THE KIRGHIZ OF THE MOUNTAINS. 67
strictly nomadic. The chief men were certainly well-to-do, and seemed to want for nothing. One of these, Kuve Gen Shigai-ef (fig. 38), had been a judge among his people (fig. 39). He invited us to lunch in his yurt at Akh Tash (White Stone) on the Son Kul plain. The yurt was one of the finest we had seen, with a hundred sticks supporting the clean felts of the roof. His two wives, wearing heavy, white
turban - like head - dresses, were seated by him, embroidering. His eldest son wrote the names of the family in my notebook in Turkish characters with a ready hand. The judge told us—through two translators, as usual—some of his experiences in settling disputes, chiefly about pasture land, and gave us much information about our route, directing one of his sons to accompany us to his winter village, not far from Issik Kul, a three days' journey. In another village, where the local chief was absent, his elderly father entertained us most genially. He was particularly interested in our maps, and asked many questions as to the naines of mountains and streams, their distance and direction from his camp, and found much pleasure in confirming our readings by
ROUTE OVER THE MOUNTAINS.
Our route, briefly indicated at the beginning of this report, may here be given in more detail in so far as the journey beyond Andizhan is concerned ; and it may be noted at the outset that there are wagon roads in the larger valleys, with bridges over some of the streams, while trails cross the mountains in all directions. In the prevailing absence of forests, movement is easy, except in certain narrow and rock-walled gorges which some of the rivers have worn in their passage through the ranges.
After leaving Andizhan on June 27, we went northeastward up the terraced valley (fig. 63) of the (western) Kugart River, a branch of the Kara Darya, following
reference to his men. At the end Fig. 38,—Kuve-Gen-Shigai-ef, his Younger Wife and Children, and
our Head Man, Ma'raim.
of the evening's talk our host
said : " You have traveled far and have seen much of the world ; you must know many things. We are simple, ignorapt• people, who know only our own mountains and valleys."