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0405 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 405 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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and beside it are many golden goblets from which those drink who list.

In the hall of the palace also are many peacocks of gold. And when any of the Tartars wish to amuse their lord, then they go one after the other and clap their hands ; upon which the peacocks flap their wings, and make as if they would _ dance. Now this must be done either by diabolic art, or by some engine underground.

38. The friar setteth forth the state of the Khan's court.

But when the Lord Khan is seated on his imperial throne, the Queen is placed at his left hand ; and a step lower are two others of his women ; whilst at the bottom of the steps stand all the other ladies of his family. And all who are married wear upon their heads the foot of a man as it were, a cubit and a half in length, and at the top of that foot there are certain cranes' feathers, the whole foot being set with great pearls ; so that if there be in the whole world any fine and large pearls they are to be found in the decorations of those ladics.1

. I The coiffure of the Tartar married women is thus described by Rubruquis : "They have an ornament for the head called Bocca (or Botta, perhaps Bocta). This is made of the bark of trees or similar light stuff, round, and large enough to require both hands to span it. It is more than a cubit high, and is square above, like the capital of a pillar. The whole affair is covered with silk, and on the top or capital they put in the middle a thin tuft of quills or slender canes, also of a cubit or more. And this tuft is adorned at top with peacock's feathers, and round about with mallard's feathers and precious stones" (p. 232). Carpini describes it in the same way (p. 615). And Ibn Batuta says of a princess of Kipchak : " On her head was a boghthak, that is, a high tiara incrusted with jewels, and decked at the apex with peacock's feathers" (ii, 379 and 388). But the only confirmation of Odoric about the " man's foot" that I find is given by Ricold of Montecroce. After telling a story of how the Tartar women helped to gain a great victory he adds : " In memory of this victory the Tartars granted leave to their wives to wear lofty crowns to the height of a cubit or more. But lest the woman should wax over proud thereupon, the Tartars also determined that these crowns should at the summit take the form of a foot. And in fact at the top of such a great crown there is as it were a foot over it, as if to maintain a testimony

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