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0204 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 204 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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timber, and reeds. They have a temple but no images. Their king is very powerful and trades with India and China. Their clothes are of linen and camel's hair. They have no wool. They have a white stone which is good for colic, and a red stone which by touching a sword prevents it from cutting. The route lay securely for one month through this country.' Then came the TAGHAZGHAZ who eat flesh, both raw and cooked, and wear wool and cotton. They have no temples ; they hold horses in high esteem. They have a stone that stops bleeding at the nose. They celebrate a feast when they see a rainbow. In prayer they turn to the west. The king is very powerful, and at the top of his castle is a round structure of gold which holds a hundred men, and is seen for five parasangs. Their standards are black. The travellers went twenty days through this country in great fear .2 Next they came to the KHiltKHIZ, a people who have temples for worship and a written character, and are a very intelligent people. They never put a light out.3 They have a little musk. They keep three feasts in the year. Their standards are green, and in prayer they turn to the south. They adore the planets Saturn and Venus, and predict the future by Mars. They have a stone that shines by night and is used for a lamp. No man

(Sharlikhs ?) to the south-west, the Khilkhis to the west, on the east the Dark Sea. They had numerous cities, all on a great river flowing eastward. El-Wardi calls them a race of Eastern Turks, bordering on Northern China. In the Chinese Annals we find embassies repeatedly from the Kumuki, coupled with the Khitans, to the court of the Wei dynasty in the fifth century (Edrissi, i, 25 ; ii, 217-223, etc. ; Ibn Khurdccdbah in Jour. As., ser. vi, tom. v, 268 ; D'Herbelot in v. ; Deguignes, i, 183, 184). The river was perhaps the Irtish, as Mas'udi speaks of the Black and White Irshat (the French transi., however, prints Arasht) on the banks of which is the kingdom of the Keimak-Baigur, a Turkish tribe originating in the country beyond the Jihun" (Prairies d' Or, i, 230 ; also 288) .

1 The Ghuz or Uzes had their seats about the Aral and to the east of it. In the reign of Constantine Ducas they penetrated into Macedonia, and got large sums from the emperor to make peace. On their return they were cut to pieces by the Pechinegs. The Ghuz are identified with the Turkomans (Edrisi, i, 7; ii, 339 seqq.; Deguignes, ii, 522; Mas'udi, Prairies d'Or, i, 212).

2 The Taghazghaz (printed in Edrisi, Bagharghar), were one of the greatest tribes of the Turks, according to the early Arab geographers. Their country seems to have been that afterwards known as the Uigur country, whether they were the same people or not (see Edrisi, i, 490 seq.; Ibn Khurdadbah, u.s., 268). Masudi says they occupied the city of Kushan between Khorasan and China, supposed to be the Kaochang of the Chinese, the modern Turfan. He says they were in his day the most valiant, powerful, and best governed of the Turks (Prairies d'Or, i, 288). The round structure of gold was probably a gilt Dagoba.

3 Wood mentions this prejudice, against blowing out a light, not indeed among the Kirghiz, but among the immediate neighbours of the Kirghiz of Pamir, the people of Wakhan and 13adakhshan ; " A Wakhani considers it bad luck to blow out a light by the breath, and will rather wave his hand for several minutes under the flame of his pine-slip than resort to the sure but to him disagreeable alternative" (Oxus, p. 333 ; see also

p. 274) .