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.

Departing from this city, we came into the province of Charahan[2], which is about five days journey in length, and has plenty of provisions.  The inhabitants are mostly Mahometans, intermixed with some Nestorian Christians, and are subject to the nephew of the great khan.  They are diligent artificers in various manufactures, but are much subject to thick legs, and the goitres or large wens on their throats, occasioned by the bad quality of the waters of the country.  The province of Cotam follows between the east and the north-east[3].  It is subject to the nephew of the great khan, and has many cities and towns, the chief city being called Cotam.  This province extends eight days journey in length, and possesses every thing necessary for life, in sufficient abundance; particularly cotton, flax, hemp, corn, and wine.  The people are Mahometans, and not warlike, but are skilful in various articles of manufacture.

Proceeding through the same country, we come to the province of Peim, extending four days journey in length, and containing many towns and castles, the city of Peim being the chief, near which there is a river in which jaspers and chalcedonies and other valuable stones are found.  The inhabitants, who are Mahometans, are expert manufacturers, and are subject to the great khan.  There is a custom in this province, that when any married man goes to a distance from home, and remains absent for twenty days, it is lawful for his wife to marry another husband; and reciprocally, if the wife absents herself for twenty days, the husband may take another wife.

The next province, Ciascian[4], of which the chief city is named Sartan, is subject to the Tartars, and has many cities and castles.  In its rivers abundance of jaspers, chalcedonies, and other fine stones are found, which are carried by merchants all the way to Ouchach or Kathay, and sold there with great profit From Peim to Sartem, and quite through this latter province, the soil is very sandy, having very little water, and that generally bad.  When an army passes through this province, all the inhabitants take their wives and children, with all their cattle and valuables, two days journey into the sands, to places where they know that good water is to be found, and remain there till the army has quitted the country; after harvest also, they uniformly take all their corn into the desert, and hide it in pits, and the wind soon obliterates all traces of their footsteps, so that their enemies are unable to discover where they have deposited these precious hoards.  After travelling for five days through the sands from this province, we arrive at the great city of Lop, which is at the entrance of a great desert called the Wilderness of Lop[5].  The inhabitants of this place are Mahometans, and are subject to the great khan.  All the before-mentioned provinces, Cashgar, Yarkand, Koten, Peim, Sartem, and Lop, are in the bounds of Turkestan.

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