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0144 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 144 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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Homo Alps-nus type of Pakhpu people.

Valleys and population of Pakhpu tract.


The small semi-nomadic settlements generally designated as Pakhj5u,13 from the name of their chief valley, are scattered along the several high and narrow valleys which the headwaters of the Tiznaf River drain. The point near which all these streams meet lies to the south-west of Kök-yar and behind a high spur descending from the westernmost Kun-lun.14 Unfortunately, want of time made it impossible for me to visit this little-known mountain tract But with the efficient help of the Karghalik Ya-mên I managed, in spite of the difficulties caused by the flooded state of the streams and still more by the shy and suspicious nature of the hillmen, to secure at Kök-yar visits from representative batches of ` Pakhpuluks' (Fig. 23). I was greatly interested to note that the general impression conveyed by the appearance of my visitors, mostly fine-looking men, was that of a race homogeneous and showing close resemblance to the Homo Alpinus type as known to me from Sarikol and Wakhan. The prevalence of fair and medium-coloured eyes, narrow aquiline noses, closely-knit eyebrows and generally abundant growth of hair distinctly separated them from the usual stock of the Yarkand and Karghalik population. Though there was nothing to distinguish them in dress or general bearing, I soon was able to pick out any Pakhpu visitor from the midst of local villagers who usually crowded around to watch the anthropometric proceedings. Only a careful comparison of the exact measurements taken with those subsequently obtained among people of Kök-yâr, Khotan, and other southern oases can show to what extent my impression was justified. But at the time the idea strongly suggested itself that alpine isolation had preserved in these hillmen representatives of that population, mainly Galcha in origin and as yet but little affected by amalgamation with other blood, which in pre-Muhammadan times appears to have extended right through to Khotan and even farther eastwards.

The alleged distinct language of which I had heard at Karghalik on my passage in 1901, proved a fiction or at least a thing of the past ; for neither the offer of reward nor the fear of further inquiries I might be induced to make in their own hills, would induce my visitors from Pakhpu to own that they knew aught but their ` Tâghlik' or hill Turki dialect. But on other points I was able to obtain useful information from the more intelligent men among them. Thus I ascertained that the hill tract collectively known by the designation of Besh-kart, ` the five villages', and containing a closely allied population, is reckoned to comprise the valleys of Pakhpu, Chukshü, Bulung, Yulung, and Chöp. The last named is drained by a stream which falls into the Yarkand Darya below Tir.15 The administration is carried on by a Beg residing in Chukshü. In all the valleys oats and other crops suited to the high elevation are grown, Chukshü possessing most of this scanty cultivation. But the chief support of the hillmen are their herds of yaks and sheep, and as Pakhpu owns by far the most. extensive grazing-grounds in the side-valleys of U lûgh-yailak, Kilda, Chirak-saldi, Tur-agil, Tash-kurghan, it is also, in spite of very limited cultivation, the most populous and important of the five alpine communities. Of ak-ois or felt tents which seem to serve as the usual habitations, sixty-five were counted in Pakhpu, with five to ten people in each. But there seemed reason to suppose that the number was considerably under-estimated. In any

have been published in J. Anthropol. Inst., xlii. pp. 450-84. They will be reproduced below in App. C. Here it will suffice to mention that the people of Pakhpu show close relationship with the Sarikolis and are classed by Mr. Joyce with the latter in the Pamir group ; loc. cit., pp. 459 sq., 462.]

'S Though I had heard at Karghalik and elsewhere the name Pakhpu loosely used of the people of the whole hill tract in the fashion which Dr. Bellew's notes reflect (Yarkand Mission Report, pp. 61 sq.), yet the men, both from Pakhpu

and Kök-yâr, I examined agreed that the term designated properly only the chief valley of these hillmen, and that the latter were correctly known as Pakhpuluk (luk being the usual adjectival affix of Turki).

14 See Dr. Hassenstein's map appended to Hedin, Reisen in Z.-A.,' Petermann Miltheilungen, Ergänzungsheft, No. 131, 1900.

16 See Captain H. H. P. Deasy's Map of Western China and Tibet, No. 3.