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.

Beyond these are the people of Tebet, who were wont to eat the dead bodies of their parents, from a motive of piety, considering that to be the most honourable sepulchre; but they have discontinued this custom, which was looked upon as abominable by all other nations.  They still, however, continue to make handsome drinking cups of the skulls of their parents, that they may call them to remembrance even in their mirth.  I received this information from an eye-witness.  In their country there is much gold, so that any one who is in want, digs till he finds enough for his necessities, and leaves the rest behind for another occasion; for they have an opinion, that God would conceal all other gold from them in the earth, if they were to hoard any in their houses.  I saw some of these people, who are much deformed.  The people of Tangut are tall lusty men of a brown complexion.  The Jugurs are of middle stature like ourselves, and their language is the root or origin of the Turkish and Comanian languages.

Beyond Tebet, are the people of Langa and Solanga[1], whose messengers I saw in the court of Mangu-khan, who had along with them more than ten great carts, each drawn by six oxen.  These are little brown men like the Spaniards, and are dressed in tunics or jackets, like our deacons, with straiter sleeves.  They wear a kind of caps like the mitres of our bishops; but the fore part is less than the hinder part, and ends square, instead of being pointed.  These are made of straw, stiffened by great heat, and so well polished, that they glister in the sun like a mirror or well polished helmet.  Round their temples, they have long bands of the same material, fixed to their caps, which stream to the wind like two long horns from their temples.  When too much tossed by the wind, they fold these over the top of their caps.  When the principal messenger entered the court, he held in his hand a smooth ivory tablet about a foot long and a palm broad; and when spoken to by the khan, or any other great man, he always looked on his tablet as if he had seen there what was spoken, never looking to the right or the left, or to the person who spoke to him.  Even in coming into the presence and in retiring, he looked perpetually at his tablet.

Beyond these people, as I have been told for truth, there is a nation called Muc, inhabiting towns, in whose country there are numerous flocks and herds which are never tended, as no person appropriates any of these exclusively; but when any one is in need of a beast, he ascends a hill and gives a loud cry, on which all the cattle within hearing flock around him and suffer themselves to be taken, as if they were domesticated.  When a messenger or any stranger goes into that country, he is immediately shut up in a house, where all necessaries are provided for him, till his business is concluded; for they affirm, that if any stranger were to travel about their country, the animals would flee away from his scent, and become wild.

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 01 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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