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112                       JOUENEYS IN PERSIA             LETTER xx

skins of the fox and a kind of marten, and cherry sticks
for pipes.

Certainly the women are very industrious, rising at
daylight to churn, working all day, weaving in the inter-
vals, and late at night boiling the butter in their big
caldrons. They make their own clothes and those of
their husbands and children, except the felt coats, sewing
with needles like skewers and very coarse loosely-twisted
cotton thread. They sew backwards, i.e. from left to
right, and seem to use none but a running stitch. Every-
where they have been delighted with gifts of English
needles and thread, steel thimbles, and scissors.

When it is remembered that, in- addition to all the
" household " avocations which I have enumerated, they
pitch and strike tents, do much of the loading and un-
loading of the baggage, and attend faithfully to their
own offspring and to that of their flocks and herds, it will
be realised that the life of a Bakhtiari wife is sufficiently

We were to have left that burning valley at 11 P.M.,
and when I returned at dusk from the fort the tents
were folded and the loads ready for a moonlight march,
but Yahya Khan sent to say that for the ostensible
reason of the path being greatly obstructed by trees we
could not start till daylight. Later he came with a
number of tribesmen and haggled noisily for two hours
about the payment of an escort, and the sheep a day which
it would require. It was not a comfortable night, for the
sand-flies were legion, and we did not get off till 4.30,
when we were joined by Yahya Khan and his son, who
accompanied us to the Pul-i-Hawa.

The path from Kalla Khanabad runs at a consider-
able elevation on wooded hillsides and slopes of shelv-
ing rock, only descending to cross some curious ribs of
conglomerate and the streams which flow into the Ab-i-