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LETTER xxvn         THE TENURE OF LAND                      239

same tenure as the houses, and as long as the vine-stocks
remain in the- ground, and the ground rent, which is
7s. a year for the tanap, a piece of ground 256 yards
square, is paid, the tenant cannot be evicted. Where
vineyards are sub-let for a year a fair rent is from 10s.
to 12s. a tanap. If a tenant buys a property from an
Agha the yearly taxation is 5s. a tanap; grass fields and
orchards are held on the same tenure as vineyards, and
at the same rent. With ploughed land the case is
different. If the tenant provides the seed, etc., he gives
the Agha a third of the produce, and if the Agha provides
seed the tenant returns two-thirds. The tenant of
ploughed land may be changed annually.

This paying the rent in kind is going on just now in
every village, and the Aghas secure themselves against
dishonesty by requiring that the grain shall be threshed
on their floors. In addition, their servants watch night
and day by turns, in an erection similar to the " lodge in
a garden of cucumbers " or melons, an arbour of boughs
perched at a height of seven or eight feet upon four
poles. T?he landlord's nasr appears at intervals to take
away his master's share of the grain. It is all delightfully

The arrangements sound equitable, the taxes are
moderate, and in some respects the Christians are not
more victimised by their landlords than are their Moham-
medan neighbours. The people acknowledge readily
that as regards oppression they are much better off
than they were, and that in this respect the presence of
the American missionaries in Urmi has been of the
greatest advantage to them, for these gentlemen never
fail to represent any gross case of oppression which can
be thoroughly substantiated to the Governor of Urmi, or
in the last resort to the Governor of Azerbijan. The
oppressions exercised by the Aghas consist in taking extra