewhat longer.  But on the day after marriage, the head is shaved, from the middle down to the forehead, and the woman puts on a wide gown, like that of a monk, but wider and longer.  This opens before, and is tied under the right side.  In this the Tartars and Turks differ, as the Turks tie their garments always on the left side.  They have an ornament for their heads which they call Botta, which is made of the bark of a tree or any other very light substance, made in a round form, so thick as may be grasped with both hands, becoming square at the upper extremity, and in all about two feet long, somewhat resembling the capital of a pillar.  This cap is hollow within, and is covered over with rich silk.  On the top of this they erect a bunch of quills, or slender rods, about a cubit long, or even more, which they ornament with peacocks feathers on the top, and all around with the feathers of a wild drake, and even with precious stones.  The rich ladies wear this ornament on the top of their heads, binding it on strongly with a kind of hat or coif, which has a hole in its crown adapted for this purpose, and under this they collect their hair from the back of the head, lapped up in a kind of knot or bundle within the botta; and the whole is fixed on by means of a ligature under their throat.  Hence, when a number of these ladies are seen together on horseback, they appear at a distance like soldiers armed with helmets and lances.  The women all sit astride on horseback like men, binding their mantles round their waists with silken scarfs of a sky-blue colour, and they bind another scarf round their breasts.  They likewise have a white veil tied on just below their eyes, which reaches down to their breasts.  The women are amazingly fat, and the smaller their noses, they are esteemed the more beautiful.  They daub over their faces most nastily with grease; and they never keep their beds on account of child-bearing.


Of the Duties and Labours of the Women, and of their Nuptials.

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