Skip to main content

Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

See other formats

268                   JOUENEYS IN KURDISTAN    LETTER xxvm

spread over the hill They took a horse from Johannes,
but afterwards restored it on certain conditions. Farther
on we met a number of Kurds, with thirty fat sheep and
some cattle, which they were driving off from Marbishu.
Then the katirgis said that they would go no farther than
the village, for they heard that robbers were lying in wait
for us farther on!

In the wildest part of the gorge, where two ravines
meet, there is fine stoneless soil, tilled like a garden; the
mountains fall a little apart—there are walnuts, fruit
trees, and poplars ; again the valley narrows, the path just
hangs on the hillside, and I was riding over the roofs
of village houses for some time before I knew it. The
hills again opened, and there were flourishing breadths
of turnips, and people digging potatoes, an article of food
and export which was introduced by the missionaries
forty years ago. The glen narrowed again, and we came
upon the principal part of Marbishu—rude stone houses
in tiers, burrowing deeply into the hills, with rock above
and rock below on the precipitous sides of a noisy torrent,
crossed by two picturesque log bridges, one of the wildest
situations I have ever seen, and with a ^wintry chill about
it, for the sun at this season deserts it at three. Eude,
primitive, colourless, its dwellings like the poorest cow-
sheds, its church like a Canadian ice-house, clinging to
mountain sides and spires of rock, so long as I re-
member anything I shall remember Marbishu.

Steep narrow paths and steep rude steps brought us
.to a three-sided yard, with a rough verandah where cook-
ing and other operations were going on, and at the
entrance we were cordially welcomed by QasJia Ishai,
the priest. After ascertaining that it would be very
dangerous to go farther, I crossed the river to the church,
which is one of the finest in the country, and a place of
pilgrimage. The village is noted for its religious faith-