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

LETTER XXIX

I THE ASHIEETS

315

some among themselves, and having little in common
with the rayahs or subject Syrians of the plains except
their tenacious clinging to their ancient Church, with its
Liturgies and rites, and
their homage to our Lord
Jesus as divine. They and
their priests, many of
whom cannot even read,
are sunk in the grossest
ignorance. They love re-
venge, are careless of
human life, and are wilder
and more savage than
their nominal masters. It
is among these people,
who purchase their free-
dom at the cost of absolute
isolation, that Mr. Browne
is going to spend the com- '
ing winter, in the hopev
of instructing their priests
and deacons, to whom at
present guns are more than
ordinances. He has been
among them already, and
has won their good-will.

These Ashirets, of
whom the Tyari guests
are specimens, are quite
unlike the Syrian low-
landers, not only in character but in costume and
habits. As they have naturalised numbers of Kurd-
ish words in their speech, so their dress, with its
colour, rich materials and embroideries, and lavish dis-
play of decorated and costly arms, is almost altogether

A SYIUA.N QIXIL.