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

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LETTER xxxin      AN ARMENIAN VILLAGE                     367

with, the door carefully bolted and guarded, who desired
me to convey to "the Consul" at Erzerum, with the
attestation of the names of the priests of the Old and
Reformed Churches, certain complaints and narratives of
wrong, which represented a condition of living not to be
thought of without grief and indignation, and not to be
ignored because it is partially chronic.

Yangaloo is a typical Armenian village, its ant-hill
dwellings are half-sunk, and the earth which has been
excavated is piled up over their roofs and sides. The
interior of each dwelling covers a considerable area, and
is full of compartments with, divisions formed by low
clay walls or by the posts which support the roof, the
compartments ramifying from a widening at the inner
end of a long dark passage. In Yangaloo, as in other
villages on the plains, the earth is so piled over the houses
as to render them hardly distinguishable from the sur-
rounding ground, but where a village burrows into a
hill-side only a small projection needs an artificial roof.
The people live among their live stock; one entrance
serves for both, and in winter time the animals never
leave the stables. The fireplace or tandur is in the floor,
but is only required for cooking purposes, as the heat
and steam of the beasts keep the human beings comfort-
ably warm. From two to five "families live in every
house, and the people are fairly healthy.1

1 Xenophon in his Anabasis describes the Armenian dwellings of his
day thus:

'' Their houses were underground, the entrance like the mouth of a well,
"but spacious below ; there were passages dug into them for the cattle, but
the people descended by ladders. In the houses were goats, sheep, cows,
and fowls, with their young. All the cattle were kept in fodder within
the walls." I have not seen the entrance by a well, but have understood
that it still exists in certain exposed situations. Xenophon mentions
buried wine, and it is not unlikely that the deep clay-lined holes in which
grain is stored in some of the villages are ancient cellars, anterior to the
date when the Karduchi became Moslems and teetotallers.