Skip to main content

Full text of "Turkistan; notes of a journey in Russian Turkistan, Khokand, Bikhara, and Kuldja"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/ 







5S'lVifS OF ^ JOCHNKY IN" llfSr^r N" TlIUIISTA:!, 


«.' ' • « '»i> ■..>l.\/ r.CAi. -,4 Lin t 

fcvrr r •/■-./' *•. * . •'• • v;', . ■ /. , .• ./,/.vv 

NEV. rr»:K. 

^CHi U^x ^3:, Aii MSTilO G .t 

-? 'y: / r 








VOL. I. 





Ui.Ki i| ,. i e l— >' 




JOMM F. Tnow * SOH, 



Mt readers must not expect either stories of personal adventure 
or accounts of geographical exploration. The care which the 
Bussians, Bukhariots, and ELhokandians took that I should incur 
no personal danger, and should penetrate into no regions pre- 
viously unexplored, prevented both one and the other. The chief 
aim of my journey in Central Asia was to study the political and 
social condition of the regions which had been recently annexed 
by Sussia, as well as to compare the state of the inhabitants 
imder Eussian rule with that of those still living under the 
despotism of the Khans. In this I was in a measure successful. 

I have attempted in this book to give my impression of 
what I myself saw, and of what I learned from my intercourse 
both with Russians and natives. In endeavouring to give a 
true picture of the condition of affairs, I have sometimes felt 
obliged to speak at length of subjects upon which it has given 
me little pleasure to dwell. I think, however, that my 
friends in Sussia will nDt mistake my object in speaking. I 
have lived too long in Eussia, and have made too many friends 
there, to have other than kind feelings for the country and the 
people. I hope, then, that my readers will believe that the 
criticisms made upon certain acts of the Russian administration 
in Central Asia are not made in a spirit of fault-finding. It 
is evidently for the interest of Sussia that the mistakes and 
fetults of the Sussian policy should be known, and should be 
remedied as soon as possible. 

I have felt the more free to mention some of these things 
in this book, because the substance of the latet dQL'd.\Xi&T& ^^i^s^ 



embodied in an official document which was subsequently mads 
public and excited considerable discussion. 

Besides mj own obeervations^ and the information which I 
have received from peraons of very different grades and stations 
in life, both RiiflBians and natives, from official documents, and 
frora private letters, I have made use of whatever materials, 
either printed or written, were accessible, some of which are 
lilihi known to any except Fiussian specialists. I have, how- 
over, I truflt, followed no authority blindly ; I have never ae- 
ooptc'd a (itat4.»merit without enquiry and comparison with the 
arc^oiiulM of otherii and if I sometimes gtate things which seem 
oppimiid to all that has been written or printed before j upon 
liny jijirticular subject, it has not been without good reason. 

1 1 IH of course imposaiblo, and would be unwise, in every 
1 nut. II nee to name the authorities for my statements ; I can only 
iay thiit I have endeavoured in all cases to obtain exact and 
aoourate i u fo nuation* 

It i» iraposHibie for me to thank by name the many friends 
who assisted me in my enquiries and with my work; but I desire 
to ex press my special gratitude to the Russian authorities, both 
in BU Petersburg and iu Central Asia, particularly in Samar- 
kand and Semiretch, where I was rendered so much kind assist- 
ance about my journey. My thanks are also due to Professor 
Origt>rief, Professor Zsikharof, and Mr, Lerch, of the University 
of St^ Petcrsljurg, for all their patience and kindness in open- 
ing to nic their storea of Oriental information, I desire also 
lo lixptf^iw my obligations to Creneral Milutin, the Russian 
Minister of War^ for his polite attention in aUowing the Topo- 
gcnphiinil Depart ment of the Statf at St, retersburg to prepare 
Uiti two spf^ial tnapa of Central Aaia and of the Kuldja region 
vibieh are auuejted to this book. 






Hie Start— Prince TchinghiB— The German Colonies on the Volga— BLshkim 
— Uralsk — The Oossacks — Their great merits — Orenburg, the threshold 
of Central Asia — Old acquaintances — Our final preparations — Crossing 
the mountains — Orsk — The road through the steppe — Camels — Imagin- 
ary dangers — The steppe — Karabutak — Irghiz— The Aral Sea— Desert 
of Kara-Kum — Arrival at Kazala — The Kirghiz — Their history and 
present condition — Their character and peculiarities — Their life — Amuse- 
mesktm — Horse races — ^Marriages 



Kaala — ^Fort No. 1 — Commercial importance — Cordial reception — Talk of 
the Khivan expedition — Prospects of joining it — Suspicions — Frustrated 
hopes — We explain — Arrival of Russian captives from Khiva — The Syr 
Darya — Obstacles to navigation, and efforts to improve it — ^The Aral 
flotilla — ^A strange birthplace — Fort No. 2 — ^A Kirghiz cemetery — ^A 
Mnsealman saint— Fort Perovsl^ — MacGahan starts for Khiva — The 
Kysyl Kum desert — Hazreti-Turkistan — Mausoleum of Akhmed YaaanV 
— Inscriptions — Ik^n — its brave defence — TckimkftiiVi • • % % ^ 





First impressions — Similarity to American towns— Rapid growth — Houses 
— Garden of Governor-General — The Cbiirch — Earthquakes— Hotels and 
fare — ^The Club — ^Ming Uruk — Society — ^The Grovernor-GeneKil's State 
— Rigid etiquette at his balls— Bad tone — Cliques — Ignorance of the 
country displayed by officials — The * Centjfal Asiatic Society * — Jura Bek 
— Baba Bek -A nephew of the Amir of Bukhara — Alim Hadji Yunusof 
— ^A Court doctor — Murder of Malla Khan — A political execution in 
Bukhara — The. mercantile community — Said Azim — The native town — 
Mills — Walls —Population — Sarts — Tadj iks — Uzbeks — Their character- 
istics — Arabs — History of Tashkent— Its capture by General Tchernaief 
—His first proclamation 76 



A merchant's house — Its furniture — Mussulman devotions — Dress- Food — 
Drinks — Narcotics — Native games — Sporting — Falcons — Horses — Vehi- 
cles — Singing — Musical instruments — Dances of boys —A dance of women 
— The festival of Zang-ata — Veneration for old trees — Circumcision- 
Marriage — Wedding feasts — Divorce — Maladies of the Sarts — Cholera — 
Parasites— Medicines — Funerals—Mourning — Asiatic influence on Russia 
— Islam— Diflfcrent sects of Mohammedans — Mosques and worship there 
— Religious orders — Visit to performances of Jahria—Educiition— Pri- 
mary schools — Colleges— Their arrangements and studies— The Kazis 
—Native courts among the nomad and settled population — Mussulman 
law — Christianity and Islam • 118 



The Tashkent bazaar— Sunday bazaar -— Silversmiths — Brassworkers— 
Cutlery and arms— Iron-foundries — Teahouses— Barbers— Apothecaries 
— Cosmetics— Oils — Dyes— Shoes and Leather— The Kirghiz bazaar — 
Caravanserais — Hindoos — Money-lending and its subterfuges —Pottery — 
Embroidery — Cotton goods — Silk and silk culture— Legendary history mt 
silk— Weights and measures — Money— Duties and Taxes — The Fair and 
its results— SUitistics of Central Asiatic trade — Transportation — Trade 
routes — Proposed railway . • . 171 



.Hie Miillah^Tchinas — ^The Famished Steppe — ^AssafoBtJda — Murza Rabat 
— Jizakh— Gkites of Tamerlane — Rock in8criptionfl—Tchup>in-Ata— First 
▼lew of Samarkand — Hafistas — Early history — The Graeco-Bactrian dy- 
Basty — Chinese travellers - Clavijo — Baber's description — The Russian 
conquest — Si^e of the citadel by the natives, and its heroic defence 
by the Riissians — Mosqud of Shah Zindeh — Bibi Khanym — Shir-dar — 
Tomb of Timnr — The Kok-taah — ^Hodja Akhrar — Koran of Othman — 
Bazaars — ^Dervishes — The Jews — ^Abdor Rahman Khan of Afghanistan 
^-Russian adventurers — Russian soldiers — ^Russian administration • 225 



Uigut — Our idyl — ^A second visit — The mountain ranges — ^The glacie 
The Upper Zarafshan — ^Kohistan — The petty Beks — ^Iskender Kul Ex- 
pedition — Annexation — Small extent of arable land in Central Asia — 
Irrigating canals — ^Regulation of irrigation — ^Water supply of Bukhara 
—Methods of irrigation — Systems of husbandry* -Rotation of crops — 
Cereals — Famines— Lack of statistics— Cotton— Gardens — Price of land 
—Land tenure — Proposed land settlement— Land taxes. • • . 268 



encontre at Jizakh — Zamin— Uia-tepi — Peakof Altyn-bishik — Nau — Hod- 
jent — ^Its situation— Defence i^inst the Khokandians — Coal mines — 
Lead— Gold— Naphtha— Exaggerated accounts of mineral wealth — 
Bridge over Syr Darya — ^Prefect's residence — Population of Kuraraa — • 
— Stock-raising — Climate of Central Asia — ^Earthquakes — The calendf^rs 
^Agricultural solar year — Zodiacal months — Their Chaldsean origin — 
The Kiighiz calendar derived from the Mongol — ^The twelve-year cycle. 308 

conteOTS of the first volume. 


I. A Skbtcs of thb Histobt of Ehokand in BiBGBirr Tms • ^ 887 

n. Betibw of Yamb^by's 'Histobt of Bukhaba,' bt Fbofbssob Obi- 

GOBIEF • • • • • • 360 

III. MBDiiKYAL Tbaybllbbs tk Gbmtbal Asia • • • • 890 




Jswi cr SiifAOTAWD {hy Verestchagin) • • • • Froniupioo$ 

A Visw OF THB Stb Dabta. {hff Vcrestchogin) • • • TofoGep. 50 

Tkb MosauB Hazbbt at Tubxistan {fnf Verestchagin) • m 70 

TuBKiSTAN {by Verestchagin) • • • • • m 78 

SniEET ux Tashkent, with Mosqub {from a photograph) • „ 101 

YiBW IK Tashkent, Lookikg oteb the Hoofs of the Bazaab 

TO the MsDBEssi OF Beklab-Bek {from a photograph) . ,,104 

Tkb Gitadbl at Tchimxent {by Verestchagin) • . ,,112 

HxDVBBsk OF HoDJA Akhbab, SamabkaKd {from a photograph) ,, 238 

Medbbbsb Shib-Dab at Saxabxand {from a photograph) • „ ^54 

Women of Samarkand {from a photograph) • • • „ 266 

A Tabtab Ladt of Obbnbubg {from a photograph) • « .IS 

Eibohiz changino Camp {by Verestchagin) • • • • • 29 

Kibghu Women {from a photograph) • • • • .SO 

Kibghiz Horsemen {by Verestchagin) • ; • • • • 40 


Mecca, wliere Le had been on a pi Ig^r image, and was ^o-tig to 
Bpend the summer on his estates in tlie GoverDment of Sanmra, 
He seemed a cultivated gentleman, and was most of the tiiBO 
deep in a French noveL 

From Saratof we were obliged to travel in sledge? j aa the 
country was still covered with snoWj thoug!i the violent thaw 
which had set in at Saratof made us fearful that the roadd 
would be very bad. The remainder of the dpy ^ 'e ftpent at Saratof 
in pm'chasing various articles of outfit that we had previously 
neglected, and in making arrangements for our jomTaey, having 
to got a jiodomzhnijuya or road-pass for post horseSj as well as to 
lay in a stock of provisionSi 

\\^e finally got off at ten o'clock the next morning in two 
Bmallj low sledges of country make, discovering just at starting 
that we should not have to go iip the Volga to Samara by th^ 
usual route, but that we could take a cross-cut to Uralsk, and bo 
to Orenburg, the snow-roads still being good. We accordingly 
struck across the Volga j where the ice showed no signs of weak- 
nesSj and soon made our twenty-four miles to Ki'asny Yar, one 
of the GeiTBan Colonies* The left bank of the Volga in tha * 
neighbourhood of Saratof is for a long distance covered with 
German Colonies, some of them sectarians and Catholics, but the 
most of them Lutlierana, who were induced to come here about 
1769 by the Empress Catherine 11, They had certain privilr^gt^s 
conferred upon them, one of which was exemption from militai'j 
Bervice, and are in a most flourishing state. It is very curioui, 
however, to see that they have had no effect whatever upon th© 
civilisation of the Russian peasants who Burround them, nor 
have they themselves at all changed by their contact ^vi!h 
Russians. The Colonists remain as German now as were tlieii 
aneeBtors a hundred years ago, though many of them know s<>mc 
words and phrases of Russian, wliich they speak with a m<wt 
vile accent. In the German towns, wiiich are close to eiwdi 
other, there are comfortable well-built houses, with neat roola 
and fences, large and papapions barns and granaries, Una 
churches, and every evidence of prosperity. Tho Russian 
villages near by are no better than thqso seen in any of the 
interior provinces. 

The Germans look with dislike and contempt upon the 
Russians, a feeling which is returned by the latter with interest. 


jnaarriages are very rare, and there is little intercourse, 

.,t for business. Some of the Germans themselves told me 

»oth priests and pastors were equally to blame for this 

of things, the Russian priests inveighing against the 

ana as heretics, and the Lutheran preachers condemning 

ussians as idolaters. Other influences, too, have been at 

'o make the differences between these two classes. The 

ans were exempt from military service, were never serfs, 

. ^, m'*^^^ burdened in proportion with far less taxation. Their 

"^ ^^i3on was thus exceptional. 

le post stations here were always comfortable, and we 
ure of imding good bread and butter, and always a cup 
i'ee, while at the Russian post villages it was impossible to 
:e anything more than black bread and an occasional egg. 
only at Nikolaiefsk, the single large town on our road, 
wors able to get a meal, wretched, it is true, but hot, 
iore lingering in our memories for days, when in our 
vi state we gnawed at our wholly frozen provender, 
^ifjpiiiung at the stations for horses, and vainly trying to 
lazy peasants a sense of the value of time. Not 
rh ether we were to find snow or mud, we had pur- 
» viahicles, and were therefore obliged at every station 
Mj«ir sledges as well as our horses, to our great discom- 
Ui last, on the third day we reached Kuzebai, a Bashkir 
•here we had our first glimpse of Oriental life. The 
^i'm rudely built of clay, half under-ground, and with 
» <:>of6, on which the dogs of the household were con- 
afttjnenading and barking at us. At the other end 
Miilage rose the wooden cone-capped minaret of the 

ishkirs are a people said to be of Finnish origin, though 
a language of Tartar or Turkish stock. They live 
tic Qrovemment of Orenburg, on both sides of the Ural 
I but there is a large number of them in the Govem- 
ara. In all the race amounts to perhaps 500,000 
erly devoting themselves to rapine and a nomadio 
&fiit made useful as a frontier army similar to the 
have gradually taken up agriculture, and have become 
x»able citizens. Their chief town is Ufa, which is 
entre of the Government of the same name. 

B 2 


The road we were followinr^ not being a direct post-road, we 
had at every statioii greiit difficidty in obtaining lioraes, l>ut no* 
where so mnch as here. Driving into a dirty court, foil of 
shiah and melted snow, we descended two or three Bteps^ and, 
bending our heads, went fchrough i small door into the single 
room which constituted the haoitation of the Bashkir horse- 
owner. The inside of the house was scrupulously clean, with 
an immense stove on one sidcy half of the room being divided 
off by print curtains, Along the waU was a broad divan, covered 
for oiu- benefit with a gay felt rug, and in the corner next the 
door were a calf and a young eolt, which had been brought in 
for protection against the extreme cold outside. A young 
woman and a number of small children cluster eti about the low 
stove built of rude bricks, and on one end of the divan lay a 
worn-out-looking woman, with a diminutive infant, apparently 
bom ordy aome hours before- The proprietor of the house, a very 
neat-looking Bashkir, wearing a long caftan, and with a small 
black skidl-cup on his shaven head, was amiable enough, and 
evidently disposed to fiurther om- joimiey. He explained that 
the regular yamstchika or drivers had all gone away with their 
horses, and sent out into the village to see whether others could 
not be had* Soon a large number of men appeared, old men 
with grizzly beards, and awkward thick-lipped youths ; one of 
them especially was^ in his way, quite a dandy. The broad coUar 
of his shirt was whiter and finer than the rest, and his dark blue 
cloth caftan was girt with an ornamented silver belt. He felt 
his position, and was indisposed to let us have horses for any- 
thing except a most extortionate price, and the re^t followed 
his example ; so that we found it impossible to make any bar 
gain J and consequently sent them all away. Others then came 
in, and after a prolonged discussion, onr host, whose features 
were always lighted with a grave smile, kindly interpreting for 
us, we were at last obliged to take two pairs of bad horses for 
fieven rubleaj to go a distance of sixteen miles. The regular 
postal charge is one and a half kopeks a verst for each bore©, 
which would be only about one and a half or two rubles for 
the same distance- When we agreed to take the horses one of 
the old men glibly recited the first chapter of the Koran, all 
stroked their beards, and the bargain was made. Bvit we were 
obliged even then to pay down part of the money tefore we 


could start, and had a long delay in getting the horses to. We 
whiled away the time by observing the housekeeping of the 
Bashkir women, who were mending the fire, and boiling some 
compound in a huge pot, and at intervals sweeping the floor to 
clear off any particles of snow or dirt. The children gradually 
grew less shy and showed us what proficiency they had made in 
reading a Tartar book. 

At the next station, Kutchambai, also a Bashkir village, we 
had the same trouble, it being impossible of course to get the 
horses for any less than we bad paid at the previous station, 
each driver telling the next what we had already given, so that 
we found the prices rising as we went on. Miles and miles we 
went on over low hills all white with snow, and nothing visible 
but the track before and behind us, when it suddenly became 
intensely cold, and there was every sign of a violent storm. At 
the Russian station of Tobaeva, which we reached late in the 
evening, we were able to obtain horses, and desired to go on at 
once, but we were urged to wait, so as not to be caught in the 
buran, or whirlwind of snow, which is very common on this 
waste plain. Many stories were told us of persons who had been 
lest, and especially of one yoimg man from the nearest village, 
who had set out in a snow-storm the week before, and had not 
since been heard of. 

The chief room at the station was occupied by a justice of 
the peace, who was engaged during the whole evening in settling 
disputes between various peasants who came in — chiefly cases 
about boundaries or rents. We at last decided to stay the 
night, spread our sheepskin coats on the floor, and went to 
sleep ; but at one o'clock we were awakened with the news that 
it was now fine weather, and that the moon and stars were out, 
and with the advice to go on, as another sledge was coming, and 
if we did not take the horses at once we would not be able to get 
them later. We therefore quickly drank a glass of hot tea, and 
started off at two o'clock, crossing the last ridge that separated 
us from the valley of the Ural, and making the twenty-six miles 
to the next station by half-past six o'clock in the morning. Here 
we were delighted to come upon a neat house in a Cossack vil- 
lage, where a couple of fine old Cossacks immediately bestirred 
themselves to get us our horses and to give us some breakfast. 
They were venerable-looking old fellows, dressed in long wadded 


Bukharan dreBsing^-gowns, which they fciicked into a most 
enormou&ly wide pair of leather trowsera before startiDg' off in 
the snow. When our tea was ready we found some excellent 
white bread and fresh creara, a luxury we had not known for a 
long time. The horses turned out to be good, and we were 
quickly in sight of the green domes which mark the ?ity of 
Uralyk* We had no desire to delay here, but we wished at * 
least to get a good dinnefj and to procure the road-paper to 
Orenburg. It was, boweverj ISunday, which made difficulties- 
The wretched rooms at which we stopped were kept by a man, 
who did not conceive it possible to give us any meit during the 
Lenten faat, and we bad great difficulty in getting anything to 
eatjas nothing seemed to be in the house. Of course the pubUo 
offices were not open, and everybody told me it would be im- 
possible to get farther before the next nights But after writing 
a note to the Governor and telling him of our ha^^te, we suc- 
ceeded in getting an order to the head police-*master to give 
ns a certificate, with which I went to the Treasurer of the 
district, and, luckily finding him at home^ by great persuasion 
induced hin^ to sign a road-paper, which procured us the desired 
horses; thisj however, took from noon until nine o'clock at 

I was much disappoints at liie appearance of Uralsk, which 
I had imagined to be a neat and thriving town j neat, because 
it is inhabited by Cossacks, and thriving, because it is their 
capital. It may be that in ordinary times these epithets would 
be applicable, but a spring thaw is apt to make any country 
town look utterly wretched. Here the snow was nearly gone, and 
on this warm sunoy day the mud in the streets was so deep that 
it was even dangerous to walk across thera in goloshes, wliich 
might have been left behind* So far as we were able to move 
about it seemed as though there was hardly a respectable-looking 
hiiilding in the town ; all were dirty and dilapidated. There 
was a little boulevard, which perhaps in early summer would 
be very pretty, with a pavilion at one end, and a statue or 
monument erected to the memory of the late Cesarevitch, but 
so completely veiled with a large black cloth, that it was im- 
possible to tell what it was* The streets were full of Kirghiz, 
most of them mounted ou camel;;, which at once ^ve the town 
an Oiiental aspect, and altogether it seemed far more Kirghiz 


than Cossack. The cause of this is to be found in the new regular 
lions for the government of the Kirghiz Steppe, issued in 
1869, which placed it under the same Government as the Ural 
Cossacks, with the head-quarters at Uralsk; before that a 
Kirghiz was rarely seen on the Russian side of the river. About 
live o'clock, as I was returning from the Treasury, I saw about 
the ' White ' Church a large crowd of young Cossacks, and great 
animation in the streets and on the neighbouring bazaar. 
This turned out to be a sort of labour market. The men serving 
at the different frontier stations come to hire volunteers for the 
various explflitions to take place during the summer ; while 
others who have nothing to do, or who have lost their all in 
some unlucky fishing venture, come to seek employment. Two 
or three, who had somehow learned that I was going to 
Tashkent, were anxious to enter my service. One had been in 
Central Asia before, and the others had been led by the stories 
they had been told of the easy life and the profit which was 
to be gained there. All such offers I refused, as I expected to 
take servants at Orenburg who knew the language, and could 
interpret ; but afterwards I regretted that I had not taken one 
of these men, who would, I think, from what I learned of 
Cossack character, have been far more faithful and adroit. I 
could not help noticing, on the whole road from Saratof to 
Uralsk, the interest which was felt in Central Asia by every- 
one. Many had relatives or townsmen there, and all were 
influenced by the idea that Tashkent was a place where fortunes 
were to be made, and where life was adventurous and pleasant. 
It is strange what an erroneous notion prevails in the West 
with regard to the Cossacks. They are thought to be an un- 
civilised, savage race, given to nothing but plunder and acts of 
barbarity. These opinions, arising from old legends, were 
probably strengthened during the partisan war of 1812, when 
the Cossacks played such an important part as light cavalry in 
the West, and when the skirmishers of the Eussian army excited 
everywhere an irrational terror, and passed into tradition as 
bugbears and scarecrows, occupying much the same position as 
the Prussian Uhlan will for some time hold in France. In 
reality the Cossacks are mild, amiable, and hospitable. They 
are the pioneers of Eussian civilisation. If anything has to be 
done, and brave manly fellows are required to do it, the Cossacks 

are employed. "When a coiiiitiy is to be coloniged the CossaAa 
guard it, and themselves take part in the work of settlement. 
Though given perhaps to occasional raids, when next to &ome 
Kirghiz or uncivilized tribe j they are in the main peaceful and 
orderly citizens, brave, industrious, and enduring. The women 
are hard workers and good housckeepersj and during my whole 
journey in Asia I was only too delighted when I came to a post- 
Btation kept by a married Cosguckj for there I was sure to find 
everything clean and neat, with eggs and milk at least, and 
possibly something more substantial to eat. 

The name * Cossack/ or ' Kazak/ as the Enssians spell itj is 
Eastern J and is not properly the name of a people j but a word 
ariginaliy belonging to the Tartar-Turkish language, meaning a 
vagabond, and then a partisan or guerilla. The people living 
imder the shadow of the Caucasus first came into history with the 
name of Kazaks, and eubsequentlj the bands who settled on the 
river Don, forming an outlying frontier colony of the Knssians, 
took the same name, constantly using Tcherkess, the real name 
for the inhabitants of Cir cassia, as synonymous with it. Though 
the name is Tartar, the Cossacks themselves are chiefly a 
Eussian race* Deserters, outlaws, peasants flying from the 
tyranny of their masters, brave and adventurous spirits of every 
sortj who could not find room for themselves in Russia, joined 
the tribes living on the Don, and matle up the commimity 
which soon became known as tlie * Cossacks of the Don.' 

With the Church troubles, many who held to the old faith, 
and opposed the new reforms introduced by the patriarch Nicon, 
and all who sought for independence of action or of thought, 
joined them. Offshoots of them settled also on the Dnieper, 
Though always calling themselves Russians, the Cossacks insisted 
on maintaining their independence; virtually being a state 
within a state* They often raade war and pillaging excursions 
on their own accoimt, and refused to deliver up their prisoners 
without ransom. Such proceedings forced the Russian Tsars to 
send expeditions to punish them ; and in the latter part of the 
sixteenth century, the boldest of them finding things too hot for 
them at home, moved Eastward in search of grmter freedom for 
adventure. The first results of this were the capture and 
colonisation of Siberia by the band of Yermak, and the expid-* 
iion of the Taitcira from the banks of the Yaik — now the llnj 


— followed by the formation of the Yaik or Ural Cossacks. 
Here, on the Ural, they were so far removed from the Moscow 
rrovemment that it was long before any settled regulations 
could be made for their administration and entire subjection. 
Among their other expeditions some predatory attacks on the 
Persian territory led to complaints, and the Tsar Alexis, by 
promise of pardon, prevailed on the Ataman to come with 
some of his companions to Moscow, and they were sent in 1655 
against Poland and Eiga. This was the first service of the 
Cossacks in the Russian army. In 1735 Orenburg was founded, 
the lines of the Ilek and Yaik established, and Eussian posts 
and authorities introduced there. The Cossacks, feeling that 
these acts were in some way an invasion of their pri^eges, 
complained against the exactions of the Eussian Governors, 
and were constantly in commotion. 

The discontent finally culminated, just one hundred years 
ago, in the rebellion of PugatcheflF, who gave himself out as 
the Emperor Peter III., dead shortly before. The rebellion 
soon took tremendous proportions ; all the country of the Volga 
was pillaged, and Moscow even was threatened, when finally, in 
1775, the rebels were beaten, and PugatcheflF was executed. The 
name of the river and province was changed from Yaik to Ural 
(a thoroughly Asiatic punishment), and since that time the Cos- 
sacks have been peaceful and willing subjects, when no attack has 
been made on their privileges, except that it has been found 
almost impossible to restrain them from making pillaging forays 
into the dominions of the Kirghiz on the other side of the river. 

The male Cossacks from eighteen to twenty are in the mili- 
tary service within the district; then, after a year of rest, they are 
liable to service outside the boundaries of their district for nomi- 
nally fifteen years, though they are always sent home again long 
before the expiration of that period. Every Cossack is supposed 
to be in the army, though exceptions are made in favour of a 
father who has three sons in the service, or in case of one out of 
four brothers. In time of war all can be called upon. The 
actual nimiber of the Ural Cossacks in service is estimated at 
over 10,000, though really not more than 3,000 actually serve 
at one time. It has long been the practice of the richer Cos- 
sacks to hire the poorer to take their places in the ranks, three 
hundred rubles being paid for two years' service in Turkistan. 



The aholition of this ciiatora by tlie new military law y< as the 
cause of the disorders ^ September, 1874. 

Tho Cossacks form an almost ideal community. The land 
belon|;s to the whole army collectively, and each member hiia 
the right to till the ground, to cut hay^ or to pasture his cattle 
where he pleases, provided^ of course, he does uot infringe on the 
rights of others, as settled by custom. Even the fishery in the 
Ural and in the sea ie common property. Tbe days of fishing 
are regiUated i and though all are ready, none dare to cast a net 
or throw a harpoon before the cannon signal has been given by 
the Ataman, imder penalty of confiscation of all his fishing im- 
plements. The ' golden bottom ' of the Ural was once tbe main 
iource of wealth to the Cossacks i but owing to tbe rapid and 
careless extermination of the forests above Orenburg, the river. 
is drying up, and filling with sboals, and the fish seem seekiug 
eome other locality. Yet even now the produce of caviare, 
isinglass, salted sturgeons, and beluga is very great. By this 
commercial system the spread of wealth is much more even and 
regular than elsewhere, and there are no rich and no poor, or at 
least only in a comparative sense, for a poor man here is one 
who has nothing more than what is indispensable, i.e. hia house, 
horse, and cattle. This system, however, in a country so 
limited in its capacities as the Ural region, wiU, with all its 
merits, be found inadeiiuate to a rapidly growing population. 

The Cossacks are almost entirely dissenters, chiefly ' old be- 
lievers,' though apparently witliout the bigotry and religious 
hatred which characterize Russian dissent in general. In 1862, 
out of a population of over 70,000, there were only sixty-two who 
l>elongijd to tlje orthodox Russ^ian Church, chiefly Russian officials 
in the towns ; and it is worthy of note that in 1859, the last year 
for which statistics have been published, thirty-eight out of 
eighty crimes wore committed by orthodox, and only ton by dis- 
Bonters^ the remainder being by Jews, Mohammedans &c. The 
whole orthodox population at this time was eighty-nine-* 

We had some difficulty in getting i^tarted in tlie evening, a« 
when the horses finally arrived the drivers were ill-natured, and 
pretande<i that tbe loaded sledges were far too heavy for tha 

' * The Atttij of thu Uml CoBtaoka/ CoUection of sbsfiitici publithed by ihB 
(^aff. et. P<jLor»biirg, 1806. P. 305-33a. 


horses. All along the road we had great trouble in procuring 
horses, as it had been understood that the Governor-General of 
Orenburg was coming that way. Fortunately I had heard at the 
station that his journey had been postponed for two or three 
days, and sometimes persuaded the statiouTmasters that this 
was actually the case. They wished to reserve all the horses 
for him, and we had on some occasions to take private horses 
belonging to the Cossacks, paying, of course, double price for 
them. That night and the next were intensely cold, and with 
the cold and the bright sun of the day our faces grew red and 
swollen, and the skin began to peel off in blotches. The reflec- 
tion from the snow was so blinding that we were obliged to put 
on the dark spectacles set in wire-gauze which we had brought 
jas a protection against the dust of the desert. The road 
followed the bank of the Ural, though, as the river was frozen 
and covered with snow, it was often not specially noticeable, 
and our travelling was without variety, except an occasional 
overturn of our sledge on account of the inequalities of the 
road, for where there was a little side-hill or hollow the sledge 
would invariably slide down into it and pull up with a jerk, 
which would throw us both out. As we approached Orenburg 
the river-bottom began to be covered with thin woods. At the 
last station we were heartily glad to find that, owing to the snow 
being still deep, we were able to cut off a distance of some 
twenty miles and proceed along the river bank through what 
in early summer must be a lovely country ; and at last, on 
Tuesday morning about noon, we reached a broad plateau, on 
the farther side of which we saw the spires and buildings of 

We brought up at the Hotel d'Orenburg, commonly known 
as ' Antons,' situated in the chief street, where we were able to 
procure two decent rooms, and had at last baths and comfort- 
able beds. Our appearance on arrival was anything rather 
than calculated to inspire the host with confidence in us. It 
had been, I think, the coldest weather in which I was ever out, 
and we suffered much, although we were very warmly dressed. 
I had a long sheepskin coat, such as is worn by the peasants, 
and my ordinary fur-lined paletot, with a fur collar, thrown 
over my shoulders besides, for the sheepskin coat was without a 
collar, and the wind came down my neck. Besides this there 



was a red tippet about my throat j and a brown basltlyk of 
Boldier'e cloth tied over my head, with its tall peak sticking up* 
With beards of a week's growth, and red and scaly facesj we 
were certaiDly not attractive objectF- 

Orenburg contains just that mixture of Emropean and 
Oriental that one might e^epect to find at the threshold of 
Central Ada, The wide streets crossing one another at right 
angles, the well-built wooden and plastered houses, the shopgj 
the churches, the boulevard and public square, the immeuBe 
Government buildings used for barracks, storehouses, and 
schools, give the place a thoroughly Russian air ; while, on the 
other hand, the caravanserai, with its beautiful mosque and 
minaret of white stucco ; the Tartar mosque, the camels, in cara- 
vans, single, or harnessed to wagons j the crowds of Tartai^s, the 
Kirghiz on horsebackj in their dirty rags, with rude caps ; the 
bazaar, with the Bukharan, Khivan, and Tashkent merchants, in 
long robes striped with many colours, and with turbans on their 
heads, showed that the inhabitants of the place were thoroughly 
Asiatic. In reality only about 5,000 of 3-5,000 inhahitants are 
Tartars and Asiatics | but they are enough to give an Eastern 
tone to the place. There is a very pleasant society among the 
officials, and nearly all the Russians are either oflBcials or mer- 
chants, 1 found more than a dozen persons who spoke English 
very well, as well as French and German; and there is a theatre 
and musical society. The merchants in general live very meanly, 
but there are some of them worth several millions, and on the 
occasion of a grand dinner or f4te they show much luxury. 

Orenburg seemed to me much improved in the live years that 
had ehipsed since my last visit ; very many new and large build- 
ings bad been constructed, such as^ the military gymnasiimi 
(high school), the pro-gymnasium, arjd the city gymnasium, with 
one or two hotels, and there seemed much more life and move^ 
ment in the city. As the centre of the Administration of the 
large province of Orenburg, of the Orenburg Cossacks, and of 
the Kirghiz of the Turgni district, as well as the military head- 
quarters, it bringj^ together no inconsiderable number of officials* 
Orenburg is one of tho chief entrepots of the trade carried 
on between Taslikr-nt and Ceiitral Asia in general and Eussia, 
tlujugh much \MXi^i^v^ Hn'otigh Troitsk, another city of the same 
\ loviuco, earning chidly by way of Southern Siberia, though 



the main trade of both places is with the Kirghiz Steppe. On. 
the completion of the railway which is now being constructed 
iDetween Samara and Orenburg the business of Orenburg will 
undoubtedly increase. It needs but greater facilities for trans- 
port to permit the introduction of more capital and the better 
working of the numerous mines which the tJral mountains 
contain. The Central Asiatic caravans arrive and depart from 
what is called the Myenovoi Dvor, or Exchange Court, situated 
on the other side of the river. 


We were detained in Orenbiu-g from Tuesday until Saturday, 
as there were many little things to be done preparatory to a 
journey over the Steppe, where provisions could not be had. I 
renewed my acquaintance with my former friends, and received 
the greatest politeness and most substantial assistance from all 
of them. All treated me with the greatest kindness, and did 
everything possible to further my plans. The shops in Orenburg 
are much better than I had expected, and I was enabled to pur- 


c'nase many little things which I had forgotten or n^lected. We 
had to lay in not only provisions of all kinds — ^taking of course 
about three times as much as was really necessary for us, owing 
to the stories of detention and utter nakedness of the land — ^but 
had besides to procure a tarantass — a large covered travelling 
carriage, without springs, but balanced on long poles which serve 
the purpose. There are no seats, but when we had spread 
mattresses and pillows we could lie comfortably at night and 
travel with gpreat ease. It is the only possible vehide that 
is adapted to stand Eussian roads, and is certainly very com- 
fortable and convenient. We found, however, that this was 
too small to carry some of the heavy luggage we had brought 
with us, for we were provided with a considerable amoimt of 
ammunition and some few firearms, in case of any little ex- 
pedition we might wish to make in a hostile country or of the 
possibility of an attack on the road. We therefore procured a 
small cheap country sledge, which we resolved to take as far as 
we could, and then trust to luck. The roads at this time were 
covered with snow, though it was thawing in Orenburg, and we 
were told that we could with diflBculty get as far as Orsk, where 
we should probably change to wheels. We had had the wheels 
taken off the tarantass and the vehicle lashed on a sledge. 

It was necessary also to make arrangements about monej, 
for we were warned to take as little as possible, as we should in 
all probability be robbed on the road by bands of Kirghiz, or 
possibly of Turkomans ; and consequently, after procuring a large 
quantity of small silver and several bags full of copper pieces 
to pay away at the post-stations, and taking enough notes to 
last us for the road, we deposited the rest in one of the banks at 
Orenburg. This was a great piece of folly on our part, as, 
there being no bank at Tashkent, I found it rather difficult to 
obtain money, and only did so through the kindness of a 
merchant who had a house at Orenburg. 

The first thing we did here was to look about for servants, 
and with the kind assistance of my friend Professor Bektchurin, 
a Tartar gentleman, who is professor of Arabic and the Eastern 
languages in the military gymnasium, we got* two Tartars, one 
an old fellow named Ak-Mametef, wlio had been twice in 
Tashkent and Central Asia, and spoke Persian as well as Turki 
and Kirghiz, and the other a young fellow named Akhmet, who 


spoke Kirghiz perfectly, having been much in the Steppe. Un- 
fortunately, Ak-Mametef turned out to be an utter rascal, and 
MacGahan especially had great diflBculty with him. Akhmet 
would have been a good enough fellow, as he was perfectly 
docile and amenable, had it not. been for his utter stupidHy, 
and I was subsequently obliged to discharge him. 

In Orenburg the talk was chiefly about the Khivan expedi- 
tion, the Orenburg detachment having started some weeks 
before. News had been received that it had safely arrived 
at the fort on the Emba. The men had been well clad in sheep- 
skin coats, and at every station hibitkaa had been erected, and 
plenty of tea and vodka, provided to protect them against the 

The army had been conveyed by horses which had been 
stationed there by the Kirghiz, at the command of the 
authorities, in sledges, and though the weather had been veiy 
cold there had been no suffering and no illness. The provision- 
train, however, met with a heavy storm before reaching the 
Emba fort, and had greatly suffered ; so that apprehensions were 
felt lest all might not be ready for the forward advance of the 
detachment. My friends regretted that I had not come a month 
sooner, in order that I might have accompanied the expedition, 
evidently knowing nothing of the restrictions which had been 
placed at St. Petersburg on free travelling in that direction ; and 
it was suggested to us that when we reached Kazala we might 
still have an opportunity to go, either by catching up with the 
detachment or by taking a passage on one of the steamers now 
plying on the Aral Sea. 

We were two whole days going the 177 miles to Orsk, on 
account of the imsettled state of the roads and the bad condi- 
tion of the horses. The stations were nearly all large villages^ 
Stanitzi of Orenburg Cossacks, and at them we had little diflB- 
culty. At one, however, which we reached at seven in the 
evening, we were told that it would be impossible to travel at 
night in the soft state of the ground, and were besought to wait 
till morning. But about midnight we became impatient, and 
insisted on being off, taking some extra horses to get better over 
the diflficult road. To the tarantass we had eight horses, but 
they were hardly better than four, as they all pulled different 
ways. Add to this oui driver took a short out through a wooded 



vallev. where wc got Ftuck several times among the etuiops ; wa 
that it took us six hours and a half to make the ^age of seven- 
teen miles. 

The Orenburg Cossacks are much farther from the ideal 
than those of the Ural, They have never had the free life and 
the natural development of thoir neighbours, but have been 
colonized there to order, and their ranks filled with retii^ed 
soldiers and peasants. They have never had the same trouble 
to defend their frontier against raids, and lack the old military 
traditions, Tho conditions of their life, too, are in many re- 
spects very different^ though far superior to those of the ordinary 
Russian peasant* 

There are no fisheries here, and agriculture and cattle- 
raising are the main occupations* At every station we were 
ofltered the beautifrd Orenburg sbawk, both white and grey, knit 
by the Cossack women of the long fieece of a peculiar breed 
of goat kept here. Some of the more delicate ones require 
months and even yeari for their completion. 

As we neared Orsk we crossed with some difficulty, on ac- 
couTit of the melted snow, the Guherlinsky mountains, the 
gouthem portion of the Ural chain. They are very low, mere 
hilk in fact, but they have all the characteristics of mountains, 
bare of treesj rocky and stony, with snowy patches, leaving the 
dark brown ridges hare. They are chiefly composed of gravel, 
but a curious strata of rock crops out at a high angle, and is 
visible in long straight lines for a great distance. When we 
reached the very summit of the hills, near the station which 
marks the boundary between Europe and Asia, we had a most 
wonderful view^ on every hand a sea of dark brown peaks and 
ridges, with snow lying in the hollows and valleys, and showing 
better their contourF. We looked far to the south beyond the 
TJral^ and everywhere there were hills, which gradually grew 
BlUiiller and smaller until they creep up again into the Mugojar 
mountains, on the northern coast of the Aral Sea. 

During the last stage we were very wretched, for e:£perience 
had made us wary of following the advice of station-masters, 
who nsuany knew nothing of the road, and we had retained our 
sledges instead of changing them for wheels, though we were 
obliged to submit to having fifteen animals, four of them camels, 
harnessed to our two sledges- We stuck in the mud, and 

OESK. 17 

bumped and scraped over bare ground for hours, till at last, 
about six o'clock, we came on a plain, and saw in the distance 
the fort and group of houses which showed us what we lad 
looked forward to as the last stage of civilisation — it being the 
la«t telegraph station. We could endure no longer the slow 
motion of the vehicle, and got out to walk. But near as Orsk 
seemed, our sledges always appeared to be making a large l 
circuit to the left, and it was a very long time before we crossed 
the frozen Ural and arrived at the station-house. 

With the experience of the last stage we were quite ready 
to be convinced, when the station-master assured us that beyond 
this there was no snow at all, and that we had better take to 
wheels. As we had no intention of delaying longer than was 
necessary we at once gave the order, and the sledge was taken 
off, and the wheels properly greased and put on. For our 
luggage we had to look about for a wagon ; and finally, after 
many vain attempts, found one belonging to a merchant, who 
had the post contract for the route beyond Kazala, which he 
was desirous of sending on, and which he offered to us free of 
charge as far as we wished, if we would only leave it at one of 
the stations. Some little thing, however, was necessary to be 
done, which would take about half-an-hour, but it was im- 
possible to get it into the head of anyone that it could be done 
at once. They would not promise it to us earlier than the 
next morning. There was nothing then to do but to wait. We 
took a little walk through the town, which, though an old 
frontier town — ^the original site of Orenburg in 1735 — is very 
wretched ; a church or two, and one or two shops where every- 
thing is sold. The bazaar was utterly insignificant, which much 
surprised us, for Orsk is one of the chief centres of trade with the 
Kirghiz Steppe, and the amount of business transacted is very 
great. We went to the little dirty traktir bearing the name 
of Hdtel de Berlin and ordered our dinner — such as could be 
obtained — to be sent to the post-house, despatched our last 
telegrams, and wrote oiu* last letters. 

In the morning we discovered, when it was already too late, 
that we had been far too hasty the night before. The weather 
had changed, and it had turned most fearfully cold, so that we 
were obliged to wrap up warmly. More than this, we found 
afterwards that there was a perfectly good snow-road as far as 

VOL. I. 



IrghiZj two- thirds of the diBtance to Kazala ; but luckily for lis 
it wag so cold, and the road so hard-frozeu, that we travelled 
for the most part as if over a macadamised road, so that wheels 
were equally serviceable with runners. Our vehicles were 
neither of them heavy ; but it is of do use to state the numlier 
of horses you want, or to have your luggage weighed, even 
should there be a possibility of doing so. The post-master will 
insist that more horses are required to draw such heavy loads, 
and there is no help but to submit. We tookj therefore, the 
tep horses that were given us, and started off in the face of a 
fearful wind- We had, however, but reached the edge of the 
town, when we discovered that in the hurry of departure one of 
the axles had been put on wrongly, and that the forwai-d move- 
ment was giadually unscrewing both of the front wheels- We 
fortunately saw this in time, and, with the assistance of the 
people living near by, unharnessed the horses, raised the 
tarantass, and changed the axle* With this began oiur ex peri* 
ence of tbo real difficulties of Asiatic travelling. At this time 
the post-track to Terekli was kept by Kirghiz contractors* 
They were careless and improvident, and laid in little or no 
forage for the horses during the winter, which had to live on 
what they could gi'ub up under the snow or starve; conse- 
quently they were nothing but skin and bone, and were often 
scarcely able to move. The stations along the road were 
wretched. Sometimes there was nothing but a Kirghiz kibitkaj 
the felt walls of which were incapable of keeping out tb© 
cold, in spite of the lire of roots in the centre, or, as we found 
in one instancej of a red-hot iron stove, which a Kirghiz girl 
was couBtautly bmily feeding with dried cameVa dung— the 
usual fuel on the Steppe. Very often they were underground 
huts, down to which we stumbled through a long dark passage, 
which were at least cozy and warm, however dark and filtliy. 
At present the road is rather better, for soon afterwards a new 
contract was made with some Russians^ and when I reached Orsk 
on my return from Tashkent, I heard that neat wooden 
itations had been put up along the line, and saw numbers of 
good sledges and tarautasses that were being sent out there. 
It was stated that the stations were all well furnished, and 
that it was even possible to obtain a meal there. How long 
this will continue it is of course impossible to say. 


Frequently we had great difficulty in getting horses. This 
happened even at the first station, Tokan. Now, Tokan ia 
marked on the map, and we therefore supposed that there 
would be a village of some sort there. There was, however, 
nothing but the station, though about a mile off there was a little 
Kirghiz, winter aul^ a little group of earthen hovels, sur- 
rounded by manure-heaps, the populatioir of which changes 
from year to year. After waiting for more than an hour, 
we were told by the Cossack in charge that the Kirghiz 
station-master had refused to give us horses, although all were 
in, and had sent off the driver with blows. The Cossack 
said that if he went there the old Kirghiz would certainly 
beat him, and suggested to us that it would be much better 
that we should go and beat him instead, offering to lead the 
way. There was nothing else to be done, and after a long walk 
through the snow we found the station-master, on whom our 
solicitations made not the slightest impression. Words being 
spent in vain, our Tartar servant began to belabor him with a 
rusty sword, quite against all rules and regulations, it is true, 
but we were too angry and too hurried to protest. The Kirghiz 
at once gave in, knelt down, and began to embrace our knees 
and beg for mercy, saying he would give us the horses immedi- 
ately. He had, however, only furnished two, when he leaped 
on the third and rushed off over the plain. We immediately sent 
in pursuit of him, and brought him back, when he said he was 
going to another village to fetch other horses. We refused to 
take this excuse, and insisted upon at once having them all, and 
after considerable delay they were furnished. It was, however, 
three hours from the time we reached the station before we 
were ready to start.. Even then the horses were so bad that 
we were almost sorry we had any. 

Frequently there were no horses, and we had to have camels 
hamassed to our tarantass, which was very annoying, as they 
went so slowly, seldom more than two and a half miles an hour. 
Still they would take one through anything, mud, snow, sand, 
or water. It is no doubt very fine to speak of camels as ' ships 
of the desert,' and use other poetical expressions for them, but 
practically they are the most disagreeable, impleasant animals 
that I have ever seen ; ungainly, unamiable, and disgusting in 
odour, they seem to be a sort of a cross between a cow and a 

c 2 


cassowary. Seen in the distance they make one think of a big 
ovor-gi-own ostrich, with their claw-feet and long nee kg, which 
they turn about so as always to observe everything which comes 
by, and stare at you with their big vacant eyes until you have 
passed fuHy out of sight. They seem to stand cold very well, 
althougl^ they will take cold and die if allowed to lie down in 
the snow. Hence during^ the winter on the Steppe their bodies 
are wnipped up in f^>lt, wliicli, when taken off in spring;, carries 
most of the hair with it, and they then look entirely naked. 
If they get an idea into their heads that the road is long, or 
the weight too heavy, or that some part of the harness is 
wrong, tbej commence to howl. It is not exactly a gi-oan nor 
a cry, but a very human, shrill and disagreeable sound ; and 
this they never cease — they keep it up from the time they start 
until they reach their destination, varying their performances 
by occasionally kneeling down and refusing to advance ; or if 
they do go on, holding back iu such a manner as to make pro- 
gress all the slower. In this case there is nothing to do but to 
unfasten the animal, turn him loose, and tie his legs together, 
when he will begin to browse about, poking the snow away with 
his nose, and his driver will find him when he comes back- 
Camels are much too stupid to go home, as any other animal 
would, but they will continue to walk on in the same direction 
their ftices are turned without ever thinking of master or stable 
or anything ehe> They are very revengeful, and in the spring 
season the male camels are very often dangerous. Many in- 
stances are known where they have bitten persons to denth, and 
tbey then have to bo carefully muzzled. There was one comfort 
to he got out of them notwithstanding — their walk was so 
quiet and sauntering, that in the morning, when it was not too 
cold, we could read with ease in the carriage, as there was not 
motion enough to jolt the book. In this vmj we got through 
* Middleraarch,' some books on Central Asia, and the whole of 
the Korau, to say nothing of spelling through Tartar exercises, 
and trying each other aa we went along in pronimciation and 
phrases. It was not only the camels that gave us trouble — the 
harness was always in disorder; a rope would perhaps be too 
long, or then ti>o short, and occasionally some strap or string 
would break, so that half an hour rarely elapsed without the 
driver being obliged to disinoimt and arrange something. If 


nothing else happened he would drop his whip. The drivers 
were for the most paxt Kirghiz, stupid and stolid enough, but 
gtill good-natured, and cheerily singing to themselves as they 
went on, though usually, if the camels went very slowly, they 
were apt to go to sleep, and by this means our night journeys 
were rendered very tedious. 

Both in St. Petersburg and at Orenburg our friends had 
prophesied to us many imaginary dangers. I was even advised 
by Grovemment officials in St. Petersburg to go by way of 
Siberia, as my safety could not be guaranteed if I went over the 
Steppe. At Orenburg we were urged to keep a sharp look-out, 
as we might at any time be attacked by bands of hostile 
Kirghiz, or possibly Turkomans, coming from Khiva, but we 
found the road perfectly safe, and speedily laid aside all thoughts 
of precaution, though we took care to have a pistol near us ; but 
our large revolvers were stowed away at the bottom of the 
tarantass, where they remained undisturbed until we reached 
Kazala. The road was so safe, in fact, that ladies were travel- 
ling on it alone, with only a servant ; even the war-time seemed 
to make no diflference ; and as it turned out afterwards my com- 
panion went as far as Khalata, where he joined the Eussian 
forces, without meeting the slightest danger of any kind except 
from fatigue and want of water. 

As far as Kazala our greatest hardship was cold. It being 
winter, water was plentiful, and we always had enough to eat. 
We had brought some hams and preserved meats and plenty of 
eggs, so that our usual diet consisted of fried slices of ham, 
which we prepared ourselves over a spirit-lamp, boiled or fried 
eggs, with sausages, jams, and potted meat. The bread we had 
found at Orsk was good, but it usually took some time to warm 
it to a temperature at which it could be either cut or eaten. 
We had plenty of good butter, and really lived very well. When 
we felt that the miseries of the day made us deserve a more 
luxurious feast, we had a stew of some tinned American oysters, 
if we could find any milk. Our servants looked rather askance 
at the ham and bacon, and apparently lived on nothing but 
bread and eggs, though I think Ak-Mametef had conquered his 
Mussulman prejudice sufficiently to have frequent swigs at 
the whisky-bottle. Of course the cooking took some little time, 
and the washing of the. dishes and packing up much more ; so 



that we tried to get aloi3g ivith as few meals as possible, and at 
last satisfied aiirselves with a good supper, provided we bad tea 
and bread-and-butter two or three times a day ; but we found 
from long experience tliat in order even then to be kept from wait^ 
ing we must command our horses as booh as we arrived at the 
station* It was fortunate that we had brought our own provi- 
sions, for we should have foimd nothing j indeed, we had to help 
others with a little sugar or even bread. I well remember one 
underground hut, where a Cossack and bis young wife asked 
us to spare them a loaf, as they had not tasted bread for a week, 
living only on porridge. 

Our eleven days' journey over the Steppe from Orsk to 
Kazala was not, of course, without its varieties and its little 
incidents. Of the Steppe, as far as Irghiz at least, we saw very 
little, for being covered with snow, it presented but one whito 
plain, rising and falling gently in places, but never-ending. 
Still there were the lights and shadow Sj the dazzling glare of 
the Bun, and the wan light of the night, the tracks of animals 
by the roadside, the caravan trails, which made us think we 
could never lose our way, if thrown alone by accident^ and the 
occasional bivouacs of Russian cai-tcrs, with the picturesque 
groups around the camp-fires, to lend interest to the monotony. 
In general the whole of this Steppe has a decli\dtj towards the 
Aral Sea, but there are at times slight elevations of ground— it 
would be wrong to call them hills— and there are the almost im- 
perceptible valleys in which are t^^rrenta or river courses. On our 
right we couhl see at times low ranges of hills, which sometimes, 
when near at baud, were white, and sometimes in the distance, 
without the snow, were of a tender blue. These were thq con- 
tinuation of the chain of the Ural, which finally towards the 
Sea of Aral becomes what is called the JSIugojar mountains. 
Between these, and the Guberlinsky, on the north side of the 
Ural river, there is no specific name for the chain. At times 
we crossed or followed little streams, which as a general rule 
were still covered with ice and snow, and were therefore invisible* 
One of them, the little river Or, which flows into the Uml near 
Orsk, we had some difficulty in crossing. This was at the 
station of Istemes. We arrived at the river about one o*cloek a.m. 
at a place where the ice, owing to the recent tliaws, had be- 
come so thin Ihat it was incapable of beariifg us, and the 


drivers refused to go on ; although it was evident that some one 
not long before had crossed the stream; neither were thej 
willing to risk their lives — as they said — by endeavouring to 
cross the ice on foot to the scattered huts on the other side, in 
order to ask where a better crossing for our vehicles could be 
found. My companion and myself vainly wandered up and 
down the banks, misled in the bright starry night by faint 
tracks, hoping to find some place where the ice was more solid, 
but it always began to give way as soon as we put our feet on it. 
Finally, we persuaded one man to risk the crossing ; and though 
he assured us the water was up to his neck, if not higher, he 
managed somehow to get safely across — the ice breaking 
through only once — and was told at the huts that our best way 
was to go straight on ; so at last we started, having taken the 
leaders from one tarantass and added them to the other, send- 
ing all the horses back again for the wagon we had left behind. 
To our surprise we found not only the ice so thin as not to 
incommode the horses, but the water only about a foot and a 
half deep. 

The largest river that we passcjJ was the Irghiz, which flows 
into Lake Tchalkar without continuing so far as the Aral Sea. 
These rivers of the Steppe are all much alike. In the spring 
there is a great deal of water, which overflows a considerable 
extent of country. In the summer there is often no water at all, 
or only a succession of small pools and lakes at distances of many 
miles. In spite of the wintry weather the Steppe, even from 
Orsk, abounded in birds of all kinds, especially in crows, black- 
birds, and eagles. When our horses and camels went very slowly, 
and the day was not too cold, we often amused ourselves by 
trying to get a shot at either the birds or the small fur-bearing 
animals which live on the Steppe. These latter from their 
dark colours, especially with the aid of the sharp eyes of our 
Kirghiz drivers, could be seen a long distance off ; but even with 
the best of long-range rifles they always succeeded in getting to 
their holes before we came up. Near Irghiz there were some 
small reedy ponds, which were covered with thousands of wild 
duck ; but unless we went gradually towards them in our 
vehicles, to which they paid no attention, it was impossible 
to get a shot at them, and even then it did us no good, as they 
always fell too faj out in the water for us to reach them. One 



da J we were unusually lucky, for MacGaban shot a couple of 
bustards, large and very graceful white and grey birds^ with 
long necks, which are frequent in that part of the Steppe, We 
cooked them when we arrived at the station, aud found them 
excellent eating. 

There were two treats in the monotonous journey — the 
forts of Karahutak and Irghiz, Bituated respectively at 140 and 
2G2 miles from Orsk, They were welcome reliefs 1x) lus ; and 
liad it not been for the kindness of Colonel Strashny-Senukovitchj 
the Commandant of Karahutak, I know not how we should have 
got on. At the previous station we could only get two wom- 
out wretched horses and a small sledge, in which with great 
exertions we made the thirteen miles to the fort in five hours, 
We fouod the station to be a very small earth hut^ quite 
cold, and apparently with no means of making a fire, aud with 
no persons about. We therefore drove directly to the house of 
the Commandant of the fort, to whom I had a letter from. 
General Kryzhanofsky, of Orenburg. It was quite dark at his 
little house, and we were afraid at first that he had gone to 
sleep ; but there was no help for it, and we had to run the risk 
of awakening him. At last he appeared, and received us both 
very kindly, had tea immediately prepared for us, and gave m 
some cold supper, which we were glad enough to get, as we had 
had nothing to eat since the morning. He at once sent a 
soldier with hi a own horses to the last station to bring on our 
vehicles and luggage, and kindly insisted on our passing the 
night with him, for which purpose he had his divans made up 
into beds, and we slept luxuriously until late the next monnng. 
It was not until the afternoon that our servants appeared and 
told ue that we could now go on, as six horses were also provided 
for us by the commandant, 

This fort, which is a very small one> was built in 1 848, to ae- 
eist in keeping up the communication with the fort of Uralskoe, 
which had been raised in the Steppe some three years before* 
It is situated on a little eminence, at the foot of which runs a 
smaU stream of saltish water, which cannot be used for drinking 
purposes. There is no verdure or vegetation about the fort, 
aud the Commandant has even found it impossible to make a 
garden The garrison numbered less than a hundred, which ia 
quite sufficient, as now the Steppe ia so peaceful there is really 


nothing to do except to show the Kirghiz that force ean be 
used in case anything goes wrong. About the fort a few small 
clay houses have been built, but there are no merchants, and 
the doctor and one or two officers are the only company for the 
Commandant. I went through the fortification and into the 
barracks, where I found everything in excellent order. They 
had been baking bread that day — ^black bread, such as is so 
loved by the Eussian peasantry and soldiers — ^and it really was 
excellent. I tasted the dinner, also excellent, which had just 
\>eer\ brought on the table, consisting of boiled beef and 
cabbage-soup. There was no view from the heights except the 
wide snowy plain, but as it was too cold to enjoy even that we 
quickly returned to the house again. After an excellent break- 
fast, or really a dinner, the Commandant allowed us to depart, 
f hough he urged us much to stay another day. As we were 
leaving he gave the driver strict injunctions to take us on as 
quickly as possible. 

Irghiz, which before it was made into a district city was 
called Uralskoe, is somewhat larger perhaps than Karabutak. 
The fort is a wretched earthen construction, situated on the 
steep high bank of the little river Irghiz. The place is as dull 
as can be, and utterly unpictinresque, with rows of flat-roofed, 
one storied, mud houses, in which live the hangers-on of the 
fort and the traders with the Kirghiz. A few shops containing 
iron kettles, felt, cloths, and prints, and other articles for 
Kirghiz trade, and a broad muddy street, comprise the whole 
of the town. The Commandant, Colonel Eyedkin, received us 
very kindly, and gave us a paper addressed to all the station- 
masters, to facilitate our getting horses. 

We were lodged here in a dirty damp room, in what pur- 
ported to be a cook's shop, where we spent the most of the day 
in resting, renewing our ammunition, and getting some fresh 
provisions. When we started, late in the afternoon, it was warm 
and sunny, and the snow was fast disappearing, so that the 
Steppe took for us a new. appearance, though there. was yet 
nothing green. The ground was in some places so soft that at 
last we were unlucky enough to get into a mud-hole and stick 
there, near some Kirghiz kibitkaa. Both men and women 
assifited to pull us out, but for a long time their efforts were 
useless, as the horses would not pull together, and it was very 



difficult to make the Kirghiz driver ion der stand that he must 
tura the vehicle in order to wrench the wheel out of tbe rut. 
The thaw had begun in earnegt, and the approach to the desert 
began to be tilled up with deep sand, so that our progress be- 
came more difficult. In places there were small ravines filled 
with melted snow and water — aJcaai — which were very hard to 
pass. The Steppe became more and more desolato until we 
reached the station of Terekly, on the edge of the great desert 
of Xara-Kum, (black sand), where begins the province of 
Turkistan, Tliis was formerly the great bugbear of the route ; 
but owing to the energy of the district prefect of Kazala and 
the efforts of the post-contractors, it has now become one of the 
easiest portions of the road» The stations themselves are all 
well-constructed buildings of uuburnt bricks, neatly covered 
with white planter, and have a large warm room, with a divan, 
so that if a traveller wishes to pass the night there he can 
sleep with comfort. The road was at that time very bad, being 
over deep snow, but the short distances between the stations 
and the better horses and camels made us travel much more 
quickly. One station, I remember, of eleven miles we made 
in an hour and a quarter. The Kara-Kum did not, however, 
conform to my preconceived notions of tbe desert, being by no 
means a desolate expanse of &and, as it was covered in every 
direction with small bushes and shrubs, and the ground fre- 
quently rose in little hillocks. There were no shifting sands, 
and the grey sand seemed hardly black enough to warrant tbe 
name* Some indeed believe that this deaert is gradually dis- 
appearing. The young grass and the wild tulips were just 
ven tinging to come up, so that the waste had at times a greenish 
tinge, and the shrubsj though they had no leaves upon them, 
all had a certain colouring — grey, red, blue, and purple — in dull 
shades, so that where a hillock was thickly covered with them 
there was at a little distance quite a landscape effect. 

One day, near the station of Ak-julpasj for about three hours 
before sunset our road lay along tbe smooth beach of a bay of 
the Aral Sea, Far out to the west we looked over an expanse 
of shallow water rippled by the wind, and forming pools on the 
flat sandy beach. In the distance was a low dark blue pro- 
montory, and Mnt blue coast-lines, and to the east and south 
the desert rising and felling in low hillocks, covered with low 


leafless shrubs, the coloured stems of which gave an aspect of 
purple, rose, and yellow, mingling with the yellow-brown of the 
sand. But the charm lay in the sky, light blue with fleecy 
clouds, and a sun which lighted up the clear, very clear, 
shallow pools of water and shore and sea with silver and pearly 
hues. White gulls soared and dipped into the bay, hovering 
even over our heads ; while farther away the water was covered 
with flocks of ducks and other water-fowl, but they were too 
wary to allow us to approach them. It was the same here as 
elsewhere on the road : as long as we remained in the tarantass 
the birds would be quite indifferent to us, and sit still as we 
passed them, but the moment they saw a person on foot they 
were astonished at the novelty^ of the sight, and immediately 
made off. 

The water looked so clear and pure that I scooped up a cup 
of it and drank it. In taste it was slightly brackish, but not 
strongly saline.^ The troops of the Orenburg detachment on 
their way to Khiva used it for two days, without disagreeable 
results, though with rapidly increasing disgust. 

The appearance of this shallow bay of Sary-Tchaganak is an 
example of the whole of this vast inland sea, a veritable waste of 

* The first analysis of the -water of the Aral Sea was made by Mr. Teich, 
director of the Tashkent laboratory, on water collected at Ak-Julpas, on August 
1, 1871. A second analysis was made by Professor Schmidt, of Dorpat, on 
water collected by Dr. Grimm in 1873. The results, as given in the * Bulletin of 
the Imperial Eussian Geographical Society,* 1873, No* 3, p. 95, and the 'Eussische 
Eevue/ No. 5, 1874, p. 468, are, in 1,000 parts of water, as follows:— 
Professor Schmidt, 1873. 

Chloride of rubidium, Kb. CI. . 

Chloride of potassium, KCl . 

Chloride of sodium, NaCl . 

Chloride of magnesium, MgClj . 

Bromide of magnesium, MgBj • 

Sulphate of lime, CaSo, . . 

Phosphate of lime, CaPjO, . . 

Sulphate of magnesia, MgSoi , 

Bicarbonate of magnesia, MgCjO, 

Two later analyses by Pratz give the percentage of foreign substances in 1,000 
parts of water as 12*359 and 12-667 respectively (' Bull. Imp. Euss. Geog. Soc., 
1874, No. 5, p. 194). This shows that the water of the Aral Soa is less salt than 
that of the Caspian or of the ocean. 

Mr. Teich, 1871. 

. 00030 


. 0-1115 


. 6-2356 


. 0-0003 


. 0-0033 


. 15662 


. 00016 


. 2-7973 


. 0-1942 




' 6 C« 1-00914 

« 10106 


waters, 270 miles long by 160 broad. The surroundings are 
utterly desolate and uninhabited — everywhere sandy hills and 
stretches of desert. Except birds there are very few signs of 
life. The fauna of the sea is poor in forms, the fish being all 
of the species found in the rivers emptying into it, while the 
moUusks are in part fresh-water forms, and in part a remnant 
of the inhabitants of the old Aral-Caspian basin. The sea itself 
is shallow, it being in no place deeper than 245 feet, and that 
only on the western rocky shore, while in the middle its depth 
is only about 100. feet. On the east and south one can walk 
for miles through the shallow water, and during the time of 
strong winds the bed is for a long distance almost dry. Owing 
to the absence of good harbours^i and the difficulties of getting 
into and out of the mouths of the Syr-Darya and Oxus, the sea 
is almost unnavigable. If we may judge from tradition and the 
reports of previous travellers, it seems to be gradually drying 
up. There are evidences on nearly all sides that it once occupied 
a far greater extent, and the Kliivan expedition found that the 
Aibugir Lake, which was formerly connected with its southern 
jnd, is now become a dry bed. The level of the Aral sea, 
according to the measurements of the exploring expedition of 
1874 under Colonel Thilo, is about 165 feet above the level of 
the ocean, and 250 feet above that of the Caspian Sea.* 

At last the Kara-Kum was passed, and we arrived at the 
station of Yuniisk, some sixteen miles from Kazala, where we 
were obliged to pass Ihe night, as it was too dark to go on, the 
road being in parts much flooded, and there being nothing but 
camels to take us. Starting early in the morning with horses, 
we went on, and soon came in sight of tlie town and tlie tall masts 
of vessels, which showed that at least we had reached the river. 
Many of these masts as we had supposed them to be on • our 
nearer approach turned out to be well-sweeps. We had to go 
by a very round-about road through the Steppe, which was com- 
pletely cut up with small canals, as the Kirghiz sometimes 
irrigate and cultivate tliis part of the country ; and when we had 
nearly reached the town we found in our way a large and deep 
canal, which had much overflowed, and looked somewhat dan- 

> The observations of Zagoskin, Anjou, and Duharael in 1826 gave the level of 
the Aral Sea as 117*6 feet above the Caspian, while those of Struve in 1S68 fixed 
it at 132 feet. 



gerous to cross, as the water was rushing swiftly by. Having 
got safely almost to the deepest part, we stuck there, and for 
nearly an hour our efforts to move were entirely useless, the 
wheels sinking deeper into the mud every moment. We piled 
our pistols, gims, and hand-bags in the back of the carriage, as 
the water nearly reached up to the floor, and began to think 
that we should have to leave them there for the present and 
ride in on the horses. At last, after great exertion, we had other 
horses brought to us from the station, and succeeded in drag- 
ging the vehicles out one after the other, after which we drove 
at once to the Hotel d'Europe, where we had two or three bare 
but tolerably clean rooms, a luxury we had not calculated upon. 


All through the Kara-Kum we met numbers of Kirgliiz 
families, who were going from their winter to their summer 
quarters, seeking pasturage for their cattle and flocks in the 
Steppe south of Orenburg — long caravans of horses and camels 
laden with piles of felt, tent-frames, and household utensils, on 
top of which sat a woman, perhaps with an infant in a cradle 
before her. Sometimes we caught them as they were setting 
up their kibitkas or arranging the fences of reed-mats to protect 
their flocks from the growling wolves. Some of them spend 

i\us muUif \u t\ih Kara-Kum itself^ but the most of them pass 
muxh ot thh fiyr Darya, near the bounds of Khiva. 

TUfsm nomadfl who inhabit the western Steppe are not the 
miffyt [Myipk; aa the true Kirghiz or Buruts who live about the 
lak<5 In/tyk'KuL and in the mountain ranges of Khokand, and 
art ctdhA by the Rwrnmia Kara-Kirghiz (Black Kirghiz), and 
al«o O'li/jkarfienny, or wild mountain Kirghiz. They do not 
call tUammilvfsH Kirghiz, which is a name given them bv the 
ttuMHians, but are known only as Kazakh the same as the Eussian 
CoHHttck. In order to distinguish this from the Eussian word 
th<5 KiisMiunH aro in the habit of calling the race Kirghiz Kaiaah, 
an entirely orronrjous and meaningless name. The name Kazakh 
M wmA in (Jentral Ania, moans simply a vagabond or wanderer, 
and itM iippliciition is evident. It is convenient, however, to 
follow nMit)j;n and continue to Hpeak of them as Kirghiz. 

'I'hn Kirpfhi/ Hp<3ak a language which is one of the purest dia- 
liw^U of Tartar,' though as a race they contain many foreign ele- 
innntrt. TlM\y originat(3(l from several Turkish tribes and families, 
wliloli In thn wjoond half of tlie fifteenth century followed 
HultauM Oirni and Jani Bek in their flight from the tyranny 
of tlioir rulorri to tlio neiglibourhood of Lake Balkash. They 
w«ro Moon joiiuid by otliers, and rapidly became a flourishing 
*ionuuunlty, known by tlieir neighbours asKazaka. The kernel 
of the race in evidently Turkish, and many of the tribes and 
fauillies have the same names as Uzbek tribes in Khokand and 
Hukhara. Guiuing more and more strength and importance, 
th«\v Hoon nuuiUutHl a million of men, with over 300,000 warriors, 
ttuil in \CiW thtur KluuuTevvekel, conquered the cities and pro- 
vinot»8 of Tashkout and Turkistau, which were the seat of the 
Kiixhiz dynasty till 1723. It was in this flourishing period of 
thoir sway that the Kirghiz booame divided into three parts, 
t ho provinces of Tashkent and Turkistan forming the Middle 
Hoixlts the Great Horde going to the east, and the Lesser 
Hor\lo to the west and north.' 

' 'tti* Kir^hii Uii^ua^ vUflutn from T&rcar in the interchange of certain letters, 
/ A\t ♦» ^ iw ^» jA tw », «A Kxr tcA^ i ibr J, p for /, d for L, &c. Few Persian or 
Am14« w«4\U iir^> umJ» Aud thtfr« ;in» manj words r^icu^iar to this d::fcl•:^:t only, us 
if hsi» iK^t (VMMMvl th<» gzwin^ »(a^- 

' rtt* wv\rxl Hv«Ue« Ku4aiA:u ansc:, comes fr.-'in ihe Turki orJ.i, i iiamp. stren 
tK«>k i-.i iut^ cit^vlol. vhis*2x » the accep:eii :er::: ia T^hkeLC, Kh^^iLin :, il i the 


In the beginning of the eighteenth century the Kirghiz, 
through intestine disputes, found themselves in a very bad posi- 
tion — attacked on the south-west by the Kalmuks, on the 
north by the Siberian Cossacks, and on the east by the ruler of 
Jungaria ; and, under the leadership of Abul-Khair Khan, they 
asked Peter the Great to receive them under Bussian protection. 
This request was at that time refused, on account of the want of 
unanimity among the tribes. 

In 1723 the Khan of Jungaria took the city of Turkistan, 
when, rather than submit to him, the Middle and Lesser Hordes 
made a despairing movement westwards, drove out the Bashkirs, 
and occupied all the Steppe between the Aral Sea, the Caspian, 
and the river Ural, and thus became the immediate neighboiu^ 
of the Bussians. It is with this, the Lesser Horde, that the 
Eusfiians have had the chief trouble. Abul-Khair, the Khan of 
the Lesser Horde at this time, was a remarkable man — enthu- 
siastic and able, but cunning and false, and therefore unable 
to maintain long his influence or carry out his plans. Besides 
being Khan of the Lesser Horde he was also chosen Khan of 
the Greater Horde, but was subsequently deposed. He was 
also for a short time Khan in Turkistan, and reigned in Khiva 
until the report of the approach of Nadir Shah drove him away. 
In one of his moments of difficulty, hard-pressed by his rivals, 
he, with a small number of his followers, offered to become 
Bussian vassals. This was in 1730, but his proposition to the 
Bussians was repudiated by the most of the Kirghiz, and it was 
only after much difficulty that they were brought to recognise 
him again as Khan, and that finally in 1734 an agreement was 
made by which Abul-Khair bound himself to keep the Bussian 
boundaries intact and to protect the Bussian trading caravans ; 
and the Bussians in retium agreed to affirm the dignity of Khan 
to his descendants. This agreement, combined with the igno- 
rance of the Bussians of the real feelings and wishes of the 
Kirghiz, was probably the cause of all the troubles of the Steppe. 
By it the principle of the free election of the Khans was over- 
thrown; and the descendants of Abul-Khair, being neither 
personally popular among their countrymen, nor being of the 

Cossacks in a very amusing manner as a contemptuous term for an Asiatic. The 
Great, Middle, and Lesser Hordes are called in Kirghiz Ulu-jtu, Urta-juZt and 



oldest tribe or family, would never have been volantarilj chosen* 
But the Russian generala were blind, and continued for nearly a 
hundred years the miKtaken policy of maintaining titular Khans, 
who often possessed not a shadow of influence or authority 
among their people, and lived chiefly in tlie Euseian forts. 
Though the Kirghiz were now accounted EuEsian subjects, the 
Steppe was even more unquiet and dangerous than before, and 
frequently the Eussian authorities were compelled to maintain 
their proteges and put down, their unruly subjects by force of 
arms, while the trade with the settled countries of Centra] 
Asia was greatly obstructed. In 1824 the Khanate was 
abolished, and the whole country was divided into three dis- 
tricts, which were governed by three Sultana Regent. These 
divisions weie, however, carelessly made, tribal distinctions 
and rights of b^nd not having been recognised, and the diffi- 
culties of the situation were not removed. The Kirghiz had 
great respect for their aristocracy^ and the common people, 
or ' black bone,' were led by the ' white bone ' (the Kirghiz for 
hlViB hlood)^ or the descendants of the old Khans and ruling 
families. These men stood up for their tribes and families in 
defence of the honour and safety of their members. Reverencing 
at the same time bravery, dash, and boldness, and loving their 
freedom, they were always ready to follow the standard of any 
* batyr ' or hero, such as Syrym, Arunha^i, or Keniaar, who might 
appear in the Steppe. The Sultans Regent were either mere 
Eussian creatures, entirely destitute of influence, or they were 
themselves inclined to revolt at times, and neither they nor 
the annual military expeditions from Orenburg could succeed 
in maintaining order in the Steppe. 

The establishment of Russian forts and garrisons in com- 
manding positions in the Steppe by the Governor- General 
Obrutehefj in 1845, and the subsequent advances on the Syr 
Darya, brought about a better state of things ; but it was not 
until the final overthrow of the bandit Iset Kuteharof, and the 
death of the celebrated hatyr Jan Hodja, that the Steppe became 
quiet and safe, and the Russians really gained the position of 
protectors of the Kirghiz, Even then all the causes of danger 
were not removed* 

Some years ago an effort was made to aholieh, as far as 
possiiblej the tribal distinctions of the Kirghiz ai'istocmcy, and 


lor the purposes of a better government the so-called reform 
was introduced into the Orenburg Steppe in the year 1869. 
By this all the Lesser Horde of the Steppe was divided into two 
large districts — ^the district of Uralsk, and the district of Turgai 
— and each district was placed under the command of a Bussian 
military governor, district prefects, and the volost or aul elders. 
The district prefects were of course appointed by the Govern- 
ment, while the rulers of the voloats or aula were elected by the 
inhabitants. It was perhaps carrying the system of elective 
government very far to introduce it into the Steppe among 
people who were accustomed to nothing else than hereditary 
and arbitrary rule, for the Khans, when they were still elective, 
were chosen by the aristocracy only, and the result was very 
great discontent, which broke out into open insurrection. 

It is said by the Eussians that the distrust and dislike of 
the common people for the Sulta.ns and native aristocracy was 
shown by the fact that very few of the officers who were elected 
belonged to the aristocracy, and that persons who enjoyed the 
confidence of the community were refused election merely on 
the ground that they were Sultans ; and it is alleged that the 
disturbances were chiefly stirred up by the Mullahs, who saw 
that their livelihood would be cut off if they were deprived of the 
position they had held as scribes to the Sultans. There is, how- 
ever, no doubt that the great cause of the disturbances was the 
belief, in great measure founded on fact, that the new regulations 
would give the Kirghiz entirely up to the rule of the Cossacks, 
with whom they had always been at variance. In the Turgai 
district the military governor was entirely independent of Oren- 
burg, although he has thus £ir always resided in that city ; but 
the Uralsk district was amalgamated with the Ural Cossacks, as 
the military governor of the Uralsk Kirghiz is also the Ataman 
of the Ural Cossacks. The disturbances were also to some ex- 
tent fomented by the Khan of Khiva, and the result was that 
during the whole of the years 1869 and 1870 the Steppe was 
in great commotion. The pr stal route was blockaded, stations 
were destroyed, and even travellers were captured, some being 
killed and others sold into slavery by the Khan, while the 
small garrisons in the Bussian fortresses in the Steppe were in 
a very dangerous position. Order was ultimately restored, and 
the Steppe is now in a most trafeiquil state. Tne Kirghiz have 

VOL. I. D 


rapidly become accustomed to the new order of things, and if. 'i 
even said that the clannish feeling for the members of the same 
family and tribe is being transferred to the members of ths 
same volost and district. The Middle Horde followed th'i 
Lesser Horde in demanding Russian protection, but it was only 
in 1781, on the death of the bold Sultan Ablai, who by skilful 
coquetry with both Russia and China had managed to retain a 
real independence, that the Eussian sway became fixed. The 
Greater Horde became subject to Russia only in 1847. 

It is very diflScult to calculate the numbers of the Kirghiz, 
but so near as can be ascertained by the return of taxes, which 
amount to three roubles on each kibitka^ there are in all about 
a million and a half. In the Grreater Horde, in the district of 
Alatau, there are about 100,000 of both sexes ; in the Middle 
Horde, occupying the whole of Southern Siberia and country 
north of Tashkent, there are 406,000; and in the Lesser 
Horde, between Fort Perovsky, the Ural, and the Caspian, there 
are 800,000. There is still another horde, the Bukeief, or 
Inner Horde, living in Europe, between the Ural and the Volga, 
numbering perhaps 160,000. This horde was formed in the 
early yuars of the present century by about 7,000 of the Lesser 
Horde, led by Bukeief, a grandson of Abul-Khair, who crossed 
the Ural to occupy the land left vacant by the Kalmuks. In 
1812 Bukeief was confirmed Khan. This is the ancestor of 
Prince Tchinghiz, mentioned in the opening of the chapter. 

The flocks and herds of the Kirghiz form their only wealth, 
and are without doubt a source of income to the empire, though 
it is not easy to calculate the amount. According to the 
statistics of 1869 there were sold by the Kirghiz at the exchange 
bazaars of Orenburg and Troitsk: camels, 1,150 head; horses, 
1,001 head ; herding cattle, 16,031 ; sheep, 273,823, amounting 
in all to 1,500,000 roubles, or 200,000^. At Petropavlovsk, on 
the Siberian border, the sales of cattle from 1856 to 1865 
amounted to over two and a half millions of roubles yearly 
(340,000^.), and ^he sale of leather and hides to 400,000 
roubles (55,000i.) yearly. 

In spite of its Turkish origin the Kirghiz race has almost 
9iS much of a Mongol as of a Turkish type. This is especially 
noticeable in the aristocratic class, above all in their women ; and 
one reason is said to be that the Kirghiz, imtil recent times, 
preterred, whenever possible, to many Kalmul^ women, carry- 


ing them ofif from the confines of China or the Astrakhan steppe. 
It would be very difficult to describe any one face as showing 
the typical Kirghiz traits, for, ranging through slight gradations, 
there are at last strong contrasts to be observed. Still the 
Kirghiz type readily impresses itself on the memory, and seen a 
few times is not soon forgotten. The Kirghiz are in general 
shoit of stature, with round swarthy faces, insignificant noses, 
and small shai*p black eyes, with the tightly-drawn eyelid which 
is seen in all the Mongol tribes. 

In winter the Kirghiz sometimes live in underground huts, 
entered by crooked passages, where children, calves, and colts 
all sleep and play together ; but usually their habitation, both 
in winter and supamer, is a Mbitha^ a circular tent made of felt 
spread over a light wooden frame. This frame is easily taken 
apart and put together, and is so light as to form a load for a 
single camel only. The broad pieces of felt are easily stretched 
over it, so that the whole can be put up in about ten minutes. 
On one side is a door covered by a flap of felt, and the fire 
is built in the middle, the smoke escaping through an opening 
in the roof. The interior of the tent is decorated with pieces 
of ribbon of various kinds, used to fasten down the felt, 
and aroimd the sides the Kirghiz place and hang all their 
valuable goods, consisting of carpets, silk mattresses, and 
clothes, and sometimes, in cases of the richer men, of even silver 
articles, with the trappings of horses and household utensils. 
The kibitJca forms a most comfortable abode, being cool in 
summer and warm in winter. 

Being Mussulmans, the men all shave their heads and 
allow their beards to grow, although usually their beards are 
very insignificant — a straggly tufb of hair scarcely covering 
the chin. They wear immense baggy leather breeches, and 
a coarse shirt with wide flapping collars. Their outer gar- 
ment is a dressing-gown, and they usually wear two or three, 
according to the weather. The rich and distinguished have 
metgnificent velvet robes, richly embroidered with gold and 
silver. A red velvet robe is given by the Government as 
a mark of distinction, and there is nothing the Kirghiz are 
more proud of, unless it be a medal or a cross. They wear 
on thftfr heads embroidered skull-caps, and over those oddly- 
shaped hoods of sheepskin, with the wool inside, or conical felt 

D 2 



hats cut with two sliti* for convenience of turning up the brimifl 
hiul noU ^^ hay been said, that it miglit not be like 
Christian bat, of which they knuw oothing. On grand oc 
uions the \veairhy don tall gt^*eple*cr owned huta, with the briiaj 
turning up in two immense horns, made of felt or usually ol 
velvet, embroidered often with 'i;ohU But their greatest adorn-»i 
meuts are theii" 1>elts, saddles, autl bridles, which are often soj 
covertnl with Bilver, gold, and precious stones as to be almos 
BoUth The women are dressed the same as the men^ but havel 
their heads and necks swathed in louse folds of white cottouj 
cloth, so as to make a sort of bib and turban at the same time 

Htmni !S wnMr.?t. 

Tlit*y npUu t*ml»roi(lt^r — very well too — cook, and do most of the 
w*nk, an (Ike tu*Mi itrf ton Luy to do more than look after the i 
hiiinei, 'Him hayn im* either unked or in a i^hirt and baggj 
brrMolH«i, wiUi cuplrMs nhaven head*^i Hie girls dress like their 
lootht'ii, wUU rhi'lr hmv ^him] liefiintU nud Imuging in front iaj 
II itenrti oC viHV hrujyj tlUe biniilst 

Tbn Klrtflii^ luv in j^enovul bri t^di-r^ of cattle and sheep, 
i\\\s\ \\\i\ nmivh \\\v fn*Nh piiHturi^H is tbe main cause of tHeir I 
H\iii^*db*M" 'M.i Miii Nh'jijie, Vlwy du notj liowever, wander] 


indiscriminately over the vast expanse, but have their settled 
winter and summer quarters, each voloat — as they are now 
divided by the Russians — keeping its own limits. 

Along the Syr-Darya the Kirghiz have to some extent 
begim to cultivate the ground, but in general a person who 
engages in agricultural pursuits is looked down upon by the 
rest. Still, love of gain has been sufficient to counterbalance 
this contempt among the Kirghiz in the vicinity of Aulie-Ata 
and the northern slope of the Alexandrofsky range. There it 
has been found such a lucrative occupation to raise wheat, 
that the Kirghiz Sultans, and after them the lower classes of 
the community, have with eagerness engaged in agriculture. 
It is perhaps one characteristic of nomad life to be utterly 
improvident, and the Kirghiz are particularly so. They are 
able- to go without drink for a whole day, and food for several 
days, and will then gorge themselves to repletion. Their food 
consists principally of mutton, although sometimes, especially at 
great feasts, they will indulge in horse-flesh. Tliey, of course, 
have no bread, but they make a sort of porridge of millet or 
other easily cultivated grain, although many of them never use 
this from one year's end to the other. As a drink tea is now 
greatly used in the Steppe, the Kirghiz buying the cheapest 
kind of what is called ' brick tea ' — ^tea which is hard-pressed 
into moulds, so that it resembles bricks — otherwise they always 
have Icumys — a liquor made of fermented mare's milk. Kumya 
is sourish to the taste, but not unpleasant, and possesses agree- 
able exhilarating although not intoxicating qualities. It is 
rapidly coming into use in fiussia, especially in the neigh- 
bourhood of Samara, as a cure for many diseases. One of 
their favourite drinks, especially in Central Asia, is buza^ a 
kind of beer made of grain, the effect of which is immediately 
to stupefy and deaden the senses rather than to inebriate. 

In religion the Kirghiz are regarded as Mohammedans, al- 
though few have any fixed religious principles, as they have no 
settled priests, and but few can read or write. The rite of circum- 
cision is performed by Tartar Mullahs, who wander through the 
Steppe, some kept as secretaries to rich Sultans, and others en- 
deavouring to gain a livelihood by the profession of a pious life 
or the profession of medicine. They rarely pray, and their faith is 
mingled with many superstitious notions derived from paganism 


and Shamanism, It is only externally that they are Mussulmans. 
On being asked what religion they have, unaccustomed to such 
a form of the question, they will say they do not know, but at 
the same time they would repel with vigour any insinuation 
that they were not good Mussulmans, 

It is a curious fact that the Kirghiz were converted to 
Mohammedanism by the mistaken efforts of the Russian 
Government, At first but a few of their sultans and chiefs 
had any idea of the doctrines of Islam, and there was not a 
mosque nor a mullah in the Steppe, but the Russians (just as 
they insisted on using the Tartar language in intercourse with 
them) insisted on treating them as though they were Moham- 
medans, built mosques and sent mullahs, until the whole people 
l)ecame outwardly Mussulman, although the farther from the 
Russian lines, and the nearer to the settled populations of 
Central Asia, the weaker was the faith. In the same way the 
Buriats during the present century were made Buddhists by 
the Russian officials, when they were nothing but Shamanists. 
It would have been easier, had the Government known it, to 
convert both races to Christianity at the outset. In the reign 
of Alexander I., when mysticism and religious enthusiasm 
were in vogue, and the Russian Bible Society flourished, English 
and Scotch missionaries had colonies in Irkutsk, Astrakhan, 
and Orenburg. Mirza Kasem-Beg, the well-known professor of 
St. Petersburg, was the most prominent convert of the Presby- 
terian mission under John Mitchell at Astrakhan. At Oren- 
burg the colony headed by Fraser left an excellent name after 
their forced departure, and tlie house they built, just beyond 
the town, is still known as ' the English house.' 

The Kirghiz, owing to the simplicity of their' life, are far 
more children of nature than most other Asiatics, and have all 
the faults and virtues of children. Probably the first acquaint- 
ance with them will be found disagreeable, and certainly the 
side a traveller sees is their worst, but on knowing them more 
intimately one cannot help liking and even respecting them, 
and it is the verdict of everyone who has lived in Central Asia 
that the Kirghiz are superior to all the other races. 

The men devote themselves almost entirely to the care of 
their horses, leaving all the work to be done by the women, and 
leading in general a lazy shiftless life, although when it comes to 


riding they are indefatigable, and will go hundreds of miles 
without seeming to be in the slightest degree tired. They are 
hospitable, often to a fault, to one of their own race or to 
a fellow Mussulman, nor do I believe that a Christian would 
fare worse among them. I certainly, whenever I happened to 
meet them on the Steppe, was well received, and everything 
which the family possessed was offered to me. They are 
sociable, and always eager for fresh news ; even the telling or 
repeating it has a great charm for them ; and as soon as a man 
arrives among them with a piece of news one of the family will 
immediately start off on a fresh horse and convey th« intelli- 
gence to some distant acquaintance. In this way news travels 
through the Steppe almost as if by telegraph. Contrary to most 
other Asiatics, the Kirghiz are unsuspicious, and with child-like 
innocence believe all that is told them ; they are, however, 
themselves far from truthful, though rather from laziness than 
wilful intent to deceive. Their promises are little to be de 
pended upon, and in making a bargain with them, if they once 
obtain what they want, it is diflBcult to secure the performance 
of their part of the contract. They are light-minded and fickle, 
and easily influenced by the persons with whom they are for the 
moment associated. One of their best traits is their respect for 
age and the authority of their superiors. In war they are in 
general cowardly, though they are found to make excellent 
scouts, partly from their untiringness, and partly from their 
acquaintance with nature and capacity for observation. They 
can see or somehow divine a way in the darkest night, and it 
seems hardly possible for them to get lost in the desert or 
steppe. They measure space by the distance which the voice 
will reach or the eye can observe. They are not cruel by 
nature, and their wars or expeditions, when they undertake 
them, are rather for purposes of plunder than revenge. 
Plundering expeditions are frequent among those Kirghiz who 
are under Kussian rule, though such baruniics are severely 
punished if the perpetrators are discovered. The loss of horses 
04" sheep is a sufficient reason lor a baranta^ or plundering ex- 
pedition on a large scale, against one's neighbours, to indemnify 
oneself — really a sort of lynch-law. In disposition they are 
DLerry and good-natured, and devoted to music, constantly sing- 
inif to themselves. They have many songs not devoiA. oi xsiwdsi 



simple poetry, and as musical instruments liave, besides tli^ 
jewijharp^ u sort of guitar and a drum. 

Being Mobammedaiis, they use to the full extent th ' 
pri%ileg6 of having many wives^, though the first wife k always 
the mistress of the klhitka^ and takes rank o%^er the others- 
The seclusion of the harem is impossible in a tent on the Steppe?, 
and the women are therefore unveiled, nor is any effor' 
made to keep them from the observation of the men* One 
curious thing, however, in connection with their life is that, a4 
a mark of respeet to their husbands and male rekti\'es, they ar^ 
not allowed to mention their real names [^ the presence o^ 
others, but must either call them by some term adopted for thi^ 
purpose or use a circumlocution. An incident is related of 


a Kirghiz woman who wanted to say that a wolf had stolen n 
sheep and taken it to the reedy shore of the lake, Unfortuoiitely 
the men of the tamily bore names corresponding to moat oi 
these words, and she was obliged to gik*p out that Mn tht 
rustling beyond the wet a growler gnaws one of om^ woollies," 

A circumciiiion, a marriage, or a tiuieral feast among tlu 
Kirghiz is the signal for a large festival, accompanied by gamen 
and horse-races. To these men will sometimes ride one or tw(* 
hundred miles for the mere chance of regaling themselves for 
two or thiee days at another e expense and take their share or 


gorging on whole-roasted sheep and horses. If the horses — foi 
racing — are good, the races are the main feature of the feast, 
and large crowds remain seated with the utmost attention 
to look for the winner. The races being long, often twelve, 
fifteen, or twenty miles, the horses are usually started at a dis- 
tance, as the race is generally in a straight line, and not round 
* a circular course. Sometimes very high prizes are offered. I 
was invited to a toi, or feast, near Aulie-ata, where it was said 
would be some celebrated racers from Khokand, and the highest 
prize was as much as 600 roubles, which to a Kirghiz is a very 
great sum. Usually horses are given as prizes. The Kirghiz 
horses are wiry*tid enduring, and when really of good stock will 
show qualities in these long races which are truly wonderful. I 
saw one race of this kind some years ago, near Orenburg, where 
about a hundred horses were entered, ridden by boys and girls 
of various ages, all dressed in much the same way, and all sitting 
their horses alike, without either saddle or stirrups. This 
being a race got up for the Grand Duke Vladimir, who was 
then there, it was four times round a course marked out on 
the Steppe, making in all 20 versts, or over 13 miles, and was 
won in 29 minutes and 30 seconds. At first the horses ran 
pretty well together, but by the time they had made the course 
once they were widely scattered, and some passed on the second 
round the horses which had not yet completed the first. I sa^ 
at the same time a camel-race, for which three camels and a 
dromedary were entered. The poor animals were much 
frightened and confused by the crowd, and had to be dragged 
along and whipped on by horsemen, both wlien they started and 
as they came in. They started ofif witli a shuffling uneasy trot; 
but on the other side of the course, where tliey were free, they 
went along very well. The dromedary — which was ridden by 
a dark-looking fellow, who seemed as if he were being thrown 
high into the air from the animal's single hump at every step — 
led the race in ; but the horseman who had seized the bridle to 
guide him let go too soon, and away he went blindly among 
the crowd. A camel ridden by a young girl of about eighteen 
actually came in first, and took the prize. 

Besides the racing there is usually wrestling, and especiall} 
the national sport of baiga, where one man holds a kid thrown 
over his saddle, and everyone else tries to teai \V ^xc^vcv \i\xsi* 


Tliere is one race, calletl tlie * Lov<^ Cliase,' wTiich may be con- 
csiderej ;i pEiit of tlic fnrin of marria^fe amoii*^ the Kir^hi^, In 
tiiii!? thi? bride, nnued with a formidable wliip, juuuiits a fleet 
hori^e, and U pursued by all the joimy; men who make any pr&» 
tensioTis to lier haud* She will be given as u prize to the one 

A KisnniY., 

who e^itcbeg her, but sbe has the right, besides urging on her 
horse to the utmosi, to use ber whip, often with n® mean force, 
to keep off' those lovej'tj wiiu are nnwelcorae to her, and tshe will 
probably favour ih^ one wliom she has already chowen in her 
hmrt. ASf bu^^ Kiri^hiis cuatom, u suitor to the hand of 


a maiden is obliged to give a certain halym^ or purchase-money, 
and an agreement must be made with the father for the amount 
of dowry which he gives his daughter, the * Love Chase ' is a 
mere matter of form. The kalym often consists, with rich in- 
dividuals, of as many as forty-seven horses, and perhaps a 
niedium would be thirty-seven cattle and a few horses. In the 
dowry given by the father must always be included a kibitka for 
the use of the bride. As mullahs are very rare in the Steppe, a 
religious ceremony of any kind at a marriage is unusual, but 
one thing must be strictly performed : after the women have 
sung the virtues of the bride, and the men have chanted those 
of the husband, telling of his great exploits, how many cattle he 
has stolen, and in how many marauding expeditions he has en- 
gaged, the young man must enter the kibitka where the bride 
is seated and take her out, although both entrance and exit 
are forcibly opposed by all her friends. This is probably a 
remnant of the old primitive custom when marriage was an act 
of capture. 




KflKtla—rart Ho. 1— Commorcial importance — Cordial reCeption^Talk of 
tha KhaTan e3J^edition^P^wpacta of joiniDg it — Sospiciotja— Frustrated 
Hopos — Wq expMn — Arrival of Eusahm captives from Khiva — The S^ 
Darjii — ObtittkileB to uavigaciotiT and efforts to imppoTeit — The Aral floiilia 
— A fctrangs birth placs^Foit Ko. 2 — A Kirghiz cemetery — A Mugeulnmii 
Baint^Port Poroveiy— MauGahau etarts for Kliiva — The Kyjsjl Kum 
dtiJiert— Mazreti- Inrkifitan — Mausoleum of Akhined YanavJ — In^riptiona 
— Ik&n — Its biUTO defenco — Tchimkunt, 

OiTR first care on arriving at our hotel at Kazala and taking 

possession of onr three rooms, with their dusty tiled floors, was 

to order a hot bath in the little Russian bath-housoj and a 

Lgood dinner j and while these were preparing ipe set out to sea 

f the rivetj for that, after so much desert, ^vas the main attraction 

to us< We had not far to go tlirough the wide streets, with 

their low mud houses, before we found ourselves under the 

regular slopes of the fortress, on the ramparts of which were 

anding some new rifled cauaon, and just beyond it the JSyr 

' Darya rushed along in a wide turbid yellow flood- Workmen 

were busy putting together a small iron barge ; and farther 

dowuj close under the guns of the fortj lay anchored the steamers 

of the Aral flotilla. 

In 1847 tlie Russians built a little fortification at the very 
mouth of the Syr Darya, which they called Fort Raim — the 
lirst step in that course of Asiatic conquest which is not even 
yet terminated. This post was, however, very unhealthy, 
and subject to frequent overflows, and in 1855 the fort was 
transferred to the present position, where the little branch 
Kaisala parts from the main river, and where two years before a 
Bmall fort, called No, 1, had beeu erected. Since that time it 
has been called indiscriminately either Kazala, Kazalinsk, or 
Fort Ko# 1, Even here in the spring the inundations are m 


great thai Kazala is then nothing but a small island in a waste 
of waters. The fort is so close to the bank of the river that it 
is expected that with the constant changes and wearings of the 
current the walls will be undermined and gradually washed 
away. It is a regular fortification, with thick walls of mud- 
bricks, glacis, and ditches, and would be capable of good 
defence even against civilised enemies; of course against 
Khivans or Turkomans it is absolutely impregnable. Inside 
.are the barracks, the shops, and the houses of the different 
officers. The usual garrison consists of a battery of artillery, 
and two sotniaa of Cossacks.* Round the fortress has grown up 
a little town, now containing at least 3,000 or 4,000 inhabitants, 
and in the bazaar a lively trade is kept up with the Kirghiz. 
Kazala lies at the junction of all the trade-routes in Central 
Asia, as the road from Orenburg meets here with the Khivan, 
Bukharan, and Tashkent roads. Here, too, is the chief post on 
the river Syr Darya. Should the Asiatic trade be developed, 
Kazala is likely to become a considerable commercial centre, 
and even now the trade is large. The advantages of Kazala 
would, however, be much increased by the erection of proper 
storehouses for goods, and by the establishment of a branch of 
'some bank. At present goods arriving from Orenburg or 
other places frequently come here at the times when, owing to 
the state of the roads, it is impossible to carry them farther, 
and they must therefore be stored here for some weeks, or 
possibly months. In addition to there being no good store- 
houses, the owners of the goods are sometimes small capitalists 
unable to afford the delay, and are therefore forced to sell 
the goods at a low price to the local traders of Kazala, who 
take advantage of their necessities. With the extension of 
railways the great fair at Nizhni-Novgorod, where the pro- 
ducts of the East and West have for centuries been exchanged — 
will probably be moved eastward, and in that case Kazala will 
reap great advantages. 

Orenburg seems the natural centre of the Bukharan and 
Khivan trade ; many of the merchants of those cities have 
personally been to Orenburg, and have several commercial con- 
nections there, and would always prefer to continue their trade 

> A sotnia contains usually 120 men. 



through that city^ even should the possible advance of railways 
in a different direction— through Southern Siberia, for instance 
— effect a slight econoray of freight on sending their wares to a 
different market. This relation of the two Khanates to Oren- 
burg will always make Kaxala a trade-centre, as being the only 
place of importance on the road- It is, however, a most dull 
:^ and uncomfortable place of residence, as the sun streams down 
with great force here during the whole of the summer, and hot 
winds prevail. 

It has not yet been found possible to raise any trees, or at 
most their number can be counted on one's fingers* Even at 
this time we found the heat great, as, when rested and refreshed, 
we strolled about the bazaar, inspecting and pricing the horses 
and camels, with a view to eventualities ; peering into the little 
shops kept by Bukharans, and even Khivans, in their long 
strioed robes j wondering at the ringleted Jews, living so far 
fi^om the rest of their race, and yet so very Hebrew-like, We 
inspected the piles of felt, the heaps of kibitka fi^ames, and 
the rows of iron caldrons, and watched the broad-shouldered 
hard-faced Kirghiz chaffering and bargaining. Passing beyond 
the ba^iaar, we entered one good shop, where wines, potted 
meats, pates de foie graa^ English ale, and tinned American 
lohsters are in store for famished travellers, and were accosted 
by a kindly old Colonel, who askedif we were not the Americans 
who had just left him a letter of introduction from G-eneral 
Kryzhanovsky, He proved to be Colonel Kosaref, the Corn- 
man darjt, and gave us at once a most cordial invitation to take 
tea with him. The simplicity and kindliness of our reception 
made us at once feel at home, and we passed a pleasant evening 
in chatting with our host about the Steppe, which he knew so 
well, the Kirghii^, and the lonely life which he had led here at 
Kaaala; before that at Fort No* 2, and still earlier for sixteen 
years at Fort Alexandrovsk, on the Caspian Sea^ where there was 
at times communication with Riissia but once or twice a year. 
Two or three officers entered, witli whom we made acquaint^ 
ance ; and otie, Captain Verestchagin, acting for the nonce as 
district prefect, observed us so narrowly and curiously that it 
was evident his suspicions were aronsed about our purposes. 
Though the town was small, the Commandant insisted on 
hadug his di-oshky brought up for us, lest we might lose our 



way in th<5 dark, and we were safely convoyed past all the 

The next day was the Eussian Easter day, and we took advan- 
tage of the Russian custom to call on all our acquaintances of the 
previous day, as well as to make new ones. It seemed strange 
to us, after our tiresome journey, when we felt that we were so 
far from Europe and civilisation, to hear persons talking of 
going home on leave of absence, and of visiting the Vienna 
Exposition, or of spending the summer in Switzerland, as though 
the journey were nothing at all. I made acquaintance with 
one lady, for instance, who had come alone all the way from the 
borders of Poland in order to marry a man whom she had never 
seen, the marriage having been arranged by common friends. 
As the Russian customs do not allow a marriage in Lent, the 
lady, who had arrived a fortnight before, was still in a state of 
single blessedness, although the marriage was expected to come 
off during the week, and the happy husband was to leave 
immediately for the Khivan expedition. 

At Kazala all the talk was about Khiva. The Kazala 
division had left some time before, and was now supposed to be 
at Irkibai, where a fort was to be erected. Couriers were ar- 
riving from it once or twice a week, and occasionally there was 
one from the Orenburg division, beyond the Emba. A good 
part of the garrison had joined the expedition, and the rest 
were therefore much interested in it. We were urged to go on 
to Khiva, and it was even suggested that a passage might be 
given to us on the steamer ' Samarkand,' which was to start in a 
few days, and was expected to join the expedition in the 
neighbourhood of Kungrad, if it should succeed in getting so 
far. Circumstances looked so promising that I had nearly 
made up my mind to accompany my companion to Khiva, if it 
were possible to secure a passage on the steamer, as thus the 
journey would be comparatively easy, even should we be obliged 
to stay a week or so on the shallow waters of the Aral Sea. 

We were both doomed to disappointment. One morning 
Captain Verestchagin — the same who had looked at us so 
curiously the first night at the Commandant's — called on us. 
He now stated that he had strict orders to allow no one what- 
ever to go on to Khiva, and he had thought it perhaps his duty 
to send us back to Orenburg, but that, as I baA. Xstwy^siX. 'aa^ 

official letter to the Commsmdant, and be was willing to voucli 
for usj we would be allfiwed to go on to Taahkent. In support 
of his statement he wished me to read two papers. One of 
these was an order from the Governor-General, signed by the 
Governor of the province, stating that should Europeans de- 
eire to enter the province of Turkistan for porposea of trade 
they were not to be allowed to do so without a special written 
permission from the Gov'^emor-General, and in default of this 
were to be &ent back to the place from which they bad come* 
I laughingly said to Captain Verestchagin that I was much 
obliged to him for showing me this document, but that I could 
not see how it affected me, as I waa not an European, nor had 
I come there for piu^oses of trade- The other paper was an 
exceptional order, stating that on the recommendation of 
Admiral Bock two Swiss gentlemen of good family, M, Picqnet, 
of Lausanne, and M. RivaB, of Neufchatel, who were travelling 
for scientific purposes, and without political aims, and who 
intended to go from India through Central Asia, would be 
allowed to proceed^, and that facilities were to be offered them. 
It flTOidd, indeed, have been rather absurd had these poor 
travellers arrived at the Eussian frontier, after passing through 
the dangers of Afghanistan and Bukhara, only to be ' sent back 
to the place from which they had come.' I have never been 
able to hear more of these two travellers, except that many 
months afterwards I received information from Balkh that two 
persons, whom I fear to be the same, one disguised as a Jew and 
the other as a Tartar, supposed to be Russian spiesj as they had 
piipers on them written in Russian, had been murdered by order 
of the Amir of Balkh. 

The communication of this zealous official convinced ray 
eompanion that there was no possibility of reaching Khiva from 
Kazala, and he resolved to start at once for Tashkent, hoping to 
have better luck either there or on the road to that place* It 
was probably very fortunate for us that we did not sail in the 
' Samarkand/ The steamer was detained a long while at the 
mouth of the river by the obstructions in the channel, and the 
party which left it to join the army of General Verevkin at 
Kimgrad were all murdered by the Turkomans, As we were 
about starting the next day the Commandant came to us and of 
his own accord gave us an explanation of the action of Captain 


Veresicbagin, saying that as he was a young official left for a 
short time with brief authority he was fearful of taking upon 
himself any responsibility, and desired to recommend himself to 
the Government by the strictness and zeal with which he per- 
formed his duties. 

A short time before we were at Kazala the Khivan Embassy 
arrived, bringing the Eussian prisoners who had been enslaved 
there, and for whose delivery the war was nominally begun. 
They did not meet with the expedition, as they had taken a 
route close along the eastern shore of the Aral Sea. It being 
winter they were able to obtain water by melting tlie snow. 
As the letters brought by the ambassadors were addressed to 
General Kaufmann no one at Kazala was willing to take the 
responsibility of opening them, and accordingly information was 
sent to him by courier, and after some time wors ^Kae back 
that the ambassadors as well as the prisoners were to oo forwarded 
to him at the head-quarters of the expedition. There were 
twenty-one of these prisoners, and during my stay at Kazala they 
could be seen about the town in the striped cotton gowns which 
had been presented to them by the Khan on their departure. 
They all said they had had a hard time of it, but apparently had 
not suffered very much, although they were heartily glad at their 
release, and most of them were celebrating their freedom by 
getting drunk. The majority of them were Cossacks, and com- 
mon soldiers, although there were three or four clerks and mer- 
chants among them. Three of these men were brouglit to see 
me — a Cossack soldier, who had been captured at Fort Irghiz in 
1869, and two clerks, who together with a companion were taken 
also in the same year. One of these clerks was aged thirty-two, 
and the other about twenty-four. They were engaged in supply- 
ing the military stations with salt meat, and were also engaged 
in trading with the Kirghiz, when suddenly, near a station on the 
Aral Sea, they were captured by a band of hostile Karghiz, tied 
to their saddles, and taken by long marches, day and night, to 
Khiva, where they were sold. This was during the disturbances 
in the lOrghiz Steppe consequent on the new regulations. As 
poon as they reached Khiva they were bought by the Khan, with 
most of the other prisoners, for his private use, and lived for 
the greater part of the time in one of his gardens outside of the 
city, where most of them were obliged to act as g|u:4^>QL^xik> 

ttioiigii those who knew any special trade were made to work hj 
preference at that. As to fare they were treated in the same 
way as the Persian slaves, of whom there were very large 
numbers J and lived chiefly on fruit 5 rice, and an occasional bit 
'f mutton or tallow. They were at first treated with great 
severity, and efforts were made to compel them to become 
MussalmanSj force even being threatened; but the Khan on 
finding this out at last gave orders that no one should be made 
to change his religion unless he wished. They described the 
Khan as being personally good-natured, and frequently saying a 
word or two to them as he passed through the garden, and laid 
on the Divan-Reghi, or Vizi or j the whole blame of the hostile 
relations of the Khanate to Russia, 

While at Kazala I had an opportunity of visiting and in- 
B peeling the steamers and barges of the Aral flotilla which were 
then moored there ; but before speaking of this flotilla and of 
its utility I must say a few words about the river Syr Darya 

The Syr Darya or River Syr^ {dwrya meaning river or water- 
course) was known to the Greeks as laxartes, and was said by 
Strabo and others to empty into the Caspian Sea. The Arab 
geographers of the Middle Ages called it the Sihun, just as 
they called the Ainu-Darya^ or Oxus, Jikun or O^ihon^ but speak 
of it as flowing into the Sea of Aral. No European traveller 
in Central Asia mentions the river before the Englishman 
Anthony Jenkinson^ and in his map, made in 1558, be marks 
it as falling into the Aral Sea, which be calls the 'Chinese lake.' 
But even in spite of this on the maps of the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries it is marked as flowing into the Caspian* 
The Russians, however, through their intercourse with the 
Asiatic tribes, knew more about the river^ and in the * Book of 
the Great Survey,' written in 1627 to explain previous maps, it 
is said that the river Syr Darya flows into the Blue Sea (Aral 
Sea) from the east. 

The river takes its rise amid the high plateaus and ranges 
of the Tian Shan^ to the south of the lake Issyk-Kul, at an 
elevation of from 11,500 to 12,000 feet, being formed chiefly 
from the Petrof Glacier, At an elevation of 1 1 jOOO feet the 
small streams already make a considerable river, which is soon 
tnown by the name af Taragai, and after its junction with the 



Karasai and the Kurmenta, a distance of about 100 milei from 
its source, it receives the name of Naryn. The Naryn flow8 
through mountain defiles, always with a swift current, over a 
bed full of rocks, with a rapid fall, until near Balyktchi, in 
Khokand, it unites with the river Kara Kuldja. This latter river 
is chiefly called by the natives Syr Darya, and is held by them 
to be the real river, the Naryn beiiijaf considered only a branch. 
The Kara-Kuldja takes its rise in the Alai mountains, near the 
pass of Terek-Da van, which leads to Kashgar. The character 
of this stream, the course of which has not yet been thoroughly 
explored, is far different from that of the Naryn, as it flows along 
qidetly and peacefully, is not deep, and is in many places fordable. 
Its valley is wide and fertile, and was formerly known as the 
vale of Fergana. But the valley of the Naryn, on the contrary, is 
at times merely a narrow defile, although widening out in places 
to a breadth of from three to five miles. The junction of the 
two rivers is about 470 miles from the source of the Naryn. 
From the junction, the river, now called by all the Syr Darya, 
becoming broad and turbulent, and partaking in a great measure 
of the characteristics of the Naryn, both as to the swiftness of its 
curireiit and the muddy colour of its waters, flows on in a south- 
westerly direction, somewhat past the town of Hodjent, when 
it turns to the north and north-west. In the neighbourhood of 
Hodjent the river receives some small tributaries from the 
mountains of the south, but after that the only water which 
it receives comes from the small streams rising in the Kara-tau 
mountains, especially the Tchirtchik and Agengeran, in the 
neighbourhood of Tashkent, and the Arys and Bugun, between 
Tchimkent and Turkistan. 

As long as the Syr Darya receives the mountain streams 
there is plenty of water in the nver, the depth being from 
twenty to forty feet, and the width in places more than a third 
of a mile. The current is very swift at times, even as much as 
eight feet in a second, although this is of course during the 
high water. The rapidity of the stream changes several 
times during the day, being greatest at ten or eleven o'clock 
in the morning, then gradually diminishing till two in the 
afternoon, and then increasing again. The amount of water in 
the river changes several times in the year, but this is especially 
noticeable at three seasons : about the end of M^axcJci^ ora. \Xsa 

« 3 



breaking up of the ice, wlien the hig^b water lasts for about ten 
days ; iu J^Iay, on tbe melting of the snow on the lower hills ; and 
in June and July, on the melting of the snow on the mountain* 
tops, when the increase of water is greatest^* From the station 
of Tiumen-aryk the Syr Darya, still with plenty of water, runs 
on in a broad stream through a tortuous channel between 
tolerably high banks as far as Fort Perovsky-, Here begins the 
third phase of the river, for it runs over level ground, with 
scarcely any fallj to the Aral Sea, The banks are covered with 
reeds and swaraps ; and tbe river, instead of taking in tributaries, 
sends off numerous branches, which become lost in the sand, 
and the lack of water and tlie numerous shoals greatly impede 
navigation, Tlie chief of these branches is called Jany 
Daiya, or Yany-Darya — the y of Turki becoming j io tbe 
-Kirghiz dialect — and leaves the main river nearly opposite 
to Fort Perovsky, running in a south-westerly direction to- 
wards the month of the Amu Darya, The Dame moans ^ new 
river,' and tliere is a Kirj>^hi7. tradition that it was formed in 
part artificially towards the end of the last century, but this is 
evidently an old channel of the river which perhaps had become 
closed up, and in which at that time the water began again to 
flow. The water rarely flows for more than about 150 miles in 
this river, when it is lost in the sand. I'he marshes below 
Fort Perovsky are very great. Of the two arms into which the 
main river is here divided, the rights Kara-Uziak, is at first a 
broad stream of five or six hundred feet, and flows with a rapid 
current ibr abont twenty-five mileB, when it is entirely lost in the 
marehes, and forms lakes and islands, including many floating 
islands, covered with jungles of reeds. After some forty miba 
of such swamps this branch again flows out as a large river for 
abont fifty miles, till it joins the main river at Karamaktchi, or 
Fort No* 2. The left bmnch, tbe Jamau-Darya, or * bad rivejv' 
roust therefore be considered the main stream. It is nearly 
1^0 miles long, and has received its name on account of its 
shoals and the narrowness and tortuousness of its channeL In 
Bome parts it is not more than 200 feet wide. Below Fort 
No. 2 aie some small arms which branch from the riveij but 
from this point to the s^ it is more easily navigable. 

* TIio periodical flfloda of the Sjr Dapja IwiTS a moat importaot iaSuDnee on tbt 
cultivjitiu«-of the knd along Ita boukii. 


K is now, I believe, a well-settled fact that the Amu Darya, 
or Oxus, formerly flowed into the Caspian Sea. The explorations 
which have been conducted with regard to what is called the 
* ancient bed' show that it really was the channel of a deep and 
broad river. There is good reason to believe also that the 
ancient geographers were right in saying that the Syr Darya 
also discharged its waters into the Caspian, although in a some- 
what diflferent manner from what has generally been imagined.* 

The following theory was suggested to me by my friend 
Colonel Tchaikofsky, at Samarkand, who had lived a long time 
in Central Asia and was familiar with the country ; and subse- 
quent study and personal investigation have satisfied me of its 
great plausibility. 

It would seem strange that such a powerful river as the Amu 
Darya, after flowing in a general north-westerly direction, should 
suddenly turn almost at right angles in its course and run south- 
westerly to the Caspian. Eivers do not do this unless there is 
some natural obstacle to prevent their keeping on in a straight 
com-se, and in this case it is evident there is no such obstacle, 
from the tact that the river now flows in the same general north- 
westerly direction to the Aral Sea. 

Some have supposed that this change of bed was owing to a 
gradual change of inclination and level in the surface of the 
Steppe towards the NE., and it may be that such a change has 
really taken place, but it will be noticed on looking at the map 
that the Jany Darya, which leaves the Syr Darya at Fort 
Perovsky, nmning in a south-westerly direction, is nearly in a 
line with the ' ancient bed ' of the Oxus ; and as far as investi- 
gations have been made there seem to be traces of an ' ancient 

* A map of the Russian dominions was made in the reign of the Tsar Fedor 
(1584-1598). In 1627 this map had become yery old and worn, and it was re- 
newed and corrected, and accompanied by an exact written description, to which 
the title was given of * Book of the Great Survey/ The map has unfortunately 
disappeared, but the book is full of precious materials for geography, and contains 
some curious indications for that of Central Asia. Among them is the following, 
Ed. Yazykof, 1838, p. 72: *From the Khvalym (Caspian) Sea to the Blue Sea 
(Aral) toward the place of sunrise in summer, in a straight line is 250 .versts. 
Along the Blue Sea to the mouth of the river Syr is 280 versts. Across the Blue 
Sea is 60 versts ; and in the Blue Sea the water is salt. The river Arzaz, or 
Argaz, flows out of the Blue Sep and into the Sea of Khvalym. Into the river 
Arzaz from the east flows the river Amu Darya. To the source of the Amu Dazya 
is 300 versts, and to the source of the Aizaz is 1,060 versts.' 



bed ' IB the same line from the Amu Darya, in a north -westerly 
direction, aa if to meet the Janj Darya.' There are also traces 
of an old river-bed in an easterly aad north-westerly direction, 
from Fort Perov^^ky, on the other side of the Syr Darya. It 
would seem that the waters of the Tchu and Sary-suj which are 
now loBt in the Saumal Kiilj^ Tele Kul, and other lakes and 
Bwamps, were formerly conveyed into the Syr Darya near 

The Tchn ia now barely navigable in the upper course to 
below Tokmak, and ia then bo lost in the smids that even a 
imall boat cannot proceed on it. 

The Tebu tiikea its rise in the Tian Shan, to the sonth of 
the Alexandrovsky range, and to the eouth-west of I&syk KuL 
At the head of the Biiam Pass the river is about four milea 
distant from the Issyk Kuh There is now a seqbI] channel con- 
necting the lake with the river, and in spring floods the river 
ia as apt to flow into the lake as the lake is to flow into the 
river. Lake Issyk Kul, which is a large body of water, 120 
miles long by thirty-three wide, has at present no ontlet. Its 
shores, however, afford indubitable evidence of numeroiiB eleva- 
tions and depressions. At one time the water evidently reached 
the bases of the suiTounding mountains, at a height of some 
hundred feet above the present river. 

From the Buam Pase^ and along the valley of the Tchu, far 
below Tokmak, there is every evidence of the river having been 
formerly much greater and higher than at present. It is 
probable, therefore, that at some previous time in the world's 
history Lake lasyk Kul — itself fed by small streams and the 
BTiaws of the surrounding mountains — discharged its waters 
into the Tchu^ The Tchu, running north-westerly, with a 
broad and rapid stream, received perhaps also the water of the 
great lake of Ealkash, with its large tributaries the Ili and the 

' Since writing the abo^-e I have been informed by Colonel Sol>olef, of thd 
Amw Darja Exploring Expt^diLion of 1874, that he feund & itido and well marked 
rivep-bed eitending from Um Amu Darya at Shumkhana to tlie north -eaatj in ths 
dirvctioo of tlie J&ny Darya. This he e3tpl<>i%d for iome forty miles. Mnjot 
Wood, who jiccompanied the expedition, believes Uiat the c^tirse of the Am a 
Btipya may hare been cbangod thrtjugh Uie irrigation meals near Khiva, whidi 
took off so much water dujring the BUmmer flooda Unit th« rt^mainder was unequ«i 
to the task of wuHhing away th<] i^ilt deposited lU the river-bed dufing tho hm 
wut&r of winter. 


Karatal ; then turned westerly and received other rivera, such 
as the Sary-su, to the neighbourhood of Fort Perovsky, and 
then probably ran iii a south-westerly direction through the 
bed of what is now the Jani Darya and the * ancient bed ' of 
the Amu Darya, until it emptied into the Caspian Sea. The 
Syr Darya and Amu Darya were, therefore, probably only large 
branches of the river Tchu. When a depression of the basin of ^ 
lake Issyk Kul took place the waters of the lake were prevented 
from emptying into th'fe Tchu. The volume of water in this 
river was therefore much lessened, and owing to the spongy 
nature of the soil, it formed large marshes and small lakes, and 
became entirely lost before it reached the meridian of Fort 
Perovsky. The rapid current of the Syr Darya, no longer 
turned by a powerful river coming from the east, impinged 
violently upon the opposite bank, creating large swamps and 
morasses, and finally found its way through them along the 
almost level Steppe imtil it emptied by various channels into 
the northern end of the Aral Sea, as at present. 

In the same way the Amu Darya continued its course in a 
north-westerly direction, forming marshes about the places 
where it formerly turned at right angles into the * ancient bed,' 
and found a new outlet in the southern end of the Aral Sea. 
This would be quite sufficient to account for the legends which 
exist with regard to the sudden change of the waters of the 
Amu Darya, and for the fact of its having been found impossible 
to restore the river to its ancient bed, although dykes and dams 
were erected by its inhabitants to prevent it from overflowing 
the country and creating marshes. 

The stretch between Fort No. 2 and Fort Perovsky is the 
great obstacle to the successful navigation of the Syr Darya. 
All attempts to better it seem to have been imsuccessful. The 
ill success of the first attempt, in 1853, at the navigation of 
this portion of the river was attributed to the breaking of the 
dyke at Kara Bugut, near the separation of the Jani Darya, 
which was said to have lowered the water in the Jaman 
Darya. In the autunm and winter this dyke was rebuilt, but 
in the next year it was again broken. In 1856 Lieutenant 
Butakof attempted to widen a small stream connecting the 
Kara-uziak with the Jaman Darya, in hopes of avoiding the 
navigation of the very narrowest part of the river^ «ciA \<ei'^\Ivcv^ 



water into it from tlie Kara-tiziak, and at the same time of 
cutting off aorae of ilie capes and of straightening the chanoel. 
These works were continued with vigour during 1856 and 1657, 
but had to be given up, as the water did not rise Biifficlently 
high to wash away the barriers in the DiaDner proposed. In 
1 y GO it was proposed to clean out the channel of the lCara*uziak 
for a distauce of nearly four miles, which it was calculated 
would occupy sixty-five men for 180 days. The work was 
undertaken against the atream, in order that the water might 
immediately carry away the ohstructionsp Operations were 
carried on for twenty days only during the year. The next 
year little was done, as the troops were occupied with construct- 
ing the fortress of Julek, and besides this convictions began to 
he entt'rtained of the uselessneaa of the proceeding. Again iu 
1862 an attempt was made to increase the water in the 
Jaman Darja, hut failure once more resulted. Led by the idea 
that the two new steamers whicli had been constructed for the 
Hut ilia would he sufficient to overcome aU the difficulties of j 
navigation, nothhig was done during the next year, hut in 1864 
tbere was a small expedition sent out hj Captain Schott to 
explore the Kara-uziak, and it was reported that it would not 
take long to clean it, and that navigation was always possible 
on it for t^veu or eight months of the year. In tlie autumn, 
however, tlie expedition reported that this was imposflible. 
Two years were then spent in projects; and in 1866, it being 
resolved that the cleaning of tlie channel of the Karauziak would 
he dear and difficult, it was decided to dig a canal from ihts 
Syr Darya to the Jaman Darya, above its commencement* 
The work continued for seventeen days, employing^ 400 men a 
day, and the cost of the canal amounted to 2^7 1 roubles. On 
June 21 the canal was opened, and it was hoped tliat the liigh 
water of the following spring would widen it and render it 
navigable for ships. On the contrary, the canal was filled up 
with sand, and the navigation was made worse. Since that 
time nothing has bean done* 

With such obstructions to na%ngation it is not to be won- 
dered at that the Ar?l flotilla has been of little service, though 
there are also other reasons for its inutility. The foimation of 
the fleet was contempomry with tlie establishment of the 
fortress of Kaim, and in the year 1847 Uiere were constructed 


in Orenburg two two-masted schooners, the * Nikolai and 

* Mikhail.' The first was intended for surveying purposes, and 
the second for starting a fishery; but as the ships did not dare 
go far out to sea little was done in 1847 besides sur\ eying the 
Kos Aral and the other islands which lie near the eastern coast. 
Meanwhile another schooner was constructed in Orenburg, the 

* Konstantin,' somewhat larger than the others, and in this 
vessel Lieutenant Butakof, in 1848 and 1849, completely 
surveyed the Aral Sea. 

In 1850, upon the proposition of General Obrutchef, an 
order was given to the Mutal factory, in Sweden, for the con- 
struction of two vessels, a forty-horse-power steamboat called 
' Perovsky,' and a twelve horse-power iron barque, with a screw, 
the ' Obrutchef.' These vessels cost in Sweden 37,445 roubles, 
and with their transport and the payment for the mechani- 
cians brought out from Sweden cost at Kazala 49,347 roubles. 
The steamer 'Perovsky' was launched on the Syr Darya in . 
1853, but owing to the non-arrival of its wooden parts the 
' Obrutchef could not be used before 1855. The 'Perovsky ' 
was armed with three nine-pounders, and the * Obrutchef ' 
was fitted to receive two similar guns in case of necessity. 
The ' Perovsky,' however, was found to be too large for the 
successful navigation of the difficult parts of the river, 
and was continually getting aground. During the season 
available for navigation the 'Perovsky' could make only 
three round trips from Fort No. 1 to Fort Perovsky, towing 
two barges. The up trip occupied from ten to twelve days, 
and the down trip seven or eight days. After the order for 
these two steamers it became necessary to provide fuel. 
During the whole of 1851 the two schooners ' Konstantin' and 
' Mikhail ' were engaged in conveying saksaul and other roots 
from the banks of the Aral Sea to the island of Kos Aral, but 
General Perovsky wrote that it would be impossible to supply 
the steamers with this fuel alone, as it was very difficult to 
obtain and to use it. Saksaul {Haloccylon ammodendronj 
Bunge,) is of a very close fibre, full of knots, and most difficult 
to be sawn or split, and breaks into very crooked and unmanage- 
able pieces. Accordingly a contract was made for bringing 
anthracite coal from the Don, and in 1852 one hundred and 
eighty tons were brought to tne fort, at a coat of otl Tvi\^«^ 



per tcm. When anthracite was used for fuel each round trip'' 
of the * Perovsky ' to Fort Perovskj and hack cost *ihout 2,500 
rubles (344^,). When the furnaces were lieateil with sal-^ 
saul it waa necessary to use four times as much fuel, thougi 
owing to the much smaller price, six kopeks a pud (thirty-si 
pounds), the trip cost only 520 rubles. Consequently, hj 
calculating the carrying capacity of the * Perovsky ' and of her 
barges, it was found that the transport of every pvd of cargo 
between Fort No, 1 aod Perovsky cost the Govcmment thirty 
kopeks, which was but sHght economy, as by land carriage it 
cost only forty or fifty kopeks- But by heating with aaJcsavl 
the cost of transport was not more than three kopeks a pud, 
which was consequently a saving to Groverrunent of forty-seven 
kopeks. The resolution wai therefore adopted to transport 
far as possible j all provisions, materials, &c, by water frons' 
Fort No- 1 to Perovsky and Jnlek. 

In 1860 two new steamers were ordered in Liverpool, at 
the Hamilton Works, to he built of corrugated iron, according 
to the Francis system, flat-bottomed, and stem-wheelers. At 
the same time there were ordered at Liverpool a floating 
pontoon dock and six shallops, and at the Kama-Votka Works 
three barges. The steamers were brought in pieces from 
Orenburg, on the backs of camels, and being put together at 
Kazala, were launched in the autumn of 1862. They were both 
armed with 9- pounders, and were called respectively the ' Syr 
Darya ' and the ' Aral.* The first was of twenty-horse-power, 
costing when delivered 16,000 roubles, and the second, of forty^ 
horse-power, costing 30,080 roubles j but the navigation returns 
for 1863 showed that tbe new steamers, instead of being better, 
were worse than the old ones. The ^ Aral,* which ought to carry 
at least 540 tons weight, could not take more than 216 tons. 
The iron turned out very fragile^ and the vessel was not suffi- 
ciently strong- The machinery also was badly built. The hoilers^J 
were placed so far from the engines that the steam lost 10 peil^H 
cent, of its force, and necessitated a very great expenditure of 
fiiel, seventy-two j>ucfe of saJcsaul an hour for every liorse-power, 
so that it used in one month what should have lasted for six* 
Beddes, the construction of tho engines rendered the working 
of the steamer very, difficult, subjecting it to tbe danger of 
being blown up. The vessel was very deep in the water, and 


lOifittod for river navigation. The stem being too low down, 
the steamer got aground very deeply ; and being of thin iron 
was Tcry difficult to get off the shoals. The ' Syr Darya ' had 
the iame defects as the ' Aral,' although it was in parts better 
coBstrocted ; but instead of carrying at least 216 tons of freight 
at a speed of four versts an hour, it could not move at that 
speed more than 172 tons. These defects were, however, in 
some measure overcome by reconstructing the engines. The 
floating pontoon dock, which cost about 30,000 roubles, was 
also constructed of corrugated iron, in two parts, each 42 feet 
by 30 feet, united by diagonal bridges passing over it for 20 
feet. The current of the river, however, was so strong, being 
more -than two miles an hour, tliat had the dock been put in 
the wat6r it would have been lost in the spring, if not in the 
autimm, and it was found better to repair the vessels on the 
shore itself rather than place them in the dock. For these 
reasons it has never been used. The barge, which was to carry 
36 tons of freight, was found to be useless, because it would not 
obey the rudder, but turned its side to the current, and there- 
fore the commanders of the steamers have never dared to use it. 
The barges built in Eussia were more successful ; they were 99 
feet long by 18 broad, with two masts and sails, and could 
carry 63 tons, but with this load they, drew 3^ feet of water, 
and therefore were not fully suitable for river navigation. The 
great increase of traffic rendered it necessary in 1865 to in- 
crease the flotilla, and three large barges, to carry 162 tons 
each, were bought in Eussia, and another ferry-boat in addi- 
tion to the two already existing ; and in 1866 the steamer called 
' Samarkand ' was built at Cockerill's works, in Belgium, at a 
cost of 78,700 roubles. It was of 70 horse-power, 150 feet long, 
and 22 broad, of 154 tons, with three furnaces, and carried two 
guns. In addition to this another steamer, the 'Tashkent,' 
was added in 1870, built in Eussia, costing 35,000 roubles, of 35 
horse-power, 104 feet long by 16 broad, and with single 
furnaces. Of all these steamers the ' Samarkand ' is the only 
one which seems to be capable of doing good service, although 
in this, as I was informed, the iron-plates are in places as thin 
as paper, and it was considered to be a great risk to send her to 
the mouths of the Amu Darya to join the Khivan expedition. 
, When I was in Kazala she was still undergoing repairs, kii.\Yas^ 



been injured in coraing down shortly before froin Fort PeroTiky 
to Kazala, where she bad got on a aboal^ and it had becoma 
necessary for over one hundred men to dig a canal through ^bo 
shoal to get her off, a proceeding occupying over a wedc 
Besides the salcaaulj which ia becoming somewhat difficult to 
obtain, coal was used in a great measure for fuel on the 
steamers, being brought from the mines near Tashkent, but 
always at considerable expense, although much cheaper th^n if 
brought overland from the Dou» The working of these mimes 
has, however, now ceasedp* 

So far as we have statistics of the traffic of the flotilla there 
were carried in 







1,491 tons 

218 tons 



1,416 „ 

318 „ 



2,633 „ 

404 „ 



a,081 „ 

56 „ 



2,920 „ 

24 „ 



We thus see that while the use of the steamers for Govern- 
ment has greatly incre^i^ed^ in consequence of the larger 
amount of Government st^^res and troops, for the passengera 
are chiefly soldiers, which have to be transported to the upper 
portions of the river, the private traffic baa much fallen off* 
This is chiefly owing to the difficulties of navigation, and 
especially to the peculiarities of the transport business between 
Orenburg and the river. The freight is very apt to accumulate 
at Kazala in quantities too great to be transported in one 
season, and for that reason private buaine&s is chiefly carried on 
by the old mode of camel transportation. 

It was on Tuesday, April 22, that we finally got off from 
Kazala, The day wa,9 extremely warm, although there was a 
fresh breeze on the Steppe, wherp the pomjng spring had 
begun to spread a slight yellowish green tint over the whole 
surface of the country, and the first flowers were appearing, 
especially the small yellowish fragrant txdips. The first two 
stations, which were small Kirghisii kibitkas, where two or three 

* The account of the nftvigntion of the Syr Barja and the Afjil tlotiHa li chiefly 
htrnd on an artielfl in Uia iOlitary Eerlow ' (' VoenttQi 5^i* ') fop A^td 1§JX 


families seemed to be living, we made in good time , but it 
soon began to rain riolently, and we lost our road and got 
into very rough groimd, neither of our drivers having the least 
idea where we were. At last we saw a light in the distance, 
which we hoped was the station, but on coming to it we found 
it to proceed from a kibitka of some poor Kirghiz, who pro- 
fessed utter ignorance of any station, saying that they were 
strangers. We went in and made tea with very muddy water, 
and a supper of sardines and cold goose, to the delight and 
admiration of our host, his wives and numerous dependents, 
who sat around the fire. For us was reserved the post of 
honour, and we reclined on the best cotton quilt, propped up 
against our pillows, carrying on a lively conversation through 
Ak-Mametef. There was no light but the fire in the middle of 
the floor, the smoke going out by a hole in the roof, whicli let 
in the rain at the same time, except a bit of candle we had 
part of the time, for which we extemporised a candlestick by 
rolling a handkerchief round it. It was a scene for Kembrandt, 
or rather for Gherardo della Notte. Great wonder was 
manifested at our clothes, at the articles of our provision- 
basket, and especially at our knives and forks ; and we could not 
resist delighting the jolly looking Kirghiz by giving him a 
knife and fork from our small store. But we at last got warmed 
through ; and becoming tired of inquiries about Kirghiz family 
and domestic life, went to sleep in our carriage in spite of the 
rain, waking up in the morning to find that we were only 
about a mile from the station,* although far oflF from the road. 

Owing to this misadventure and to difficulties in getting 
horses and camels, we did not get to Fort No. 2, only 120 miles, 
until Thursday noon ; but the way was not without its amuse- 
ment. At the station of Ak-jar we were obliged to wait for 
several hours, where we really enjoyed ourselves, as it was a 
splendid day. There was a lovely view of a bend in the river ; 
and the station itself, which was kept by a Cossack and his 
newly married wife, was beautifully clean. We passed our time 
in shooting at a mark — ^practising against possible Turkomans — 
and when tired of that were treated to some fresh bread, hot 
firom the oven, to say nothing of an omelette and a cold pheasant. 

At one station we found the room occupied, much to our 
regret, as we were desirous of stretching ourselves, but when wa 


heard the caiue we could not help laiigbing, and were willing 
to have a felt spread for its in the sun out of doors. It seems 
that the wife of an officer, who was accompanying him from 
Tashkent to St. Petersburg, had just present^ed him with an 
heir, in ipite of the uncomfortahleness and difficulties of the 
situation. We endeavoured to be as friendly as travellers 
should be to one an<')ther^ and the officer was glad to accept 
a bottle of red wine for his wife and some cans of condensed 
milk for his child. Everything seemed to be going on well, 
and he hoped to be able to start the next day. 

Fort No. 2, or Karamaktchi, is almost as bad and nn- 
comfortable a place as KJarabutaki It has but a small garrison^ 
aad is situated directly on the bank of the river, which seems, 
indeed, to be eating away its walls. A few huts along the 
river-bank make up the town. There was no ferry and no 
bazaar, so that it was useless to attempt crossing the river liere, 
and MacGahan saw himself forced to wait till Perovsky at 
least, though chafing at the delay, which might prevent him 
froTa seeing the fall of Kldva. 

Not far from the station there was a large Kirghiz burying- 
gi'ound, which was not without interest, as it contained very many 
tombs, some small mounds of earth, others temples and 
pavilions of different kinds and descriptions, some even looking 
like small castles, in which were placed the actual tombs. 
There appeared nowhere to be any inscriptions. Such ceme- 
teries are ndt infrequent in this part of the Steppe, especially 
along the riifer-banks^ and at a distance look like the ruins 
of Bome antique city. At Xhorklmt, the last station before 
Fort No. 2, there is a similar cemetery, but there most of the 
tombs are built of burned bricks, and there are many stone 
slabs with Arabic inscriptions. In the neighl>oiirhood are 
many mounds and heaps, and in all probability this was the 
Bite of the ancient Jend, One of the largest of these tombs, 
now half-ruined, is pointed out as that of the famous saint 
Khorkhut, coneerning whom is a curious local tradition. This 
Kborkhut, who was fourteen feet tall, was once living on the 
extreme edge of the world, when he dreamed one night that some 
men were digging a grave there. * For whom do you dig it?' said 
the saint. ' For Kliorkliut,' was the reply- The anxious 
Khorkhutj wishing to avoid the death which threatened himi 



went the next day to live ou the other edge of the world,. 
There he had the same dream. Again at dawn he set out, and 
in this waj> followed hj his vision, he went over all the cornera 
of the earth. In despairj not knowiog where to go, he resolved 
to remove to the centre of the worlds which proved to be the 
bank of the Syr, on this spot. No sooner thought than done* 
But his dream still pursued him. The holy man then thought 
tu cheat fate, Coacluding that there was no safety for him on 
land, he made tip his mind to live on the water, so ypreacf bis 

A Kisaau roMii. 

mantle on the Syr and sat down on it. Here he sat for a 
hundred years, always playing on the lute, till at last he died. 
The pioui) Mussulmans took Jiis body and buried it here. 

From Fort Xo, 2 to Perovsky we could no longer follow the 
river, on account of the ywaraps, but were obliged to make a 
long ditour to the north. Formerly the road lay on the other 
ride of the river, it being necessary to cross it at Fort No* 2^ 
and again at Fort Perovsky, The new route ha« hardly yet 
been put into good order. All of the stations are as yet under- 
pouiid huts. The road, howeverj was good, and the kot^y^'a ^etfe 


much better than usual, so that we reached Perovsky late the 
next night. 

These marshes are said to be infested with tigers and wild 
boars, and tiger-shooting is a favourite sport of some of the 
oflScers of the garrison. Along the road we heard many fright- 
ful stories of the depredations of the tigers, when, in cases of 
extreme hunger they came to the stations and carried off cattle, 
and even children and men, and we were recommended to be 
constantly on our guard, and have our revolvers ready, in case 
of attack — advice which Qf course was intended well, but which 
proved utterly useless, for we saw no tigers. 

It was nearly midnight when we reached Fort Perovsky, 
and to our disgust we found the post-station — where we pre- 
ferred to stop, thinking it would be better to avoid observation 
— already occupied by other travellers. We were therefore 
obliged to pass the night in a filthy little room at what was 
called an hotel, although the next day by good luck we found 
excellent quarters in the house of a Finnish lady, whose husband 
was engineer of the steamer ' Samarkand.' 

Fort Perovsky was originally a fort and town belonging 
to Khokand, called Ak-Masjid (white mosque), which wf 
captured by the Russians under General Perovsky in 185.' 
after a very stubborn defence conducted in part by Yaku. 
Khan, the present ruler of Kashgar. During the twenty-five 
days' siege the Russian artillery had such an effect upon the 
mud-walls of the fort that the Khokandians were quite ready 
to give up the place, and sent a letter to General Perovsky to 
that effect. It is said that notwithstanding this the Russian 
general was determined to win a little glory at any expense, 
and, throwing the letter into the fire, replied to the messenger. 
' We shall take the fort by assault,' which he did on the 
following morning. The fort has of coiu-se been completely 
rebuilt by the Russians, although some portions of the ancien; 
constructions are still standing. The town has thriven sinc( 
its occupation by the Russians, and now covers considerabU 
space. While it is full of Kirghiz, like Kazala, it differs from 
that town in having a very large population of Sarts and 
Khivans as well as Bukharans, and has in consequence a 
thoroughly Oriental aspect. In my wanderings about the town 
I was particularly struck with the makhtab^ or primary school. 


It was in a little room that opened directly on the street ; and 
although the boys manifested some little curiosity as we passed 
and looked up, the teacher dropped his eyes at once, and made 
them go on with their tasks, each repeating the lesson in the 
loudest tone of voice, and seesawing his body backwards and 
forwards, kneeling as he was, in order better to impress upon 
his memory the Arabic task, of the meaning of which, being 
taught by rote,. he had no idea. There was a large public 
garden, full of trees, and beyond this a grove, extending for 
a considerable distance. Further on still is the monument 
erected to the memory of the Eussian soldiers who fell in the 

The weather had now changed from winter to midsummer, 
and the days were oppressively warm. The grass was beginning 
to spring up, and the peach trees had begun to blossom. It 
was even at times imcomfortably hot to walk across the broad 
place which separated the fortress from the surroimding houses. 
At sunset, however, it was very pleasant, and even at night it 
was sufficiently warm to stay out of doors in the moonlight. 
■r. I remained at Fort Perovsky five days, as MacGrahan had 
o decided to start from here at all hazards, to try and make 
d his way across the desert to the head-quarters of the expe- 
dition, and I was desirous of seeing him safely oflF, and doing 
what I could to facilitate his departure. Our days were 
taken up in vain searchings for camels, horses, and guides. 
Many times were we deceived, and it was only when we, as a 
last resort, had recourse to Captain Eodionof, the acting dis- 
f trict prefect, that all obstacles were as by magic removed, 
t Up to this time, remembering our experience at Fort No. 1, 

i we had avoided the officers and the official world. MacGahan 
' was the happiest of men, as he felt that, official consent having 
1 been secured, nothing but the desert and the Turkomans stood 
€ in the way of his joining General ICaufmann. Horses were at 
e once forthcoming, and were soon packed and saddled, and with 
light hearts the little caravan started over the feny, while I 
regretfully stood on the bank and saw them safely across the 
river. I heard but once from MacGahan during the whole 
summer, as in some singular way all our letters which were not 
gent by private hands failed to reach us. I frequently, how- 
ever, heard of him, his ride across the desert being spoken of 

VOL. I. F 



everywhere in Central Asia as bj far the most wonderful tiling 
that had ever been done there, as he wt^nt far through a country 
which was supposed to be hostile, knowing nothing of the roads 
or of the langtiage. Even the officer whose scouts had failed to 
catch MacGahan, from whom long afterwards, on coming from 
Khokand, I first heard of my companion's safe arrival at Khiva, 
was delighted at his pluck, and used the significant Russian 
expression, ' Moiadetz ' — * a brave young fellow *— the greatest 
possible praise under such circumstances. At Ta&hkent, how- 
everj there was great alarm over possible English spies, and I 
feared for a moment that it would fare hardly with Captain 
Rodionof J but in the end General Kaufmann's good sense 
triumphed over the foolish fears of his officials* 

Having seen MacGrahan safely across the river, I started ofif 
myself about 7 o'clock for Tashkent, It was a lovely evening, 
and I was fuUy disposed to enjoy the scenery, which, in spite of 
its flatness, is really pretty in the neighbourhood of Fort 
Perovsky, There are large numbers of shrubs, especially 
eaksaul and calligonum, and many were thickly covered with 
white and pink blossoms- Others, again, were clothed in pale 
green, and the pleasant evening light added a peculiar charm. 
At every step magnificent golden pheasants started up» They 
are not wild, and suffer one to approach very near, and are 
therefore very easily killt^d ; but unfortimately MacGrahan had 
taken with him all the fowling-piecea, so that I had nothing to 
shoot with. All along the Syr Darya the shooting is very good ; 
not only pheasants, geese, ducks, grouse, and partridges, but 
even much larger game can be met with, 

The horses which they had given me were really excellent, 
and for the only time, I think, in my whole trip we did not 
stop once to arrange or repair the harness, and consequently 
made the sixteen miles in an hoiu* and three-quarters. 

Travelling ail night, I reached Julek, a Russian fort on the 
banks of the river, distant some seventy miles from Perovsky, 
at 9 o'clock. In order to make myself fresh for the day's travel 
I was just on the point of stripping to take a bath, when to my 
great regret two carriages came up with some ladies and children, 
BO that I was obliged to content myself with a basin of water 
behind the Jiouse. We had tea and breakfast togelher, soon 
made acquaintance, and had a very pleasant time. We were 


then seized upon by one of the officers of the fort, who insisted 
that we should come and breakfast with him, which of course 
detained us all for an hour or two longer. 

This rencontre turned out very well for me, for one of the 
ladies whom I met was the wife of an officer in Tashkent, and 
sent letters to him by me. She asked me where I intended to 
stop there ; and as I had no place in view, almost insisted that 
I should go to her husband, who had a large house ; and as I 
willingly complied with her request, I was made comfortable 
during the whole of my stay in Tashkent. 

The fort, which was constructed in 1856, on the site of a 
Khokandian fortress captured and destroyed in 1853, during 
the siege of Ak Masjid, was, until the campaign of 1863, the 
farthest Bussian outpost in Asia. It is especially noticeable for 
having the prettiest Eussian church of any fortress in these 
parts. There was at that time no resident priest there, and one 
from Perovsky had just come on to officiate for two or three 

Not long after leaving Julek I began to see a faint blue line 
to the north-east, which soon grew larger and more distinct, and 
proved to be the beautiful mountain range of Kara-tau, which 
with its branches extends beyond Tashkent. The summits were 
still covered with snow, and after so much barren and arid 
steppe this was a most beautiful feature of the landscape. 

The Steppe was now covered with flowers of all kinds, 
especially scarlet poppies, wild tulips, geraniums, and many 
cruciferous and leguminous plants. It frequently became 
necessary to cross the beds of small streams which came down 
from the mountains, and in many of these there was considerable 
water. The whole of this region shows traces of ancient 
cultivation, and it is evident that a very large population at 
one time existed here. In various parts there are mounds, now 
covered with growths of saksaul and other shrubs, which are 
evidently the ruins of former cities. There is an old legend 
that the whole valley of the Syr Darya was at one time so 
thickly settled that a nightingale could fly from branch to 
branch of the fruit-trees, and a cat walk from wall to wall and 
housetop to housetop, from Kashgar to the Sea of Aral. 
From the traces of former culture one can in part believe 
this. We know, indeed, from history that the banks ol ^}dSs^ 




part of the river ]iad numerous large and flourishing townsj 
noticeahle among which were Otrar, Satiran^ Jcndg and Jany- 
Kend. The ruins of Jany-Kend (Yany-Kend, or 'New Town,') 
are placed bj Lerch and other inveE>ti gators some sixteen milea 
helow Kazala, Several of the Kiouiods which compose these 
ruins have been opened, and various articles of pottery and 
household ware have been found there, hut nothing i^rhich 
cauld enable the age of the ruins to be aseertained. 

I came to the ruins of Sauran the next morning, passing 
several large forts and ruined towns which, like Bagauakj had 
apparently been abandoned in recent times. Tlie ruiuB o( 
Sauran itself lie at some distance from the post-stationj so that 
I was unable to visit them. They were noted a few years ago 
for containing two tall brick towers or minarets of very graceful 
construct! on J having spiral staircases within* One of tliese fell 
some years ago ; and as the other was greatly injured by the 
Kirghiss, it is now probably also in ruins. 

On the opposite side of the Syr Darya strptches the great 
waste called the Kys^yl-Kura, or ' Hed Sands.' One great arm of 
this desert extends from Foi-t Ko. 1 southward along the Sea of 
Aral to the Bukau mountains, even touching the Amu-Darya 
in several places opposite to Kbiva, Along the Jany-Darya 
there are places where the desert giadually dies out into an 
ordinary waste steppe, and along the left hank of the Syr 
Darya from Tchaidara to Julek tliere is slso a clayey stf'ppe, 
in places even cidtivable, and filled with the ruins of ancient 

On the south the desert is hounded by tlie Famished Steppe 
between Tchinaz and Jizakh, and by the low ranges of hills, 
where are the wells Aristan-bel-kndukj Tamdy, &C.5 nearly to 
the Biikan-tau. Througlt an opening in the motmtains an arm 
of the desert called Jaman Kyzyl, or Bad Red Sand^for it is 
the very worst part of the desert — readies the i^mu Darya, and 
extends along it from Montcliakli to the south of Bukhara even* 
This desert iR constantly extending itself to the southward 
under tlje influence of the north and north-east winds, which 
blow almost without cessiition. During the three months' stay 
of the Russian Expedition in the desert in 1872 there were but 
three days when the wind was not fjom the north-c^ast. 

The Xjzjl-Kum does not. however^ consist entirely of 


bare and sliifting sand, but is full of small hillocks covei:ed 
with vegetation of various kinds, especially saksaul and other 
similar shrubs which can be used as fuel, and among the 
herbs there are very many of the ferulaceous order, espe 
cially the three from which are obtained the gums asafoetida, 
ammoniac, and galbanum. Among the rocks contained iiji 
the mountains are limestone, marble of a bad quality, flint, 
and slate ; and there are numerous traces of iron, which even 
tinges the hillocks of sand with an orange-red colour, and has 
without doubt given * the name to the desert. The Kyzyl 
Kum is intersected with caravan-roads, the most of which, 
running north and south, were formerly — and are now to some 
extent — the main ways of communication between Northern 
Asia, and Khiva and Bukhara. Along the roads there are 
numerous wells; in fact, without these it would be impos- 
sible for human beings to live there. In winter especially the 
Kyzyl-Kmn is inhabited by numerous Kirghiz, who wander 
there from the steppes on the right side of the Syr Darya, 
crossing on the ice in autumn, and returning in the spring 
before the ice breaks up, or afterwards on rafts or bridges oT 
reeds. Water is obtained from very small basins prodaced by 
the melting snows, which last only for a few weeks, from 
natural springs which form large basins, either oi>en or under- 
ground, and from artificial wells. These last are from six to a 
hundred feet deep, much larger at the bottom than at the top, 
and often built up for a half or a quarter of their depth with 
limestone or sandstone or the hard wood of the saksaul. The 
Kirghiz who has dug a well — and he knows where to dig it, from 
the abundance of the plant called adraaban or hazorasband 
{Peganwm Harmala) — considers it as his special property, and 
is careful to prevent other wandering Kirghiz from settling 
near by. In some cases the water is excellent, but in most of the 
wells it is salt, sometimes slightly so, at others thoroughly 
impregnated with Glauber's or other mineral salts. It fre- 
quently happens that the well when first dug will contain pure 
water, but in the coiu*se of a few days, or even a few hours, 
this will become bitter and undrinkable, from dissolving out 
the salts which are contained in the earthy sides. 

At the station before Sauran I left the banks of the Syr 
Darya, and from here to Tashkent the road lies at some dis- 


tance from tbe riven It was with great delight that tn 
Friday afternoon I saw what at first seemed a black spot, but 
soon turned out to be thick gro%^es of dark green trees, looking 
darker aud richer by contrast with the Steppe around them. 
These were the groves and orchards which suiTouud the city of 
Turkistan^ and it was not long before I forded the river, and 
passed along narrow lanes between high clay walls, over which 
I saw branches of apricot trees, and occasionaliy the faces of 
little hoys and girk looking with curiosity at the equipage, till, 
making a circuit of the town and fort, above which rose the 
immense vault of a splendid mosq^ue, I came to the post- 
station* A short walk through the deep ditch or ravine which 
Burroiuids the ruined walls of the citadel, where soldiers and 
natives were making clay bricks, brought me to the famous 
mosque over the tomb of Hazret Hodja Akhmed Yasa\n, The 
construction of this mosque was begim by Timur in 1397, who 
went on a pilgrimage to Turkistao, or Yassy, as it was then 
called, while waiting for his new bride, Tukel-Khanym. 
Sheikh Akhmed Yasavi, who was the founder of the sect Jahria, 
and died about 1120, is one of the most celebrated saints of 
Central Asia, aud is the especial patron of the Kirghiz. The 
mausoleum is an immense building, crowned by a huge dome» 
and having annexed to the rear another small mosque, with 
a melon-shaped dome. The front consists of an immense 
arched portal, at leaat a hundred feet high, flanked by two 
round windowless towers with crenelated tops, which reminded 
me in some indefinite way of the front of Peterborough Cathedral. 
In the archway thera is a large double door of finely carved 
wood, and over this a small oriel window, dating from the last 
reconstruction by Abdullah Khan, The walls are of large 
Bquare-pressed bricks, well burnt, and carefully laid together. 
Only the rear and side still bear the mosaic facings of enamelled 
tiles, though in a very injured condition. The blue tilea 
which covered the dome have nearly all fallen off, and of the 
inscriptions in large Cufic letters which surround it only the 
end can now be deciphered* It reads thus ; * The work of 
Hodja Hussein, a native of the City Hhiraz,' Similar inscrip- 
tiotis — gigantic ornamental texts from the Koran, in 1)1 ue on a 
white ground — run round the frieze, and tlie building, which is 
fitill grand in its decay, was evidently once wondrously beau- 


tiful Earthquakes and despoilers have ruined it, leaving 
large cracks, now filled up in many places with coarse plaster. 
The front was apparently never completed, for the old beams, 
which once served as a scaffolding, remain standing in the 
walls, occupied now by immense storks' nests. These birds, 
which seem to be regarded with reverence, are frequently 
seen perched on one leg upon the top of Mussulman mosques. 
In the middle of the mosque is an enormous hall, under 
the lofty dome which rises to a height of over a hundred 
feet, and is richly ornamented within with alabaster work in the 
style common in Moorish buildings, and especially seen in the 
Alhambra. On the right and left are rooms filled with tombs 
of various Kirghiz Sultans of the Middle and Lesser Hordes, 
among them the celebrated Ablai Blhan. One room answers 
for a mosque, where the Friday prayers alone are said, while 
under the small dome at the back of the building are the tombs 
of Akhmed Yasavi and his family ; and opening out of a long 
corridor full of tombs is a large room with a sacred well. Next 
to the tomb of the saint the most interesting monuments are 
those erected to a great-granddaughter of Timur, Rabiga-Sultan- 
Begim, daughter of the famous Ulug-Bek. She was married to 
Abul Kheir-Khan, and died in 1485. One of her sons lies next 
to her. 

The walls of the first room are covered with numbers of 
inscriptions, chiefly short prayers, or verses from the Koran, 
one of which is said to have been written by Mohammed Ali 
Khan of Khokand, who was killed by the Amir of Bokhara, in 
1842 ; and in the middle, standing on a pedestal, there is a large 
brass vessel like a kettle, which would contain at least fifty 
gallons of water, for the use of the persons who live in the 
mosque and the pilgrims and students who come there. It is 
said to have been cast at Tchumak, now in ruins, about fifty 
miles from Turkistan. Around this vessel there are several lines 
of Arabic inscriptions, in different characters ; the first and 
longest reads : ' The highest and Almighty God said, " Do ye 
place those bearing water to pilgrims and visiting the sacred 
temple." * He (i.e. the Prophet) said, " May peace be on him I 

* The beginniDg of this inscription is part of the nineteenth verse of the ninth 
Sura of the Koran, speaking of unbelievers, and should be followed by inserting 
after the word ' temple/ ' on the same level with him who believeth in Qod and 



Whoso sets a vessel of Wjater for the sake of God, the Highest, 
him will God the Highest reward doubly in Pai^adise, Bj 
command of the great Amir, tiie ruler of nations chosen by the 
eare of the most merciful Godj the Amir Timur Gurgatu 51 ay 
God prolong his reign I ^' This water- vessel was made for the 
tomb of the Sheikh-ul- Islam, chief of all Sheikhs in the world, 
the Sheikli Akhmed of Yassy, May God give repose to his 
worthy soul I The twelfth of Shavval, in the year 801 ( 1 399)/ 
The other inscription is : ' The work of the servant , striving 
God ward J the Abul-azizj son of the master Sheref-uddin, native 
of Tabriz/ 

There are besides in the mosque four large candlesticks j 
but the inscriptions are so defaced that one can only read the 
name of Timur, and that of the maker, a Persian from Ispahan, 
with the date 799 (1397). The Sheikh-ul-Islam has several 
doeiiments from various rulers of Central Asia in whose pos- 
session Turkistan has been, conferring privileges on the shrine, 
one of them of the year 1591, signed by AbduDah-Khan, 

This mosque is considered the holiest in all Central Asia, and 
had very great religious importance, as previous to the capture 
of the city by the Eussians pilgrims of all rankSj even khana 
and amirs, assembled there from all quarters. 

Being in the citadel, it served as a point of defence, and its 
bastions and minarets were mounted with guns. In order to 
hasten the fall of the city the Eussian artillery was ordered to 
dejjtroy it, and did considerable damage, the balls leaving their 
marks in many places. It is probable that this ancient monu- 
ment would have been entirely ruined had it not been that the 
Sheikb-ul-Idam mounted the minaret and showed the white 
flagj which was the precursor of the surrender. 

The mosque is entirely supported by property which has 
been given to it by various worshippers, including the revenues 
from several caravanserais and shops in the city, and very large 
amounts from land. Before the capture of the city the Khan 
of IChokand used to send 500 till as a year, and even now 
pilgrims are in the habit of oifering sheep every Friday, the 
meat of which is distributed to the poor of the city. 

In the little enclosure in front of the portal are numerous 

tlie last clay, and fightt^th on tho wiij of Cod ? Tlioy sliall not bo hM equal by 
Q^d : iLtid Gck] guiaelli not tho uuri^htucus/ 


tombs bearing inscriptions, and in a corner of the large ccurt- 
yard is a small and very elegant mosque, with a melon-shaped 
cupola, covered with blue tiles. The local legend runs that this 
was the temporary resting-place of the body of Eabiga-Begim, 
whose early death caused Timur such grief that lie built the 
great mosque. Unfortunately history shows that she died 
some eighty years after him, and it was very doubtful if he ever 
saw her. 

The termination of the great mosque called Hazret was 
almost contemporaneous with Timur's death. The word Hazret^ 
an Arabic word, meaning literally ' presence,' is used in the 
sense of ' majesty ' for rulers, and with the meaning ' sanctity ' 
is frequently applied to saints, especially to those most reve- 
renced, and in this ease the celebrity of the saint has even given 
a name to the town, which is often called * Hazreti-Turkistan,' 
or even simply ' Hazret.' 

Besides the mosque there is little in Turkistan to interest 
one. The city has much fallen oflF, and now barely numbers 
6,000 souls. Everything looks dilapidated and desolate, though 
I found the straggling bazaar very curious, as it was the first 
really genuine Oriental bazaar which I had seen, that at 
Perovsky being half-Eussian. 

I wandered for a long time, in spite of the heat, past the 
little rows of shops, looking at the silversmiths plying their 
trades, and seeing the general idleness and listlessness of the 
shopkeepers, for there seemed almost no business going on. The 
central point of interest was a raised platform, where stood a 
man with a little mountain of snow, which he was dealing out 
to the little boys in small portions, with a sauce of sugary syrup. 
The eyes of the boys were big and greedy, yet their timidity or 
their hatred of a Kaffir was such that I had some difficulty in 
inducing them to allow me to treat them. 

Leaving Turkistan at seven o'clock in the evening, with good 
horses and good roads, I arrived at Ikan, a town of considerable 
size, though much ruined, which, on December 16, 17, and 18, 
1864, was the scene of a most heroic contest on the part of a 
small body of Eussian soldiers. After the capture of Tchimkent, 
Alim Kul and the Khokandians raised a large body of troops 
and resolved to attempt the recapture of Turkistan the Holy. 
There were numerous messengers announcing the approach of 



this army, and especially one asking for aid sent by the inbabi- 
tants of Ikaii) who had preferred to remain under Russian pro- 
tection, and Captain Serof with a sotnia of Cossacks and one 
gun was sent out to Ikan- When near that place he became 
entirely sorrounded by large masses of the enemy, and found it 
impossible cither to advance or retire ; and from the evening of 
the 16tb until that of the 18th, without tasting food, tbe^e 
brave Cossacks defended themselves against the overwhelming 
forces of the enemy; and then, ha^-ing spiked their gim, the 
little remnant made a sortie, and bleeding and hreathlesa joined 
the Russian forces, which were standing three miles from 
Turkistan. The Russians lost in aU iifty-seven killed and forty- 
tbree wounded. 

A small force had just been sent out from Turkistan, but 
on seeing the enemy they imoiediately retreated j and though 
the firing was continually audible at Turkistan, no other effort 
was made to relieve the detachment, the time being passed in 
councils of war and debate. In consequence of this affair the 
commander of Turkistan was subsequently compelled to leave 
the army. 

The Khokandians lost many in this desperate fight, and 
were astonished at the bravery and perseverance of the 
Russians, not only at their refusing to surrender, but at their 
refusing to accept the terms they offered, which were an 
honourable and safe retreat to the main detachment at 
TurkisLin. This was told me by the man who was sent by 
Alira Kul to carry on negotiations with Serof. 

From Turkistan to Tchimkent, IDO miles or more, the road 
goes through a very pretty country, the Steppe being rich in 
verdure and flowei*s, and constantly rising and falling, owing 
to the nearness of the mountains, A number of torrents bad 
to be traversedj and two of these, the Bugun and Arys, were 
especially difficult. At the latter it became necessary to unload 
entirely the tarantas, and place all the luggage on a large 
native cart, as the current was very swift and the water tar 
above the floor of the carriage^ In crossing one of these 
Baountain ravines the driver locked the wheel of the tarantaa 
in such a careless manner that two spokes were at once token 
out, and I began to fear that 1 would find it difficult to reach 
Tashkent or even Tchimkent, but after thoroughly lacing up the 


wheel with rope, the tarantas was still strong enough to 

The town of Tchimkent,^ which I reached on the next even- 
ing after leaving Turkistan, presents nothing remarkable except 
the picturesque citadel, which is built on what seems an almost 
inaccessible height. The new bazaar, with its ponds and well- 
built shops, which has been constructed by the Russians, shows 
that the town is still flourishing. The occupation both of 
Turkistan and of Tchimkent was, as is well known, in pursuance 
of a plan made as long ago as 1854 for the formation of a 
fortified line which would connect the line of Orenburg with 
that of Siberia, and thus completely protect the Kirghiz. The 
first intention was to have this line run to the north of the 
Kara-tau range, but on the representations of the local com- 
manders the plan was modified. During and just after the 
Crimean war it was impossible to take active measures in the 
Steppe, and it was not until 1864 that Colonel (now Major- 
General'; — ^Tchemaief, with 2^00 men from Siberia, and 
Colonel (now Lieutenant-G-eneral) Yerevkin, with 1,200 men. 
from Orenburg, were sent to carry out this plan. Torkistan was 
taken in June, about the same time as Auli^^ta, while it was 
not until October that Tchimkent was stormed. I am told that 
the successful assault was owing to a ludicrous mistake. lu tiie 
first outset one of tlie soldiers was slightly wounded and cried 
out for the surgeon — ' Dok-tu-ra ! ' His comrades heard only^ , 
* u-ra I ' — the Eussian * Hurrah,' rushed forward, pressing the 
enemy before them, and within an hour had full possession of 
the citadel, with only five men killed. It is said that the 
bazaar was sacked and many of the inhabitants massacred ; if 
so, this was an exceptional case, for the Eussian movements in 
Central Asia have been marked by great discipline and humanity, 

* The name Tchimkent is deriyed by the natires from the Turki tchimf tnrf, and 
the Persian kent, town, like many other local names taken from the two languages, 
liorch considers it a corruption of Tckeshmkentf fountain-town, and identifies it 
with the ancient Isbyjab. I may remark here that the terminations kent and 
kand are the same, kent being used when the vowels of the first part of the word 
are i or e, and kand when they are a, o, or m, as in Khokand, Yarkand, Samarkand. 
Tashkent as thus written is improper, but as it is sanctioned by usage, and the 
town is now Bussiaui I keep to it. The natiyes say * Tashkand.* 




TiTBt Impr&ssioTiii — SimilaTity to Atnericrvn I'D wits — Ttipid groiMh — Hon bo* 
-^Gardon of Govcrnor-Genoml^ — The Clnireli— Earth qnjikes^ Hotel e n.nd 
ffire — The Club — Ming Urtik- — ^SHncioty^ThQ Govcrnor'GtJnerars Stiitti — 
EJ^id etiquette at hia hulls — Bad tone — Cliquea— Ignomnc(J of the 
cmmtry displayed by offici^ila — The * Central Asiatic S^eiety ' — Jum Bi»k 
— Biibfi Bek — 'A TJt^phew of the Amir of Bukhara — Alim Hadji Yunu^of — - 
A Court doctor — Murder of MhUa Khrtti— A political eiocutiou jo Buk- 
hara — The merdiiitils cotnmiinity^Said Aaim — The nntiv<} br^iwri — MilU 
— Wall B — ^Pnpu 1 nt ioii — SnTts — Tiuij ikM — Usbeka^ Their clntra c tf.Ti Bti > s — 
Ambs — History of TiuiiilBeot— Ik capturo bj G«iieml Tehernaittf — Hia 
first proelaTCiRtion, 

As I sat in the porcb in tlie bright moonlight, the first night 
of my ttirival at Tashkent, I could scarcely believe that I was 
la Cent?*l Asia, but seemed rather to be in one of the qniefe 
litrJe t-iwns of Central New York* The broad dusty streets^ 
^aded by double rows5 of trees * the sound of rippling water in 
every flire€tion j the small white houHeSj set a little hack from 
the streets, with trees and a palisade in front ; the large square, 
full of turf and flowers, with n little church in the middle — all 
combined to give me this familiar impression, By daylight, 
however, Tashkent seems more like one of the Western American 
towns— Denver, for instance, though lacking in the busy air 
which pervades that place, and with Sarts, in tiurbans and go^vns, 
in place of Indians and miners. The conditions of the town 
are, indeed, much the same ; it ia built on the Steppe, and owes 
its green and fresh appearance to the canals, which bring 
streams of fresh water through every street. The sides of the 
streets are planted with poplars and willows, which in this 
country grow quickly and luxuriantly; a small stake driven 
into the ground soon boLomes a fine treei gardens spring up 
almost like magic ; and I saw in the garden of a laboratory a 
peach tree bearing peaches the third year from the eeed. 


There are about 600 houses in Tashkent — I speak of the 
Eussian town — and a population of 3^000, exclusive of the 
garrison of about 6,000. New houses and streets are every- 
where springing up, and the growth of the city in the nine 
years of its existence seems something really wonderful. Still 
when one comes to examine into the matter there is something 
artificial in all this ; the real, permanent population of the city 
is small, for trade is not great, manufactories do not exist, and, 
with the exception of the merchants, no one lives here who is 
not obliged to do so on account of his oflBcial duties. No one 
comes to Tashkent to remain, which distinguishes it from 
similar American towns, and most of tliese pretty houses have 
been built on money loaned by the Government, of which, by 
the way, but little is ever repaid. 

The houses are in general built of sun-dried clay bricks, 
covered with plaster, and washed with some light colour, and 
are seldom more than one story high. Owing to the scarcity 
of wood and the dearness of iron, the roofs are very peculiar ; 
between the rafters which compose the ceilings pieces of small 
willow-branches are closely fitted together, the whole is then 
thatched with reeds, and on this is placed a layer of clay and 
sods, it being necessary to put on a new layer of clay every 
year to render the roof in any degree waterproof. During tlie 
summer, when it does not rain, these roofs are excellent, and 
very pretty, as they are often covered with wild poppies, 
capers, and other flowers. When the rainy autumn season 
commences one must be very careful : it may be that too many 
layers of clay have been placed on the roof, and the timbers 
have become worn, so that the whole thing falls through ; or 
perhaps not enough clay has been put on, and one violent rain- 
storm is sufficient to wash a large hole in it. 

Furniture and household goods of all kinds have to be 
brought from Eussia or Siberia, for there are no cabinet- 
makers or upholsterers in Central Asia, and simplicity is there- 
fore the rule. Still the houses are comfortable in spite of their 
fragility, and the great wide divans, the profusion of Turkoman 
carpets, the embroidered cushions, and the display of Eastern 
weapons, armour, and utensils give them an air of elegance and 

During the summer all who can afford it leave their town 



houses and remove to one of the numerous gardens in the 
BubiirbB, where they either have a sraall house of a similar kind 
or live in Kirg^hiz klbiikcbs* Nothing- can be more delightful 
than this. The heat does not penetrate through the thick elms 
and poplars ; a freshness constantly exhales from the square 
pond and from the canals wliich water the garden, mixed with 
the perfume of roses and syringas. The kibitka is spacious and 
comfortable ; and if to this is added a Bukharan pavilion-tentj 
■with its embroidered and variegated walls, for a salon^ the 
abode is charming. When at night the paper lanterns stand 
out against the dark g^reen of the pomegranates, while the 
nightingale sings ns the light shimmers over the still surface of 
the water, it is a scene taken bodily from the * Arabian Nights** 

The palace of the Governor-General is by far the best 
bm'lding in Tashkent, being very large, and coveri=id with an 
iron roof. It is situated in au immense garden, which Las been 
very prettily laid out with hillsj trees, flowers, ponds, canalS| 
and even cascades, and here, three evenings in a week, the 
military baud plays, and the gardens are thrown open 
to the public. They are then the rendezvous of all the 
Eussians, and much of the native population of the place, for 
the Sarts are attracted by the band^ which occasionally plays 
native airs. Near by the palace of the Governor-General is a 
large new fort, not yet entirely finished, intended for the pro- 
tection of the city. This fort is moimted with heavy cannon, 
and has a large garrison, though many of the troops are 
quartered in different barracks, and during the summer are in 
the camp near the town. 

There are, of eourscj the usual number of public buildings 
for Government offices, without which no Russian town can 
possibly exist ; and there is the little church, in addition to 
which the foundations of a large stone cathedral have been laid. 
This seems almost a waste of money in a place where are so 
few Uussians, and where missionaries are forbidden. The 
church is quite large enoutrh for present wants, and is some- 
what out of repair, a negligence which autouishes the pious 
Mussulmans, who are al^o shocked that so few Russians attend 
church regidarly. As their own religion is not attacked, the 
natives treat the church with reverence, though they call it 
bud'khmiehj idol (Buddha) house, and the more liberal and 


curious spirits sometimes are attracted by the cervices. The 
building of this cathedral is looked on as a dangerous experi- 
ment, on account of the earthquakes, though they are not fre- 
quent, and it is several years since there was a severe one. I 
looked for one with some curiosity, being anxious to experience 
a new sensation ; but alas I when it came I slept soundly, and 
did not hear of it imtil breakfast-time. There were three 
shocks, about five o'clock in the morning, severe enough to make 
the walls tremble and the pictures swing outwards, and even 
small objects were thrown down. 

There is not in Tashkent what can be called an hotel, 
though there are one or two places, such as Gromof's, where 
there are furnished rooms and some provision for meals, but 
they are dirty and uncomfortable. There is a fair restaurant, 
kept by a Pole, Gizhitzky, which has one or two rooms to be 
let out to sojourners. I was not, however, entirely dependent 
on it, for owing to my fortunate rencontre at Julek I received 
quarters in a private house, where I was treated with all kind- 
ness and hospitality. Fare in Tashkent is much the same as in 
any other Bussian town, and if there exists there any local 
delicacy or any new undeveloped possibility the Russians have 
not yet discovered it. Beef was scarce and bad, but mutton 
was plentiful, cheap, and delicious. At first the colonists com- 
plained of a scarcity of potatoes, but where Eussian soldiers live 
their cabbages soon grow, and there is now plenty of all the 
usual vegetables. Game is abundant, but fish is very rare ; for 
the Syr Darya, where sturgeon abound, is still, unfished. Ex- 
cellent fruit and melons of all kinds are to be had almost for 
the asking, but I heard complaints of the diifficulty of raising 
rye, and the consequent scarcity of black bread. Wine is of 
course to be had at about four times St. Petersburg prices, and 
one can even get English ale and porter — the latter is a special 
favourite — at about ten shillings a bottle. A very bad beer is 
brewed there, and several kinds of native wines are made, but 
all strong and sour. With time and experience good wine will 
doubtless be made in such a climate, and with such profusion 
of good grapes. 

Of course there is a club, as stupid and unclublike as all 
Kussian clubs. A bad dinner can be had there every day, and 
men occasionally drop in to read the newspapers when the mail 

amves or to plajat billjaiik; \mA as m gen^i^ lUli {iftiplo 
reserve UiemfielTei for tJie lodal erenmgs dftiisg the winter, 
wbe^ the large ball-room Is o|ieii and there w a dance or 
coneeit* There ij now attached to the rooms of the clttb aa 
exjcellent Ubrarj, wMch waa originallf coUeeted f&r the CliaB- 
celleiy of the GorerDur-CteneiuL, and has sinee that time been 
enlarged hj gifl^ from other pergoct& It oontaios now ahaot 
4fiM4> Folumeg, including the standard works of Rusdan^ French, 
aod Germaii literatore, and an exoeedinglf good coUedion of 
hookf and ariieles relating to C^ntml Asia« 

Among the other institutioDs of the place I should mention 
the Ch comical Laboratory, which is monnted on a &r better 
and mare costlj scale than seems warranted hy the neceasitias 
of the couDtry ; and the ^Turkistan Gazette,' This is a small 
weekly journal, eontaitjing besides official matter articles on 
the history, ethnol*>gy, and stati^ics of the country, which are 
often very interestiog aod valuable. Of news from the rest 
of the world there is nothiiig whatei^er, and even the current 
events of Central Asia are rarely mentioned, except in extracts 
frojBi the Dewspapers of St. Petersburg and Moscow. It has 
only alxrut SOO snbscribcrs, and costs the GoTemment soma 
22,000 rubles a year, or 37 kopeks a copy, '\M3ile thankful for 
many of the articles contained in the * Guzette,* 1 eometimea 
Wf>nrler at its existence* A Btippleraent in Turki is published 
for the spread of literature among the natives, hut when I waa 
in Tashkent ita contents were chiefly drawn from the tales of 
the ' Arabian Nights.* Just outside of the town, on the eaet, ir 
the direction of the fair, u a large garden, known by the name 
of Ming-uruk (or the thousand apricot trees), which was formerly 
the evening promenade of the place. As it* name implies, it is 
a large orchard of apricot trees, most of them very large and 
extremely old, surrounded by a high clay wall- The very day I 
arrived a festival waa held there, with toe usual accompaniment 
of lottery altegri^ and the green award and the wide paths were 
covered with loungers and promenaders, A temporary restaurant 
was also put np, and in various tent§ and pavilions the ladies 
of Tashkent distributed the little lottery-tickets at twenty kopeks 
apiece, perhaps one in 2,000 drawing some slight pri7*e. The 
natives take very kindly to this form of gambling, and it haa 
been noticed of kte that the chief revenue of such little 



charitable lotteries is derived from the Sart. ]population, who 
are eager to have this chance of possibly winning something 
without more exertion than drawing the little rolls of paper 
from the glass urn, slipping off the wire ring, and unrolling 
them. The word allegri on the ticket always marks a blank, 
while a number indicates a prize. Now that the Governor* 
General's garden is open so often the Ming-uruk has somewhat 
fallen into disrepute, and the good roads and introduction of 
droshkies and carriages have to a certain degree stopped horse- , 
back exercise ; but three years ago vehicles were scarce and 
the mud was deep, so that all men and women were constantly 
on horseback. Now few but officers and natives ride, and even 
natives are sometimes to be seen in droshkies— struck with the 
cliarm of civilisation. 

During my stay in Central Asia I considered Tashkent my 
head-quarters, and was there for more or less time at four 
different periods. Fortunately perhaps for me, the magnates 
of the Eussian official world were all on the Khivan expedition, 
and I was thus cut off from the higher official society. Among 
those who remained I found some very pleasant acquaintances, 
though I was received at first with perhaps a shade of sus- 
picion. I had sent on my letters of introduction to General 
Kaufmann, at the head-quarters of the expedition, and arrived 
in Tashkent with no recommendations to the officials there. 
Still, even before the approval of my visit by General Kaufmann 
arrived, the idea that I might be an English spy in disguise 
had, I think, worn off, and my relations with the authorities 
were most pleasant. After the arrival of General Kolpakofsky 
from Vierny, as the acting Governor-General,, I was treated 
with still greater politeness, and was enabled to carry out all 
my plans. Still, out of mere curiosity, perhaps, I regret not 
having seen the life of the little court — for it is really nothing 
else— that ordinarily goes on at Tashkent. The Governor- 
General or Yarim Padshah (the half-king), as he is called, 
imitates in the state he keeps the Eastern monarchs by whom he 
is surrounded. He never rides out, so I am told, without a select 
guard of Cossacks, and even his wife and children had their 
escorts. These I believe were abolished after the unfortunate 
remark of some newly-arrived officer, who innocently enquired 
what lady that was imder arrest. The Governor-General rareli} 

VOL. I, G 

M ^^^^^^ TURKISTAN. 

goes out in society, tut does his part by giving two or three 
baUs during the course of tlie winter, to. which the leading 
uativeB as well as the Russians are invited. These must he 
very amusing affairs. The guests are ohliged to arrive punc- 
tually at the moment, as at the Winter Palace at St, Petersburg, 
aud they are kept waiting for perhaps an hour until the 
Governor-General, his wife, and suite enter the room, and are 
received by deep hows and curtseya. Before this it is im* 
possible for dancing to begin, and even then etiquette is so 
much stricter than at St. Petersburg, that no gentleman is 
allowed to sit down in the presence of the Governor-GeneraL 
The poor imfortimate who should do so would at once receive 
from an aide-de-camp a strong hint to rise. Should the 
Governor-General be seen shaking a person warmlj by the 
hand or conversing with him for five or ten minutes, the man 
BO honoured immediately becomes a figure in society, and m 
considered necessarily a rising man and one of great influence. 
Such is the effect of court favour. 

When the Governor-General returns to Tashkent triumphal 
arches are erected, all the officials go several miles out of the 
city t^) meet him, and he is received with salutes of cannon. 
When a branch of the Control Department was founded at 
Tashkent it was found that there was no law authorizing thes© 
salutes, and a request was made that the money expended for 
the powder should ho returned to the Treasury, The 
money was paid, hut the salutes continue, thougli not at 
Government cost* The triumphal arches and the receptions 
are supposed to be the outspoken expression of popular feeling, 
but these demonstrations are hardly spontaneous. When Khiva 
was taken a meeting was called to devise a means of com- 
memorating the victory. Some proposed a permanent triumphal 
archj others a scholarship of the Oriental languages— to ha 
named after the Governor-General^ — in some university. It wai 
finally decided to do both. The money was to be raided by j 
voluntary subscriptions, but all the officers and officials, even 
in other parts of Turkistan, received an official paper from 
their superiors asking for their contributions, which few dared 

Besides the Governor-General there are the military 
governor and the vice-governor, and a staff of generals and 


other grand olBcials, for this being a little capital there must 
be in every department a central administration mounted on a 
large scale. The -wives and families of these chiefs of the 
official hierarchy consider themselves as the aomraitSs of 
society, and vastly superior to the other ladies of the place, for 
it must not be thought that Tashkent is destitute of ladies, 
most of the officers having brought their wives and families 
with them. Society is therefore divided into cliques and 
coteries, for though, with the exception of the highest officials, 
nearly everyone who is there has either come there to avoid 
his creditors or been sent away to keep out of some scrape, or 
has come on account of increased pay or the shorter time of 
service necessary before receiving a pension, or in the hope of 
making a rapid fortune, yet they all bring with them their 
St. Petersburg ideas. There is the same etiquette with regard 
to morning calls, full dress, and other customs of society 
that prevails in the larger Bussian towns. People meet, it is 
true, at the soirees or private theatricals, which are occasionally 
given at the club, or at the Governor-Generars palace, but 
each coterie keeps apart from the others, and there is nothing 
like real general social life. These absurd divisions in such a 
small society, and the fact that Tashkent is looked upon as a 
temporary place of exile, are very bad for the yoimger officers 
and officials. There being few amusements, society being dull 
and broken up, and their scientific and literary pursuits dis^ 
couraged or at least not encouraged, the officers have little 
resource but gambling and drinking, and in many instances 
young men have utterly ruined themselves, some even having 
to be sent out of the country-^and a man must be bad to be 
exiled from Tashkent — and others having died or committed 
suicide. A Bussian writer of growing repute, Mr. Karazin, 
formerly an officer in Central Asia, has given a good picture of 
Tashkent in his novel ' In the Distant Confines.' I know that 
this book is looked upon as a libel in Tashkent, but nearly 
every character is recognizable, and the tone of society as 
depicted there is, as nearly as I could gather the truth, exactly 
such as really existed there two or three years ago. There is 
now a little improvement. There is not so much of open 
debauchery and dissipation as then, but the same general tone 
prevails. Home is far away, public opinion is lenient or silent^ 

Q 2 



and man J allow themselves liberties of conduct which elsewhere 
they would not imagine possilile* 
' I could not bnt he struck in the Russian society of Tashkent, 
not only with the want of knowledge of the country, but with 
the lack of interest in it which was manifested, and it seemed 
to many difficult to understiind hi>w I could be interested in a 
eountry^ and come so far to see itj which for them was the 
epitome of everything disagreeable. Of course there were ex- 
ceptions to this, }»ut I speak of the general impression. The 
number of Russians who know either Persian or Turki, or who 
care at all for the history, antiquitiep, or natural productionB of 
the country, or who interest themselves in any way in the life 
|jof the people about tbeirij is wonderfully small, A bmnch of 
the ' Society of Natural History and Anthropology * was once i 
started in Tashkent, and held its meetings at the house of the 
Go vernor- General ; bat whether it was the incubus of official 
presence or the lack of real interest in the thing, it soon died 

The Tashkent branch of the * Society for the Encourageiment 
of Eussian Trade ' also leads a very lingeiing existence. 

A ' Central Asiatic Society ' was form-ed, but was forhiddea 
by the authorities. 

The man in all Taslikent who interested himself the most 

about the natives was Mr. P^ , tlie agent of the Ministry of 

Finance. He had learned Turki perfectly, and spoke it with 
accuracy and elegance, and his house was the head-quarters of 
prominent natives. His wife also took great interest in the 

' 1 was told tbat whon ths Centml Asiatic Society was sttirted General Knuf- j 
mann fjxprc^Bfjd a whli to beccHUO & member^ It wns tbea conjjide>red ncjceesury to 
elect hira tbe honorary preaident, and at hh urgent tieqtiBBt the meetings were held 

at ilia liouBo- On on© of Iheao occasions Colotiol R , oa» of tho moBt active 

Iin3ml>era of the aocietyt appearod m the usunl whit© linen undross uniform worn at 
Taifhkont, When ih<a mc^ating was ov^r tUj Governor-Getieml sent wor^l to him 
throngh the police that it was not projier to come bo the house of the Governor- 
QtMjeml otbtr^i^o thtin in full uniform. At tho next moetingof the aodijtj a letter Vf^iB 

road frani Colonel E^ , in wJiieh he informed the ftocii^ty — through its presidittitj 

— that he had been reprimanded by the> GoTernnr-Generalfor not appearing in I 
i]njf<»rm at one of its meetings, hecanse it was at the house of ihe Govetnor-GftnBn 
He stated that undroF^H uniform was permitted at meetings of learned societies, m 
rofi'rrea ^jiipeoially lo thu Imperial Russian Geographical Society^ at St, Petexshufj 
of which the Grand Duko Con^taiitine is President, where mt?mhere dross as tb^ 
plnftses and smoku even In hk pr^^tiiico, iind stated that under the eircumst^ance 
f«lt compel I ad Lo oSyr his resignation as a member of tHo society. 


1; '*i JTIRA BEK. 85 

[native population, and constantly visited them, and received 
Visits from them. Apart from the friendship and kindness 

%vhich I received from Mr. P and his agreeable family, I 

delighted to visit his house as often as possible, because I was 
Bure at any hour of the day of meeting two or three natives 
whose stories or conversation were of great interest and value. 

Prominent among the habituSs of this hospitable house 
were the various deposed Beks, and chiefly Jura Bek and Baba 
Bek, of Shahrisabs, a little province just south of Samarkand. 
The fathers of both of them had been prominent there before the 
country had been finally annexed to Bukhara by the bloodthirsty 
NasruUah. After the death of his father Kalentar Bek, Jiua 
was taken into the service of the Amir as one of the youths in 
waiting, where he remained until the death of the Amir in 1860, 
when he escaped to Shahrisabs. Six months after the death of 
JHasrullah the new Amir, his son, Mozaffar-eddin, went from 
Samarkand to Shahrisabs. The presence of Mozaffar could 
awake no sympathy in such a purely Uzbek place. Unsociable 
by nature, fat and lazy, already known and detested as a 
dissolute man, the Amir rode in, a strong contrast to his father, 
amidst the laughter of the population, who were accustomed to 
a certain degree of freedom. On that very night he demanded 
the sister of Baba Bek, who had once before been forced in a 
iimilar way to serve the passions of his father. This could not 
remain concealed, and on the next day there were crowds of 
people in the streets loudly crying out against the Amir. 
Being afraid of still greater publicity, and perhaps rebellion, 
Mozaffar immediately returned to Bukhara, but he did not forget 
Shahrisabs. Many important personages were seized and im- 
piisoned, but they were released by the populace, now fully 
aroused, and Jura Bek, then about twenty years old, was elected 
the Bek of Kitab, one of the twin cities. He succeeded in ex- 
pelling the officials of the Bukharan Amir, and in connection 
with Baba Bek, who succeeded his father, maintained the inde- 
pendence of his little valley until August 1870, when Shahrisabs 
was taken by the Eussians and delivered up to the Amir. He 
and Baba Bek then escaped to Khokand, but were treacherously 
delivered up by Khudayar Khan, who bore an old grudge against 
'Jura Bek for laughing at him and calling him an old woman when 
he was once complaining to the Amir NasruUah of his ttowkAsiai 


and liis exile, Brotigbt as prisoners to Taahkf^nt, thej lived t.ieti 
forscirae time under surveillance; but finally dbtaininf^ pensioiia 
of about 2,000 niLles a year from the Rukharan Government, ] 
through the agency of the Riissians, they now reside there nn- ] 
molested, although, owing to the irregularity of the pay men ts^ j 
they are sometim^es reduced to great straits, as they both have I 
large families. Jura Bek has h^v me thoroughly convinced 
thtit the Eussiana are and are to bt^ the masters of Central 
Asia, and sees that any chance for him in the future must come | 
from them. His allegiance to them tl.^^refore is unwavering i 
and though cognizant of ph>ta in the neighbouring coimtries — - 
for he is oecasionally appealed to by emissaries, as being of good i 
judgment and e^erience— he does not fail to inform tbej 
Eussians of anything which may be hostile to their interests, ' 
and has refused to take part in anything against thera, no ' 
matter how brilliant the inducements were,* He Is one of few i 
natives I have raet — if not the only one — whose word I would] 
implicitly trust on any subject. It is rare to find a Mussulman 
and an Asiatic of such delicacy of mind and feelings such an 
appreciation of what is due to himself and others, and of such 
an aristocratic bearing in every look and moveraeut. Jura Bek 
is a taU handsome Uzhek,with a tbin dark beard, pleasant gray 
eyesg and a serious face- His dress is always very simple, but 
exquisitely neat, and there is something about the sadness of 
his espresbion and the suave grace of his gestures which never 
fails to attract and to interest* He is indeed a perfect gentle- 
man* He is a strict Mussulman, but he has now been suffi- 
ciently with the Russians to have lost all fanaticism, and to be 
willing to conform to many of their nsages. He will associate 
with them, eat with them, and even, if he chooses, drink wine, 
having sufficient dignity to act as he pleases, never, as many 
others do, wearing one face to the Russians and another to his 
fellow-lielievere. Jura Bek is besides a good judge of character, 
has the politeness of Central Asia at his finger-ends, and is 
certainly not without ambition ; and therefore, as he is an 
honest and straightforward man, he might, if properly treated, 
be of the greatest service to Russia, Should it become neces- 
fiary to overturn the Amir of Bukhara or the Khan of Xhokand* 

^ TLe HOD of the Klian of Khcikur^d, on hi a visit to Tashk^tit, tried in vain to 
bribe him ; ^od ho ^m. giiTu iufortuucioci of the tittaek ou the atitlioa of Xara-ia. 


BAnx BEK. 


place a vassal on the tliroiit.^, no ijetter pRr?ioLi coiikl 1«? 
found in the intex^t^t either of the natives or of the liiianiailtt 
\hmi Jura Bek, and his birth~for he comes from tJie noble 
family of Keuinghe:?:, one of the four whose liereditary duty it is 
td raise the Amir on his throne —would cauj?e hirn to be accepted 
without a murmur by the population. 

Baba Bek, his companion in exile^ h a man of much weaker 
itamp, a &tout man of thirty-six, though looking twenty years 


llder, so much have his troubles told on him, and is without 
iither the ability or the coinage of his companioD, He passes 
his life quietly, and is so amiable that one cannot help pityin|r 
hisdowiifall; but he is not the kind of man that one would 
ever think of setting up again * 

As occasional visitors we had other deposed Beks, the petty 
lalers of the small districts of Kshtut and Farab, high up in the 
aountains near Samarkand, 8hadi Bek an I Seid Bek,' who are 

nuftseitt Bek, the Bf\ of Mtigrnn. wm, wh&n caught^ arbitrarily exiled to 
feiberitt, because, vth^ti hxlll nn inik^pendetit ruler, he did uat come t^ SHmJirbiud 


now dependent on Russian charity, and Abul-GratFar Bek, the 
former Grovemor of Ura-tepe. Abul-Graflfar comes of a famil} 
that has held many high stations in the Bukharan service, and 
was for a long time the Bek of Ura-tepe, where he was very 
unpopular, as he was both unjust and severe. He was at continual 
war with the mountain districts, and had the reputation of being 
a great coward, in spite of which he made a strong defence 
against the Russians of the fortress he commanded. He after- 
wards had part of his property returned to him, and received in 
addition a small pension, on which he lives at Ura-tepe and 
Tashkent. He is an educated man, a Mullah, fond of talking 
and repeating verses, and evidently of a sociable disposition, as 
he has had twenty wives, and has ten grown sons, one of whom 
was formerly Bek of Zamin. One of his brothers was the brave 
Omar Bek, who fought against the Russians at Jizakh, and was 
killed in 1872 by the Amir ; and another is Ibodullah Bek, 
whom I sometimes saw, the former ruler of Hissar, an educated 
man, and well acquainted with the regions of the Upper Oxus. 
Seid Khan is a young man of about thirty-five, the son of a 
sister of the Amir Mozaffar-eddin, who escaped from Bukhara 
after the accession of that monarch, when his father, mother, 
and the whole of his family were put to death. He clainas that 
his right to the throne is superior to that of the present Amir ; 
and were he as able as he is ambitious, he might easily overturn 
the Amir and set himself in his place, provided, of course, that 
the Russians consented to such an arrangement. He is 
nominally in the Russian service, and receives a pension of 
2,400 rubles a year, but dreams his time away, and wastes his 
money on dancing-boys and riotous living, so that he is always 
in debt. His long residence in Tashkent and his intercourse 
with Russians of all kinds have taught him how to speak and 
write Russian. Being of royal blood, he has his party in 
Bukhara, with whom he is in correspondence ; and in spite of 
his many defects he would perhaps make as good a figure-head 
as anyone else, although he has no head for plots ; and the letters 
of importance which he receives from persons even" near to the 
Amir are often left for weeks imheeded. He has a way of 

tx) pay his respects to the Governor-General. Escaping from there, he wa« caught 
and sent back. His cousin, Mussa Bek, is now a leading official in Kashgar, and 
yery hostile to the Kuusians. 


dliaiigiiig his residence eveiy few weeks, which lenders it some- 
what difficult to visit him ; and the last time that I saw 
him he greatly amused me by his belief that emissaries of 
his micle were in Tashkent with designs upon his life. 
He sat on the floor, sorronnded by weapons, and changed 
the position of his bed eveiy night. His head was ftdl 
of grand projects as to what he would do when he became Amir, 
of the certainty of which he seemed to have no doubt. He fre- 
quently used to come with a mysterious air and talk in a 
dark way about highly important letters he had received, about 
which he wanted advice, but which he had always forgotten to 
bring with him. Usually his visit terminated with a request 
for a slight loan. When I at last saw some of these letters, in 
whose existence I had begun to disbelieve, I found them really 
very interesting. One from the astrologist of the Amir b^;an 
with Persian verses and stilted compliments, and at last said, 
* You know that the real owner of the estate where we live 
resides in Tashkent. Tell him that the steward who is here 
is very bad, and excites great discontent among the tenants. 
He must remove this steward ; if he does not we shall do it our- 
selves, and ask you to come or choose another. He n^d not 
punish him, for it will be enough if he orders him to go live in 
Tashkent; or should he come himself, the steward will be 
frightened and at once run away.' When we are told that the 
estate is Bukhara, the real owner General Kaufinann, and the 
steward the Amir, we can at once imderstand the parable, 
which was cleverly carried out to great length. Unfortunately 
for both tenants and owners, the same steward still remains. 

An amusing type of the native was the tall thin Mussa 
Mahomet Bii, who at the capture of Tashkent was acting as 
governor, and as such surrendered the place to the Sussians. 
He told me that his excitement and fear were so great that he 
galloped through the streets weeping violently and crying to all 
he met, ' Bid farewell to your wives and children, for the 
Russians have come.' 

The morning after the capture of Tashkent a deputation 
from the city came to wait upon General Tchemayef. He 
immediately sent for his interpreter, but to his astonishment 
the venerable leader of the deputation began to talk to him in 
pure Eussian, about science, philosophy, and the benefita ot 



civilisation. He turned out to be a certain Alim Hadfi 
Yiinusof, a Tartar, from PeozHj in South Russia, wlio had 
received hie education at Moscow^ and had been as a pilgrim to 
Mecca and through India. I saw a great deal of him in Tash- 
kent j and he was certainly one of the most striking characters I 
met. He was, I think, much more of a philosopher than a 
Mussulman, and was continually in search of new ideas of some 
kind. During the twenty years that he had lived in Tashkent 
under native rule he had lived quietly, attending to liis gar- 
dens and cotton and silk-raising, and marrying one wife after 
another. He had tried nearly all the races procurable there, 
and shortly before my visit had married a young Persian. He 
was civilised enough to be willing to discuss family matters, 
and on one or two occasions I got a glimpse of some of his wives. 
Even here his idiosynci^asy showed out, and he told me in an 
apologetical tone of voice that his favourite wife had received 
her education among the Kirghiz, which was merely a polite 
way of saying she was a Kirg-hiz girL Since the Russian 
occupation he has tried bis hand at civilisation^ has built 
houses, planted American cotton, established a soap factory, 
tried tp introduce machines for spiiming silk, and gins for 
cleaning cotton, hut I fear that all these attempts were failures. 
His large house in the Russian town is still unftnisshed, and hia 
soap factory had already come to an untimely end before the 
silver medal he gained at the Moscow exhibition reached him. 
Still he kept on with his experiments, I well remember one 
visit I paid him in his garden just out of town, Persistent 
knocking at the little door broiiglit the Hadji himself to let us 
iUi He was attending to bis plantations, and appeared in a 
long loose pink calico shirt, open at the throat and showing hia 
bronzed muscular neck. Stroking his long grizzly beard, pulling 
down his sleeves, and tying a handkerchief about his waist, he 
led us through the vines and pomegranate trees to where a mat 
was spiead in the shade^ where he regaled us with the choicest 
peaches and grapes, while he discoursed on the diseases of 
mulberry trees^ and the consequent epidemic among the silk- 
worms, with many shrewd observations on botany and garden- 
ing. The Hadji reads a great deal ; his interests are world-wide, 
and his dabblings in science have brought him to be a member 
of several loarned societies ia Moscow and St. Petersburg, 


With all this lie is a man of good heart and excellent sense, and 
a few more such would do much good in Tashkent. Unfor- 
tunately he is there no longer, as I shall tell farther on. 

Asudullah Bek was one of the well-known doctors of Tash-* 
kent. I do not know at what medical institution he had taken 
his degree, for he was a Persian, born in the Caucasus, who had 
come to Central Asia early in life, and had always had a large 
practice. He had been the intimate friend of Alim Kul and 
Yakub Khan, and doctor to various Khans of Khokand. He was 
not really a Bek, though he bore this appellation, which is 
sometimes given as a pet name, sometimes as a nickname. He 
spoke Eussian tolerably well, and was always glad to have a 
chat or take a hand in a game at cards, in which he was an 
adept. He had passed a very adventurous life ; and as he was a 
Persian and a heretic Shiite, he was not much loved by the 
orthodox Sumiites who surrounded him, I was always glad to 
see him, for he needed very little provocation to tell some of 
the episodes in Central Asiatic history with which he had been 
connected. When questioned as to ' why he ran away from the 
Caucasus, Asudullah Bek was very uncommunicative, though 
ready enough to talk about his later life. ' I came,' he said, 
' to the city of Turkistan in 1 856, and lived there a y«ar. At 
this time the Russians had come to Julek, and our army went 
there, and Batyr Bek was wounded. They asked for a doctor, 
and collected all the Bukharans and other men, but none 
pleased them. They then said, " There is a man from Roum ; 
you ought to call him." I had a shop at that time. They 
brought me to Batyr Bek, and I pleased him, for I was then 
very handsome, and without a beard. Khanayat Shah, the 
general of the army, said to me, " You must cure him in twelve 
days, or have your head cut off. Now the Khan is in Tashkent ; 
if you cure him we will take you there and present you to the 
Khan." Then I washed myself and prayed to God, for I was 
very fearful, as the people had treated me badly, because they 
had taken me for a spy of the Russians ; but I was given ten 
tillas, and was ordered to buy everything that was necessary. 
The wound of Batyr Bek was really very bad. The ball had 
gone into his mouth and out at his ear and knocked his teeth 
out. He could not eat, drink, or speak. I immediately washed 
him with hot water, and then put on a plaster of oil and roota^ 



and fed him tbrotigb a tube* After four days bis tongue tteb 
better, and be opened bis lips, moved hia tongue, and began to 
talk* On tbe eig-htb day he was so much better that they gave 
me twelve tillas, and told me to wait in Tashkent while 
Khanayat Shah and Yakub Bek (tbe present ruler of Kasbgar) 
"Went on ahead. After a week they sent for me. ^' Crive him 
a man and a horse, and make him many compliments— the 
Khan bas sent him a letter of invitation." In Tashkent 
I became acquainted with Alim Kill and Shah Murad Bek, 
the nephew of the Khan, for the Khan himself had gone to take 
Ura-tepe< When I was taken to Shab Murad Bek, I did as 
I had been taught, and took him. by the hand and rubbed 
it over the whole of my face. He was pleased with me, for 
I was then handsome, and told me to live with Yakub Bek^ 
where I stayed for two weeks. After that we went to Khokand, 
where I began to practise medicine, and was made the doctor 
of the Khan, and received one tJUa (about eight shillings) a 
d^j.^ From being tbe physician Asudullah Bek became the 
intimate friend of Malta Khan, and was present at his murder. 
He bad already suspicions that Gomething was up, but was 
unable to fix upon anything, so as to warn the Khan- During 
tbe night be occupied the next room to the Khan, who was 
sleeping soundly, having taken during the day many love- 
potions. During tbe night he heard his door boiled from with- 
out and a voice which said, ' The Khan is here*' A cro%d then 
rushed into the room of the Khan and beat him and stabbed 
him with their knives. He defended himself bmvely, but was 
finally cut almost to bits- Asudullah Bek then beard the 
conspirators propose to murder him also, as being one of the 
nearest friends of the Kiian, but one of them spoke in his 
favour, saying that he was a foreigner and a physician, living 
there only temporarily, and had done no harm, and these plead- 
ings obtained his release* Poor Asudullah was more dead than 
alive during the colloquy which interested him so much. The 
conspirators then found Shah Murad, who was living in 
Khokand at that time, tossed him in the air on a large white 
felt, and saluted him m Khan. 

In tbe morning a proclamation was made through the 
streets that Malia Khan was dead and that Shah Murad was 
Khan, and all the officials and great personages of Khokand 


went up to make salaam at the palace. Asudullah was of 
course among them. When the Khan saw him, he smiled and 
said, ' Do not be afraid ; I will not hurt you, but "you shall be 
my court doctor also.' He thereupon gave him a complete 
suit of clothes, a turban, and a purse of gold pieces. The 
money he took home and divided with Yakub Bek, who was 
then living with him. 

When the first attack was made upon Tashkent, Asudullah 
Bek was there, and was by the side of Alim Kul when he was 
wounded. The wound and death of Alim Kul caused great 
consternation among his followers ; and as his clothes were taken 
off one by one the doctor gave them to the bystanders to hold, 
and tried to give some fresh air to the dying man. These 
articles of dress were immediately carried off by the persons 
who had received them, so that by the time Alim Kul died 
he was stark naked, and the doctor was obliged to use his own 
khalat to cover him. After the capture of Tashkent the doctor, 
as he spoke fiussian, was of considerable service to the Eussians, 
and remained there some time ; finally, however, he obtained 
permission from General Tchemayef to go to Khokand in order 
to settle his affairs and bring back his wife, whom he had lefb 
there. When he arrived at Khokand the Amir of Bukhara 
was in occupation of the city, and the doctor was at once de- 
nounced as a Bussian spy. He was brought before the Amir, 
and was about to be sentenced to immediate execution, when 
he fell at his feet and besought him for mercy, saying how well 
he had fought at Tashkent for Khokand, and how he had 
stayed with Alim Kul until the last ; that he had now fairly 
succeeded in getting away from the Eussian clutches, and 
desired to settle in Khokand in peace for the rest of his days. 
This tale produced a good effect upon the Amir, who took the 
gold-embroidered skull-cap from his head and tossed it to him, 
saying he would not only spare his life but would make him 
his court doctor, and take him to Bukhara with him. He 
immediately ordered a full suit of clothing to be given to him 
and a purse of money. The doctor was pleased with the turn 
affairs had taken, but still was not anxious to accept the kind 
offer of the Amir, as it seemed to him that Bukhara would be 
even a more dangerous place than Khokand. He, however, 
waited until the day of the Amir's departure before takin:^ 

aTiy steps. When the Arair's people aent liim four carts on 
whioh to load his househood goofls he consulted with bia Tvife^ 
and resolved to escape if possible. He fient the soldiers who 
drove the cart^ all oif on various errands, and fled with hia 
wife, taking" only what little money they had abont them. 
Getting outside of Khokand, they concealed themselves in a 
field, lying down in a drain; but thinking that this would be 
dangerous, as the Arair would prol^ably send men on their 
traces, the doctor's wife Tvent to a small house near by and 
procured for him a female dress, which he put on, and was just 
coming into the house when the saldiei*s aent by the Amir 
passed and asked him if he bad seen the doctor, AsuduUah 
lSek» and liis wifoj who had run away from the Amir. He re^ 
plied til at no such persons had been in the vicinity, and the 
soldiers went on. He was concenled in this house for some 
days, and then in another, until the Amir, finding himself un- 
successful, bad left for Bukhara. He then thought it best^ as 
he was almost without money, to return to Khokand, where he 
concealed himself; but his wife being in the bazaar was 
recognised by one of the police officers ; and a chief of police, 
who had formerly Ijeen a friend of his, came to him at once, 
but told him he need not fear anything, because the Amir 
had gone, and the Khan was certainly well-disposed towards 
him. He was then summoned to the palace of Khudayar 
Khan, who told him he would not allow him to go to the 
Amir, and would protect him- A few days after this the 
Amir aent a letter to the Khan, urging him to pursne to the 
ntmoKt this traitor and send him on to Bukhara, where he 
would punish him. This of course marie Asndullah Bek mora 
anxious, but he resolved for the present to wait^ taking his 
chance of escaping if anything should happen, for he felt that 
the time might come when the Khan could not feel it possible 
to resist the Amir*8 demands. Soon after one of his friends, 
the secretary of the Amir, gave him a letter from the Amir to 
the Khan again demanding his instant surrender, Asudidlah 
Bek took the letter, though he did not deliver it to the Khan, 
but still has it in bis possession, and showed it to me. He 
resolved to leave Khokand at once, iirst saying to his wife, 
* I cannot take you with me this time, for it is too dangerous, 
but I will give you a divorce.' This is a fair specimen of Eastern 


conjugal fidelity. The wife .accepted the divorce, as there was 
nothing else to do, and is now living in Khokand, married to 
somebody else. AsuduUah Bek went alone through the 
mountains, and after some privations and danger reached 
Tashkent, where a new danger awaited him,^ for General 
Tchernayef having been removed, he was unknown to General 
Eomanofsky and his officers, and was thought by them to be 
a spy from Khokand, but he was fortunate enough at last to find 
a friend to guarantee him, and has remained in Tashkent ever 
since, though frequently invited to Khokand by Khudayar, as 
well as to Bukhara by the Amir, who professes to have entirely 
pardoned him, and only desires the presence of such an agreeable 
companion. He lately received a message from his old friend 
Yakub Khan, through his ambassador, urging him to go to 
Kashgar, but he thinks that * a bird in the hand is worth two in 
the bush.' On his retiun to Tashkent he married the widow of 
Alim Kul, the sister of the Khan of Khokand, but she is now 
dead, and he at present has a pretty Tartar wife and some 
very lovely children. Not everyone lives up to the letter of 
the law, and when I called on him one day and found his wife 
and daughters unveiled there was no screaming or objurgation, 
but I was welcomed as one of the family. 

In this connection perhaps I may be allowed to insert the 
account of a political execution in Bukhara, as told by Mirza 
Kashbar, and taken down in his words : — 

* At that time I was aid of the police-master of Bukhara, 
who was a relative of mine, Mirza Abdullah Babai ; you have 
probably heard about him — he lived a long time in Orenburg 
and traded there. Batyr Khan (the Amir NasruUah) was very 
fond of him. He called him to him and made him police- 
master. He took me as one of his aids, and I served him in 
this duty a long time, almost to the time when Mozaffar 
became Amir. Mozaffar killed all whom Batyr Khan liked, 
and killed my relative. Every day people made salaam to 
the Amir, as many as 1,000 men, all great people, Datkhas, 
Biis, and all the officials. We were there every time if there 
were no council ; then we made salaam and went away. 
Iskender and his brother, Tchumtchu Khan, came once to the 
salaam, bowed, and went away. As soon as they had gone the 
Amir called me and ordered me to call them back and make 



th@m Bit in a little court in a separate room. I went after 
tbem and brought them back, as they had not yet got as far 
as their houses. They were put into the separate room. They 
aaked what was the inatter, and said, *' It cannot be that they 
I bave called us to the counciL This is something bad. Oar 
affairs are wretclied/' I said to them^ " I know nothing about 
it. They probably call you for some council." 

' That same day Mirza Abdullah, who lived in the fortress, 
received an order from the Amir not to leave his house. We 
were very much frightened, since we thought tliat something 
bad would happen to Abdidlah, because in Bukhara nobody 
knows what is going to be done : to-day you are alive, to- 
morrow they behead you* We were for a long time unquiet, 
then said our midday prayer, and sat still and waifed. 

'Suddenly another message came from the Amir, *^£rom 
above,'* to let all our people go borne for the night, and to 
have only three trustworthy men stay, and after sunset prayers 
to be in the fortress at the dxum-beata and to send for the 
executioner and a woman to wash the dead and to prepare 
two shirts. 

'We began to guess that they were going to punish 
Iskendor, but could not understand what woman was to be 
pimished with him, because we knew nothing about it before. 

' After this a hadatcha came from the Amir ordering us 
to execute Iskender and the woman he would send to us. 

* A hadatcha is a small seal like an almond, which the 
Amir uses when he orders some one to be executed. For other 
matters the Amir has a large seal. 

' Ab soon as we received the order we immediately sent for 
Iskender and brought him to the place of execution. In the 
Amir*s fortress there is a place like a well, deep, and covered 
with boards. As soon as they execute them they throw the 
body there. There are many corpses there. 

'The executioner was already waiting for us» He im-» 
mediately seized Iskender, threw him on the ground, and as 
Iskender had no beard he put his fingers in his nostrils, and> 
taking hold of his head, cat his throat. After this they 
brought a woman from the Amir* As soon as she saw the dead 
body of Iskender she immediately began to weep and to abuse 
Ithe Amir, We then saw that the woman was the sister of 


Iskender, the wife of tne Amir. She was of the family of 
Keninghez, and all called her " My moon of Keninghez.** The 
executioner tied her hands, and shot her with a pistol in tbe 
back of the head. 

' With us they do not cut the throats of women, but shoot 

* He did not kill her at once. She fell and struggled for some 
time. The executioner kicked her twelve times on her breasts 
and back till she died. 

' They say that she was punished because she, according to 
the order of her brother, poured mercury into the ear of the 
Amir when he was asleep^ ->t" 

' For a long time they did not know what disease he had. 
He went to Hissar and Karshi, but did not get better. At last 
they guessed why he was ill. Yes, it is written in our books 
how diseases are caused. Yes, I saw a great deal in Bukhara, 
and some time will tell you about it.' 

In Central Asia nearly everyone is a merchant as well as 
agriculturist, and our little circle of natives was not without its 
mercantile representatives. One of these was Doda Mohanmied, 
a stout, jolly merchant, whose business was in great part to act 
as a sort of court furnisher and agent, if not spy, to the Khan 
of Khokand, whom he provided amongst other things with 
champagne, under the name of lemonade. The Amir of 
Bukhara buys it under the name of kan-su (sugar-water), of 
course to prevent scandal in passing the custom-house. Doda 
Mohanuned has even sold boys from Tashkent as slaves in 
Khokand. Then there were one or two old merchants from 
Bukhara, and I several times met a man from Peshawur who 
had come all the way from India by Kabul and Balkh, that road 
which was so easy to him and is so difficult for us, to collect 
some money which was owing to him. 

There are in Tashkent two merchants who have much in- 
fluence both with Bussians and natives; one of these is Sheraffei, 
a Tartar by birth, and a runaway Eussian soldier, who has 
been in this country about forty-years, and by his adroitness 
and conmiercial capacity succeeded in making himself a large 
fortune, and in enjoying a high reputation as a merchant before 
the Bussian times. He lent much money to the Khan and 
people about the court, and much of this is still due to him* 

VOL. I. H 



Of late he tas interested himself a good deal in army contracts, 
and has officially ruined hi myself. I say 'officially,^ because it is 
one of the rules in the Russian commissariat department that if 
a contractor be unable to fultil his contract be njay giye notice 
of hia inability, and on paying down twenty per cent* of the 
contract is released. Sheraffei has on one or two occasions done 
this, but the person who took the contract after him bought 
the grain of Sheraffei at about three times its previous valne, 
so that Sberaffei easily made up the twenty per cent*, together 
with a nice additional profit. 

The other, Said Azim, a very sharp and intriguing man, is 
a native of Taslakent, who learned Russian by being frequently 
at Orenburg and Troitsk for trading purposes. He was absent 
at Troitsk when Tashkent was taken, and when, on his return, 
he found out what high honour and repute certain Sarts and 
Tartars enjoyed among the Russians as interpreters and 
mediators between them and tbe population of the town, he 
immediately attached himself to the Russian officials, and since 
then J by universal politeness and flattery, and by presents even, 
has succeeded in keeping on the very best possible terms with 
tbem. Though a man of no great property he liveia in very 
fine style, is always dressed well, and rides a magnificent horse. 
He has also engaged in the business of arjny contracts^ and has 
fidfilled tbem with great accuracy, though to do so be has been 
obliged to borrow much money of Hindoos and others, to whom he 
is still largely indebted* If rumour speaks correctly be uses his 
influence among the natives very badly, and takes bribes right 
and left- The position of 8aid Azim is in some respects very 
peculiar. The Russian officials believe that he has vast influence 
with the native inhabitants, and honour him accordingly, and 
naake him their representative in matters which concern the 
natives, who on their part, seeing that he is on the best of 
terms with the Russians, and that be is much favoured by 
them, all treat him with respect and use him as their mediator 
with the officials. In reality the Sarts hate him, and I more 
than once heard people say that should the Russians ever leave 
Tashkent the first thing that would be done would be to kill 
Said Azim* He meddles in every matter, and is said, in carry- 
ing or his numerous laws^uits, to hire witnesses and buy up the 
Ka2ds3 and there are few afl'aire of importance among the natives 


V ■ ,. .'.- 
in which he does not somehow manage to harve'ajiljliag voice. 

Here is a slight instance. On one occasion a feast was given to 
me by a young merchant, Azim Bai, at which there were to be 
a large number of guests, and where it was proposed to have 
dancing and other amusements. Said Azim heard of this, and 
felt hurt to think that he, as the most important Sart, had not 
been requested to get up this festivity. He had previously had 
a quarrel with Azim Bai on account of an inheritance which he 
had managed to get hold of by breaking into his house at night. 
He therefore went to his intimate friend, the Vice-Grovemor, 
and represented to him that any such performance as was pro- 
posed to be given for me would be contrary to the feelings of 
the people, and would be looked upon in the light of an insult 
to their religion and customs, as all the better class of the 
population were desirous of putting down such performances, 
which were not allowed by the strict letter of their religion. 
It would seem that a private party of this sort, to which 
two Russians only were invited, was hardly worth the interfe- 
rence of the Government, but still a hint was given, and it was 
accordingly found necessary to confine the festivity to a dinner 
and some quiet singing. The people apparently did not entirely 
sympathise with the representations of Said Azim, judging from 
the fact that more than a thousand loiterers were gathered about 
the garden of Azim Bai, waiting for the performance to begin, 
when they hoped to obtain entrance. The sincerity of Said 
Azim in this matter is shown by the fact that after the return 
of the Russians from the Khivan expedition he himself gave a 
large feast, at which he had all the amusements and dancing 
which had so offended his religion and morality on the previous 

Since then he has been engaged in a very scandalous affair, 
which, however, does not seem to have at all compromised him 
with the authorities. Said Azim, it seems, took a fancy to marry 
the daughter of Ishan Hodja, a native of Tashkent and nephew- 
in-law of Yakub Khan of Kashgar, but her father opposed this, 
partly because she was yet a child of nine years old, and partly 
because Said Azim was not of suflBciently good family, as 
Hodjas can only marry with Hodjas. Said Azim, finding 
himself opposed, devised a plan to carry the girl off, when her 
father and friends asked for the interference of the Kazu 



Said Azira on his part obtained the influence of some ftiendB in 
the GovemmeEfc, and the result was that an order was made 
forbidding Isban Hodja to allow bis daughter to be mar- 
ried imtil &he had reached the full age, and then only on cun-» 
dition that she was first to be prnposed to Said Azim, if he 
should then wish to marry her. This was a very strange 
decision in itself j but the matter went even farther. Among 
the persons who acted on behalf of the girl were a son of 
Yakub Khan and Alim Hadji Yunusofj of whom I have 
already spoken. They refused to sign tliis decision, and 
prot€Sted against it, on the ground of its being illegal, 
Alim Hadji Yunnsof was then arrested on the charge of being 
a disturber of the public peace and of speaking slightingly 
of the Eussian authorities ; and in spite of Mjs having the diploma 
of 'hereditary honourable citizen,* — which indeed he was the first 
in Tashkent to obtain. Said Azim being the second^ — was con- 
veyed to the common prison and stripped and searchedp Subse- 
quently, in the face of all complaints and protests, he was exiled 
without any trial to Lepsa, on the confines of Siberia. TLie son 
of Yakub Khan was so frightened that he ran away to Kashgar,* 

On walking up the chief street of Russian Tashkent to the 
north one imperceptibly comes into the native town. The 
square stuccoed buildings cease, low clay walls and little native 
shops begin, and almost before one knows it the place has 
entirely changed its aspect. No town in Central Asia presents 
guch a variety as the real native Tashkent The streets are 
rarely straight, and in rambling about the town we go up and 
down MUj turning to this side and that, sometimes between 
high walls, sometimes beneath the wooden portico of a mosque 
which mounts high in the air, now along the edge of some deep 
ravine, and now crossing some rushing stream on a low wooden 
bridge. Everywhere trees are leaning over the walls, for every- 
where there are gardens^ and we can leave the street and take a 
by-path up tlie edge of some stream where an old wooden mill- 
wheel is busily turning, and feel ourselves almost in a countiy 

* An jrder wm hIbq g^ren to exile Ishan Hotlja, if anything could h& found 
agaiDBt hfm, bwt it wtiA d^t carried out. Wbeti Muhmud Ynkub Khan, the Envoy 
of Kiishgar, viekt'il St. Petersbui-g in lS7o, hh tiitdu objtK-t wan to seUla thig 
queFfion and to obtain possesion of the girl, who had, he eitid, been betrothed td 
the «on c^ hii matter. 



tion. On one side they were destroyed to niake room for the 
fair, and to afford parade, drill, and practice-grounds to the 
troops. In addition to tliis there Las been great destruction of 
trees for the purposes of fiieL At present coal, which is 
brought from beyond Hodjentj is very dear, and it is found 
cheaper and pleasanter to cut down the native orchards and 
burn the wood of peach 5 apricot, and cherry trees, the supply of 
which must soon run shoit. The revolutions of centuries des- 
troyed moj^t of tlie forests and plantations in Central Asia, and 
UDfortunately Kussian colonists, accustomed as they are at home 
to consider forests as enemies, aod to be extravagant in the 
use of wood, have now almost exhausted what had hitherto been 
Bpared, Beyond the gardens we find the open Steppe, which 
stretches from the Syr Darya, here some forty miles distant, to 
the mountains. Vilhigeg, with their trees and gardens, are 
seen on all sides, for the population of this district of Kurama 
is almost as thick as in the valley of the Zarafshan- One of 
these — Kniluk, on the Tchirtchik— is the residence of the 
Eussian prefect, and is full of Eussian houses ; another, Nogai 
Kurgan, is inhabited solely by Tartars, who had fled here in 
former times from Kussia, or who have come for trade. At 
Kaplan-Bek is a hor^e-breeding establishment^ the chief 
use of which is to afford a fat place for a Eussian official. 
While nominally a private enterprise started for the im- 
provement of the race of horses in Tiu^kistan, it was endowed 
by the Grovernment with aoroe 5,000 acres of land taken from 
the Kirghiz and 20,000 rubles in money, and has since then 
received 15,000 rubles more from the fund established for 
savings banks in the district. The mountains here, called 
Tchafckal, which are about thirty miles from Tashkent, and 
which form a beautiful featm^e in the landscape, contain some 
interesting villnges, inliabited by Tadjiks, especially up the 
valley of the Tcliatkal, where is the picturesque Uttlo town of 
Hodjakent, with its frail bridges resting on huge rocks in the 
bed of the stream < 

The prosperity of Tashkent is entirely dependent on its 
water-supply, which is the most abundant in Turkistan- All 
the water is brought from the river Tchirtchik, running iiown 
from the neighbouring mountains by a large canal called Bos-su, 
which leaves the river at Nlazbek, some sixteen miles abova 


the city. This canal divides into four others, and these with 
their ramifications are brought through every part of the town. 
For the needs of the Russian town it was resolved to construct 
a new canal, and the work was entrusted to a Eussian engineer, 
who evidently had not studied under the natives the art of 
irrigation, in which they are so skilful. A huge embankment 
was erected and a ditch was dug at great cost, but not a drop 
of water has ever flowed into it, and the work has been 

The town is divided into four parts or quarters — Shaikan- 
taur, the north-eastern comer of the town ; Bish-agatch, the 
southern part, next the Eussian town; Koktchi, the western 
quarter ; and Sibzar, the north-western. The old tradition is 
that these quarters were formerly separate villages, sometimes 
at enmity with each other, and that gradually with the increase 
of trade they became consolidated into one huge town. Each 
of these quarters has its special akaakals (literally greybeards) 
or elders, and its chief of police, the whole town being under 
the government of a Russian commandant or prefect, who lives 
in a large house on the side nearest the Russian part of the 
city. The present commandant, Colonel Medynsky, has been 
in Central Asia since the time of General Tchernaief, and has a 
thorough knowledge of the people with whom he has to deal, 
and understands the Turki language suflBciently well to pre- 
vent his being imposed upon by incapable interpreters. 
With the exception of the prefect and his immediate assis- 
tants all of the officers of the town and of the police are 
natives, and the order and good government are very remark- 
able. Crimes are very rare, theft being the most common ; and 
it is possible to walk or ride through any part of Tashkent at 
any hour of the night without incurring the slightest danger, 
or even meeting persons who molest or insult you. I could not 
but be struck with this evidence of the order kept by the 
native police, and of the good feeling which existed between the 
natives and the Russians. The expenses of the town, which 
are rapidly increasing, are paid out of the taxes, of which there 
are four kinds ; the land, the weight, the zemaky, and the com- 
munal tax. The land tax, which replaces the old heradj and 
tanapf is assessed on the numerous gardens and grain fields 
within the city limits, and brings in about 22,000 rubles^ HitL\Rkv 



go to the government. The weight tax, which is Bominally for 
the preservation of order in the bazaars, amounts to ahout 7^000 
Tubles. The mmskj/ tas, which is affected to the repairs 
roads, bridges, &c,, is a fixed tax of 75 kopeks on each houa 
or kihilika, and brings in nearly 11,000 rubles, the number o1 
houses being estimated at 14,2:^2 with 300 kibitkas. The com- 
munal tax ia properly for the town expenses, and one quarter of 
tile amount to be raitsed is assessed eti bloc on each of the four 
quarters of the town, it being left to the aative officials properly 
to distribute it on the inhabitants. This tax in 1874 amounted 
to over 86,000 rubles, making with the other taxes 3*04 rubles 
per head* In 1868 it was only 16,000 rubles, but has been 
yearly increasingi As no receipts for taxes are given, a wide 
door is left open to fraud and extortion. 

It is difficult to ascertain exactly the number of inhabitants 
in Tashkent, as no careful and accurate census baa yet been 
taJcen, The number of mosques is stated to be 300 j and accord- 
ing to the usual estimate of a parish of from thirty to fifty 
houses to every mosque, and of five inhabitants to each bouse, 
the population would be about 60,000. This estimate appeai-s 
to me to be much too low. There must be very few houses in 
Tashkent that do not have more than five inhabitante, and 
persons who know the city well consider the population to 
be about 120,000, which seems tolerably correct. For the pur^ 
poses of taxation^ the population is estimated at 41,799, or less 
than three to a house, and taxes are offi^cially reported for only 
that numl>er, 

The inhabitants of Tashkent are chiefly Uzbeks, though 
there are some Tadjiks, and a number of Tartars, Kirghiz, 
Hindoos, and otheru. The natives here, as well as in many 
other places of Turkistan, are known by the name of Sarts, but 
this name has no ethnological significance, as Mr. Shaw wai 
one of the first to show. According to the natives the whole 
population of the country is divided into two classes^ sett led 
and nomad ; the nomads are called Kazakh vagabond, or wan- 
derer, as I have previously remarket!; and the settled popu- 
lation go by the name of Sarts. If the theory of Mr. Lerch 
be correct, Sart means merely a city inhabitant.^ It is remark- 

' Mr. Lercb, in No. 1 of the ' Riis&iacbo Re%'ue,' tmoea the words Imnv^te^ and 
Jujcarlai to a, ruot A'aritiit wliicli h Lko ropf oBtjutativ^ of aa. old Imaic rcpot^ lA 




able that in the older writers the word Sart was used at first 
almost exclusively for the inhabitants of the valley of the Syr, 
and was not known in Bukhara or Samarkand, though it 
passed over into Kashgar, Khokand, and Khiva. Abul Ghazi 
speaks of the Sarts as the settled dwellers in his own country, 
Khiva, as distinguished from the Uzbeks; whereas in the 
country conquered by him, as Bukhara, he uses the word 
Tadjik. At present the name Sart is also known in Bukhara. As 
used by the nomad tribes, the word * Sart ' is almost a word of 
abuse, and synonymous with a cowardly and effeminate person. 

So far as race is concerned the inhabitants of Turkistan 
may be broadly divided into those which are of Iranic or 
Persian origin and those of Turkish descent. To the former 
belong the Tadjiks, who were the original inhabitants not only 
of the country between the Syr and the Amu, the ancient Maver- 
annahr, but also of the right bank of the Syr, Khokand and 
Kashgar. It was Firdusi in the Shahrnameh who first made 
the Amu the boundary between Iran and Turan, bat Professor 
Grigorief has clearly shown that these terms were used in a 
piurely geographical and not in an ethnological sense, and that 
the contest between Iran and Turan was not a contest between 
two different races, but a rivalry between two tribes of the same 
origin.* In later times Turan has been confounded with Turk, 
and it has been used not only as a general term for all races of 
Turkish descent, but even still more broadly and improperly 
to express everything which is neither Semitic nor Aryan, and 
in feet everything of which ethnologists and philologists knew 
little or nothing. A part of the country was undoubtedly inha- \ 
bited by the Sacae or Scythians, a people of Aryan race, the dis- ( 
tant ancestors of the Germans and Slavonians. The Turkish 
races were comparatively late immigrants into this region. 
When they did come they dispossessed in a great measure 
the Persian or Iranic tribes of the land, confining them either 
to the cities or compelling them to take refuge in the moun- 

as leen in the later Persian shehr, city. laxariai -would thus mean the dwellers in 
dtiee, and laxartes the river of cities ; and the word Sart, the eocnipdoii of ' 
laxartMi, wae passed over from the Iranic nomads to the ToilciilL 
designation for the settled inhabitants of the lower valUc'* 
then thickly populated and full of flourishing cities. 
> * IVndi Voetochnago Otdieleniya Imp. Boss. AxB^ 
foL ZTi. p; 386. * The Scythian people Qamib,* 


tains, and accordingly we find that not only in the Ak-tan 
mountains, near Tashkent, are there small scattered villages 
inhabited exclusively by Tadjiks, but that the mountain ranges 
about the head-quarters of the Zarafshan are thickly settled 
with them. With each new wave of Turks the Tadjiks were 
driven farther back into the mountains. These Tadjik moun- 
taineers are usually called Graltchas. In Bukhara, Samar* 
kand, and Hodjent, Tadjiks form the main element of the city 
population, but on the right bank of the Syr the proportion is 
much smaller, the population being nearly all of Turkish origin. 
The Turkomans call the Tadjiks Tad, but this latter name is 
especially used for the inhabitants of Merv, who were forcibly 
colonised in the neighbourhood of Samarkand after the capture 
of that city by the Amir of Bukhara, Shah Murad. 

The Uzbeks are the descendants of the Turkish tribes who 
at various times migrated to this part of Asia, both before and 
since the time of Tchinghiz Khan. The population of Central 
Asia has never become fixed, and even now movements amon^ 
tribes and races continue. Their name means * independent ^ 
or ' free,' from Uz^ self, and hek^ a bek, and their origin must 
be sought in one of those free confederacies which, like that of 
the Kirghiz-Kazaks, was founded in the fifteenth century. In 
this way the names of former great nations, such as the Naimans, 
are preserved to us as appellations of Uzbek clans. According 
to opinions current in Tashkent and Bukhara the Uzbeks 
are divided into ninety-two clans or families, but hardly 
two lists of these clans will agree. In each clan there, are 
several divisions and subdivisions, but many of these have 
in the course of time even come to be considered as original 
families. In some cases new clans have arisen, as Yus-ming- 
kyrk, from the coalescence of parts of three different tribes. 
Though many of the Uzbeks are settled in the cities north 
of the Syr, the greater part of them still pursue their 
nomad life under certain restrictions, and they do not by 
any means keep to the same places, so that localities which 
twenty or thirty years ago were inhabited by one clan are 
now possessed by another. Some of the leading clans are 
the Ming, to which the present Khan of Khokand belongs, who 
inhabit Urgut and the mountains to the south-east of Samarkand ; 
the Manghit, of which the Amir of Bukhara is a member, who 

Tatbeks; and the KaraKalpaks, the most of whom tx-cupy the 
ilt^Ita of the Amu, near Khiva, though a numbt^r of th«m live 
tiear Samarkand, are considered to be only a clan of Uzbeks. 
The Tiirkomans, the (hiz of old times, are thought by some to 
h* Uzlmk?* who have iM^eome somewhat more separated from 


the rest ; at all events they were a similar confederacy of tbf 
same race. The Tartars are known everywhere in Central Asia f s 
Nogai, which is also the name of an Uzbek clan.* 

The Tadjiks and Uzbeks are readily distinguished from eiU». 
other, not only in appearance but also in character. Tbt 
Tadjik is larger and fuller in person, with an ample blaci 
beard, and with an air of shrewdness and cunning. He is 
fickle, untruthful, lazy, cowardly, and boastful, and in every 
way morally corrupted. The Uzbek is taller and thinner, with 
a scanty beard, and a longer and more strongly marked face. 
He is simple in his manners and dress, while the Tadjik is 
devoted to his personal appearance, and fond of adorning 
himself. The Uzbeks look upon the Tadjiks with contempt, 
but at the same time they are dependent upon them. Tlie 
Tadjiks treat the Uzbeks as fools and children of nature, and 
smilingly say that they have them entirely in their power, 
lutermarriages, however, are not uncommon. The Tadjik has 
none of the pride of race which the Uzbek possesses, and wil! 
rarely call himself by the name Tadjik. If asked who he ifl 
he will say, ' I am a man of Tashkent ; ' ' I am from Hodjent; 
' I am a Samarkandi, ' as the case may be ; while the Uzbek 
will say, ' I am an Uzbek of the clan of Jalayr or Kalagar,' 
and will even in many cases particularise the division and sub- 
division of the clan to which he belongs, though these dis- 
tinctions have greatly dropped out of use in Turkistan. 

The popular story of Shirin and Ferhat well shows the 
difference between the Uzbek and Tadjik natures. There was 
once a queen, Shirin Hatun, of great beauty, who lived on the 
farther side of the Syr Darya. She had two wooers, one a 
Tadjik and the other an Uzbek named Ferhat. Both were 
persistent, and as she was at a loss which to choose, an old 
woman counselled her to give them some difficult work, and 
to marry the one who succeeded. She therefore comma niie«l 
them to dig a canal through the Famished Steppe. Ferhat, a 
strong stalwart fellow, with a simple and straightforward 
nature, took his spade and dug away all day, trying to turn the 

' Full lists and accounts of tho Uzbdk clans, which are of some historical and 
geographical interest, will be found in Khanikolfs 'Description of the Bukharan 
Khanate/ and in • Russian Turkistan/ part 11., Moscow, 1872 ; * Materials for the 
Statistics of Turkistan/ part III., St. Petersburg, 1874 ; both in Russian. 


obaDDel of the river, and thus formed the cataoracts at Bigavat* 
The Tadjik, crafty, and full of expedients, plaited a wicker of 
reeds and laid it on the ground across the steppe. Early in 
the morning the sim's rays reflected from the shining reeds 
made them appear like a stream of water, and Shirin Hatun 
thereupon caUed for the Tadjik and married him. When the 
Uzbek learned of the deception that had been practised upon 
him, he was in despair, and threw his spade high up in the air 
so that as it came down it cut off his head with a single stroke. 
The Tadjiks speak a dialect of Persian, which has been greatly 
influenced by the Turkish dialects of the neighbourhood, and 
has taken in many Turkish words. It retains, however, many 
Aryan words that are not used in modern Persian, which is an 
endence of the long continuance of the race in these regions.' 
While few Uzbeks speak Tadjik most of the Tadjiks speak 
the Turki, which is the language of the Uzbeks. The dialect 
of Turki spoken here is that known to some European scholars 
by the name of Jagatai, though few in Central Asia now 
know the name. On being asked what language he speaks 
a native will either say, 'I speak Turki,' or 'the Uzbek language.' 
Tbe name Jagatai was, I believe, given to this dialect by the 
Persians, as the Uzbek tribes of this part of Asia were known 
to the Persian historians as Hhe men of Jagatai,' from the 
son of Tchinghiz Khan, to whom this region was allotted. As 
most of the Tadjiks, except in the districts inhabited exclusively 
by them, speak Turki, it is possible with that language to go 
anywhere in Central Asia. At the same time the Tadjik is 
the language of politeness and culture, in which most letters 
and all state and oflScial documents are written. . 

I The whole population of the Eussian province of Turkistan \ 
; is estimated at about 1,600,000, of whom fully 1,000,000 are ; 
r.omads. Besides the Tadjiks and Uzbeks there are fragments 
of other races. For instance, there are many Persians, some 
who have been originally brought from Persia as slaves, and 
their descendants, and others who have been forcibly colonised 
there during some of the wars, as, for example, the inhabitants 
of Merv, who were settled in the neighbourhood of Samarkand. 
There are also a few Arabs living in the neighbourhood of 

* A critical study of the Tadjik dialect, by Prof. Grigorief, will be found in favi 
•dition of the ' Memoirs of Mirza Shems.' Kazan, 1861. 



Katta-KUTgan, near Karshi, and at KiikertU, on the Amu 
Darja, Those near Katta-kurgan speak Tadjik and Turki ; 
the rest epeak a debased and corrupted Arabic* With 
regard to them there are two traditions^HJUe that they are 
the desoendants of the Arabs who forcibly introduced Moham- 






medanism into the country, which they themselveg believe ;j 
and another that they were settled here by Timur after hej 
had conquered the Western powers. They weave woollen and | 
cotton i?tutf8 and make excellent carpets. The niiml>er of j 
Arabs in the district of Zarafshan is estimated at 2,000 families, [ 


In every city, and even in many of the smaller towns of Centml 
Asia, there are numbers of Hebrews and Hindoos, the former 
having been in the country for centuries, the latter coming 
temporarily from the neighbourhood of Shikarpur for the 
purposes of trade. There are to be seen at times in the towns 
people called Liuli, who are apparently the same as our gypgies.^^ 
The women tell fortunes, cure the sick, and carry on a small 
traffic. The men trade in horses, and have almost a monopoly 
of leeches, which they collect from the ponds and streams. 
Connected with these are two other races apparently much the 
same — the Jiutchi, who are probably Kafirs from Kafiristan ; 
. and the Mazang, who are settled in some small villages, and 
are agriculturists, though their women traverse the whole 
country as pedlars with small wares. The Liuli, on the con- 
trary, are nomads, as gypsies are everywhere. Externally they 
are all Mussulmans, but it is doubtful whether they would be 
able to repeat a single prayer, and as a general rule they neglect 
all the ordinances of religion. I should also mention here 
another small, mysterious people, called Audi, who inhabit 
Mashad, the second post station between Tchimkent and 
Aulie-ata and three other villages in the immediate neighbour- 
hood. They speak a dialect of Turki, allow the women to be 
imveiled, intermarry among themselves, and seem to be ashamed 
of their origin, as they are unwilling to admit that they are 

The history of Tashkent is surrounded with much obscurity, 
as the historical documents relating to the troublous times in 
Central Asia are but few ; and though it is said that a chronicle 
of Tashkent exists, European eyes have not yet seen it. A city 
existed on this spot, or more probably some twenty-five miles 
to the south-west, at a place now called Old Tashkent, which 
was known by the name of Tchatch or Jadj, and is mentioned 
in the Sbah-nameh, and even earlier by the Chinese traveller 
of the seventh century, Hiouen-Thsang. The Arabic writers 
found difficulty in pronouncing and spelling the name, and it 
then became altered to Shash. The present name Tashkent 
probably originated with the Turkish nomad tribes when they 
came into the country, Sha h, which meant nothng for 
them, being changed to Tdsh^ a stone. Kent is a Persian 
word meaning town. Lying on the borders of Maverannahr, 

TcTiatcb, or Tashkentj which must even then have been n 
large and rich town, belonged sometimes to the Bove-. 
reigns of Bukhara and Sam^arkand, and sometimes to thd 
Turkish tribes, who lived farther to the north-east — fttt<J 
whose capital for a long time was Bala-Sagun. When this 
kingdom was overthrown bj Tchingbiz Khan, Tashkent pasat?d 
into bis possession, and was ruled over in connection with 
the neighbouring countries by his son Jagatai and his succee- 
Bors* After the reign of Timur it remained in the possession 
of his successors until thej were conquered by tbe great 
Sheibani Khan. In 1598 it was taken bj tbe Kirghiz, who 
were just then at the height of tbeir power, from Abdullah 
Khan, the last great sovereign of Samarkand and Bukhara, 
The Kir^^hiz retained possession of the place and tbe adjacent 
province until 1723, when it was taken by Galdan-Tsjran^ 
the ruler of Jungaria, who was then greatly extending his 
dominions. This dynaBty was overthrown in 1769, and it is 
probable that from that time tbe bekship of Tashkent enjoyed 
a semi-independent position, paying allegiance at times to tho 
ruler of Bukhara, until about the beginning of the present 
century, when it was captured by Alim Khan of Khokand. 
With tbe exception of the short period when Khokand was 
Bubjugated by Bukhara, Tashkent remained in the possession 
of Khokand until it was captured by the Russians, although 
always a great rival to Khokand, and ready on the slighteat 
provocation to rebet At times, indeed, it was the seat of the 

The capture of Tashkent by General Tcbemaief^ considering 
the small force he bad at his dispoi^al, is one of the mo:f^t re- 
markable things in the history of the Russian conquests in 
Central Asia* Immediately after tbe capture of Tcbimkent, in 
October 1864, General Tehemaief thought that as the Kushbegi 
of Tashkent had died at Tchimkent, and many of the garrison 
had been drawn from Tashkent, it might be posisible to take 
that city by a coup ds main^ He accoi dingly advanced to it, 
and on Oct/ober 15 placed a battery in position, and after 
making a breach in the walls gave the assault. He found, how- 
ever, that the city was much more strongly defended than be 
had expected J and was repulsed with a loss of sixteen killed and 
sixty-two woimded, and retume 1 to Tchimkent A large body 


of Khokand troops soon after marched towards the city Turkis- 
tan, but after the severe fight at Ikan were obliged to retire. It 
was found that the Amir of Bukhara, being alarmed at the pro- 
gress of the Russians, was massing troops near Uratep^ with the 
design of taking possession of Tashkent, to prevent it falling 
into Eussian hands* As the disposition of the inhabitants of 
Tashkent was not very favourable towards the rulers of Klokand, 
and they were suffering imder the despotism of the Regent 
Alim Kul, General Tchemaief feared lest they might be enticed 
over to the Bukharan side, and therefore considered it necessary 
to take some measures to prevent this. He accordingly attacked 
and took the small fortress of Niazbek, situated more than six- 
teen miles to the north-east of Tashkent, on the river Tchirtchik, 
which commanded the water supply of Tashkent, and thus 
placed the city to a certain extent at his mercy. As the 
peaceful party in Tashkent were favourably inclined towards the 
Russians, but was not yet able to declare itself openly in their 
favour. General Tchemaief moved down to a new position some 
six miles from the city, and made a reconnaissance of its north- 
eastern side, during which it had been agreed that the Russian 
partisans should attack the garrison and open the gates of the 
city, but on the same day the Regent of Khokand, Mullah 
Alim Kul, with an army of 6,000 men and forty guns, arrived 
and entered the city. On the next day. May 21, Alim Kul 
and 7,000 men made an attack upon the Russian camp, but 
after a severe fight were driven to the very walls of the town, 
where they took refuge, though it was thought unadvisable by 
tlie Russians to make an assault at that time. In this affair 
the Russians had some twenty woumded and bruised, and the 
enemy lost more than 300 killed, among whom was, as was 
soon learned, Alim Kul himself. The death of Alim Kul made 
a great impression not only in Tashkent but in all Khokand, 
but the tide of affairs was rather to the profit of the Bukharan 
partisans, and an embassy — among whom was Ata Bek, the 
present Atalyk of Khokand — was sent to the Amir of Bukhara 
with a request for aid and the expression of a desire to be re» 
ceived as Bukharan subjects. In order to prevent any possi- 
bility of aid being sent by the Amir, and to show the inhabitants 
that any resistance was useless. General Tchemaief moved his 
forces in the direction of the fortress of Tchinaz, which covered 

VOL. I. I 



tliB ferrj across the Syr Darya ; but wlien be was etill some 
twelve milee from the place the akaakal came to inforin him 
that tlie garrison Lad fled across the river and that the ferry 
was destroyed. Only a small force was then sent to occupy 
Tchinaz, and General Tchemaief returned to take np his po- 
iition on the Bukhara roadj some three miles from the walls of 
Tashkent, The iuliabitants of the city were in great distress 
from want of water, there being but one spring in the town, 
and were even short of provisions* They were in the habit of 
sending parties out into the sniTOunding gardens and fielda 
to cut the then ripe com and to pasture the cattle. This was 
often prevented by the Russian attacks, and the cattle were 
seized ♦ They rested their only hope of deliverance upon tha 
Amir, who had not refused assistance, but had demanded that 
the young Kban, Seid Sultan, should Ije sent to him as a 
hostage. On receipt of this intelligence the Khan, with 200 of 
his immediate followers, fled on the night of June 21, and at 
the same time a small party of Bukharana led by Ii^ban Buk 
entered Tashkent and took command of the city. The forces 
of the Amir also began to show themselves at various points 
along the Syr Darya. It was impossible fonnally to besiege the 
city, the walls of which were sixteen miles roimd, and enclosed 
a population of considerably over 100,000. It would also have 
been as disastrous to the Russian policy to retreat from the 
city and allow it to be taken possession of by the Bukharaus 
as it was dangerous to risk a drawn battle with the strong 
army of the Amir, when the forces of General Tchernaief 
amounted at the most to only 2,000 men and twelve gims. Il 
was finally resolved to attempt an ai^sault, which was fixed fori 
the early morning of June 27, on the Kamehin gate, which, [ 
leading into tlie highest part of tho city, would, when takeugj 
render it possible to command tlie town. At three o'clock'! 
the storming party, under command of Captain (now Jilajof'* 
General) Abramof, made a successful assatdt on the walls 
surprised the watch party and opened the gates, aftei 
silencing the artillery fire which was opened on them fror 
various barbettes, and Abramof went along the city wall sorafl 
six miles to the Kara-Sarai gates, leading to that part of th6 
city where tlie Russian partisans were supposed to live, Majo| 
De La Croix at the Bame time entered by the Khokand gt^fe 

Ai .mi 


and took possession of that part of the citadel. During the 
whole of that day the troops were occupied in making progress 
through the various streets of the bazaar, finding at every step 
barricades, and tlie strongest resistance from soldiers and others 
stationed in the gardens and houses. At night everything 
seemed to be quiet, but on the next morning, the 28th, when a 
force was sent to collect the enemy's guns and. to blow up the 
citadel, the affray was renewed, and it was found that barricades, 
hastily formed of carts and trees, had been everywhere erected. 
It was necessary first to clear these away, and to stop the fire of 
the enemy, and the whole day was spent in the contest. At 
last in the evening messengers came asking for quarter, and 
promising to formally surrender the city on the following 
morning. At the appointed hour a deputation from the city, 
consisting of the aksakals and magistrates and the most re- 
spected inhabitants, arrived and surrendered the city uncon- 
ditionally, and measures were immediatelv taken for the 
restoration of order. Complete tranquillity prevailed, and not 
another shot was fired. The whole number of the defenders 
amounted to some 30,000, of whom more than 5,000 cavalry 
escaped, and were pursued by 39 Cossacks as far as the river 
Tchirtchik, into which they threw themselves in great confusion. 
Among the trophies were 16 large standards, 63 cannon, and 
72,000 lbs. of powder. The Eussian loss was 25 killed and 117 
wounded. The moderate party in the town explained to 
Cfeneral Tchemaief, that they were very anxious to keep order, 
and a few days after the surrender requested his signature to a 
proclamation, in which they gave the strongest injunctions for 
discipline, and for the resumption by the people of their usual 
employments, and, what was strange for Mussulmans, spoke in 
the highest terms of the Sussian Emperor.^ The conduct of 

* This proclamation, "which was "written in Turki by the Mussulman authorities 
of Tashkent of their own motion, is so curious that I quote its beginning and end : 

* By order of the great white Tsar, and by command of his lieutenant, the 
Governor Iskender Tchemaief (this is a compliment referring to Alexander the 
Great, his name being Michael), we hereby declare to the inhabitants of the city of 
Tashkent that they must in everything act according to the commands of Almighty 
God and the teaching of the orthodox religion of Mohammed, on whom and on 
"whose descendants be the blessing of God, and to the laws established by him, not 
departing from them one iota. Let all, so far as they can, act for the advantage 
and profit of the country. Let them say everywhtjre their prayers five timoB a 

X 2 



General Tcbemaief made a most favourable impresFion upon 
the natives, and from that time on there wat^ not the slightest 
trouble of any kind on the part of the native population* In- 
numerable stories are told of the courage and simplicity of 
Greaeral Tcbemaief, and among them that, on the evening of 
the surrender of the town, he rode through the streets, winch 
were hardly then clear of the dead, attended by only two or 
three Cossacks, and took a native bath. Immediately afterwards 
one of the crowd that followed him offered him a Lowl of tea, 
which he drank without the slightest hesitation. Such things 
es cited the greatest admiration for him, and when he was re- 
moved from command his departure was witnessed with regret^ 
and the natives loog for his return. There is even a legend 
that an the anniversary of the capture of Tashkent people go 
to the Kamelan gate, wliere the storming took place, and pray 
for his &oul< The people of Central Asia are iu the habit uf 

dnj, notpasiiiig bj the appoiuted time an hour or ercD a minute. Let the Mullahs 
cotistJintly gf* to their schools an*} teat^li the l;iWB of tha Muhammedttn fiiith. and 
not TTiiste the time of their ptipiLH hy &n houT or by a miaute. Let children not 
for one h&ur mifis their lesauns, and let the t^acherjs try to collect iha children In 
school, and not give them hours of idlenesa, nnd iu cii»e of need use strong m^MUrefi* 
etea heatings to ni^ke them learuj und if the p^irent^ show earelQBBneB§ iu this^ let 
them in accordance with th& Mohnmmedan Skarutt he brought to the EfiiSj tho 
h&id of the ritjt or Kazi Kiliiin, and ho well punished. Let the inhnbitiiiits of 
tha eountr}' i^jt^upy ihemaolvcs with their work. Let tho people of the brizaar cany 
Qn their trudfl inid not ^im thtir time idlj. Let every man carry on hh own work. 
Let nothing bo thrown into the str&ets, and let them be kept ^It-an. Your Moham- 
mBdan religion forbids you to drink bvjxa find whisky, to play at games of chanco, 
or to bo licentloys, therefore beware nnd keep back from every innovation which !> 
contrary to the laws of religion/ [Ili^r*? follow rurioua minute regulations about 
weights, measures, tmde, &cj 'All the inhabiUiitts of Tas^Iikent, rich and poor^ 
must exactly fttlfll all that has been atiid above. Ilousefi, gardens, fttdda, landa» 
and water-mill!?, of which you have pfjssesion, will remuin your property. Tho 
soldi ens will tjiko w thing from you. You will not be mmlo EuaT<ian Co«sackB, 
There will be no quartering of aoltliers on yoti. No one in Btrvice will come into 
jour conrtyardB, or if ho como let us know at once, and he will be puuiahed. 
Great kindness ib shown to you, and therefore you bhoiild pray for the hesiltb of 
the white Tsar, If any one kill anybody, or rob a merchant^ he will be judged by 
Bus&ian laws. If any one kill h;ro»alf, his property goes to his heir according to 
the Skfirtat ; we will take none of hist property. The tenth pnrt which ia taken 
from the prodocts of Government land^ I, the Governor Ii^kender Tchemaiefj 
remit to you for tlie present yeiir, bnt after wanls it will be in itcconlance with the 
will of our great white That to ehow you act'ordjTig to his own dii^jx^sition itill 
grater kindn*^flw. 1283. Gth djvy of the month Sufar (July 2, 18(36j/ 


giving nicknames to their ruleri ; oalllng, for InntAnoa, N^^iniHt^h 
Khan, the late Amir of Bukhara^ ^ tha Buiohar/ an4 t]m K\m) 
of Khokand * the dog.* The name of Tolmrnali^f thoy mt^tM^ 
morphosed into Shir-Naib, * the lion Vtcaroy/ H(mm niiimmMjf 
mistook the name for a title, for tba B<^k of Jlmkh in VfriUug^ 
in 1866, to General Bomaao&kjr began, ^To tim wwlymn^rivMi 
Tehemaief from tibe WMte Taar/ 





A moTchanfs lionse — Its fBmitnre^Musswlmnn dflvotiotifl— DrBae-^Food— 
Drin ts^NarcoticH — Nati ve gH tDes— Spo tt i n g — Falcorjii — H orses — Vebi* 
dea — Singing — MQEif-al inst.rumGntH — Dancos of boys — A di^nce of womoc 
— The foEti^Til of 2^ng'iitJi — V<inonition for old troas — Circumcision — 
Marriage— Wml ding fettnts — iHropce — Maladiaa of the Sarts— Cbolem — 
PftT^tsit-es — Moliciiies — Funernls — Mourning — Asintic influence on RuiS^iu 
— iilam— DiflTijsrtJiit »&cXm of Mohrtnimedjins — Mosques and worship tTiere — 
BsHgiouii orders — Visit to performtincciB of Jiihriji — EJunatiou -Pnmnrj 
Bcliools— Colieg^^-Their arraugemeiita and ^tudies^The JCmkIb — Njitii^o 
cotirts among the noniitd and settled p puUtioa — Muaaulman lnw— Chris- 
tmnttj aad I^lam. 

Feom mj niinieroiiB acquaintances T soon had an opportunity 
of obtaining an insight into Mussulman life at Tashkent, for 
I was taken to make viaitd, and was very frequently asked to 
little entertainments, or to go in the evening and take tea and 
pilaf* These entertainments are all very much alike, but let 
US take as an example an evening with Doda Mohammed, 

Groing down through the bazaar we turn up hill into a street 
so narrow, and so full of large shai-p stones, that it was evidently 
not made for wheels, and after some time come to another narrow 
lane, with its long reach of blank clay wall, for here no win- 
dows ever look into the street* Eventually, after two or three 
mistakes, we arrive at a small door which is half-open; on 
calling outj three handsome lads in long loose shirts, girt with 
handkerchiefs round the waist, and close-fitting skull-caps, 
appear with Fmiling faces, greet ns with the customary * Aman/ 
and take our horses. We enter, and find a large court-yard 
nearly surrnmided with sheds filled with horses^ — the only kind 
of stable which is used here- We are taken through another 
door into still another conrtyardj on two sides of which are the 
balconies of the house. This is the tiafirkari or man's court, 


and beyond, through a door and a narrow passage, is the itch-- 
karij or woman's court. Doda Mahammed, being rich, 'jas 
as many as three courtyards, but no one who pretends to have a » 
house at all has less than two ; for the women must have some 
place where they can be at their ease, and where men do not 
enter. * This man's court has a smooth hard clay floor, with 
little stidps of turf, and on one side a platform raised a foot or 
eighteen inches above the ground, and n^ar by a square pond, 
shaded by trees, which is fed by a little ditch from one of the 
main canals, and which provides the water for drinking as well 
as for purification. 

We are shown into the guest-room, where we sit on Turko- 
man rugs, which cover the floor; meanwhile, the air being 
pleasanter outside, other rugs are taken out and placed on the 
platform; thin striped silken mattresses are laid along the 
edge, and pillows are given us to put our elbows on in case we 
find sitting too fatiguing. The natives sit at times cross-legged, 
but it is considered much more polite and respectful to kneel 
down and sit upon the feet. Tiresome as it is at first, one 
gradually becomes accustomed to it, though much depends 
upon the dress, and with the loose native trousers one finds it 
perfectly easy to do without chairs. The houses are all much 
alike; there is one large room opening on the portico, the 
guest-chamber, and opposite one or two smaller ones opening 
out of it. The living-rooms in the woman's court are in every 
respect similar to these. In each room there are two or three 
doors, with double leaves, opening inwardly, hung on a sort 
of pivot, let into the lintel and threshold instead of hinges, 
usually carved with delicate arabesques, in which work the 
natives have great proficiency. There are no windows, except 
oblong openings over the doors, sometimes filled in with a little 
lattice-work, and usually covered with white paper. The walls 
are plastered, and sometimes decorated with a pretty cornice in 
alabaster work, and usually have a large number of niches with 
arched tops, which serve as shelves for the few books, the clothes, 
jars of sweetmeats, ewers, and teapots. The walls are fre- 
quently painted with representations of fruit, bouquets or pots of 
wonderful flowers, and sometimes with small arabesques ; in rare 
cases there is the representation of some animal, but this is 
avoided, as being in contradiction to the injunctions of the 

Koran, The ceiling is made of small round willow-bmnchea 
fitted between the rafters, and la usually painted a bright 
ultramarine blue, picked out with red aud yellow, and even 
occasionally with a little gold, so that when nicely done it is 
really very beautiful. 

Besides the rugs and mattresaes there is no furniture, except 
perhaps a small round table, a few inches in height j on which 
sweets and fruita are placed for the guests, or a carved or 
painted wooden cupboard, I should not omit one peculiarity : 
in the comer of the room there is veiy frequently a little basin, 
gunk a little below the floor, for the purpose of ablution before 
prayers, beside which a small ewer of water is placed* The 
floors themselves are of clay, though in all good houaes well 
covered with rugs and carpets. In the outer court are kept all the 
things necessary for the horseB, saddles, bridles, blankets, and 
BO forth, and those objects which are specially used by men. 
In the I inner, or woman's court, are the cooking utensils, and 
the special articles of female use, besides bundles of cotton, 
silk, cloth, and all the articles which women gather about them. 
The women have no more furniture than is found on the men's 
side, except possibly a broad bed made of a wooden frame, raised 
but a few inches from the floor, over which a net work of rope 
is stretched. Most people, however, sleep on a rug, or a thin 
quilt or mattress laid on the floor* After trying a quantity of 
such beds on various occasions I began to understand how the 
prince in the Arabian tale could feel a pea under seven mat- 
tresses. Indeed, he would have been vrell hardened if he had 
not felt it. Externally the houses have no ornament, except 
possibly the carved pillars of the portico, and tliey often rest 
upon no foundation except the earth, being built immediately 
up from it, of sunburnt clay bricks. The roof is flat, made of 
reeds or thatch, and then thickly plastered over with clay, 
frmiishing abode to innumerable scorpions, which are constant 
gnests in the native houses, and occasionally to tarantulas and 
other venomous spiders. The houses are generally but of one 
story, though sometimes there is a small upper room, called hala- 
khana (Persian bala^ or haliand^ upper, and khana, room), 
whence we get our word balcony. 

'Wlien we get well seated on the platform a piece of striped 
coloured calico or silk is laid down, and trays of sweets are 



brought in to us. This is called a dostar-khcm (literally table- 
cloth), and is a necessary accompaniment to hospitality in Central 
Asia. The dishes consist of almonds and pistachio nuts, either 
alone or in sugar coverings, pastes and candies of various flavours, 
and known by the name of halvah^ little cakes, and always 
the thin wafer- like bread which is eaten here. If fruit is to be 
had it is also introduced, and there are occasionally some rare 
sweet dishes, such as almonds in sugar-syrup, or rose-leaves 
preserved in honey, or one dish which is much liked here, 
carrots chopped fine in honey. While we tempt our appetite with 
these various delicacies we talk on various subjects, from com- 
mon acquaintance and the news of the day to points of religion 
or of local history. One native, a tall good-natured man of 
forty, amuses me immensely, for he has learned Sussian, and 
has taken a great fancy to Eussian society, knowing almost 
every lady in Tashkent by her Christian name; he has even 
picked up a few words of French, with which he interlards his 
conversation. It is now, however, towards sunset, and our 
entertainers, without any excuse, one by one retire to the pond to 
perform their ablutions, for everyone has carefidly to wash his face 
and hands and his arms up to the elbows. It is amusing to see 
what dexterity is acquired by a little practice ; the hand is raised, 
there is one twirj^of the wrist, and the water runs evenly from 
the hand to the elbow. In drinking too, the Asiatic applies 
his mouth to the hollow at the wrist, and not a drop is wasted. 
Each arm must be washed three times, and then there is a 
triple ablution of the face, * including all the seven orifices,' 
eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, and as far back as to the nape of the 
neck. After this it is the turn of the feet, but this is an 
amusing example of formality and practice. The men, as a 
general rule, obj feet to taking oflf their boots, and merely draw 
their wet fingers over the toes, as a symbol that their feet 
have been washed. They then put on their turbans, pull the 
dangling end well down over the left side, and standing on a 
carpet or a clean robe spread on the ground, with their faces 
towards Mecca, they repeat their prayers. On this occasion, 
the prayer is a short one, the Namaz Digar^ said immediately 
before sunset. There is not the slightest hesitation or feeling 
of shamefacedness because foreigners are present, but the re- 
ligious duty is gone through as a matter of course. They then 



return to our company, but so soon as the sun has set it becomes 
necessary to repeat the second evening prayer, or Namaz Skar/iy 
though additiDnal ahlutioa is not in this case practised, the 
effects of the former one lasting at least ten minutes* There 
are five prayers during the day, which every Mussulman is bound 
to observe ; the N^aviaz BoTndaty inamed lately before emiris^e : 
tlie Namaz Pishi'in^ about noon, though an liour or two later 
makes no difference ; the Nwnxaz Digar^ of which I spoke, ju^t 
before sunset ; the Namaz Sham^ immediately after ; and about 
nine o'clock in the evening the NatnoLZ Hoftan^ which is the 
signal for sleep. This last prayer is the longest, but none of 
them are long- These names of tlie prayers are those used in 
Central Asia, though not those sanctioned by Mutjsulman law. 
Popular usage has given to each a rhyme, specifying some daily 
duty which is coincident in time, as for instance : namaz tUgar 
kari digavj put the kettle on ; hoftan-horaftan^ go to bed ; 
skaTTi^ light the candles* 

Prayers being over^ Poda Mohammed and his friends find 
it more comfortable in this hot weather t-o take off their 
turbans, and sit merely in their little embroidered skull-caps, 
even taking these off to cool their shaven skulls. The dress oi 
the Central Asiatic ia very simple. He wears loose bnggy 
trousers^ usually made of coarse white cottgn stuff, fastened 
tightly round the waist with a cord and tassel; this is a neces- 
sary article of dress, and is never or rarely taken off, at ail 
events not in the presence of another. Frequently when men 
are at work this is the only garment^ and in that case it is 
gradually turned up under the cord or rolled lap on the legs, m 
that the person is almost naked- Over this is worn a long shirt, 
either white or of some light-coloured print, reaching almost to 
the feet, and with a very narrow aperture for the neck, which 
renders it somewhat difficult to put the liead througli, Tlie 
sleeves are long and loose* Beyond this there is nothing more 
but what is called the tckapan^ varying in number according 
to the weather or the whim of the person* Tlie tchapan is a 
loose gown cut very sloping in the neck, with strinjj;s to tie it 
together in front, and inordinately large sleeves, made with an 
immense gore, and about twice as long as is necessary, exceed- 
ingly inconvenient, but uaetul to conceal the hands, as Asiatic 
poli+eness dictates, lu summer these are usually made ot 


Kussian prints, or of the native alatcha, a striped cotton 
material, or of silk, either striped or with most gorgeous 
Eastern patterns in Bright colours, especially red, yellow, and 
green, I have sometimes seen men with as many as four or 
five of these gowns even in summer ; they say that it keeps out 
the heat. In winter one gown will frequently be made of cloth, 
and lined with fine lambskin or fur. The usual girdle is a 
large handkerchief or a small shawl ; at times a long scarf 
wound several times tightly round the waist. The Jews in 
places imder native rule are allowed no girdle but a bit of rope 
or cord, as a mark of ignominy. From the girdle hang the acces- 
sory knives and several small bags and pouches, often prettily em- 
broidered, for combs, money, &c. On the head, there is a skull- 
cap; these in Tashkent are always embroidered with silk; in- 
Biikhara they» are usually worked with silk or worsted in cross- 
stitch, in gay patterns. The turban, called tchU-petch or ' forty 
turns,' is very long; and if the wearer has any pretence to 
elegance it should be of fine thin material, which is chiefly im- 
ported from England. It requires considerable experience to 
wind one properly round the head so that the folds will be well 
made, and the appearance fashionable. One extremity is left to 
fall over the left shoulder, but is usually, except at prayer-time, 
tucked in over the top. Should this end be on the right 
shoulder it is said to be in the Afghan style. I have said that 
the majority of turbans are white, and this is true in Tashkent, 
though white is especially the colour of the Mullahs and reli- 
gious people, whose learning is judged by the size of their 
turbans. In general merchants prefer blue, striped, or chequered 
material. At liome the men usually go barefooted, but on 
going out wear either a sort of slippers with pointed toes and 
very* small high heels, or long soft boots, the sole and upper 
being made of the same material. In the street one must in 
addition put on either a slipper or galosh, or wear riding-boots, 
made of bright green horse-hide, with tumed-up pointed toes 
and very small high heels. 

The dress of the women in shape and fashion diflFers but 
little from that of the men, as they wear similar trousers and 
shirts, though in addition they have long gowns, usually of 
bright-coloured silk, which extends from the neck to the ground. 
Thoy wear an innumerable quantity of necklaces and little 



amuJetg^ pendents in their hairj and earrings!^ and occasionally 
even a mise-rinp^- This is by no means so ugly as is supposed: 
a pretty girl with a turquoise ring in one nostril is not at all 
unsightly ; on the contrary, there is something piquant in it. 
Usually when outside of the houses all respectable women wear 
a heavy black veil, reaching to their waists, made of woven 
horsehair, and over that is thrown a dark blue or green khalat, 
the sleeves of which, tied together at the ends, dangle behind, 
The theory of this duJl dress is, that the women desire to 
escape ohservation, and certainly for that purpose they have 
devised the most ugly and unseemly costume that could be 
imagined. They are, however, very inquisitive, and occasionally 
in hy-streets one is able to get a good glance at them before 
they pull down their veils. The look of an infidel, or Kaffir, is 
not supposed to be bo injurious to them as that of a Mussul- 

In the towns under native rule the morals of the people are 
thoroughly looked after by the officials, but in Tashkent and 
other Russian towns there are increasing numbers of women of 
looae character and morals, for many native women take up 
this life rather than live witli husbands whom they do not love, 
and even to get a divorce they will pretend to be ill and go to 
the Russian hospital to be examined by the doctors, a proceed- 
ing which of course disgusts their husbands, and renders a 
EeparatiDn possible and easy* These women are always un- 
veiled, and are seen constantly walking in the streets, or riding 
on carts to pic-nics or places of pleasure, and from them one 
soon getB some idea of the female type. It is perhaps un- 
fortunate that the unveiling of the women has begun with that 
clai?8, because now no respectable woman dares to go unveiled, 
and even the Jewish and Tartar women wear veils to preserve 
themselves from disagreeable remarks as they pass through the 
streets. It is believed that if General Tcberuaief at the 
capture of Tashkent had ordered the women to go without 
their veils^ the eommand would have been readily acquiesced 
in, but now it is somewhat difficult to bring about such a 
reform by external pressure, and it is not easy to know when 
the Mussulmans themselves will become sufficiently enlightened 
to allow their wives to show tJiemselves in public. 

But while my friends have been disoussing the last scandal 

PILAF. 125 

— a woman who unsuccessfully demands a divorce- from her 
husband, who refuses to live with her, but has just married an 
unveiled woman, and questions are raised as to who is the 
proper person to bring it before the Kazi, for the woman her- 
self is kept prisoner in the house — and while I have been ex- 
amining their dress and thinking about their wives, supper 
has been brought in. It consists of pilaf or palau, a dish 
composed of rice and mutton. Its preparation is very simple : 
a quantity of mutton tallow or fat is melted in a pot, and the 
mutton, after being cut into pieces, is etewed in this ; wlien the 
meat is cooked it is taken out, and the rice, which hsifi been 
properly washed and cleaned, is put in and stewed until done ; 
with this are mixed usually small thin slicings of carrot, and 
the whole is turned out on a large platter, the pieces of meat 
and bones being placed artistically on the top. One of the 
company then takes his knife from his girdle and cuts the 
meat into smaller pieces, distributing it at different sides of 
the rice, so as to be convenient for the guests. Everyone eats 
with the right hand (as the left is destined for more menial 
services), taking up the rice with his fingers, pressing it into a 
ball in the palm of his hand, and skilfully thrusting it into his 
mouth. If it be a grand feast the pilaf is occasionally im- 
proved by having a chicken cooked with it, in place of the 
mutton, and raisins and pistachio nuts are added. An occa- 
sional dish of pilaf, with plenty of salt and pepper, is pleasant, 
but it is too greasy and insipid to be long agreeable to an 
European palate. Other native dishes are kavardak, composed 
of scraps of mutton stewed in grease, together with pieces of 
bread, and kavap (a name which is naturalised with us as cabobs), 
small bits of meat roasted on a spit, and a hash of mutton and 
carrots, which is not bad. I have frequently eaten also tckuah" 
vara^pilmen and nanty, mutton mixed with onions and thickly 
sprinkled with pepper, enclosed in paste, and boiled or stewed. 
Mutton is almost the only meat. Horse-flesh — on which, as 
all storybooks inform us, Tartars exclusively feed — I never saw 
used, and when I spoke of it everyone denied having eaten itj» 
but said that it was very common in some other place. I once, 
in passing through a small village, saw a horse being cut up, 
apparently for food, by Kirghiz, and I was told that the horse- 
sausages and roast young colt of Khokand were celebrated, but 

I never could get a taste. The bread, which is usually of wheats 
is made very small and round like a bun, and is cooked bj 
being plastered on to the side of a round oven. Sometimes it 
is very large and very thin, like a tremendous wafer, and when 
fresh is very good. 

For drink there is nothing but water and green tea. It is 
^ always considered necessary to drink water after eating pilaff 
for the nativeg say the rice has to be planted in water : it 
grows in water, it is boiled in water, and consequently one 
must drink water with it. Green tea — for black tea was not 
known here till the Russians came — is drunk at all times of 
the day, and is sometimes very good ; it is certainly a great 
restorative on a warm day, as it cools rather than heata one, 
and though I drank it often I found that I experienced no bad 
efiFects from it, A favourite drink, especially in the early 
morning, i^ ahlrin-tchai, green tea thick with cream or melted 
tallow* The Koran prohibits the use of wines or other liquors, 
and none are to be had here, though now the natives, except 
of the strictest principles, rarely refuse a glass of liquor when 
offered by a Russian, and the Jews have long been known to 
make a coarse red wine. It is strange, however, that with all 
the different fruits which alwund in this country the natives 
have not invented some cooling fruity drink which would not 
ha%*6 intoxicating powers. There is a liquor something like 
beer made from grain, called ?mi^a, which is very intoxicating, 
having a stupefying effect, and is much used by the Kirgluz. If 
I may judge of buza from one trial, the taste is not unpleasant. 
The effects of this drink have been found so great on tho 
Russian soldiers that an attempt has been made to stop its 
sale in Tashkent, Twice I wandered through the Kirghiz 
quarter vainly asking for husa, but no one knew where it was 
made or could be had, though several whom we asked were 
evidently tipsy from it* At last a boy, after a great display of 
ignorance as to the drink, admitted having some in a jug he 
was cariying, and permitted us to taste it. Sometimes on hot 
days sour milk is drunk mixed with water, and in Tashkent 
one can get the ktimys^ or liquor made of mare's milk, which is 
so much drunk by the Kirghiz on the Steppe, At intervals the 
kkilimf or Bukharan water-pipe, is passed round, for Boda 
Mohammed is not a puritan and smokes. This pipe, wbioh ii 


HOW THEY SMOKE. - 127 ~ 

in principle the same as the nargileh, is usually made of a 
gourd prettily mounted in brass, with a long tube coming up 
through the water, which holds at the top a small earthem or 
brass receptacle for the coals and tobacco, and on the side a 
similar tube for the mouth-piece. The mouth-pipe is often 
wanting, and the smoker must apply his lips directly to the 
hole in the gourd, but he needs much practice before he can 
draw up the smoke, and then place his finger on the opposite 
orifice and get a good whiflF. Tobacco is chiefly used by the 
natives in the form of a fine dark green powder, varying in 
colour according to the quality, of which a small quantity is 
placed on the tongue and sucked or chewed. This tobacco, if 
the user can alTord it, is carried in a small bottle of Chinese 
jade or nephrite, but more usually in a very small gourd fitted 
with a stopper. Snuff, as such, I rarely saw used. Opium is 
smoked by some, but it is rather rare in Tashkent, and only 
persons very far gone in dissipation would indulge in this taste. 
The narcotic which is usually smoked is bang^ which is pre- 
pared from the Indian hemp. Another substance frequently 
used for its narcotic effects is kukhnar, sl liquor made by soaking 
in water the bruised capsules of the poppy after the seeds have 
been taken out; this is a dark brownish liquor with an intensely 
bitter taste, and when taken habitually it produces very bad 
effects. Temporary exhilaration is soon succeeded by stupe- 
faction, and that by nervous prostration. The kukhnar drinker 
is soon forced to take large quanties several times a day, and 
to use the greatest caution in his diet; above all he must 
abstain from very hot and from very sour drinks. 

At last the time came for us in the forms of Tashkent 
politeness to ask permission of our host to retire. Hands were 
pressed on each side, and the whole company, with candles and 
small iron lamps, in form like those from Pompeii, saw us to 
our horses. 

As we were riding homeward through the moonlit streets I ^ 
asked my friend the Mullah Hair-ullah what were the amuse- 
ments of Mussulmans. His answer was that he himself read 
or sometimes made translations, or said his prayers, but that 
in Central Asia people had no amusements. The men occupy 
themselves with their horses or sometimes shoot, but otherwise, 
h(^ said, with the exception of festivals, where a large number ol 1 

1 persons were collected together, and where dancing eometiines 
I took place, there were no amusements of any kindj and people 
passed their days in sleeping or in con%'ersatioD, * Bat the 
children ? * I said, ' Otir reHgion, you know/ he replied, * forbids 
children to have any toys. Their studies must be directed 
towards religion and towards war, and for that reason they may 
he allowed to ride, and liiay use the how and the gnn, but 
nothing else,' This method of education, wliich reminds one of 
bow Xenophon said that the Persian boys were taught to ride, 
to use the bow, and to speak the truths is, however, not 
thoroughly carried out in practice, for I have often seen the 
l3oys in Tashkent and Samarkand playing games similar to 
those played in Europe, and especially a game with knuckle- 
bones, which is quite as common in Central Asia as it is in 
Eussia, and another game where bones are placed at Intervals 
on the ground, and the players, standing off at some distance, 
toss another bone at them, pocketing as many as they are able 
to knock down and displace. Girls have dolls roughly made 
of rags, and commonly play ball. Chess is frequently played, and 
in Samarkand there is a great deal of gambling and bettings 
with cards, dice, and especially at odds and evena, for which 
last game some even have a real passion, constantly tossing 
little stones from one hand to another and rapidly counting 
them. Cards were first brought from Russia, although long 
before the Russian occupation, and most of the games played 
are tliose which are favourites with the Russian peasantry an i 
merchants, A very common gambling game is, for a group of 
men to sit in a circle, each placing before him a copper coin, 
and bets are then made as to whose coin will first have a fly on 
it. At the Yak bazaar at Tashkent, for a fortnight during the 
learly spring, there are wrestling matches- 

The chase is rarely practised by city dwellers, though all 
who live in the country indtdge in it, esspecinlly with falcons, 
which are here trained in large quantities for this purpose, as 
well as other birds of prey of all kinds, and even large eagles- 
A matchlock, which is the most common firearm, is an uncom- 
fortable article of sporting equipment, because it is large and 
heavy, the barrel being very long and solid, and takes a long 
time to reload. The match ia so placed that on pulling the 
tngger it drops down into the priming-pan. The matchlock if 

HOESES. 129 

usually provided with two supports, so that it can be rested on 
the ground, and in this case, as the supports are short, it is 
necessary for the marksman to lie at full length. I have seen 
men who were very good shots, and on one of my visits to him 
I remember that Jura Bek stood on the portico, and leaning 
the matchlock against a column, took the head off a sparrow at 
the top of a large tree. Jura Bek too shot very well with the 
blow-gun, a weapon which I was surprised to see, as I was not 
aware that it was used in Asia, though he told me that in 
Shahrisabs it was very common. It is a long tube, usually of 
reed, in which a small bullet is put in at one end and expelled 
by the breath, and its use is much less difficult than one might 
suppose, requiring no great expenditure of wind. 

All Uzbeks are extremely fond of horses, and they certainly 
liave some remarkably good ones, the two chief breeds here being 
the Kirghiz and the Argaraak. The Kirghiz horse is a small 
hardy animal, capable of enduring the extremes of cold and 
heat, and of going long distances without fatigue ; it is much 
the same as the little Cossack horses which are used on the 
Ural, and which are frequently seen in St. Petersburg. The 
Argaraak is probably a mixed breed, the best being found in 
Bukhara. The animal is rather large, but slightly built, and 
for short distances is very fast ; but it is fitter for show than 
for Use. A good Argamak will command a very large price, 
but the horses in common use, which seem to be of a mixed 
breed, are by no means dear, thirty rubles being an average price. 
Another breed, Kara-bair, made by crossing an Argamak with 
a Kirghiz mare, is highly esteemed. The Turkoman horses, 
which are not seen at all in Tashkent, are still different 
from the Argamaks, being of purer breed and more like 
the Arabian horses, and are capable of undergoing any amount 
of fatigue and hardship. A thorouglily good Turkoman 
horse it would be almost impossible to buy, as only great 
necessity would make its owner part with it. The bridles 
in use are of the ordinary description, with a rough, jointed bit; 
the saddle is very small, made of wood, brightly painted red or 
green, and with a sharp peak flattened at the top, which is 
made of bone or ivory, with which substance the edges of the 
saddle also are inlaid. Quantities of elk-horns are brought 
from beyond Lake Issyk-kul to Tashkent, to be used in the 

VOL. I. K 



man tifaci Lire of FadLlt'j?, The natives always iiee a saddle*cloth* 
wli it'll is frequently of velvet, richly embroidered with gold and 
silver, A huise would not be permitted to go from tbe stable 
unless it wore round its neck one or two carved wooden balls called 
dulayieh^ from tlie wood-thorn {Cratrngus) of which they are 
made, which are considered an amulet against all evil influences, 
A«*i>es are in Tashkent nearly ae common as horses, and in 
Bukhara, seem to be still more used, while in Khokand one 
rarely meets any* They are small, usually white or grey, and 
capable of bearing very heavy burdenst Of course one sees 
everywhere in (he streets numbers of camels. 

The only vehicle used by the natives is a large wide cart oil 
two ijumense wlioeta, called an arba. The wheels are very 
roughly constructed with wide felloes and heavy spokes, usually 
made of elm-wood, and without tires. The shafts are pro- 
longations of the main body^ whicli rest on a wido strap over 
the back of the horse, where the driver sits on a small saddle, 
with Uis feet on the shafts instead of taking his place in the 
cart. Sometimes these a7'ba8 are covered with matting, and 
altbougli the vehicle is rude yet it is comfortable, because on 
account of the great size of the wheels the inequalities of the 
road are not much noticed. 

Dogs occupy a very anomalous position in the Sart house- 
bold. While there is at least one in every family they are not 
petted, but rather ill-treated, as according to Mussulman ideas 
they are unclean, and they are rarely fed, but are left to pick 
up their own living, and are consequently lean, gaunt, and 
half-starved. Why they should be kept at all it is difficult to 
understand, unless for their use as watch-dogs. Both night 
and day they are prowling about the walls and house-t^ps, and 
keeping the street in a continual uproar at the passing stianger. 
Cats, on the contrary, are petted and protected, and beautiful 
specimens are frequently seen, especially the graceful creatures 
of the Bukliaran breed, with long silky liair and bushy tails 
Pet birds are very common, particularly small quails, which 
me kept and trained to fight, and every youth of fashion 
carries a quail or S')me similar small bird on his hand or in his 

In spite of what my friend the ifullah said about the 
dtarth of amusements 1 found that music and dancing have 


their votaries in Central Asia as well as elsewhere. The Sarts 
are especially fond of singing, and they will sit for hours to- 
gether listening to a monotonous song with the accompaniment 
of a two-stringed guitar, or to the half-chanted recitation of 
some poem, while at night, when the shops of the bazaar are 
nearly all shut, gayer and livelier airs are sung to the clapping 
of hands or the beating of a tambourine or even of a brass salver, if 
nothing else is obtainable. The voices are bad, and in general 
their music is tasteless to an European ear, for the constant 
use of intervals, which to us are not only unmelodic, but im- 
possible to be expressed by our system of notation, makes it seem 
to us false and discordant. The notes B and E of the scale, for 
instance, are nearer half-way between A and C and D and F 
than they are with us, and there is a frequent use of fourths of 
a tone, so that in an octave there are far more than the regular 
thirteen sounds. Yet after being accustomed to this mode of 
music it is possible to perceive many pleasing and striking airs. 
The music I heard in the towns was so different in character from 
the Kirghiz songs of the Steppe, that I am inclined to believe 
that it has its origin in Persia, from which country the musical 
instruments were certainly brought. The chief stringed instru- 
ment, which is called dutara (a Persian word, from du, two, and 
tara, string), is of the same general shape as a guitar, and is 
played by the hand ; the strings are usually of fine wire. The 
aitara (Persian si, three, and tara^ string) has, as its name 
indicates, three strings, and is usually played on with a bow 
like a violin. The tchetara^ or four-stringed instrument is, I 
am told, also used. These names show us very plainly the 
Persian origin of the Latin cithara and our guitar. I saw 
once or twice another stringed instrument, the kemangehj 
where the strings proceeded from a long metal foot and are 
drawn over a soimding-board made of a cocoa-nut, with about 
one-third cut off. This is also played with a bow. Of other 
instruments, one of the most usual, and which is always used 
for dance-music, is a large tambourine covered with goat>-skin, 
which is tossed up in both hands, and played on with the flat 
of the fingers. The edge is fitted with jingling bits of metal, 
and the player constantly holds the instrument over a pan of 
coals to make it more resonant. This tambourine is called 
tchilmanda in Tashkent and on the northern side of the Syr 

X 2 

Darya, ^liile on the other eido, in Samarkand and Bukhara, it 
ia known by tlie Persian name, daira> The swiitai is a pipe 
like a clarionet, made of apricot* wood, about two feet long, in 
the small opening of which there is a brass pipe called a 7iil^ 
which has a mouthpiece of reed, and close to the mouthpiece a 
brass disk, which serves as a Bupport to the lips of the player- 
The farther end of this pipe, when it is not played on, is 
stopped up with a bra&s rod, and two small wooden disks are 
attached to it by a chain, which cover up the mouthpiece. The 
koniai is a large brass trumpet six or seven feet long, swelling 
greatly at the farther end, and giving only one unearthly deep 
bass note- Two trumpets of different keys are generally used at 
the same time. The ncifjora consists of two drums of different 
sizes, made of small earthenware vessels covered with skins 
fastened on by a network of little straps, and joined together. 
The smaller drum has a thicker akin, and its sormd is called zil^ 
or wooden ; the larger, with a thinner skin, gives a naore pro- 
longed sound, callefl bum<. The drums are played on in torn 
with two sticks* Among the Kirghiz the favourite instrument 
is the ordinary Jew's-harp, which bears the very appropriately 
sounding name of tchang. 

In Central Asia Mohammedan prudery prohibits the public 
dancing of women; but as the desire of being amused and of 
witnessing a graceful spectacle is the same all the world over, 
here boys and youths special ly trained take the place of the 
dancing-girls of other countries. The moral tone of the society 
of Central Asia is scarcely improved by the change. 

These fta^cAos, or dancing-boys, are a recognised institution 
throughout the whole of the settled portions of Central Asia, 
though they are most in vogue in Bukhara, and the neighboiu- 
ing Samarkand- In the khanate of Kbokand public dancea 
have for some years been forbidden — the formerly licentious 
Khan having of late put on a semblance of morality and severity, 
and during my month's stay in that country I saw no amuse- 
ments of any kind among the natives. In Tashkent batekfta 
flourished until 1872, when a severe epidemic of cholera in- 
duced the Mullahs to declare that dancing was against the pre- 
cepts of the Koran, and at the request of the leaders of the 
native population, the Russian authorities forbade public dances 
during that summer, on account of the vast crowds which they 


alwayfe drew together. It was impossible, however, for the 
pleasure-loving Sarts to hold out in their abstinence for more 
than one year, and the mere rumour that there would be a 
bazem, or dance, was sufficient to draw great crowds to the 
garden where it was expected to take place. In Khodjent and 
Samarkand no restrictions have ever been placed on public 
dancing, and it is not an imcommon spectacle. These batchaa 
are as much respected as the greatest singers and artistes are 
with us. Every movement they make is followed and applauded, 
and I have never seen such breathless interest as they excite, 
for the whole crowd seems to devour them with their eyes, 
while their hands beat time to every step. If a batcha con-' 
descends to oflfer a man a bowl of tea, the recipient rises to take 
it with a profound obeisance, and returns the empty bowl in 
the same way, addressing him only as * Taxir^ * your Majesty,' 
or ^kullukj * I am your slave.' Even when Sibatcha passes through 
the bazaar all who know him rise to salute him with hands 
upon their hearts, and the exclamation of * Kulluk ! ' and should 
he deign to stop and rest in any shop it is thought a great 

In all large towns batchaa are very numerous, for it is as 
much the custom for a Bokhariot gentleman to keep one as it 
was in the Middle Ages for each knight to have his squire. 
In fact no establishment of a man of rank or position would be 
complete without one ; and men of small means club together 
to keep one among them, to amuse them in their hours of 
rest and recreation. They usually set him up in a tea-shop, 
and if the boy is pretty his stall will be full of customers all 
day long. Those batchas, however, who dance in public are 
fewer in number, and are now to some extent under police re- 
strictions. In Kitab there were only about a dozen, in other 
towns even less, and the same dancers sometimes go from place 
to place. They live either with their parents or with the 
entrepreneur^ who takes care of them and always accompanies 
them. He dresses them for the different dances, wraps them 
up when they have finished, and looks after them as well as 
any duenna. 

At the hour appointed for the baaem, the boys begiu 
to come in twos and threes, accompanied by their guardians, 
and after giving their hands to their host take their plaoef 



on one edge of the carpet, aitting in the Asiatic reapectfiil 
way upon the aoles of their feet. Bowk of tea and trays of 
fruit and aweets are set hefore them. The musicians meanwhile 
tune their tamhouriueSj or rather increase their resonance, by 
holding them over a pan of glowing coals. When the boya 
have devoured enough grapea and melons the dancing begins, 
This is very difficult to describe* With flowing robe of 
bright-coloured variegated silk, loose trousers, and bare feet, 
and two long tresses of hair streaming from imder his em- 
broidered &cull-c4ip, the hatcka begins to throw himself into 
graceful attitudes^ merely keeping time with his feet and lianda 
to the beating of the tambourines and the weird monotonous 
song of the l^^ader. Soon his movements become wilder, and 
the spectators all clap their hands in measure \ he circles madly 
about, throwing out his arms, and after turning several srnn- 
mersaults kneek facing the musicians. After a moment's pause 
he begins to sing in reply to the leader, playing his arms in 
graceful movements over his head» Soon he rises, and, with 
body trembling all over, slowly waltzes about the edge of the 
carpetj and with still wilder and wilder motions again kneels 
and bows to us* A thrill and murmur of delight runs througli 
the audience, an extm robe is thrown over him, and a bowl of 
tea handed to him as iie tiikes his seat. This first dance is 
called hitta-uin (the great play)^ in contradistinction to the 
special dances. The natives seem most pleased with thone 
dances where the batchtt is dressed as a girlj with lon^^ braids 
of false hair and tinkling anklets and bracelets. Usually but 
one or two in a troop can dance the women's danoe, and the 
female attire once donned is retained for the remainder of the 
feast, and the hatdut is much besought to sit here and there 
among the spectators to receive their caresses- Each danea 
has its special name^ Afghani, Shirazt, Kashgari — according to 
the characteristics of the country where it is national or of the 
story it is supposed to represent ; but all are much alike, 
differing in rapidity, or in the amount of posture and gesture. 
The younger boys usually perform those dances which have 
more of a gymnas^tio character, with many summerBaults and 
hand-springs ; while the elder and taller ones devote tiiemselves 
more to postming, slow movementsi and amatory and laacivioua 
gestures. The dance which pleased me most, and which I saw 



for the first time in Kamhi, was the KahuH^ a sort of gymnastio 
game, where two boys armed each with two wands strike them 
conslartly in alternate cadence, while performing complicated 
figures, twists, and summersaults. In general but one boy 
dances at a time, and rarely more than two together, these 
being usually independent of each other. 

The dances, so far as I was able to judge, were by no means 
indecent, though they were often very lascivious. One of the 
most frequent gestures was that of seizing the breast in the 
hand and then pretending to throw it to the spectators, similar 
to our way of throwing kisses. In some dances the batcha goes 
about with a bowl of tea, and choosing one of the spectators, 
offers the tea to him with entreating gestures, sinks to the 
floor, singing constantly a stanza of praise and compliment. 
The favoured man hands back the bowl with thanks, but the 
boy slips from his proflFered embrace, or shyly submits to be 
kissed, and is off to another. If the spectator is generous he 
will drop some silver coins into the empty bowl, and if he is a 
great lover of this amusement he will take a golden tilla in his 
lips, and the batcha will put up his lips to receive it, when a 
kiss may perhaps be snatched. 

The songs sung during the dances are always about love, 
and are frequently responsive between the batcha and the 
musicians. These will serve as specimens : — 

* Tchuyandy, my soul I what has become of thee ? Why 
didst thou not come ? ' * An itl-natured father kept me ; but 
I was in love with thee, and could not endure separation.' 

' Tchuyandy, my soul I why didst thou delay, if thou wert 
sad ? ' ' Nightingale 1 I am sad 1 As passionately as thou 
lovest the rose so loudly sing, that my loved one may awake. 
Let me die in the embrace of my dear one, for I envy no one. 
I know that thou hast many lovers ; but what affair of mine is 
that ? The rose would not wither if the nightingale did not 
win it ; and man would not perish did not death come.' 

The baichaa practise their profession from a very early age 
until sometimes so late as twenty or twenty-five, or at all events 
until it is impossible to conceal their beards. The life which 
they have led hardly fits them for independent existence there- 
after. So long as they are young and pretty they have their 
own way in everything; every command is obeyed by their 



adorere, every purse is at their disposition, and they fall into r 
life of caprice^ extrava^nce, and dissipation. Rarely do they 
lay up any naoney, and more rarely still are tbey able to protit 
by it afterward?. Frequently a batcka is set up aa a keeper of 
a tea-Tiou«e by his admirers, where he will always have a good 
clientele^ and sotaetimes he is started as a small merchant. 
Occasionally one succeed s» and becomes a prosperous man, 
though the remembrance of his past life will frequently place 
the then odious affix, batehay to his name. I have known one 
or two men^ now rich and respected citizena, who began life in 
this w^ay. In the old days it was much easier, for a handsome 
dancer might easily become Kushhegi^ or Grand Vizier, More 
often a batcha takes to smoking opium or drinking^ kukknar^ 
and soon dies of dissipation^ 

It is not only boys who dance in Central Asia, girls and 
women do so as well i but their exhibitions are in general con- 
fined to the women *B court. On one occasion, however, Asu- 
dullah Bek invited me to see a splendid tomaska^ or spectacle 
— a dance of women — a thing looked on with orthodox horror by 
most Mussulmen ; but Asadullah Bek, being a Persian and a 
Shiite, was rather more lai in his notions than the rest, thon|>h 
even he was desirous that the fame of this should not Ije much 
noised abroad among his patients. Still, when the performance 
came off the noise of the tambourines and pipes was so great 
that a large portion of the city crowded to his garden » so that we 
had to have Cossacks there to keep them away. We wentabont 
sunset, and soon several women made their appearance, to 
whom we of course gave a share of the fruits and sweets wliich 
were provided for us, and had tea served to them. One of these 
women was a sister of the wife of Malta Khan, the former ruler 
of Khokand, and had here been married to some distinguished 
Khokandian official. It was curious to notice the deference 
with which she was received by the other women, who always 
rose to salute her or pass her a bowl of tea i even in her fallen 
state she seemed to have claims to their respect* After a while 
a girl of thirteen, with a pretty dark face and bright black 
ejes, tliough her beauty was spoiled by an indiBcreet use of 
cosmetics — for her eyebrows were turned into one dark line, and 
the rouge was xery prominent on her cheeks— came out to 
dance. Her dress was a loose bright red silk robe, and her hair 


hung about her neck in a dozen small braids. Her head was 
covered with a long silken scarf hanging behind like a veil, 
fastened with ornaments of silver, and she wore earrings filled 
with torquoise and coloured glass. Her feet were bare. She 
slowly circled on the carpet, bowing first to one and then 
another, and as the beats of the tambourine became faster her 
motions became more rapid, and after whirling round a dozen 
times she sank to the ground, much to the delight of the spec- 
tators. Then rising again she comumenced a slowly swaying move- 
ment, and with arms swinging in cadence completed the circle 
of the carpet three or four times, again whirled about, and once 
more sat upon the ground. She was succeeded by others, and 
the dances were very similar to those danced by boys, though 
less vigorous and less graceful ; and there was little variety in 
style until a little girl of eleven — for the most of them were 
very young, a girl of eighteen being already an old woman — 
began to peiibrm a dance much more passionate than the rest. 
At intervals she would kneel before one of the spectators, swing 
her arms as if in invitation, and, as it were, make motions of 
enchantment, each time leaning nearer and nearer to him, until 
filially, when the enchantment was supposed to be at its height, 
he was expected to give a kiss, and the dance was ended. 
Though the enchantment might be practised upon many the 
kiss was reserved for only one, for the girl would extricate her- 
self like a snake from the proposed embitice and immediately 
be on her knees before another. 

I have said that the Mussulmans in general disapprove of 
the dancing of women, yet they do not refuse to witness it if 
they get an opportunity ; and many a one slipped through 
the guards at the gate and came up and joined our circle, and 
from these the applause was perhaps the loudest. 

A veiy common attendant of a bazem, is the exhibition 
of a maakarabash, or comedian, who, with whitened face 
and the addition of a rug or some rags, and the help of 
a bystander, will represent various scenes of native life, 
such as doctor and patient, Kazi and suitor, teacher and 
scholar, or will mimic dogs, cats, and other domestic animals. 
The most of these representations are of a very obscene cha- 
racter, though they are often very vivid as well as witty, and 
are approved wi*'h roimds of laughter. 

I as 


One of the last days of my stay in Tashkent was given up 
to the festival of Zang^aki^ the great festival of the year for 
Tashkent and its vicinity. Zaog-ata Mms«lf was a shepherd 
who helonged to the religioiiB brutherhood of KkodrU^ and died 
in the odour of sanctity in 1097. Wiiat his real name was the 
worshippers at his shrine were iinahle to tell me, but he is said 
to have been dark like a negrOj and thus to have got the name 
Zang-ata^ ' dark father/ He is the patron saint of Tashkent 
and of all the country round about, and his tomb is on tlie way 
to Samarkand, about eight miles from the town. The shrine, 
which is built over his grave, is very shabbyj rendered all the 
moie BO by the rams' horns and long bits of dirty rag which 
every pilgrim has felt it a neeessity to tie there on some stick 
or tree* Old trees, especially old mulberry trees, seem througli- 
out Ceotral Asia to be in great veneration, and the older and 
the deader they are the more bits of rag they have on them, ^ 
The bits of rag are symbols of sacrifice, and the custom is pro^>^^| 
bably a siu-vival of the primitive tree-worship. Cannot the Arbo'i^^ 
secco^f which Maroi Polo and the other Asiatic travellers of the 
Middle Ages mention so oft^n, be referred to some tree similarly 
venerated ? Near by is the tomb of the mother of Zang-atu, 
who especially patronises the women^ and while the cro^d of 
men about tlie tomb of the son is large a row of women may be 
Bgen weeping and wailing near the lattice of the mother's 
Bhrine* The shrine of the saint, however, is of very minor im- 
portance ; there is a large college, with arched portal and small 
rooms, for the accommodation of the Mulluhs ; and more than 
this, there is a fine garden, with orchard, ponds, and canals, 
Biiited to the pic-nics and out-of-door feasts which necessarily 
accompany pilgrimages of piety into the country. 

The festival fell last year among the first days of September, 
and lasted three or four days. Everybody goes there, and 
Tashkent is deserted by nearly all except the women and a few 
young men whose love of intrigue determinesi them to remain 
in such company. As I was very anxious to see this feast we made 
up a little party of friends, indnding Jura Bek, and drove out 
there. The dust was something frightful, for the road was filled 
with arhas and ei^ui pages of all kinds, and men on horses and 
donkeys ; nowhere have I seen such a throng, imless perlmpa 
on the Derby-day, The nearer we got the thitjker it became ; 


people were returning as well as going, having perhaps already 
spent two days there, and got to the bottom of their holiday 
purses. At last we came to the gate, and the native policeman, 
who recognised us, could with difficulty force an opening through 
the crowd of talking and gesticulating pleasure-seekers. We at 
last got safely to the comer of the college, where we found our 
friend Mirza Yusuf, who had invited us to join his party. 
Some friends of his were Mullahs of the college, and we were 
made to feel at once that we were at home. We found our 
friends occupied the extreme comer of the arcade, which was 
cut oflF from the rest by awnings and curtains. Here we re- 
clined on cushions, after getting rid of the dust and dirt of the 
drive, and took tea, and our Mussulman friends were neither 
astonished nor shocked to see us bring out a bottle of red wine, 
though each stood somewhat in awe of the rest, so that no one 
was willing to share it with us. When we were a little rested 
we went beyond the college into a large grove, where was a very 
singular sight; almost every available spot was occupied by 
tents and booths, the ground having been parcelled out before- 
hand, each person erecting a tent and running curtains about 
his little plot of ground, or several parties taking plots together 
and throwing them into one. Samovars were smoking every- 
where, and all along the brook were pots where pilaf was pre- 
paring. In almost every booth there was some one playing on 
the guitar and singing, and in very many could be heard the 
rapid beating of a tambourine and the measiured clapping of 
hands, showing that there dancing was going on. All about 
us was an inmiense crowd of people wlio had no places for 
themselves, and had merely come to be amused, buying their 
melon or their bread from the itinerant vendors, or taking a 
bowl of tea or some kumys at one of the tea-houses. More 
solid food was provided by the kitchens, for it seemed as if every 
native restaurateur had come from the bazaar to fix himself 
here for a week. In the centre of all was a large pavilion which 
had been erected for the use of the authorities, and here I found 
the chief officials of Tashkent, who had come to amuse them- 
selves with th« native sports. In front of this was a large 
enclosed space, where boys were constantly dancing to the music 
of a large native orchestra, while at intervals the Eussian 
military bands scattered through the groimds struck in with 


ttirij from t!ie ' Grande Diicbesse ' and other operas of Offenbach's. 
The carouse was kept up until late that night; but by nine 
o'clock, in spite of a proffered ^tipper with the officiah, we had 
had enough, and were glad to take our daatj ride home again* 

Later on, to amuse the oflGcera, the finssian prefect of tlie 
district had sonie women dance, much to the horror of the 
Musflulinans that a religious festival Bhould be eo profaned. 
It was one of those little things shocking to native feeling 
which not all Russian officials are careful enough to avoid, 
Such a dance was once before arranged on a public festivity 
when the Governor-Greneral was present, but he was deceived bj 
the story that the women who danced were the wives of the 
chief nutivesj who did this in his honour, and he even presented 
them with some silver cups and souvenirs, which were foimd 
the next day in various brothels. 

Perhaps the most important event in the life of a Mussul- 
man is circumcision, Before this he^ of course, is born, 
washed^ fed, and has received his name, but he does not form 
one of the body of orthodox believers until this necessary rite 
has been performed upon him. The birth and early life of the 
child are accompanied by some curious pmctices. When a boy 
is born the midwife does not infoim the mother of the sei£ until 
the afterbirth, on account of a tradition that out of joy it would 
be harder for her to endure the pain. The fether, who may 
always be present, and usually is if he be fond of his wife, then 
buiies, in case of a boy a mutton bone, and in case of a girl a 
rag doll, under the floor of the room where the birth took place, 
in the comer opposite to the door- The midwife then congratu- 
lates the pirents and receivis preseut^i- No shirt is put on the 
child until the fifth day. On the ninth day the grandmother of 
the child bringa a cradle, whicli, with its belongings, she has 
prepared in advance, and the child is strapped in it on a bed of 
barley^ It continues to use the cradle, and to be nursed until 
the birth of a second phild* Until this ninth day, when it 
is placed in the cradle, a light is kept burning near it to 
ward oflF the evil eye. On this same day the mother rises from 
her bed and there is a great feast, varying according to the 
circurastances of the family- This is the only feast given 
for a girL In order to eccape evil infinences the child should 
not be carried into the street until the fortieth day. When 

ciRcujttciaio>*. Ul 

the hair of the child is cut for the fir^t time, the locks aril 
weighed against gold or silver, and the money is given to 
the poor. In Tashkent, a^d in general throughout Cen- 
tral Asia, boys are circiuncised when they are between^ 
seven and ten years old, although it may be done at an^ 
earlier period, and sometimes through poverty it is deferred 
until later. As the circumcision feasts- ^m— are very ex- 
pensive, and all the friends of the family have to be invited, it 
usually happens that two or three men have their sons cireum*;- 
cised at the same time, in order to avoid expense. If the father* 
is rich he naturally gives the feast himself. The boys' friendr 
gather at some place and come in procession, all disguised anrf 
decked out with paper caps, wooden swords and paper shields, 
and masks made of melon-rind, and the boy who is to be 
circumcised is carried on the back of one of the elder boys, in 
case the feast is not in his own house ; if, however, it takes 
place at home, the boy is taken from the house through the 
streets in triumph and then back again. He is, however, in 
a state of unconsciousness, having had adminifctered to him 
early in the morning a powerful narcotic, gul kan (literally 
flower-sugar), which is made of sugar-candy mixed with the sifted 
pollen from hop-flowers and reduced to a hard paste. When 
the gue.^ts are all assembled there is usually a grand banquet, 
with pU(tf and all possible delicacies, and sometimes with sheep 
roasted whole. After this there are either dances or, what is 
more usual, the native comedians come in and perform a course 
of farces and impersonations for the amusement of the boys. 
This being over, the guests walk round the performers in a 
circle, throwing to them for their pay money or handkerchiefs 
or whatever they can afford with their right hand over their 
left shoulder. During the time of this feasting the boy is in 
the women's court, where he is dressed in his best cloth ep, and 
when the proper time arrives he is brought back to the men's 
court and laid upon the cushions — his father having collected 
all the best pillows and cushions which he has and spread 
them over with the richest materials in his possession. This 
bed is prepared in the guest-room, and the most distinguished 
of the guests sit about it. The operation is performed by a 
sharp razor, and gunpowder or fine wood-ashes are immediately 
placed on the wound, which heals in the course of two or three 



daj@* The cries of the boy are drowned by eh outs of ^ Ai 
Mu&ulnian hulgan Kaffir ! ' * Hail, Mussulman I Thou wert an 
unbeliever.* He is now a member of Islam, and nothing short 
of flagrant apostasy can prevent him from entering the paradise 
of the blessed. 

When a boy reaches the age of fifteen or sixteen, or some- 
times when he is even younger, his parents think it is time for 
him to get married, and look about them tor a suitable match. 
Mi^lliances are greatly disliked among the Sarts, and it is 
desired that the femily of the bride should be equal to that of 



the bridegroom. A Hodja, or descendant of Mohammed, for 
example, can marry only a Hodja's daughter, and among those 
of good blood it is rare — for the iirst wife at least — that any 
great inequality of birth is allowed. Girls are considered 
marriageable between eleven and fifteen, and although according 
to the strict letter of the law^ a girl of nine can be married, it 
is not well looked upon in Tashkent, Development is quick in 
these countries, and a woman of twenty-five or thirty is already 
old and ugly. The mother, or sister, or some female relative 
of the youth who is to be married, after having found what 
appears to be a suitable match, or at all events a girl who 


pleases the boy himself or his parents, goes to the girl's family 
and discusses the advantages of the marriage The match- 
maker is at once asked how much kalim will be given, and she 
in her turn is anxious to know the amount of the dowry, as it 
is desired that the kalim and dowry should be nearly equal. It^l 
is commonly believed that the kalim, or money given by the 
husband, goes to the father of the wife, and that it is in the 
nature of purchase-money, but this is not correct ; the kalim is 
given to the wife herself, and it remains her property, so that 
in case of divorce from her husband she may have something 
to fall back upon. When the friend of the young man hasj 
carefully looked at the bride and foimd out all about her, she 
returns to the young man, and tells him about the appearance 
and manners of his future wife. In Tashkent the young man 
is then allowed to look at her without her veil, but only on 
giving his solemn word tliat he looks at her with the intention 
of marrying her, and not simply out of curiosity. 

After the consent has been obtained the kalim, in the 
quantity agreed upon between the families, is sent to the wife 
and with it the wedding presents. The kalim may be either in 
money, or in anything which may be lawfully considered pro- 
perty. It is not, however, absolutely necessary to pay the 
kalim before the marriage actually takes place, but the wife 
^ has the right to refuse all intercourse with her husband imtil it 
is paid ; and if, after the conditions of the marriage have been 
fixed, the husband withdraws from the contract, he is obliged 
to pay to the wife one-half of the amount agreed upon as kalvm. 
The wedding presents are usually given by nine?, which is 
looked upon as a sacred number, nine times nine being usually 
the largest number that is given. The number nine is used 
with regard to other presents, as those given to guests or in 
exchange of hospitality. After the presents have been given 
and received the wedding-day is fixed. The bride then gives 
a feast to her friends, and the young man also gives a feast to 
his comrades, each at their own houses. On the day of the 
marriage a grand feast is held at the house of the bride's family, 
and all the friends and relations of both parties are invited, 
the women being in one court and the men in the other. The 
Mullah from the nearest mosque, or in particular cases some 
distinguished saint or Ishan, is invited to perform the ceremony. 



The bride and bridegroom are not present at the actual mar- 
riage ceremony, wbich is conducted for them by their wit- 
nesses, T?]io are in all cases male relatives. The witness on 
the part of the woman is her father or uncle, or bo me one 
of that generation, no other person being allowed to act for 
her without special power of attorney to that effect. If 
the bride should he a slave^— in those countries where slavery 
is allowed^it is her master who acta as her witness- The 
Midlah, who is in the same room with the witnesses^ asks them 
if the persons whom they represent consent to marry each other, 
and then enquires what the kalim and dowry are, and if they 
have been properly given; he then recites a prayer giviug 
praises to the Prophet and his descendants, draws up the mar- 
riage contract, and repeats a prayer, which is placed at its head ; 
* Praise to Grod, who has allowed marriage, and has forbidden 
all adulterous crimes j let all heavenly and eartlily existences 
praise Moliammed and his pure and honourahle posterity,' 
He then pronounces the words^ * I have accomplished the 
mamage between a man and a woman, a woman and a man, 
according to the power given to me by their witnesses, and in 
accordance with the conditions set forth in this contract,' 
Immediately after be again says : * On behalf of tlie husband 
and wife I declare consent to this marriage according to the 
commissions given to the witncHses, and the conditions expressed 
in this contract,' The Mullah and witnesses then place their 
sefds on the contract, ask the assistance of God, and recite the 
fatha^ or first chapter of the Koran. The marriage contract is 
given to the wife or her witnesses. The marriage fee is given 
by the husband, and cannot he demanded from the wife. The 
bridegroom then goes to the apartment of the bride, but is met 
at the door by her brother or some relative, who does not 
permit him to enter until he gtves bim a piece of money or 
some small present. When he has thus succeeded in obtaining 
admission he joins the bride, and remains with her and all the 
other women. On his entering, the bride is concealed anddat 
a group of women, among whom he must find her hand before 
she can come out. As he has perhaps never seen her, it is a 
somewhat difficult matter, M^hen a feast is held it usually lasts 
all night; bonfires are lighted, and refreshments are served* 
The women go away in the morning after having received their 


presents. The feast of the men takes place in the outer court, 
and they stay there until half of the night is passed, when they 
receive their presents and retire. It is necessaiy at the same 
time also to give alms either to the mosque or to poor persons. 
At any time the day after the husband is allowed to take his wife 
to his own house, if he has one, and this done the marriage is 
entirely consummated. 

In most Mussulman countries, especially in Persia, a 
temporary marriage is allowed, but this is not known in Tash- 
kent. Marriage with a slave is permitted, though it is not 
well regarded, but it is strictly forbidden to a Mussuhnan to 
marry an infidel. There are also certain degrees of blood- 
relationship in which marriage is forbidden, nor is it allowed 
with persons similarly related to a nurse. A man cannot marry 
the relations of his wife in the ascending or descending lines, 
nor can a son marry the wife of his father, or vice versa. It is 
not allowed to marry two sisters at one time ; the first must be 
divorced before the second can be espoused ; but if the consent 
of his wife be obtained, a man may marry his wife's niece. 

By Mussulman law every man is allowed to have four wives 
at one time, but more than this he cannot legally possess with- 
out divorcing one he has already ; it is, however, the practice 
among rich men to have various concubines, either as servants 
or otherwise. The wife is obliged to obey her husband in all 
things, and to avoid everything that is unpleasant to him, and 
cannot without his consent make any contiaefcs. She has, how- 
ever, a right to food, clothing, lodging and servantB, and to 
money for those expenses which are usual among persons of hfisr 
rank, such as for baths, for visitors, and for the entertainm^Bb 
of friends ; if these be not aUowed by the hoflbuid - 
complain to the Kaai, or judge, and he can allow h 
money on account of her husband, or can even on 
some of her husband's property in order to. fi 
the money which is necessary. She in obliged ^ 
her beauty so far as she can, and to try to plaaak 
and for this purpose she is allowed 1^ law to^' 
metics. Besides his wife a man is obUgeS 
children, and even his father and undee^ if ^ 
support themselves. The mairiage may be 
of the parties abandon the Mussulman fii 

YOL. I. L 



be absent far a certain time witliout news heing heard of him, 
or in case of a minor who on reaching his majonty refuses to 
consent to a continnance of the marriage; aa well as if madnegts 
or certain diseases be discovered, or if it be discovered that the 
marriage was not properly solemnifted. In addition to this the 
busband has always the ri^ht of divorcing bis wife whenever 
he chooses, without giving any reasons. He is obliged in this 
caae to give back to his wife all her own property^ as well as 
the amonnt of kctllm.^ if he have not already paid it* Such a 
divorce, however, must be given before witnesses, and with the 
observance of a certain form. The husband may also divorce 
the wife by her own consent, and is obliged to do so if she tell 
him she wishes to marry another man who is better than he. 
But if the husband refuse to divorce big wife at her request, 
and she be able to give a sufficient reason why such a divorce 
Bhould be had, the Kazi will compel him to divorce hen In 
case of her adultery the husband not only divorces her but 
curses her^ and in this case she is prevented from remarrying, 
though he may re-marry her after having given her a divorce 
once or twice, but never after the third time. There are 
certain contemptuous expressions which if used by a husband 
to his wife give her the right of divorce, and allow her to pie- 
vent him from having access to her, unless he buy this right by 
a giffc called kefforet and the recital of certain prayers. 

The position of a wife who is regarded by her husband 
merely as an instrument of his pleasures, or as an obedient servant 
to manage his house, cannot be a very pleasant one, liable as she 
is at any time to be divorced at his fancy pr bis desire to replace 
her by another. Stilly if she be a person of ability, or even a 
coquette, she may be able to hold her husband completely under 
her control, quite as much as wives manage their husbands in 
more civilised countries. As the wife has the privilege of visiting 
her friends she naturally is able to pick up much gossip and 
Bcandal, and hy means of her stories and talk she may cause 
her husband to pass far more pleasant hours in her society than 
be does in the out<er court . Besides this she may through her 
husband be able to obtain influence over many people, and to 
meddle in affairs of various kinds ; and if he be placed in high 
position, she may even have great influence over the politics of 
tha eouutry* I have known, for instance, cases wtei'e women 



who have shown capacity have been consulted by their husbands 
on almost every subject, but these are exceptions. Enquiry 
into these matters is difficult, for it is quite contrary to Mus- 
sulman etiquette for one person to speak to another of his wife 
unless they be on extremely intimate terms; the most that 
can be said is a mere allusion to the hearth of one's friend. 
The different wives seldom live in the pleasantest relation to 
one another, not so much from jealousy — &r I doubt if either 
jealousy or love be greatly developed — as from envy of the 
privileges that another enjoys or the presents she receives. 
Every husband tries as far as possible to keep his wives 
separate. Wives have a peculiar expression for each other : 
kilriHiash^ day-companion. 

The Sarts are not only attacked by the usual maladies to 
which our frame is heir, but they have besides two or three 
which are peculiar to the country, or at all events very common 
there. One of these is the reahtaj or * Guinea-worm ' (^FUaria 
medinensis), which is known also in several other parts of the 
world where the climate is hot and the water bad. It is 
probably produced by infusoria, from bad water being taken 
into the system, which in about a year develop into a wliite 
worm that passes through the body and makes its appearance 
usually in one of the legs. The part affected begins to swell, 
and the native physicians, to whom the symptoms are well 
known, immediately make an incision, and dexterously catching 
hold of the worm, slowly wind it off on a stick. This is an 
operation which has to be done with great care, as should the 
worm be broken each part would become a separate worm, and 
would be the cause of innumerable ulcers. There are often 
many such worms at the same time. The disease is accom- 
panied by severe pains in the bones and internal beat and 
thirst. It is rarely met with in Tashkent, but is very common 
in Jizakh, Bukhara, and Earshi. In Samarlumd it is less 
common, and at the time I was there I was tillable to meet 
with a case. At the throe places first named the riven and 
canals come to an end, and most of the.v» 
taken from the large pools and tanks^ 
a stagnant state for many mmntlt^ 

Leprosy is common thzonghi 
and the lepers are obliged to 

towna, where they have their own hazaars and prepare thtir 
own food, and are as far as possible cut off from intercourse 
with others, though in Samarkand numbers of these hideously 
diijfigured heintrs were near the ^atea, and especially near the 
Mosque of S h ah -Zindah^ asking alma from the passers-by. The 
constant ablutions performed by the ^Musstilmans in the water 
of the canals and ponds no doubt contribute greatly to spread 
diseases of various kinds, especially those of the skin^ One of 
these, which is known in Tashkent among the Russians by the 
name of the ' Sart disease,' is clearly traceable to the use of 
water; for if a person use boiled water, or water from a well 
for washing, he is not liable to have this malady. On the 
contrary, those who live nearest to the native towns, and who 
use the water frona the canals for washing purposes, are nearly 
always attacked with it. It is known by the natives as YarTa~ 
Afganiy ' Afghan sore,* or PaBha-hardci^ literally ' worm-eaten,' 
and is especially common among childreUt It is a very dis- 
agreeable ulcer, which breaks out on the face or hands, spread- 
ing constantly, and eating deeper and deeper. The native 
physicians are very skilful jn curing it, though the Bussian 
physicians have only of late been able to do so. A child of an 
acquaintance of mine, a chemist, was cured by an application 
of acetate of lead, and no trace was left, though usually ugly, 
indelible scars remain- 
In the year 1872 the cholera appeared at Jizakh, and 
spread with great quickness to Samarkand, Shahrimbsi, Hissar, 
and the Amu Darya, on the south ; to Bukhara, both from 
Katta Kurgan and from Nurata, and even as far as Khiva, on 
the west \ to Ura-tepe and the Khanate of Khokand, on the 
east ; and northwards to Tashkent, branching off in one direc- 
tion to Lake Issyk-kul, and in the other to Fort No* L It 
raged with violence, and the mortality was very great, e&pedally 
at Bukhara and Khokand, In Tashkent measures were taken 
by the Grovernment which gave some relief, though the terror 
wajs extreme. From the best information that could be obtained 
firom the natives the cholera had appeared in Central Asia but 
twice before — once in 1832, and again in 1848 and 1849 — the 
periods of the appearance of this great epidemic in Europe, 
Since 1849 it Irnd not been known in Tashkent. In 1871, 
however, there was a disease prevalent in Bukhara which was 


SO horrible as to cause many persons to die of fright. This 
was probably the cholera, and was in all likelihood brought 
over from Persia, where it was raging in consequence of the 
famine. From Bukhara it probably spread to Jizakh, where it 
remained dormant during the winter, and broke out 'in the 
spring, returning to Bukhara with renewed violence. It was 
so bad in the district next to Katta Kurgan that the Beks 
applied to the Russians for medical assistance, which was 
readily given. It is noticeable that the cholera on this occasion 
travelled along the high roads and postal routes, while in the 
depths of the Steppe the inhabitants were free from it. 

The parasites which are known all over the world, such as 
fleas and lice, are exceedingly common through the whole of 
Central Asia, but it is strange that the bed-bug was unknown 
there until introduced by the Russians. It is now very common 
at Tashkent and at all the post-houses, but is not yet known 
either in Bukhara or Khokand. 

The first care of the Sart physician is to study yoiur general 
appearance and ask you about your temperament. He has 
learned in the TukhpatvZ MuTninin, the most common medical 
book here, that you must belong to one of four classes, and hia 
treatment of your malady is governed accordingly. When he 
has combined your symptoms with your temperament he will 
pull a bag out of his pocket, or untie the scarf which serves 
him for a girdle, and open an assortment of drugs in twisted 
bits of paper, perhaps tasting and smelling to find the right 
ones, and having chosen the proper niiedicine, will give you the 
usual directions about doses and diet. The medicaments em- 
ployed by Central Asiatic physicians are, in general, very 
simple, being in most part v^etable substances, but few 
animal matters and minerals being used. They are usually 
taken simply in the form of powders or decoctions, and when a 
mixed medicine is used the physician delivers the substancea 
to the patient and allows him to mix them for himself. Thia 
not only saves the physician trouble, but, in a eertain way^ 
soothes the suspicious feelings of the patient, lAo might 
gine, in case he did not inmiediately unprove^ tfaat ka^hn^ 
poisoned by the doctor. Professor Dzagepi 

■^*Ueber den jetzigen Zostand der Yi 
Revue, vol. ii. p. 33 1. 



medicine of TiirkTstan is of tbe same general nature aa iliafc of 
all Mussulman countrieSj having been introduced by the Arabs 
at the conquest of the coimtry. Of 226 vegetable medichiea 
whieh he examined at least 210 were known to the contempo- 
raries of the great Arabic physician Ebn Baithar, and certainly 
172 to Dioscorides and Gralen. The remaining substances 
replace others which were used in the old times, but which are 
either with difficulty procurable or entirely inaccesiible, and 
they are usually externally similar to themj though their pro- 
perties may be very different. Professor Dragendorff lays it 
down as a general ride that in all Mussulman countries the 
few medicines in use which seem to be of native origin, and to 
be brought down by tradition from the old times, are simply 
used to replace others which could not be bad. Of the 226 
drugs mentioned by him 1 2 were stated to have been brought 
from China and 62 from India^ but these statements refer, in 
general J only to the places where they were bought, and not to 
their origin. Seventy-one of them grow wild, or are cultivated 
in Tashkent, fifty in Samarkand and Bukhara, and some are 
brought from Khiva, Khokand, and Afghanistan, Seven were 
said to be of Persian origin, six from Arabia and Turkey, one 
from Egypt, and four from Europe- The medicines imported from 
Europe are not new to the country, but have been long well 
known there. The Russian merchants sell them cheaper and 
better than they can be otherwise procured. 

As soon as a man dies his body is washed by a woman 
called kiTanda^ whose special business it is to take care of the 
dead, and to weep and wail during the funeral ceremoniesp 
The burial takes place as soon as possible, usually the same 
day.. The body, after being washed, is dressed and covered 
with a shroud, and placed in a reclining position, with the 
hands straight down by the sides, and is then tied round and 
round with a long bandage, which, among the richer classes, is 
usually of silk. In Tashkent a form of prayer is recited in the 
house by the Mullah, but in Shahriaaba and Bukhara the body, 
which lies on a bier, provided at times with a top made of 
matting and even covered with rich cloths, is carried to the 
mosque, and the funeral service is performed there- Though 
a woman, when alive, cannot go to the mosque, she has no dis- 
tinction made againfct her after death, TA'hen the body is 

FUNERAU3. 151 

borne to the cemetery the women follow it, weeping and 
utteiing various cries in praise of the deceased and in lamen- 
tation at his death. The body stops at every mosque on the 
road, the Mullah of which is asked to come out and recite 
prayers. The grave has been prepared beforehand, and consists 
of a deep ditch, at one end of which an underground chamber 
has been hollowed out. As the bier is brought to this ditch, the 
body — which of course is without a coffin — is tumbled down and 
shoved into the hollow chamber, together with the jug used in 
washing it ; the ditch is then filled up with earth, and a mound 
raised over it. In many cases this is all that is done, a stick 
being perhaps stuck in the mound to mark it ; in others the 
chambers are made of bricks plastered over with clay, in different 
forms, usually square or oblong, and sometimes with a pavilion 
or temple over them. A small lamp is frequently placed on 
the grave, and sometimes objects belonging to the deceased— 
especially the cradle in case of a child. The cemeteries of the 
cities are for the most part within the walls, and present a very 
lugubrious appearance, as no pains are taken to render them at- 
tractive, and there is no verdure whatever about them. Feasts 
called ash (literally 'food') are given tothefriends on the day of 
the funeral, and on the seventh day, the fortieth day, the half- 
yearly, and the yearly anniversary of the death, and women 
come to the tombs to weep and wail. The first day of mourn- 
ing goes by the name of gap^ i.e. commemorative talk. For a 
year the women are obliged to wear dark clothes, as signs of 
mourning, but ijxe men do not express their grief in this way. 

It is curious that these periods of commemorative mourn*- 
ing for the dead are the same as those observed in Russia 
among the Christians, from which it would seem either that 
they had been adopted by the Russians during the epoch af 
Tartar ascendency, or that they had both come down from the 
early times when Russia and Central Asia were inhabited by 
much the same races. There are other resemblances in the 
funeral feasts, and in Russia the funeral processions also stop 
at the churches which they pass for the sake of having prayers 

In Tashkent, when the mourners leave the grave they take 
with them a handful of the earth which they have just thrown 
into it. The same practice exists in some parts of Russia. A 



friend of mine at tlje bmial of lier child was advised by the old 
niirse to take some of the earth home and luh her breast with 
it, so as to mitigate her ^ief* Instead of the water jug, in 
Knssia the scraps of the material used for the grave clothes are 
buried with the body, as well as the wine glass with the wine and 
water used in extreme imction, and the ashes of tlie incensep 

I hadj until my visit to Central Asia, believed with Solovief 
and others that the influenee of the Mongol conquerors on 
Enssia was very slight and superficial. Jlussia, it is true, waa 
only a vassal, and there was no ^longol and Tartar population 
scattered through the coimtry, but the Russian princes had 
frequently to pay their respects at the Mongol court, even at 
Xarakorum, in Mongolia ; there were Mongol ambassadors and 
tax-collectors stationed in Russian towns. Still, Ibe Mongol 
domination lasted for more than two hundred and fifty years, and 
must have left some traces on customs and language, I could not 
but be struck in Central Asia with many little things, such as these 
customs about funerals, and I was led to believe, not only that the 
Mongol influence was much greater than I had supposed ^ but 
that much in the history of Russia could not be thoroughly 
understood without a careful study of Asiatic life as it now is 
in Bukhara and Tashkent. Deductions of this sortj however, 
must he cautiously made. Two things, for instance, are often 
mentioned as consequences of the Mongol domination — the 
sever-e and cmel punishments formerly in use in Russia, and 
the retired life of the women up to the time of Peter the 
Great. Yet it is now cleai'ly shown that the severe punish- 
ments were introduced from Constantinople with the ecclesiastical 
law, which by degrees spread its influence over the civil law; 
and we ivell know from contemporary authors that the Mongols 
by no means secluded their women, who, on the contrary, 
appeared in public on all state occasions- The Asiatia 
influence was most visible on the Russian rulers and their 
court J for it was the princes and the aristocracy who had the 
directest relations with their Mongol suzerains. The style and 
ceremony of the couH were raodelled after Asiatic forms; 
among other things the word ' above' (verkh^ which was con- 
Btantly used of the residetrce of the Tsars in the Kremlin^ 
and is even now-a-daj^ a not uncommon expression for the Winter 
Palace, is to this day used in BiJthara {yidchari) to denote the 


residence of the Amir. The Eussian Grand Prince Ivan Kalit^ 
the first consolidator of Eussia, received his surname from 
halta, the Turki for bag or purse, a word now habitually used 
in Central Asia. The Eussian nobles shaved their heads and 
dressed in the fashion set by their conquerors. They wore 
little skull-caps exactly like those now worn in Central Asia. 
That of the murdered Tsarevitch Dimitri is still preserved in 
the cathedral of the Kremlin ; and the crown called the ' cap 
of Vladimir Monomakh ' is nothing but a Kirghiz cap orna- 
mented with precious stones. Even the names for many common 
articles of dress, such as shoes {bashmak\ boots {itchetof), 
belt {Jcu8hak\ are Tartar. Asiatic stuffs were common in 
Moscow under their original names. The stables for the best 
horses of the Tsar were, even in the seventeenth century, called 
those for the Argamaks — still the best breed of horses in 
Central Asia. As one of the most evident and most galling 
relations of the Eussians to the Mongols was the tribute which 
was exacted, it is but natural that the word for * treasury ' or 
' crown property' still in use (kazna) should be a Tartar word 
coming from the Arabic, and that haznatchi (treasurer) should 
be a purely Tartar form. This same word has come to us in 
a very different way — through the Spanish, in the form maga- 
zine. In spite of this it seemed strange to me to find that the 
Eussian word for money, denga or dengi, in the form tenga^ 
meant everywhere in Central Asia a coin of twenty kopeks ; 
the smaller coin, j9tti, appears in the Eussian put and polushka ; 
and altyn, originally six tengas (Tartar alty, six), remains in 
the word pyataltyn, five altyns or fifteen kopeks, in frequent 
use with the cabmen of St. Petersburg. Asiatic weights and 
measures can be seen in batman and arshin ; and ambar, saraij 
and tcherdak (garret and storehouse), are Eastern words. It 
would be a curious subject of enquiry whether the Bussianlaws 
regarding taxes and real estate do not also show the effects of 
Asiatic influence. 

Islam, as we all know, means < sabmidsion (to CK)d)/ and uTT 
founded on the Koran, whidh the Mobammedam beliere \ 
to have been delivered to Mohaxnxned in seflwnte ehaiitef% 
called 8ura8^ by God himself ihrongli AIk 
The great principle of the raligip"*' 



as distinguished from the idolatry of the Arabians, the 
mysticism of variouB &ects5 or the trinitarian teachings of the 
Christians, But in the Koran we find, beside merely religious 
doctrines reiteratved in many forms, a series of rules with 
regard to daily life and practice, and even to political relations, 
Mohammed hasi advised his followers to learn all his regulations 
by heart, promisipg them on so doing a reward in the future life. 
This was done, and is still often done ; but the suvaa of the 
Koran were never collected together into oue book or placed 
in order during the lifetime of Mohammed, and were pre- 
served by bis followers in various formSj written on materials of 
all kinds. After his death the Khalif Abu Bekr ordered Seid 
Ibny-Sobit to collect all these scattered papers, and in the 
thirteenth year of the Hegira the Koran was published in its 
complete form, divided into 114 chapters or euras. Other 
collections were m.ade, and there came at last to be seven dif- 
ferent versions, varying probably chiefly from the different 
dialects in which they were written, several of which laid claim 
to special authority. In the time of the Khalif OthmaUj in 
the thirtieth year of the Hegira (650 A.n.), a revision of the 
Koran was undertaken in one dialect, and when this was com- 
pleted copies of it were sent to the different parts of the 
Mussulman world, and previous obscure and incorrect copies 
were destroyed. This is the form in which the Koran has come 
to us. As the Koran contained the basis of legislation and 
various rules and laws, with special directions for their applica- 
tion, it was necessary in many cases to have recourse to certain 
annotations, so that in the early days of I&Iam there arose three 
supplements to the Koran, Radish Ijina-^u-Ummet^ and Kias* 
The Hadm was a collection of remarks and orders of the Pro- 
phet, as transmitted by oral tradition, and examples from his 
privfite and pnblic life. Although these orders, not coming from 
the Almighty J did not have the force of the Koran, yet as they 
had come from the lips of the Prophet himself they sorv^ed for 
deciding cases which were not mentioned in that book. But 
in the collection of these traditions there were certain differ- 
ences, especially between the traditions collected by AK, the 
nephew and son-in-law of the Prophet, and those handed down 
by others of his friends and followers. The Hadisy or tradition! 
as recognised by the Suntute sect, consist of six books^ called 


Sikhokhe Sitte, or six books of regular traditions compiled by 
the most eminent doctors, the chief of whom was the celebrated 
El Bukhari. The Ijma-u^Ummet is a collection of the decisions 
of the first four Khalifs, and their orders and explanations of 
the Koran with regard to civil and religious matters. The 
Kias is a collection of decisions and judgments founded on the 
Koran and Hadia by the Khalifs, other than the first four, and 
by the Imams and highest spiritual persons. 

Mohammed himself had predicted that Islam would have 
seventy-three diflferent sects, as the religions of the Magis had 
been divided into seventy sects, that of the Jews into seventy- 
one, and that of the Christians into seventy-two. Certainly, 
many sects were formed soon after the death of the Prophet, 
and many now exist, the principal of which are the sect of 
Sunni and that of Shii. The chief differences in the dogmas 
of these two sects spring from the doctrine of Imametj the 
hereditary right of the descendants of Ali to rule over the 
Mussulman world. The Sunnites do not admit any Imams 
except the first four Khalifs, and believe that on the death of 
the Prophet the spiritual and worldly power was confided to 
the worthiest persons on the choice of the society or people. 
For the Shiites the Imamet is the chief doctrine of religion, 
and they consider the first three Khalifs, as well as those of the 
houses of B'ni Ummie and B'ni Abbas, as infringers on the 
lawful rights of Ali and his descendants, and that all done by 
them is not only unlawful but deserving . of contempt and 
curses. The Sunnites consider Ali as a lawful Khalif, but only 
. as the fourth after Abu Bekr, Omar, and Othman, and respect 
his descendants as those of the Prophet, but do not believe that 
the Khalifate was legally confined to Ali and his descendants 
alone. Another difference is that the Shiites believe it possible 
and allowable to abjure their religion in case of danger to their 
life, which is not permitted by the Sunnites. Besides having 
many differences in the rites of ablution, prayers, pilgrimage, and 
various laws and rules of civil and domestic life, the Shiites accept 
the Hadia, or traditions, as a proper supplement to the Koran 
in so far as they do not contradict it, but deny many traditions 
that are received by the Simnites.* The Shiites, who chiefly 

^ Set Baron Tarnau's * Bam» of Mnasalman Iat,' St. Petembuxg, 1860. 



inhabit Persia, and are nearly always of Peman race, reeognisd 
the Suimites 9S Mobaminedans, though considering them 
heretical. In the game way the most of the Sunnites consider 
the Shiites merely aa heretics ; hut owing to the decision of 
the Mullah Shems-cddin Mohammed of Samarkand^ tire 
SuDoiteB of Central Asia look upon the Shiites not as heretics 
hut as infidelsj and therefore helieve it right to make slaves of 
them. On both sides the fanaticism is so gi*eat that heretics 
seem almost worae than infidels, and it would be difficult to 
find a parallel for it among Christians of the present day. 

The Sunnitea are divided into four chief sects, named after 
saints or emioeot religious men,' who have sketched out certain 
rules for the external rites of Islam, or for the decision of cer- 
tain judicial questions. These are the Hanifeh^ or Azmn^ the 
Shaji, the Malik^ and the Hanbal sects. Of the inhabitants of 
Central Asia the majority are Hanifeisj and a much smaller 
number Shafiia ; but there are no others- The recent revival 
of pure lalamism by the IVakahia never extended to Central 
Asia, though it has so many votaries in India and Afghanistan^ 

It is the duty of every Mohammedan not only to believe in 
the doctrines of Islam but to perform aU the eiternal rites, 
pmyera, fasts, &e. which are laid down by the spiritual teachers, 
and especially to attend prayers in the mosque on Friday, or 
Jumma. As in most Oriental countries, and as seemed to bo 
the case in the early Christian Church, a day extends from 
sunset to sunset. The 300 mosques in Tashkent were always 
filled on Thursday evening and Friday mornings especially for 
the 11 o'clock prayer^ while after that there were only the few 
habitual attendants who might be seen there every day, for it is 
an act of merit to attend the mosque daily ; and then besides 
one has the chance of meeting one's friends and having a little 
gossip. The mosques here are for the most part small oblong 
buildings, with one side open to the air, in front of which is a 
large portico, the wall facing the entrance being in the direction 
of Mecca, and the hihleh^ or point, which marks the direction of 
the kaaba^ being placed there. The interior is generally destitute 
of ornamentj save perhaps rude lithographs or prints, coming pro- 
bably from India, which represent the holy buildings at Mecca, 

* ThelmanjAaiim-Alm-HuuJfi'h, 609-767; Imam Shall, 767-819; IraamHftUk 
db. 7@S ; and Ijiia.m Haat&lf who died iti Biigdad, Sd5. 




with written descriptions and explanations. At times, boo, there 
are pasted on the wall in ornamental writing certain texts and 
senteuces from the Koran. In the grounds of every mosque is a 
small pond for the use of 'those worshippers who have not had an 
opportunity of performing their ablutions at home. Every mosque 
has an Imam^ or parish-priest, who says the prayers, and a Sufi 
or clerk. The Imams receive voluntary ofiferings from the 
inhabitants of their parishes at Ramazan, but the Sufis receive 
nothing except the remnants after a feast, and gowns as pay for 
washing the dead. One cannot but be struck with the appear 
ance of good Mohammedans going to the mosque in their holi 
day clothes, one end of their turban floating over their shoulder, 
and all the elderly men with long heavy canes. Leaving their 
overshoes at the door, they go to their places and spread on the 
floor the praying-carpets, which they have brought with them, 
if the mosque does not provide any, for at prayers the wor- 
shipper must stand on a perfectly clean substance, and if 
possible on something owned by him. When prayer is once 
commenced they are all attention, and they must think of 
nothing else whatever. The postures and prayers are the same 
here as in other Sunnite countries, with some slight variations 
in the position of the hands or the manner of bowing ; and 
one notices here, even perhaps more than elsewhere, the deep 
religious earnestness which seems to pervade all. It is 
customary for the worshippers to stand and kneel in regular 
lines in the mosque or portico, and not in any place that may 
please individual caprice ; and should any person put himself 
forward he is contravening the principle of equality which rules 
among Mussulmans, and his conduct is severely blamed. I 
remember one instance which caused some little talk. Said 
Azim, of whom I have already spoken, one day at the mosque 
took a position in advance of all the rest, as perhaps he had 
noticed that high Russian dignitaries did in their church, for 
many natives have attended the Eussian service out of motives 
of curiosity. Ho was reprimanded by the Imam, but still re- 
fused to stand in the line ; and when the service was over, being 
censured in more severe terms by the Imam, he told him that 
he would do as he pleased, and that if such remarks were made 
to him he would have him expelled from tJie parish. The 
parishioners took the side of their Imam, and since that time 


Said A^im lias been obliged either to absent him§elf or to take 
'111 equal position with the rept< 

Islam admits of many religion a orders, both monastic and 
unmonastiCj who, though Biibjected to a less strict discipline, 
are superior in numbers as well as in influence on the popular 
in.ind to the monastic brotherhoods of the Christian Church. 
To some one of these various orders l^elong the Buvanas^ or 
Dervishes (called also Kalendar)^ who are so frequently seen in 
the towns of Central Asia, In Tashkent the dervishes are pro-i' 
hibited as dangerous to public order, their sermons and exhorta- 
tions being often of a seditious character. In Hodjent and 
Samarkand they are freer. In the monastic fraternities, or 
SulfiMk^ there are persons of all conditions of life, who adopt 
the mystic principles of the order, as the surest way of reaching 
salvation. Such fraternities exist at Tashkent, and the most 
prominent ones are the ^akafihandi^ Hujia^ Jahrid^ Ekod7HS, 
and Tchlstia^ the last, however, being chiefly followed in 
Hodjent and Khokand. It is very difficult to ascertain the 
ori<^in and foundation of these orders, each having its separate 
legendary history, in which it strictly believes, and each being 
protected by some saint, the N^akshhaiidi,, for example, by 
Baha-uddin, the celebrated saint of Bukhara ; the Jakrid by 
Hazret Yasavi, the eminent saint who is buried in Turkistan ; 
and each has its method for obtaining the eternal blessing of 
the Almighty, for exalting the soul, and for arriving at a state of 
perpetual liappinessp The Hufid believe that this spiritual 
exaltation is to be obtained by silent prayer, while the KhodriS 
prefer gaining it by exertion of the voice and loud cries. The 
Nakshbandi differ much from the others in their rules, and 
live more like monks. The brotherhood of the Jahrid has 
daily services in various places in Tashkent, as, for instance, 
every Sunday until Monday morning in the mosque of Ishan 
Hodja, and on Monday from eight o'clock in the morning 
until two o'clock in the afternoon in the mosque of Hodja Akhrar ; 
while from nine o'clock on Thursday evening until five or six 
o'clock on Friday morning the service is held in the mosque 
of Ishan Sahib Hodja, near the Uiy^a bazaar, where I had an 
opportunity of witnessing the ceremonies. 

At about ten o'clock one Thursday evening, in company with 
several friends, we went to this mosque, and ware at onoo 


admitted. I may remark here that Bussians have not the 
slightest diflficulty in entering any of the mosques in Tashkent, 
and are not even requested to take off their boots ; and, what 
seems to me to he a great stretch of politeness, there is no objec- 
tion made to their smoking in the precincts. Some thirty men, 
young and old, were on their knees in front of the kibleh 
reciting prayers with loud cries and violent movements of the 
body, and around them was a circle two or three deep of men 
standing, who were going through the same motions. We took 
up a position in one corner and watched the proceedings. For 
the most part the performers or worshippers had taken off their 
outside gowns and their turbans, for the night was warm and 
the exercise was violent. They were reciting the words Hasbi 
rabi jal Allah (' My defence is the Lord. May Allah be 
magnified ' ) ; ito fi Jcalhi hircdlah (' There is nothing but 
Grod in my heart') ; Nuri Muhammed sail Allah (' My light, 
Mohammed, God bless him ' ) ; ia iloha iU Allah (' There is no 
Godbut AUah'). 

These words were chanted to various semi-musical motives, 
in a low voice, and were accompanied by a violent movement 
of the head over tb^ left shoulder towards the heart, then back, 
then to the right shoulder, and then down, as if directing all 
the movements towards the heart. These texts were repeated 
for hundreds and hundreds of times, and this Zikr usually 
lasted for an hour or two, though it depended upon the will of 
the Ishan who was leading. At first the movements were slow, 
but continually increased in rapidity until the performers were 
unable to endure it longer. If anyone failed in his duty, or 
were' slower, or made less movement than was required, the Ishan 
who regulated the enthusiasm went up to him and struck him 
over the head, or pushed him back out of the circle and called 
another into it. Occasionally persons got so worn out with 
their cries, and so wet with perspiration, that it became 
necessary for them to retire for a few minutes' rest, and their 
places were immediately taken by others. When their vmcee 
became entirely hoarse with one ciy another i*^ ■■•** 

finally the cry was struck up of < Haii Hail ^i 
Allah, the immortal '), at first slowly, vit 
body to the ground; tlreii,^ the rhytb 
cadence, the body became more andn 



they all stood up ; the measure still increaied in rapidity, 
and each oue placing his hand on the shoulder of his neighbour 
and thus formiug several concentric rings, they moved in a 
mass from side to side of the mosque, leaping about, and 
always crying ^Hai Allah Hai I ' Hitherto there had been some- 
thing wild and unearthly in itj but now to persons of weak 
nerves it became positively painful, and two of my friends were 
BO much impressed as to be obliged to leave the mosque. 
Although I was sufficiently cold- bio ode*d to see the ridiculous 
rather than the horrible side of this, I could not help receiving 
an impression that the devoteeia were a pack of madmen, 
whose motions were utterly independent of any volition of their 
own. Finally, as their strength gave out the mass gradimlly 
found its way back to the kibleh^ and standing in a half-circle, 
moved their bodies from right to left with the same words^ 
Hai Half Allah Hail or with a slight change, Hua Allah! 
moving forwards and backwards. At last several of the 
worshippers came forward to the centre of this ring and began 
a wild frenzied dance, the accompaniment being constantly 
changed* They seemed entirely to have lost their seases, and 
often rushed against some of those who surrounded themj pulled 
them violently into the midst and forced them also to dan co- 
Then, when all their physical powers were exhausted, the 
brethren of the order again sat down in a circle and devoted 
themselves to contemplation, while the Ishan recited a prayer. 
After the prayer there was a pathetic recitation by a Uafiz 
(the word Eafiz is employed here to denote one who recites the 
poems of Eajizy or generally any religious verses) of some 
touching episode in the life of one of the saints, or of reflections 
on the mortality of man or the fires of Gehenna. The intona- 
tions of the voice were very remarkable, and were often accom- 
panied by most singular gestures, the hands or a book being 
often held to the side of the mouth, in order to throw tlie voice 
as far as possible* Often these recitations are merely collec* 
tions of meaningless words, which always seem to produce the 
same efiect on the hearers, and are constantly interrupted by 
cries of Hi^ /to, ock oeh^ ba ba, and groans and sobs, and the 
hearers weep, beat their breasts with their fists, or fall upon 
the ground. When one Hajiz has finished a second begina, 
and another prayer by the Ishan follows, interrupted fifomtimt 


to time by the regular chant of the brethren, Ya hai ya^ Allah, 
or Allah akhbar, or accompanied by gestures and the stroking 
of the face and beard, ^hile the words themselves are silently 
recited. The cries and movements then begin again, then 
follow the dances, until finally everything seems to be done at 
once, each one endeavouring to drown the voices of the others, 
until fatigue again intervenes, when silence preva-ils, and so 
over and over again the performance goes on until the morning. 
There is no regular rule as to the sequence of different acts of 
devotion, the whole matter being regulated by the order of the 
Pir or Iskan. After a while we retired from the mosque, and 
were taken to the chief Ishan, who was too unwell to preside 
at the performance, but feasted us with some tea and fruit ; 
and on our return his assistant, knowing that he would receive 
at least a ruble on our departure, did his best to make the per- 
formances more interesting, changing them more rapidly and 
devoting more time to dancing and less to recitation. When 
the cries were the loudest and the motions the most violent he 
seemed quite content, and even asked if we were pleased by it ; 
yet this is the most fanatical sect of Muslims in Central Asia. 

I do not know whether it be a wish to please their Russian 
masters, or whether it be a sign of gradual liberalism which has 
crept in, that the Mussulmans are so willing to show Christians 
their religious rites. I am inclined to think, however, that it | 
is owing to a gradually increasing spirit of indifferentism. It ' 
has been found necessary in all Central Asiatic countries to 
keep up the observances of religion by severe penalties ; both in 
Khokand and Bukhara there exist officials called Reis whose duty 
is to compel the attendance of the inhabitants at the mosques, 
even driving them if necessary from their shops and occupa- 
tions. Should religious laxity become known to this official, 
he, or one of his assistants, quickly punishes it by blows ad- 
ministered by a broad strap fastened to a handle, which he car- 
ries over his right shoulder ; he is required, however, not to re- 
move his hand from his shoulder in giving the blow, though this 
daes not prevent it from being severe. When the Eussians occu- 
pied Tashkent they abolished the office of i2et8, and since that 
time there is much laxity of observance ; the mosques are much 
more thinly attended. The Kazis say that not half so many go 
to daily prayers as formerly, and many persons, especially thoM 
YOL. I. u 



f i^bo are much occupied, never think during the day of making 
their ablutions or of sajiug their prayers » Much has been said 
of the fanaticism of Central Asia, but the fanaticism seems to 
me more apparent than reaL The Mullahs and Dervishes are 
fanatical partly from a spirit of caste, and partly because it is 
their interest to be ao. The rest of the population are often 
religious only when in public. They will let pass many obser 
%^ance8 and commit many sins if they think no one knows it, but 
will be the loudest in their cries against one who iB found out* 
There has not been the slightest hindrance offered by tb© 
Russians to the full exercise of Mohammedanism, which is pro- 
fessed by many Eussian officials, and is one of the state religions, 
the most of the Mussulman subjects of the Empire being under 
the control of the MufUj who resides at Ufa, and who by-the- 
by is a Russian nobleman and an accomplished gentleman, 
General Kaufman n has refused to allow any missionary enter- 
prises among the natives, and one or two persons who have come ^ 
from St* Petersburg with this idea have been compelled to quit 
Tashkent sooner than they at first intended- This action of | 
the Russian Administration is very praiseworthy, and is sure to 
be followed by very ej[cellenfc results. The natives are contc^nt 
io seeing that their religion is not oppressed, and that there are 
Bo martyrs is perhaps one reason why there is less religious 
enthusiasm. During the cholera of 1872 the Ka^is and chief 
inhabitants of Tashkent made a representation to the Govern- 
ment requesting that they wonld prohibit dances of boys and 
various other customs which they said were not in accordance 
with the strict rules of their religion, and they desired the 
Russians to compel attendance at the mosques- It was impoa* 
iible to grant the last request, but upon this representation th^ 
public dances of boys were for a time all stopped, not so much 
on account of the religious feeling, as because by gathering 
large crowds together they might be instrumental in propa^- 
gatiiig disease, ^ 

Education in Tashkent, as in general throughout Central ^ 
Asia, is entirely religious- In one sense it can be said to be in 
the hands of the clergy, for although the teachers are not 
generally speaking parish priet?ts, yet tliey belong to the 
leaiTied class which is instructed only in religion and religious 

^ Jaw^ and nothing is taught which does not have some bearing , 


upon religion or law. S<ihools are of two kinds, the makhtdb, 
qr_Brimar y ach ooly of which there is usually one in every parisli 
attached to the mosque ; and th e mechrease^ or colle ge, where 
the higher religions and legal studies are prosecuted, of which 
there are seventeen in Tashkent, six of them large and 
flourishing. Of these the college of Kukol Tash was founded 
450 years ago. The college of Barak Khan, founded some 320 
years ago, has 100 students. It was at one time almost re* 
duced to ruin, but Khanayat Shah, one of the generals of 
Malla Khan, gave it a large property during his lifetime, and 
on his death left it much more, which was confirmed by the 
KhaiT. The college of Beklar-Bek, which was built only about 
forty years ago, is one of the largest and richest. It owns many 
shops and houses, besides mills and lands, and supports 200 stu- 
dents. The teachers of the mdkhtahs are paid by volimtary contri- 
butions from the parents of the pupils of from twenty to forty 
kopeks a year, and a special gift or a gown before the holidays, 
which occur twice a year, before the feasts of Ruza-ait and Kur- 
ban-ait. Besides this they receive a loaf of bread or some small 
gift every Thursday. The pupils in the medresaea pay nothing, 
but they, as well as their professors, are supported from the reve- 
nues ui the college derived from ^^/y/^r lanHa ^^^ p roperty 
g iven for religious uses. The endowment ofmosques and colleges 
has for centuries past been looked upon as a work of piety and 
glory, and many even during their lives devote their fortunes to . 
such good ends. I remember visiting one evening the college o^J 
Seid Abdul Kasim, a man who is universally regarded as a saint 
in Tashkent. At first he would have do intercourse whatever 
with the Russians, but since then, not finding them so bad as 
be expected, he has altered his opinion. Seid Abdul Kasim is 
no doubt a very learned man in Mussulman law, but what he 
and his family are chiefly celebrated for is their ability to leoitA 
the whole of the Koran by heart. A person who oani do * 
called here Icari ; in the Levant, hafiz* His two soBii 
son, and two daughters — ^though the latter I did HQi 
said to be able to accomplish this feat ; and what is n 
scarcely one of them is at all acquainted with Ai" 
effort Ui^efore is entirely one of memory, they D 
siightesit idea of the meaning of the words whic! 
They of course know the contents of the Koran firoi 

u 2 



lations in the Persian and Turki, but would he unable to trans- 
late it verse for verse. The college of Seid Abdul Kasim is 
supported entirely by him. At one time his revenues were con- 
Bide jably diminished by the forced closing of his earai on the 
bazaar in consequence of the opening of the Tashkent fair. 
Upon the advice of some friends he proposed to the Russian 
Ailministration to introduce into his college courses of the 
Russian language and of modern sciences, on condition that the 
prohibition against his sarai should be withdrawn. As the 
coal sold in his sarai could not be brought with advantage to 
the fair, his request was acceded to ; but whether the authorities 
forgot this proposition, or whether their ideas changed, no steps 
were taken either to co-operate with Abdul Kasim or to provide 
him with teachers, and the proposed courses have not yet begun. 
Boys begin to study in the primary schools at about five or 
six years of age, and continue through a course lasting at least 
seven years. They commence with the alphabet, which is fol* 
lowed by parts of the Koran, and then study six or seven books, 
among which are * Tchar Kitab,' ' Mantyk/ and ' Farsegain,' 
These seven books they must be able to read and copy with 
fjasej but after that the course is not fixed, and they read 
various books in Persian or Tiurki with no special St^jeoce, 
The iirBt few hooks they are obliged to read aloud all at one 
time, and they learn to write, with the usual Indian ink, on 
wooden slates like small spades. The teacher, with huge 
spectacles on his nose, sits on one side, with a pile of books 
near him, and round him is a circle of boys, all kneeling and 
bending over their books, which are upon the floor* A spectator 
wonders how the teacher is able to distinguish anything^ but he 
is so used to it that should one boy be for a moment silent he 
IS immediately reminded of his duties with a long rod. With 
the exception of one or two books, the boys understand notbing 
of what they read, though it is perhaps better for their morale 
that this should be the case. The attendance is from sunrise 
till about five o'clock in the evening, with occasional short 
intervals during the day for rest and refreshment. Holiday! 
are very few. IVhen a boy begins to road the Koran it is 
customary for has father to present the teacljer with a gown* 
As soon as a boy has finished the course of the primary school 
he may begin that of the college, where he is instructed in 


religious law. The course at the college, which is divided into 
three classes, includes at least twenty-eight books, though it 
may extend to 137, and lasts about fifteen years. But few ever 
finish the entire course ; if they do so, they are then qualified 
to be Imams, or parish priests, teachers of schools, or Muftis, 
and secretaries of the Kazis. The revenues of the college are 
looked after by the steward, or mutevcUi, who collects them 
and pays the regular amounts to the professors and pupils and 
to the various servants of the college. 

The pupils of the college usually prepare their lessons before- 
hand, either in their rooms at home or in the grounds of the 
medressL L was present at several recitations or lectures held 
by a professor, or mudaris^ who first read a passage of the text- 
book and then commented on it, his hearers showing that they 
were paying attention by groaning from time to time Ach, ach^ 
and nodding their heads. They then made remarks and dis- 
puted over the passage, one interrupting the other when his 
opinion was different, to which the professor likewise assented 
with Ach^ ach. Bystanders are also allowed to join in the dis- 
cussion, and one or two of the Mullahs who were with me did 
so, and the conversation became very animated. The question 
was, I believe, about some peculiarities of the law of divorce. 
When the pupils have ceased their disputes, the professor states 
what is the true doctrine with regard to the matter and passes 
to the next paragraph. The manner of teaching is not without 
advantage, though the prolonged discussions over very trifling 
matters are apt to waste the time of the students, and conse- 
quently extend the number of years during which they will 
have to study. Besides the regular medresse there are some 
special schools, such as Saliavat Khana, where nothing but 
prayers are taught ; Karikh Khana^ where the pupils do no- 
thing but learn the Koran by heart, so as to become Kazi ; and 
Maanavi Khana, where the works of the poet Masnavi are 

Education is not confined to the men ; girls also are taught 
to read and write in special schools, and study for three or four 
years, after which for the next year or two, up to their mar- 
riage, they^are occupied in learning to sew. 

Among my most interesting acquaintances in Tashkent were 



the Kazis, or native judges, two of whom I rememher witli 
great pleasure. The most able and honest of them wae ]Mukan- 
eddin Hodja, son of the former Kazi Kiilian. One of my 
earliest viBits in Tasbkr^nt were made to him, and with liim and 
his hrother and cousin, all eqnally learned and pioijSj I spent a 
very agreeable evening, Conversation was of course chiefly on 
education and on Mussulman law, but I found that they did 
not disdain occasional jokes and jests, thougb these were said 
somewhat under their Lreath, as if they were contrary to the 
spirit of the place, for there was a mosque and a small college 
clo^e by, where the Kazi had his students of law* 
f The law courts among the native population of Centml 
Asia are of two kinds : among the settled population there are 
the Kazis, who administer jastice on the basis of written laws, — 
the ShaHat^ founded on the Koran, and introduced together 
with Mohammedanism j and among the nomads, — Kirghiz, and 
others J — the Bik^ who judge according to the unwritten tradi- 
tions and customs, adtiL Though these tj-aditions are unwritten 
and unformulated they are none the less generally known, and 
are a pure product of national life, altered by no importationa 
from a foreign civilisation, and in many particulars directly 
contrary to the doctrines of Mussulman law. One prominent 
characteristic of this traditional law is, that no difference id 
made between civil and criminal oflences, all crimes being 
viewed only in their i elation to otliers, and being punished by 
damages in favour of the injured party. A hii is, properly 
speaking, an arbitmtor, versed in the national traditions, but 
bound by no formalities* The proceedings are therefore entirely 
oml ; no record is kept, and no appeal can be taken. The hiis^ 
up to the time when the Russians introduced changes into the 
government of the Steppe, were not permanent officers, but were 
chosen for the occasion, although naturally a man distinguished 
for his probity and bis justice would be the more often called 
upon to fill this office \ but disputes were often referred to the 
first comer, A Russian Cossack, who went yearly to fish in 
Lake Issyk-Kul, acquired such a reputation among the Kirghiz 
of that region that he was frequently asked to be 6ii, and wag 
paid the usual fees ; many affairs were even purposely deferred 
until his yearly visit. 

The liussians retained the court of biis^ believing that 


there was nothing in this institution opposed to the 8|.read of 
Russian influence, but introduced certain changes, in making tlie 
biis permanent officers elected by the people, and in establish- 
ing appeals from a single bii to councils of biis in two instances, 
and from thence to the Eussian courts. For the purposes of 
appeal, the very idea of which is opposed to the theory of a 
court of arbitration, it is necessary to have written records of 
the proceedings of the courts and of the judgments. As the 
Kirghiz are generally uneducated, they are thus thrown into 
the hands of clerks and copyists, chiefly wandering Tartar 
JMiiHahs, whose influence has already proved very harmful. 

In the settled portions of the country the courts of the 
Kazis, judging after the Shariat, or written Mussulman law, 
were brought in with Mohammedanism, and have gradually got 
the upiier hand of the traditionary procedure, which was more 
in accordance with the national spirit. Some of the Uzbek 
clans, however, still preserve their custom law — uzbeldckilyk — 
especially for family matters, in spite of their Kazis ; and in 
Shahrisabs the Mussulman code was only permanently intro- 
duced by the Amir Nasrullah on his conquest. When at his 
death Shahrisabs became again independent under Jura Bek, 
the Mussidman code was retained, as being best adapted to the 

Under Mussulman rule in Tashkent — as is now the case 
in the independent Khanates — the Kazis, who were appointed 
for life by the Khan or Bek, after a long and careful examination 
in the rules of the Shariat and the decisions of learned Mullahs 
by a special commission of learned men, were unlimited in 
number. The court was small, with but a single Kazi ; and, as 
there were no fixed districts, the suitor had recourse to that one 
in whom he had the greatest confidence. In the larger places 
there was the Kazi Kalian, who was as it were the presiding 
justice. The proceedings in all these courts were oral, but the 
judgment and the docunientary evidence were copied into special 
books kept for this purpose by the mufti^ or secretary, and 
sealed with the official seal of the Kazi. Citations of similar 
cases were often made by the alyamaa, who acted as advisers 
to the Kazi. The Kazi had jurisdiction in all civil suits^ but 
only in small criminal matters, the larger being reserved for 
the decision of the Bek himself. Persons who were dissatisfied 



with the decision 8 of tbe Kazi could lay un appeal before the 
Bek, who m some cases left such appeals without attention, in 
otliers he called a session of all the Kazis of the place for in- 
vestigation of the matter. The Kazi Kalian was the preaident 
of this session and kept order there, which gave him a great 
influence, for the other Kazis usually considered it a duty to 
agree with bira in everything, not only on account of his ex- 
perience and leamiog, but also from a desire to stand well with 
him. Tlie more important criminal cases were sent by the Bek 
to this session of Ka/is for decision, but capital and heavy 
punishments could not be inflicted except with the confirmation 
of the Bek. 

When the Russians occupied Tashkent and prepared regu- 
lations for tbe government of the country it was considered 
best not to touch the principle of the native courts. The Kazi, 
besides deciding all ordinary ^^uits, hud special charge of mar- 
riages, divorces, and all family matters, which were governed 
by roles coming fi'om the Koran, and it would therefore be im- 
possible to abobsh hits j luisdiction without hurting the religious 
feelings of the Mussulman!?* As this was very undesirable it was 
thought best to retain the Kazis, The Russians had the examples 
of the Caucasus and the Crimea, where the Kazis had been re- 
tainedj and where by giving a right of appeal or choice, on con- 
sent of bothtlie parties, to the Russian Court, the importance of 
tbe Kazis had gradually diminished, and the jurisdiction of the 
Russian courts liad greatly extended among the Mussulman 
natives, except for family matters. The Russians, too, might 
have learned something from the En^dish in India, In 1KG4 
the Kazis in India were a^wlkhed, a step which caused great 
discoutent among the Mussulmans, as it was found impos- 
sible without thtm. to have legal marriages or to settle divorce 
or abduction cases. The English finally saw the error 
iAo which they had fallen, and lately revived the Mussul- 
man courts of the Kazis^ Though the Russians had every 
right and reason to fallow the example of the previous Central 
Asiatic rulers and appoint the Kazis, yet, from a curious devo- 
tion to tbe principle of popular election, which in a country 
like this, accustomed only to arbitrary rule, was of very doubt* 
ful application, established that they should be elected for a 
limited term by the best men of the community, in the same 



manner as the aksakals and police oflScials. This elective 
system has turned out very badly, bribery and corruption 
having become prevalent in the elections, and direct pressure 
being at times exerted by the authorities for their favourites, 
certain persons being excluded from the lists as being fanatical, 
and the choice of certain candidates almost commanded. The 
importance of individual judges was somewhat diminished by 
abolishing the office of Kazi Kalian, appointing each Kazi to 
a separate district, and rendering it obligatory for the inhabi- 
tants of the district to have recourse to his judgment, and by 
making all the Kazis equal among themselves* The Kazi had 
final decision in all civil matters of less than a hundred rubles, 
but in suits for sums greater than a hundred rubles, and for the 
lesser criminal affairs, — the more important criminal cases being 
reserved for the Eussian courts, — there was arranged a session 
of all the Kazis of a district. At the same time the privilege 
was given that on the appeal of both parties, either before the 
session of the Kazis or after it, the dispute could be referred to 
the Eussian courts. There was no qualification required for 
the office of Kazi except that the candidates should be in good 
repute among the commimity, over twenty-five years of age, 
and not accused or condemned by any court. No salary was 
fixed by the Grovemment, but it was allowed to the community 
in which they lived, before electing them, to give them a^alary 
or to permit them to receive fees on affixing their seals. In 
the city of Tashkent there are four Kazis, whose decisions have 
in general given satisfaction, and there have been as yet few 
appeals to the Eussian courts ; but diuing the last three years 
there have been instances where several of the Kazis have been 
accused of having taken bribes and of having been influenced 
in their decisions, so that some of them have been removed. 
In one instance the Kazi, being hand-and-glove with certain of 
the officials in some land speculations, was retained for a long 
time against the popular will, and he was only removed when 
an outbreak was threatened. / 

The whole Mohammedan legislation is based on the Koran, 
the traditions and books which interpret it, and the decisions 
and examples of the first Khalifs in accordance with it. This 
code of law, contained, with all its glosses and commentaries, 
in numberless volumes, is called the Shariat — the road for 



reaching heavenly bliss.* It is impossible to give in a few 
words any idea of Mnsaulman law, but I cannot help laying 
Btresa on the pi'inciple which is its foimdation, namely^ that in 
the actions of Mussulmans good faith is always to be supposed. 
The judge is never t^ suppose either deceit or malice in the 
action of anyone until that person has admitted it or it has 
been shown by proof. If in a suit before the KrtA a defendant 
do not admit the justice of the plaintifTs demand he ia 
obliged either to bring witn eases on his side or to take an oath 
that the complaint ia imjust- If he take this oath the case 
in at an end. In some cases it is possible for the defendant 
to demand that the plaiatiff take an oath that his complaint 
is correct. If he swear to it, the matter is decided in his 
favour ; if he be unwilling to do so, the matter is decided 
iu favour of the defendaoL If the defendant absolutely de- 
mand that the plaintiff take an oath, and refuse himself to take 
one, and aftar the demand — three times repeated — of the Kazi 
should still refuse, the matter is decided against him. The 
repugTianf^e to taking an oath is so great that it is considered 
a great insidt to be requested to do so, and often a suitor, 
though he may have a perfectly just claim, will prefer to lose 
it rather than lower his dignity in the eyes of himself and hia 
friends by swearing to his complaint or defence. It is but fair 
to say for the Mussulmans that they show great good faith in 
their transiictians with one another, and suits-at-law are much 
less common than in many more civilised countries. 

Sometimes, in default of evidencej i-esort ia had to super- 
Btitions means for discovering the truth. In a certain case of 
theft suspicion fell on several persons of bad reputation, although 
there was no plain proof against them. Finally the Aksakal 
gave an order to the inhabitants of the neighbourhood to 'pile 
earth,^ which meant that each one had a fixed time in whicli to 
bring in the comers of his gown some handfuls of earth and 
place it carefully in one heap. When the heap was afterwards 
examined the stolen money was found, and thus the loser re- 
covered his property without the thief being known. In 
another case I wua told of, ttie suspected persons were ordered 
each to 8waj*ow a small piece of bread. The guilty party, excited 

' In Tnrkistan tbe Sbariat ib chiofiy expounded ^m the * Muk]it««^r-ul> 
vikfli/at,' aod tk0 ' Shtidaul'Maim/ 


probably by the commotions of his conscience, was unable to 
swallow it, and immediately made confession and restored the 
stolen property. Another way is to write the names of all the 
accused on small pieces of paper and shake them up in a wash- 
bowl. Each of the accused is then obliged to poise this bowl 
on the fore-finger of his right hand. If after a little the bowl 
begins to revolve, it shows that the name of the thief is there. 
Several of the names are then taken out and the experiment is 
again tried until only the name of the thief is left in. This 
method, I am assured, is certain, and I presume most believers 
in spiritualism would agree to it. 

The original legislation of Mohammed being made for the 
Arabs of the desert, it was necessarily narrow in its scope, and 
there is some difficulty in applying it to the wants of more 
developed and civilised communities. To accomplish this it 
has b^n necessary to call in tradition, casuistry, and special 
pleading ; but there are too few broad principles, and too many 
practical applications and petty details in the Mussulman code 
to make casuistry an easy matter. For instance, its provisions 
are too strict as regards trade and inheritance to suit modem 
civilisation ; it is impossible by Mussulman law to purchase or I 
sell articles which are not in existence, such as f utmre crops, or / 
to take interest on money. But these restrictions are somehow! 
successfully evaded by legal fictions, and business goes on 
much the same in Mussulman countries as in others, although 
the spirit of speculation and credit is less rife there. Up to 
the present time the Mussulman code answers well enough the 
needs of Mussulman commimities, and in the hands of skilful 
lawyers it is capable of still greater development. 

We should make an error did we, as is often done, com- 
pare the strict theory of Islam and of Mussulman law as 
laid down in the Koran and in the Shariat, with the practice 
of Christianity and civilisation. A comparison of the theory — 
the strict letter — of the Bible with that of the Koran is not so 
much to the disadvantage of the latter. Were the precepts of 
the Scripture to be carried out to the letter, as has been at- 
tempted at many times and places, civilisation would be almost 
impossible, and life would be at least as restricted as it is now 
in Mussulman countries. Christianity, as expounded by the 
i*untans and the literal believers, constantly inculcates separa- 



lion from the world, exclusive devotion to relTgious life and re- 
ligiouB oeremonies, heedles guess of the temporal future, and the 
feimdering of every tie which unites man to the world whenever 
it be contrary to the development of the conscience and the 
Hpiritual life. This is hardly better than the strict regulations 
regarding foodj dress, posturej and prayer, Tvhioh are found in 
the Mussulman code. But in the development of Christian 
civilisation the letter has been disregarded, and Christian sects 
nearly all preach the Gospel according t^ a far more liberal 
interpretittion of it. Science is as strictly precluded by the 
Bible as it is by the Koran, and yet scienqe flourishes. Science 
and art both floiu'ished once under Mussulman rule as well- 
When Mara first arrived on the civilised soil of Europe and 
Asia J it yielded enough to outside influences to permit of an 
extraordinary development of leamiog and civilisation, where 
art, science, and philosophy all found their votaries. Since 
that time it has been expelled in great part from Europe ; 
waves of barbarism have passed over Asia, which effectually 
destroyed eivilisatian and enlightenment there, and threw 
nations into a state of torpor and Biagnation from which they 
have never recovered* This, however, was not tlie effect of 
Mohammedanism, though that religion has had its part in 
keeping up this state of things, Relieved of external influ- 
enceSj fanaticism and ignorance had full play. Yet the present 
state of ilussulman countries seems hardly worse than tliat of 
-Europe in tlie dark ages preceding the Reformation, if we take 
into account the difference of races and national character, 
Unfortimately, the contact of Christian civilisation with Mo- 
hammedan nations has, thus far, only served to develope faults 
and vices imder a gloss of civilisation. Reform and progress, 
to be stable, must come from within, But one great attempt 
at reform baa yet been made — the Wahhabi movement — whichj 
in misdirected zealj corresponds so closely with the Puritan 
movement in England, There is reason, however, to believe 
that another great revival of Mohammedanism is at hand 
How far it will be beneticial to the world, the future alone oim 




The Tashkent hazaar — Sunday hazaar — SilyerBiniths— Brass workers— Cutlery 
and arms — Iron-foundries — Tea-houses — Barbers — Apothecaries — Cosme- 
tics — Oils — Dyes — Shoes and Leather — ^The Kirghiz bazaar — Caravan- 
serais — ^Hindoos — Money-lending and its subterfuges— Pottery — Embroi- 
dery — Cotton goods — Silk and silk culture — Legendary history of silk — 
Weights and Measures — Money- -Duties and Taxes — The Fair and its 
results — Statistics of Central Asiatic trade — Transportation — Trade routes 
— Proposed railway. 

According to Central Asiatic ideas, a city, to be really such, 
must have a Jumma mosque, that will hold all the inhabitants 
at Friday prayers, and must possess all of the thirty-two guilds or 
trades (kasaha) which are thought to comprise the whole world of 
commerce. Possibly there were thirty-two guilds originally, 
although there are many more now, but probably this number 
was chosen because the himian body is supposed to be made up 
of thirty-two members, for which reason, the body of merchants 
must be made up of thirty-two guilds. Moreover, each branch of 
industry, sucli as shoemaking, silk-weaving, &c., must have at 
least thirty-two subdivisions. All of these trades are to be seen 
in full working in the bazaar, and it is the bazaar of Tashkent 
that we must now visit. 

As we pass along the great street which divides Tashkent 
nearly into equal parts it becomes straighter and wider. 
Finally, we descend a little hill over the rough stones, and 
cross a rude bridge over one of the canals which water the city, 
with a large mill-pond at the leffc. Then begin little shops, 
with close by an iron foundry, and a cotton-printing establish- 
ment, walls with skeins of freshly-dyed cotton hanging out 
to dry, and before us is the great med/i^essS of Beklar Bek, 

articles at a time^ bringing down one or two more, if these 
did not suit you, and never seeming' eager to induce jon to 
piircbase. If yoti ttdd them that you did not want to buy any- 
thing, but had merely come for tomadha^ or amusementj they 
were always ready to explain and show you everything you 
wished to see. Their commercial calculations seemed to be 
peculiar, for they always objected to selling their whole stock of 
any article at once; and if they did so, always asked a higher 
price in consequence. As one man satd, ' Why, I have enough 
goods now to trade for a week, and if I sell them all to you, 
what shall I busy myself with ? * 

I WES particularly interested with the jewellers* Their shops 
are all collected in one small street^ and it was amusing to sit 
and watch them by turns. Upon every new occasion they pro- 
duced to me a few articles which they never seemed to think of 
before. Their stock-in-trade was always very small ; a few 
silver rings and earrings, belt clasps and amulets to be worn on 
the shoulders or in the hair, and sometimes necklaces and brace- 
lets set with pieces of coloured glass. There were few precious 
stones to he had, and none that seemed of value. Everywhere 
were great quantities of turquoises, hut nearly always of very 
bad quality, chiefly used for decorating bridles, the boms of 
saddles, and the handles of sabres, where they are all thickly 
set together in silver, and then filed and polished down to one 
uniform Rurface, looking then much like shagreen leather* 
Their instruments were very simple : a small hand-furnace 
which a boy blew with a bellows, a few forceps and rods, and 
thin silver strips and wires which they made into filagx^ee 
work. Very little of the work seemed to be done in gold ; all 
that I saw consisted of very thin leaves of gold, which were cut 
into small pieces, hammered together, and then stamped in a 
mould. Among the silversmiths were one or two watchmakers, 
principally Tartars, who were ocjcupied in repairing watches of 
European make, or sometimes in making rude imitations, with 
Arab numerals on the dials. The trade in watches must be 
eonsiderablej for most of the richer natives have one or two, 
which they usually keep in a small leathern pouch and produce 
with great delight. In Bukhara one can buy a good Swiss or 
English silver watch almost as cheaply as in Moscow. 

The brass- workers occupy another street on the south side of 


file l)Hzaar, and the whole neighbourhood is deafened with the 
Sviund of their hammering. The Eiissian samovars^ which they 
are mending, first strike the eye. These are never made here, 
but are all imported from Eussia — as was the case long before the 
Eussian occupation. But they manufacture in great numbers 
the native teapots and ewers {}cumgan\ usually of very graceful 
shapes, and often of very delicate workmanship, being covered 
with fine ornament cut with a chisel ; sometimes portions of the 
surface are covered with a thin coating of tin, which is chiselled 
so as to show the decoration in two metals. There seem, how- 
ever, to be no very skilful master workman, or else there is 
something greatly lacking in their taste, for these jugs are sel- 
dom completely finished, a beautifully decorated vessel often 
having a rude and clumsy handle, which has not even been filed 
down smooth. For purposes of washing they also make a large 
basin surmounted by a platter, pierced with delicate arabesques, 
to receive the water poured over the hands. Here, as elsewhere, 
the manufacture is divided into several branches, one shop 
making nothing but the bottoms of the ewers, another soldering 
them on, another producing the handles, another the covers, 
while others are occupied in chiselling the .ornamentation on 
the sides. At the end of this row are heaps of large iron kettles 
for cooking purposes, brought from Eussia. All the iron which 
is used is imported, and the natives work it but little, except 
for making knives and sabres. The greater part of the knives, 
razors, and scissors offered for sale are made of iron, although 
many knives have steel edges welded on, while some are made 
entirely of steel, — usually out of old sabres — ^and are sold at a 
much higher price. Knives being so necessary to the life of 
every Asiatic, this trade occupies a large number of persons, 
both for the manufacture and the sale. The handles are usually 
made of bone, often richly ornamented, and nearly every knife 
has a case, generally of horse leather dyed green. This is 
fastened to a piece of skin or leather, frequently with orna- 
mented tassels, which is hung on the belt. 

Few good sword-blades are made now-a-days, as the art in 
this part of Asia appears to be lost. The really fine ones are 
brought from Persia, and are handed down in families from 
father to son. They are therefore considered very precious, and 

TOL. I. V 





are iai*ely to lie bouglit even at high pricesp I was offered two 
or three sabres, which seemed fair, at prices ranging from lOL tu 
20L There are not many good cutlers now in Russian Turkistan, 
and even in the native states there is no call for blades except 
when a war is imminent j and then the smiths have more than 
they can do ; but in times of peace they devote themselves to 
the manufacture of knives, razors, and small iustrnments. 
Sword blades are sometimes re-made from good Damask blades 
which have become broken, and this branch of industry is carried 
on to a great extent at Hissar, and to some extent at Samarkand, 
but the more ordinary method of making a blade is to forge it 
from good iron or soft steel, and then weld upon it a thin edge 
from English needles. The native likes this blade because it 
will not break, as its method of manufacture makes it elastic 
and tough- Another method, similar I believe to that practised 
at Toledo J is to make a blade out of horse-shoes, or horse-shoe 
nails, and to put it between two very thin steel blades — those 
made of English needles being preferred— of equal curvature, 
and then to weld the whole into a solid mass, the edge being 
made by the union of the two steel blades. Most of the blades 
here are very much curved^ few are straight* The wheel used in 
sharpening them is of wood, covered with leather thickly sprea^ 
with emeiy powder, A strap is passed twice around it*i horizontai 
axle and pulled in alternate directions by one man, thus gi^^ng 
the wheel a motion hrst to right aod then to left, while anothe 
applies to it the edge of the knife. 

As to fire-arms, almost the only kind manufactitrcd ir| 
Central Asia is the matchlock, the barrel being chiefly of roo|^hi 
European make or of old pattern, brought principally from Indi 
and Persia, In Tashkent there are a few iron-foundries, whicd 
are mostly occupied in making small articles for household use,' 
such as lamps, which resemble very much the old Eomnn lamp 
in form, but are of far grosser workmanship ; fpr, owing to the 
imperfect liquefaction of the iron, the surfaces are always rough* 
The whole process of casting la very primitive. A foundry con-^j 
sists of a courts with a shed at one side open always to the southp^f 
BO as to give the sun's rays fidl play for drying th© moulds,^" 
p ragmen ti§ of iron mixed with charcoal are placed in an open 
iron pot lined with clay on a rude forge, which is fed by bellows 
worked by band. When the iron is melted the pot is lifted off 


by hooks, and the contents are either ladled out, or in case of 
large articles poured into the moulds, which are sometimes skil- 
fully made. The technical terms and the very name of the 
trade (dig-^zi, kettle-casting) being Tadjik would seem to show 
that this branch of manufacture was brought from Persia. 

Weary with the heat we take refuge in one of the tea- 
houses (tchai-khana^^ where a group of natives is discussing 
the latest local gossip, or the rumours from the Khivan expedi- 
tion. We sit down on a silk mattress, and the boy — these 
houses seem to be always kept by boys — ^throws a handful of 


green tea into a brass jug, fills it from the great Russian aamo^ 
var^ which stands at the entrance, lets it simmer a moment on 
the coals, and sets it before us, bringing us at the same time a 
small china bowl. We give a bystander a few small coins and 
he buys us a few lumps of sugar, some kishmish^ or raisins, 
some small round cakes of hot bread, and some delicious apri- 
cots. If we wish for them we can have some meat patties from 
the cook-shop round the comer. Nothing but tea is sold in these 
tea-houses, and the natives bring their own bread and raisins 

' Although both parts are native words, this compound expression was intro- 
duced by the Eussians, and has now obtained the rights of citizenship. In speak- 
ing to each other Sarts usually say ' the samovartchi^s,' using a word derived from 
the Russian — but long ago. 

M 2 


tied up in the folds of their girdles, which when spread out 
serve as their table-cloths. 

We wind up with cigarettes, while our neighbours who are 
discussing the gossip of the day over their bowls of tea, take 
each a pufif at a huge gourd pipe. On leaving the tea-house we 
find close by a barber in the act of shaving a customer's head. 
He uses no soap, but wets the scalp thoroughly from a small 
brass basin, and with admirable skill takes the hair ofif with a 
most uncomfortable looking iron razor stuck in a handle like a 
pen-holder. He then washes the head again, dries it on a towel, 
and with one turn of the razor takes an inch from the middle 
of the moustache. God forbid that he touch the beard or the 
ends of the moustache, but all laws of Mussulman propriety 
demand that the part immediately under the nose should be 
shaved clean. The barber, as in all primitive countries, is a 
surgeon as well, and will let your blood or operate on you as 
best he can, but he has no connection with the apothecary's 
shop over the way. 

The little drawers, the round boxes with coloured labels, and 
the bunches of dried herbs, leave no doubt as to which that is. 
Here you can find all the drugs known to the Asiatic pharma- 
opoeia. You can get, too, Persian dried lemons of the size of 
a nutmeg, but which when broken and soaked in your tea leave 
a decided flavour, small mirrors, and Russian paper ; and here, 
also — as the very name of the shop, attar-khana^ would indicate 
— you can find all the cosmetics used by the women, although 
these have but a small sale, as any garden will fuinish the 
articles commonly used. 

The most necessary is, perhaps, usma^ a species of woad 
(Isatis) which furnishes a black colour for painting the eye- 
brows. The juice of the fresh leaves is squeezed into a tea-cup, 
and is applied with a small piece of reed instead of a brush, or 
with the finger. Fashion demands that not only the eyebrows, 
but also the space between them, shall be painted so as to make 
one long line. The colour is at first a dirty green, but in a few 
moments it becomes a bluish black, though it soon disappears, 
and has to be renewed every two or three days. This custom is 
80 prevalent that even children of less than a year old are thus 
decorated. Surma^ a black powder of antimony, is used for 
painting the eyelashes, even by men, and is thought to relieve 


the inflammation of the eyes caused by dust and wind. CTjpa, or 
white lead, brought from Eussia, and rice-powder are the most 
common preparations for whitening the face, but they are used 
only by women whose complexion is very yellow. The clear 
olive complexion, which is sometimes seen among the pure 
Tadjiks of Samarkand, is not defiled with powder, as it is 
thouglit very beautiful of itself. Eouge (iglyk) is prepared by 
soaking cotton wool in an infusion of the root of some boragi- 
nous plant. Henna, for colouring the nails, is replaced by the 
common garden balsam. The leaves and flowers ^re bruised, 
mixed with a little alum, and at night bound about the nails of 
the fingers and toes, which in the morning will have a yellowish 
red colour. It was formerly the custom for the women, especi- 
ally the old ones, to paint their teeth black with a powder 
composed of the gall of the pistachio tree mixed with the scales 
from a blacksmith's forge, but this has in great measure gone 
out of fashion. There are no pomades for the hair, which is 
cleaned solely by being thoroughly rubbed witli sour milk and 
then washed in warm water. I do not know whether it is the 
result of this practice or not, that the women all have wonder- 
fully thick and long, although coarse hair. They perfume their 
persons either by carrying a bunch of some sweet-smelling plant, 
usually basil, or with rose-water, which is used to such an extent 
as sometimes to make the society of women very unpleasant. 
Baths and houses are frequently perfumed by burning gums or 
roots, the most expensive and most esteemed of which is suwr 
hul^ the real nature of which was for a long time a puzzle. 
Mr. Fedtchenko managed to obtain a living root of it, which 
was successfully planted in the Botanical Giardens at Moscow, 
and proved to be an umbelliferous plant, to which the name was 
given of Euryangium SumbuL 

Two kinds of cosmetic soap are made, but usually the soap 
is very dirty and ill-smelling, being made by boiling together 
the ashes of a species of Scdicomia, lime, and the lowest quality 
of tallow. Oil for cooking, lighting and other purposes is 
pressed from various kinds of seed, the most common being 
that from the kunzhut, or sesame. This is used chiefly in the 
preparation of food, but it frequently has a bad odour and a dis- 
agreeable taste, in consequence of being mixed with iiidciu^ 
(jrr»t(ja) and cotton seed. As the indau grows among the 



aesame, it is very difficult to prevent this admixture, but the 
cotton seed is used principally to increase the bulk of the resi- 
due, which brings a high price as food for animals* A special 
oil ia also made from the indau for use in Teterinary practice- 
Linseed oil is most common after scBame, and is used partly in 
foodj but chiefly for lighting. Oil from walmits, sunflower- 
eeed and poppy-seed, is made in small quantities for use by the 
better classes. Hempseed oil is little used in cookery, because 
it acts on the head in the same way as hashhh. From the 
Beeds of the caper-plaDt an excellent oil is prepared, which 
bvims with a clear bright fiame without smoke* Candles are 
also manufactured from ordinary tallow^ both candies and oil 
being Bold in separate shops. 

In similar small shops are sold the dye-stuffs in use* Be^ 
sides indigo imported from India and Brazil, and other dye- 
woods coming from Eassia, and madder, which grows wild and 
is also much cultivated in the gardens, there are some djes, the 
use of which is peihaps peculiar to the country. One of these, 
ispai'uk^ is a suiphur-yel low larkspur ( Delpkinitim siilpkureum) 
wliicb grows in great abundance on the Steppes J An infusion of 
its flowers gives a beautifid and permanent bright yellow dye. 
Another ytllow dye is tnkkmak^ the fiowers of Sophora Japan lea* 
Fuf/ak^ a fungus growing on tlie mulberry tree, especially in 
Khokand, is used for dying skins a greenish yellow colour. Potne- 
granate peel is greatly jemployed for dying black. Another and 
t he most common black dye is buzguntch, which is not a fiiiit, as 
some have s 1 1 pposed , but th e ga li-nut of the pi stachi o tree. Cochi- 
neal is frequently used for dying silk red. It is chiefly brought 
from Bukham, although the insect is found in abundance in the 
spring in Tashkent and the neighbourhood, on the young leaves 
of the ash, mulV>erry and other trees. Since the introduo- 
tion ofjuckshie from Kussia the use of cochineal and of other 
native dyes have fallen off. For that reason in Khokand the 
Khan prohibited the importation of fuchsine, as being an 
inferior dye*stuff, A kind of Indian iuk is prepared for 
painting as well as for writing, by boiling together with rice 
and water the soot oht^iined by biirning linseed oil. When it 
has reached a sufficient thickness it is allowed to dry in cakes, 

> TIlIb pli^tit liquid be rery pretbj for gurdeuB, titid might he of iifl« In com^ 


One whole street is taken up with the shoemakers, some 
giving their whohj work to galodhes, some to the soft morocco 
boots so much in vogue, others to riding-boots with their soles 
studded with nails and with small sharp heels, each shop being 
devoted to a specialty, if it be only cutting out the leather for 
the soles. The methods of the tanner are very primitive, his 
vats being merely large holes or pits in the groimd, although 
he has four different ways of preparing leather. In the first 
method the skins are soaked in a mixture of alum and soda, 
then well cleaned from the hair and washed, covered with a 
mixture of barley meal, and then dried and rubbed with tallow. 
Calf, goat and sheep skins are prepared in the same way, but 
instead of being rubbed with tallow they are tanned with the 
bark of the sumach {Rheum Emodi). They are coloured black 
with pistachio galls mixed with green vitriol. Yak and buffalo 
hides, after being subjected to the mixture of alum and soda, are 
salted and finally smoked. A kind of chamois-leather, chiefly 
used for riding-trousers, is made of goat and sheep skins in the 
same way and coloured red with madder, and yellow with 
isparah Saura, a sort of shagreen, which is especially used for 
boots and galoshes, is made from horse and ass hides in much 
the same way ; but, instead of smoking the skins, the tanners 
cut cross-lines in them by means of a sharp instrument, and 
after scattering over them millet seeds, spread felt over them 
and then trample on, or beat them. When the surface is well 
indented the skins are dried ; the seeds are then removed from 
them and copper-filings mixed with a little arsenic and some 
substance, the composition of which is not known, are placed 
on them, by which they obtain a bright green colour. 

Passing through rows of saddles, bridles and harness, leaving 
on our left the shops where carts with their large rude wooden 
wheels are made, we come to what is called the Kirghiz bazaar, 
where are to be found the productions of the nomads, especially 
camel's hair cloth, ropes, carpets and rugs, tent-frames and felt. 
The manufacture of felt is a specialty of the Kirghiz women. 
Placing on the ground a mat of /eeds, they cover it with a thin 
layer of wool, which they beat with rods until it is even. They 
then sprinkle it thoroughly with water, or better with water in 
which oil cake has soaked for some time, and then tightly roll 
up the matting together with the wool, tying it at the ends 



and in the middle, and roll it along the ground, sprinkling it 
from time to timf witli water, and tigbteniiig tbe cords with 
wliich it is Loimd* After it has been sufficiently pressed in thia 
way, they untie it and roll it without the matting for several 
hours, sprinkling it at times with water. It is then dried in 
the sun. Some of the finer kinds of felt are of wonderful 
lightness and beauty- The best is the white felt, hr ought from 
Kashgar, on which tlie native ml era are elevatei! on their 
accession » The rugs and the carpets made hy tlie Kirghiz are 
coai-ne. The best are made by the Turkomans near Karshi 
and Tchardjni, and are to he found in any quimtity only at 
Bukhara. Here also are the eliops for selling the various kindH 
of grain and flour, and cotton, both cleaned and in the pod ; 
and near hy are booths, where one can procui'e all the garden 
and flower-seeds known to this countiy- 

In going through the bazaar we fre:{nently see large gattSj 
inside of wliich are courts filled with merchandise. These are 
caravanserais, partly used for the storage of goods by wholesale 
merchants, and partly also for the accommodation of foreign 
merchant-s who com.e for a short time to trade- Three of them 
are occupied almost exclusively by Hindoos, of whom there are 
large numbei's in every considerable town of Central Asia, there 
being some 140 in Tashkent alone* They come chiefly from 
♦Shikarpur, and although engaging in many kinds of commerce, 
devote themselves pre-eminently to money-lending and usuiy. 
With their tight trousers, their peculiar coats, and the red or 
black caste-marks on their foreheads, apart from their race- 
characteristics, they are easily distinguished* As soon as they 
saw that I was a stranger, they received me most hospitably, 
and each wished to be my entertainer. I tried in vain to find 
one who apoke English, although some cotdd repeat the alphabet 
and the numerals, and say some common phrases, A little room 
at the comer was fitted up as a temple, and on a sort of altar 
were arranged ntimeronti small idols, curious stones, and similar 
little ohJectF. I was obliged to remove my shoes to enter, but, 
once inside, the acting priest took great pains to explain to me 
everything, and it was with great difficulty tfiati could persuade 
him to accept a small offering for the benefit of his j^hrine. My 
companion had given himself out as an EugUsbman, aUlioiEgb 
he fouud some difficulty in expressing himself in that lutjgiMtgc, 



On leaving the caravanserai one of the Hindnos asked if he 
coiUrl accompauy iis tor a sliort distancie. He then suiifgested to 
us to avoid the crowdj and with an air of mystery, Uiok us along 
a retired path by the side of a small stream* Apart, however, 
from praises of the English » and complaints agaiust the Sarts^ 
he hajd no coniideoces to g'ive ua. His whole action, however^ 

was so pecidiar^ that my compuuion conciuded lie must have 
-ome secret mission frum the Indian (iovemment to report oti 
he canditions of things in Tai>hkent- 

These Hindoos live in little mimaf/es of one or two ex- 
clusively in the caravanserai, partly in order to be near the 
business centre of the t^wn, and partly for safety, as they ttma. 



have greater protection against the possibly murderous designs 
of insolvent debtors, than they would have in remote houses 
or gardens. Their chief occupation, as I have said, is usury, 
although they are not the only money-lenders, for Jews, Afghans, 
and even native Mussulmans, also engage in this lucrative 
bjiainess, it being estimated that there are at least a thousand 
j /usurers in Tashkent. The Hindoos usually lend sums for twenty- 

i four weeks, to be paid in weekly instalments of one tenga to 

every tilla^ that is, one nineteenth, making a gain as interest 
in the course of the transaction of five tengas^ or about twenty- 
six per cent., which would be fully fifty-six per cent, per annum. 
The rate of interest is sometimes much higher, although 
among Mussulman capitalists four per cent, a month is con- 
sidered fair. As the money is thus paid back in instalments, 
it is evident that a money-lender with a very small capital can 
I • make a large yearly profit. Lending out money at interest is 

I forbidden by Mussulman law, and tradition says that lending 

money freely to the poor is a more worthy action, and will have 
a greater reward from God than giving alms. But while the 
^ Mussulman is strictly forbidden to make a contract for the 

V payment of interest, it is perfectly allowable for him to receive 

interest which is voluntarily given by the borrower. Casuists, 
however, have without much difficulty discovered what are 
called ' paths,' that is, methods of evading the strict letter of 
the law, which, from the places where they were invented, or 
are most customary, are known as the Bukharan, Samarkand, 
Tashkent, and other 'paths.' For instance, the Tashkent 
' path ' is this. In order to receive the interest of twenty 
rubles on one hundred, the hundred rubles are lent without 
interest, and some small article, as a whip, is nominally sold 
I to the borrower for twenty rubles more. This article is called 

shari^ i.e., lawful, and must always be the property of the 
seller. The Bukharan way is similar, but here, instead of a 
nominal sale, some article, usually a book, is handed to the 
borrower for safe keeping, and for keeping and using this book 
he pays the sum constituting the interest on the principal lent 
to him. Another method is for the lender to buy of the 
]>orrower some piece of property, as a house, or a horse for 
less tlian its value, paying him at the same time the amount of 
the loan. A paper is then drawn up before the Kazi, in which 


the lender promises to resell the property to the borrower for 
a Slim that will equal the money lent with the interest added. 
Mus.suimans, however, perfectly well understand that these 
methods are evasions of the direct religious conmiand, and 
among the traditions as to future punishment is one that the 
usurer will be sealed up in a metallic box, which will then be 
heated in a fire. When the usurer cries out in his torment, 
asking the reason of such punishment, the Almighty and All- 
blessed will answer him, ' You are punished because you took 
usury.' 'But I did not take usury; ' he will reply, *I sold a 
thing lawfully.' ' Well,' the All-highest will reply, ' I do not 
burn youy 1 only heat the box.' Where the borrower is a 
person of property and known for his probity, the lender merely 
makes a note in his account-book, and gives the debtor a 
similar note to remind him of the payment. In other cases, 
however, the receipt of the debtor is taken and witnessed 
before the Kazi, and frequently large security is demanded. ^-Z 

The shops of the dealers in china and earthenware cannot 
fail to attract the attention of anyone fond of pottery. The 
ware is coarse and is always rudely, and often carelessly made, 
but the freeness and spirit in design, and the harmony in colour, 
are very pleasing, and render the better-made plates worthy of 
being used for decorative purposes. The designs are usually 
in blue and white, though occasionally a faint bluish green tinge 
is given to the ground, and sometimes yellow or dark violet 
is sparingly used. Chinese porcelain is greatly esteemed by 
the Tashkentians, and brings absurdly high prices. The best 
class of native ware is therefore called tchini (Chinese) and 
bears a clumsy imitation of a Chinese mark. The productions 
of Mohammed Shakyr of Hodjent are considered the best, and 
good things ai*e also made at Samarkand, and especially at 
Andijan. The villages are supplied with the ordinary kinds of 
glazed and unglazed ware by potters from the large towns, who, 
during the summer, make a tour through the country, and 
work from the clay found on the spot — ^an easy matter, as the 
tools and belongings of the trade are few and simple. Common 
pottery and glazed tiles have long been known, but it is believed 
^hat the manufacture of tchini was very recently introduced 
into the coimtry by a certain Usta-Kasim of Samarkand, who 
bad learned it at Meshed, from which place he returned about 

<88 ^^m^^P TITREISTAK, 

1 857+ The ingredieiita used for tcJdni are a felspathic wlii 
day (gilriuta) found in the Karnan monntainB, eouth 
Kermlneb, and near Ablyk, Isetween Tashkent and Khokand' 
qiiiirtz (alo-ktsh^ white stoneg tash^timr, atone sand) obtained 
from the mountains on the upper Zarafshan, or in the shape oi 
pebV4e& fLom the gravelly bank of that river near Samarkand,^ 
and lime and soda {isfikar) derived from the ashes of a species 
of Saliconiia* The glaive is made from a mixture of i8hka\ 
and oxide of lead, with uccasionally an admixture of ti 
which gives the iridescence so much admired in ^loori^^h wan 
If a greenish glaze is desired, a little verdigris is added 
case^ the vessel is to be ornameutedj the colourH, which an 
mixed with water and a little cherry or apncot gum, are 
applied with a goatVhair brush on the dry surface of the glaze 
before firing. Blue is produced by lapis-lazuli, violet by mag I 
(manganese ?), yellow by ochre, and green by vertligris. He cent 
excavations at iS a mark and show that glaas was once made the re, ' 
hut its manufacture had been ibrgotten tor ages until a Russian 
company started some works, %vliich proved a failiue from the 
defective construction of the ovens, A Siberian glass manu- 
facturer, Isseief, then opened some works at Digmai, near 
Hodjent, whicli was in successful operation when it was sacked 
and burned hy the Khokandians during the summer of 1875, 

Leaving on one side booths wliere men are dexterous! 
turning spindles, reels and other 8m.all wooden objects by meant! 
of a chisel and a small lathe set in motion by a bowstring, passing 
round eomers where black-veiled women are selling embroidered 
skull caps and belts, we com© to the street where gowns are 
sold, from those of Russian printed calico to those of many^ 
coloured Eukliaran silk, or even velvet and cloth of gold, — these 
last imported of course from Moscow. Here too are the eni* 
hroiderers. Embroidery here is a trade practised chiefly by the 
men.^ The cloth, on which the pattern is roughly marked out 
in chalk, is stretched over a hoop, and the workman with a 

' Lui Yu, & Chinese envoy sent to Hukgu in 125y, saje: * The doora and win* 
dowB lire provided with glasa/ Tch*ang Teh' no, writing o, few jmrs earlier, tvlh , 
ii^ thai the vessel a for wine were made only of ghtea, Gurionalj enoughi thivj 
^iuangQ is omitted by Dr. Erottichneidar in hiii Lmnfilution. 

= Evidently an old pra*!tkfl* for el Ciiiuese onvoy stant to Tchiughiz Khan, in ] 
1220, myn: * Sewing and omhroidory jirs exocut&d by men/ lirut«4.'haeUer's] 
* Ifotea on Ohinosi) Medii^Viil TrnveUera to the Wubt.' p. 1U5 


needle, in shape somewhat like a crochet needle, set in a wooden 
handle, pulls the silken thread through in a sort of chain-stitch 
with the greatest rapidity. The labour is so light and the 
materials so inexpensive that prices for embroidered articles 
are comparatively low. The natives use embroidery principally 
on their caps and their wide leather riding-trousers, but since 
the Eussians have come, there has been such a demand for 
piUows, table cloths, &c., as to give a great impetus to the 
business and to raise the prices. 

Whole rows are filled with cotton goods, among which it is 
i mpossible not to notice in every shop the large quantity on 
Fale of Bussian printed , fabrics. The native goods are all of 
coarse texture. The most important is huz^^ which is undyed 
»nd generally unbleached, and is especially used for making 
shirts and drawers. It is commonly known among the Eussians 
by the name of mata^ a name long ago given to it by some 
mistake. Mata is properly a measure of about eight yards, and 
is the name given to the piece of goods, and not to the fabric 
itself. Daka is a much thinner material, a kind of muslin, of 
which the coarser sort is used for the lining of gowns, and the 
finer kind for turbans. The best turbans, however, are of 
English muslin imported though India. As this is of a quality 
not manufactm-ed in Russia, no effort has ever been made to 
prohibit its importation. Alatcha is a striped material on a 
blue ground, dyed in the thread. Kalama ^ is of a somewhat 
better quality, the stripes usually being on a white ground. 
The natives also print cotton goods, sometimes in three colours, 
by means of wooden stamps, which are applied by hand. 

In 1869 an endeavour was made to see how far the supplies 
for the army could be obtained from the country itself, and it 
was resolved to use the native buz^ instead of Eussian white 
cotton cloth, for the blouses of the soldiers. Red tape, 
however, was too strong, for the army regulations, which for 
some reason it seemed impossible to change, required material 

' The "Russians have corrupted this word to biaz, but its pronunciation is evi- 
dent from the proverb : 

Suz birar, 
Buz birmas. 
Words he gives, but buz he gives not. ^ 

' The origin of this word is interesting. It is an abbreviation of hda-malf 
eity, or Bussian, wares — kcUa, a fort or city, being commonly used to denote Bussiiw 



of a width of fom-teen inclies, while buz was neyer made 
wider than eleven inches. The contractors, therefore, fu^inil it 
impossible to procure in Tashkent the desired material, and 
were obliged to have reeourae to Bukharaj where cotton pro- 
duction is carried on more largely, and even here it was neees- 
sarj to start special factories at Hazhdtiin * for its manofactni-e, 
The rcHult ia^ that while the indtistry of Tashkent was not in 
the slif,ditest degree benefited, the price of the buz specially 
manufactured for the ai'my was as hi^^h as that of the Hiissiau 
goods liroiiglit from Moscow, including the cost of carriage, and 
the latter had the merit of being heavier and far more durable* 

The be^t silk goods are those of Bukhara, next come those 
of Khokand and Hodjent, and then those made in Khiva, the 
least prized being those of Tashkent, In consequence of Hie 
prohibition of the Koran, the use of pure silk falirics is confined 
chiefly to women and children, stuffs of mixed silk and cotton 
l*eing principally employed for the men's gowns. Silk goods 
are woven in narrow stripes, or in broad splashes of colour, 
especially red, green and yellow, forming an irregular design, or 
are sometimes quite plain. Much, however, is now made in 
more reg^ular patterns to suit the European market. The 
ci>lours are durable, and the silk has a firmness and brightness 
which it retains after several washings. Of the half silk 
fabrics, the best and most known are hikasab^ and adras^ both 
being tisuallj made in narrow stripes- The gloss is given bj 
beating them with a wide flat wooden instrument. 

Owing to the importance of tlie silk trade in Central Aaia, 
I ^hall perhaps be pardoned if I enter into some details con- 
cerning iL 

The manufacture of silk was, as tradition tells us, introduced 
into Khotau from China, and probably spread to a certain 
extent throughout the whole of Central Asia ; kit in Tashkent, 
Hodjent and Samarkand it had entirely died out until it was 
revived after the capture of Merv by Shah Murad Khan in 
1785- He tmnsferred all the inhabitants of this city to 
Bukhara, where they continued the silk culture, which was one 
of their favourite oeonpations. During the reign of the Amir 

' Or Mizbduan. 

^ I was told that hika-'^ab wm deinrtd from hi outaide, and Masa&atmdngaild^ 
an evidence of its recant Origin, 


Nasrullah, the descendants of these colonists were allowed to 
live in Samarkand, and from that time silk culture began to 
flourish, and is now the chief occupation of many villages of the 
districts of Zarafshan, Hodjent and Kurama.^ 

* Erery trade gnild has a written tradition called resdia or ' message/ with 
mythical stories of its origin and directions as to the proper manner of work. In 
the following tradition translated from the Torki aud Persian orie:inals, the 
beginning is borrowed £rom the life of the prophet Ayub or Job in the widely- 
spread book Kaasasi-el-Anbia (Lives of the Saints). 

In the name of Gkxl the Merciful and the Compassionate I Praise to God the 
Universal Lord, and eternal blebsedness to him who fears him, Reverence and 
peace to his messenger Mohammed, and to his family, and to all his companions ! 
After praise to Grod and reverence to his messenger, honour to the princes of the 
World, the children of Adam and his descendants ! The sun in the brilliant sky ! 
The nightingale in the gardens of knowledge ! One who has attained the secret 
of the spiritual world I The translation of universal Right ! The parrot in the 
gardens of truth ! The fuliilment of business is before everything ! In the gardens 
there is grass, and on the grass is a peacock! He who feeds on what exists in 
heaven and on the earth and who satisfies all ! The unexpectedly-giving I 

All that I have said above I say in the name of the chosen prophet Mohammed, 
may God be merciful to him and keep him ! With regard to him the great Grod 
ordered thus : — ' But thou, oh Mohammed ! wert sent only to preach and to warn 
this world. We sent thee, oh Mohammed, as a witness who will give proof 
agiiinst them, as an apostle who calls and warns them.' Tfie highest prophets 
with their companions teaching, said : — ' Eveiy prophet has left witnesses to his 
people ; of our brothers Job left the worm.* These worms were created on the tree 
Syr, and God gave them for food its leaves ; through these leaves they received 
strength and crawl on this tree. All this good thing came from the patience and 
mildness of the prophet Job, for, as is related, the great G^ said to curHed Satan : 
* Thou hast not fulfilled My command, thou hast not thanked for that which has 
been given to thee, and thou hast fallen under my curse and thy name will remain 
cursed, but there are people who bow down to me and f"ar and thank me for their 
happiness.' And Satan answered, * Show me these people.' Then the great Al- 
mighty God said to the prophet Job, * Show thyself to Satan, and let Satan take 
an example from thee.' But Job wept and said, ' Oh, thou pure one who keepest 
and givest life, do not be angry with me ! ' But the Lord Gkxl Almighty then 
said, ' Oh Job, show thyself, and look at my might after that.' Then the prophet 
showed himself to Satan. Satan said to Gtodj * Thou gavest to this man much 
riches and much of ever}*thing, for which he prays to Thee and obeys Thee.' Then 
God sjiid to His Archangel Gabriel, 'Take all the riches from this man.' The 
Archangel Gabriel came down from heaven with a hundred thousand angels, and 
took all the wealth from the man who was pleasing to Qtod ; but notwithstanding 
this the prophet of Orod ten times increased his prayers. After this God said to 
Satan, ' Oh cursed one ! now hast thou seen that I have taken away all his wealth 
and he has increased his prayers ten times.* Satan answered, ' His body is sound, 
and for that ha praises and thanks Thee.* Then Gtxi said to the Archangel 
Gabriel, * Send disease into his body.' By the order of God the Archangel Ghibriel 
sent to Job disease, so that his body, pleasing to God, was covered wich worms. 
All these ills und worms the prophet Job endured and lifted up his spirit to Qod^ 


The annual production of silk in Central Asia is estimated, 
after careful calculations, at about four and a half miUiona of 

thanking, praying, and weeping. After some days thei«e wonns increased still 
more and ate up the whole body of Job, so that there was not one spot healthy, 
and all was covered with sores. Being very ill and covered with sores he never- 
theless did not cease praying to God ; but once he was so weak that he could not 
lift up a worm which fell from his wounds to place it back again, and he therefore 
begged his wife to pick up the worm and place it in the wound, saying: *If God 
have ordered me to feed worms with my body it would be sinful to deprive it of 
food.' The wife of the prophet fulfilled his command and placed the worm on the 
body of her husband. But patient Job remained in his place and praised Ckxi. 

• I have seen all this,' said Satan to i3od, • Job prays to Thee because his heart 
and his tongue are still sound.' Then Gt>d commanded the Archangel Gabriel to 
smite the ground, and from under the ground where there is the sea, called the 

• sea of light,' to obtain water. By the command of God the Archangel Gabriel 
with several thousand angels went down to the earth and smote it with his wing, 
and from under the earth there arose a spring of water ; and there was a command 
to the Archangel Gkibriel to hurl the prophet Job into the water and see the wisdom 
of Gk)d. By command of God the prophet Job threw himself into the spring and 
in that minute made himself whole. The worms feU from him, his body became 
sound and his rotting places became whole. 

This spring so remained under the name of ' the sea of light,' and all believers 
who bathe there become whole in body and soul. The worms which were in the 
body of Job crept up into a mulberry tree there and began to eat its leaves, and 
then knitted themselves a covering and shut themselves up in this covering. The 
sett where they remained was called, as it is now, pillaf a cocoon. [According to 
other traditions the worms which fell into the water became leeches and those 
which flow away bocame *)ee8.] 

The Imam JagaifHr Sadyk being asked the question, *Who was the first 
•ilkwind<^r and inventor of this trade?' said: * Danddarai came to that tree 
whww wer«» the worms, and t*iking a cocoon in his hand said to God : »' Oh pure 
j|lvt>r of all cnHkturos tm the land, these worms have come away from the body of 
TUy frt^Mul and have placed themselves on this tree, and they feed themselves on 
\ix and hw^ thi^y spin ooiXHins which serve as a covering for their bodies ; wouldst 
Thou ^^VMW to iii<» how oiKHions were formed, and how the worms proceeded from 
thi» Uh^v i^ Thy f^if^id, ao that |HH)plo should profit by them and remember him? " 
W^ had ii\4 ^v^ fluUhiMi th<MH» wonlti when he opened his eyes and saw a man who 
m\\\ %s^ him» »* iVwl th\m kiu»w m<i» ? " he answered, " No." The man said, " Thou 
^«( a«k^i ^vlf ii\Hi» aiHl I am (^nra tr^surer and fulfil thy wish. Tell me what 
^Uh^l Ih^v^p lKiW^«Ain«« saidt ''My wish is that it should be shown to me 
>fc^l sHH^HVk^aaiNk?'* Thffkn th^ik wmn Ini^n to teach him. "Throw this cocoon 
UV>^ hv^ Nk^Vi^¥ i^wd I'iNfct U with a st\ok» ami •*« the power of God." Daud-darai 
s\\\\ ^v a^^ |h^ vssNH^^ W!Mi l^v\\m^ to Im(» silkim/ Alter th^it tlie Imam JagaflSir paid, 
\ N^^u^i v^\^. s>4^^H\v WH ^\>^kr tih^di^' Aiivl by hi« ord«r they wrote all in this book 
ItK ^Ka^ vW >M^^a^ N^t^ iKn^ IVs^^hv^ «Kv>ttKl av^il of this knowledge of the Prophet 
I^Hv^ *K.^^M N^*^H l^x^ NivU. 

^♦*»- •V HM Kva^^^^^ <V^^^ Ua^t tK^s : » VNwl thrc^w th* c^voons into the water 
%uvk vv^*«^w«^ v^ vi*^ \f%^l K<*Hsi a vM^^>k^l stk-k «^: "^U the name of Gtid the 
^vs^^W^ ^Hv^ ^K>v v\sH»kvw«u^v%t^ ; " aHvl stt^kt^ tK« <>Kvvns: (two on this stick 

V^^HK^ >i«^U Vv 4 xK^Nv^st MkWv ^ xv^lM mU; tt^ WM««d TalM Hakim took 9mA 


pounds avoirdupois, of which one million and a half is from 
Bukhara, and the same quantity from Khokand. Khiva pro- 

tumed it about, and from liira learned Akhmet Khayan and many other saints 
and masters of this art. Profiting by this business give alms and do good for 
them. AU who engage in this business should fulfil the followin<v rires ; wash 
themselves and make two rakaat ; after the obeisance read three times the Sura 
Ikhlas, and this prayer will serve Grod for an offering for the teachers, and through 
it help will be asked ior their souls. He who fulfils all that has been here said 
will have success in business and will never need for his daily bread. For this 
business there are still some rites and some precautions ; the workman ought to 
fulfil them. He should wash before beginning to work, should make two obei- 
sances, should be pure in spirit and thought before beginning work, and remember 
that all this business is the gift of G^od, should be clean in his eating, and sleep 
purely, should be affectionate and not malicious, should always use good words, 
should be obedient to his teachers, and during the time of his work should not 
have intercourse with those people who speak badly of others. He should always 
receive from his companions blessing and praise to Gk>d,\hat is, should say Allah 
Akhhar^ and have constantly on his tongue the name of God. [Then follow other 
good counsels of a similar sort as to the conduct of workmen, and finally some 
special advice.] 

If the teacher should be asked what should be recited while going from home 
to the shop where cocoons are worked, he should answer : ' In the name of God the 
merciful, our God, we have done ill, pardon us ! * If he should be asked what the 
workmen should recite when they take the stick in their hands, he should answer : 
* Oh God, Thou hast made us unendingly happy.' If he should be asked what 
the winders ought to recite when they lift up the stick, he should answer : * By 
His pure wisdom may God cleanse us from our sins.' If he shoi-*d be asked what 
the winders should recite when they take the end of the silk from the stick, he 
should answer : * We thank the Gk)d of Paradise ! ' If he should be asked what 
the winders ought to say when the thread is applied to the reel, he should 
answer : ' They should thin^ of the way to paradise and should recite the verse, 
" Direct us into the right road." ' When the pupil regulates the fire he should 
remember that fire is of hell, which burns people and even stones. • When they 
shut the shops what ought they to do? ' ho should answer : * They should take up 
from the ground all that has fallen on it during the time of work and recite, '* May 
all our voluntary and involuntary sins of this day be forgiven us." ' Then the 
workmen ought reverently to rise from their seats with their left foot and go out 
backwards. In this way for every operation of the art there are certain pious 
sentences which should be recited and meditated upon. If one who is truly wise 
wish to occupy himself with this business, he should learn from a teacher, and 
should keep his thoughts and eyes from sin, his hands from uncleanness, his feet 
from wickedness, and his mouth from sinful food. He should trust his teackers, 
and not speak nor listen to bad words. If anyone say what is bad, answer bim 
with good, and speak the truth and do not lie. Do not know one who speaks 
untruth and acts badly. If anyone do not fulfil the rites which are here 
written, and do not believe his teachers and the saints saying, ' I do not trust 
them,' he speaks untruth and considers the saints as his enemies. If anyone shall 
be constantly pure, and shall constantly magnify God, he will receive the reward 
of Go I in this book and also from the four prophets, Adam, pui-ified of Go<l; 

VOL. I. O 

dncGB ahout a hundred thousand pounds, Kashgar four hundred 
UiouBand, and the Russian possessions nearly a million more,' 

f The climate of Central Asia is in the highest degree favour- 
able to silk culture. There is almost no rain nor hail during tho 
summer, while thundoretorms and violent winds are infrequent, 
and it is therefore possible to do without artificial heat and ven- 
tilatioD* At the same time there is abundance of the indispen- 
sable food of the wormsj- the naulberry tree. The causes which 
limit the quantity and quality of the silk production are in the 
methods of breeding and in the mode of life of the inhabitants* 
The rearing of si Ik- worms is not considered a particidarly 
honourable occupation in which rich and well-to-do people 
engage to pass the time, and except in those localities where 
the culture is greatly developed it is almost solely the employ- 
ment of the women of the family* Being thus confined to the 
Women*s court it is difficult to study it and to devise measiu'eii for 

Cits improvement. It is evident from the differences in the colour, 
form and size of the cocoons, that there are several varieties of 
silk-worms reared in Central Asia, but they are so imscientifi- 
cally treated, and have been allowed to cross so much, that it is 
diffieidt to get at the typical characteristics of each variety- 
The natives distinguish two kinds, the commoL one of a 
milky white colour, which is simply called silk-worm, ipek-hurt^ 
and another of a dark colour, called Arabian (arabi). Yet the 
cocoons of these two varieties do not seem to differ^ both having 
the variations just mentioned. Some silk-worms, however^ 
have four periods and others five, the eggs of the first kind 
being said to be somewhat larger. By caref^d breeding the 
original types of these different varieties could probably be r&- 
curred to 5 and some of them would perhaps prove valuable. 
The eggs of silk-worms are kept in limall cotton bags hung to 
the ceilingp In places where silk culture is prevalent they are 
sold in the bazaars, in the apothecaiy's, or in the provision 
shops. The baxaar price in spring of a small thimbleful, in 
which are about two thousand eggs, varies from tv^enty to 


Noiih, the prophet o* God ; Abraiham, the brfov^d of God| tmd Mohammed, Uii 
choiten. Ror«reiice and pence to them nUl 

* Seff the cxfelletit ' Report on Silk Culture m CflTitml Asin/ ]iv N. F. Petrol 
tky* Apeut of the Miuiitry of nnAtie«s (pp. 120, xL Taahkcnt, \B7^\ u whidi I 


thirty kopeks. Their soundness is tested by putting them int<? 
"water, those which sink being considered good. At the begin- 
ning of April the women put the eggs into small bags and tie 
them next to their body round their waist, or. under their arms, 
turning them over every day. The heat thus obtained may be 
a natural one, but it is accompanied by exudations which can- 
not but prove injurious to the worms. After about a week the 
worms begin gntdually to appear. The bags arerthen opened 
every day and the worms that are hatched are placed on a large 
tray, which is covered with a clean cloth and set in a sunny place, 
although sheltered with gauze from the sun's direct rays. If 
the days and nights be especially cold, these trays are placed 
on the sandal, or brasier used for warming the room. During 
the first two periods the worms are fed with mulberry leaves 
carefully picked off, and as they grow care is taken to give 
them more room and better places. After the second period 
the worms are transferred to shelves placed, along the sides of 
the room in which they are kept, and which is half darkened, 
having no light save what comes in at the door, and they are 
then fed three times a day with small mulberry twigs. The 
old twigs are never removed, but the new food is placed on the 
top and the worms gradually crawl upwards out of the dirt 
and refuse, which is perhaps the only reason why this careless 
method of feeding them does not kill them. Finally, small 
branches, and especially of a dry plant with a bright pink flower, 
named ming^ash (thousand heads), are placed on the shelves 
so that the worms can crawl into them and there spin their 
cocoons. The life of the silk-worm from the egg to the cocoon 
varies, according to circumstances and nomrishment, from forty 
to seventy days. 

No one with sufficient botaniciil knowledge has accurately 
studied the different kinds of the mulberr y, which is by far the 
mo st common tree jn rf^ntral A sin Of the varieties distingu- 
ished by the natives, the four most important are the hassak, 
which is the wild mulberry cultivated from the seed and used 
greatly for silk-worms, and also serving as the stock on which 
other varieties are grafted; the shah-tut, brought originally 
from Persia; and the baXkhi, introduced from Balkh, the 
largest and most beautiful variety of all, and the most common 
tree in the Zarafshan valley ; and the khorasmi, from Khorasms 

o 2 



or Khiva, The large white, almost seedless, berries of this lastj 
l»ath when fresh and dried, are greatly used for food* They are 
Bometimes made ioto a flour, which mixed with water Is a' 
refreshing driok, and with wheat floiir makes a paste called 

Mulberry trees are raised from the seed, which is planted in 
May and Jime, In a year's time the young trees will he five 
feet high and as thick as the little finger, when they are 
thinned out and transplanted, all not required heing used for 
ieediiig the worms. lu the second or third year they are 
grafted and the next year produce fruit. When used for silk- 
worms, it is common, instead of stripptng off small twigs, to cut 
otf htige branches J retiucing the tree to a pollard. Healthy 
grafted trees three years old of good size sell on the bazaars for 
from twenty to fifty kopeksj according to the variety. The cut 
branches of a tree, according to its size and tlie demand for the 
leaves, bring from one to four rubles. In 1871, the prices of 
mi dberiy leaves in Hodjent, on account of the over-production 
of silk, stimulated by speculation, rose from sixty kupeks to 
over two rubles for an ass-load of five bundles. 

As soon as the cocoons are spun, they are taken into the 
coiu*t, stripped fiom the twigs to which they are fastened, and 
in Cprder to kill the worms, spread on a mat exposed for several 
dayB to tlie full power of the sun, being gathered together in a 
heap at night and covered up. For the purposes of breeding, 
the largest and best cocoons are picked out, particular attention 
being given to the form and none to the colour, except that 
they should have a watered or moire appearance, Some thirty 
of these are strung on a thread by passing a ne^^dle under the 
outriide layer. The strings are left for three days on the cool 
clay floor of the hut and are then put into cotton bags which 
are himg by long nails to the walls or ceilings. On the fourth 
day the butterflies come out and immediately begin to lay eggs, 
it being from ten to foiu'teen days from t!ie spinning of the 
cocoon to the appearance of the butterfly. Coupling goes on 

* An atralyaiB of Unrm of fire kinds of mulbem«s from Ceiitnil Asia wm nmds 
by Dr. Reichenbaeb, wbu found an nverngi? of S7S6 pMris of aEote in lOflO, poirt- 
Ppontling to 233 parts ut pmleine, their Itwivos being ftiUy ns rich na ihoi© uf ChiiiA 
nnd Jnpin. Unfortunjitely tho quiinjity of lefivcs sent wa» too imoil for « 
lut'i*^ minute aualjaii,— Z'lir^uricn QamtU, No. 42, 1873. 


from about nine in the morning till poon ; and about three in 
the afternoon the female begins to lay her eggs and continues 
till midnight. 

The butterfly lives but a day and a half and lays about 450 
eggs, of which a quarter are unfruitful. In the Caucasus, with 
the same conditions of climate and nourishment, a butterfly 
lives three days and lays fully 600 eggs. It is a custom 
sanctified by tradition, to exchange silkworms' eggs every three 
or four years if possible for those of some distant place, or 
at least for those of one's neighbours. Cocoons are usually sold 
in the bazaar in their fresh state before they are dried, and 
during the whole month of June the trade in them is very 
brisk, the prices ranging from seven to twelve rubles a pud.* 
The prices for dried cocoons, which are not sold on the bazaar, 
are far more variable, sometimes rising to forty or fifty rubles a 

In Khokand it was formerly the custom to present the first 
cocoons tor the Khan, who in return gave a aarpai^ or complete 
suit of clothes (from Persian sar^ head, and pai^ foot). When 
Shir Ali Khan, Khudayar's father, who had lived a-U his life 
among the Kirghiz, came to the throne, he was as usual pre- 
sented with the first cocoons, and, supposing them to be some 
rare fruit, ate them with the greatest composure. 

A family of foiu: persons can raise on an average about three 
puds of undried cocoons, for which it uses nearly an ounce of 
eggs that were received from a pound and a half of cocoons, 
and twenty mulberry trees of medium size, costing about fifteen 
rubles. Thus, without counting the insignificant expense of 
apparatus and the cost of personal labour, the expenses for this 
quantity of cocoons reach about eighteen rubles. The receipt 
of an average price of nine rubles a pud would be twenty-seven 
rubles, leaving a profit of nine rubles, although in most cases 
the profit is much greater, because people usually have mul- 
berry trees of their own and are not obliged to buy the whole 
amount of food consumed by the worms. 

The natives have noticed four different diseases of the silk- 
worm, which they ascribe either to the cold, to wet mulberry- 

' The pud (a Russian weight) is 40 pounds Russian or 36 pounds English. 
The ruble I have taken as equal to 30^ pence or 61 cents, thus mftidng 7'80 
rubles to the pound sterling, and about 5 rubles to 3 dollars. 



leaves, or to the presence of persons who have not perfumied 
all the ablutions demanded hy their religion. Mr* Pedtchenko, 
in his microscopic obeervations, discovered the presence of 
coiyialia^ or the conpuscnles causing the disease called pebrine, 
"which has made such havoc among European silkworms* Some 
oocoons from which he got do butterflies were filled witli 
quantities of these corpusciileSj and they were also foimd in 
small numbers on the wings of "bntterfiies that had come from 
the CO CO one* As silkworms in Turkistan were entirely cut oflF 
from those in Europe, his observations led hi tn to believe that 
the disease caused by these paiasitea existed everywhere, and 
was only noticed by breeders, and became epidemic, in case of 
& very great development of the parasites, while a small number 
of them had no influence on breeding ; and further, that the 
multiplication of the parasites, and the infection and death of 
all the worms, was directly affected by the number bred in a 
given place, and by the care taken of them, as he proved that 
caterpillars coming from sound eggs become infected by the 
excremental matters of a few diseased worms becoming mixed 
with the food. 

The method of silk-winding is of a piece with that of 
breeding- Numbers of unsorted cocoons are thrown into a pot 
of boiling water, and are stirred with a stick, and when the 
ends of the threads are fished up in proper number, they are 
wound on a large reel until all the cocoons are used ; then the 
water is changed, new fires are lighted, and the process begins 
again^ The silk wound directly from the kettle^ and then 
reeled off in skeins to be sent for dyeing, is called kaliava^ and 
is chiefly intended for home consumption. It sells at from 
122 to 127 rubles a pud, A better soit, to which more 
attention has been paid in reeling, called komiak^ has been 
sold during the last eight years prepared exclusively for export, 
and costs from ISO to 190 rubles a pud. Of late it has been 
also prepared in Khotan, Silk of two threads reeled from 
spools ready for woof is called toklyll^ and brings from 178 to 
212 rubles a pud, A Bukharan variety, iGhillya warp, ia 
exported through Kazala, but has been brought to Tashkent 
and sold at 240 rubles the pud, SarnaJc^ the floss or bourre- 
dd'soisy when uncleaned, sells at 15 to 20 rubles a pud^ and 
when cleaned, sometimes brings as high as 40 rubles. It is 


largely exported to Russia. In Tashkent it takes from 8 to 
9 lbs. of good dried cocoons to produce 1 lb. of reeled silk ; 
while in Samarkand, where the workmen are more skilful, 1 lb. 
of silk can be obtained from 16 lbs. of fresh, or 5 lbs. of dried 
cocoons. Russian silk-winders, with their machinery, have got 
a pound of silk from 14^ lbs. of fresh, or 3*9 lbs. of dried 
cocoons. In Europe, 12 lbs. of fresh, or 4 lbs. of dried cocoons 
will give 1 lb. of silk. 

Rude as are its methods, the silk manufacture of Central 
Asia, owing to its importance to the country, is relatively more 
developed than other branches of industry. Its faults are 
connected with the whole structure of the native life, and to 
remedy them entirely in a short time would be beyond the 
power of any government. . 

The Uzbek is by nature pre-eininently an agriculturist, 
and all his industries are in their nature domestic, but the 
breeding of silk-worms, and the winding of silk, are two entirely 
different branches, which can with propriety be separated. 
Successful breeding demands an amount of personal, and, so to 
speak, loving care, with great attention to details ; while it is 
essentially a domestic employment, and the smaller the number 
of worms raised, the more cjxre can be given to them. Silk- 
winding, on the contrary, is a mechanical trade demanding 
chiefly good order and discipline. It can therefore be best 
performed in factories, and it will be by founding filatures on 
the spot that the Russians will improve the silk cultm^e in 
Turkistan. Silk culture can be improved in part by teaching 
the natives better methods, but principally by the demand for 
the sorted cocoons of the better class. An increased demand 
for a better article will at once bring out an increased supply. 
From 1867 to 1872, not counting minor attempts, seven im- 
portant filatures were established in Turkistan, but with one 
exception they, for various reasons, were soon closed, in spite 
of the pecuniary assistance which they received from the 
government, without having had any effect upon the native 
silk manufacture. One filature still existed at Hodje t when 
I was there, belonging to a company of Moscow merchants. It 
had been founded, with a capital of 200,000 rubles, on the 
earnest personal solicitation of the chief of General Kaufmann's 
chancery. It was put under the charge of incompetent men, 


and its affairs were greatly neglected owing to the great 
distance from the owners, and lately (November, 1875), a 
notice has appeared annomicing its liquidation with a loss of 
four-fifths of the capital. One great reason of the failure of 
these filatures was that Central Asia was considered one of 
those coimtries where money was sure to he made in any under- 
taking, and persons rashly engaged in silk-spinning, who 
had not the slightest acquaintance with that business, or in 
some cases, indeed, with any other. Another reason was the 
high prices that had to be given for cocoons. The natives of 
Central Asia have a keen commercial instinct, but they are so 
inexperienced in anything out of the ordinary rim of life, that 
the slightest additional demand, the starting of any new trade, 
or a call for new articles, increases tl)e price to an absurd 
extent. There was a curious example of this in 1869, when 
for a tannery which had been started, there was a demand 
for the root called tar an. The purchases in the bazaars im- 
mediately raised the price double and triple. People living in 
Britch-mulla, and the neighbouring villages where the taran 
grew, hearing of the rise in piices, immediately abandoned all 
their husbandry, ceased cultivating their fields, and devoted 
themselves exclusively to gathering this root, and sending it to 
Tashkent, selling their cattle, and buying horses and asses to 
transport it. WTien it arrived at Tashkent, however, the im- 
mediate want of it had passed, and the poor people were obliged 
to sell it for almost nothing, and were nearly starved in the 
winter. In the same way, when, during the early days of the 
Eussian occupation of Tashkent and Samarkand, there was 
a speculation in silkworms' egg??, several Italians, Barbieri, 
Adamoli and others, visited Central Asia for the pui^pose of 
studying silk, and of buying silkworms' eggs for Italy. Barbieri 
succeeded in raising about a thousand pounds of eggs, and tlie 
price of dried cocoons . immediately rose from thirty to forty 
and fifty rubles a pud, while fre^h cocoons were very difficult 
to obtain as people refused to sell them, reserving them for the 
purpose of raising eggs. To meet what was imagined would 
be the increased demand, so many were prepared, that the 
following spring they were offered in the Tashkent and Hodjent 
bazaars for three rubles a pound without purchasers. Owing 
to the opinions prevalent in Tashkent that the export of silk- 


worms eggs was destructive to the industrial interests of the 
countr}^ it was forbidden by an Imperial order in the spring of 
1871. In the same year the government founded a school of 
silk culture with a laboratory. Tliis institution, by investigating 
the different breeds of silkworms, and the causes of their diseases, 
and by experimenting on the food, and teaching more rational 
methods of breeding, cannot fail to be of great use, but it can 
hardly succeed if it attempts to improve merely the methods 
of silk-winding among the natives themselves. The best it 
could do in that direction would be to start a small pattern 
filature, in which native workmen could be educated as masters , 
for some larger factory. 

The Sarts, in all their dealings with each other, and most 
commonly in their dealings with the Eussians, use their old 
systems of weights and measures, which vary not only with 
every countiy but almost with every town. . No such thing as 
dry or liquid measure exists, but everything is sold by weight. 
The unit of weight is the batman, or rather perhaps the tcharik, 
usually -^ of a batman. The batman — which was a weight 
known to Russia in the middle ages, and still exists not only in 
the half-Tartar Caucasus and Crimea, but in the purely Russian 
province of Tver, there equal to 36 pounds varies greatly in 
different places.^ In Tashkent the batmun is about 374 lbs. 
avoirdupois. The tcharik, -^-^ part of a batman^ or rather more 
than 5 J lbs., is, disregarding the various subdivisions which are 
of only local interest, divided into 80 paisas, each a little more 
than an ounce. The miskal, which is more especially used in 
Bukhara and Samarkand, is the smallest weight of all, being 
only a quarter of an ounce. In Khokand the tcharik is more 
frequently used than the batmav, and varies from 162 to 180 
lbs., being divided into 16 tchaksas, and each of these into 200 
paisasj weighing each | of an ounce. In Hodjent the batman 
is very large, weighing 432 lbs., and is divided into only 12 
tchariks of 36 lbs. each. At Ura-tepe a tcharik is 9 lbs., and a 
batman of 64 tchariks is 576 lbs. In several towns on the 
border between Tashkent and Khokand there are still other 

' A different use of the halman for silk — the large of 9 pounds, and the smaU 
of 4 J pounds — seem 8 exceptional. Cocorjns are sold only by the tchariJc, and reeled 
silk only by the skein. The batman is used only in calculating with the workman 
for the quantity he has wound. 



variation;!. In Samaikaud and Bukhara tbere are two ickarikS, 
the large and small, the large weighing 9 lbs,, and the small 
lialf as much- A batman of 64 ??mall tchariks is therefore 28 i 
lbs. The same batman pre%^aila at Jizakh, while at Zamin, 
between that place and Ura-tepe, it is only half as large — 144 
lbs- In Khiva it ia still ^malJer, beings only 142 Iba* Here a 
quarter of a batman is called au ansei^ or ansyv^ meaning ten 
syr^ an imaginary weight which exists in various combinations 
there as well as Bukhara and Samarkand.* The amnyr^ as well 
as the batman^ was known, to Russia in the sixteenth century, 
and was apparently a recognised Russian weight, as it frequently 
appears in the records. It was at first eijuivalent to If, and 
finally to 1 Russian pound* Going eastward, at Aulie-ata the 
baimmi ia about one-third larger than at Tashkent, and 
when we come to Kashgar we find several systems, including 
Chinese, iti nse. Here a bahnan is nearly four times as 
large as at Tashkent, and includes eight gaivers, each aa 
large as a Khokandian teharik. Besides this there are two 
kinds of tchariks^ the smaller of 17 lbs-, and the larger of 
21 i lbs. 

The batman (a Turkic word, and probably unconnected with 
the Arabic meyhii) was originally a dry measure, probably for 
grain, which has now come to te uned as a weight. It is only 
in this way that its variations throughout Mussulman Asia can 
be explained. The weight of a measured batman of the staple 
article of each locality, wheat, rice, millet, or whateTer it may 
have been, was probably taken as a standard* 

In the bazaars rented from the government, and not always 
then, the use of the legal Russian weights is obligatory* Owing 
to the high price of metal, fetones of approximate heaviness are 
usually substituted for the native weights. Tbey are seldom 
correct, and make much cheating possible. Under the native 
rule a religious officer, the reis^ whose duty it was to look after 
the morals of the community, verified the weights, but his 
i ffice is abolished, and these stone weights axe never compared 
with the standard. 

The most common measure of length ia the giaz, which ia 
equal to seven fiats, the last with upturned thumb, making about 

' TbF sgr h nQvm used alone, ultbciiigh we have the expr^s^itjD dti-mm-^^t Vw9 

MONEY. 203 

twenty-seven inches. In measuring the ffiaz^Jdrbuz^ which is 
rarely used for measuring cotton stufiFs, each thumb should be 
held up, making about forty-two inches. A kari is twice the 
length of the extended arms, or pretty nearly twelve feet. The 
measure altchin, of twenty-eight inches, of which the Bussian 
arahin is a corrupted form, is also in use. For measuring long 
distances the tash^ or faraang^ is used. This is considered to 
be equal to 12,000 paces, or about 5| English miles. It derives 
its name from the tosh, or stone, put up to mark the distance. 
Sarig is a Persian word for stone, and farsang^ the ancient 
paraacmg^ means probably only the Persian stone as distin- ' 
guished from the measure of some other country. There is only 
one measure for land, which is the tanap^ equal to 60 giaz 
square, or about | of an acre. At Kazala and Peroftiky, as also 
at Viemy, the Eussian weights and measures have quite crowded 
out those of the natives ; but at Tashkent and Samarkand the 
Bussian authorities have thus far made no efforts to enforce the 
use of the Bussian system. It is greatly to be regretted that 
they have not taken occasion to introduce here the decimal 
system, which they could easily have done at the beginning, 
and for which it may still be not too late. 

The monetary unit in Central Asia is a small silver coin 
called a tenga, or in Khokand and Tashent tenga khokand, or 
simply khokand^ the real value of which is about 16| kopeks, 
or 5id. It bears on one side the name of the sovereign, and 
on the other usually the name of the town or the date of the 
year in which it was struck. There is also a gold coin, smaller 
and much thinner, called the tUla, the value of which varies 
with the rate of exchange, and probably with the amount of 
precious metal in the coin. The Khokandian tilla is valued at 
nineteen tengaa^ and the Bukharan tUla at from twenty-four to 
twenty-eight tengaa. In Khiva there are two kinds of tillaa^ 
the large, worth eighteen tengaa^ and the small, worth nine. 
The only other coins in use are of brass or iron, called jmi, or 
tcheka. Of this they count in Tashkent sixty to a tenga, and 
in Khokand forty. In Bukhara there are from forty-four to 
sixty four pula in a tenga^ and in Khiva from thirty-five to 
seventy, according to their abundance. By a decree of the 
Ministry of Finance in 1869 the value of a tenga was fixed at 
twenty kopeks, although now it is found to be wortli, as I have 

said, only 1 6f •* At this rate they have been in frequent use fqr 
small money, and have been received by the treaaury for the 
payment of taxes and other indebtedness* In this way the 
government by the autumn of 1874 had accumulated 3^750^000 
tongas for the purpose of recoining at the value of 75O4OOO 
rubles, while they were really worth only 628,906 ^ rnbles, 
thufi losing on the operation more than I2I3OOO rubles. To be 
Bure, as they will be recoined into RuBsian small money, which 
passes for twice its real value, the government will be able in a 
certain way to make by them, but tlie operation still remains 
a loss to the treasury, for it could have made this much more 
by having previously ascertained the actual value of the coin, 
and taken it at that value. At present Russian money passes 
freely in Tashkent^ and last year appeared to be at one per cent, 
premium in Khokand, a circumstance which greatly gladdened 
the liearts of the adrainistratorgj but which was entirely f)ctitiou& 
owing to the fictitious value given to the tcnga. 

At the time of my visit commercial operations were very 
much impeded by the abseoce of any banking facilities, not even 
a private bank being in eacistence, nor was it easy to procure a 
bill of exchange, and money had to be sent to and from Russia 
by post- This lias now been remedied ^by the extension^ of 
the telegraph to Tashkent, and by the opening there in 1B75 of 
a branch of the Imperial Bank, 

When Tashkent was occupied by the Russians, and it became 
necessary to seek for sourCea of revenue, it was resolved to 
maintain for a while the native taxes, one of the most impor- 
tant of which was the zekat^ or tax on trade- Originally bv 
Jtlussulman law the isekat was a tax obligatory on all believers, 
for the support of the poor, and for carrying on of all wars against 
the infidels, and was levied on gold, silver, dates, oxen and 
sheep* In modern times this c-ame to be chiefly a tax on car a* 
vans or commercial transactions, and in most countries of Cen- 
tral Asia it is for Mussulmans, one fortieth part or 2^ per cent. 

1 Aceopding to ose aoalysis by the Mining Departmeiit at St, Petersburg tl)6 
BuJtliamii iilln is 44^^ proof, and contains 1 ztJotnik 5 J dolin (4'50&8 grsmmeis) 
of pure gold ; the KhokiiDflirin tifla ta S2J proof, and <30Dtttinfl 77f doHa 1 3^4464 
gramraes) of pure gold^ tht Eukliaran fett^a is of 60 prooft and coHtiuna 44 dolhv 
(rosae gmmnies) of pi3J*e ailrfic ; find the Kliolvnudjan tenga is of 87^ prcn^fj ami 
contains 60 doliaa 1 2"661 prammes) of pore sflvpr. There is evidently EOtna errof 
with regnrd to the Bukharau iengd, A tjpieal ccfin could not biiTe been ohciwjii. 


Before tlie recent commercial treaties with Russia Christians were 
taxed double that amount on every carayan. Besides the 
ordinary or external zekat^ the Eussian administration invented 
an internal zekat^ which is a tax on the trading capital, and is 
collected once a year. Until 1874 it existed in all parts of the 
district of Syr Darya with the exception of Kazala and Perofsky, 
which were subject to the Russian commercial code, and in the 
district of Zarafshan. The internal zekat was imposed only on 
the native merchants and not on the Russians, and was estimated 
according to the amount of capital declared by the merchant on 
the day of assessment, or by the valuation of goods which he had 
in his possession. This lattor was the more usual way. The 
merchant then received a certificate which gave him the right 
of trading for one year upon that capital. It sometimes happened 
that articles on which he had paid zekat for one year, and 
had not been able to dispose of in the comrse of that year, were 
assessed again the ensuing year, so that the same article was 
taxed two, three or four times. The external zekat is in the 
nature of a customs duty, and was imposed upon all goods 
entering or leaving the limits of the district, whether Russian 
or native, but there was a- difference between the zekat im- 
posed upon Russian subjects, no matter what their origin, and 
that imposed upon the subjects of foreign states. Foreigners 
were obliged to pay zekat amounting to 2^ per cent., or one 
fortieth part of the value of goods, on every importation or 
exportation made. Russian subjects, on the contrary, paid 2^ 
per cent, on the value of an importation or exportation which 
allowed them to traflfic freely for one year on that amount of 
capital. Thus, for instance, if a merchant had imported goods 
from Russia to the amount of 10,000 rubles, he would pay a 
tax of 250 rubles and would obtain a certificate which would 
enable him to trade with this 10,000 worth for a whole year, 
no matter how many timt s the capital was turned over in the 
meantime. If, for example, he were sending a caravan to 
Russia, he would hardly be able to receive the returning caravan 
within the year, and at most would turn his capital over but 
once. If, however, he were trading with Khokand, he might 
turn it over four or five times, but would pay only one zekat. 
It will easily be seen that the system was productive of many 
difficulties and afforded considerable opportunity for deceptioiu 



A cf til mission was therefore appointed to sinAj the subject; 
and it was finally decided entirely to abolish the zekat, and to 
introduce the Russian code of taxes and duties on trade with all 
its complicated system of guilds, tickets and licenses. Certain 
modifications were made by the Ministry of Finance, allowing 
the trade in articles of domestic or household manufaeture 
without a tax, and the system went into force on January I 
(13)^ 1875 for a trial of four jearB. Objections to the in- 
troduction of this system were made by Russians in the interest 
of their trade, on the ground that by placing the natives on an 
equality with them, and by enabling the larger merchants to 
trade with fewer taxes than before, the whole trade of Central 
Asia would fall into native hands and the Russians would be 
crowded out of the markets There was a certain foundation 
for this fear, for, with the exception of one or two firms, all the 
solid houses trading in Tashkent are either nati\'es or Tartars. 
At fij-st there was some dissatisfaction among the natives, as 
pains had not been taken to transhite the law, and even had 
it been translated it would hiive been difficult for them to 
understand its complicated provisions* As this system presses 
much more hardly on small traders than on large, the great 
native merchants found themselves by the payment of the firnt 
guild tax of 265 rubles a year in a much better position than 
before, and able to trade freely in all parts of the empire. 
Even the taxes on the smaller merchants, though high, were 
not so oppressive as they at first seemed, because under the 
Bekat system the traders were in the habit of conceHling a 
great part of their capital- Before the tax collector came 
round, they removed from their shops the grenter pait of their 
goods. The cidlector, when dissatisfied, said ; * This is too 
little, I shall charge you so much,* and the i^ium was usuallj 
paid without a munnur, as it was even then less than the 
amoimt really due. The new system brought in during 
January 1875, when most of the tickets and licences had to 
be taken out, 157,565 rubles, or 90,000 more than had been 
obtained in previous years from the Russian traders and from 
the natives in those districts where this law had been applied. 

As under the new system the external zekat is also abolished, 
and as the customs frontier of Orenburg and Southern Sibi^ria 
was abrogated in 1868-9, foreign goodr can now enter the 


Central Asiatic provinces duty free. Thus, if the letter of the 
commercial treaties with the neighbouring states be adhered to, 
it will leave the Russians in the position of admitting all goods 
free and still of paying the old 2^ per cent, duty to their 
neighbours. It must not be supposed, however, that all goods 
are allowed to pass the frontier ; for in 1869 the Governor 
General issued an order keeping out nearly all articles of 
European manufacture, and — in order to benefit the Kiakhta 
merchants — tea introduced by the way of India. In addition to 
this the order which I mentioned on page 48 was given to keep 
European merchants from entering the country. 

Little more than this has been done by the Russians for the 
benefit of trade. Various manufactories, some of which I have 
already mentioned, have been started, but with the exception 
of the distilleries, they have nearly all failed. These distilleries 
seem to be doing a prosperous business and afford a considerable 
article of the revenue derived from the country. Most of the 
Russian merchants who ventured into the Central Asiatic trade, 
ruined or greatly crippled themselves, — Khludof and Pervushin, 
for instance, — and the recent failure of the silk filature at 
Hodjent, which I mentioned above, will, probably, for some time 
bring commercial enterprises in Turkistan into complete dis- 

There is one thing more, the fair. 

In one of the happiest sketches of the Russian satirist 
iStchedrin, there is the characterisation of a Tashkentian. The^ 
type to which he gives the name ' Tashkentian,' is a civiliser, 
an enlightener — 'an enlightener in general, in every place 
and in every way, and an enlightener too, free from science, 
but not confused by that, for science in his opinion was created 
not for the spread, but for Ihe hindrance of enlightenment. A 
scientific man first demands alphabets, then syllables, the four 
rules of arithmetic, multiplication tables, &c. The Tashkentian 
sees in all that nothing but chicanery, an<l says up and down 
that to stop over similar trifles is to stumble and to waste 
golden time.' One of his characters develops the advantages 
of the Russian telega as a means of civilising the Kirghiz. 
* Don't interrupt me, mon cher^ because I must express my 
idea fully. Thus, as I said before, the original mode of loco- 
motion was on foot, but as man began to conquer n;ituie and 



Inmf^ animals, the means of locomotion became moie compU- 
ratedj and instead of confining hiniself to pedes tnaniftm, man 
now begins to ride on fonr-footed animals, Thna arises a 
notion of property, which, on the basis of the rule omnia mea 
mecu^m porto^ is placed on the same animal with the rider. 
This is already a step in advance, but you will agree with me 
a very limited step, (I nodded and winked a littlej as though 
I wished to say, OA, coTfiifm j^ vous comprends^ man f^SnSral I) 
The property is insignificant, the means of transport are also 
insignificant ; there is the key for explaining the existence of 
pastoral and nomadic nations. They wander about, move from 
one place to another, and never can settle in one place — mfin 
tout s'expliqiie I At last appears tlie telega, that nncomfortable 
and jolting equipage ; but see what a revolution it produces i 
By its very un comfortableness it compels its possessor to avoid 
aiiperfluons movement, and in this way fixes liim to the land, 
Thas fixed, he begins to get an idea of manure. Seeing the 
gradual accumulation of this tertilising materiaL the simple 
shepherd asks himself, what is manure ? ¥ot the first time he 
begins to think about it, for the first time the idea comes to 
him, that manure, like everything else in natiu"e, does not 
exist witliout a purpose. He begins to appreciate manmej he 
seei* in it ses pSnatm et ses lares. He constructs his dwelling 
near it, and ini perceptibly to himself he enters into the period 
of settled life (Oh, commeje vons comprends^ comme je vous 
mmpreiuls^ mon gSnSral ! ) Do yoii undei^tand ? Mao invents 
a tdsga^ and this simple fact, which almost every day pa^^sea 
unnoticed before oiu- eyes, is quite sufficient for him to obtain 
elementary ideas of noanure, and to leave for ever the habits of 
the nomads. But more than this, ha\dng a telsga^ he under- 
stands the basis of a sound civilisation (Oh comnie J6 vouB 
comprends!) Don't you see what a radical reform we at once 
make in the life of the^e unhappy vagabonds, risking nothing, 
even bringing nothing with us except a simple Russian tdega! 
Aussie JB l&ur en donnerai , . - . du teUgue I Ah I ' 

It must have been a man of this kind that projected the 
Tashkent fain 

Considering the part which faire have played in the history 
of Russian commerce, it was perhaps natural for persons un- 
accustomed to mercantile life to imagine that trade could not 


possibly be carried on without thera, and that to start a fair 
meant to create trade. It was forgotten that trade seeks its 
own channels, and cannot be arbitrarily increased at the com- 
mand of the authorities. It was forgotten too that commerce 
is very delicate and susceptible, and cannot be interfered with 
with impunity. Nevertheless plausible arguments full of fine 
phrases were made to the Governor-Greneral, a petition was 
drawn up, to which the signatures of the merchants were easily 
obtained — for when will Eussian merchants refuse to sign a 
petition, or an address brought to them by an officer of the 
government ? — and the authorities resolved on the establishment 
of a fair, and a commission was appointed in 1870 to study the 
details, and prepare the organisation. In the order appointing 
this commission the reasons are thus stated : * The exchange of 
the manufactures from the internal provinces of the Empire 
for the raw material (cotton and silk) of the Asiatic countries 
has up to this time been chiefly carried on at two fairs : those 
of Irbit and Nizhni Novgorod. Closer relations between con- 
sumers and producers, and the consequent permanency of price 
and of commercial relations, would doubtless he greatly facili- 
tated by bringing the centre of exchange nearer to the Central 
Asiatic markets.' 

It is curious that at the first session of the Commission the 
merchants who had just petitioned for the fair unanimously 
declared that the fair of Irbit, the remoteness of which had 
been a cause of complaint, had not the slightest influence on 
the trade of Central Asia, while the fair of Nizhni Novgorod 
had so great an influence that it was useless to found a fair at 
Tashkent, as the prices there would inevitably be governed by 
those at Nizhni. The views of the non-commercial members 
prevailed, and the commission established two fairs, one in 
spring and the other in autumn, and ordered the erection of 
suitable buildings. The site chosen for the fair was at about 
two miles south-east of the Russian town, and fully five miles 
from the bazaar of the native town. This place was chosen in 
Older to draw native commerce away from the native influences 
which prevailed in the old town, to subject it to close govern- 
mental supervision, and to render it amenable to governmental 

* See also page 175. 
YOL. I. P 



Bidldiogswere erected on a large scale and at great ex pense* 
There were offices for the adiniui strati on^ large caravanserai*', 
and many rows of shops. The projectora intended to transfer 
the tntire wholeH&^e trade of the rej^ion to this locality. The 
work was pushed ^n as fast as possible, although the troops, the 
real sinews of Russian streDgth in Asia, were suffering from the 
want of suitable barracks. Yet in spite of all their efiforts, when 
the fair was opened in Octoher 1870^1 it was found that^ with the 
exception of the Russian merchants, no persons came to buy or 
to sell, and the natives could not be persuaded to leave their shops 
and establiMh new ones in the bazaar, even though they were 
offered accommodation free of rent. Consequently it was neces- 
sary to issue an order that during^ the whole duration of the 
fair, two months in the year, all the native mercharits, with the 
exception of the sellers of provisions, should close their shops at 
the old bazaar, and remove their trade to the shops of the fair. 
Many traders, however, sooner than trannport their goods such 
a long distance, resolved to abandon commerce entirely for the 
duration of the fair, or carried it on secretly in their houses. 
In consequence of this it was proposed to impose fines on 
persons who did not appear, and, I am told, they were even 
hunted up and driver to the fair by Cossacks, These measures 
were, however, found to be useless, and the Kiissian merchants, 
who sold goods to the natives on credit and received weekly or 
monthly payments from them^ were unable to collect their ac- 
counts, and petitioned the government to allow the natives to 
trade as before in the old town^ as otherwise they would them- 
selves be ruinedp The Russian merchants also themselves found 
it disagreeable to be compelled to keep warehouses for their 
goods at the fair as well as in their private establish ments- 
The buildings are therefore empty, and^ according to good in- 
formation, the fair, while not officially closed, has in reality 
ceased to exist. The whole enterprise has therefore been a 
complete failure, and up to the end of 1873 had cost the gov- 
ernment 377^247 rubles; of this sum 29,631 rubles were 
spent in the purchase of private buildings and land, 45,ti76 
rubles in the erection of the fair buildingSj 56,863 rubles in 
salaries and administration, and 15^726 rubles in the expenses 
of collecfcing the revenue of the fair, and the reraaifld<;r, about 
30,000 rubles, for various expenses. The receipts of ite fair 


Id cover these expenses were 32,395 rubles. The only advan- 
tages known to have been derived from it were the opening 
breakfasts and dinners, the cost of which was defrayed by a sub- 
scription extorted from the merchants. 

The business done at these flairs is thus stated in the official 
reports in rubles : 

• Broaght Carried away Total dealings by broken 

!S70 Autumn fair! 3,890,828*63 2,335,060*39^ 6,225.888-98^ 680,323 

1871 SpriDg „ 2,520,346-73 1,393,356*02 3,013,702 751 not stated 
„ Autumn „ 4,742,868- 2,042,521- 6,788,379* J 

1872 „ . „ ' 1,849,749-89 1,538,583*32 3,388,325*21 252,292*94 

Brought Carried away Transit trade Brokers* sales Total 

1873 Spring 735.98572 907,827*27 169,213- 472.198*90 2,286,244-89 
„ Autumn 1,260,297*32 860,169*62 131*628*20 190,602 35 2,442,787*38 

I quote these figures to show the minuteness with which the 
details of the fair have been studied, even to the fractions of a 
kopek, and at the same time as an example of the difficulty of 
using statistics which have been made to order. The fair 
grounds are not like a country where the exports and the imports 
are different. Nothing can be carried away from the fair but 
what has at some time been brought there, and much is brought 
and taken away without being sold ; while the same goods are 
sometimes brought several times, goods being taken from the 
fair to the native town, then brought to the Eussian quarter and 
entered again at the fair. It is only the amoimt of actual sales / 

which shows the dealings of a fair. Here t he amounts for goods 
brought in are added to the amounts for goods taken away to 
make the total dealings ; and in 1872 the amount of the transit 
trade, 159,889*34, is added to both sides, so that it appears twice 
in the total ; while in 1873 not only the transit trade but the 
sales by brokers are added, the same transaction thus appear- 
ing in three different ways. Besides this the figures are made 
up in part from estimates, and in some cases, from fear lest 
the amount should not be large enough, 20 per cent, has been 
added to it. Sometimes transactions are included which have 
nothing to do with the fair, as for instance the cattle trade. 
Cattle are brought to Tashkent in large numbers on every 
bazaar day, twice a week, and the numbers driven and sold 

' This fair lasted two months instead of one. 

* I have been unable to obtain the returns for the spring fair of 1872. 

p 2 


(luring the months of the fair are no greater than at any othei , 
time ; in fact, the figures are intended rather to show the 
total trade of Tashkent during the months in which the fair is 
held ; for it is ko arranged that all imports and exports have to 
pass through the office of the committee of the fair, and I find 
by comparison that these amoimts are not proportionately larger 
tlian tliose of tlie other months. The only positive data are the 
amounts of sales by brokers, although these by no means cover 
the total actual sales. The fair committee tried to establish 
tlie rule that nothing should be sold at the fair except by brokers 
licensed by the government, and this was called a measure for 
encouraging trade I 

The causes of the failuYe of tlie fair are easily intelligible. 
Tashkent is not a manufactiuring nor an agricultural centre, 
nor is it really a trade centre; it lies on the road from Khokand 
to Orenburg and Troit^dc, and that is all. The trade of Tash- 
kent with Bukhara and the Zan\fshan valley is very insignifi- 
cant, as that tmde follows the old route direct across the steppe 
from Bukham to Kazala. Articles of pririe necessity — such as 
sngar and candles — are sometimes cheaper in Samarkand than 
Tashkent, being imported too through Bukhara, where they 
have to pay duties. Tashkent is a halting place for the Khokand 
trade, simply l^ecause, as the >eat of government, the chief 
merchiints tind it convenient to live there* and to store the 
goods forwaidevl to them until they have occasion to send theni 
on. It is not a pLice where great purchases are made. Were 
the capital trai>sferrevl to Tchimkent* no one would ascribe any 
ci>mmercial imp«.»rtauoe to Tashkent* 

The transit trade through Tashkent with Khokand in 1872 
was iat>2.:*^ rubies, and with Bukhara 22.b't>5? rubles* In 
the year 1>7U the only .>ue tor which we have exact, detaifed 
statistical returns, the imL^orts into Tashkeoc tr^yai all parts of 
Kussia and trom the independent Khanates were SJ^93^20 
rubk^ tbe exports ^aii.49o. makinj^ a total of U.ICWjSIo 
rubies: of this 4,094^^^^ I was with Kbokand* and only 3^J>o-4 
with Bukhara* In 1>73 the tranie or Tashkeut is stated to 
have been: Imports^ 10J?38*159 ; e^^wrtiN 0Ji^9*lS:i; totals 
i:**i37*;UI : transit* 954*:i89. 

:N>aie idea of the trade of Tashkent ma v be rbtiued Ixuaa 
tiic :rausporcatiou statistics for 1572 and l>r3. 

















1872 Arrived . 
„ Departed 

1873 Arrived . 

„ Departed 


The average load of a camel is 576 lbs. ; that of a horse 
288 lbs., and that of a cart 990 lbs. From this we see that 
there were brought to Tashkent in 1872 40,713,120 lbs. of 
merchandise, and there left it 16,628,814 lbs., while in 1873 
there were brought 29,845,388 lbs. and taken away 22,525,848 

It is very diflficult to arrive at the exact figures of Central 
Asiatic trade. .The Orenburg-Siberia frontier customs line 
was abolished in 1868, and the collection of statistics has 
consequently ceased. The only materials which exist for deter- 
mining the amount of trade consist in the declarations of the 
Russian and the native merchants, of the kind, quantity, and 
value of the wares which have been imported or exported by them, 
as delivered to the economical bureaux of the districts for 
the payment of duty or zekat on such goods, and of the zekat re- 
ceipts, which show the amoimt of duty received. These receipts, 
which are chiefly written in the Turki language, have enabled 
the agent of the Ministry of Finance to publish ' materials for 
the statistics of the Asiatic trade.' It is a matter of consider- 
able difficulty, however, to collect such data with any pretence 
to accuracy, as the zekat system did not exist in all parts of the 
country, and the full amount of the trade is not indicated there, 
the zekat receipt for the goods brought by caravan allowing 
the merchant to trade on the capital represented by those 
goods for a whole year without paying other zekat, and conse- 
quently, where it was possible to turn over the capital more 
than once a year, the full amount of the transactions is not 
shown. So far as it is possible to ascertain, making allowances 
for the places where the full returns are not given, the imports 
into the district of the Syr Darya from all quarters in the year 
1872 amounted to 13,400,000 rubles, and the exports for the 
same time amoimted to 9,185,000 rubles, making a total of 
22,585,000. Of this, however, at least 1 0,000,000 rubles must be 

> These figures are too large. A camel-load, hs a standard of weight, is 16 
puds or 576 lbs. ; the load carried by a camel— efipecially in long distances — \b 
usually far smaller. 

9A^ ^^^" TURmSTAN. ^^^^^^^^^^ 

deducted for trade with the Kirghiz Steppe, leaving 1 2,585jOCO 
rubles us tbe actual trade with the Khanates, But this doea 
»ot include the direct trade between Khiva and the Caspian 
littoral, which is small j and that between Kaahgar and Vieniy, 
of which I shall speak further on. Allowing for the trade on 
these two routes the higheit estimates, we would have for the 
present trade with Central Asia proper^ both exports and 
imparts, the total of about fifteen million rubles (2,0005O00i*), 
By the customs returns on the frontier in 1867, we have 
the following : 

EsportB to Tiii/kk6Qi ([neludfn^ Khok&itd) , B.^ISM^ tablvn 

Bttkhara 4,eiU,000 „ 

L ,, KUiv^ 4&7.0U0 „ 

f Mivking Ji total of * . , 10,875,000 

The imports were as fullowa :— 
, From Tiishkent , . . . . , 84i8,(fOO ruble* 

■ ,, EukhtiEa • 6,215,000 „ 

I p, Khrvii t.42U0OO „ 

I Miiiing a total of . . . . ^ 8.604,000 

The total trade consequentlj amounted to 19,379,000 
rubles ( 2,650,000^-), It would seem therefore that the trade 
with Central Asia has diminished rather than increased since the 
year 1 8t>7, unless the fignres for that year were exaggerated. 

The b*ade of Bukhara through Kazala was in the year from 
Septemher 1868 to September 18*>9, 4,193,000 rubles import e 
and 1,793,000 rubles exports, and through Tashkent in 1872, 
8,ti4H rubles imports and 14,000 rubles exports. The trade of 
1869 was J however, much larger than nsual, as can be seen 
from the amount of zekat received, which in 1869 was 114,000 
rubles ; in 1870, 36,000 rubles ; in 1871, 33,000 riibles; in 1872, 
24,000 rubles. The probable trade with Kazala therefore iu 1 872 
was not more than one third of what it was in 1869; hut, counting 
it at one half, we would have the total trade with Bukhara in 
1^72, — inclusive of both exports and impoils, — as* not more than 
3,000,000 rubles. In 1869 the total trade with Bukhara wag 
more than 11,000,000, We cannot ascribe this falling off in 
the trade to the separation of the Zarafshan district from Buk- 
hara, for we find that the whole trade of the Zarafshan district, 
as represented at Samarkand for 1872, was only 2,000,000 
rubles. It is of course possible tliat the daia from which tht^ie 


statistics are made are not full, and it is possicle that the dis- 
turbance in the Kirghiz Steppe, and the crisis in the cotton 
trade, had considerable influence on the commerce with Bukhara, 
but in any. event the result is not favourable. 

For the trade of Khokand the statistics are tolerably full, 
and we find that in 1872 the imports from that country 
amounted to 2,189,836 rubles, and the exports to 1,273,520 
rubles. The chief articles of import fiom Khokand are cotton 
and silk, and in much smaller quantities fresh and dried fruit, 
coarse native half-silk and half-cotton materials, and native 
clothes. The exports are chiefly Russian prints, cotton yarn, 
.cloth, and Russian shawls and handkerchiefs, which are used 
as girdles. 

The chief statistics for the present trade with Khiva are 
those taken in Kazala. From September 1868 to September 
1869 the exports from Russia to Khiva were 112,045 rubles, 
and the imports from Khiva 294,887 rubles. The exports to 
Khiva in that year were entirely confined to the winter months 
from January to April. Most of the Khivan trade passeb 
through Kazala, although a small portion of it goes through 
the Caspian Steppes. 

As to the special articles of import, those of the greatest 
importance are cotton and silk ; cotton having been imported 
across the Orenburg and Siberia customs line, in 1863, to the 
amount of 2,933,248 rubles; and in 1864, to the amount of 
6,583,229 rubles; in 1865, 3,394,267 rubles; in 1866, 4,326,145 
rubles; in 1867, 5,513,422 rubles: all of course coming from 
Tashkent, Khokand, Bukhara and Khiva. In 1872 there was 
imported from Khokand, in transit through Tashkent, cotton to 
the amount of 208,568 rubles. From Tashkent there was sent 
to other parts of Russia, as well as to other towns of the 
Turkistan district, 1,953,860 rubles' worth. In 1872, from 
Tashkent, the district of Kurama and from Samarkand, there 
was only 785,089 rubles' worth exported. In 1869 tlie cotton 
imported from Kazala amounted to 1,943,860 rubles, and from 
Khiva 60,002 rubles. If we take the highest figures of the 
export from Tashkent, the total amount of cotton imported 
into Russia during 1872 would come to only 3,606,356 rubles 
(500,000i.), a considerable falling off from former years. 

The silk trade, which began to increase after the occupation 



of tbe country by tbe Eiissians, makes ratber a better Ebaw, 
In 1867 ifc amounted to 75,643 rubles; in 1869 to 1,181,967 
rubles. In 1872 tbere was exports, in transit through Tashkent, 
iilk to the amount of 200,360 rubles. In 1871 tbere was 
transported from Taahkent to Russia 47 1,188 nibles* woith- In 
1872 from Tashkent, Kazala, and Hodjent, it amounted to 702,4(jS 
rubles. The import of silk from Ka5?ala in 1869 came to 
1,095,667 rubles; from Kliiva 86,300 rubles. Should we t^iko 
the highest figure, wbich would be imfair, as the import of bilk 
from Bukhara in 1872 was by no means equal to that in 186&, 
we should have the total of the bilk trade 2,134,795 rubles 

Fully one half of the silk sent to Bussia eonaea frona 
Bukhara, and nearly all the other half comes from Khokand, 
but a Yerj nWght quantity coming from the Kusgijui provinces* 
Thus in 1871 there was brought to Taslikent from Khokand 
929,537 rubles' worth ; from ttie cities of the Syr Darya, a 
province, only 70,523 rubies' worth. The trade in borse-hair, 
wtiicb in 1872 amounted to onlj 10,113 rubles, could probably 
be eaiiily increased. 

The chief articles sent from Russia to Central Asia are" 
prints and cotton goods. Of tbese there were Bent, in 1869, 
from Russia to Tashkent, 3,857,207 rubles' worth ; to Bukhara 
2^810,060 rubles' worth ; and to Khiva 284,522 ruhles' worth ; 
the total amoimting to 6,951,789 rubles (952,000^.)* Of such 
goods there were sent to Tashkent in 1872 4,470,723 rubles* 
worth; to Bukhara, in 1872, 1,054,717 rubles' worthy to 
Khokand, in 1869, 240,630 rubles' worth ; to Khiva, in 1869, 
55,829 rubles' worth: the total beitjg 5,821,902 rubles 
(8OO5OOOL). These figures will also show a fulling off in the 
Central Asiatic trade, although the maikeb is reserved almosfc 
exclusively to the Rufisians, very few English goods getting 
farther than Bukhaia. Tea is also sent in large quantities, the 
amount imported into Turkistan in 1872 being 1,048,508 
rubles, of whicli but a very small quantity (about 100,000 
rubles) came from China through Siberia, the rest being sent 
from Moscow. During the last half of 1868, the whole of 
1869. and the first half of 1870^ there were 635,273 lbs. of tm 
imported- Of this 174,772 Ibs^. were sent to Khokand, while 
18,533 lbs* were brought back from that country, not being 


saleable. In 1871 141,597 lbs. were sent to Khokand, and in 
1872 only 21,970 rubles' worth. Iii general the tea trade with 
the Khanates is not flourishing, as green tea in very large 
quantities is imported from India by way of Bukhara. Its 
passage through Turkistan is prohibited, but, nevertheless, 
most of that used in Khokand passes through Eussian territory 
close to Samarkand by what is called the 'robbers' road.* 
Much also is smuggled for sale in the country. For instance, 
in the Zarafshan district no one buys Eussian tea except the 
Eussians, and in 1872 but 11,900 lbs. of tea were imported 
from Bukhara through the Custom House (the prohibition not 
being then applied to this region), which for over 200,000 
inhabitants is less than half-a-pound a year each. Now tea is 
universally drunk, and the consumption of each man is much 
nearer half-a-pound a month. Fully 500,000 lbs. of tea must 
have been smuggled. The import of sugar in 1872 was only 
171,700 rubles. 

Very exaggerated notions have been held with regard to 
the amount of trade to be derived from Kashgar. The country, 
however, is poor, the population scanty, and there is little demand 
for foreign goods, and there are almost no native goods that can 
be exported with advantage, the chief article of export being 
daba^ a coarse kind of native cotton goods, which is sold to the 
Kirghiz, who pay in sheep, at the rate of a sheep for a piece 
of daba. As the sheep is worth '^ rubles, and the daba 40 to 
50 kopeks, Kashgar gains by the traflic. The tiade with Eussia 
is principally carried on by the roads from Vi^rny, Tokmak, and 
Naryn to Kashgar, though there is some trade also by the routes 
of Aksu and Karakol, and through Khokand. The only statistical 
materials of this trade are those which have been kept at the 
fort of Naryn. In December 1868, and the whole of the year 
1869, the total trade of Kashgar with Eussia, passing through 
Naryn Fort, both exports and imports, amounted to 274,()65 
rubles (37,628Z.). In 1870 the imports from Kashgar were 
184,182 rubles, and the exports to that country 39,843, making 
a total of 224,025 rubles (30,688^.). In 1871 the imports from 
Kashgar amounted to 473,338 rubles, and the exports to 
Kashgar 140,372 rubles, in all 604,710 rubles (82,837^.)- I"^ 
1872, up to the first of May, the imports from Kashgar 
amounted to 50,539 rubles, and the exports to 53,564 rubles, 


*iaking tageth^r 104,103 rubles (14,260^'. Tbese figures are 
email, because moat of the trade is in the latter jnonths of the 
year. Mr. Kole^nikofif, who was the commercial agent of the 
Eiissi an Embassy to Kashgar hi 1872, estimates the total espcirts 
from KasLgar to Euasia from 1st of June 1871 to 1st of May 
1872 as 1,100,000 rubles ( 1 50,68 5^,), incliidmg those seut via 
Khokaud, During 1874, according to published returns, there 
were imported from Ka^hgar, through the Naryn pass, about 
1,662,000 lbs, of merchandise, including 721,729 piecee of 
daba worth about 324,000 rubles- During the same year 
there were exported to Kashgar 1^678,000 lbs,, and 85,382 
sheep worth, at 3 rubles each, about 256,000 rubles. In 1875j 
up to the 22nd of July, the imports were 1,111,000 lbs,, in- 
cluding 881,560 pieces of daba worth about 396,000 rubles, 
and the exports were 402,000 lbs, of goods^ aud 54,049 aheep 
worth about 162,000 rubles. 

To a country separated so far from the rest of the world, not 
by water, but by aiid wa.stes^ the question of trade routes and of 
the means of transportation becomes of prinae commercial im- 
portance. Goods are chiefly transported in Central Asia in pack- 
trains, or on the arbas^ or two-wheeled carts of the country. 
Thift last method is, however, principally employed in the south 
between neighbouring towns, as between Bukhara and Samar- 
kand, and Hodjent and Tashkent^ while for longer routes trans- 
portation by camels becumes a necessity. The use of carts has 
greatly increased since the Kussian occupation and the con- 
Btruction of passable roads. As the method of harn^sing is 
very burdensome to the horses, the maximum load of a cart is 
not more than 2 camel -loads, or 32 puds (1,152 lbs.), but the 
ordinary load is only a camel-load and a half, or 24 puds (864 
lbs,). The ordinary load of a horse is 8 puds (288 lbs,), and 
of an ass half that amount* These animals are chiefly used for 
rocky and mountainous roads, where hard hoofa are necessary, 
as on the short road over the mountains from Tashkent to 

By far the most common and most useful beast of burden is 
the CJirael, which carries ordinarily 16 puds (576 lbs,), and which 
can travel over almost any soil, can find his pasture as he goes, 
audi except in oold weather, does not need the care which must 



be bestowed on a horse. As liis gait is twice as slow as the 
horse, the latter, though carrying only half as much, can with 
advantage be used for short distances. The fact, however, that 
a camel kneels down to his load renders it much easier to load 
and unload him at the halts, thus relieving the attendants of 
much labour. In unloading the camel the ropes or straps con- 
necting the two bales which make up the load are untied, the 
bales remain standing on the ground, and the camel walks away 
from them. In loading he kneels down between thfem, and they 
are fastened on with a very small expenditure of manual labour. 
Attempts have been made to use camels harnessed to a cart, it 
being found in this way that they can carry from 50 to 60 puds 
(1,800 to 2,100 lbs.). 

The chief trade route to Bukhara is from Orenburg through 
Kazala, varying according to the road chosen, whether directly 
acroM the steppe, or by way of Orsk, from 1,060 to 1,160 miles 
in length, and requiring about 47 days. The caravans cross the 
Syr Darya at Kazala, or a short distance above, on the Eussian 
ferries, or on the reed bridges made by the Kirghiz. Freight 
cost formerly only from twelve to fifteen rubles per camel, but 
owing to the rise of prices cannot now be had for less than 
twenty-one rubles. The Bukharan caravans occasionally, but of 
late years less frequently, go to Troitsk, about 1,000 milaHy 
needing 52 days. As this route falls in with the wanderings of 
the Kirghiz, from whom the camels are hired, freight is often 
half less than that to Orenburg. The road from Bukhara to 
Samarkand, 150 miles, is very much frequented, but very little 
of the trade goes farther on to Tashkent, about 340 miles in all. 
A small amount of trade with Siberia goes over another road 
from Bukhara, which crosses the Syr Darya near Turkistan. 
The total cost of a pud of goods from Moscow to Bukhara 
would be about 2'75 rubles (7s. Id.), or 2^^. per pound. 

For the Khokandian trade there are two routes from Tash- 
kent, one, as I have said, directly over the moimtains through 
Telau, 140 miles, occupying five or six days, and the other, which 
is possible for carts, by the way of Hodjent, being over 200 
miles, and taking eight or ten days. 

Formerly nearly all caravans fiom Tashkent went to Petro- 
pavlovsk and Troitsk. The greater part of them now go directly 
to Orenburg, following in general the post road, s distance of 



1,300 miles, or 60 davi* From Tashkent to Orenhnr^ freight 
coHts from 14 to 25 nibles per camel, or 90 kopeks to 1*69 rubles 
pf r pud, return freight being dearer- The route from Taebkent 
t«> Petropavlov&k, after pass in g through Tchimkent.^ skirts the 
northern slope of the Kara^tau to Suzak, aud then goes straight 
through the Bek-pak-dala Steppe i& Akmoliosk and Petro- 
pavlovsk, about 1,200 miles. Propositions have been made to 
eiitabUsh postal communication on this road. Freight is now 
from 90 kopeks to 2 rubles^ per pud, or from 14 to 32 rubles a 
cameL The route from Troitsk to Tashkent requires about 39 
dayB> and is cousidered to be about 1,200 miles. Freight is £rom 
11 to 17 rubles per camel, or 20 kopeks to 1'30 rubles per pud. 
The Kashgnr trade nsuallj follows the road through the 
Naryn pass to Tokraak and Vierny, but a certain portion of it 
goes over the Terek-davan and through Khokand, the distance 
from Kashgar to Khokand being estimated at over 300 miles, 
reqtiiring from 1 2 to 20 days for a caravan* 

The trade with Khiva, when it flourished, went bj three 
roads; from Orenburg through Ka^ali and Irklbai to Khiva, 
54 or 55 days' journey of 1,140 to 1,230 miles ; or from Orenbiu-g 
througli the Emba Post, and skirting the west shore c*f the Aral 
Sea^ 43 days and some 880 miles ; or from the Caspian through 
I Maogyshlak, directly across the Utit-nrt — a difficult road> on 
account of the scarcity of water, and almost imused since 1855, 
1'he price of freight from Orenburg to Khiva is about 16 rubles 
a camel, or 1 ruble per pud* Since the Khivan expedition 
Colonel Glukhofsky, who seems greatly impressed with the 
possibilities of trade with Khi%^a, has devoted his energies to 
establishing a caravan route and regular commerce between 
Krasnovodsk on the Caspian and Khiva. One of his caravans, 
during the summer of 1875, went from Kmsnovodsk to Khiva 
by the shortest road in seventeen days, but as there were wells 
only at distances of two or three days' joiu'ney, it is not the 
most advantageous. Taking advantage of epecially favouiable 
circumstances, he |Miid a freight of ten rubles for every 12^ 
puds of merchandise. The caravan also made the return 
journey to Krasnovodsk in seventeen days. In the autumn of 
1875 another of Col, Glukhofsky's caravans was pillaged by 
the Tiu-komans. 

From Khiva to Bukhara the usual route is to aj^cend tho 


Amu Darya in boats as far as Ustyk, and then, loading on 
camels, to proceed to Bukhara through Kara-Koi, some 350 
miles, or a journey of about 17 days. The current of the Amu 
is so strong that the return joiumey is much shorter. 

The road from Bukhara to Balkh, by the way of Karshi, is 
estimated at about 300 miles, and demands 13 days. To Kabul 
is 350 miles more, needing another 13 days. Should the caravans 
go direct to Kabul through Khulum, without touching Balkh, 
the journey could be accomplished in 20 days. The freight from 
Khulum to Bukhara is 25 to 30 tengas for a camel load of 12 
puds (432 lbs. \ and 50 to 60 tengas for a camel load of 16 puds 
(576 lbs.), while from Bukhara to Khulum it is much dearer. 
From Khulum to Kabul freights are from 25 to 40 rupees per 
camel load of 12 puds. From Kabul to Peshawur caravans 
go in 12 days, a freight of from 15 to 20 rupees being charged 
for a camel load of 12 puds. This makes the total cost of 
freight of a camel load of 432 lbs. from Bukhara to Peshawur 
about 34*49 rubles or 4i. 14s. 7d., without including the 
customs duties or transit dues, or the great exactions of the 
Amir of Kabul, — nearly the same as from Moscow to Bukhara. 

From Bukhara to Herat, through Maimena, is a journey of 
about 600 miles, which can be accomplished in 25 days ; a camel 
load paying about 36 Bukharan .tengas. From Bukhara to Merv 
is a journey of 11 days ; and to Mashad of some 10 days more. 
The price of freight for the whole distance is about 3 Bukharan 
tiUas per camel load. 

The commerce of Central Asia, which passes through 
Petropavlovsk, goes to Ekaterinburg and Perm, and so down 
the Kama to Nizhni Novgorod ; that through Troitsk takes 
either the same route, or goes across the Ural to Ufa and thence 
to Nizhni. The caravans for Orenburg usually stop at that 
place, and the goods are then generally placed on carts and 
taken to Samara on the Volga ; a railway is now being built 
between Samara and Orenburg, which will greatly facilitate 
communications. Krasnovodsk, on the Caspian, is connected 
with Astrakhan and thence with Nizhni by occasional steamers. 

Communications being so difficult, the Russians have natu- 
rally considered what could be done to improve them, and various 
plans have been suggested. It was at first thought that there 
could be water communication by the Sry Darya, and that this 


woidd be the main line of trade for the region about Tasbkenf^ 
buf, as I have shown in a previotis chapter, the difficulties 
in the way have thus far proved too great. For the Khivan 
trade it was also dessired to mu steamers from Kazala through 
the Aral Sea and up the Amu Darya. Some of the ohstnic- 
tionB which impede the navigation of that river at the delta 
Tfere removed^ and in 1874 a steamer did succeed in reaching 
Nukus, hut hy a round-about route through the Dau Kara 
lake, and with the greatest diflSculty, Explorations have heeu 
made of the old bed of the Oxue, partly with a purely scientific 
aim, and partly to investigate the poftsibility of turning the 
water of the river once more into its old channels. It has 
been fouud that a well defined bed exists in what is called the 
Uzhoi, debouching in the Caspian near Krasnovodsk, and it is 
believed that if the dama on the Laudan were removed, the 
water would flow along the old beds for some distance, at least 
as far as Sary Kamysh \ but there seems to be this difficulty in 
all the schemes for the improvement of river navigation in 
Central Asia, that the amount of water in the rivers is not so 
great as formerly*, owing no doubt in a great measure to the 
destruction of forests on the mountains along their upper 
courses. In order to have sufficient water for navigation it 
would seem to be necessary to destroy the irrigation systems, 
and this hy diminishing, if not putting an end to the produc- 
tive power of the cotrntries of Central Asia, and thus destroying 
the commerce, woidd remove the only reason for which naviga- 
tion is considered requisite. 

The idea of a railway has therefore been mooted. There 
were frequent suggestions of the posaibility of a railway ; and 
in 1873 General Beznosikof, an official who had served a 
time at Semipaktinsk and who still needed two or three 
years of active service in order to receive a pension, was 
assigned to the duty of investigating the feasibility of con- 
structing a railway to Tashkent, He has made a voluminous 
report, hut from what I saw of his methods of enquiry, and 
from what was told me at Semipaktinsk, I should not be 
inclined to place much confidence in his reports or in his pro- 
jects- The idea, however, of a Central Asiatic railway mada 
no great head until it was taken up by M, de Lesseps in hig 
letter to General Ignaticff of May 1, 1873. RL de Lessepa 


laid stress on the fact that over the route from Calais to 
Calcutta by way of Orenburg, 7,370 miles, railways had already 
been constructed as far as Orenburg on one side and Peshawur 
on the other, making together 5,100 miles, and that it was 
therefore necessary in order to complete the line to construct 
less than half tliat amount, namely 2,270, of which Eussia 
should make 1,470 miles from Orenburg to Samarkand, and 
England the remaining 800 from Samarkand to Peshawui, 
For the preliminary surviBys he considered that there would be 
necessary two years of time and three millions of francs, which 
could be collected by a public subscription, the subscribers to 
form the ' Grand Central Asiatic Eailway Society.' In a sub- 
sequent letter to Lord Granville, M. de Lesseps dilated on 
the advantages of his plan, and stated that he intended to send 
his son and another engineer to India to make the preliminary 
studies. According to The St Petersburg Exchange Gazette of 
April 5-17, 1874, this idea did not originate with M. de 
Lesseps, but he owed it to M. Cotard and M. Yanitzky, the 
latter a Bussian engineer who succeeded to M. Lavalet, one of 
the chief constructors of the Suez canal. These gentlemen 
were in St. Petersburg at a time when various societies there 
were busying themselves with Asiatic trade routes, and entered 
fully into their ideas, and procured from them statistics on the 
subject. However this may be, it was not until after M. de 
Lesseps' letter that the idea of a Central Asiatic railway took 
any strong hold on the Eussian public. Immediately nume- 
rous projects were brought forward, some of them of an even 
wilder nature than that of M. de Lesseps : Mr. Bogdanovitch, 
for example, seriously proposed to construct a railway from 
Saratof on the Volga to Gurief at the mouth of the Ural, and 
then across the Ust-urt to Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand, 
with one branch to Tashkent and another to Peshawur. 

Subseqently it was proposed, instead of M. de Lesseps* 
railway to Tashkent, Samarkand, Kabul, and Peshawur, to 
turn it eastward from Tashkent to Khokand and Kashgar, and 
then over the Karakorum to Ladak, a work which would 
demand more engineering skill than any railway yet constructed. 
The divergence in views of the Eussian and English Govern- 
ments, with regard to Asiatic affairs, and the character and 
political condition of some of the countries through which a 



railway to India must pa&s^ will probably for a lon^ Hme 
prevetit the construction of any soch railway, and therefore, eg 
much of it as conceras India may ba left out of the question. 
So far, the projects for a direct railway t-o Central Asia have not 
received much encouragement from the Russian Government 
— the scheme having been rejected in a special ministerial 
council held on the subject of a letter of M. de Lesseps to the 
Emperor — although the TashkeDt authorities have considered 
them more seriously. The en^^lneering difficulties of a railway 
from Orenburg to Tashkent, Samarkand, and even as far south 
as the Amu Barya, through Knr&hi, would be trifiing ; but the 
cost of construction, and more than that of running, on account 
of the lack of water and fuel, wouLl be immense* Besides this 
the greater part of the country which would be traversed by 
this railway is now almost uninhabited, and utterly unlit for 
colonisation. That Buch a railway coidd be built I Lave no doul^t, 
if the (rovernment for military reasons considered it neoeasaryi 
but what I have before said with regard to the trade of Central 
Asia — which, including everything, amounts to barely three 
and a half milHou pounds sterling a year— will show in soma 
measure what returns such a railway could expect* If Tashkent 
be ever connected with Russia by rail^ it will probably be by 
means of a branch from the Siberian railway which will sooner 
or later lie built. Although the route has not been actually fixed, 
it is practieally determined to biuld a railway which will connect 
JIoBCow with Tinmen in Siberia, and ultimately with Omsk 
and Irkutsk, It is even possible that the railway from Samara 
to Orenbiu'g may be the beginning of the Siberian railway, and 
in that case it woidd naturally pass through Troitsk and 
Petropavlovsk, From Petropavlovsk to Akmolinsk the country, 
although steppe landj k fertile, w^eli watered, and suitable for 
colonisation. A railway here could be as easily constructed as was 
the Pacific railway in the United States ; and were lands along 
the line to be granted to the railway company, sufficient colcmi- 
sation might be attracted from the northein and inclement 
parts of Russia, to go a great way towards paying the expenses of 
the railway When a railway shall have reached that distance, it 
will be comparatively easy to extend it to Tashkent, should 
teasons of state render it advisable or necessary. 




The Mallah— Tchinaz — The Famished Steppe^Assafcetida — ^Munsa Babat — 
Jizakh— Gates of Tamerlane — ^Rock inscriptions — ^Tchupan-Ata — First 
view of Samarkand—Hafistas — ^Early history — The Graeco-Bactrian dy- 
nasty — Chinese travellers— Clari jo — Baber's description — ^The Russian 
conquest — Siege of the citadel by the natives, and its heroic defence by 
the Russians — Mosque of Shah Zindeh— Bibi Khanym — Shir-dar — Tomb 
of Timur — The Kok-tash — Hodja Akhrar — Koran of Othman — Bazaars — 
Derrishes— The Jews — Abdul Rahman Khan of Afighanistan — Bussian 
adventurers — ^Russian soldiers— Russian administration. 

It was on a lovely May evening when, with my interpreter the 
Mullah Hair-uUah, I set out for Samarkand. Driving rapidly 
over a good road, which led out of the town, and between the 
high clay walk of the many gardens, we came suddenly on the 
magnificent villa of the Governor-General, which is almost as 
well fitted up as his town house ; then passing through more 
gardens and open fields, we reached the little station of Niazbash, 
when it was already dark. The Mullah is a Eussian Tartar 
from Kazan, who had been educated in the medresse there, 
and had come out to seek his fortune in Tashkent, where he 
had relations, being a nephew of my friend Alim Hadji Yunusot 
He had been employed as an interpreter and as an assistant in 
the custom office, but had preferred to leave the service, being 
disgusted with the corruption which he saw about him, and 
had set up a small shop at the Sunday bazaar where he sold 
prints and cottons ; not that he contented himself with that 
entirely, for he had decided literary tastes, knowing Persian 
and Arabic as well as Russian, Tartar, and Kirghiz, and re- 
membering enough of his Latin to be able to translate for me 
half of an ode of Horace. His great regret was thtit he had 
never gone to the University. His leisure he occupied with 
reading the Koran and theological and legal books, and with 
VOL. I. Q 

226 TtmKmrAir. 

translating the * Arabian Nights,' for the supplenient to tha 
* Tiukiatan Gazette,' that being considered probably by the 
authoritiea the most innocent and ini proving reading which 
conld be given to the natives, as it is utterly devoid of political 
tendencies. Mullah Hair-ullah was a very pleasant companion, 
and, although he had never visited Samarkand beforej had been 
abont the country, and knew the traditions of various places, i 
although J as I afterwards found. It was hardly necessary for me 
to have taken an interpreter, as in Samarkand I got on well 
enough without one. 

The road now becamo very bad, being over the high ground 
iffhich bordered the river Tchirtchik, and the clayey soil was 
-worn into large holes 611ed with the finest dust. Passing the 
remains of Old Tashkent, a pretty and rather picturesque, 
though tumble-down place, we arrived at Tchioaz, on the 
bank of the Syr Darya, at five o'clock in the morning. Herd 
is a large fort to guard the ferry over the river, and close by a 
RuBsian settlement of a few houses, the native town being 
several miles oif. In the first flush of occupation it was ex- 
pected by the Eussians that Tchinaz would become a place of 
eome importance, as it was the head of eteam navigation on 
the Syr Darya, but the steamers of the Aral flotilla being so 
irregular in their visits, and the navigation of the river being 
so bad as to discourage any private companies from starting 
vessels there, the great commercial future of Tchinaz has not 
yet arrived, and it remains a little Cossack settlement. The 
river here is about two thirds of a mile wide, and I found a 
rapid current in the muddy yellow water. The ferry boat ia 
a large rude scow, which is rowed over the river by eight or 
nine men working two large oars in the bow, but the Kirghiz 
who keep the ferry are such bad watermen that it takes a long 
time to cross, and even then the lK)at has Ijeen taken by the 
current far below the landing place, and all the men have to 
get out and tow it with ropes up to some place where passengers 
and their horses can be landed. This operation took us more 
than an hour^ 

From the river almost to Jizakh,* eighty miles, extends 
an arid Steppe called by the Bussians the * Golodnaya * or 

' This DfUDO| whidi means h^^ is also spelled DIzjvkh. I give the ufiual peo- 


* Famished Steppe,' which is now a parched and barren waste, 
although at one or two places there are wells and cisterns of 
brackish and unpleasant water. Near the river there are trace* 
of old canals and ditches, showing that there at least the land 
was at one time cultivated ; and it is known that some portions 
of the Steppe near to the mountains were formerly inhabited 
and worked, by means of a canal which was brought from the 
river Zarafshan througli a small mountain pass. The cultivated 
districts were, however, probably always small, for we. know 
from the Chinese traveller Tch'ang-Tch'un, who in 1222 passed 
through this region on his journey to the camp of Tchinghiz 
Khan, that the most of it was then, as now, a bare Steppe, and 
he speaks of the great diflficulty and discomfort which his party 
had in crossing it.^ The fact too that stations and cisterns 
were erected on the road,— the legend says by Abdullah Khan^ 
(1597) — shows that this road did not lie through an inhabited 
district. The canals which lie near the Syr Darya were pro- 
bably filled by the water from that river, possibly pumped into 
them, as is sometimes done even now by the Kirghiz. There 
is a project at Tai^hkent to irrigate this Steppe by the con- 
Btruction of a large caaal from the Syr Darya above Hodjent, 
and engineers who have examined the spot declare this to be 
feasible, the Syr Darya falling about a foot in a verst ; still no 
careful survey for such a canal has been made^ and it is declared 
by many that such a canal is impossible, and that all money 
spent before a survey is made is simply thrown away. The 
work on the canal has, however, been already begun. 

Near the bank of the river the uneven ground was thickly 
covered with high reeds, aiSFording, as I was told, lurking places 
for numerous tigers. Beyond, the Steppe was still of a bright 
green, interspersed with scarlet patches of poppies, as far as the 
station of Malek, about fifteen miles from the river. Here there 
were once wells, but they are now choked up, and the water used 
at the station, which is a little imderground hut, is brought 
from the river. Mr. Zemtchuzhnikoff, the contractor for this 

* In the memoirs of Hiouen Thsang, six hundred years before (629-645) it it 
said : ' One enters into a great sandy desert, where neither water nor grass is to 
be found. ... It is necessary to look at some high mountain in the distance, and 
seek for abandoned bones, to know how to guide oneself and recognise ths path 
to be followed.* — Voyages des Pklerins Bouddhistes. Stanislaus Julien. 




post route, whom T met at Malek while I wasdetaioed for want 
of horses, told me that he believed it would be possible to cleau 
these wellsj and have a Bufficient supply of water to cultivate 
enough corn and barley for the whole route to Jizalcb. He had 
made a proposition to the govemment, oflPering to do this on 
condition of being given the waste land which he sliould re- 
claim ; but after nearly a year occupied in negotiations^ he was 
Informed that the government would gladly see him reclaim 
the land, but would be imwilling to give him the title to it. 
This was sufficient to deter him from taking any steps in the 
matter. The canal, which will necessitate the liandling of large 
sums of money, seems to he the favourite project with the 
authorities. Beyond Malek, the Steppe, so noted for its tor- 
toises and venomous spiders, while without grass, was covered 
with very small herbs, and occasional i3Qwer3. The most charac- 
teristic vegetation was the Assafcetida plant (^Scorodosvia 
fmtiduni)^ which grows here in gieat profusion. The leaves 
bad fallen to the ground and died, but there rose a tall round 
stem, a foot or more bigh, branching off at the top, like the 
spokes of a wheel, into small heads of insignificant flowers* 
The peculiar odour of the plant was very perceptible, though 
I am told that it disappears after boiling, and that the young 
shootB and heads are considered by the Kirghiz as a great 
deliciicy, I did not try them, 

Twenty miles from Malek are the ruins of an old caravan- 
Berai called MtUKa-Rabat, supposed to have been built by the 
famous Abdullah Khan, who did so much in this way for 
travellers. The building ia made of large square bricks, and 
ctniBists of a central room surmo\inted by a dome and sur- 
rounded with small vaulted rooms, each having its little cupola* 
Originally it must have been very large and it was certainly a 
handsome building ; but now the outside walla are shattered^ 
though it can still afford a shelter, and is occupied not only as 
a post station, but by a small guard of Cossacks. Opposite this 
is what is called a sardoha^ or cistern, which is a large under* 
ground cliamber, covered with a fiat roof, built of burnt bricks, 
with large arched windows on a level with the ground. At one 
ride there is an entrance down a steep incline to the bottom, 
but the brick staircase has long since disappeared. It is said 
that this cistern was at times fidl up to the window sills with 

JIZAKH. 229 

water, but the inside is now quite bare, though there is a well 
of brackish water in one comer. Inside of this it was deh'ght- 
fuUy cool after the hot Steppe. At the next station, Agatchly, 
there were formerly similar buildings, but the caravanserai has 
disappeared, leaving nothing but some hillocks of earth and 
bricks, in which underground rooms have been hollowed out for 
the use of the Cossacks. I found the water to be disagreeable 
to take much of, and the tea which it made was thick, muddy, 
bitter and salt. The horses do not like it, but the Cossacks 
drink it without disagreeable consequences. It is very probable 
that if the wells in this Steppe were cleaned and deepened, pure 
water could be obtained in large quantities, even suiOficient for 
irrigating the surrounding land, as 'the subsoil is of gravel and 
conglomerate, and similar experiments at Tashkent have re- 
sulted successfully. It would \>e necessary to line carefully the 
sides of the wells, to prevent the water dissolving out the saline 
ingredients of the soil. 

As we approached Jizakh we saw a slight range of mountains, 
which further on grew higher, as they enclosed the Upper Zaraf- 
shan valley, extending away to the left in the direction of Ura- 
tepe. At last the Steppe grew more and more fertile, trees and 
fields began to appear, and we saw before us the walls and houses of 
Jizakh. Passing round through the now almost deserted bazaar, 
for it was near sunset, and turning a sharp corner we brought 
up at the post station. Jizakh itself, now a very insignificant 
town, of importance only from its bazaar, was formerly an im- 
portant frontier fortress of Bukhara. General Tchemaieff 
advanced toward it in 1866, hoping to take it by a coup-de- 
maiuj and thus cause the release of his envoys, who were then 
imprisoned in Bukhara, but found, however, that the fortress 
was too strong for him, and returned to Tchinaz. In the 
autumn of the same year, after the capture of Ura-tepe, Jizakh 
was taken by the Eussian troops under command of General 
Kryzhanofsky. Several thousand men had worked during eight 
whole months to render the fortress as strong as possible, and 
the city was siurrounded by triple walls of increasing height,-— 
the outside one being eight yards high and nine yards thick, — 
and by a triple ditch in some places twenty-five feet deep. 
There were many barbettes and towers, and the citadel was the 
acme of native engineering. The works were carried on even 



to the Inst minute before the storm, when the gates were walled 
up, and the Commander, AUujar Bek, reBolved to peri&h if he 
did not save the town. The garrison consisted of at least 
10,000 men, with 53 gnns, and was compoBcd of the remnants of 
best troops of the Amir, strengthened by bodies of Afghans, 
Persians and TurkoroanSj who had not onlj the usual match- 
locks, but also muskets of European form, and many pistols. 

The defence was well managed, and the natives did not 
open fire at long range as usual, but waited until the Russians 
bad come close to the city. After several days spent in re- 
connaissances, and in placing the batteries, the fire opened on 
the city on October 28, and on the 30th at noon an assault 
was ordered ► Jn an hour the fortress was in the hands of the 
Russians. The enemy for some time refused to give in, and, 
massed in front of the gates, were actually slaughtered there, 
very few escaping, A small part of the garrison, seeing the 
impossibility of further resisstance, threw tberaselves into the 
p>wder-magazine and blew themselves up. Of the eighteen 
Bek a who were present, sixteen — among them Allayar, the 
commander of the garrison — fell in hand*to-hand fight. Nearly 
6,000 of the garrison are supposed to have perished, and some 
2,000 were taken prisoners* The Russians lost 6 killed and 
92 wounded. Just after the capture of Jizakh, the cavalry left 
to defend the liussian camp were attacked by a Bukharan force 
of 2,000 men with 18 gtms sent to reinforce tlie garrison, but 
on meeting with resistance, and learning the fate of the city, 
they fledp A great portion of the town was destroyed at 
that time, and since then Jixakh has lost its importance. It 
is noted for its great unbealthiness, and especially for the 
prevalence of the, reshta or guinea worm. Owing to the 
unwholesome quality of the water, which is principally obtained 
frum ponds, it became necessary to place the Russian garrison 
ahout three miles oflt, where there were some springs of fresh 
watery and about this little fort a small vJllage has grown up, 
which in its turn is beginning to be deserted, since the transfer 
of the greatei' portion of the garrison to the healthier locality 
of lira tep4 It is supposed that the great numbers of dead, 
who were but slightly buried, have had some effect in causing 
the fevers which rage there ; though these are also ascribed to 
tiie winds which blow up the detile of Jalan-uta, laden with 


miasma from the rice fields near Yany Kurgan. The Bussian 
troops have to change their quarters constantly, and one-third 
of them are always in the hospital, while the cemetery grows 

From .Tizakh the road leads through what is known as the 
defile of Jilan-uti,^ a somewhat narrow valley between the low 
hills, in no place, I think, wider than 100 yards. The small 
stream which runs through it toward Jizakh takes such a 
zig-zag course that it is necessary to cross it eight or ten 
times before being well clear of it ; occasionally the road 
follows its bank, but sometimes we were obliged to climb a 
hundred feet up the hill side. This pass, serving as it did for 
the entrance of the Mongol and Turkish hordes into the fertile 
valley of the Zarafsban, has been the scene of many bloody 
struggles, two of which are handed down to us by inscriptions 
on one of the high pyramidal slaty rocks known by the name 
of the * Gates of Tamerlane,' though neither inscription nor 
legend speaks of that conqueror. The rock to the right, some 
400 feet high, standing out quite alone in the Valley, has 
deeply cut on a smoothed square place, about 40 feet from the 
base, two Persian inscriptions. The mullah, with the aid of an 
opera glass, was able to translate for me both ipscriptions, the 
first of which says : * With the help of Grod the Lord, the Great 
Sultan, conqueror of kings and nations, shadow of God on 
earth, the support of the decisions of the Sunna and of the 
divine law, the ruler and aid of the faith, Ulug Bek Gurugan 
(may God prolong the time of his reign and rule) undertook a 
campaign in the country of the Mogols and returned from this 
nation into these countries uninjured, in the year 828.' (a.d. 
1425.) This Ulug Bek was the famous grandson of Timur, so 
well known for his patronage of learning, for the observatory 
and college which he founded at Samarkand, and for his 
astronomical tables. 

The second inscription relates to one of the victories of 
Abdullah Khan, a century and a half later. * Let passers in 
the waste, and travellers on land and water, know that in the 
year 979 (a.d. 1571) there was a conflict between the army of 

> The natives explain this as meaning—* a serpent has passed * — on account 
of the turns in the defile ; and Mir Izzel Ullah says that he was told that th« 
defile was greatly infested by serpent*. 



the lieutenant of tlie Khiilifatej the shadow of the Almfghtj, 
the great Khakan Abdulkh Khan, eon of Iskender Khan, con- 
sisting of 30,000 inen-of*war, and the army of Dervish Khan, 
and Baba Khan, and other sons of Barak Khan. In this army 
there were 50 relatives of the Saltan, and 400,000 fighting 
men from Turkistan, Tashkent, Fergana, and Deshta Kiptchak* 
The army of the sovereign^ by the fortunate conjimctiDn of the 
Rtars, gained the victory, having conquered the above-mentioned 
Sultan S3 and gave to death so many of them that, from the 
people who were killed in the figlit and after being taken 
prisoners, during tlie course of one month blood rau on the 
surface of the water in the river to Jizakh. Let this he known. 
On emerging from this defile we are again on the Steppe, 
with before us a distant view of the snow-covered peaks south of 
Samarkand, and passing the town of Yany Kurgan, we come at 
last to Tash-Kupriuk, or ' Stone Bridge,' where hills begin once 
more* The bridge over the little stream, which runs between 
two steep banks, is now only a wooden one, in a very kid state 
ofrepain A small Russian fort at the top of the hill giiarda 
the passage* Here, though foTLunately before coming to the 
bridge, the stupid sleepy native driver was unable to manage 
the horses, letting them climb up the steep hill Bide and over- 
turn our carriage. I was asleep at the time, but managed at 
last to undo the curtains and crawl out, as the horses luckily 
stood stilU We had some difficulty in righting the heavy 
carriage, but discovered that nothing was broken but the top, 
and that tbe wheels were all right. It was hut a few rods to 
the station, to which we now preferred to walk. After that 
accident I was never able to sleep with comfort while travelling, 
which was a great annoyance, as it necessitated my stopping for 
sleep at least one night out of three. P'rom here we descended 
into the lower valley of the Zarafshan, where the road constantly 
led through gardens and fields, and over and along niuneroua 
canals* At Jambai, a large village, the country people were 
ah^eady thronging to the bazaar. From here we had to take 
a side road through fields, as the new chaumee was still un- 
finished. This is one of the improvements of the prefect of 
Samarkand, and will he an excellent thing over this clayey 
fioih The road is macadamised, and has a double row of treei 
on each side. At last^after crossingtwo or three small brancheSjWft 


came to the main stream of the Zarafshan — the * gold-strowing,' 
— ^above the dyke built to divide the waters and send the proper 
contingent to Bukhara. The water was then so high as to 
compel us to put all our luggage on a high native cart, which 
was piloted over by the guardians of the ford, and the empty 
carriage was dragged through the water and arrived soaked. 
On our left rose a high, bare hill called Tchupan-ata, the top 
of which is crowned by the small tomb of a saint of the same 
name, who is the patron of shepherds as well as of the city of 
Samarkand. There is an old legend, that when the original 
Arab missionaries were journeying to preach the religion of 
Mohammed, they stopped on this hill, and cuttihg up and boil- 
ing a sheep agreed to decide by lot the direction of their future 
journeys. One put his hand into the pot and drew out the 
head, which gave him the first choice, and he decided to remain 
at Samarkand ; another drew the heart and chose to go back 
to Mecca ; while the third got the hind quarter and preferred 
Bagdad. Hence Samarkand is called the head, and Mecca the 
heart of Islam to this day. The one who remained at Samar- 
kand received the name of Tchupan-ata, Father Shepherd. It 
was on this hill that the celebrated observatory of Ulug Bek 
stood, where the astronomical tables that bear his name were 
calculated. At its foot are what seem to be the remains of a 
very ancient bridge, built of stone and brick, two complete 
arches of which are still standing disposed at right angles to 
each other, with apparently the ruins of a tower at the comer. 
I could get no information nor even hear of a tradition about 
the origin of these remains, which are called the Bridge of 
Sliadman-Malik. We now skirted along the base of the hill, 
till, as we ca,me to the highest point of the road, we saw before 
us the clay roofs, crowned with large blue domes and lofty 
towers, and knew that we had reached the famous Samarkand. 
Lovely as the view was, it did not last long, for we speedily 
descended into a narrow valley between houses and gardens, 
and soon passed the base of a high clayey hill, hollowed out 
into countless caverns, where saints are said to have lived in 
hermitage. By the side of the road ran a little rivulet, which, 
passing through a green field, was somewhere lost under the 
wall of the town. On our right were the high towers and 
domes of the mosque Shah Zindeh, and on our left the immense 



dame of Bihi Khatiym. PaF^sing tbe cemetery, full of moimdi 
and mined brick tombs, assailed at every step by lepers and 
beggars, we entered the gate of Shah Zmdeh, and found our- 
selves on the new boidevard, with its good pavement and shady 
trees, which the Russians have made from this gate to the 
fortref^a. We h^d to go to the eiKl of this road and pass round 
the foilresB to the post^-stationj which lay on the other side, in 
what will be the Russian town. 

There are no hoteli in Samarkand, and T had been recom- 
mended Ijo put up at the house of a JMusaulman, a Hodja, where 
I would probably have facilities for best seeing the native life. 
He lived on the boulevardj but was absent from home, and I 
therefore resolved to stay, for the time at least, at the post- 
fltation*^ which proved to be a large, new, and clean building. 
Having refreshed myself with a bath and some tea, I found a 
droshky — for even in Samarkand there are droshkies^ — and 
drove to the citadel to call on G-eneral Abramoff, the Grovernor, 
to whom I had letters. He was at home and received me 
most cordially — a short, amiable man, witli grey hair, though 
still young, and a black skull-cap which he is allowed to wear 
on account of a wound received in his head. Finding I had no 
place where I could live, he requested the Prefect of the city 
to give me a lodging, and I accordingly had my luggage trans- 
ferred to his house that aftemoon. After leaving the GeneraFa 
I could not resist the temptation of driving about the town, 
and taking a hasty view of some of its wonder ul ruins. From 
the citadel itself there was a magnificent view. The whole 
town lay spread out before me, with the columns and domes of 
the three great mosques standing up juht opposite to me. 
From the middle of the market place on either side, melon- 
shaped domes rose above the flat-roofed houses, and the back- 
ground was closed in by a range of high mountains, their tops 
then covered with dazzling snow* I went first to the bazaar to 
get an idea of the wealth of blue and white mosaic which 
still bedecked tbe ruins of the splendid mosques. Here I saw 
a large crowd on the steps of one of the mosques, and the 
platforms of the booths, and even sitting in a great circle on 
the pavement Inside the circle two boys were reciting versoi. 
' They are Ilqfi^stas^^ a bystander said to me, meaning that 
thty were reciters of religious poems. Each of them had a 


Dook, though they made no use of them except to put them at 
the sides of their mouths, so as to throw the sound to different 
parts of the audience. Their declamation was occasionally so 
loud and shrill that they placed both hands on their ears in 
order not to deafen themselves with their own cries, while 
at times they spoke in a low, well- modulated voice. These 
cries and monotonous chants seemed greatly to affect the 
audience, and there were continual sighs and smothered excla- 
mations. The person who first spoke to me, seeing that I was 
greatly interested, again addressed me, asking me if I did not 
think it all very beautiful, and seemed much pleased at my 
agreeing with him. I then told my driver to take me to the 
tomb of Timur, but he having slight acquaintance with Samar- 
kand drove me instead to the mosque of Shah Zindeh. I paid 
but little attention to the tomb of the saint, my curiosity being 
attracted by the proceedings of the Jahria brotherhood in the 
little mosque at the entrance. The rites were much the 
same as I had seen at Tashkent, but there seemed far more 
excitement, and the mosque was crowded with worshippers, all 
looking intently at the struggling crowd of d;evotees, who were 
pushing each other from side to side of the mosque, with con- 
tinual shouts of * Haahi raid jal Allah I ' * My defence is the 
Lord, magnify Allah I ' 

With vivid impressions of all that I had seen — for Sartiar- 
kand is very diflferent from Tashkent, and seems, as it were, a 
remnant of a far-off world — I gladly went to the Prefect's, and 
passing through a large court with its square water-basin in the 
centre, surroimded with old trees, I entered the house, a native 
one of considerable beauty, altered by the insertion of windowg 
to suit £ussian convenience, and found dinner waiting for me, 
which after two days and nights of dusty travelling was parti- 
cularly agreeable. I could not, however, keep quiet, mA 
before sunset wandered out again to take in once more th^ 
beautiful view from the citadel, where, fortunately, I ux^ 1^ 
cousin of some old friends in Moscow, who took me borne mik 
him to tea, and to a delightful evening. I saw much of him 
on this occasion, and in the two sulwequent visits ] luaAi^ 
to Samarkand I was his guest, and I owe «o much io U)s 
kind hospitality, and to the sensible talk of bimmit Hu<i iim 
friends, that I look back to Samarkand with t^dm^ ^ 


and i 
may I 
of Sm 
TIuj r.: 

says i 
and (li 


his li( 
ami li 

> 1' 


and had returned to Eui'ope. The city of Alexandria, which he 
founded, is usually placed at Hodjent, and was probably a mere 
collection of mud huts where a few infirm soldiers were colon- 
ised. The exploits of Alexander, or Iskender Dulkarnain (the 
two-horned), in this region have been preserved by legend, and 
are known to every inhabitant. Many of the petty princes in 
the mountain countries of the Upper Oxus claim to be de- 
scended from him. The generals to whom he entrusted these 
provinces of Bactriana and Sogdiana did indeed found dynasties 
— called Graeco-Bactrian — which lasted until about a hundred 
and thirty years before the Cliristian Era, and introduced a 
certain degiee of Greek culture (among other things the Mace- 
donian calendar) of which no traces now remain, except the 
numerous coins and medals bearing the effigies of Demetrius, 
Euthydemus, Antimachus, and others, which are now often 
found on the Steppe and in the ruins about Samarkand. It is 
curious that these coins were rudely imitated by the contem- 
porary rulers of the surrounding states, as well as by later 

The Grseco-Bactrian dynasty had its day, and passed away ; 
and was succeeded by the Yuetchji (as we are told by the 
Chinese general Tchjan-Tsian, who visited the country of Sa- 
markand in 125 B.C.), apparently a nomad tribe living in the 
Steppe, whose capital was near the present Khiva.^ The 
country was probably still under their rule when it was attacked 
by the Ajrabs, who after many plundering expeditions succeeded 
in 710 in forcibly introducing Mahommedanism. Persian and 
Turkish princes in their turn put down the Arab dynasty, and 
at last Tchinghiz Khan, the great Mongol conqueror, took and 
plundered the city in 1221. The Arab and Persian historians 
speak much of the barbarities of the Mongols, and represent 
Samarkand as having been completely destroyed. That this 
was not the case is evident from the account of the Chinese 
traveller Tch'ang-Tch'un, who visited Samarkand in the following 
year (1222) and spent the winter there. According to him, 

* The most complete acconnt of the present state of our knowledge of the 
Gneco-Bactrian dynasties is found in an article of Prof. Grigorief in the ' Journal 
of the Ministry of Public Instruction,' (Russian) for Nov. 1867. 

* * Collection of information about the peoples inhabiting Central Asia in ancient 
times,' by the monk Hyacinth (St. Petersburg, 1851), Part III. p. G-10, 15, &c. 



out of 100,000 families but one-fourtb remained, and there ♦ s 
much brigandige, but the city seemed to be in good prps*-r m- 
tion, ^nd the fieldsj orcbardsj and vineyards were stillcul*iif&^ 
and fruitful.^ 

For centuries after the Mussulman conquest Sainarkand 
was a Christian see with a bishop ; Prince Sembat, High Con^ 
stable of Armenia, in a letter written about 1246 speaks of the 
flourishing state of the Christians, and of the privileges cod- 
farred on them by Tchinghiz Khau ; and Marco Polo, although 
he did not himself visit the cityj tells us that the church of 
St, John the Baptist still existed, the central pillar of which was 
miraculously supported in the air, the stone which had been ita 
foundation (a sacred stone of the MussQlmaus) having been 
remo\'ed by order of the authorities* There are of course uo 
traces of any ancient Christian chinch now ; since the BussJao 
occupation a small modern one erected in the citadel replaces iL 

The dynasty of Tchinghiz was overthrown at last by Timuf 
or Tamerlane, This chieftain, who was born at Kesh (now 
Shahrisabs), to the south beyond the mountains, was so attracted 
by the beauty of Samarkand that he made it his capital and 
spared no pains in embellishing and beautifying it, in which fas 
was imitated by his successors. It was the beloved resort of 
the great Baber, a hundred years later, who, after having several 
times been dx'iven out of the city, and after having severid time* 
recaptured it, was obliged at last to abandon it witli a sigh, and 
soon afterwards made himself the Emperor of India- What 
Samarkand and its surroundings were under Timur, and what 
magnificence was shown there, we know from the account of tJie 
good kniglit Don Ruy Gonzalez de Ckvijo, who was there in 
1404 on an embassy from King Henry III. of Casiile, Hani 
Schiltberger, of Munich, was there as a captive at about 
flame time, but ho tells us uothiDg regarding the city.* 

* A Ilusslan tmnglation of thf^ journey of tliis monk wfts publishrnl by 
Father Palladii id the * Labours of tho Mombers of tha Rii^dnn EeligioiiB MirttiuFi 
an Pflkiii/ toI. it. p. *IGl. St^ PftarHbnrg» 1866. Au abridged nwd nnpprfj^ct 
French tninBtiitioit was pubUsbed by th& Inie M. Pnuthbrtn the 'Journul Abiiitu|i»»i,* 
6"* S^rie, t ist.^ and tliom i« an eJtculteiit Englash tftiiiHliitiyn hy Dp. BretBcl}ii«j\i«r 
in hjB * Notes on Chinese Me<ii»VRl TmvcllBrs to the West,* (-hanghai, 1875^] 

* Cliiv'ijo's *Lif(j anil Ai^ts of the Gptmt Tiimerbtne^ was in p«rt trausUtad by 
Markham for tho Iljiklnn Soctiity. Schiltberger i& tictjpefcible in !4iiUiti«iul1i 


In Baber's time Samarkand must have retained much of its 
former beauty. He says in his ' Memoirs ' under the year . 90? 
(1497): * In the whole habitable world there are few cities so 
pleasantly situated as Samarkand .... I directed its wall to 
be paced round the rampart; and found it was 10,600 paces in 
circumference. The inhabitants are all orthodox Sunnis, ob- 
servant of the law, and religious. From the time of the Holy 
Prophet downwards no other country has produced so many 
Imams and excellent theologians as Maverannahr.' Baber 
speaks of many palaces and gardens built by Timur and his 
grandson Ulug Bek, at that time still in their glory, though 
many had been ruined. In the garden of Dilkusha^ or ' heart's 
delight ' was a large palace with a series of paintings repre- 
senting the-wars of Timur in Hindustan. The great mosque 
near the Iron Grate, he calls a very grand building, and says 
that the verses of the Koran inscribed over the portico were 
in letters of such a size as to be read at more than a mile oflF. 
The college of Ulug Bek, and the other colleges, were still in 
their glory ; and the observatory erected on the hill Kohik, or 
Tchupan-ata, Baber describes as being three stories in height, 
and provided with astronomical apparatus. He also says: — 
* At the foot of the hill of Kohik, on the west, there is a 
garden, named Bagh-d-^meidan ('the garden of the plain'), 
in the middle of which is a splendid edifice, two stories high, 
named ChehU-Situn ('the forty pillars'). The pillars are 
all of stone. In the four turrets on the corners of this building 
they have constructed four Guldestehs, or open minarets, 
the road up to which is by these four towers. In every part 
of the building are stone pillars curiously wrought; some 
twisted, others fluted, and some with other peculiarities. The 
four sides of the upper story consist of open galleries, supported 
by pillars all of stone, and in the centre is a grand hall or 
pavilion likewise of stone. The raised floor of the palace is all 
paved with stone. Towards the hill of Kohik there is a small 
garden wherein is a great oped hall, within which is a large 
throne of a single stone, about thirty feet long, fifteen broad, 
and two high. This huge stone was brought from a great 
distance. There is a crack in it which it is said to have re- 
ceived since it was brought to tliis place. In this garden there 
is another state pavilion, the walls of which are overlaid with 



porcelain of China, wlieDce it is called the Cbiaese house. It is 
said that a person was sent to Kbita (China) for the purpose of 
hringmg iL Within the walls of Samarkand is another ancient ^ 
buildingj called the Laklaka (or echoiDg) mosque ; because j 
whenever any perion stamps on the ground in the mosque, an I 
echo is returned. It is a atiUDge thing, the secret of which is j 
known to nobody,' I 

* In the time of Sultan Ahmed Mirzaj many of the greater I 
and lesser BeliS formed gardens^ some large, others smaller. I 
Among these, the Chehar Bagk of Dervish Mohammed Tarkhan, j 
in respect of climate, situation, and beauty, is equalled by few, I 
It is situated lower down than the Bagh-i'Tti&idan^ on a small I 
eminence that rises above the valley of Kuiheli, and commandi 
a view of the whole vale, which stretches out beIow< In *thia j 
Chehar-Bagh there is a variety of different plots laid out one I 
al>ove another, all on a regular plan, and elms, cypresses, and | 
white poplars, are planted in the ditierent compartments. It I 
U a very perfect place. Its chief defect is that it has no great I 
stream of running water/ ' I 

*■ Samarkand is a wonderfully elegant city. One of its dis- j 
tinguishing peculiarities is^ that each trade has its own bazaar ; I 
so tliat different trades are not mixed together in the same 1 
placep The establii^hed customs and regulations are good. The J 
bakers and shops are excellent j and the cooks are skilfnL'. I 

It was probably about this time that the couplet was I 
written, * Samarkand is the face of the earth: Bukhara the! 
marrow of Islam ; were there not in Mash ad an azure dome the I 
whole world would be merely a ditch for ablution/ I 

From the time of Clavijo, Samarkand was nn visited by I 
Europeans until the journey of Khanikoff and Lchmann itt J 
1841, except by the Russian envoy Khokldof in 16iiO, and by ^ 
the Russian nt)n-conimissioned ofTicer Yefreraof toward the end 
of the last century. Traditions of its past glories were pre- 
served, and especially of the greot library of Greek authore 
which Timiu had carried off from Bruasa ; and the news of iti j 
capture by the Russians in 1868 excited a glow of interest, like I 
the awakening of some half-forgotten memory, far different 1 

1 A pri^pos of these gardem of BaniHTkand Tch'Ang Tcb'uti nays : » Even Chinepi'l 
gftrdcns cHtmot be eomprirerl v,\th tbetn ; hut ihf gurtleits ol this eountiy arts rei^ 1 


from the feeling called out by the other successes of Sussia in 
Asia. At last, we thought, the curtain is to be drawn aside. 

After the captiure of Jizakh in 1866, the Amir of Bukhara 
was more disposed to peace, and a treaty was sent to him by 
General Kaufmann, which he kept for a very long time under 
consideration. According to this treaty one part of the 
boundary line between Turkistan and Bukhara was to run 
along the highest part of the mountain range of Nurata, the 
Russians supposing that there was but one range of mountains. 
It turned out, however, that there were two, and that the im- 
portant Bekship of Nurata lay between them. The Amir was 
in great trouble to know which mountain chain was meant, 
Karor-tau the northern, or Ah-tau the southern. The Russians 
found it impossible to come to any agreement with him, and 
laid this misunderstanding entirely to his disinclination for 
peace, which was partly true. After the discovery by the 
Russians of the existence of the two chains of mountains war 
had already begun. 

At this time in Bukhara there were two parties against tlie 
Amir, that of his eldest son the Katta-Tiura^ and another 
desirous of placing on the throne Seid Khan, the nephew of 
the Amir, then living in Shahrisabs, under the leadership of 
Jura Bek of Shahrisabs, Abdul-Gaffar Bek of Ura-tepe, and 
his brother Omar Bek of Tchilek. Jura Bek said after- 
wards, speaking of Seid Khan: 'The more stupid he was, 
tlie better for us. We should have been more independent.' 
The conspirators, knowing the position of affairs between the 
Amir and the Russians, ordered Omar Bek to advance from 
Tchilek, and fall upon the Russian forces near Jizakh, so as to 
make them believe that it was an onslaught of tlie army of the 
Amir. Omar Bek did so, and l)eing easily repulfted imiii6dd-> 
ately fled to Shahrisabs, lest the Amir might punii^ 
But a few days before the Afghan Prinoe \ 
about 2,000 followers had abandoned the Bv 
quence of a quarrel with Omar Bek, and ] 
the Russians. The Russians naturally fho 
of Omar Bek was one of revenge agaiut 
may indeed have been partly the oaB^ 
who was still in hopes of coming to a 
VOL. I. R 



with the Amir J and who bad no idea of begiuTiing a campaign, 
was on the point of starting for St, Petersburg, and when the 
courier arrived with the news of the attack on Jizakh, his 
carriage was already at the door. Supposing from this attaek 
that the war had been begun liy the Amir himself, Greneral 
Kaufmann postponed his departure, and immediately marched 
to Jizakh and thence towards Suraarkand. The bands of 
th« enemy retired before him as he advanced, and he arrived 
at the banks of the Zarafshan without liavini^ had recourse to 
anns, Embas^es, however, had constantly been sent to bira 
asking for longer and shorter delajs, promising that the Amir 
would then sign a treaty, and explaining away the massing of 
the troops* On the very banks of the river, while the enemy 
were full in sight drawn up on the hill of Tcbupan-ata, a fresh 
ambassador brouj^ht him a treaty signed by the Amir^ which 
purported to be the same General Kaufmann had sent him. It 
was found, however to be totally different. Again time was 
af^ed, but only two hours were granted for the troops on the 
hill to retire. Instead of retiring they kept up a desultory 
fire, and at last General Kaufmann ordered the attack. This 
affair can hardly be called a battle — though it was made much 
of, and gained for one general the cross of SU George — tor the 
Eussian troops no sooner forded the river and advanced up the 
heights than the enemy withdrew, leaving several guns as 
trophies. The next morning (May 14) a deputation came 
from the city of Samarkand, saying that the troops had left 
it, and asking the Russians to occupy it, expressing at the 
Bume time their desire to be tak^^n into subjection. The city 
was accordingly occupied, and most of the neighbouring cities 
sent delegations to express their submission. There were^ how- 
ever, two exceptions, Tchilek in the north, which had been a 
nest of marauders, and from which the small expedition had 
started which had attacked the Russian garrii^on near Jizakh, 
and Urgut in the mountains to the left of the road to Shah- 
risabs. Two detachments were therefore sent against these 

' In the roerooirB (utipuLli^^hed) of Kanml-eddin, the kte Kazi ILtlian of 
SamarliaJid, it U stated thnt a, kUer from Genciiil Kaufmann tiamimdiiig tba 
BUf»ndeF of Samarltmid bad some wcckit ago bet^n addressed to tho Bek hnd 
qther influeiitiiil pcrBon^. Thie would baocd to ahuw that tbe campaign wat 


places. Urgiit was taken* though the Bek Hussein aiid th« 
garrison escaped, and Tchiiek was brought to submission. The 
main body of the troops was sent on to Katta Kurgan iu 
pursuit of the Amir's army, and that town was taken by 
General Golovatchef, while a small detaoiiment under Genertd 
Abramof was sent southward to Kara-tep^ against a detaohment 
of troops from Shahrisabs which had appeared there. There 
was a small engagement but the ShiJirisabs troops after 
beating ofif the Russians retired into the mountains where it 
was impossible to follow them, and the action was therefore 
without much result. 

In the meantime the position of the Russians had become 
very critical ; the Amir had recovered his hopes and was making 
a stand near Katta Kurgan, threatening the troops of General 
Golovatchef with greatly superior numbers. Communications 
with Tashkent had been for some time cut off, and tlie nephew 
of Abul Gaffar Bek had again collected at Tchilok 15,000 
cavalry to fall upon the small Russian girrison loft at Yuny 
Kurgan. • The lack of intelligence from the army at Samar- 
kand was leading to much excitement among the natives at 
Tashkent, and in fact in all towns under Russian rulu, and a 
great disaster might have been ruinous. At the same time 
20,000 troops from Shahrisabs were threatening Samarkand 
from the mountains twenty miles to the south. It wns 
impossible to attack them, for they would merely retire ap^tiin 
through the mountain passes, and the movement would result 
in nothing. General Kaufmann therefore decided — leaving a 
small garrison at Samarkand — to advance to the support of 
General Golovatchef, thinking that possibly he might be able 
to have a decisive battle with the Amir which would end tba 
contest and force a peace. After having gone only a few miles 
from Samarkand, General Kaufmann received a direct report 
from General Golovatchef that he was entirely surrounded by 
the enemy who were attacking him in overwhelming numl>ers9 
and he therefore advanced by a forced marclu 

General Kaufoiann and his forces were no MKmef out of 
sight than the troops of Shabrisabf appeasied jbi M«4iUrt0 
of Samarkand^ where many of them bad 1 
secreted* The motives which aeloated i 
were peculiar* I have siiokea befb 



overtuni the Amir. When General Kaufmann Lad advancEd 
on the road to Samarkand as far as Yany Kurgan, rat-'ssen- 
gpre readied him from Jura Bek and Baha Bek promising 
to g'ive him secret asBietaiice if neces-^arj against the Amir, 
and agreeing' in case this were not necessary to remain neutral 
ill the contest, on condition that when Samarkand should 
he occupied he should not demand their presence in that 
city* General Kaufmann expressed his great pleasure at 
this message, but said that active assistance would he un- 
necesflttTy* Nevertheless, after he had taken Samarkand he 
sent for Jura Bek and Baha Bek, despatching as hi.^ messenger 
Kamal-eddin, the chief Kazi of Samarkand. AL-cordin*!; to 
Kamal-eddin's accoimt, Jura Bek at first dishelieved his story, 
and had him imprisoned, hut subsequently, finding the errand 
was a true one, thought that the Kussians were playing him 
fal^^e, and conseqiieutly resolved to break with tliem and make 
bis peace with the Amir, He therefore sent a letter to the 
Amir promising to take the field for him against the Eussians ; 
and the Amir, in gratitude for thiSj offered to transfer to 
him the frontier town of Tchiraktehij about which there had 
been a constant dispute. It was in consequence of this arrange- 
ment of the Amir tfiat the troops of Shahrisabs had been 
massed at Kara-tepe — even l>eibre General Kaufmann's de- 
parture—ami had now marched on Samarkand. 

The garrison of Samarkand consisted of 762 men including 
officers and camp followers and 450 sick aud wounded men in 
the hospitab They were well provided with ammunition, but 
the citadel itself was very difficult to defend. It measured 
nearly two miles in circiut, and was full of houses, barracks and 
narrow streets, and in some places the houses outside were built 
up again&t the walls^ so that there was easy access from their 
roofs. In many cases, however, the walls were very high and 
steep, so that it was thought unnecessary to specially guard tliem, 
and it was possible to concentrate tlie defence at the two gates 
and at the weaker parts of the STicmnte* Before the depai ture 
of General Kaufmann some etTorts had been made to put the 
citadel in a better condition, but not rai ch had been done- 
On the evening of Jime 13, the Aktaknls from the Hodja 
Akhrar Gate came to the Commandant with a i*e<jnest for 
troops, saying that there was an attack of the enemy on th« 


gate. Major Albedil was sent there with one company of men, 
but found the gpates open and no enemy there, and the people 
who lived near the gates said that no hostile forces had been 
seen. A little later, however, large masses of armed men were 
seen on the heights of Tchupan-ata. At three o'clock on the 
morning of the 14th the Aksakal? at the same gate came again 
to the Commandant to say that the enemy was attacking the 
city. The Commandant, Major Stempel, went himself to the 
gate with a company and a-half of men and two guns. He met 
some armed bands whom he dispersed, and further on in the 
gardens he saw a crowd of men who fired one or two shots, 
and then ran in the direction of the Bukharan Gate. The 
Aksakals begged him not to fire on them as they were in- 
habitants of the city who had armed themselves to fight against 
the enemy. On returning to the citadel Major Stempel was 
nearly cut off by a large body of men who had intended to take 
easy possession of the citadel while he was in pursuit of an 
imaginary enemy. Measures were at once taken for an active 
defence. Soon after the citadel was attacked on all sides by 
the troops of Shahrisabs, the Kiptchaks, Karakalpaks, and the 
citizens, with beating of drums, blowing of trumpets, and loud 
cries. The garrison, though suffering much from the fire of 
the enemy, which was directed against them from the tops of 
the mosques and minarets, beat off the assaults made on various 
portions of the wall, and succeeded in defeating the attempts 
which were made to set fire to the gates. Every man who 
could possibly leave the hospital volunteered in the defence, 
and Lieut.-Col. Nazarof, who was suffering firom a wound, 
waived distinctions of rank, and placed himself under command 
of Major Stempel. The fire was severe during the whole day, 
and the Bussian loss was great, two officers and twelve soldiers 
being killed, and four officens and fifty-four men wounded. 

The next day the attack was still continued with the utmost 
vigour, and the Samarkand gates were set on fire, and would 
have been completely destroyed, had not bags of sand been 
placed against them. Toward evening. Jura Bek-^who had 
difficulties from the insubordination of the other Beks under his 
command, twenty-two in number, having zeoei ilUtttnco 

of the victory of General Kaofixuuui aife 
misled by a false report that he « 



withdrew liis troops. Tbe others, however, still kept up the siege 
The Russian loss that day was seventy killed and wounded. The 
attack con tin lied until the 1 9 th, though weakened of course by the 
withdrawal of the troops of Bhahrisabs. The Russians were re- 
duced to their last point- It had been foimd impoasible to give at- 
tention to the wounded in the hospital, and those who were active 
in the defence were almost worn out by fatigue and h linger » The 
garrison had resolved to transfer everything to the great central 
building in the citadel— the Amir's palace— and abandoning 
the walls, to defend that to the ntmost, and if fate should be 
against them, to blow up the magazines and to perish, when on 
the evening of the 19th they received the welcome intelligence 
that the troops of General Kaufm.ann were on their return, and 
had reached the gardens of Samarkand. Out of seven raesseugers 
who were sent to Mm, only one liad reached hirn, the others 
having been intercepted and killed. The whole Russian loss 
duiiug the siege was more than 180 men; 30 more than had 
been lost by the army in all of its seven engagements with ttie 
enemy from the time of entering the Zarafshan Valley. This 
defence of Samarkand against overwhelming numbers is one of 
the brightest and most glorious pages in all the history of the 
Russian advance in Asia, 

Had Jum Bek not abandoned the siege in conseqtience of 
being misled by the false report that General Kaufmatm was 
advancing on Shahrisabs, he would almost without doubt have 
taken the citadel on one of the following days. He would tlien, 
without paying attention to General Kaufmann's army, have at 
once marched in the direction of Tashkent, falling on that city 
contemporaneously with the insurrection of the inhabitants 
which had been planned, and would probably for the moment 
have entirely annihilated the Russian power in Central Asia* 
Communications having been cut off, the army of General 
Kaufraann could not have maintained itself in the midst of the 
hostile population. The Khan of Khokand was prepared to join 
the movement} huh his envoy Mirza Hakim had been taken on 
the campaign by General Kaufmann, to keep him out of 
mischief, and his reports did not give his master the encotmige- 
menl he desired. 

This attack on Samarkand has been often called an act of 
base treachery^ but it seems to me that it ia impossible to 



consider it in that light. The inhabitants of Samarkand gave 
up their city to save it from pillage, as ^heir own army had re- 
treated, and they knew perfectly well that it would be occupied. 
The attack of the people of Shahrisabs was certainly not an act 
of treachery, and proceeded from what was supposed to be a 
breach of faith on the Russian side. It was through the influence 
of the Beks of Shahrisabs that the city was induced tp revolt. 
They were acting from policy to preserve their independence, 
and though for a moment taking sides with the Sussians against 
the Amir, it is absurd to suppose that after the misimderstanding 
with General Kaufmann, they would not have taken advantage 
of an excellent chance entirely to annihilate the infidels. 

But to return to the city as it now is. 

The day after my arrival an Aksakal and several jigits were 
ordered to show me all the ruins, and, as friends went with me, 
and we looked at everything careftdly, it kept us well occupied 
the whole day. We drove first to the mosque of Shah Zindeh, 
which has been wrongly called by some travellers the summer 
palace of Timur. Kasim Ibn Abbas, tradition tells us, came 
to Samarkand in the early Mussulman times and preached the 
Koran to the infidels with great success, till finally on this very 
spot he was overcome by the enemy and beheaded. But the 
infidel was not destined to triumph : adroitly seizing his head, 
Kasim leaped into a well near by, where he even now remains, 
ready to come forth at some future day as the defender of Islam. 
From this circumstance he is called Shah Zindeh (the living 
king). There is a prophecy, said to be five hundred years old, 
that he was to appear in 1868 to defeat the Russians ; but 
Samarkand was occupied, and Shah Zindeh appeared not, so 
that his fame has of late somewhat fallen otf. The mosque on 
the site of his martyrdom was erected in (JJ323 by Timur, and 
was without doubt originally very splendid. Even now itg 
ruins are — with perhaps one exception— the finest in Central' 
Asia. In front is a large arched portal built of brick, faced 
with porcelain tiles, of white, light blue, and dark blue, arranged 
in mosaic patterns, and in many places forming in Cufic letters 
verses from the Koran. On each side are small mosques, now 
almost ruined. From the arched door a long staircase leads up 
the hill side. These steps were once covered with slabs of 
marble, but with one or two exceptions these have been 

destroj'ed, and iiotliing but the uneven brickwork now remain^ 
At intervals along the sides are small mosques for tombs; and 
on the right, in a little coart under a dome, is shown the 
famous widl in which the faithful can still see, especially at 
nightj the form of >^hah Zindeb* Of course a draught of the 
water is healing and healthful. At the top are several domed 
buildingg, one covering the tomb of the saint, and others the 
tombs of famous mullahs and citizens of Samarkand. One of 
these mosques has a melon-shaped dome* from which the tiles 
have nearly all fallen. The outer building, however, is still 
well preserved, and the inscription surrounding the dome is 
nearly perfect. Once the walls along the staircase were all 
covered with mosaic tiling, but this in most cases has fallen oif, 
and quantities of fragment"? are to be picked up. Sometimes 
there is real mosaic of porcelain-faced bricks ; in others the 
brick wall seems to have been covered with a sort of veneer of 
enamel, for the designs do not follow the divisions of the bricks, 
and where patches ol it have fallen off, it is easy to perceive 
that it was subsequently applied* The interior walls of the 
buildings are also covered with mosaic work, sometimes in 
bricks, and sometimes in stone, while the various arches and 
domes are fnU of pendent alabaster work, with arabesque 
designs, always very beautifuL The pillars which hold up the 
domes and tbe ceilings are all of wood, larger at the top than 
at the bottom, and beautifully carved. The glazed bricks used 
in this and the other buildings in Samarkand were originally 
brought from Kashan, in Persia, where this art was cultivated, 
and all tbe greut edifices in Samarkand — as is evident from 
inscriptions— were erected by Persian architects^ or by their 
pupils,' The majority of inscriptions on the walls are merely 

' According to H, Lenormflnt the peculmritife of Perflinn And Anibk airhi- 
Uctute wore iuhent^d fiom Brtbjlonia and AsB^rin, *Lefl toit* des ^iiiii?i?» 
&j?ejr'i€De ^talent plAta^ en terraa^ife, bord^ d& tcua leg cot^s par un feston de 
Cf(^norui3E ©n grjidins, dont liv die^K>EjitiDn a Atd conserTi^s rnrclnTepturfi amLo 
dti moyeii kgat pour le courobn«ment dea mnrailles e^lirumr^f* de« Mificcs, airisi 
qu*oii pfiut le Toir aux bellt » mtjfiqiiies du Cnire* C^'Uc particulsrite cbaract^ri&tiqna 
9et DEttemEafc indfqu4e dans touix-s Idm repr^^» de monumenta quo con- 
HennfDt lee bas Ft^lier^; atissi Mr. TKonias a*t*U ^t^ pleinement en droit do 
rinrroduire dans ses reetnurH-TiOBs* Mais ce n'est |>a8 le eeiil rmprtmt que rjircbi- 
f-ecture da I* Arabia et de la Fc^rm nit fa? t aux traditions de Fart iisajrien. Lorsgu* 
on roit les desf^ins dans lesquels I'habHe architects adjoint a M. Place s. rt atirue 
IVepoct axl^riaur dbs divex5(>a parties du pukis d« KbortiaLad, on no cjoirait en 


texts from the Koran ; occasionally there are epitaphs, but few 
of importance. The mazar or mosque, which covers the tomb 
of Shah Zindeh, is divided into two or three rooms. We found 
a number of persons prostrating themselves in front of a 
niche, in which behind a grating was dimly seen some object 
covered with cloths, looking like a sitting mummy well 
wrapped up ; these cloths are small ofiferings which have been 
placed in it at dififerent times, consisting of prayer-cloths on 
which Mussulmans have knelt, and which in fulfilment of some 
vow, or in gratitude for some favour, have been bestowed on 
the saint. The mullahs, the guardians of the tomb, quickly 
informed us that the saint was willing to receive offerings 
of money, and took our Russian silver and paper with alac- 
rity. In the adjoining room there was a large Koran, about 
three feet by two, magnificently illuminated in antique 

Directly opposite the mosque of Shah Zindeh is a little 
brick building constructed in the ancient style, once a mosque, 
but now used as the city prison. Not far from Shah Zindeh, but 
within the city walls, is the beautiful t?ied?'e8se of Bibi IQianym. 
This college was built, it is said, in 1385 by Bibi Khanym, the 
favourite wife of Timur, and the daughter of the Emperor of 
China, and is remarkable not only for the immense span of the en- 
trance, but for the gigantic dome with which the chief building 
is crowned. This dome is double, and the inner lining, though 
half broken away, still holds on its top the heavy column which 
supports the external dome, through which there is also a large 
hole. To enter the chief mosque it is necessary to pass through 
two courts, aroimd which were the cells of the mullahs. Owing 
to the constant dilapidation, caused in gi*eat part by earth- 

pr^ence d*aii Mifioe arabe. Le r61e si considerable des rev^tements en ihience 
^QiailUe dans les m >iiuments pex'sans du mojen 4ge tire son origine de TAssyrie. 
LVmploi des coupoles dans rarch'tectore arabe et persane a la mSme origine.' 
Manuel cTHisioire ancienne de F Orient ^ par Fran9oi8 Lenormant. Paris, 1869, 
vol. ii. p. 19.3. Even the building matfrials are of yerj old date : * Les Assyriens 
.... pr^l^i^rent a la biique seeh^e ou cuite luie enp^e de pis^ paxticulier dont 
fis sembleiit avoir ^t^ les inventeurs, compost de briques encore molles, qui ad- 
h^raient iutim^ment les unes hux autres srins ciment, de telle facon que chaque 
tnuniille, chaque voiite, une fois sech^e, constitu-iit une seule masse compacte. 
Cest la Tunique ^l^ment de la construction de iou4> les dittoes assyriens que Ton 
t luuiU^s jusqu'a pr^nt' — Id, vol. ii. p. 189. 


quakes, tlie medT€m§> was disused some twelve year8 ago^ and 
since that time has been coD%'erted into a loarket for cotton ^ 
and is fiiU of mules and horsea (which are etahled there), and of 
carts placed there for safe keepings In the interior of the 
mosque is a large marble readi tig-desk supported on nine short 
thick pillar Sf on which formerly lay a large Koran. It is 
believed by the Mussulmans that diseases uf the spine will he 
cured by crawling under this desk in all direetious. On each 
Bide of the exterior entrance is a slender minaret, frora 
which the mosaic work i% fast peeling off. Tradition says that 
Bibi Khanym was once told by a Dervish that she would die by 
the bite of a tarantula, and that she therefore requested Timur 
to have her buried not in Mussulman fashion under tho ground, 
but above it in a coffin. It was in consequence of this tliat 
Timur built this Tnedrmsi and the mosques adjoining it. 
The clay which was necessaiy for making the bricks he had dug 
from beneath the building so as to leave large vaults, ^Tien 
the medressi yf^E finished and Bibi was inspecting it a large 
serpent came from out of the vaults, and warmed itself in the 
Bum Her attendants wished to kill it, but Bibi prevented this 
and caressed it. On her death Bibi was decorated with all her 
jewels, laid in a coffin studded with golden nails, and placed in 
this vault. Hearing of this, some robbers one night broke into 
the vatdt and dismantled the body of its ornaments; but before 
they could get away this same serpent came out and bit them 
all to deathp The next day people were astonished to see the 
dead bodies, and at once imderstood the crime and its punish- 
ment. At first no one dared to replace the jewels. At last one 
old man carefully put them all buck on Bibi's body; but before 
lie could leave the vaidt the door closed of itself, and shut him 
in for ever, A short time ago the Russian authorities, in 
cleaning the courts of the medresse^ found a small mosque wliich 
had been entirely concealed by the surrounding buildings and 
was almost forgotten, and which they were told contained the 
tomb of Bibi Khanym. A short time after, the roof of this 
building fell in and broke through the floor, when it was dis- 
covered that there was indeed here a large vault containing many 
gravestones with inscriptions in ancient characters ; but the^e 
were only prayei^ and contained neither names nor dates. The 
vault was no sooner opened tbun the belief spread in the neigh- 


bourhood that the old serpent came out every day to warm 
himself for an hour in the sun. 

In the centre of the bazaar on three sides of the great square, 
cidled in imitation of that at Bukhara, the RighistaUj are the 
med/reasSa Shir-dar, Tilla-Kari and Ulug-Bek. The medressS 
Shir-dar, which occupies the eastern side of the square, is said 
to have been built about 1648, by Yalang Tash Bahadur, an 
Uzbek hero, vizier of Imam Kuli Khan, from the spoils of the 
shrine of Imam Riza at Mashad. The front contains two stories 
of cells, with arched windows on the square, on both sides of a 
large arched portal. On each corner are cupolas surmounted by 
melon -shaped domes. The sides of the TnedressS have no 
windows, and both front and sides are covered with inlaid tiles. 
Passing through the portal we come to a large court around which 
are the cells, 64 in nimiber, for two students each. Even at the 
late day when this was constructed, the Persian architectural 
style prevailed, and though Samarkand was then independent of 
Persia, the upper comers of the portal over the arch are filled 
with rude representations in blue and yellow tiles of the lion and 
the suil, the Persian arms, although in fact the lion is far more 
like a tiger. Those mosaics have evidently given the medressi 
its name of Shir-dar^ lion-bearing. In front of the building is a 
square raised platform, on one comer of which is a small conical 
tomb, like an ant-hill, where I frequently saw lighted candles 
and other votive offerings. On the opposite side of the square 
is the medresse Ulug Bek, built by the sovereign' of that name 
about 1420, but one story high and containing only twenty- 
four rooms. It is now in a very ruinous state, though once the 
home of mathematics and astronomy. At each comer there is 
a large minaret about 150 feet high, which seems to lean, 
though this is an optical delusion, as one side of the tower is 
perpendicular, and the other is at an angle, and it is possible 
to get a point of view where it appears perfectly erect. 
Added to this, the sides of the portal are not parallel to each 
other, which increases the illusion. During the siege of the 
Russians in the fortress, a mullah did very good service with a 
falconet from one of these towers. After General Kaufmann 
reaunaed, a mullah was brought before him as the guilty party, 
and his immediate execution was ordered. It is difficult to seo 
why, especially without trial. On tlie north side of the iiquaro 


is the medresaS Tilla-Kari, built like Shir-dar by Yalang-Tash. 
The exterior, with its large arched portal and domes and 
comer minarets and two stories of windows, is in ruins, but the 
court is in a better state of preservation, and it is on the whole 
one of the finest. On the left side of the court is the mosque. 
The pulpit has very handsome carved wooden steps, and the 
space about the kibleh is covered with rich gilt ornament, 
which seems to be gold foil under a thin layer of transparent 
■i*' "^"CSamel. It is probably from this that the medreasS is called 
TUla-Kari^ or gold covered.* 

On the top of a slight hill to the south of the fortress, is the 
most interesting monument of Samarkand, the Our^-Amirj or 
tomb of Timur. It is an eight-sided building, surmounted by 
a melon-shaped dome, and with two ruined minarets. Passing 
through a broken mosaic portal and a court, we come to the 
steps leading into the mosque. Over the gates is an inscrip- 
tion in Persian : ' The weak slave Mohammed, son of Mahmoud, 
from Isfahan, built this.' The inside of the dome is full of the 
usual alabaster work, and the walls are covered with hexagonal 
plates closely set together of finely carved transparent gypsum, 
which is often supposed to be jasper. On the side tiimed to 
Mecca there is a pillar and a large ancient standard with 
floating horse-tail. The tombstone of Timur occupies the exact 
centre of the mosque, and is a slab of greenish black stone, six 
feet long, fifteen inches wide and about fourteen inches thick, 
which is flat on the top and not pyramidical as has been repre- 
sented. It has been broken or cut in the middle into two 
parts, and one of the lower corners has been broken off and 
subsequently polished down, as is shown by a part of the inscrip- 
tion being missing. Around the edge is a very complicated 
inscription in antique letters, giving Timiur'g name and titles, 
together with those of all his ancestors, and the date of his 
death, 807 (1405). To the right of this slab is another of 
- grey marble, of nearly the same size, with an inscription show- 
ing that it is the tomb of Mirza Ulug Bek, grandson of Timur, 
who died in 853 (1449). The back and part of tlie top are 
covered with plaster. On the other side of Timur's tomb, is a 
grey marble slab in memory of AbduUatif Mirza, son of Ulug 

' LitemUy, covered with tillas^ or gold coins. 



Bek, who died in 854 (1450), There are slate to three other 
SODS of Ulug Bek ; and beside these, between the tomb of Timur 
and the standard^ is a grey niarble slab dedicated to Mir Seid 
Belki Sheikhj the teacher of Timiu", who died two years after 
birHi The walla of the mosque are covered with various in- 
ficriptions^ some texts from the Koran, and others religious 



verses ; while m the adjoining room was one which my mullah 
translated to me as meaning, * If I were alive people woidfl not 
be glad,* without date or name. Passing into this room on the 
left of the main mosque we went down a narrow gtaircase into 
the vault below, and found the tombs of Timur and his des- 
cendants placed exactly under the slabs above* The tombs are 


beneath the ground, and l . .hing is visible but slabe of grey 
marble jfpv ^ered with complu ..ted inscriptions. The vault 
itself, whicLi is of a very wide span, is of light grey burnt 
brick, and is Sfeil in j, Degfect state, being a beautiful piece of 
workmanship. This mosque, and^even the tombs, were found 
in a very dilapidated condition by the Russians on their occu- 
pation, and it is owing to them that repairs have been made 
and everything put in order, and a guardian appointed to the 
mosque. The beautiftd carved stone railing which surrounds 
the monument in the upper room, was found badly shattered, 
but has now been completely restored. In a small building 
near by are the tombs of Timur's wives. 

The citadel contains several mosques and tombs, of which 
one with a very beautiful melon-shaped dome is dedicated to a 
local saint Kutf-i-Tchirdani, and is noticeable from the fact that 
the mosaic inscription running round the dome is, for the sake 
of symmetry in the letters, merely the beginning of the great 
article of faith repeated over and over again, the words being 
* La Allah, La Allah, La Allah,' (' There is no Q-od, there is no 
God '). Pious Mussulmans, however, supply the rest, never once 
thinking that the inscription seems profane. 

In the citadel is also the former palace of the Amir, con- 
taining the famous kok-tash^ now used as a Russian military 
hospital, an insignificant building of unbumt bricks covered 
with clay. 

The court, which was used by the Amir on all occasions of 
ceremony, is enclosed on three sides by a verandah raised three 
or four feet above the ground. All is very simple and plain. 
The slim rudely carved wooden columns support a brick cornice. 
In the middle is a large octagonal stone three or four feet high, 
with a square top, in which is a cylindrical hollow, perhaps a 
water-basin, but looking for all the world like a baptismal 

The kfk-taah^ which is placed on the verandah opposite the 
entrance, is an oblong block of whitish-grey marble, polished 
at the top, carved in arabesques on the sides, and with small 
pilasters at the corners. It is ten feet four inches long, four 
feet nine inches wide, and two feet high, witliout the base of 
brick and plaster nine inches high, on which it stands. It 
baa been common to speak of this stone as a blue or green 



stone, the word kok usually meaning one of those colours, and 
J^ehraann (if it be not a remark of the editor) in his travels 
speaks of the stone as being of lapis lazvM, evidently from 
heiirsay. Kok however is an indeterminate word for colour and 
even means grey, as in the sport of kok-biira^ ' grey wolf.' The 
tf rm might thus be applicable to marble. It is probable that 
tlie name of this stone had another origin. Baber speaks of 
the palace which Timur constructed in the citadel of Samar- 
kand as being stately, and four stories high, and famous by the 
name of koh-sarai^ just as the palace of Timur in Kesh was 
called ak'Sarai^ or * white palace.' The koh-aarai^ Baber says, 
' is remarkable on this account ; that every prince of the race 
of Timur who is elevated to the throne, mounts it at this place, 
and so one who loses his life for aspiring to the throne loses it 
here. Insomuch that this has passed into a common expires- 
sion, that such a prince has been condemned to the kokrsarai^ a 
hint which is perfectly well understood to mean that he has 
been put to death.' The kok-tash, we are told, served as the 
foundation for the throne of Timur, and probably received its 
name from being the famous stone which was in the kok-aarai. 
The elevation of the sovereign on the kok-taah passed into a 
custom, and a legend arose that the stone had fallen from 
Heaven, and would not allow a false Khan, or one not of genuine 
descent, to approach it; and as late as 1722, in the rebellion 
against Abul Feiz Khan, the complaint was made that he had 
never fulfilled the formality of sitting on the kok-tash, and the 
rebels proclaimed in his place Rejen Khan, who was consecrated 
in the usual manner. When the Russians took the city, there 
was a decorated slab of hard plaster which formed a back to this 
stone and made it appear like a throne. This, which has now 
fallen off, and rests against the wall of the building, is evidently 
of very recent date. The Russians have erected a neat and 
ornamental bronze railing about this stone to keep it from 
injiuy. Behind the stone itself is a large arched niche, deco- 
rated with alabaster in the prevailing style, and on one side of 
this is affixed an oval piece of metal looking like half of a cocoa- 
nut ; this bears an Arabic inscription, showing that it had once 
marked the tomb of a saint. The inscription runs : • This is the 
tomb of the Sheikh Imam, the Hermit Hodja Akhmet Rodoveri 
Ishak El Khivi. May Heaven forgive him and his parents and all 



MusBulmans who have die.. Dated the 22nd da}' of fclie month 
Moharrem in the year 550 (1155) of the hejra of Mohammed,' 
There are other remains of the flourif^hing era of Samarkand 
in the gul>urbs of the city. Among them is the Iskrat-Khana^ 
eaid to have been built bj Timui'^s wife for her tomb, but which 
was turned into a palace on account of a sudden embrace which 
he gave her on seeing it, so impressed was he by its beauty. The 
finest of these rains ia tlie mosque of Hodja Akhrarj a large 
square building, with a lofty portal and arched doorway, still re- 
taining its mosaic tiling in very good preservation. The Persian 
lions appear again here over the archway. Inside of the court are 
the rooms for students, and opposite the entrance a good sized 
mosque, where, at the time of our vi^it, we found the pupils and 
their teachers reciting the evening prayers p Beyond this is a 
large garden, as well as a cemetery, where rest the remains of 
Hodja Akhrar himself, once celebrated not only for bis sanctity, 
but for his immense wealth. According to tradition, Hodja 
Akhrar lived about 400 years ago in Tashkent, and wa« 
originally named Ubeidullah, but was called Akhrar (conse*- 
crated to Grod) from his piety. He devoted himself to religion 
from early youth, and became a member of the religious order 
of Kaksbbendi, and, after the death of the Pii\ its head. It is 
said that when several of the younger brethren were making 
their pilgrimage to Mecca, one found himself in Rum, and 
cured the Khalif of a greut disease by prayer and by reading a 
benediction which his ma ter had given him. In gratitude the 
khalif oiTered him anything he liked to choose, and he aiiked 
for the Koran of Othman, the third Khalif, which was preserved 
in the Khalif s treasury. This Koran was aaid to have been 
written by Othman himself; and he was engaged in reading it 
in his house when he was murdered, and his blood spurted over 
the book, where traces of it still remain. The Khalif wd^ 
obliged to fulfil his promise, and tlie celebrated Koran was* 
taken to Tashkent, where it added still more to the celebrity 
of the saint. Subsequently Hodja Akhrar removed to Samarkand, 
taking the Koran with him, and after his death it was preservrd 
in this mosque, lying on a large stone reading-table* It is a 
most beautiful manuscript, written entirely in Cufic character* 
upon parchment; and when the Kussians occupied Samarkand 
hvTL' was not a single learned native who wat able to decipher it. 


Seeing tbe value which the Russiaiib^'Bei^ on' this relic, some of 
the fanatical mullahs thought to remove it to Bukhara, but 
this was forbidden by General Abramoff ; and the Imams of the 
mosque of their own accord offered to sell it for 125 rubles, 
saying that before it had brought them in money, because 
people came and paid for the privilege of kissing and touching 
it, but as this would no longer be done they might as well 
dispose of it. The money was accordingly given, and the 
Koran is now in the Imperial Public Library at St. Petersburg. 
The bazaar of Samarkand is comparatively insignificant, 
much smaller than those at Tashkent and Hodjent, although 
large enough for the 30,000 inhabitants that Samarkand now 
contains. The chief portions of the old bazaar are the Timi, 
a large octagonal covered building, where the smaller things 
are sold, and one or two wooden houses for silk and cotton 
goods. Besides Hindoos and Jews, there were many Afghans 
to be seen there, and it was not an uncommon thing to meet 
Dervishes, or Kateruiar, as they are there called. They are 
permitted to frequent the city and to ask for alms, though 
they are forbidden to preach or to recite prayers. I went one 
morning with my Mullah to the Kalendar Khana^ situated 
just outside one of the gates. This, which belongs to one of 
the few orders of Dervishes remaining at Samarkand, is a largi* 
garden containing one or two mosques, and a number of small 
cells. We found some seven or eight VJ?retched-locking devote* ^8, 
and on paying our respects to thpir Pw or chief, *noi acoeptirg 
tbe t^^a which he offered us, they proposed to sing. It wa», 
however, some little time before a euffiieient number for a 
chorus could be collected, as many of them were in the town, 
and the rest were lying asleep in different parts of the garden, or 
were half itupid from smoking naaJia^ or hemp. Finally several 
of them were induced to appear, and after taking a friendly 
pipe of nasha together, to give them the necessary inspiration, 
they donned their oldest robes of rags, slung their wallets ever 
their shoulders, and put on the high conical caps, which are a 
requisite to their religious toilette. They then stood in a row 
and began to sing, now in Persian, and now in TiirW '~' 
chant was not unmelodious. One or two Unei 
the leader, and then the whole band broke out 
As they warmed up, they went faster and faat( 

VOL. I. 8 



however much he inight strain his voice, wae almost inaiidihle 
uu account of the cries of the others, who, without waitiiig fur 
the response, sang, or rather shouted, contiDualij, Their song^ 
in praise of the founder of their order, ran something like this : 

A wild baast eriea in tho wa^te : Thou Mighty Ooe ) 

(Refrahi) O God, our friend J 
Than Theo there ie i>o other, 

Gotl, onr friend I 
W© hfliTe no other protector than Thee, 

O God, ouir friend! 
Opt head is NAkshbund DuvHnn, 

God, ottr friend I &c. &c. 

When we were tired of one hymn, another was bet»UD^ and 
finally they started one very wild and quick, with numerous 
hrmndiogs, prostrations and whirlings, but the exercises, except 
those of the voice, were by no means violent. Fanatics as tljey 
were, they made no objection to exhilnting before me, as they felt 
sure of a sUhiu^ or present, at the end, and they made no scruple 
about accepting the offered money. The whole affair, as they 
themselves very well knoWj is a comedv played for lucre- There 
are few of them tliat trouljle themselves about piety or religion, 
except so far as it can be made profitable* When I was about to 
go, the chief addressed me a petition, saying that this est^li- 
Lishment of Dervishes had been founded long ago for pious uses; 
-fiac it was devoted to the reception of the poor, the sick, and 
the blind, and of persona who had no other refuge, and that 
the only means they bad to support it was by taking con- 
tributions from the faithful throughout the city. They begged 
me therefore to represent to the authorities the religious and 
charitable objects they had in view, and to request that they 
might be allowed a« before to recite their prayers and to preach 
their sermoDB in public* I replied that I had heard that this 
^as prohibited because many of them had been in the habit 
f inveighing against the Russians, and of preaching hatred and 
aostility to the infidel. This they denied vigorously, saying 
that they bad no ill feelinfj whatever to the Russians, who 
treated tbera well. I told the Prefect afterwards of the request 
which they had preferred, and which he was not at all astonished 
to hear ; but he said, that, however they might deny it, instances 
oi ih^ii treasonable language were only too well proved, because 

THE JEWS. 259 

officers frequently, in passing by unobserved, had heard parts of 
their sermons, wliich usually consist of the narration of some 
old legend where the people were enslaved by the infidel on 
account of their iiTeligious life and practices, and end with an 
appeal to repentance, saying that thus the infidel may be 
driven away. Islam is frequently depicted under the form of 
a white she-camel which is oppressed by a heathen tribe. 

Not the least interesting of the inhabitants of Samarkand 
are the Jews, who, under the rule of the Eussians, have here 
at least equal rights with the rest of the population. In old 
times they were obliged to live in a separate quarter, to which 
indeed they now chiefly keep, and were forbidden to ride within 
the city walls, or to wear any other girdle than a rope. Such 
is the contempt of Mussulmans for the Jews that they do not 
think them even good enough for slaves. Having expressed a 
wish to buy some antiqiuties, a Jew one day presented himself 
to me with some Greek coins and engraved gems. He was in 
his way a curiosity. He was the son of Mamun, a noted Hebrew 
dealer in lapis lazuli at Bukhara, who befriended Dr. Wolff 
when he was there to inquire into the murder of Stoddart and 
Connolly. He and his father went to India on a trading ex- 
pedition, and then resolved to go to Europe ; but in order to do 
so they were obliged at Bombay to make themselves British 
subjects, and to take out British passports. After staying for 
more than a year in London, the father returned to Bukhara, 
where he now is, while the son went to Paris, where he remained 
three or four years, and then foimd his way to Samarkand. He 
speaks English fairly, and French very well. It was amusing 
to see him in his little Paris coat a thorough European 
among his countryman in their caps and long gowns. The 
Jews shave their heads, as do the Mussulmans, leaving two long 
locks on the temples, curled if possible, and in other respects 
adopt the native dress. Mamun offered to take me into the 
Hebrew quarter, and one morning we started off together. We 
went first to the new synagogue, which was built by a rich Jew 
named Mushti Kalanter. On each side of a broad portico was 
a large room with a desk for the Eabbi, simply but prettily deco 
rated. In the back were a number of pigeon-holes, where were 
placed the rolls of the law, none of them of great antiquity. 
The Kabbi and his assistant were engaged in teaching two 

8 2 



classes of bright and merry children in smaller adjoining 
rooms. The Rabbi, a very intelligent man, had come there 
from Morocco io the old Bul^haran times, for even then & 
ejnagogue existed, although concealed with the greatest care 
flora the eyes of the authorities. From the synagogue we went 
to the house of Kalantar, and we sat for a long time in the 
garden under the trees, while a pretty girl with unveiled face 
picked and brought us hunches of fresh rosesp It was only 
after some time that Kahtntar himself, a venerable man with a 
grey beard, came in and took tea with us. The Jewesses, 
though unveiled at home, have their faces covered in the 
street like the Mussulman women^ to avoid disagreeable and 
insulting remarks, 

I made the acquaintance at Samarkand of Abdur Rahman 
Khan, the former ruler of Afghanistan and the nephew of Shir 
All, the pressent Amir, Dost Mohammed Khan left siscteen 
sons, and on his death there was much contention for the 
succession, until finally Shir Ali succeeded in establishing 
himself at Kabul, and was recognised as the lawful Amir by 
the Indian authoritieSi Several of the brothers, however, were 
unwilling to submit to him, and raised rebellions ; among these 
was Afzul Khan, or rather, his son Abdur Rahman Khan, for 
Afzul himself played hut a passive part In the strtiggle. On 
being ordered to come to Kabul, Abdur Rahman Khan fled for 
refuge to Bukhara, while his father was immediately imprisoned 
by the angry Shir Ali* This was in the end of November 
1864. The next spring there was another rebellion. Azim 
Khan rose in insun^ection, but was defeated by Shir Ali, and 
driven to Kandahar* Abdur Rahman Khan then collected 
some Bukharan troops and appeared in Afghanistan with great 
success. He gained possession of Balkh, and moved directly 
on Kabul, which was given up to him ^ and on March 1, 1866, 
he entered into the city and freed his father from impriBonment. 
Shir Ali was beaten twice more, and at the end of 1S67 fled to 
Herat. The conflict continued for two years more, Afzail 
Khan died, and Abdur Rahman Khan was proclaimed Amir- 
Fin ally Kabul was taken in 1868; Abdur Rahman Khan and 
Aaiim Khan were thoroughly defeated, and fled to Mashad. 
In July 1869, Abdur Rahman Khan sent messengers to 
Samarkand to ask if he c*>uld be allowed t^ i^eek a refugn 


in the Russian territory, and was answered thai if he could go 
nowhere else he would be permitted to come. He accordingly 
arrived in Tashkent in March 1870, and was well received. 
The Bussian Government allows him about 25,000 rubles a 
year, and insists on his remaining in Samarkand. He has 
several times asked for permission to go to St. Petersburg, but 
it has always been refused. About four years ago he asked 
General Kaufmann to give him 100,000 rubles, saying that 
with that he would be able to raise an insurrection against 
Afghanistan, which he hoped would turn out to his profit. 
This sum General Kaufmann refused to grant him, saying that 
the Russians did not wish to be mixed up with the affairs of 
Afghanistan. As, however, he lives very quietly in the Amir's 
garden in Samarkand, and can hardly spend, even with all his 
messengers and secret correspondents, more than 5,000 rubles 
a year, he must now have nearly enough to prepare the pro- 
posed expedition. 

I was very desirous of seeing him, and accordingly sent him 
word asking wheii I could call. He rey)lied that he would do 
himself the honour of coming to me first, and appointed the 
next day. About one o'clock a messenger came in, and said that 
the Afghan Prince was on his way. With the respect due, even 
to fallen royalty, we of course went to the door to receive him. 
Abdur Rahman Khan is a tall well built man, with a large 
head, and a marked Afghan, almost Jewish, face. He wears 
long locks of hair at the side, and a full, curly black beard. 
He carries himself with much dignity, and every movement 
denotes a strong character, and one accustomed to command. 

He was dressed in a semi-military dress— a long dark caftan 
ornamented with wide silver galloon, and frogs of silver braid, 
with a highly-wrought silver belt, and silver mounted sabre. 
On his head he had a white turban striped with blue. Our 
conversation was naturally chiefly about Afghanistan, and the 
Prince had much to say about the reports which were then rife, 
that an army had been sent by Shir Ali to Seistan. He was 
unwilling to believe the story that Iskender Khan, now living 
in England, had made peace with Shir Ali, and had been put 
in command of the expedition. Another report had just then 
reached us that the English were making an attack upon Herat, 
and we were even told the numbers of troops which had been 



de^patched from Shikarpur and other poiots on the Indue. 
Abdur Rahman explained that this would be ira possible without 
previous operations on the Persian Grdf^ of which we would 
inevitabij have heard, and asking for a pencil and sheet of 
paper, drew a rough outline map of Afghanistan and the roads 
leading from India to Kabul, Herat, and Kandahar. His con- 
versation was interrupted from time to time, according to 
Eastern custom, with enquiries after the health of the persona 
to whom he was talking, and good wishes for them. Although 
ufiually reservedj he was very ready to talk with me, and while 
Baying nothing especially ill of Shir AM, plainly showed his 
enmity to him. He spoke of the story that Shir Ali had 
forbidden his name to be mentioned in Kabul under pain of 
death, laughingly saying that it would not much matter, 
becauss people would only think twice as much of him. He 
fMt sure that he need only declare himself to have the popula- 
tion entirely on his side, because Shir Ali waa detested by all 
the Afghans for his complaisance towards England. I asked 
him if the subsidy given to Sliir AH by the English had any 
effect upon the feelings of the Afghans. He said to make theni 
well-disposed to England it had no effect at all, though it 
popsihly might have an effect upon Shir Ali personally. If th© 
English were to give Afghanistan the whole revenues of India, 
the people would not love the English the better, I then asked 
him whether, in case of a war between any otlier country and 
England, an attack were made on India, t lie Afghans would he 
willing to join in it. He said that if word were given to the 
Afghans that an attack was to ^be made against the English in 
India, and they were convinced the war was not against India, 
but against the English domination there, they would willingly 
join in it without any subsidy, or the necessity of much urging. 
Uuring his stay in Samarkand he had learned consider- 
able Russian, so that he occasionally answered questions 
without waiting to have them put inti:> Persian for him; 
once notably to the confusion of the friend who was interpret- 
ing for me, as my question was one which did not exactly 
please him, and he was unwilling to translate it literaUy* 
The Prince stayed with me for over an hour, and on taking 
]eave said that he would send to me when he would be able to 
receive me, but I never heard any more from himj and on my 


subsequent visits to Samarkand I did not see him, I was told 
that he was living so quietly and economically that he did not 
wish to show his household arrangements to strangers. He 
does not seem to be quite contented with his treatment by the 
Russian authorities, who certainly do not use him as a tool for 
intrigue. He said once, rather bitterly, that the first time he 
came to Tashkent a carriage of the Governor-General was 
placed at his disposition, that on his second visit he had an 
ordinary carriage, but that when he came the third time he was 
left to go a-foot. 

The Eussian occupation of Central Asia has brought to 
light many adventurers, chiefly Russians, who had fled from 
Siberia, or from Orenburg, and had played various parts in the 
native States. Some such men are still in Bukhara and Kho- 
kand, while others made their peace with the Russian authori- 
ties and remained in the districts occupied. 

Of one of these men I had heard much, but unfortunately 
he died of the cholera before my aniva.1 at Samarkand. He 
was a Pole of the name of Gerburt von Fulstein, who, when 
quite a young man, had for some political offence been sent 
to Orsk. 

At this time there was great commotion among the Kirghiz, 
and there was much talk about the son of the Sultan Sanjar, 
who, it was said, had been carried off by the Russians and 
educated by them. Gerburt was surrounded on the road by 
a party of Kirghiz, who immediately professed to recognise 
him as the missing man, and took him with them into the 
Steppe and finally to Turkistan. The Khan of Khokand had 
married a daughter of Sultan Sanjar, and for greater surety she 
was admitted to see him, and immediately declared him to be 
her brother. He was then received in a manner befitting the 
Khan's relative, and was appointed Bek of Namangan. Here he 
led such a debauched and dissipated life, being constantly 
drunk, that the Khan found it necessary to remove him and 
keep him with him. When the Amir of Bukhara took Khokand 
he carried Gerburt with him, and appointed him to a consider- 
able post at Court. He was in Samarkand when the Russians 
took it, and, on account of his acquaintance with the natives 
and their languages, was given a small position, where he made 
himself useful. In relating his story, he said that he was him- 



pelf at times coufused to know whether he Wiis really a Pole or 
a Kirghi^j, 

An adventurer of a different kind was twice in Samarkand 
during mj stay there. He gave himself out as the Khan Zadeh 
Arash Kul, a Persian prince, who was desirous of proceeding to 
Bukhara for some business relating to his property. 

For some reason or other his conduct aroused suspicion both 
in Tashkent and Samarkand, and it was thought that he might 
possibly be a dealer in counterfeit money. He was not allowed 
to proceed to Katta Kurgan, on the ground that his road pass 
as only to Samarkand, and was turned back* He went back 
therefore as tar as Jizakh, procured another road-pass to Katta 
Kurgan J and went directly there- The frontier at Katta Ktirgan 
is very closely watched, and the Prefect is very parti cidar about 
all suspicious characters. As this man had no letters from the 
authorities, orders were given that he should not be allowed to 
go to Bukhara, and all his efforts to run away at night were 
unsuccessful^ After complaint was made against him that he 
had been living in the post-house for a long time to the din- 
comfort of other travellers, he was ordered to leave the plane. 
On returning, he abandoned his post-carriage at one station from 
Tashkent, and proceeding on foot, took another at one station on 
the other side, in order better to escape observation. When 
this was discovered suspicions against him were even stronger, 
but all traces of him had disappeared. A year after it turned 
out that he was a criminal named Babaef, who had been sen- 
tenced to Siberia for falsely assuming the title of Prince Gokt- 
chaiski. He suceeded in escaping from Russia, but was arrested 
at Vienna and sent to Moscow, where he soon after died in prison. 

At Samarkand I made my first real acquaintance with th« 
Russian soldier in Central Asia, Of course I had seeu many at 
Tashkent and elsewhere, very frequently indeed drunk in the ^ 
street ; but it was here that I first saw them in barracks, in 
camp, at exercise, and at work. On my two later visits to 

Simaikand I lived with my friend T , in the camp, of which 

he was the Commander. This camp was situated outside of the 
walls, in feveral large gardens, the one we were in being that 
of the mosque called Nama^ga, used chiefly during the great 
festivals- In the centre was a large square pond^ and by ita 
side a gi-assy platform aurroimded by high elm trees. Here our 

THE CAMP. 265 

teots — large, commodious, and well furnished canvas houses- 
were pitched, with the servants and kitchen in the rear ; i^hile 
at a little distance on either side were long rows of barracks, 
with canvas roofs and sides — for here in summer it seldom if ever 
rains. ^ The mosque was turned into a dining room and billiard 
saloon for the ofl&cers. Here we lived in the open air, looping 
up the sides of our tents to let the breeze through, and changing 
our rugs and cushions from one side of the pond to the othier as 
the shade required. A new camp was then being made, further 
out on the plain, where the troops can drill and parade with 
more ease, but unfortunately the place is utterly bare of trees, 
although probably in two years there will be a grove imme- 
diately about the barracks, which are permanent, and built of 
unbumed bricks. In different places through the town, soldiers 
could be seen at work digging clay, mixing it in water, stamp- 
ing it in moulds, and placing the bricks to dry in the sun. 
The soil is so peculiar here that such bricks ma; be made 
everywhere, and when a person wishes to build a wall about bis 
garden, or even to erect a house, he either digs in his own 
grounds, or scoops a ditch along the side of the street for the 
required material. The warm climate demands a suitable 
uniform : and the soldiers here wear white cotton or linen blouses, 
and loose trousers of sheepskin, dyed crinson with cochineal or 
pomegranate juice, and tucked into their high boots. It is not 
only a picturesque uniform, but one well suited to the soldier; for 
his movements are entirely free, and he looks far more robust 
and manly than when he gets on his ill-fitting winter uniform, 
badly made of coarse dark cloth. 

I used to be waked up in the morning by the reveille of the 
drums and bugles ; and as soon as the tea-urn of my friend was 
seen on, the table in the shade, and he was known to be up, the 
Serjeants brought in their reports. I went once to see the 
soldier's mess, and found everything very orderly, and the food — 
white bread and cabbage soup, or mutton broth — excellent. 

In the evening the battalion bands usually played, or the 
choruse3 of the soldiers sang ; for each battalion has its own 
chorus of select singers, who sing various songs, either com- 
posed by themselves, or written by some otiBcer, celebrating the 
oghts in which they have been engaged. Some of these songs 
are very spirited, and occasionally they speak more truth than 



pleases all of their commanders. At nine o'clock the songi 
always ended with the everiing prayer, and after that there wai 
quiet in the camp, though not neceasarily sleep. The soldi erf 
here lead an active enough life, and apparently a comfortablo 
one. In their campaigns they certainly have shown great 
energy, and a wonderful capacity for enduring fatigue and 
hardship, and are always cheerful and good-natured. 

Once OT twice a yeiir those whose terras of service havo 
expired are sent home with their wives and children at the 
(government expense, camela heing provided for their transport. 
1 saw the departure of one of these carH\'an4j on the niglit I 
Tny#^lf lott Ta'^hkcnt, It was exceedingly amusing ; almost all 
the men were dnink, for had they not heen taking leave af 
their comradeii? and it was with great difficulty that their 
wive« or some sober fellows were ahle to keep them on the nn- 
eveu hackd of the camels, where tliey lay or sat amidst the pil^ 
of higgnge. Occa»ionaLly one fell off without seeming to be. 
injured by the fall, and could with difficulty he re-seated. It 19 
^sl-rau^e tliat no effort seems to be made to induce the soldiers 
and their wives to remain as colonists. Many would be gUd 
to remain, at legist for a time, hut they are influenced by the 
privilege of free transportation home, of which they must 
avail themselves immedlatelyj or not at all. 

The Russian society of Samarkand is very small, and there 
are, as yet, very few new houses, A new quaiier is^ however, 
laid out on the further side of the citadel, in which streets and 
houses are gradually springing up. During my visits, thiB 
whole region was a scene of dust and erju fusion. There are 
but two or three merchants, and the population is made up of 
the officers and officialsj and of the camp followers ; and as but 
two or three of the officers have wives, Russian society is almost 
as masculine as that of the natives. In these remote regioni 
the marriage ceremony is not regarded as of the utmost impar- 
tancej and society cannot afford to be t<^>o punctilious. 

It is impoi^sil)le not to be struck with the difference be- 
tween the administration in Samarkand and that in Tashkent- 
Kearly all the officials seem to have at heart the welfare of the 
country, and to be earnest in their work. They are, for tha 
most part, the remainder of what are called the *Tcherniiief 
men,' many of them having been with that General in his fiiil 


Central Asiatic campaign. General Abramof, the commander 
of the province, began as a sub-captain, but by his great 
bravery and dash in all his fights has succeeded in winning for 
himself the grade of Major-General with numbers of orders and 
decorations. He is a most active man, and knows well the 
whole of the country. I do not believe that there is a village 
under his rule which he has not visited. He endeavours to 
keep himself thoroughly informed of all that goes on, and, 
although his will in Samarkand is law, as the administrative 
regulations for the rest of Turkistan have never been applied 
to that province, he is most anxious to act always with justice, 
and in the spirit of the Bussian law. He is ably seconded in 
his administration by men who know well the people with 
whom they have to deal. The Prefect of the city was, at that 
time. Captain Syrtlanof, a Mussulman gentleman of Bashkir 
origin, speaking Kirghiz, Tuiki, and Persian with great fluency. 
While I was living in his house I had an excellent opportunity 
of seeing the manner in which he administered the affairs of 
the city. The inhabitants were well pleased with him, not 
only Ijecause he was a Mussulman, but because he was able to 
listen himself to their complaints and to decide their disputes, 
and was, what is rare enough to deserve mention, thoroughly 
honest. Having at heart the interests of the population, he 
established in Samarkand an excellent public hospital, and was 
instrumental in founding there a school for Mussulman chil- 
dren, which is meeting with great success. So far it has 
attained the object of inducing many leading Mohammedans to 
send their children there for the purpose of learning Eussian. 
Unfortunately both for the population and for the best interests 
of the Bussian Government, Captain Syrtlanof is no longer 
there. The Governor-General got an idea into his head that 
he was a fanatic, and removed him. 




Uignt — Our idjl^ — A second risit-^The mQuutaiQ ranges — The glo^iler— Hi# 
Upper Zarafif ha u—Kobisfcin^ — The petty Beta^Iakeitiler Kul Expedition 
— Annexation— Smalt ftitpnt of arable land m Centml Asia — Lm^tmg 
canals — RigTilation of irrigiitlon — Water auppljr of Eukhara^Methoia of 
irTigation.^^S_vBtcnis of husbandry— Rotation of crops — Cereals — Pannnefl 
— Lack or stiitisLics — Cotton — O^ardcnfl — Price of Loiid— Land tenurt — 
proposed lanil fiettlcineot— Land taxei. 

My friends at Samarkand urged me to prolong my si'iy fofl 
two or three days in order to visit Urgut^ twenty milet ofl 
in the tnoiin tains. Accordingly we made up a little T^artyJ 
and attended by a number of jiglta^ we started from Samarkand 
one bright afternoon. We drove through lanea made fragrant 
l>y the odour of caper plants, and by the spicy scent of 
yellow-flowered Jidda, or wild olive, and after we had 
clear of the gardens and fully into the plain, I found that mj 
friend the Prefect had prepared a surprise for me in the shape ' 
of a haiga^ the great national sport of Central Asia, known nkn^ 
by the name of hok-bura^ or * grey woltV 

In an open field along the side of the road fifty ho3 - 
were waitmg, one of whom had a dead kid sluog 
his saddle bow. As we came along this man rode up to 
and asked if we would Uke to see the sporti Of court«e im^ 
willingly assented, and we started off with everybody e!t9 ' 
in full pursuit. Tlie object of the game was to suceettl te 
bearing the kid away from its possessor and in bringing it up 
to me as the judge of the contest. Away they went, tlnoiigb ^ 
canals and over the plains, up and down hill, sometimes for- 
wards sometimes backwards, the possessor of the kid skilfully 1 
dodging ajid Ik kling on by main force to the animal wilha 


which he was charged. Men often approached him, but it 
was seldom that they could catch hold of the kid,- and still 
more seldom that they could retain the hold sufficiently long 
to make a struggle. At one place, in order to get rid of his 
pursuers, Ish Jan — for such I believe was his name — ^had to 
plunge into a pond, or rather the enlargement of a canal^ 
where the water was much deeper and swifter than he had 
thought, and soon there were a dozen men there struggling 
and plunging, all up to the necks of their horses in water. All 
got out without accident and the kid was still safe, but just 
as Ish Jan was going up the bank one of the men, who had 
not plunged into the water and who was lying in wait, quickly 
pulled the now slippery animal away from him and brought it 
in triumph to my carriage, for which of course I had to give 
him a tenga and pass the animal on to another. The next 
time they went almost out of sight across the gravelly plain 
and rapidly returned with another as the victor. The sport lost 
much by not being played, as it should be, on a grassy steppe 
where the vista would be large enough to take in the whole 
position and with a throng of enthusiastic spectators on horse- 
back, but even as it was it was extremely exciting. I saw it 
again on the occasion of a Kirghiz feast, though at a long 
distance, but with my field-glass I was able almost to see the 
intense expression of the faces, and even then was so much 
interested that, although I was hastening on, I made my driver 
wait for nearly half-an-hour that I might look at the game* 
Fully a hundred men were surging backwards and forwards 
over a broad hill-side, their horses so close together that it 
seemed as if some of them must get smothered. Sometimes 
half a dozen separated from the rest, a struggle followed, one 
bearing the kid dashed off in triumph, when all rushed at him 
and the mSUe began again, reminding me then of nothing so 
much as of a good game of foot-ball. 

Since then I have seen polo played, a game of a similar nature. 
When I first saw it, Hurlingham, the royal guests, the ladies 
and the officers all faded away, and I was again on the steppes 
of Asia amid a throng of Uzbeks. 

After travelling about fifteen miles we came to a village, or 
rather a farm, called Yangy Kishlak (new village), belonging to 
one of the native officials who accompanied us. He insisted that 



we should take some repose here, and we were conducted inta 
a large garden where on the side «f a square pond a kibitka 
had been e reeled j and where we found a bountiful lunch. 

The further we went the barer and more desolate and 
gravellj the valley became, and the nearer tbe foot hills of the 
great range seemed to us; although even then Urgut was 
Been only as a black patch on the mountain side. As we 
approachedj the black patch grew green and turned into a 
broad grove of trees, and soon the clay house-^tops appeared 
amid the gardens. The road led for sonie distance along the 
shelving^ bank of a mountain stream, and at last over a stouy 
plain which seemed almost the moraine of some old glacier. 

Under a large spreading tree surrounded by a platform 
of earthy about two miles from the town, we were met by the 
Ka7i and various oflficials, who told us that every preparation 
had been made for us, and who accompanied lis to the town. 

It was now getting quite dark, and as we entered Urgut 
the whole population met us in the street, all bearing lamps 
and torches to show us the way. We had expected to be 
obliged to leave our carriage long before and to proceed on 
horsebackj as we were told that the road was in a bad state, 
and we had sent on our horses in advance of us to Yangy 
Kishlak, but we found that the road was quite good, although 
very narrow and steep, and we were able to go beyond the 
town quite to the grove of tchhiars^ or Oriental plane trees, 
where we were to stop. Here were a mosque and the tomb of 
fi€me local saint, as well as small huts for the devotees at 
this tombi On a broad terrace in front of the mosque, and 
close to a running stream, two large kibitkas had been 
erected for our accommodation, and a welcome supper was also 
spread out for us* It was very late, but the mountain air 
was so fresh and exhilarating, and so different from the sultry 
heat of the plain, that we were betrayed into lingering long in 
the starlight and felt for some time no inclination to sleep. 

The next morning we awoke to find ourselves in a beautifij 
shady retreat, with a fragrant scent coming down from the 
heavy branches of the plane tvees. The mountain stream 
which ran past us was the clearest and purest tliat I had ever 
seen, and, as we found when we bathed in it, one of the coldest, 
but it put us into a nice gluw- 


We were still at tea when the Aksakals of the city came to 
pay us their respects, and to ask if there was anything that 
we desired. We told them that we were anxious to see the 

town, and at once ordered our horses. T stayed at home, 

but M and I accompanied the Aksakals back to the town 

down the mountain road, whence we got a beautiful view 
over the valley of the Zarafshan, Samarkand and the hill of 
Tchupan-ata being at once recognisable in the distance. We 
passed the citadel, which was entirely in ruins and now un- 
inhabited, just as it had been left after it had been stormed by 
General Abramo^ much, we presume, to the delight of the 
inhabitants, for in none of these cities did we find that they 
had loved their Beks too well. 

It was bazaar day, and the bazaar was crowded, not only 
with the inhabitants of IJrgut, which is a town of 10,000 
people, but with men who had come there from the mountain 
Bekships, and even perhaps from Hissar and Karategin. The 
shopkeepers sitting in their stalls looked cool and comfortable 
in their robes of pink Russian calico with roses and sprigs of 
mint stuck under their skull caps over their ears, while the 
crowd of purchasers on horseback seemed sweltering in their 
heavy robes and sheepskins. They made way for us with their 
good natured smile of curiosity, as the Aksakals touched them 
with their whips, but the dust and the heat were so great that 
we soon left the bazaar, and asked for some place where we 
might rest. Going a little distance further along a small 
stream we were shown into a large garden, with a square pond 
in the middle, where there were a number of tea booths, and 
there in the shade of some tall elm and plane trees a carpet 
was spread for us at the side of the pond and a bright looking 
boy in a silk robe was quickly handing us bowls of green tea. 

We soon entered into conversation with some friends of the 
Aksakal who joined us, and we then found that the boy was 
a dancer as well as a tea-seller, and on hinting that we should 
have no objection to a little amusement, another boy was pro- 
duced, and soon three or four musicians appeared with their 
clumsy tambourines, at the first sound of which the garden 
began to fill, for every Asiatic is only too glad to find an 
excuse for pleasure. Shops were shut up, the bazaar became 
empty, and in a short time our garden was filled with eager 

Bpectators, who s^eat-ed themselves in long rows all about the 
pond and covered even the tops of the walls and the roofs of 
the surrounding bnildings. The sight was certainly very 
pictui'esque. One dance succeeded another ; occasionally beggars 
came for alms ; and the crowd, perhaps to show their gratitude 
to us for the unwonted spectacle in the day time in such a 
crowded place, pelted iis with roses. The hated heat of the 
fiunny street, combined with the attractioTis of the spectacle, 
made us the more willing to linger, and two or three hours 
elapsed before we were inclined to rise from our cushions 
under the elm trees, remount our horses, and go back to our 

When at last we started, we were respectfully accompanied 
half way up the mountain side by fully half the population, 
but no one was admitted to our garden save our immediate 
attendants and Madamin, the son of the chief Aksakal, a boy 
of about sixteen, with an immense pair of boots on his feet, 
which bis father had probably lent him in honour of the 
occasion, who lolled about wonderingly all day, and shyly began 
to make acquaintance with us just as we were about to leave- 
Later on we followed up the course of the brook under vines 
and creepers, and at last climbed the steep bare peak that stood 
out over us with its jutting crags, until on its top a wonderful 
Yista of mountain and plain and river opened up to us. When 
we had filled our eyes and souls with the sight, we slowly 
descended the peak, mounted our horses, and bade good-bye 
to Urgut. We rode as far as Yangy Kishlak, where we found our 
carriages, which we had sent on earlier in the day, and late in 
the evening we were in Samarkand again, feeling gladdened aud 
refreshed as though we had been in some far off unreal world* 

Once again I was in Urgut, on my return from Buk- 
hara, but this was a visit of state and ceremony, for 1 went 
with the General and a dozen officei-s, and we were escorted 
by a troop of Cossacks. This visit was in many respects 
hardly less interestin^j than the former, though very diflFerent. 
There were carpets and tents and banquet« at the halting 
places, deputations met ua at every mile, and hj the time we 
reached the town we had formed a grand procession, the dust 
caused by which did not add much to our pleasure. We 
Bta_yed in a different and larger grove, and had with us th« 



Greneral's kitchen and cooksj forming a great encampment. 
Here we Btajed three days, devoting the morning to long 
walks and moimtain climbing, the afternoons to happy indolen*;e 
and the evenings to talk and cards. The fir^t day we were 
long kept from our dinner by the arrival of the deputations 
from the town and neighbouring villages bearing trays of 


sweets, nuts and fruit, and many written addresses. The visit 
of the Hindoos gave its perhaps the most pleasure, for apart 
from their interesting countenances and figures, with a delicate 
instinct of what would be pleasing to us, they brought us as their 
gift — -a large sack of excellent potatoes. Each deputation, after 
it was received, retired a little diatanee and took seats on the 
ground, while the rest of the population gradually came up and 

TOL, I. T 



iitood l»elnnd them. This gave to our dinner a certain solotnnityj 
for when one is closet j watched by several thousand peopl^j atl 
preserving a profound silence, one eat^ as though one were per- 
forming^ a high function • We had with us on this trip two 
bright little boys, sons of the prefect of Tashkent, who^ speak- 
ing Turki, soon made acquaintance with the youth of Urgut, 
and easily persuaded them to accoraf^any us on oUr hill- top 
excursions^ show us all the curious places, and relate to us the 
legends of the neighbourhood, and delighted them by allowing 
them to fire off our pistols. 

The moimtains on the side of which Urgut stands are 
■prolongations of the ^^reat Alpine region of the Tian-Shan, 
which J forming the ninges of the Alai, collect into a sort of knot 
at Kok-su^ between Khokand and Karategin, and a little to the 
east of the meridian of the city of Khokand^ that is long* 71*" E, 
and then divide into three separate mountain ridges forming the 
watershed between the basins of the 8yr Darya, the Zarafshan 
and the Amu Darya, to which the Russians have now agreed 
to give the names of the Tuikistan, the Zarafshan and the 
Hissar ranges. In spite of certain high peaks in tlie Turkistan 
range, the general elevation of the ground is toward the east 
and south until we reach the top of the Hissar range, the 
groimd descending on the other side into the basin of the 
Amu Darya. Not only the valleys are at a higher level as 
we go east and south, but the mountain passes and the ranges 
themselves- The Turkistan range, which forms the northern 
side of the Zarafshan valley, extendi from Kok-su nearly due 
west, until a little above Urmitan it separates into two branches, 
one following the river to a little below Penjakent, although 
continuing somewhat further as a slight elevation of groxind, 
and finally reappearing as the Gotlun-tau or Ak-tau mount^ains 
inome distance beyond Katta-Kurgan, The other branch goes 
more to the north-west, and, cut at Jizakh by the defile of 
Jalan-uta, continues in the Kara-tau or Nurata mountains iu 
little ridges on the south-western boundary of the Kyzyl-Kum, 
until it disappears in the Bukan-tau, about long. 63* East*' 
Some of the peaks in the eastern parts of this range are 

* It m jmpoeaibltf to roly lipon iba nerire nomenclritvre of tJionDtains, Inkfls^ at 
nTera, in Cer*trnl Asia, as freq\ieDrly they hiire no oamei. t ure kDQwti t^j dilfbpenl 
rUhg&i by different appelLitioas. Tbcuie mugee of mountaiD^ m which Ibe uiow 


estimated at 20,000 feet in height, but the highest measured 
are one near Paldorak of 15,000 feet, and another near the 
village of Tabushin of 14,500 feet 

Of the twenty passes in this range east of Urmitan the 
two highest are Yany-sabak, which is 13,270 feet atove the 
level of the sea, and that of Autchi at 11,200. 

The Zarafshan range, which forms the southern side of the 
Zarafshan valley, and separates it from the valleys of the Yagnau 
and the Kashka Darya, has a direction nearly due west, gradually 
lowering in height to Djam, where it terminates, reappearing a 
little later in the low range of Kaman and Kiz-bibi to the south 
of Ziaueddin and Kerinineh. It is cut by three narrow and 
precipitous defiles, through which run the Fan Darya, the 
Kshtut Darya, and the Magian Darya, the three affluents of 
the Zarafshan. The most accessible pass from the valley of the 
Zarafshan to that of the Yagnau is that of Darkha, at a height 
of 13,000 feet. The range here varies from 12,000 to 15,000 
feet in height. The southern, or Hissar, range, starting from 
Kok-su, and separating the waters of the Zarafshan from the 
Surkh-ab and other affluents of the Amu Darya, has in general a 
south-westerly direction, ending in the neighbourhood of Khuzar. 
Several of the passes leading into Karategin are at an elevation 
of 1 2,000 feet, and the great Mura pass, near Lake Iskender 
Kul, is 12,200 feet above the sea. Many of the summits rise 
to a height of from 16,000 to 18,000 feet, and near the glacier 
of che Zarafshan still higher. In the branches of this range, 

lies for a long time are called Ak-taUf * white mountains/ while others are called 
Kara-tau, or 'black mountains,* and if there be any diversity of colour they 
are Ala-fau, 'striped or mottled mountains.' This accounts for the constant 
reappearance of these names. In the lame way lakes are frequently called Kara- 
hoi or Kara-kul, * black lake/ with no idea of referring to the colour of the water, 
but merely because any considerable body of standing water receives the epithet 
of black ; while streams, especially rapid, clear streams, are named Ak-w, or 
* white water.' In fact Ak-su is a common term for water in general, and a Kir- 
ghiz, in apologising for his hospitality, will frequently say that he has nothing 
to o£Fer you but Ak-sUt white water. Both Kara-itd and Ak-su are indefinite 
names for lake or river, and therefore their frequent appearance should be no 
puzzle to geographers. In this way explorers frequently put names on their mapt 
through misunderstanding. I remembw an amudng instance. A Bnasian officer 
m one of his journeys asked the name of a certain moaotaia ridge^ and on jnq^aating 
the question two or three times the native replied, KhudMJHhii (CtodfaowtlX 
and the Ehudai biladi mountains weie immediatelj p9^ 40*11 S 
book and appeiired j^.his chart. 



wbicb near Magian and Kshtut seem to unite it with the 
Zarafshan, there is to the south of ]\Iagian tlie group of 
peaks. Sultan Hazret, over 15,000 feet in height, and in the 
meridian of Urmitau the peak Tchabdara, 18,300 feet. 

The general aspect of these mountains, the northern slopes 
of which are longer, less precipitous, and with more streams 
than the sou them, is that of bare, rocky crags, above which are 
everywhere snowy Bummits, the snow line ou the northern sides 
coming down to 11,000 feetj and on the southern sides receding 
to 1 3,000 feet. Very little vegetation is visible, and that little 
seems lost in the great extent i>f bare surface. The chief trees 
are juniper and cedar, the birch being found only near Lake 
Iskender-kul and in the Pasrut defile. Taran^ a root used ia 
tanning, and the fragrant suinbul are almost the only vegetable 
productions of value. Except along the upper regions of the 
Zarafslian and the Yagnau there are no mountain valleys, but the 
river courses are mere defiles and ravines, through which it is 
exceedingly difficult to pass. 

The Zaraft?lian takes its rise in a large glacier, situated 
about long. 70 deg. 32 min. E., at a height of 8,500 feet 
above the level of the se^. This glacier presents the form of 
a mountain of ice blocking up the valley of the river. Its 
length is about 35 milew. Baron Aminof, who ascended it, 
says that its surface, wliich rii^es and falls in a wide plain, 
is covered with stones and gravel, and full of cracks and 
pools. He was able to make only 200 paces in the course 
of an hour and a half, as at ew&ry step he was in danger of being 
crushed by large stones, which, in consequence of the melt i tig 
of the surface, rolled down from every little eminence, bringing 
massea of gravel with them. Five miles wiis the extent of hid 
view in an easterly direction, the glacier then turnirg to the 
south and being concealed by the neighbouring peaks. All the 
pide ravines, not only of the glacier, but below it, are filled vvith 
smaller glaciers.* From this glacier the Zarafehan issues in a 

' •MUitary-Topo^rflphiciil SkoTeh of iM Mountain region of the Ujiipc^r 7»raf 
Ebati,' (with fln e^tcplient map) by llnttin Amfnofj in Pnrt Hi. of ' MiittriLila for th# 
Btatiaticfl of TnrkUtim,* St PetoTsbapg, 1874 S*ni also ' GcologicHJ Observations 
cltiriag the ZftmfBhaa ETtpeiiition,' by D. K* My^henkof^ in the ' MumoiM of th« 
Imp. Rusa. Qmg. Soc. Gencnl Gen^raphy/ vol. iv, p. 267, St. Pcterpbtirg 1871: 
* Qeographienl and StatifeHfiil Inform^itioD about the ZarnfabiiD Dietrict,' by L. N^ 
Sobolefj in * Mflui, Imp. Kuss, Geog. Soc. StatieLicBj* toL iv. p. 163, St PetQi<«bafg, 


strong stream seven yards wide. After taking in numerous 
small streams, its average width where it has one bed is twenty- 
one yards. Its length, including all its windings from its 
source to the village of Dashty Kazy, where the valley first 
begins to widen, about twenty miles above Penjakent, is 134 
miles, in which it falls 4,700 feet, or about 35 feet in a mile. 
During the winter the river becomes shallow, and where the 
current is slow becomes covered with a thin crust of ice, which 
is not strong enough, however, to bear a man. The river is 
subject to three risings ; in early spring and autumn from the 
rains, and in the summer from the melting snow, during which 
it rises from ten to fifteen feet. Near Varsaminor it receives 
its largest affluent, the Fan Darya, which is formed by the Yag- 
nau Darya,* a stream rising in a glacier about long. ()9 deg. 30 
min. E., and flowing parallel with the Zarafshan until it is met by 
the Iskender Darya, a small stream flowing out of the mountain 
lake Iskender Kul. This lake, which is at an elevation of 6,770 
feet above the sea, was found to be of far less importance than 
had been supposed, being only five or six miles in circumference. 
At 340 feet above there is evidently what was the previous 
level, from which, owing to some volcanic disturbance at least 
a century ago, the lake has sunk. The only fish found in 
this lake is the Barbua fluv^iatilis^ well known for its poisonous 
roe. At one end of the lake is a fine waterfall, and the whole 
surroundings are wonderfully picturesque. It was first visited 
by Lehmann, who called it Kul-kalian (large lake). The name 
of this lake, as well as the descent which the petty mountain 
princes of the upper Amu Darya claim from Alexander, show 
the permanence of the traditions about the great Macedonian 
conqueror. These legends are, however, most vivid far up 
in the mountain valleys among the Graltchas; in the plains 
they are overlaid and replaced by stories about Tamerlane or 
about Mussulman saints. With regard to Lake Iskender Kul, 
there is a legend in Bukhara that once the Site of that city was 
a marsh overflowed by the Zarafshan. Alexander, wishing to 
drain it, went to the source of the river, and shut it up with a 
golden dam, thus forming the lake called after him, and making 
the valley habitable. The water, however, rubs ofl" particles of 

^ Written also Yagnavh and Yagnam ah. 

278 ^^^^ TURKtSTAN. 

gold 5 wLich are found in the river, and give it the name of 
Za-rafihan (gold-strewing)* Thie golden dam^ the Bukharans 
day, is inacceBsible, "for it is guarded by a race of centaurs ; 
water-spirits also entice into the lake and drown all who come 
to it. 'ITie Kshtut and Marian are small mountain streams, 
affluents of the Zarafslian, flowing nearly north. 

This mountainous region, which is known undef the name 
of Kohistan (mountain coiujti^), is inhubUod chiefly by Tadjika 
or Graltchas, who have from time to time been driven frora the 
valleys by the influx of the UzbekSi, But one eighty-fifth of 
the whole extent of territory is cidtivated and settled, and yet 
36,000 people live in wretched villages, and manage to procure 
for themselves a scanty subsistence by cultivating the soil and 
by pasturing their flocks on the mountain sides. The valley b 
are so naiTow that it is difficult to irrigate them; the rain-lands 
are of small extent, and insufficient grain is raised for the needs 
of tlie population, the remainder being brought from Ura-tepe, 
Penjakent, and Hissar. During the summer the people abandou 
their habitations, and go to the still more elevated mountain 
regions^ where there is good pasture for their sheep and goats* 
Horses are rare, asses being used for burden. The acquaintances 
made during the pasturing sea^son of summer are not interrupted 
by the difficult communications over the mountain ranges, and 
there are villages separated by pas^^es 13,000 feet highj where 
all the inhabitants are connected with one another by ties of 
blood or of marriiige. Beside a the flocks of the inhabitants^ 
many wild sheep and goat^ are to be found, as well a? bears, 
wolves, and foxes. The moist common game is a species of 
mountain partridge^ which is found in the other ranges of the 
Tian-Shan and also in the Himalayas, The natumlist Fedtchenko, 
in speaking of these and other birds, aa well as of certain fiish 
and plants which are found everywhere in the Tian-Sljan, and of 
which the same or similar species are also found in the Hima- 
layas, states that the result of his studies points to a relationship 
between the fauna and flora of the highest mountain systems of 
Asia, and leads us to suppose that here is a natural zoogi-aphical 
region. On the Yi^gnati and the Fan Darya there are large de- 
posits ot iron-ore and of coab Gold is found in insignificant 
quantities in the Zarafshan, and only the poorest class of the 
population try to work it. Four men in a day can wash out^ 


under favouiable circumstances, an amount worth 60 kopeks, or 
l8. 7d. Alum is obtained in some of the villages on the Fan 
in much greater quantities, four men in three months being able 
to work out 1,800 lbs., worth on the spot from 22^. ^to 27?., 
for which they were formerly each obliged to pay certain dues 
to their Beks. Silver, which is found on the upper Fan, was a 
monopoly of the Bek, who collected the inhabitants three times 
a year to work it. 

Politically, up to 1870, Kohistan was divided into the seven 
bekships of Farab, Magian, Kshtut, Fan, Yagnau, Matcha, and 
Falgar, which were nominally subject to Bukhara, but were 
secured from the interference of that government in their affairs 
by the payment of a small tribute. Magian, Kshtut, and 
Farab, always more or less acknowledged the supremacy of 
Urgut, the Beks of whicli (Uzbeks of the tribe Ming) had long 
before succeeded in making themselves nearly independent 
and in maintaining the right of hereditary succession. In the 
early part of this century the Amir of Bukhara, Seid Mir 
Haidar, subdued Urgut and sent its ruler, Yuldash Parma- 
natchi, to Bukhara, where he died in prison. Magian, Farab, 
and Kshtut, then gave in their submission to Bukhara. In 
subsequent troubles, Katta Bek, one of the sons of Yuldash, 
established himself in Urgut and placed his brother. Sultan 
Bek, in Magian and Kshtut. He was driven out by Mir 
Haidar, but in a subsequent rebellion he not only re-established 
himself but even tried to get possession of Samarkand. De- 
feated in this, he made peace by giving his daughter in 
marriage to Nasrullah, the eldest son of the Amir, and wat 
allcwed to retain his hereditary dominions as a fief. Ill the 
troubles attending the accession of Nasrullah, Katta Btk 
succeeded in having his hereditary right to the countij;M" 
knowledged, and on his death bis sons entered peaceably iqpM 
the government. 

During NaaruUah's long reign affairs continued in this 
peaceful condition ; but shortly before his death he called these 
Beks to Samarkand, arrested them, and sent them with th^ 
families to Tchardjui — where the greater part of tbem died-— 
and appointed new beks to the mountain districts. One of the 
younger men, Hussein Bek, soon succeeded in escaping firrai 
his exile, and took refuge in Khokand and subsequwtlj in 



S'laliri^abs. Wljen, after the capture of Samarkarjd the Buk- 
haran Beka ran away froTn the mountainaT Hussein Bek took 
possession of Urgiit, and, being driven from there by the Eussian 
troope, fled to Magian, where he estahlished himself and re- 
called bis brother Shadi and his cousin Setdj and appointed 
tliem nders in Kshtut and Farab.^ The an n ale of Eastern 
KohiBtan are full of the internecine struggles of the various 
chiefs, of occasional visits of Bukharan emissaries for the forci- 
ble collection of tribnte, and of incursions from the neighlK>nring 
countries on the other side of the mountains. The memory is 
Btill green of ooe Bek of Falgar, Aldu&h Kur Datkha, who in 
the beginning of the present century united all the distiicta 
under his rule and built roads and bridges tli rough some of 
the hitherto inacceesible defiles. During the reign of Mir 
Haidar, Bukharan Beks were established and forts were buUtj 
but the country was again nearly forgotten until towards the 
end of the reign of Kasrullah- When the Bukharan Beks bad 
all rim away after the capture of Samarkand, the country was 
for a time left^ without rulers, and then Abul Gaffar, the 
former Bek of Ura-tepe, occupied Urmitan and made himself 
Bek of Falgar- The inhabitants of Matcha turned to Mozaffar * 
Shah of Karategin, who sent there his nephew Eahim Khan. 
He drove Abul Gaffar out of Falgar, defeated Shadi Bek of 
Kshtut, who had come to its assistance, and after subduing the 
provinces of Yagnau and Fan, made an expedition against 
Hissar; but before he had reached the stronghold of that 
country his troops rebelled and drove him from the throne, 
choosing in his place a native named Patcha JTodja. The 
Falgarians, who considered themselves more civilised and 
superior in every way to the inhabitants of Matcha, recalled 

* I liavo already apoketi of Bome of thpse Beki od pig^ 87- Perhupa thi 
Mlowing genealogical tsible may prove useful, 

Yulda&h Pttrmjvnntchi (Bole of Urgut) 

Katta Bet (Urgut) 

BvXtm Bek (Mag;iaii and Kihtut) 

AdJl PaTmanatcbi (TJrgTit) 



^llayar DatkliH (Mflgian) 

HtiesBiTi Bek 


HiiE»n Bek 



Abul GaflFar, but he was beaten and had to fly to Samarkand, 
where he gave himself up to the Russians. The disordered 
state of the mountains, and the constant predatory incursions 
into the valleys occupied by the Russians, were the chief causes 
of the so-called Iskender Kul Expedition in 1870, which had 
also the purpose of exploring the head waters of the Zarafshan, 
and which resulted in the permanent occupation of these 

This expedition, composed of two aotnias of Cossacks, a 
company of sharpshooters, a rocket battery, and a peloton of 
mountain guns, under the command of General Abramof, who 
was attended by several scientific officers, started from Samar- 
kand on May 7, and on the 1 2th occupied Urmitan, and on the 
21st Varsaminor, both in the bekship of Falgar, with the ac- 
quiescence and to the delight of the inhabitants, many of whom 
had previously fled to Samarkand, offering their submission 
and requesting to be delivered from the tyranny of the Bek of 
Matcha. This Bek, Patcha Hodja, retreated, and contented 
himself with sending threatening letters. As the expedition 
approached the boundary of Matcha, on a cornice road in a 
narrow defile, stones were rolled from above on the troops, and 
they were obliged to retreat. General Abramof at once sent 
a company of sharpshooters to climb the mountains and dis- 
lodge the mountaineers, but without waiting for that he himself 
with his staff" rode along the road notwithstanding a shower of 
stones, and this bold action produced a great impression on the 
natives, and was perhaps one reason why they offered no further 
opposition. Oburdan was occupied on May 28, where the 
expedition was met by a detachment composed of a company 
of sharpshooters, fifty Cossacks, and a surveying party, who had 
crossed the mountains through a different pass from Ura-tepe. 
On pursuing his march General Abramof received a letter from 
Patcha Hodja who offered his entire submission ; but instead of 
waiting to receive the presents sent in return by the General, 
he fled from the country. After ordering the destruction of 
the forts at Paldorak, a work in which the inhabitants engaged 
with evident pleasure, the General with a small party proceeded 
to the Glacier of the Zarafshan, which was reached on June 6. 
Meanwhile, Lieutenant-Colonel Dennet with his surveying party 
attempted 1 1 retmn to Ura-tepe through the pass of Yany-Sabak, 

2Rt ^^^ TUEEISTA?^, 

lS34^Mt feet above the sea, but after croasing the pass he wafl 
attacked in a narrow defile bj the mountaineers, who rolled 
huge stones down on his command, killing and womiding maoj 
meo ; and after a vain etfort to find some mean a of ascending 
the mountains lie was obliged to retreat. On the news of thiB 
Baron Aminof was sent to meet him and to keep the pass clear. 
On the night of June 12 the surveying party succeeded in re- 
crossing the, which was so difficult that they were obliged 
to carry everything by baud, and to drag the horses and mulea 
across by lassoes. On his return down the valley of tlie Zaraf- 
shan Geneml Abnimof placed various citadels at the disposition 
of the inhabitants, who immediately levelWl them with the 
ground. From Varsaminor the expedition turned southward 
to the fort of Sarvada and to Lake li^kender Kul. Recon- 
Eaissances were undertaken of all the neighbouring passes, and 
Baron Amiuof with a small surveying party went up the valley 
of the Yagnau, From Sarvada it was proposed to return to 
Samarkand through the hekship of Kshtut. Although at the 
start of the expedition Shadi Bek of Kshtut had sent messengere 
to General Abramof with his compliments, he serioiisly ob- 
jected to having his dominions invaded and bad prepared for 
resistance. While the troops were at Sarvada a jigii, who had 
been sent from Samarkand through Kshtut, arrived saying that 
bis comrade had been retained prisoner, that the letters and 
despatches had been seized, that a sutler's clerk had been 
killed, and that be himself had barely escaped with bis life. 
At the same time Shadi Bek wrote to General Abramof that 
he personally would be glad to allow the expedition to pasa 
through the country, but that he could not rely upon his people, 
and that therefore he advised him to go back by the road hy 
which be had come* In answer the General threatened bim 
with severe punishment if he made the slightest opposition to 
his movements, and on the next day, July 6, reached the top 
of the pass of Kshtut, 10,000 feet above the sea. From this 
place the road descended into a deep basin surrounded by 
almost inaccessible crags ; and it was the intention of Shadi 
Bek to draw the Russian troops into this defile, and then over- 
whelm them by an attack from above. Suspecting this, 
General Abramof, before descending, gave orders to occupy if 
possible the heights of Kuli Kalan on both sides. A severe figbt 


resulted, which lasted all day, and in which, although they de- 
feated the mountaineers, the Russians lost 37 men in killed 
and wounded, a large proportion of the small detachment. 
Kshtut was occupied and destroyed without further opposition, 
and the next day the detachment returned to Penjakent and 
Samarkand. The scientific results of the expedition were the 
exploration of all the upper waters of the Zarafshan as well as 
of its glacier, the barometrical and instrumental determinations 
of a large number of passes and peaks, and a careful map of 
the whole region. 

When this expedition was undertaken, the Russians had xio 
intention of annexing the mountainous districts ; but shortly 
after another expedition was made by General Abramof to 
Shahrisabs, which resulted in the capture of the cities of Kitab 
and Shear, and their transfer to Bukhara. From Shahrisabs a 
part of the troops returned to Samarkand, while another detach- 
ment went up the valley of the Kashka Darya to Farab and 
Magian, the Beks of those places having been implicated in the 
attack on the Russians at the Kuli Kalan heights, and having 
refused to present themselves when summoned to Samarkand. 
The forts of Magian and Farab were destroyed, and Seid and 
Shadi Bek surrendered to the Russians. Hussein Bek, of 
Magian, secreted himself, and was not captured for some months 
after. The districts of Farab and Magian were immediately 
annexed to the Russian district of Urgut. The decision to 
annex the remaining mountain districts was taken the following 
year, 1871. 

In the winter of 1874 one of the former ruling class managed 
to establish himself in the mountains, from which he could not 
be driven out by the Russians until the spring. Soon after 
there were disturbances in the neighbourhood of Urgut, caused 
by the conduct of the natives put in authority by the Russians. 
In the siunmer of 1875, during the rebellion in Khokand, 
there were again disturbances in the mountains in consequence 
of the action of the ruler of Karategin, which immediately 
ceased on the appearance of a Russian force, but at the end of 
November matters became somewhat serious. The inhabitants 
of Matcha, influenced, it is said, by emissaries from Khokand, 
threw off its Russian allegiance, and endeavoured to occupy the 
neigh1x>*iring district of Falgar. .\ small Russian force, con- 



Bisting of too infantrj, one gun, and ten Cossacks, was sect to 
put it do WD, hut it was driven back with the loss of its com- 
mander, two affirers, and one- fourth of the men. Additional 
reinforcements were sent from Samarkand, as well aa across the 
mountains from Ura-tepe, and after another severe fight the 
Hussians succeeded in compelling the insurgents to lay down 
their armSi But tlie condition of the mountain districts cannot 
yet be considered in all respects perfectly satisfectory- 

From Penjakent the Zarafshan lo§es its monntain character, 
and enters into a wide valley, where it flows along in a broad 
shallow stream, dividing into several branches, and carried off 
in every direction by irrigating canals j yet through this most 
fertile part of Central Ada it is p jssible to ride long distances 
without BO much as seeing a bit of verdure, so small is the ex- 
tent of country irrigated by the river, A map of Central Asia, 
on which the arable lands were carefully marked, would be at 
once instructive and ciiriouSj so narrow would be the green 
Btrips along the rivers and at the foot of the mountains- In 
that part of the valley of the Zarafslian under Russian rule 
there are estimated to be 10^187 square miles, about half of 
which is covered with mountain?, in and along the mountains 
about 1,200 square miles are arable, but in the valley itself only 
1,015 square miles ; that is in all only 18 per cent, of the surface 
ib at present cultivable, while even if we include that part of 
tin-. Zarafshan valley which belongs to Bukhara, we have alto- 
gether but 3,000 square miles of arable land, of which only 1,793 
is watered by the Zamf^han. If we look at other parts of the 
country, the result is even worse. If we add to the Zarafshan 
tiie districts of Hodjent (excluding Jizakh) and Kurama, thus 
including almost all the cultivable land in the country, we find 
that but 7jV per cent, of it is arable. If to this we add the 
other districts of the province of the Syr Darya, Jizakh, Tchira- 
kent, Aulie-ata, Ferovaky, and Kasala, the moat of which is 
steppe land, amounting to over 164,000 square mileSj and to 
cover all mistakes allow for that half as much cultivable land 
as in the three districts first mentioned, we shall lind that of 
the whole of Kussian Central Asia (excluding the late-annexed 
Kyzyl-kura desert; only 1-^^ per cent- is cultivable, a result 
whicli speaks plainly as to the value of the recently -acquired 



Russian possessions. After the capture of Tashkent, it was 
thought that, as the Russians had now come to the granary of 
Dentral Asia, the army would be independent of any other base, 
and that forage and provisions could be procured at even less 
cost than before ; but the addition of even this small number 
of Russians has so raised the prices of all grains that in many 
places the culture of cotton has been abandoned for the more 
advantageous grain crops ; and more than that, owing to tlie 
actual insufficiency of the local production, most of the grain 
for army use has to be brought from Viemy, Kopal, and 
Southern Siberia.^ - 

Cultivable land in Central Asia is of two kinds ; that which 
lies along the mountains, and is fertilised by the spring and 

* The table immediat<»ly folIoTring of the average prices for ten years at Katta 
Kurgan, was compiled by Captain Qrebenkin, expressed in rubles : 






Mutton Tallow 

per batman 

per batman 

per pad 

per pud 


1 60 

1 40 


2 20 

3 30 


2 40 


6 40 

2 40 

3 60 


2 80 

2 '0 

6 80 

2 40 



2 80 

2 iO 

7 20 

2 40 



3 20 

2 20 

7 60 

2 40 

4 40 


3 20 

2 40 


2 4U 

4 40 



2 60 

9 20 

2 40 

4 40 


3 20 

2 40 

9 60 

2 80 

4 80 


14 40 

11 20 


7 'iO 

25 60 




11 20 

2 80 

7 20 

The average prices at Samarkand for 1869, 1870, and 1871* according to 
Colonel Sobolof, expressed in rubles were: — 





Wheat, per batman 

4 20 


8 76 

Barley „ 

2 60 


6 20 

Flax „ 

5 40 

9 20 

12 80 


4 20 

5 60 

6 80 

Sorghum „ 

2 60 

j6 40 

3 80 


2 20 


3 80 

Cotton „ 




Mutton, per pud 
Mutton Tallow, per pud 

2 73 
6 76 

It must be remembered that 1870 was a year of famine in Bukhara on account 
of a short harvest. In Tashkent a small cake of bread which at the conquest 
cost one tcheka now costs three. 

nuttimn mint?, called lalmi^ and that wliich is watered almosl 
solely by irrigation, called obi or abL Although the hdmi land^j 
wbich are the most extensive, produce, especially in favouraljle 
years, large crops of gTain, and are the main reliances for feeding* 
the population, yet the irrigated lands, on account of their 
richness and fertility, the constancy of their harvest Sj and the 
variety of their produce, are by far the most important to the 
well-being and civilisation of the coimfcry. The projjer regula- 
tion of irrigation is, therefoie, a matter of the greatest conae- 
queue©, especially in the valley of the Zarafshan, where every 
drop of water has value, and where witJiout more water there it* 
hardly room for another inhabitant. The worth of land is 
estimated chiefly by the am-iuut of watfir to which it has a 
right-, and most of the law stiits about lands* arise out of disputes 
concerning water- Between Penjakent and Lake Kara-knl, 
ffhere the Zurafsshan terminates, there are eighty -five main 
canals, or ari/is, drawn from, the river, the length of which, 
taken together, is estimated at over 1,570 mileSj without 
speaking of the numerous branches^ smaller canals, and ditches, 
by which the water is drawn from the main canals for the actual 
irrigation of t!ie districts and fields. 

A few words will, perhaps, explain the general syatem* Near 
Penjakent a large canal, called Bulungur, turns to the right, 
and waters the districts of Shiraz, Sugut, and Tchilek on the 
northern side of the valley, being in all about seventy-five miles 
long. It is one of the oldest, having been dug more than 300 
years ago, as legends state, by Abdullah Khan, From this 
another canal, called the Tuya-Tartar of which I have before 
spoken,^ flowed as far as Jizakh. This was also constructed by 
Abdidlah Kb an ; but as, although it made a garden In this 
region, it left Bukhara almost without water, it was aban- 
doned on hiB death. Further down, tlve Dargam canal goes off 
to the left, watering Samarkand and the country to the souths 
being with its continuations nearly seventy miles long. At the 
base of the hill Tchnpan-ata, near Samarkand, the river la 
dinded into two parts, the Ak Darya (Darya Safit) and the 
Kara Darya (Darya Siya). The Ak Darya, which conj^titutea the 
main stream of the Zarafshan, and through which the moat 
water passes, is to the northward, and after going a short 

' On page 227. 


distance is on a considerably lower plane than the Kara Darya. 
After about seventy miles these two branches, which are never 
more than eight or nine miles apart, reunite, forming an island 
of the greatest fertility, known under the name of Miankal — a 
term also extended to the whole middle course of the Zarafshan. 
Above Katta Kurgan the Kara Darya gives off a large canal, 
Nari-pai, which, after about fifty miles, flows again into the 
Zarafshan near Kermineh. On the Kara Dary^ and the Nari- 
pai the whole eastern part of Bukhara is entirely dependent for 

The city of Bukhara and the districts lying north of it are 
watered by the Shahri-rud and other canals taken from the 
Zarafhhan below Kermineh ; nearly all that remains of the 
water of the Zarafshan is dissipated by other smaller canals, 
very little finding its way into Lake Kara-kul. If we may 
believe legends and chronicles, the region about Kara-kul 
three hundred years ago, strange as it may seem, was irrigated 
by water brought from the Syr Darya, and was one of the most 
flourishing parts of Bukhara. It is said that Abdullah Khan, 
annoyed by the constant wars which he had with the nomads 
to the north of Bukhara, resolved to free himself from their 
neighbourhood, and collecting an army, marched to the lower 
Syr Darya, or to the Yany Darya, and dammed up the canal. 

At present most of the irrigated land is on the northern 
side of the Zarafshan valley, although a century ago the 
southern side was more cultivated. Owing to political revolu- 
tions one hundred and fifty years ago the northern side of 
the Zarafshan became almost depopulated, the inhabitants 
emigrating to Tashkent, Khokand or to the mountains. 
Those who settled in the neighbourhood of Urgut began to 
draw off the water for their use in that direction, and the 
southern side of the valley became the more populous, but with 
the restoration of order under Mir-Haidar the abandoned 
lands on the north were ogaia cultivated, new canals were 
opened, and the diminished population on the southern side 
being miable to manage the quantity of water sent to them, 
some large canals were entirely closed up and nearly all the 
water was sent again to the north. 

As for certain crops the seed must be sown in the spring, 
(hogari)^ and for others in the autumn (t&i^emai)j it is necessary 



to Have water on the lands at several different titnes in tte 
year, espeeially durinj> the months of March, June, Julj, AugUBt> 
and September,' When the whole vall«y of the Zai"afshan 
was under one rule, the distribution of the water was carefull/ 
looked after by the government, in order that the inhabitants 
of the upper parts, by a too plentiful use of the water, might 
not injure those living lower down^ After the occupation of 
Samarkand by the Russians great eomplainta were received 
from Bukhara, especially from the districts of Ziaueddin and 
Khatyrtchi^ that on account of the failure to renew the dams 
the inhabitantg of these localities received no water, and were 
unable to cidtivate the lands. A commission composed of 
Russians and Bukhariots was therefore appointed !n the winter of 
18T2 to consider the question. It was found that the natives 
distinguished in an indefinite way three states of water in 
the river : high, low and middling. When the water is high 
there is always sufficient for Bukhara ; when the water is low 
no precautions or measures are of any avail ; but in its middle state 
it is necessary to take certain measures to allow the water to 
go on to Bukhara* To this end it is necessary , for the benefit 
of the inhabitants ot Khatjrtchi and Ziaueddin, to keep up the 
pmclice of constructing a datn on the Ak Darya near its 
beginning to raise the water suflSciently high to allow it U* ftow 
through the Kara Darya ; and another dam in the K;tra Darya^ 
near the mouth of the Nari-pai canal. Tliese dams will not 
prevent water from going on to Bukhara ; but to give the city 
of Bukhara and its suburbs sufficient water at the two periods 
of the year, May and September, when it is especially necessary, 
it was resolved to half-close the gates of all the canals leading 
from the Zarafshan in the Russian province: completely to 
elose them would be for the Russians to ruin their own 
agricultiu-e for the benefit of the Bukhariots. These dams, 

" Boffari ftora hoffatf fpring, means pmperlj th& crops, for whi<^h the ssed jb 
town in tho spritig ■ and terejtiai from Urema^ autumn ^ the crops prodiiiicd bj seed 
ftown in the autumn ; but ae on lalmi, or rain lands, nothing but spring crops, 
wheat, barley, and raiUet, can be bowh, bo^^ati iu (tometimes need to denote th© 
eropa miBed oil rain lande, t^nd ttremai tbuea raised on irrigated land, althaugh 
including many, such as cotton, which are sown in the spring. Ak^ white, and A^nk, 
green J are also used for autumn- and spring-sown crops, ak being also a genenk) 
Ij^i^nn for earlj crops^ thoee ^Liob haye become whiba and ripe while otberi uie ttill 


however, are to be kept in repair at the expense of the 
Bukharan Government, and for that purpose the Bek of 
Ziaueddin with his workmen comes to Samarkand to repaid 
them about the first of June in every year. 

Most of the canals are looked after by a special officer, 
called a viir^ab (mir ruler, ab water) chosen and paid by the 
inhabitants who are specially benefited by him. Other sub- 
ordinate oflBcials, banman^ are appointed to take care of the 
dams. The engineering skill of the natives in constructing 
their canals seems very great, when we remember that they 
have but the most elementary knowle^ige of hydraulics, and 
are totally destitute of levelling and surveying appliances. 
The water is brought upon the fields either directly from one 
of the subordinate canals, or by means of water wheels or 
scoops. These water wheels, which are turned either by the 
rapidity of the current, or by means of a water-fall, or, as 
frequently happens, by the labour of an ox or a horse, have 
fastened to their rims a large number of wooden or earthen 
jars, which fill from the canal, and as they reach the top pour 
the water into a pipe leading to the reservoir. The scoop is a 
large wooden shovel with a long handle, suspended by a rope 
to a polo leaning over the canal, and is worked by hand, the 
leverage of the swing being sufiBcient to throw the water up 
five or six feet. It is exactly similar to the scoop used in 
Eussia for baling out barges. There are three methods of 
applying the water in tillage. For such plants as cotton and 
tobacco it is brought through the fields in small ditches and 
allowed to filter through the soil ; for rice, the fields must be 
kept submerged for a considerable time at different periods. 
For lucerne and grains, where an even distribution of water is 
necessary, the field is usually divided into squares by small 
walls of earth a few inches high. When these squares are filled 
with water the opening from the canal is closed and the water is 
left to soak in. 

Systems of husbandry differ somewhat with the size of the 
estate ; small farmers, possessing only four or five acres, aiming 
by careful cultivation to get as much out of their land as 
possible, without allowing it to lie fallow too long. In general, 
the larger farmers pursue a modification of the three-field 
system. The field, after lying fallow for a year, is sown with 
VOL. I. u 



winter wheat or barley- The next year after this crop isreapedj 
the land is again ploughed up and mwn for the Becond harvest 
with either milletj seaanae, lentils, carrots or poppies , The 
third year a summer crop of rice, FOrghum, cotton, flax or 
vegetables is raised* It is usual, however, when the land has 
been prepared either for rice or for cotton, to sow it for two 
years with the Bame crop. Other than this general order of 
Btunmer and winter crops there are no comraonlj received rules 
for the rotation of special crops. Lticeme, jenushka — MetUcago 
saliva — ^is usually sown on t he same ground for ten or twelve 
years, producing an abundant crop. The first year it is cut 
twice, yielding an average to a tanap of 500 to 220 bundles of 
an average weight of nine pounds each. The second year there 
will he four harvests of 200 bundles each, and from then until 
the eighth year the field will yield 1,000 bundles a year to a 
tanap ^ or about five tons to an acre. After the ninth year 
the lucerne is cut only three timeR a summer, ^ving each 
year less and less ; <ind after the twelfth year the field is allowed 
to lie fallow for four years, and is then planted with sorghurOj 
then with melons, and then for two years with winter wLieat, 
after which it is good again for lueemep "When wlieat or 
barley is to be sown, the field is ploughed from five to ten 
times by means of a rude plough cotnpo^^ed of a small pointed 
share tipped with a small piece of iron. The pole is fastened 
so close to the root of the share that the ground is penetmted 
to the depth of only seven or eight inches and is very sliglitlj 
tui-ned up. Ploughing is usually done by a pair of oxen 
{kmh\ an<l the amount of ground which one pair of oxen can 
work has become the unit of husbandry, so that land and esfate-a 
are frequently measured by the kosk instead of the tanap^ 
a honk being generally equal to forty-eight or fifty tanapBj 
tliat is thirty-six or thirty-seven acres. Each taiuip is en- 
riched with forty or fifty loads of manure, which is ploughed in, 
and at each ploughing the furrovra must run at right angles to the 
previous ones. Winter wheat and barley are sown about the 
middle of September and worked in with a rude harrow, 
Winter wheat is irrigated two or three times, barley but once, 
dnd the harvest ripens but once, about the end of May- The 
grain, instead of being thrashed, is trodden out by oxen 
or horses, and then cleaned by being tossed into the airi 




Sixteen tcharika of wheat are used for sowing a tanap, and 
yield ordinarily a harvest of four to five bcUmcma, that is 
fifteen or twenty fold : in most cases about thirty bushels to 
the acre.^ Four kinds of wheat {budai), are known ; of which 
tlie best are the white, similar to that of Europe, and the red, 
which is the most esteemed, and of which the best bread is 
made. The wheat Qf this region is frequently rendered 
dangerous by the admixture of some seed called mastak, the 
exact character of which has not yet been determined. Oats will 
not grow in Central Asia, and rye has never been cultivated until 
of late, when it has been raised in very small quantities for the 
use of the fiussians. Oats, and in a great measure barley, are 
replaced by sorghum (jugara), which is considered less heating 
for horses, and the green .^tems of which are good fodder for cattle. 
The leaves are given to sheep and the diy stalks are used for fuel. 
Two to three tchariks of sorghum, sown on a tanap will produce 
from two to three batmans^ that is firom fifty to one hundred and 
f ixty fold. Maize is cultivated, but only in very small quantities. 
Millet (tai^k), of which there are three varieties, ripens very 
soon, and which is for that reason used for the second crop, 
after winter wheat, will produce two batmana from five 
tcharika of seed, or about thirty fold. The culture of rice 
demands much more care, patience and hard labour, on 
account of the irrigation, than any other grain, and is generally 
sown only on low swampy land, or at all events in places where 
water is very abundant. Its ordinary return is thirty fold. 
In general the production of grain is hardly sufficient to 
support the inhabitants, and, as I have said l)efore, will by no 
means feed the finssian population and troops. 

About 25 per cent, of the irrigated land is sown with wheat, 
and about 6^ per cent, with barley. The whole produce of 
wheat — which is the chief staple of the food of the inhabitants 
on the irrigated lands in the valley of the Zarafshan, as well 
as in that of the Kashka Darya, in which Shahrisabs is situated — » 
is estimated at 6,708,500 bushels, which, for the population 
in those valleys of about one million and a half inhabitants, 

' Mr. Brodofsky agrees with me in this in his * Agriculture in the Zarafshan 
District, Russian Turkistan/ vol. ii. p. 240, but the tax returns quoted by Sobo- 
leff give only half as much. The wheat crop in England in 1874 which was betttf 
than the areruge, was 32 bushels to the acre. 

r 2 



would be a Httl© more than half a pound for each per daj. 
The rain-lands in the same regions would with fair average 
harvests produce 31^190^000 bushek, or a little less tban three 
pounds each per dayJ It is therefore evident tbat the in- 
habitants of tbe country must depend chiefly for food on the 
rain-lands, and should there be little snow in winter or no rain 
in spring, so that the harvests on these lands should be 
seriously affected^ the population would suffer from hunger. 
Experience shows too that the harvests on the rain -lands are 
exceedingly variable- Thus, for example^ in 1862 the es-tensive 
rain-lands tf> the south of Katta-kurgan, called Tchul, pro- 
duced 1,106,000 bushels of wheat ; in 1868, 155,620; in 1870, 
486 [ and in 1B71, 12,430< In 1870 there waa a very bad harvest 
and a famine, and although in 1871 all the conditions were 
propitious , the small harvest was due to tJie lack of seed for 
sowing. A bad harvest is especially felt in that part of 
Bukhara lying on the Zarafshan; Shahrigabs and the districts 
of the Kashgar Darya can always take care of themselves. In 
Bukhara the population is at least twice as great as that of 
the Russian Zarafshan district, and the amount of cultivated 
land, which must limit the production of wheats is only about 
one quarter as great. Consequently, in the most favourable 
years, Bukhara is unable to feed Jierself, and is obliged to im- 
port grain from other districts. It is not surprising then that 
famines are of not infrequent occurrence. Tbe great famine 
of 1770 is still remembered. In 1810-11 there was no winter, 
and no rain fell in the spring, wherefore the harvest on the 
rain-lands failed entirely, and there was such a famine that 
men sold their children, tlieir sisters and mothers, and killed 
the old people or left them to starve. In 1835 there was 
another famine from the same causes^ but less disastrous in its 
consequences, as there had been a remarkably good harvest in 
the preceding year. In the winter of 1869-70, there was no 
gnow, and very little rain in the following spring, so that the 
wheat on the rain-lands had no sooner sprouted than it dried 
up. Id the Katta-Kurgan district the harvest was, as I have, 

' I take tliese estimates, as well as tbe facU cootained in Uie following pnm- 
graphs, from a carefully fltudied and highly intereating arlieb hj A. GrebflnkJa 
on the * Caiiaeg of the Ead HiirrckBts id Bukhara/ publbhed in Nus, 17 and 15 of 
Ji« 'Turkisbim Gaasito/ for the yaar 1872. 


said, only 486 bushels, and these were collected in sheltered 
mountain hollows* The famine began, as the natives expected, 
in the province of Khuzar, where there is nothing but rain-land. 
Even as early as June crowds of hunger-stricken people came 
to Karohi and Bukhara to seek work. . The price of labour 
fell. By August it was evident that the winter would be very 
severe. The kalym payable on marriage fell from 151. and 
30i. to 21. and 3f., but in spite of the cheapness there were 
very few marriages. As the winter came on cattle and sheep 
began to die for want of food, for the pastures had also dried 
up early in the year. Two-thirds of the stock perished. The 
prices of grain rose to such an extent that the inhabitants of 
the Zarafshan district petitioned for a prohibition of the 
export of grain to Bukhara, on the ground that by spring 
there would be none left for seed, and that therefore the next 
year tlie famine would be still worse. Nevertheless the con- 
traband export of grain continued. About January Khiva also 
stopped the exportation of grain, eo that there was no refuge 
for the hungry except the upper districts of the Amu Darya 
or the Russian provinces. By May 1871 it became evident 
that there would be a plentiful harvest, and the prices 
of grain accordingly felL Fortunately there were no military 
operations, and the deaths from starvation were therefore not 
so numerous as might easily have been the case. 

As to the amount of grain raised in the other parts of 
Central Asia, I have been unable to obtain any detailed in- 
formation. The reader has probably noticed that my statistics 
are apt to fail me at the very point where they begin to be 
useful and interesting. My best explanation will be perhaps 
to quote from a report of an official, who at one time held a 
high position in Turkistan. 

' All that we know of the country consists of detached 
descriptions of different localities, and the accounts of recon- 
naissances made by our troops. As to the statistical informa* 
tion which is oommunicated to vm from time to time by the 
district chiefs, it is so yague and 
even so contradictoiy, that it wodh* 
The so-called statistical commif^ 
localities of Central Asia^ eo 
Statistical Committee for CenL 



it has not been able to fulfil its task, thanks to the perfect 
ignorance of the members of the local administration, who have 
not communicated to it the required information. In 1869, 
bj decree of the Cominander-io-Chief, statiBtical committees 
were formed in diflferent districts* In that of the Syr Darya 
the committee was formed for the firbt time in 1870j and it 
addressed to the ftinctionariea of the local administration a 
circular with questions on the statistics of the localities governed 
by them \ but these que&tions related to details which only 
provoked geneiul hilarity. The statistical information which 
has been presented by the district chiefs of the province of 
Semiretch containsj among other thingi?, fhe following: 
•* Climate, none ; productive forces, unknown,*^ Such is the 
extent of our knowledge about the country which we have 

Sesame, poppies, flax and hemp, are cultivated exclusively 
for the oil made from the seeds, although the stalks of hemp 
are sometimes used for the purpose of making rope. In the 
district of Katta-Kur^an, and in some part:^ of Sliahrisabfi, 
much madder is cultivated, it being found a productive and 
lucrative crop. Tobacco is raised in sntall quantities in many 
parts of Central Asia, but is uowhere of good quality, the best 
coming from Karslii and from Namangan, In the Russian 
posscssionij it is but little cultivated, except in Semiretch by 
the Russians. 

Although, as I hav^e before remarked, the cuTture of cotton 
has somewhat i^illen off in kte year^* on account of the rise in 
the price of wheat, still, m it is indispensable for the native 
clothing, and is in great demand for export, it continues to be 
one of the most important productions in the country. At the 
Bame time it is cultivated only among otlier things, and there 
is probably no agriculturist who has all of liis land under cotton, 
few having more than thirteen or fourteen acres so planted. 
A field is chosen if possible with a good southern exposure, and 
is then manured and ploughed from six to ten times, efforts 
being made to turn over the gr^^nnd as much as possible, as it 
is considered that the more the ground be worked, the better 
will be the harvest. After being soaked in water for a day, 
the seed U cast on the ground during the first two weeks of ^ 
April, and then carefully harrowed, fi'om 30 lbs, to 38 Ib-^. hein| 

COTTON. 295 

used on an acre. If there be heavy rains after the sowing, it 
is usual to plough the ground up again, and resow it, as other- 
wise there will be no crop. When the plants are a few inches 
high, the ground is carefully hoed and made into hills about 
the plants which are carefully thinned out ; and this hoeing is 
repeated every week or two until the flowering, two naonths 
after the sowing, when the land is watered for the first time ; 
but then and afterwards, during the great heats, care is taken 
to give no more water than is necessary, as too much would 
injure the plants. The gathering of the bolls is done chiefly 
by women and children. The natives estimate the cost of the 
seed, of manuring, and of preparing and planting the ground, 
at 6 to 10 rubles a tarucp, and of the hoeing and subsequent 
work at 4 to 5 rubles. As a tanap will yield from 1^ to 2 
batmana, at the average price of 9 rubles a batman, the profit 
on a tanap will be from 5 to 8 rubles, or 18s. 3d, to 29s. 2d. 
per acre. The seeds are separated from the cotton by running 
them between two wooden rollers, moving in opposite directions. 
This is a primitive and very imperfect method, as, if the rollers 
be not very close together, many impurities and crushed seeds 
will pass through. To clean the cotton of dust and dirt ad- 
hering to it, it is then usually placed on mats and beaten with 
light rods. 

At present there are about twenty-five million pounds of 
cotton sent every year from Central Asia to Eussia, from one-fifth 
to one-sixth of the whole amount imported for the use of Russian 
manufactures.* It is considered in every respect to be inferior 
to Surat cotton, which is in still greater quantity imported into 
Eussia. The chief reasons of the bad quality of the Central 
Asian cotton are the shortness (rarely two inches stretching to 
three), the thinness, and the weakness of the fibre, the bad way 
in which it is cleaned, and its admixture with so many foreign 
matters. No cotton-presses are used. The cotton is stufled 
loosely into a large sack, and on arriving in Eussia it is found 
that several inches of the exterior of the bale are so full of 
sand and dirt as to be utterly useless. The loss fii this way is 


Than was imported into Basna thzoug^ Europe— 





44,088,000 Iba. 


122,182,000 lU 


9,472,000 „ 


11.426^000 » 



never lese tban 25 per cent,, often 50 per cent., and on an a\ erage 
35 per ceot,, while the loss from the worst East lD<lian cotton 
is ODly 18 per cent. To cine these evils it has been proposed 
to introduce the use of gins and presses, and the eultnre of 
better varieties of cotton. For this purpose the Groverament 
of Tuikistan has proposed to establish a model cotton planta- 
tion, but the Ministry of Finance has objected to sending the 
necessary money until the results of the si Ik -school shall he 
known. A commission, however, has been sent by General 
Kauffmann to America to investigate the methods of cotton 
culture there employed, and to see what improvements might 
be introduced into Tashkent- Many efforts have already been 
made to ameliorate tlie varieties of cotton planted, and experi- 
ments have been made with American seed. The variety chosen 
for this pui'pose was ' sea-island,' but it never seemed to occur 
to the reformers that sea-island cotton owed its merit entirely 
t^ the fact that it was grown on islands off the sea coast, and 
that when sown on uplands or in the interior it loat its good 
qualities. The cotton planted in Tashkent and near Samarkand 
came up and grew beautifull}^ in fact it kept on growing until 
it reached the height of eight or nine feet^ but the winter came 
on before any bulla had a cliance to ripen. 

The gardens constitute the beauty of all this land- The 
long rows of poplar and elm trees, the vineyards, the dark 
foliage of the pomegranate over the walls, transport one at 
once to the plains of Lomhardy or of Southern France- In the 
early spring the ootskirts of the city, and indeed the whole 
valley, are one mass of white and pink, with the bloom of 
almond and peach, of cherry and apple, of apricot and plum, 
which perfume the air for miles around. These gardens are 
the favourite dwelling-places in the summer, and well may they 
be, Nowhere are fruits more abundant, and of some varieties 
it can be said that nowhere are they better. The apricots and 
nectarines I think it would be impossible to surpass anywhere. 
These ripen in June, and from that time until winter fruit and 
melons are never lacking. Peaches, though smaller in size, 
are better in flavour than the best of England, but they are far 
surpassed by those of Delaware. The big blue plums of Bukhua 
ai'e celebrated through the whole of Asia, The cherries rtq 
mostly small and sour. The best applea come either &oia| 

FRUIT. 297 

Khiva, or from Suzak, to the north of Turkislan, but the small 
white pears of Tashkent are excellent in their way. The quince, 
as with us, is cultivated only for jams or marmalades, or for 
flavouring soup. Besides water-melons {tarbuzj whence the 
Russian arhuz) there are in common cultivation ten varieties 
of early melons, and six varieties which ripen later, any 
one of which would be a good addition to our gardens. In 
that hot climate they are considered particularly wholesome, 
and form one of the. principal articles of food during summer. 
When a man is warm or thirsty, he thinks nothing of sitting 
down and finishing a couple of them. An acre of land, if 
properly prepared, would produce in ordinary years from two 
to three thousand, and in very good years twice as many. 
Of grapes I noticed thirteen varieties, the most of them 
remarkably good. The Jews distil a kind of brandy from the 
grapes, and the fiussians have begun to make wine, but all the 
brands which I have seen, both red and white, were harsh 
and strong, and far inferior even to the wines of the Crimea or 
of tlie Caucasus. Large quantities of fruit are dried, and are 
known in Russian commerce by the name of izium or kiahmishy 
although the latter is only properly applied to a certain variety 
of giape. If the fruit were dried properly and careftiUy, it 
might become a very important article of trade, as it is 
naturally so sweet that it can be made into compotes and 
preserves without the addition of sugar. 

The price of an acre of land of medium quality in the best 
parts of Zarafshan valley would be, when reduced into English 
currency, for gardens 71. 4«., for vinejrards lOZ. 16«., for lucerne 
5L 8«., and for tillage 3Z. 12«. According to the tabulated 
prices of 1871, such garden-lands would produce per acre a 
crop worth 4Z. 6«., vineyards 71. 12«., lucerne meadows 21. 4«., 
and fields, if planted with wheat, 3^., and if with cotton, 3Z. 128. 
In the immediate suburbs of Samarkand, land is much dearer, 
an acre of garden-land selling for 14Z. 8«., and producing 
a crop worth 7L 48. ; an acre of vineyard-land for 18Z., pro- 
ducing a crop worth 121.; an acre of meadow or tillage-land 
lOl. 16«., producing, if sown with lucerne or wheat, 41. 6«., and 
if with cotton, SI. 

The question of land tenure in Central Asia is one of prime 

iinportanee ■ firstly, because EtissiaiiB are not allowed to buy 
laod, Dor is Rusi^ian colonisation permitted until there shall 
be some kind of & land settlenaent | and secondly, becatui© m 
all of the projects of a land settlement which have been pre* 
pared by the Russian officials, it is openly or tacitly assumed 
that the fee of all the lands is vested in the State, and that 
tlierefore the government has the right to dispossess the pro- 
prietors, or to alter the tenure at its pleasure. In all this part 
of Central Asia there has not yet been found any trace of 
communal ownership, but the land tenures are governed theo- 
retically by the same rules that prevail in all Mussulman 
countries, although in practice perhaps changed by certain local 

By the general principles of Mussulman law, lands are of 
five kinds ; milk^ the property in the most absolute manner of 
private persons ; miriiS^ public domain, or the property of the 
State ; msoqufs^ lands in mortmain ; ^inetrukSy ' abandoned ' 
land, i,6, land given to public uses, such as roads, streets, (fee, 
or pastures belonging to a village or canton ; and msvat, dead, 
or waste lands. Milky or private propeiiy, is either Tnilh- 
u&hrh or tithe lauds, lands divided among Uie conquerors 
when an infidel country has been overcome by force of arms, 
and paying a tax of one- tenth part of the harvest i or milk' 
karadjiy lands which at such conquest were left in the possession 
of the non-Mussulman inliabitants, subject to the payment of 
an impos^t always more than the uHhri^ and varying from a 
eeventh to a half of the harvest. iMllh lands are at the entire 
disposition of the owner, and can be sold, given away, be- 
queathed, or turned into viuif^ or mortmain ; but if the owner 
die without heirs, the land reverts to the government. Miriit 
lands, or the public domain, if kept by private persona, are 
held by them as tenants at will, the tenure passing on their 
death to their male descendants, to the exclusion of the female 

^ line,* Mevqufe lands, or vaqf^ as they are more usually called 
in Central Asia, are such as have been given or devised to some 
mosque or college, or for some religious or charitable purpose 

\ either by private persons or by the State- Lands may be made 

* Bj recent^ rpforms the holders of 7tiiriiS lands in Turkey ure allowed to seU 
them with the permiscdoa of the auLhotitiee, and such li^ads mu Ih» iuh&rUed m th« 
feiiiale line. 


vaqf either purely for a religious of charitable purpose, or under 
the pretext of such purpose for the benefit of one's children or 
other descendants, thus forming a sort of entail. For instance, 
a small mosque will be built, of which the. descendants of the 
donor shall always be the trustees, and the land will be dedi- 
cated to their support as such. Mevat, or waste lands, can be 
turned into milk or private property by any person who, with V 
the consent of the government (although some schools of law 
think this unnecessary) reclaims, or in the phrase of the shariatj 
' vivifies the land,' that is, irrigates, or plants it. This reclama- 
tion of waste lands, however, must take place within three 
years from the time of occupation, otherwise no right of pro- 
perty passes. Strictly speaking, the land owned by private 
persons in Central . Asia is all milh-haradjij there being no , 
milk'Uahri, except such as under a mistaken idea was made by 
the Sussians, because the land was not originally divided up 
among the conquerors, and because, as the older lawyers put it, 
there was no milh-uahri in the lands watered by the Saihun 
(Amu Darya) the Jaihun (Syr Darya) the Nile, Tigris and 
Euphrates. Hur-halis, another species of milk land, has been 
created in these regions, which is freed from all taxes, they 
having been commuted at the time of its creation, either 
actually, or by a legal fiction. They are also called zar^haritif 
' changed for gold.' 

In the countries of Central Asia under native rule, the 
Khanate was divided into several provinces governed by Beks, 
who held with regard to the Amir or Khan a sort of loose 
feudal position. They were obliged to support part of his 
army, and made him large presents, and in certain matters had 
recourse to his superior authority, but the taxes which they 
collected went into their own separate treasuries, and not into that 
of the Khan. In every bekship, however, the Khan had lands, 
the revenue of which went into his own treasury, and such 
lands were called amlak lands, as distinguished from the Bek 
lands, and the tax-collectors subject to him, and not to the 
Bek, bore the name of mrdakdara.^ With respect to these 
amlak lands, some hold the theory that they belong to the 
State, and that the holders of them are only tenants of the 

* The atnJIak and the ztkat (see page 205) congtitated the privy pone of Um 




State, and are unable without the Staters permission to sell 
their lands. Others say that these lands are all Tnilk^ or the 
absolute property of the persons who live on theni, and that 
they are only the property of the State in the sense that the 
taxes frona them go to the treasury of the Khan, and not to 
that of the Bek ; in a word, that the percentage of the harvest 
paid by the holder of the land is a tax, and not a rent. M^hat- 
ever may be the theory, in practice these lands are the pro- 
perty of the persons cultivating them, for they are sold, given 
away, bequeathed, and turned into va^ as freely as other lands, 
without any recourse to the government. It seems, however, 
no question able that here, as in England, the legal fiction exists 
that everyone in the last resort holds of tho crown ; but this is 
m.erMy a fiction, and has no effect in practice. 

The Russian ofBcials, however, who have prepared the 
projects for a land settlement, advocate the view that all these 
lands actually l>elong to the State, and that the holders are all 
under one form and another tenants^ To support this view 
they bring up the theory of the origin of landed property in 
conquest or reclamation, as laid down in the shariat^ and the 
ftict that when there are no heirs, the lands are claimed by the 
State, as well as the fact that in certain cases the enjoyment of 
the land is restricted. In this, however, they make an error ; 
for they hold that the right of property is restricted or limited 
by certain regulations, eispecially those regarding irrigation. 
For instance, as an irrigating canal is made for the benefit of 
all the lauds bordering it, the use of the water is subject to 
certain restrictions* Proprietofs living neiir the beginning of 
the canal have no right to use more than their proper share of 
water to the detriment oi^ those fartlier on. This applies par* 
ticularly to rice-liinds, but as it would be an expensive matter 
to have guards at the entrance of every man's iield tu prevent 
him from using too much water, it is found simpler to forbid 
the culture of rice in certain localities. Tliis, however, is not 
a limitation of the right of property, it is only a limitation of 
the right of enjoyment, in the same way as under our laws no 
person has a right to maintain on his land a public nuisance, 
nor is he allowed t^> infringe the rights of his neiglibours as to 
water privileges where there are milk, &c, ; but his right of 



proj)erty remains intact, as he can still sell, give away, and 
bequeath his land as he chooses. 

It is therefore now proposed, after quite ten years of occu- 
pation, during which the natives have been left in the full 
possession and enjoyment of their lands, and after the govern- 
ment has recognised this by the purchase of lands from them, 
that the land tenures shall be settled by the government taking 
possession of all of the lands, in contempt of the fkct, which is 
admitted by all the officials, that whatever may be the theories 
of the law books, the customs of centuries have given to the 
possessors of these lands the actual rights of property in them, 
and by redistributing them to the inhabitants in limited quan- 
tities on the payment of a yearly rent, the non-payment of 
which will work the forfeiture of the lands. It is proposed 
suddenly to deprive a whole population of their landed pro- 
perty, and reduce them to the state of tenants, putting them 
pmctically in the same position as the Christian rayahs are 
under the Turkish government, with whose wrongs the fiussian 
government so deeply syiiipathises. Absolute property is to, 
be recognised in the land only where documents emanating 
from the Russian authorities have already been given for it. 
As to vaqf lands, disregarding the fact that many of them are 
really nothing but entailed property, and those lands which the 
authorities are willing to acknowledge as Tniik lands, there are 
two propositions. One is to leave them in the possession of 
the persons or institutions actually occupying them, while the 
lands which are underlet to other persons shall be rented to 
these other pensons, the owners of the vaqf 8 being properly 
indenmified. The other proposition is that the government 
take all the vaqf lands into its actual possession, applying the 
revenues to religious, benevolent, and educational purposes in 
the districts in which the lands lie, but not cecessarily to those 
purposes for which the vaqf 8 were created. It is claimed that 
the existence of so much land in mortmain is a burden on the 
inhabitants, and maintains a large and fanatical clerical class, 
which is dangerous to the peace and well-being of the State. 
It is also gravely proposed to found communes similar to, but 
not identical with, the village communes of Russia ; and this 
in a country where communal institutions are unknown, and 
where they would not be consonant to the customs, feelings, or 

usages if the inhabitants* A forced plant like this could take 
DO root, while its decay would poison the atmosphere. The 
arguTnents in support of these most extreme, and, as they seera 
to me, most unjust measure, are %^arious and contradictory. 
One is that the nativee would have no respect for the Russians 
if the government were thus to abdicate its rights, and by an 
uncalled-for act of beneficence grant to the natives the full 
right to the property which they call their own. Another ia, 
that if the natives were confirmed in the posaesaiou of their 
property, they would not be willing to sell their lands to the 
Eussians, and thus this would impede and prevent Russian 
colonisation ; while with the same breath the supporters of the 
measure declare that the inhabitants will Gurrender all their 
lauds for a song, and thus leave the country utterly unpopulated. 
Were there contests between different classes as to the ownership 
af lands, or were there large proprietors who had claims con- 
flicting with those of their tenants, we might understand the 
proposed resettlement of the lands ; but as we know that there 
are no large proprietors in this part of Asia, and that disputes 
between landlord and tenant are almost unknown, nothing as 
yet from the side of the inlmbitanta has called for any legigla^ 
tion on this subject, other than that which is usual in all 
com|uered countries, of confirming to the iuhabitante their 
rights to the property which they possess, in accordance with 
the laws of the preceding government, I do not know whether 
to ascribe these propositions to a mania for change and reform, 
or to an innate incapacity to understand the bases of personal 
liberty and of the rights of property. It is proper to say that 
these measiu*es were not drawn up by statesmen, for Eussian 
statesmen as yet have given but slight attention to the situation 
of aff&irs in the remote province of Turkistan, and all the pro- 
jects for the government of that region have so far been rejected 
by the Coimcil of the Empire, or have been withdrawn- They 
are the work of soldiers, of minor clerks who have reached re- 
sponsible official positions, and of a few young men who, because 
they may have graduated at the Alexander Lyceum, which was 
founded to educate statesmen, and which is the alma mater of 
Prince GortchakoflT, imagine that from that circumstance alone 
they are necessarily as great statesmen as that distinguished 
man. The officials of Turkistan would do well to take a lessou 

-^m^mT^ -iTh 

TAXES. 303 

from the land settlement of Lord Comwallis in India, and its 
now acknowledged injustice and evil results, before they take 
such a decisive step as that proposed. Maine, in his ^ Village 
Communities,' speaking of the English land settlements, says : 
* Their earliest experiments, tried in the belief that the soil 
was theirs, and that any land law would be of their exclusive 
creation, have now passed into proverbs of mnladroit manage- 
ment.' I am convinced that any attempt to induce the land- 
holders of Turkistan to become tenants of the government, 
woidd be productive of the greatest discontent, and would cause 
the Russians such diflSculties, that a far larger garrison than 
they have at present would be insufficient to maintain order. 
It must be remembered too that the appropriation of the title 
to the lands by the government would necessitate the inter- 
vention of another ministry, that of Crown Domains, which has 
as yet had little to do with Central Asia, and that although this 
ministry is one of the purest in Sussia, a new set of officials, 
especially with the work they would have to do, would give 
additional chances of extortion and corruption. J 

Closely connected with land tenure, is the subject of taxes 
on land. At present these are of two kinds, haradj and tanajp. 
As the zehat^ or tax on trade, was originally a contribution for 
carrying on war against the infidels, the support of Islam, and 
the maintenance of the poor and needy, so haradj was a con- 
sequence of religious war, being the impost on those inhabitants 
who were allowed to retain possession of their lands, although 
now applied to all lands, Mussulman or non-Mussulman. It 
was of two kinds, proportional {meka8im\ a certain part of the 
harvest of grain lands, and usually paid in kind ; or fixed 
{7nudazer\ a stated sum levied on lands of fixed dimensions. 
In Central Asia the fixed haradj was usually levied on garden- 
lands, or orchards and meadows, and, as the unit of land- 
measure was the tana'p^ it became to be known as the tanap 
tax, in distinction from the ordinary haradj. Under Bukharan 
rule the haradj was nominally one-fifth of the harvest, and 
. frequently more« and it remained so in the Zarafshan valley 
until the spring of 1 87 3, when just before the Khi van Expedition, 
in order to quiet the population, it was reduced to one-tenth, 
the same as it had been in the districts of the Syr Darya since 
the Russian occupation. Under the Bukharan administration the 

taxes in each of the many districts were collected by an ofEcer 
called serker^ who, with his large staff of assiBtantSj — scribes and 
land-meaaurera, — inspected the cultivated lands during the 
whole summer, kept accoirats of the amount under cultivation, 
and of the probable size of the crop, and finally after the harv^t 
visited each thrashing-floor, and took the portion of grain 
falling due to the government. His salary was paid by an 
additional tax, kiafmn^ which waa estimated at about one- 
ten tb of the government tax* 

This system opened the way to concealment of the true 
harvest on the part of the inhabitants, and to a great deal of 
extortion f^n the part of the officials. The serher would make 
arnmgcments with the richer inhabitants, letting them off a 
part of their tax on receipt of a suflicient bril^e^, and exacting 
from the poorer proprietors much more than their due. Here 
is an authenticated instance which occurred under the Russian 
administration. On the thrashing floor of a small proprietor 
there were 320 lbs. of com. The tax collector arrived and first 
took s^s his pay one quarter of it. His assistant took bis usual 
pay, — his sleeve ful, — but as he had very large sleeves for the 
purpose, this amoimted to an eighth, or 40 lbs. The messenger 
of the imam also took 40 lbs., for the religious officials were by 
custom allowed their share. The scribe also took an eighth- 
The baker who accompanied the tax-collector then laid two or 
three small cakes on the thrashing floor and was allowed to 
take 20 lbs* The pipe -bearer handed to the tai collector hia 
pipe, holding in the other a nosebag in which he was allowed 
to place also 20 lbs, A gipsy prostitute spread out Itefore the 
Berher a pair of new trousers and a cap, and received not only 
30 lbs*, but an invitation to tea as welL There remained, 
therefore, only 50 lbs. This was then carefully divided into 
five parts, one of which (10 lbs,) went to the government, 
while the proprietor had left an eighth of his harvest. It waa 
remarked that in this flagrant case, the agriculturist made no 
complaint. In all probability he had suffered no real loss, as 
he had previously succeeded in concealing the greater part of 
hia harvest-. 

From 1868 to 1871, as the fate of the Zarafshan valley was 

* The exemption from bixfls for liotioomble, or distinguished people^ n^y»— 
11 weU recognised thi-onghowt CBntrcil Anm. 


still undetermined, and there was an expectation of returning 
it to Bukhara, the native system of tax collecting was kept up. 
The evils of it, as carried on under Kussian supervision, became 
at last very manifest ; for it was found that the tax collectors 
stfile a considerable part of the tax, and in 1871 they were 
obliged to refund more than 165,000 rubles. A change was 
therefore made in the method of collecting, by abolishing the 
greater part of the oflBcials, and by imposing their duties on the 
village authorities. The receipts of taxes since that tame have 
much improved. In other parts of Turkistan the taxes are 
collected by the boards of rural administration. 

The tanap tax varied from 40 kopeks to 3 rubles and 60 
kopeks per tanap of ground. Besides this there were some 
other taxes left by the Bukharan government, which continued 
to remain in force. The most important of these was th^ 
hoahrpul^ a tax laid on each hoah of land during the reign of 
Shah Murad Khan, 1782-89, for the purpose of building and 
repairing irrigating canals. 

This tax, which originally was only 40 kopeks on a Jcoah^ 
was increased at different epochs to five and nine times that 
amount, and when the territory was occupied by the Russians 
amounted to 3 rubles and 61 kopeks. 

It now goes directly into the treasury, and is no longer 
applied, as it should be, to purposes of irrigation. For repairs of 
roads, bridges, ferries, and for what in fiussia are called zemskyj 
or provincial piwposes, the Bussians were obliged to levy 
another tax, which in the Zarafshan valley was fixed at 25 
kopeks on each house or kibitka, amounting in all to 10,000 
rubles. In the Syr Darya districts the house-tax, which is 
there 75 kopeks per house or kibitka, is not sufficient for the 
provincial needs, and it is necessary to levy another general 
tax, which, as I said before in speaking of Tashkent, is pro- 
portioned directly among the inhabitants. 

The amounts of taxes resting primarily or ultimately on 
land in the Zarafshan district were in 




. 284,043 rabies 




. 408,770 ,. 




. 649,800 „ 




. 1,190.970 „ 

TOL. I. 



In the rest of the Russian province of Tiirkist^n. the taxea 
of the same cbaraoter amounted to the following siiims : 



593,970 rubles 
l,125,Dd8 tt 
1,416^06 ,, 
1,185,075 ,, 

The native population in the Zarafshau diBtrict la about 
281,000, and the land taxes, t^ my nothing of taxes of every 
other kind, such as the zsbd^ and trade duties, nmonnted in 1 868 
to one ruble (2g, Bd.) per head ; in 1869 to one ruble and forty- 
five kopeks (43. ) ; in 1 870 to two rubles and thirty-one kopeks 
(6fi. 4d.); and in 1871 to four rubles and twenty-three kopeks 
(lis, 7rf.)* The increase in this case is more apparent than real, 
it being due chiefly to the better collection of the tiixes rather 
than to their augment4ation* 

It is proposed, in case the land settlement should go into 
effect, to turn all these taxes into rent, and after dividing the 
land according to it« returns into eight categories, to fix the 
average harvests and make the rent ten per cent, of their worth, 
which would bring in from twenty-five kopeks to five rubles a 
deaiatin^ or from Zd. to 5s. an acre. The ^emskff tax would be 
one-tenth of that amount, and the few lands, the al>53olute pro- 
perty in which will be allowed to the natives or to Russians, beings 
freed from the rent, will pay only the zemah/ tax, whereby the 
richer portion of the community will pay no ta:res at all, these all 
falling on the poorer agriculturists. The officials defend this 
arrangement on the ground of its similarity to what now exists 
in European Bussia* They find these taxes lij^ht in com- 
parison with those which are imposed on the Rusi^ian peasants, 
who sometimes have to pay in this way more than the incomeB 
of their farms and holdings : and there is even noticeable a tone 
of dissatisfaction at not being able, after all the pain and cost 
of conquest, to grind out of the population as heavy taxes as 
are obtained in Russia, where the peasants are still practically 
fixed to the soil.* 

One reason for this feeling^ is the natural annoyance felt by 
the Rusisian oflficials on finding that the expenditure necessary 

> See the i¥ork of Colonel Sobolof, Jili^kdy ciivdt jind the *Gdoi,* No, 134, of 
16th (28th) Miiy. ISTS^ 



for the government of the country so far exceeds the revenue, 
and that all the country which the fiussians have annexed of 
late years is a useless acquisition, and for all practical purposes 
of trade and agriculture is worthless. But this subject I shall 
discuss more at length in the subsequent chapter. 

Under all this, too, there is a lurking feeling, — ^which is 
perhaps innate in every man of 'a conquering race with regard to 
those conquered, — that the natives, even in their own country, 
liave no rights, and that admitting and granting them are acts 
of a pure, if not self-injurious, liberality. Such a feeling has 
been very noticeable in the ideas expressed by the fiussians 
with regard to :rade. 





Eencontre at Ji^altli^^ZHTnin— Ura-tep^— Penkof All^-bisliik— Ifl'jKi— Hod* 
jent— Its Bitui&tion — Defence agairiitt the Khokandiftaa — Coal minee— 
Lead — Gold — N^iphtba — KxnggcnLtedl aocoiitits of mineral wealth— Bridge 
OT(*rSjr Daryti — Frafeet^R ppaidoncB — Popnlfiition of KumTna— Stock- raising' 
^Climate of Centml Asia — Earth qimkeg^The Calendars — Agrlealtnral 
flolar yejir— ZotUiical Tnonths— Their ChrvIdBean origin — The Kirghinr 
Calendar dorived from tliEj Mongol — Tlie Twelre-jear Cjclo* 

At last I left SamarlcaTid one evening, and the nest day at 
noon found invself at Jizakh, where I was told that horses 
were already waiting for me, I had mentioned in Samarkand, 
that I should he pi ad, if possible^ to make a detour to Hodjent, 
and as the road thither from Jis^kh was not a powt road, the 
Prefect of Samarkand had heen kind enough to send on a 
message that horses should he prepared for me all along the 

While T was in the midst of an improvised breakfast, a 
thick-set Cost^ack officer dropped into the post-station, nominally 
to look at the wares of a commercial traveller who had fixed 
himself tliere for a day or two, but really I think to inspect 
me, I found out that he was the commandant of the place, 
but as he himself did not choose to inform me of his rank, I 
pretended ignorance and answered his questions, which out of 
politeness he addressed to me in French, as indifferently as I 
could, I came near laughing when he put, as he thought, 
some rather adroit inqvuries about the movements of MacGahan, 
whom he evidently supposed to be an English spy, and when 
he tried to find out whether 1 had ever seen or heard of him, 
and whether it was not true that he had travelled in my 
company, 1 do not think, however^ that he got very much . 
eatiiifaction. I learned afterwards that on that very day, or 

^- ■- 


the next, he started off with a troop of Cossacks in pursuit of 
MacGahan, having just received orders to that effect. As^I 
had then heard nothing from MacGahan since he had left me 
at Perovsky, I do not think that, had I desired, I could have 
afforded this worthy officer any information to guide him on 
his road. 

Turning south-east towards the mountains, we went along 
what seemed a good country road, through a well-cultivated 
region partly irrigated from the mountain streams, but chiefly 
composed of rain-land^ on the hill slopes. The path of the 
moisture was visible i^ the steppe by the profusion of flowers, 
and even the drier portions were covered with capers, yellow 
larkspurs, and clumps of yucca. Far up on the mountain- 
sides we could see yailaks, or summer encampments of Uzbeks, 
and flocks and herds. After changing horses twice and driving 
at a fast pace about forty miles we reached Zamin, now a small 
town of only twenty houses, at the foot of the large dilapidated 
citadel which still frowns upon it from a high mound. It was 
formerly the residence of a Hek more or less dependent upon 
tJra-tep^. On this by-road travellers were evidently of rare 
occurrence, and I was probably mistaken for son^e Sussian 
official, for all the inhabitants turned out to see me, received 
me with great respect, and showed me to a platform in front of 
one of the houses which had been prepared for my reception 
with rugs and pillows. I was no sooner seated than the 
aksakals of the village came to pay their respects, bringing 
with them trays of fruits and sweets. After walking up and 
down the one street which constitutes the town, and then dining, 
we set out again, but after about an hour's drive the daylight 
suddenly changed into darkness, and the inexperienced drivers 
missed their road. At first we did not notice it, but we soon 
began bumping over uneven ground, and finally brought up in 
a dry ditch, when We perceived tliat we were lost. Lighting 
our lanterns we found that no damage had yet been done, but 
as no one had any idea how far we were from the road, or in 
which direction it lay, we resolved to remain there until morn- 
ing. While we were still discussing and endeavouring to put 
the best face on the matter some Kirghiz came up, having 
probably been attracted by our light, and set to work to find 
the road for us. How they foimd i1 * ' Hut they 

Wiilked about for some time closely examiniTig the gpround, and 
even I think smelling it, sometimes lying flat to discover Bome 
traces* At last they tuld us to start, and moving on with great 
caution we soon came again to the roadjallhougb at a verj dif- 
ferent place from that at which we had left it. We were itill 
reflecting on the wonderful instinct of the Kirghiz in setting ua 
light J when we reached the hamlet of Sabat, where we waited 
for daylight, and arrived at Ura-tep^ at 10 o'clock in tli© 

At the Rtation some message was given to the driver j and I 
was taken to a large comfortaUe house, which, as 1 afterwards 
understood J ^jclonged to a Kussian officer who was then absent 
on the Khivan campaign, and which was placed at my di^ 
position while I stayed there. At the time, howeverj I could 
find out nothing,^ — neither to whom the house belonged, nor 
who was its occupant, nor in what light 1 was considered* I 
bad a vague impression that I was being billeted npon some 
one by superior order, and that I might be putting him to 
inconvenience, which made my positioD very awkward and 
caused me to hasten my departure. Soon after the com- 
mandant came in full uniform to make a formal call and invited 
me to breakfast, but yet vouchsafed no explanation- His oflieial 
residence was on the side of a steep hill opposite the town, 
and aboi-^e it were the ciumbling walls of the old citadel, one 
of the strongest in Central Asia, now occupied by but a few 
RnRsian soidiers. From here I think you get the iinest town 
view in Central Asia. At the bottom of the lilll is a little 
stream, now narrowed, and dammedj and spanned hy bridges, 
hemmed in on each Bi*'e by walls and houses, now flowing 
through many channels over a wide gravelly bed. Above it 
the flat roofs rise terrace-like on the hill side, broken occasion- 
ally by a dome or cupola and surmotmted by the long decorated 
fa94ide of the college of Rust am Eek, which was built some 
thirty years ngo in imitation of the Shir-dar at Samarkand. 
The town is full of g^rdens^ and tall trees rise up everywhere 
between the houses, thus taking off that dead grey colour of 
dirt which so wearies the eye in all Asiatic towns. Gardens 
and green fields stretch ftir up the hill side^ and beyond these 
are the ridges of other low hills, and finally the two chains of 
thtr Turkifitan and Za'afi^hun mountains with their muny snow-* 


capped peaks. To the south-east these mountains grow higher 
until they culminate in the sharply outlined pyiamidal mass 
of the Altyn-Bishik, the summit of which is always clearly 
illuminated by the sun. This is the highest of the three peaks 
of Abdu-Baisher ( 20,00u feet), and to account for its name the 
natives tell the following legend. A rich Tadjik in Hodjent 
had had several children, but they had all died young. At 
last, when a son was bom, his wife consulted a witch as to the 
fate of the child, and was told that up to the age of sixteen 
the boy would be liable to die from the bite of a tarantula. 
The father, wishing to ward off this danger, and knowing that 
in high places where it is cold there are no tarantulas, scor- 
pions, or serpents, took his son to the very top of the moun- 
tain, and set his ci*adle there. All went well for a time. The 
boy grew up strong and well in the fresh air of the mountain. 
At last his sixteenth birthday came, and the parents made a 
great feast on the mountain-top. When the festivity was at 
height the youth cried, fell down and died. The attendants 
then found an immense tarantula which had been hidden in 
a basket of grapes, and had thus worked the will of the fates, 
for the sixteen years had not yet been fully completed- The 
youth was buried on the mountain-top, and, in pity of the 
mourning parents a large cloud came and covered them and 
their dead child with snow, which sank down into the valleys 
of tlie mountain, while the rocky ribs stood out strong and 
black, as though in mourning. From that time the snow has 
never left it, but clouds no longer touch it, and every day, in 
remembrance of the past when it shone on the cradle of the 
boy, the sun comes to gild it with its rays. 

I wandered for a long time through the curious winding 
bazaar of Ura-tepe, particularly attracted by the green riding 
boots studded with silver nails, and the large wooden aahota^ 
each on three stout wooden feet, into the ends of which were 
driven nails. These are worn by the Galtchas from the moun- 
tains and from Karategin, who frequently come down to this 
bazaar. I visited the college of Sustam Bek, and the old 
mosque of Abdullatif, which I found without special interest, 
and far more beautiful in the distance than near at hand, and 
then returned to the bazaar, where I would willingly have 
lingered, — for the inhabitants were all kind and well disposed, 



and iuelmed to converBatioii,^ — had not a rain storm driven m^\ 

Ura-tepe, the ancient TJsrushna (Oshnisene and Satmshna),* 
WLiB in the^ old times an appanage of Ferganaj but was fre- 
quently for a time independent, and during the present century 
has been a constant apple of discord between Khokand and 
Bukhara. Its recent history, as related b^ its last Bek, Abul 
Gaffar, was a yearly succej^sion of broils, rebellions, campaign a, 
Bieges, and family murders ; but still, throughout it all, whether 
under the dominion of Khokand, Tashkent, Hodjent or Bukhara, 
Abul Gaffar's family succeeded, in spite of temporary disasters, 
fining its hereditary right to rule. The battle of 
Irjarin 1866 broke the power of Bukhara, and led to the fall 
of Hodjent. It was not, however, until four monthe later, that 
in conseqtience of the hitch in the negotiations with the Amir, 
a detachment was sent a^^ainst Ura-tepe, which, after much 
difficult work^ succeeded in establishing batteries. The citadel 
was finally taken by assault on October 14, after a siege of 
eight dajs, and a hard struggle of an hour and a half, Abul 
Gaffar Bek, and moat of the garrison, managed to escape to the 
mtjuntains, but the retreat of many of them was cut off, and 
the hundreds of corpses which were found during the nest few 
days showed how many of the defenders had perished in their j 
flights Besides many prisoners, the Euysians took 15 cannon 
and 4 standards, but lost 3 officers and 200 soldiers killed and 
wounded. Since that time Uni-tepe has been peaceful enough, 
and although a town of more than 10,000 inhabitants, haa , 
rei^uired hut a very small garrison* 

Four hours' fast driving brought us to the little town of 
Nau, which, instead of htang the fortress I supposed, is only an 
insignliicant collection of hou-^es well situated in a pretty 
country. At fhe post- station they were expecting us, and had 
prepared a room for uw, and we liad no sooner taken posa^^ssion 
of it, than the aksakals presented themselves with a deputation 
from tht* town. The rain which we had met at lJra-tep4 
overtook us again here, lasted all night, and accompanied us to 
Hodjent in the morning. Everyone assured me that it waa a 
most unusual circumstance, as in the summer there was rarely 

^ An lut^peBtit^g discussion on the priniitire form of this word will he found 
in Mt P. Lerch'a vwlmibb paper on the * Coma of thtj lliLkhar-Khadjits/ p. 78, S. 


any rain at all. Perhaps the summer of 1873 was an unusual 
one, for this was not the only time I met with a pouring rain. 

The approach to Hodjent was very pretty. The road all 
the way from Nau lay between gardens and fields, and I 
noticed here that the clay walls, instead of being high and 
completely shutting out the view, were low, and merely intended 
to keep out the cattle. This added greatly to the charm of the 
landscape. The fields, however, — whica in the immediate 
vicinity of Hodjent were either cotton plantations or vine- 
yards, — had each two or three towers or observatories, from 
which the guardians could see the approach of marauders. 
The mulberry trees along the walls had been stripped of all 
their branches to feed the silkworms, so that they looked like 
so many dead trunks. When we reached the gate of Hodjent, 
we were met by two jigits^ who accompanied us to the house of 
the judge, on whom we were billeted. Here I was able to 
understand the conditions on which I was received, but they 
were not calculated to render my stay more pleasant, and I 
therefore hastened my departure. I was neither a guest nor a 
stranger ; that is, I was never allowed to pay for my lodging 
or for my provisions, nor was I received as a guest of the 
family, but certain rooms were set apart for me, and every- 
thing which I wanted was placed at my disposition. In fact, 
I was quartered on the owner of the house, who in this case 
was the judge, and who probably was only too glad to get rid 
of me. Curiously enough a year later, while on an official visit 
of investigation to Ura-tep^, he was murdered by the officer on 
whom I was quartered in that place, who, it seems, saw no 
other method to relieve himself from the accusations brought 
against him.^ The prefect, Baron Nolde, a Swede from the 
Baltic provinces, who had been educated at the University of 
Dorpat, received me very kindly, and had me shown the bazaar, 
onder an escort of aksakals, interpreters, and jigita. I visited 
some mosques and seme schools, made the acquaintance of 
some Eazis, and rode through the bazaar ; but even had there 

' This officer was tried and found gailty of premeditated assassination, and 
was sentenced to the mines in Siberia. Family iufluence, howerer, at St. Peters- 
burg, procured a delay in carrying the sentence into execution, and General Kauf* 
mann, on returning to Tashkent in 1875, at once released him, and the next daj 
innted him to dine — much to the scandal of the law-abiding inhabitants. 



not been a pouring rainj mj suite was too Jarge for eitH 

amusement or inquiry. Subsequently, on going to Khokaml^ 1' 
remained in Hodjent several days, and had a better opportumtf 
to make myself acquainted witli that place. 

Hodjent has a pleasanter air than almost any other Centnd 
A sciatic city, due, I think, in part to its situation on the rivwj 
bank, and in part to the sociable and pleasure-loving character 
of itfi inhahitants, for by far the majority of them are Tadjika. 
In being so close to the river, Hodjent is an exception to most 
Asiatic cities, but the native town was never exactly on the 
shore, the intervening space liaviug been since filled up by the 
fiussians, a smull colony of whom is stretched along the bank 
with bathing houses and wsishing places below. The bank 
being high, tlie river is of no use whatever to the town, which 
receives its water supply from the little stream of Hodja 
Bakargan, Towards the end of summer, this stream frequently 
driea up, and the city then often suffers for want of water^ 1 
there being no pumping-machines to furnish water from the 
river for the gardens and hoy^es* The distress from lack of , 
water is greatly inttjusified by the heat. Just across the 8yrl 
Darya is a high rocky hill, called Mogul-tan, which, absorbing j 
the sun's rays all day long, gives out heat like a furnace, when- 
ever the wind blows from the north. In one corner of thej 
town, not far from the river, is the old citadel, built on an 
artificial square mound, a hundred feet or more in height, A 
steep path and staircase give access to the fort, from the top of 
which is obtained a magnificent view of the surrounding 
coimtiy, and of the distant mountains. I hardly know whether 
the mound is even solid, on account of the hollow sounds heard I 
in many places, and suspect that the whole thing is a wooden 
framework only half filled in with earth. Indeed there is a 
story that two or three soldiers once fell through the floor, and 
were never more heard of. . 

The bazaar is large in proportion to the size of the city 
(30,000 inhabitants ), and although no great trade is carried on 
there in any specialty, it is yet an exceedingly interesting 
place for studying the life of the community,* 

* BabeTi ID desorlbitig Hodjent, sajs : — 'This is & Tory aiidei^t city. Sheik 
Mnslebfjt ftnd Hoi^n KemiLl were of HodJBnt Its fruits are very good, pATti^- 
liirl)' >tB fiomegmurtt«ft, which upe so eelebmted that the appU'H of Sarriarkand mwl^J 



Hodjeot, being on the direct roaci from Khokand in Hiikham, 
wae at ooe time a place of considerable commercial impurtauce, 
for all tbe trade of the two countriei!i paii^Red through it. Since 
the Russian oceupatioti, tiii^ trade has been in a great measure 
oltstructed, and being in part contraband, has been obliged to 
3k byways, so that the importance of Hodjent hag fallen off. 









leing at tbe same time a ciiy of mnm^ imporinnv*^ U\ UrnAt, !i 
was always an apple of discord hctwc^ii Kbukiiud unil llnlibiiiHi 

je pomegmtiatiMi of Hrj^ljenf. Jmvn pn«iM?ii info n |KP<*viirh i \m\ itmllnii* no I lift 
^ueT ans they are gr^nily nan-lM nt \irm*ui hy l\\u puuwuftmiU^^ ni Mmuh\m% 
"The forLress nf Ho I jt- lit i(* f^lUuiii-A on pui i-mlinm-'i^ )mvUiJ| m ih» JiuHl* IIm^ tUtu 


■tg- ■ -'ai 



and although having for ages belonged to Khokand, was fre- ; 
quently captured and held for a time by the Bukharans. WlMtt 
the Amir of Bukhara assisted Khudayar Khan to remount hk . 
throne in 1864, he retained Hodjent in his possession, refissing 
to give it up, and still nominally ruled it, although it had be«ii 
abandoned by his troops, when the Russians under General 
Bomanofsky took it by storm on June 5, 1866, after the defeat 
of the Bukharan army at Irjar. As the inhabitants of Hodjent 
were left entirely to themselves, and had not had time to put 
the city in a good state of defence, and were unsupported by 
Bukharan troops, although bands of Khokandians were scouring 
the neighbourhood, and endeavouring to send in the country 
people to fight, its capture did not cost as much effort as it 
otherwise might have done. Still the Bussian loss was coot- 
paratively heavy, for there were 5 killed, 6 missing, and 18f:^., 
wounded, ''''^^■. 

In 1872 Hodjent was the scene of a riot, growing out of thii^i^ 
general dissatisfaction with the Russian rule, which had to ba >.,» 
quelled by the troops, and in 1875 it played an important part '"' 
in the'war with Khokand. 

The Khan had taken flight, and th» Russian troops were 
preparing to punish the rebels, but it was not supposed that they 
themselves would take the offensive, when on August 20 news 
was received of the proximity to the town of large bodies of 
Khokandians. This intelligence caused Baron Nolde, the com- 
mandant, to be a little more on his guard, and small detach- 
ments were stationed outside the gates and at the bridge. 
During the night, there was an attack upon the gardens of 
the District command, but it was apparently made only by 
marauders, who were easily driven off. At daybreak, however, 
the Khokandians, in great numbers, attacked the city at three 
points at once : on the Khokand road, at the Nau gates, on the 
road leading to Ura-tep^ and Samarkand, and at the bridge. 

Seihun, which flows past at the distance of about a bow-shot. On the north of the 
fort and of the river Seihun there is a hill, which is named Myoghil, where they 
say that there are turquoise and other mines. In this hill there are many serpents. 
Hodjent is a good sporting country ; the white deer, the mountain goat, the stag, 
the fowl of the desert, and the hare, are found in great plenty ; but the air is ex- 
tremely noisome, and inflammations of the eyes are common ; insomuch that they 
say that even the very sparrows have inflammation in the eyes. Th'iS badness oi 
the %ir they ascribe to the hill on the north.' 


The first attack was made on the Khokand road, where the 
Bussians had only a single company of infantry, and forty 
Cossacks, bat after the alarm, these were reinforced by two 
other companies and four guns, and the command was given to 
Colonel Savrimovitch, who immediately advanced and repelled 
the enemy, — ^who were estimated at 10,000 men, — far beyond 
the gardens. At the same time a large body of Khokandians 
appeared on the other side of the river, which they had crossed 
higher up, and made an attack on the bridge, of the importance 
of which Abdurrahman Aftobatcha, the head of the rebels, and 
who was in personal command at the attack on the city, was 
fully aware. On the other side of the bridge there was posted 
only a single company of sharpshooters, under the command of 
an ensign with no artillery ; and this small detachment bore 
the brunt of the attack of this immense mass of the enemy for 
two hours and a half, until another company and two guns 
could be sent out. Both companies then opened front and 
advanced, and a few rounds of shot soon compelled the enemy 
to retreat from the bridge. At the Nau gate the fighting was 
much harder. Before the Bussian forces had come up, the 
Khokandians, who had occupied all the surrounding heights in 
great numbers, had succeeded in getting possession of the 
gates, and it was only after a sharp hand-to-hand fight that 
the Bussians managed to drive them ofl*, and to retake the 
gate. Desultory firing was kept up all day at this point, as 
well as on the Khokand road, but towards evening the enemy 
retreated. Matters then began to look very serious, and an 
order was given by Baron Nolde, that the Bussian families 
should take refuge in the fortress, he himself, it is said, first 
setting the example, while all the old soldiers, and all the 
able-bodied merchants, were armed and enrolled into a com- 
pany of volunteers. That evening the besieged were agree- 
ably surprised by the arrival of fourteen workmen from the 
glass works of Isaieff at Digmai, a place some nine miles 
off in the hills. They reported that the Khokandians, joined 
by the inhabitants of the village, had made an attack upon the 
works, and before they had had a chance of organising them- 
selves, had captured two men and three women. The rest shut 
themselves up in a single room, and were intending to defend 
their lives to the last, when the Khokandians set fire to the 



buildin|>;. Thej then jumped out of the ' window into the 
midst of t le crowd, and dealt blows right and left* The 
Khokandlaos were so astonished by this sudden onset, that 
they gave way, and the men, by a few shots, were able to keep 
them at a distance, and make their way to Hodjent. The next 
day a company of the second battalion arrived from Ura-tep^, 
having kept up a running fight all the way from Nau* This 
place was captured by the Khokandians, and three or four 
Russians livin|^ there, including the station-master, were 
murdered outright, or carried off as priHonera, That day there 
was another attack on the gate, and an attempt to bring about 
a general fight on the Khokand road, but Colonel Savrimovitch 
drove the enemy back to the hills. On Monday the 23rd, the 
Khokandians again made an attack on the bridge from th&^ 
opposite hank of the river. Two companies of infantry and 
two guns were sent out against them, and after a little brush, 
put them to flight, but could not pursue them, having no 
cavalryp The situation of the besieged had become very 
difficidt* Tiiey had but few troops, and these had constantly 
to be moved about from one end of the town to the other, and 
were always in a state of alarm. They had received no newa 
from Taslikient, although they had every reason to believe that 
troops were advancing. At the same time, if these troops 
shoidd be slow on their march, the great masses of the enemy, 
although bad figliters, miglit succeed in tiring them all out, 
and they might in the end be compelled to submit to the loss 
of the town, and to shut themselves up in the citadel. It was 
therefore resolved to take the offensive, and to advance on the 
village of Kostakoz, where the main body of the Khokandiana 
of 15,000 men was known to be* Two columns under Colcmel 
Savrimovitch and Culonel Yefremof, marched at day break. 
Colonel Savrimuvitch met the enemy'ti forces close to the town, 
and, repulsing them by a cannonade, pursued them as far as 
Xostakoz, where there was a iievere fight, the whole contest 
lasting from 5 30 in the morning until noon- The enemy's 
lossj which was supposed to have been large, was not exactly 
known, as they had time to caiTy off their dead. Colonel 
Yefremof broke the retreat of the Khokandiana at Ispissar,i 
and thrt^w them back to the Syr Darya. During the tlay a 
Euasiun ensign, who with a companion had been made prisoner 


ai a station on the Tashkent road, was sent back under guard, 
bearing a sunamons from the Khokandjans to tlie Russians to turn 
Mussulmans, who promised them on that condition permission 
to leave the country with their families and property. That 
night the first battalion of sharpshooters and four cannon arrived 
from Tashkent. This relieved the town from all danger. Every- 
thing returned to its usual quiet, and tl)e next day the Russian 
families returned to their houses from the fortress. 

It is a curious incident of this siege that before it began. 
Mullah Maaruf, the Bek of Makhram, passed a day and a night 
in the town in disguise. It was well known among the natives, 
but no one told the Russians. When General Kaufmann 
arrived, he reproached Baron Nolde with his cowardice, and a 
Commission was appointed to judge him for abandoning his 
post. But at the end of the campaign this was all forgotten. 
This Commission, as well as another investigating charges of 
extortion and corruption, was dismissed; and Baron Nolde 
received a gold-mounted sabre, with the inscription 'For 
Bravery,' and was presented for the cross of St. George. 

Twenty-five miles to the south of Hodjent, at Kokine-sai, 
are some coal mines belonging to Colonel Fovitsky, which are 
still worked to some extent in spite of the diflBculties of 
transporting the coal through the mpuntains, its consequent 
high price, and the small quantity which is used. The question 
of coal supply is one of great importance for the development 
of this region, as at present almost the only fuel used by the 
Russians is wood derived from the fruit and mulberry trees, 
which results in the desti-uction of the gardens. Even before 
the capture of Tashkent Lieutenant-Colonel Tatarinof was sent 
to seek for coal, and discovered some layers of it in the 
neighbourhood ofTchimkent, Since that time the Government 
has spared neither money nor pains to discover good coal fields. 
It seems however, that the ideas as to the mineral wealth of 
Tiu-kistan are as delusive as are those of its agricultural or 
commercial importance, A small seam of coal was found near 
Hodjakent, about fifty miles from Tashkent, but it was difficult 
to work, and the coal was of poor quality. It cost, delivered 
at Tashkent, twenty-five kopeks per pucZ, and although seven 
kopeks cheaper than the Tatarinof coal, was, owing to its 



inferior qiiality, much less ecsonomieal for heating purpoacs. 
An effort was made in Tashkent to accustora the natives to the 
use of coal by distributing it to them gratuitously j but they 
were either suspicious of this, or were satistied with the small 
fires which tbey made of wood and dimg, and could not be pre- 
vailed upon t-o u&e it to any extent* The Tatarinof coal held 
is on the upper part of the Boroldai, at fifty miles from 
Tchimkent, 1 S4 raileB from Tashkent, and at an eq ual distance 
from the landing on the Syr Darya at the mouth of the Aiys, 
These mines were worked for a time at Government expense- 
In 1868 2,900,000 lbs* were obtained from these minee, of 
which I562O5OOO lbs. were furnished to vessels of the Aral 
flotilla. In 1869 3,216,000 lbs* were obtained, but the con- 
sumption by the Aral flotilla was less, being only 15440^000 lbs, 
while 360,000 l\m* were sent to Tat^hkent. The consump- 
tion, and therefore the quantity dug up^ from this time 
diminished, and the working of the mines has now ceased, after 
having cost the G-overnment a considerable sum of money. 
The product of Colonel Fovilsky'a mine increased from 100,000 
lbs< in 1868 to 1,400,000 lbs. in 1871j the work being carried 
on only about three months during the year. The number of work- 
men employed varied &om 1,150 to 1,750. The actual cost 
of the coal in 1871 was 5^ kopeks {2d.) per pud of 36 lbs. 
Its transport to Hodjent cost twelve kopeks (4ci.), and to Ura- 
tepe twenty kopeks (pd.y. 

In 1874, Professor Eomanofsky, of the Imperial School of 
Mines, was eent on a tour of investigation through Turkietan. 
His reports to General Kaufman give a very bad show for the 
mineral wealth of the country. In respect to coal his con- 
clusions are sub^tantiallj the following. 

In the mountains of Kara-tau, although only in the goutli 
eastern part, there appear the upper strata of the carboniferoug 
period, that is earl>oniferoufl limestone {hevgkalh\ but there 
IB no appearance of the lower or true coaU producing strata. 
The coal found in the districts of Hodjent, Kurama and 
Tchimkent does not belong to the oldest carboniferous strata* 
but to that of the Jurassic period, being brown coal, and m 
usually found in the upper parts of small side valleys in the 
mountains in small separated fields, lying in places which it is 
impiissible to reach with vehicles. The coal is usefid only for 


fuel and for smith work, but is utterly ureless for metallurgio 
operations which require a strong heat, as, for instance, the 
reduction of iron ore. The coal fields at present discovered 
cannot be profitably worked for the following reasons: the 
friability of the coal ; the difficulty of its transport through 
the mountains ; and the small size of the coal fields, which 
are of a bad quality at the edges, and are much broken up 
by veins of rock, as, for example, the mines of Tatarinof, 
which on this account are not worth further working ; the un- 
certain character of the deposit in extent and thickness. 
Geological investigations show that it is useless to work coal 
fields situated at the tops of the mountains, or in deep valleys and 
ravines, on account of their small size and the uneven distribution 
of the coal. These islands of the coal formation are probably parts 
of a great coal field which extends throughout the valley of the 
Syr Darya, and have been elevated to their present positions by 
the convulsions of nature which formed the mountain ranges. It 
is probable that the coal fields lie immediately under the tertiary 
limestones, the clays containing remains of fossil molluscs and 
the calcareous sandstones. It is likely that good localities 
for coal would be found (1 ) in the valley of Eebalma, twenty miles 
south of Hodjent, (2) twenty miles north-north-west of Tashkent, 
and three or four miles north-west of the village of Kaplan-bek ; 
(3) in the valley fifteen to twenty-five miles north-east of the 
station Akjar (twenty miles from Tashkent), and (4) on the right 
bank of the river Sasyk opposite the limestone mountains Aktash, 
five or six miles north-north-west of Tchimkent. In these places 
the upper strata of the tertiary have disappeared, and it would 
only be necessary to bore through the lower tertiary strata, 
which are of an indeterminate thickness, in order to reach the 
strata which Mr. Bomanofsky surmises are carboniferous. 

The boring necessary to ascertain the truth of this theory 
of the existence of a large coal field in the basin of the Syr 
Darya would entail considerable expense. Beports had been 
made of the existence of coal and coal shales not far from 
Samarkand, but Mr. Bomanofsky, on going to the places 
indicated, was unable to perceive any trace of them. 

The richest mineral is lead ore ; and in the Kara-tau moun- 
tains, on the Kon-kia river near Turkistan, there are lead mines 
which have long been worked by the natives. The most flourish- 
VOL. I. X 



ing period was during the RusBiao advance in Central AbiEj when 
it became necessary for the Khokaiidian Government to strain 
every nerve for defence.The work was conducted with great waste- 
Surface ore was taken and then only the softest and richest, and 
this was smelted in such a way as to leave fully thirty-one per cent, 
of metal in the slag. After the Eussian occupation the natives 
found it unprofitable longer to work these mines, and sold 
them to the merchant Pervushin, From this ore, which is 
very rich, being a mixture of galena with wbitu lead ore, Mr, 
Pervushin in 186 9 Bmelted out about 11,000 lbs. while the 
Kirghiz by their primitive method smelted but 3,200 lbs. The 
work at these mines, which was somewliat difficulty has now 
stopped* At Karamazar, in the district of Kurama^ twenty 
miles north-east of Hodjent, there are several parallel veins 
of very pure galena. An investigation of tlieae was made by 
Mr, Romanofskvi and he estimated that if fuel could be 
obtained at not more than twenty kopeks per pud^ and there 
could be guaranteed a yearly sale of 28^500 puds at one ruble 
and a half per pud for twenty-four years, it would be possible 
to work these mines at a profit of 48^470 rubles a year ; but 
dm-ing the first three years it wou'd be necessary to spend on 
the mines 88,500 J^ubles, and after that 35,500 rubles a year* 
Sed and brown iron ores and iron ochre are often found, as well 
as traces of copper ore in the form of green copper in mountain- 
one localities. It is impossible, however, to work them^ in 
consequence of the difficulty of access to the places where the 
ore is found, and to the absence of any suitable fueL 

&old is found in very minute quantities in the Upper 
Zamfshan, as well as on the Upper Tchirtchik, but not in 
quantities sufficient to pay tor working. It was in consequence 
of the rumours of the abundance of gold on the Amu Darya 
that Peter the Great made his movement toward Central Asia, 
by sending Prince Bekovitt^ii-Tcherkaski to Khiva in order to 
ascend the Amu Darya, and Captain Bucbholt2 through 
southern Siberia to Irketi or Yarkand, Buchholtz never 
penetrated to Yarkand, but succeeded in estabUahing the 
Eussian power on the middle Irtysh. 

Near the lead mines of Karamazar, as well as in one or 
two othej^ localities not far from Hodjent, turquoises have been 
discovered, but so far only those ha^^e been found which lie on 


the surface and are of a greenish hue, although it is deemed 
possible that by following these veins to a greater depth pure 
turquoises of real value might be discovered. Near Samgar, 
to the north-east of Hodjent, there are mines of rock salt which 
were formerly worked. Possibly boring might lay bare new veins. 
About twenty-five miles from Namangan at Mai-Bulak, 
(oil-spring) there are abundant springs of naphtha, which have 
evidently long been worked both by Kalmuks and Kirghiz, who 
have even been able to prepare asphalt from the naphtha. By 
means of the river, naphtha from these wells could easily be sent 
to Hodjent, if not to Tashkent, in quantities far surpassing 
any present demand. The merchant Feodorof obtained a 
concession for working these wells from the Khan of Khohand 
on payment of ten per cent, as duty, but as far as I can learn 
work has not yet been begun there.^ 

On leaving Hodjent we were obliged to cross the Syr Darya 
in a large boat. A wooden bridge was at that time being con- 
structed by a Mr. Flavitsky, a retired artillery oflBcer, and is now 
finished and opened to traffic. This gentleman succeeded in 
making a contract with the authorities, by which the ferry 
tolls during the construction of the bridge, and the bridge 
tolls, for thirty years, were made over to him. 

In the steppes and gravelly plains of this part of the Syr 
Darya there are enormons\izBxds{SteUioLeh7nanni)^two of which 
I saw in captivity at Hodjent. They were about four feet long, 
of a dark greyish brown colour, and greatly resembling a smsdl 
crocodile, except that the jaws were much shorter. They 
seemed to be quite harmless, and their owner was unable to 
ascertain on what they lived. He had had several of them, 
and after keeping them two or three weeks, they always dis- 
appeared; whether they died, or ran away, he was imable 
to tell. After making three stations through a hilly country 
and an elevated steppe, we descended into the lowlands, 
watered by the Angren (or Agengeran) and Tchirtchik, with 
their numerous branches and irrigating canals. The fields, 

' After what I have stated above, it is perhaps hardly necessary for me to say 
that the account of the mineral wealth Central Asia in the • Geographical Maga- 
zine' for January, 1875, based on the exaggerated reports of Mr. Feodorof, • 
mining speculator, must be taken wit!) some allowances. 

T 2 

wliicb were chiefly planted with rice, were everywhere covered 
with water, and besides that, there were great overflows from 
the rivers. At this time of year, the end of May, the roads 
were detestable, aod we had at times ^eat difficulty in getting 
through the marshy land* Onee we were detained an hour in 
crossing" a small canal not more than fifteen feet wide, where 
a bridge had been carried away. The poet- horses were um'ulj, 
aod we had at last to send to a neighbouring village on the 
other side for the aksakal, who furnished us with horses and 
men to get the carriage across. A few miles further, and we 
came to the town of Pis ken t (also Biskent and Pakent), 
situat d on a high ateep river bank, filany of the houses and 
balconies projected over the bank, supported by beams ; and 
I can imagine that the palace of Saber's father at Akhsi was 
"built in this way over the Syr Darya, when he was precipitated 
into the river with his pigeon- house and all his pigeons, 
Piskent is a thriving little town, chiefly noted for the immo- 
rality of its inhabitants, and for being the birth-place of Yakub 
Khan, the Amir of Kasbgar, one of whose wives and many of 
whose relatives still reside there. We went on through a small 
fertile country, seeing peasants everywhere ploughing and 
harrowing their fields, until we anived at the main river 
Tchirtchik, which we had great difficulty in crossing. It here 
divides into seven or eight branches, some of which are four or 
five feet deep, and the ciu-rent is always y^tj rapid. Guards of 
Kirghiz are stationed here with carts to assist travellers over 
the streams. It has long been the aim of the Enssians to 
facilitate communication by building a bridge over this river, 
but the difficulties have been very great- 

The history of this bridge is a singular one. The rich and 
influential natives petitioned the governor to allow them tocon- 
■truct a bridge at this point* Permission was at first given, but 
Bubsequently one of the Eusf^ian engineers handed in a proposi- 
tion to construct the bridge at the e^ense of the treasury. Ha 
estimated the cost at 42,000 rubles. The permission was then 
withdrawn from the natives, on the ground that they had not the 
necessary technical knowledge, and the matter was given to a 
Bpecialist, who seemed to have even less. What be eonstnicted 
in one summer was carried away by the floods of the next spring, 
and he demanded y,000 rubles more. This was insufficient, and 



still more was paid, when the bridge was again carried away. 
Up to the autumn of 1874, 65,000 rubles had been spent on 
the bridge, and it is even yet incomplete.^ 

On the other side of the Tchirtchik is Kuiluk, a small 
village but the residence of the Prefect of the district of 
Kurama. He has here a fine house, almost a palace, with 
large gardens and well-kept grounds, which he makes no pre- 
tence of keeping up on his salary of 2,400 rubles. All this 
and much more is provided for him out of the district funds, 
although by virtue of what law it would be diCBcult to ascertain. 
The funds for this and for similar purposes are supposed to be 
freely voted by the representatives of the inhabitants ; but they, 
while nominally elected, are in reality appointed by the prefect, 
or by his creatures, and they are given from time to time 
documents and resolutions written in Bussian, to which they 
are ordered to put their seals or signatures. These papers are 
seldom if ever translated to them, although an explanation of 
some sort may be given. To avoid any possible diCBculty in 
the future, however, the official interpreter, when he has time, 
writes a translation in Turki on the opposite page of the record 

This region is the district of Kurama, and it is the richest 
and most populous after that of the Zarafshan. Besides pure 
Uzbeks and Kirghiz, a great part of the population is of a 
mixed breed of uncertain origin, called Kui-ama. The natives 
say that this country was settled by fragments and deserters of 
all the tribes which formerly inhabited Central Asia. 

The quantity of land irrigated by the Angren and the 
Tchirtchik is at best but limited, and a large portion of the 
inhabitants therefore devote themselves to stock raising. It is 
not customary here to stable the cattle for the winter, or to 
provide them with hay. For the winter pasture a place must 
therefore be chosen where the wind is not too violent, so 
that the cattle may not suffer from the cold, and where the 
snow does not lie too deep to prevent them from finding the 
stubble and the young grass underneath. The horses are sent 
out first of all, because with their hard hoofs they remove the 
snow so much better. They are followed by the honied cattle, 

> See < OoloB,* September 24 (October 6), 1871. 

by the sheep, and then by the camels. The best wintering placei 
are along' the banks of the Syr Darya, or in the north-eastern 
part of the district in the upper regions of the river Xeles, 
which are excellent pasture grounds in summer. It is estimated 
that in the district of Knrama there are 33,000 camels^ 60,000 
korges, 53jOOO cattle, and about 700,000 slieep ; but these figures 
a]'e probably very much less than the real ones, for although in 
1870, on account of the extreme heat in the summer, and the 
sudden cold in the winter, there was great mortality among the 
cattle,^^more than SoOjOOO head perished j^it did not seem to 
produce any appreciable cfiFect upon the well-being of the in- 
liabitautSp At the average prices of 3 rubles for a sVieep, 15 
rubles for a homed beast, 30 rubles for a horse, and 50 rul>lea 
for a camel, the value of the live stock, a^^cortling to these 
figures in tlie district of Kiu^ama, would be 6^300,000 rubles 

The sheep are either with JcurdiiiJc^ and without tailp, or 
with tails and without kurdluk^. In Bukhara there is another 
breed of sheepj somewhat smallerj with grey wool, called Arabi 
(Arabian). The kurdiuh is a protuberance of pure fat growing 
out of the rump, and is sometimes very large ; but the stories 
about sheep having such fat tails as to be obliged to carry 
them on wheels, is an exaggeration of some story-teller, 
coming down, like all Joe Millers, from most ancient times. 
One- day I made the Kushbegi of Bukhara laugh heartily 
at this story, which had been gravely related by one of my 

Until 1873 no regular system of meteorological observations 
had been undertaken in Central Asia, and it is therefore difficult 
to obtain accurate information with regard to the climate. 
Private observers^ however^ have kept registers of the tempe- 
rature in various places, and from these it is possible to obtain 
some general ideas of it* In general the climate, especially in 
the northern zone, is to a marked extent what is called * con- 
"Linental,* that is, having extreme heat in summer, and extreme 
cold in winter. Roughly speaking, the territory of the district 
of Turkistan may be divided into lour climatic zones. 

The northeim zone^ extending south about 45 degrees north 
latitude, includes the lower course of the Syr Darya to Fort 
No. 2 and the lower coiurse of ilie Hi, The climate here is in 

(;^niATE. 327 

general cold, and apricots and vines do not grow. At the 
western extremity of Kazala, the average temperature is 43*2 
degrees Fahr. ; while at the eastern extremity, Kopal, the zneau 
temperature of the year is 45*5 degrees. Snow remains en the 
ground for about thriee months, although on the lower Syr 
Darya it is constantly drifted by a violent wind from the north 
and west. The summer at Kazala lasts about five months 
without rain, and is exceedingly hot. At that place, taking an 
average of 19 years, the Syr Darya has been covered with ice 
for 123 days in the year, or from December 3 to April 5. At 
Kopal the summer heat is moderated by the snow-covered 
mountains in the immediate vicinity, and the western wind 
blowing from Lake Balkash. 

The apricot zone lies next to the south, and includes 
Perovsky, Turkistan, Aulie-ata and Viemy. At Viemy the 
mean temperature for the year 1861, the only one of which 
there is any record, was 44*6 degrees. Grapes ripen in Viemy, 
but they are of an inferior quality to those farther south. 
The winter is here shorter than in the northern zone, but the 
winds blow with as much violence. At Perovsky and Julek the 
prevailing wind is north-west, from the Aral Sea. At Aulie-ata 
a north-easterly wind prevails, and all along the northern side 
of the Alexandrofsky range the wind is very violent. At 
Viemy there is generally a north-westerly wind from Lake 
Balkash. At Perovsky an experience of seven years has shown 
that the river is covered with ice on an average 97 days, from 
December 19 to March 26. The winter miay be compared to 
that of Central Germany, although the cold sometimes reaches 
30 degrees below zero Fahr., and in summer the thermometer 
has marked in the shade over 99 degrees Fahr. 

The peach and almond zone includes Mankent, Tchimkent, 
Tashkent, Tokmak, the district of Kuldja, Ura-tep^, Jizakh, 
and the district of the Zarafshan. From Tashkent southwards, 
grape-vines do not have to be covered in winter. The district 
of Kuldja, although lying far to the north, is protected on every 
side by high mountains, which accounts for its comparatively 
high temperature, the yearly average of which is 48*5 degrees 
Fahr. It is possible therefore to raise apricots, peaches, grapes, 
pomegranates, and other tender fruit. The yearly average of 
the temperature at Tashkent, as observed at the Chemical 



Laboratory in 1872-73-74, waa re^ctivelj 56*2"^^ 56*1% and 
55-9^ with the hammeter at 722^24% 722.4% and 723*1^ The 

temperature at Tashkent in February is similar to that at 
Sevastopol, aud m July to that of Derbend* The wititer ia 
ehort ; snow falk fur about a month, but quickly melts. The 
winter of 1871*2 was considered very remark ible^ because the 
enow remained on the ground for a month and a half. The 
cold in winter Bometimes reaches 6 degrees below zero Fabrp, 
and the heat in summer 110 degreez^ in the shade. The winter, 
however J is accompanied with a great deal of rain, which begins 
to fall in October, and last« till March, There are seldom any 
Tiolent winds. 

The fourth zon&' comprises the valley of Hodjent and all 
the small mountain valleys south of 42 degrees of latitude. 
Here, even pit^tachio trees can grow* The winter is milder than 
at Tashkent, and the Syr Darya rarely freezes. The summer in 
much longer, and fruits ripen two weeks earlier than in Tash- 
kent, or in Jizakh and Ura-tepe- Pistachio trees will grow as 
far as 3^500 feet above the level of the sea ; wild peaclves reacb 
4,000 feet, wild almonds 4,500, apricots 5,000, and wild apples 
6,500 feetJ 

Since the Khivan Expedition, a meteorological observatory 
has been established at Nukus, on the Amn Darya, but only 
observations from July to November in 1874 have been published. 
The temperature during these months was about the same as at 
Tashkent, the highest point reached by the mercury being 
107*4 degrees. It would be interesting to investigate the old 
writers to see what changes the climate of Central Asia has 
nndergone. Baber^ in the winter of 1502, speaks of the 
intense cold, and of crossing the Syr Darya on the ice near 
Hodjent, and in another place says that bis father led his army 
across the river Arys on the ice, and defeated the Uzbeks, 

Earthquakes are very common throughout Central Asia, 
especially in the mountainous districts, and it baa been re- 
marked that they most frequently occur in March, or about 
the time of the vernal equinox. As this is the time of the begin- 
ning of the new year, it has become a belief among many that 
the new year cannot really begin until an earthquake has been 

* See 411 artiole on the iubject in the * TurkiBtftn Gazette ' for 1S73| No. J % 


felt, and it is said that some Sarts even slick a knife slightly 
into the ground, and do not pelebrate the new year's feast until 
the knife has been shaken down. One of the most violent 
earthquakes of recent times was on April 4, 1868, at 2.20. A.1C. 
It lasted two minutes, and at Tashkent overthrew many houses, 
killing 20 persons. In 1869, at 5.20. a.m. on March 25 there 
was also a very noticeable earthquake, and in 1870 there was 
another on March 10. At Tashkent there are on an average 
five earthquakes a year, but many of them are so slight that 
they are scarcely noticed. 

Where so many races have met as in Central Asia, there is 
naturally a conflict in the modes of computing time. Three 
calendars are in habitual use — ^the ordinary Mussulman reli- 
gious calendar, with its lunar year ; an agricultural solar year ; 
and the Kirghiz calendar ; and to these has now been added 
a fourth, the Julian in the Bussian form with a new series of 

The Mohammedan lunar year, Kamariya^ is well known ; but 
the solar year, Shamaiya, of 365 days, beginning at the vernal 
equinox, with twelve months named from the signs of the Zodiac, 
has never, as far as I can learn, been thoroughly investigated. 
This year is habitually used by all agriculturists, it being the * 
only computation of time by which they can know when to till 
their ground and sow their crops. 

The names of the months in common use are the Arabic 
names for the signs of the Zodiac, as follows : (I give the 
pronunciation there heard) Hamal, Aries; Saur, Taurus; 
Jauza, Gemini; Saratan, Cancer; Asad, Leo; Surnbula 
(Sarribla) Virgo; Miza/ti, Libra; Ahkrab^ Scorpio; Kausj 
Sagittarius; Ja<U, Capricornus; DcUu, Aquarius; and Hut^ 
Pisces. As these names are not all entirely intelligible to the 
people, one or two of them are otherwise explained. 

For instance, Jauza is connected with the word jcmz, a 
nut ; Saratan is called an insect resembling a death-watch, as 
crabs are there unknown ; Surnbula is explained as a beard 
of rye; and Dahij aquarius, is simply a water-pail. With 
the natural desire of simple people to find reasons for words 
in common use, explanations are given to each of the% names. 

Thus, the first month, it is said, is called HamcU, because 

^H ^^^H TUEEISTAN. ^^P^^^^^H 

the slieep then pfet their fill of green meat ; the second montli, 
SariTj because cattle can find sufficient pasture ; Jama ia so- 
called hecause it is theu waiiii enough for children to play in 
the street with nuts and pehhles j in Saratan the death*watch 
appears iu the houses and does harm ; in Asad lions do not go 
out of their dens; Sumhulaj the beard of r^e^ is the month of 
harvest ; in Mizan^ the balances, the days and nights are equal ; 
in Alchrah^ tlie scorpions hide themselves ; in Kaus^ it is no 
harm to kill game ; Jadi is an excellent month for goats ; 
in Dalii water freezesj and it is impossible to use it without 
employing a pail ; while the last month j Hut^ is the best of all 
for eating fish* 

At Tashkent these months are given 30 and 31 days alter- 
nately ; the last. Hut, having only 29 days in ordinary years : 
but in Samarkand and Bukhara, another mode of calculation is 
adopted, which is kept in mind by means of a distich : 

La n la, Ial>, la n I&, ]a, ghash maliost, 
La] kat n Icat l&l^ ahuhAii kutaat. 

In the Arabic alphabet I stands for 30, (x for 1,6 for % h for 
"20, and t for 9^ and giving the combinations of letters their 
numerical meanings (the vowels in the last line being un- 
written and therefore without force) these lines would read^ 
* Thirty*one and thirty-one, thirfcy-twOs thirty-one and thirty- 
ono thirty-one, six months \ two thirties twenty-nine and 
twenty-nine two thirties, short months. The same distich for 
remembering the number of days in a month is common in 
Persia^ where this solar calendar is also in use by the agri- 
cultural classes and is employed by the government for the 
collection of taxes. Jt will be seen that the number of days 
given to the Zodiacal months differ somewhat from the number 
of days during which the sun actually remains in each sign of 
the Zodiac; these being, begmning with Aries, 31, 31^ 31, 31, 
32, 31 J 30, 30, 29, 30, 30, and 29 respectively. An intercalary 
day is inserted once in four years at the end of the last month 
HuL The first day of the year, as in Persia, is called Naumz^ 
new year, and is always a popular festivaL 

In searching for previous mention of these Zodiacal months, 
I find them frequently used for dates in * The History of the 
Moguls' of Abul Ghazi, Khan of Khiva, who wrote in 1663, 



There can be no doubt here that the names Saratan^ Hut, &c.j 
are used as true month-appellations, although commentators 
seem to have overlooked the fact, probably ascribing the use of 
the Zodiacal signs to a mere freak of the author. El Maqrizi, 
who wrote in the beginning of the fifteenth century, in a passage 
about Egypt, speaks of this solar year, and calls it Haradjia^ or 
the Haradj year, refening probably to its use there as now in 
Persia, for collecting the taxes. Going much farther back, we 
find in the Almagest of Ptolemy seven observations of Mercury, 
Mars and Jupiter, between 272 and 241 B.C., which are referred 
to a special era called that of Dion uses and to the months 
Tauron, Didumon, Leonton, Parthenon, Scorpion, Aigon, and 
Hudron, which are evidently named from the signs of the Zodiac, 
showing that such a calendar was then in use. The Arabic names 
for the signs of the Zodiac were translated from the Greek, 
There has been much discussion as to the origin of the Greek 
names ; but it has now been conclusively proved by Assyrio- 
logists that they were derived either directly, or through Egypt, 
from the names given by the Chaldean' and Babylonian astrono- 
mers. We find from the labours of these scholars that the 
Chaldeans and Babylonians had with regard to tlie twelve 
months of the year myths coming down from very early times, 
which were localised by them in the different epochs of the 
year when they already inhabited the plains of the Euphrates 
and the Tigris, in accordance not with agricultural occupa- 
tions, but with the great periodical phenomena of the atmo- 
sphere and the phases of the annual circuit of the sun as it 
appeared in that region. The months received names corres- 
ponding to these myths, such as the month of the favourable 
bull ; the month of the construction of bricks ; the month of the 
seizor of the harvest; the month of the burning fire ; the month of 
the messenger of the goddess Istar, which were usually shortened 
into expressions such as the month of the bull, of the bricks, of 
the seizor, of fire, of the messenger ; and in accordance with these 
legends were designed the symbolic figures given to the solar 
* mansions' in the Zodiac. In the cuneiform inscriptions we 
find the signs of the Zodiac exactly the same as those now in 
use, except that Virgo is replaced by the archeress, that is 
the Goddess Istar; Libra by the Scorpion's claws ; Sagittarius 
by the arrow ; and Aquarius by the pail : the last two being 



the flame 130W in use in Central Asia,^ It woild thus seem 
that the aolar calendar, or the Shams l^a year, now under 
considemtion, has a very high origin ; in all probability it 
ha,^ remained in these regiona of Central Asia since the 
times of their earliest colonisation, or rjither the introduction 
of the civilisation of the Assyrians, or of their Iranian sue- 

It ii to be regretted that such a sensible calendar will pro- 
bably be replaced by that of the Kussians, which is already 
twelve days out of its reckoning, aud the correction of which 
will for some time be prevented by a superstitions reverence for 
church festivals, it being thought that the peasants would be 
unwilling to lose twelve saints* days and consequent holidays 
out of one year. It is still more to be regretted that Europe, 
from a traditional reverence for the beginning of the Christian 
religious year, should have changed the beginning of the civil 
year from March^ its natural beginning near the time of the 
vernal equinox, to January,* 

The ordinary word used by the Sarts for the week is hafta^ 
the Persian for seven; while the Kirghiz and nomads usually 
call it aiiia- The usual names for the days are principally 
of Persian origin* Jumma, the day of prayer, is Friday; 
ShambS^ evidently a corruption of*Shabat, 'ir Sabbath, is Satur- 
day ; ^ then come Yakskambij Sunday j Dushtzmbe^ SiskambSf 
Tcftarehainbe And PeshambS; that is, the first day after Shwmbi 

' * Le8 Premieres CiTiliafllions,* pir Fi^an^ra Le Normftnt, ii. fl7. Paria, 1874. 

' It ie curioDg rhfit tJie reformed citltjndar made under the Sultan Jekl-Eddin 
Malik Shah \n 1079( and which in still the official c&lendtir in Pereia, was more 
exiwt than the Gregorian reform. *Tlie mean jear has 366 2422 days, the inter- 
calation of Alojsa Liiio giTe« an error of 3 dnye in 10,000 jcara* while thi» c-rrof 
would bo only 2 days with the Persian intarcal&tion. We are butiad to jSHy that 
the astronomers of Malik Shah were ULUch nearer the truth. Instead of adopting 

uniformly 8 biBsextile^ in 33 years, they cfltabliahed the period X+iJL-^ 

29 4'33 161 
that i«, that they conn ted 39 biss^xljles in 161 years. This period giTBS for thft 
mean jeor 3fl5 2i22 days, precisely the aama ae that of our modem tables. 
' Prol%om&uieB des Tables A»tronomiquea d'OIoug-Beg, Notes et ^lairijissements/ 
p. 235. Paris, 1847. 

' It is cnrions that not only the institntion of the sabbath as a day of mtf 
but the word sabbath itself la probably of Assyrian origin. Sa^ a btteir of 
Professor A. H, Sayce id » The Academy' for November 27, 1876. 


or the Sabbath, the second day after ShambS^ and so on.' 
Among the Kirghiz it is very common instead of YakahambS 
to say BazdaVy as most of the bazaars are open on that day. 

The Kirghiz have no era by which to date their years, but 
use the twelve-year period which they call Mulched^ or Muahelj 
originally introduced from China by the Mongols. Each of the 
years in this period is named after an animal, and they are 
ranged in the following order: Mouse, Ox, Leopard, Hare, Fish, 
Serpent, Horse, Sheep, Ape, Fowl, Dog, Hog. The same cycle 
is also used among the Sarts and Persians, by whom it is placed 
in all official documents and proclamations. I have before me 
a Persian official almanac for the year 1874-5, which is marked 
for the year of the Dog, and bears on each cover a representa* 
tion of that animal. The present year is that of the Hog. If 
a Kirghiz should be asked how old he is, he would seldom tell 
the number of years, but for example would simply say, ' My 
year is that of the Horse,' leaving you to guess how many 
twelve-year cycles back he was bom ; or if he wished to be more 
precise he would add, * and I am in the third MutchcUj which, 
supposing the question to be asked in 1875, would make him 
out to be thirty years of age. No attention is paid to the day 
of the birth, and therefore everybody who is bom in the same 
year is considered to be of the same age. The Kirghiz word for 
year, jil, means not only a whole year, but also half a year ; so 
that sometimes a Kirghiz, seeing your difficulty in calculating 
the MutchaZj will tell you that he has so many jils^ and thug 
apparently make himself out twice as old as he really is, he 
taking the jU as half a year and you as a year. The Kirghiz 
have a legend that when the animals came up in procession to 
have the years named after them, the camel, as the noblest of 
all, came first, but that a mouse crept up on his head and suc- 
ceeded in getting the first year named after himself, so that 
thus the camel was entirely omitted. 

Besides the twelve years' cycle, or Mutchal, there is another 
called Karuj which was (explained to me as being thirty-six 

1 The Russian names for the days show something similar. Ponedydnik, 
Monday, means the day coming immediately after Nedyela (literally, without 
work), the old name for Sunday, but now used as a general term for the week, the 
irord Voskruen^ej resurrection, being substituted for Sunday. 



years, or tbree Tnutchals i but more probably this word, which 
ia of Arabic origin, meaning a member or a born, is used as we 
would use age or generation, Tbe Kirghiz year, like that of the 
settled inhabitants, begins with the feast of Nmiruz at the vernal 
e^juinox, and is divided into twelve solar monthsj which are 
usually known by the zodiacal names I have just mentioned* 
A aolar month la culled Tulduz^ or constellation, while a lunar 
month is called Ai^ or moon ; and this is di%"ided inti> two parts, 
the Yang-ai^ new moon, and Isk-aij old moon. The winter 
months are frequently called after a complicated system, wbiQh 
it would seem very difficult to apply. The first month of winter 
is that when on the eleventh day of the month the moon is 
equal with the PleiadeSj Ur-kar^ and is therefore called On-few^ 
tngu^h^ that is, the eleventh conjunction* The second month 
of winter, when the moon and the Pleiacies are together on the 
ninth day, is called Takuz-tugusk (ninth conjunction) ; in tba 
third month J Yedi-tugushj they are together on the seventh 
day I in the fourth month, BUk-tugnsh^ they are together on 
the fifth day ; in the fifth month, Utch-tttgush^ on the third 
day I and in the sixth month, Blr-tugush, on the first day. 
Besides these the simple folk, instead of months, give names to 
certain times of the year, chiefly according to various events of 
steppe life, as the lambing season ; the mare-milking season | 
May, the rainy time, which lasts for about a fortnight about 
tbe end of May and the beginning of June ; TchikU^ the Bub- 
sequent forty days (of heat); the sheep-shearing season; and 
the slaughtering season. It would be interesting to make a 
careful comparison of the Kirghiz names of the months with 
those of" the Altai, Shor, and Kommandin Tartars, part of which 
are given by Radloff in bis ' Journey through the Alhti,* ^ where 
we lind such denominations as white month, wind month, 
summer month, the great heat, old woman's month, great 
month J and small month- The Tunguses, as well as the Altai 
Tartars, have a year of thirteen lunar months named in this 
way after the phases of nature and tlie occupations of a regular 
life, and even in more highly cultivated societies, as in America 
and Englandj country people refer events to the natural calendar 

' Ennan*fl *ArclilT fur WiyaBnss^hnitlkhe Kundfi vod Rqjsh.i(^, v.l, ixiii 


in which sowing-time, haying time, and harvest are strongly 
marked seasons. 

The day, from sunrise mitil sunset, is divided into four 
parts, called sunrise, eating time, mid-day, and sunset In 
general the Kirghiz know well the stars, for these assist them 
not only in calculating time, but also in finding their way over 
the steppes. The Polar star is called Temir Kazyky the iron 
pole; the Great Bear, Jitti Kardktchij the seven robbers; and 
the Milky Way, Saman yul^ the straw road, or Kuk gaz yulj 
the path of the wild geese. 




Khokand, or the Valley of Fergana, was included among the pro- 
vinces given hj Tchinghiz Khan to his son Jagatai, and shared 
the general fate of the countries of Maverannahr. We know its 
condition as an appanage to the throne of Samarkand during the 
time of Baber ; and after that it was sometimes rebellious, some* 
times conquered, sometimes in the possession of this or that prince, 
and does not emerge as a separate and independent country until 
toward the beginning of the present century. No written historical 
account of the country by a native author has yet seen the light, 
and what we know of its modem history is derived chiefly from 
traditions and oral accounts, strengthened here and there by 
numismatic and documentary evidence. 

Both popular tradition and the Chinese accounts agree that in 
the middle of the last century Khokand was not under one rule, 
but was divided into separate cities, provinces and clans, each 
with its own Bek or Hodja. According to the account of Mahsum 
Hodja, quoted by Ritter,* some time in the last century Shahrukh 
Bek, with some of his country people, went from the Volga region 

' My chief authorities have ^en : — 

1. An article, * Description of the Khanate of Khokand in its present condi- 
tion,' published in the ' Memoirs of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society,' 
Book UL 1849. 

2. An article by Y. Yeliaminof-Zemof, ' Historical Information about the 
Khanate of Khokand from Mohammed AH to Khudayar Khan,' published in the 
* Labours of the Oriental Section of the Imperial Archaeological Society.' YoL ii. 

3. * Contemporary coins of Khohand,' by Y. Grigorief ; ihid, 

4. * List of known coins of Khokand,' by A. Savelief ; ibid, 

5. An article by the Kirghiz Sultan, Xurekin, * Sketches of the Histoiy of 



to Fergana, and iriarned the danghW of Ediger Hodja, ttie Tnler 
of the town of Khurriitn-Sai'aij and then settled with his Uzbeks 
in Kakan, twelve miles west of the present Khokand, He then 
murdemd his father-in-law, smd made himself rnlor of the district, 
and, pi*<vGhiig by the tlissensions and weakness of his nei^^h boars, 
soon extended his swajr. He was succeeded bj his eldest son 
Rahim Bek, and he by Lis brother Abdnl Kerim Bok, who built 
the present city of Kliokand, to wliit*h he transferred his residence. 
He was sncceeded by his nephew Irdana, or Erdeni^ aon of Bahim, 
(according to some a son of Abdnl Kerim). The Chinese 
geognipher* says that the Beks of all the other towns in Fergana 
were ander the mle of Ei'deni Bek, and obeyed hJs orders. In 
1 750, the Chinese General Tchao-hoei was in pnrsnit of Khod;«idjan» 
and detached some officers to put do^Ti the Bnrnts. Erdeni enter- 
tained these officf^rs in Khokand, and when they departed, sent one 
of his officials to tender his anbmission to the Emperor Khian-lnng. 
The other Beks, aniong^ thorn Tokto Mohammed of Andijan, and Has 
Ping-li (Knli?) of Margliilan, followed his example, and, in I7ti0» sent 
embaBsies and tribnte to Pekin, Tokto Mohammed going thither in 
person. Among the gifts sent to the Chinese Empjeror, were * horsea 
that sweat blood (argamaks ^), great eagles andtsdcons for hnntingj 
and plaies of ijm fountain trf the dregon* Tashkent had submitted 
to China in 1758. In I ?62j Erdeni invaded the cnnntry of OsKi 
(Ush), which belonged to Adai Bii, but was ordered hy the Chinese 
Govemor-Geneial to withdmw hi.^ troops- In 1763, there wng 
another inyasion of the coantry of the Bnmts, which wa§ blamed 
by an imperial decree. Erdeni died in 1770, and was replaced by 

Khnkatid from 1841 to 1864,* puhliahed in the * Turkifitan GiizeUe," No. 35^ 

6. The report of Hahsum Hojda, as given in EiCtofa * Erdkund© tod AMi^n* 
Tol. v.p. 772- 

7. The *• McmoErs of Mirza .^^hems/ K^izan, 1861. 

8* * EaeteTa Turkistin,' bv V. Grrigortef ; St. Pet^-rabupg, 1873. 

9. • The UKbek Rtiita of Kokiin ' by W, H. WathKH, in the ' Journal of tb« 
A$!fl.tic Society of Ectigul/ Angust, 1 834* 

10. NoticoH in the iiccountji of vftrionstravellerSj enth oa Nazfljofj Kliutcliaref, 
Poispielof Bnd Biiynrishof, and Mir lazot Ullah. 

11. PprfionaJ ol»Bervrttioc ; the Hnssjan newspapers; ofBcial reports; priv^iite 
Ifittera from Tushkent and Khokand ; and accounts tnkt^n down from the lips of 
TftehkontinnH und KhukAndiaus, soiiidof whom wera actors in Uie events dearribwl. 
Some of these Inst hiiyo also been naod by Mr. N. Petrofsky in hia ' Sketches iif 
the Khanate of Khokand,' in the ^Meeaejiger of Europe ' ff)r October, 1876^ 

* XAflt thshjg y thoung tchi^ or Great Geography of Chinese Empire, edition ol 
I70f>i weet. 420^ trani^Ltittd by Klaproth m *MAgJiam A«irttiquo/ toI. i. 82. 

' ^Horses Bwe^itijsg blood* in the early titt]«?s alwiiys formed part of the tribntu 
to the Chinese Empsrori from the couulriew of Ceptral Asia* 


his nephew,' Narubuta (Narbutat), who sent an embassy and tribute 
to Pekin. 

Here contradiction begins, for Mahsum Hodja says that Erdeni 
was succeeded, after twenty years' rale, by Suleiman Bii, and 
then by Shahrukh Bek, who only reigned three months. It is 
a question, too, who Narbuta Bii was. Mahsum Hodja says that 
he was a grandson of Abdul Kerim, and appareutly Abdul Kerim 
and Kahim are in some way confused. But according to local 
tradition, Narbuta Bii was the son of a certain Abdurrahman 
Batyr, an Uzbek of the tribe of Ming, and ruler of the town and 
district of Isfara, once much more important than now, and was 
descended from a certain Tchumatch Bii, a great local hero.^ 
Abdurrahman Batyr manied the sister of Erdeni Bek, and was 
treacherously killed by the latter, who wished to get possession of 
Isfara. Narbuta, then a child, was spared on account of his tender 
age, and when on Erdeni* s death his heirs were killed or dispersed, 
was chosen by the Khokandians to succeed him. 

Narbuta passed his whole reign in wars with his neighbours, and 
added to his dominions Andijan, Namangan and Ush, besides other 
smaller towns, which had been thitherto independent. His last years 
were occupied in a contest for the possession of Hodjent, with Fazil- 
Bii and his son Khudayar Bek, the ruler of Ura-tepe. Hodjent 
was sometimes in the possession of one party, and sometimes of 
the other, but was never permanently annexed to Khokand until 
after Narbuta's death. Abul Gaffar Bek,^ the grandson of 
Khudayar Bek, says, that during the reign of Fazil, Narbuta Bii 
in alliance with Bahim Bii of Bukhara, attempted to take Ura-tepe, 
but were beaten back, when Khudayar sallied out, completely 
routed them, killed 20,000 men, and made a pyramid of their heads 
in Ura-tepe. In 1799, Narbuta undertook an expedition against 
Tashkent, but was beaten and captured together with many of his 
followers by Yunus Hodja, the ruler of all that place, and in 1800 
was beheaded there.* Narbuta left three sons, Alim, Omar, and 
Shahrukh, of whom the eldest, Alim, succeeded him. 

' Khanikof says that the father of Narbuta was lamtchi Bii (probably the same 
as Tchumatch), a descendant of the Sult-in Btiber. Frachn, Nova Supplementa, 
p. 336. 

* See pp. 88 and 310. 

■ See * Travels of Pospielof and Burnashof to Tashkent,' in 1800. * Messenger >f 
the Imperial Russian Geographical Society,' 1851, vol. i, p. 23. Narbuta Bii is 
here called Khan Hodja, which accords with the Chinese account that the cities of 
Khokand were governed by Hocljas ; they were probably connected in some way 
with the Hodjas formerly reigning in Kashgar. In one of his notes to this journey 
Mr. Khanikof gives some inlonaation with regard to the history of Tashkent, 

z 2 



After the defeat given to Ifarbata Bii, Tunns Hodja raised an 
•rmj, including tlie Kirghiz tribes sabject to bim, and marctied 
againsfc Kbokand, making a treaty with Bek Mnrad Bek, the son 
of Khudayar Bek, then mhng in Hod en t, for mutnal action against 
the KbokandmnB, The armies of Kluikand and Tashkent met on 
oppoHite sides of the Syr Darja ; bat although the fire waa kept np 
for some time, it was without efiect, and both armies retreated* 
YunuB Hodja^ however, again took the field, with the intention of 
placing on the thfone of Khokand one of the aons of K"arbuta Bii, 
whom he held prisoner. In comieetion with Bek Mnrad Bek, be 
besiegt'd Ura-tepc, but conld not take it, and was obliged to 
retreat. Baba Bek of Ura-tepc, brother of Khndayar, therefoi'e 
allied himself with Oraar Khan, the second son of Narbnta Bii (who 
was appai"yntlj even then on bad terms with his brotlier), and sue- 
cet^ded iti driving Bek Mnrad Bek from Hodjent. Baha was subae- 

which rtuij "be an interpsting addition t<i what I hav** said on pages 111 12. 
' Ert?n in the hegmn^ng of the spvenrh century T,4shkentt or Tcbish, iras ctin- 
Kdered as in vjisa?ilHgd to the Chinese, In 71 3, the rider of Tashkent, who 
had tliicherto been callod Kliant wiiii niiiiad bj die Chinese Kmpeff^r to the. rank 
of King. In 714, he compl^dned to the Hmptfror <jf the invattiyn of the Ai^dii 
&nd nskf?d for help, but the Chinese instead of eorupljing %drh this request onl/ 
conBrmeiJ the hi|rh -sou tiding titlea wldch lie assumr-d. Soon after that a CliinBM 
official was sant there In arran;^ the disturbanceH among the pettj prinj^es. I'hQ 
ruler of Tashkent subniitted nnconditionalEj, but his nephews were put to death, 
■nd ho in €ondequen{!e turned fof help to the Atrths ; thus their domiuioi) becn'ne 
fiBtabliahisd in that region. In the tenth century^ acc*ordlii^ to Itm IlTinltnl, 
Tashkent, under the fftra© of Kh»e, was one of the stmngeat Uirrier^ n{ TurkistAn. 
In the lieginning of the thirteenth century it belonged to the possessiona of Ala- 
Edditi, the ralt^r of KhArezm, under tht' name of Bin..kBt. Lying on the front! it, 
Taslikent was one of the first regions of Central Asia which ftflt the attack of the 
Mongols, and was speedily subdued, Jn ISdiK Tashkent again appe;ired tm an 
important military point, being the rendeevous for the army of THmerlnno on 
hvB seeond campaign against Toktiiminh. At the end of the fifteenth, and 
during the fin?t yeors of the bixieenth centuries^ Tashkent was tinder tlie nile 
of Omar Sheikh MirAi, and of his son Baber* the ruler of Khokand Jn thd 
middle zf tha fifteenth century the Uzbeks j taking iid^ant^ige of the didseiisioue 
Between Abnl Soid and Abdnllatif; princes of MaT^jrannahrp penetrated nndar 
command of the latter into the dii^trict of Tashkent as well rs across the Byr 
Ditrya, and although in 1456 Aljdnllatit' wag obliged to submit to Alml Seid yet 
the Uzbeks muda use of thts road under the command of Sheibani Khan for the 
complete eipulinon of the Timurides from Mtiveninnahr, among whom waa Baber, 
the rular of Fergana us well as of Tashkent, who was forced to flee to Kabul, 
jrhere he luid the baftis fnr the empire of the Great Mogul in India.' 

From the reports of Kushelef and MuUer, who were in Tashkent iu 1780, wA 
learn that at that time the city w(%s ruled by Yul%rs Klian, and that th« cftj 
©f Turki«tan undar Seld Snllan^ was in a fertnin measure subject to it> Thii 
Yulbars, who appear* not to hHve heen n Tnshknntian, but a Kir^liiz .'^nlt-in, 'vriii 
killed by the Sarts s>n April 1 7th, 1740^ three dnys after Miillfr hfid Id't tlie tity* 


qnently murdered by His nephew Bek Mnrad, in retnm for which Bek 
Mnrad was himself killed by the children of Baba Bek in Samarkand, 
whither he had been invited by the Bukharan Amir Haidar. Ynnns 
Hodja, however, was finally unsuccessful, and was obliged to retreat 
to Tashkent, which city was captured by Alim Khan either in 1803 
or in 1805. He then turned his attention southwards, and took 
XJra-tep^, but having been unfortunate in a campaign against 
Jizakh, XJra-tepe was retaken by Mahmud Khan, a nephew on his 
mother's side of Khudayar Bek. Alim Khan took up his resi- 
dence for some time in Tashkent, in order to look after the ad- 
ministration of that province and put down rebellions, and was 
constantly engaged in forays against the Kirghiz. The people of 
Khokand got disgusted with the continual wars, and more than all 
others the courtiers and officials of Alim, who wished to profit by 
the wealth they had acquired. They therefore conspired to kill 
him, and to put on the throne his brother Omar. Having suc- 
ceeded in getting Omar to their side, they withdrew to Khokand, 
when some of the faithful followers of Alim, getting wind of the 
conspiracy, reported it to their master, and urged him at once to 
advance to Khokand and put it down. Alim, however, was un- 
willing to believe it, and for a long time refused to take any decided 
measures, in consequence of which the band of conspirators daily 
increased. Instead of following the advice of his friends, and 
• taking a round-about way, Alim insisted upon going the shortest 
way through the defiles of Kendyr-tau, where he was attacked in 
the little village of Shaitun, and was killed by a shot from a certain 
Mai dan Yuldash, an adherent of Omar, who wished to find favour 
with his master. Happily he did not get the expected reward for 
his treachery, for on telling Omar of his exploit, he was himself 
immediately executed. 

The death of Alim Khan probably occurred in 1812. How 
long the sovereigns of Khokand continued to pay tribute to the 
Chinese, is unknown, but Mahsnm Hodja and others say that Alim 
Khan was the firet who gave himself the title of Khan, who ordered 
his name to be recited in the Khutbe, or daily prayers, and who 
coined money. Mahsum Hodja says that these coins, which were of 
bronze silvered over, were struck from old cannon, left by Nadir 
Shah at the time of his conquest. 

Omar Khan,* in spite of the reasons for his elevation, found it 
difficult to keep the peace with his neighbours, captured Mahmud 

> Called also Homar and Gomar. By Mir Izzet-Ullah, probably by soma 
mistranscription, lie is called Amir Khan, and by Xazarof Amir Valliami, Lsb 



Klian of Ilra-tep^, sent liim prisoner to Khokand, and appointed 
one of his own adhet^ents Governor of that- place. In three months 
the new Bek was turned out, and the struggle began again. After 
anan}"^ changes of fortane^ Jizakh fell to Bukhara^ and tJra-tep6 
to Khokand, and Tiura-Bek-TiuraH, the Bon of Mahmnd Khan, 
went to Khokand, and occupied an honorary position at the court 
of the Khan* Ahout the same time Torkietan and several smaller 
towns to the north were concjnered by the generals of Oman Ths 
last descendant of the Kirghiz Khan^, To/.ai Khan, notwithstanding 
a brave defenee, was forced to seek refncre in Bukliara, where ha 
was killed in the troubles accompanying the accession of Mozafiat- 

In 1822, Omar Klian, who was greatly loved by his people, 
died, or^ as it is said, was poisoned by hcs elder son Mohammed Ali, 
who then became Khan, and is the first of whom we have Bonve 
* detailed accounts. His name, according to a froqnenfc custom^ ha^j 
been abbreviated to Madali Khan. His accassion was accompanied 
by no i*evolntioi}e, but he found it necessary to exile many of his 
relatives. His younger brother. Sultan Mahmud, escaped to Shahr* I 
isabsj where he lived for many years, having married a dan^hter 
of its ruler. He was also in favour with the Amir Nasi-ullah, and 
was appointed by him for a short time Bek of tJrmitaiij and after J 
its capture of Hodjent, \ 

The disagreement with Bukhara, which broke out soon after j 
the accession of Madali, ended peaceably in 1825, and in the 
following year he joined Jihangyr Hodjuj one of the Appak family, 
in his efforts to recover Kashgar, from the throne of which bis 
ancestors had been driven by the Chinese, in 1756. Some slight, 
but bloody, skirmishes with the Chinese seemed to Madali sufficient 
to warrant the title of * Ghazi,' or * Conqueror of tlie Infidels ; * and 
after a twelve days campaign he returned home, leaving a part of 
liis troops to help Jihangyr Hodja, w^ho succeeded in taking 
Kashgar, and making himself temporary master of the country. 
But soon a Chinese army of 70,000 men arrived and turned the 
tables. The Khokaodians withdrew in tune with their booty, but 
Jihaogyr was captured, it is saitl, by the treacherous consent of 
Madali, and was sent to Pekin, where he was executed. This waft \ 
in 1827. 

In 1828-29 there was another attempt made on Kashgar by 
Yusnf Hodja, the elder brother of Jilmngyr, Madali Khan again 
lent the services of his army and of his best generals* Again 
Kashgar, Yangv-Hiasar and Yarfcand were taken, and again the | 
Kliokimdiana withdrew with their booty on the approach of a 
Chinese army. Ya&nf Hodja escaiped to KUokand, where be died 

mfr^r'wOiT'^ T^Iki 


five years afterwards. Many tlion sands of Kasligarians were 
massacred by the Chinese, and 70,000 took refage in Khokand, 
where they were colonised in the city of Shahri-Khana, bnilt by 
Omar Khan, and on the Syr Darya below Hodjent. 

On account of the depopulation of Kashgaria, and the dangers of 
constant hostile relations with Khokand, the Chinese resolved to 
resort to their former practice of buying peace and quiet, for they 
had at one time paid a large yearly sum to Khokand for that 
purpose. A treaty was therefore readily concluded at Pekin, in 
1831, with Alim Patcha, Madali's envoy, by which the Khan of 
Khokand was to receive the duties on all foreign goods imported 
into Aksu, Ush-Turfan, Kashgar, Yangy-Hissar, Yarkand, and 
Khotan, and was allowed to maintain aksakdU in all those towns 
to collect the duties and to protect the Mohammedans, and by 
which he bound himself to prevent the Hodjas from leaving his 
dominions, and to punish them if they did so. In this way Khokand 
acquired a great influence over its neighbour Klashgar.^ 

After this Madali Kban conquered Klarategin, and forced 
Kulab, Darvaz, and Shugnan, to recognise his authority. In this 
-way, up to 1840, Madali Khan had the reputation of a brave and 
active sovereign, and was exceedingly popular. At that time a 
sudden change came over him. He threw aside his occupations, 
ceased to think of military expeditions, and gave himself up to 
complete licentiousness. This change is supposed to have been 
due to the remorse which he felt at having murdered the Ming 
B:ishi Hakk Kul, by whose intelligent counsels he had been pre« 
viously guided. 

At this time Madali received a letter from the Amir of Bukhara, 
accusing him of breaches of Mussulman law in marrying two 
sisters, and even his step-mother — one of the wives of Omar Khan 
— and upbraiding him for his licentious life. Madali was in such a 
rage that he imprisoned the envoys, had half of their heads and 
beards shaved, and gave orders for an immediate campaign. At 
the flrst meeting of the hostile troops Madali was cut off from his 
army, and only saved himself from capture by running away. His 
army dispersed without fighting, and the war thus ignominioiialj 

Soon the whole realm fell into disorder, there was ^er 
discontent, and a conspiracy was raised against Madali B 
the aim of placing on the throne Mnrad Bii, the aoti dC^ 
or Shir Ali, the son of Hadji Bii, the brother of IS^ 
feeling themselves, however, strong enough to overtttT 

* See * Memoirs of Mirza Shems ' and Grigorief s ' EasMn '1^ 



{he conspimtora Bed for it3,'^isf-4iDce to IfaanJIal], the Amir of 
Bukhara. Thougli he was mDsfc ftmbitiouB to obtain possess lou of 
Kb ok and, yet from distmst he refused to bave aDjtbmg to do with 
the conspirators. Not deterred bj tliia^ they tried again, and at 
last he consented to lead an attack against Khokand, and set onfc 
from Bnkhara in the tuiddfe of ApriJ, 1842, with an artny of 18,000 
men, and in a fortnight encamped a few miles from the oitj of 

This sudden inirasion terrifieti Madali Khan^ and he n^uld 
think of no mean a to sav e himself but by peace, and sent out his 
eldest son, Mohommt^il Amir (Madamin), with otliar ambassadors, 
to propose to ailmit himself the vassal of the Amir of Bukhara, 
and to allow the Amir*s name to be used in the public prayers, and 
to be stamped on the coins. The Amir received the embflssy 
kindly, and sent back the piince, but after a conversation with the 
Kush Beg-i Leshker, and on ascertaining that the inhtibitan^s of 
Xbokand wei^ not dti^posed to defend their sovereign, but were 
ready to open the gates to him, he demanded that Madali Khan 
should himself come to hira for personal explanatious. 

Madali Klian, however, thought it better to save bimself by 
flight, and quickly collect log his valuables, sent them ofi* in a 
Imndred cmrts to l^amangan, whither he Mmself soon foUowedj with. 
ft Buite of a thoaaand men. 

The Amir of Bukhara was immediately received into the city» 
and thinking that he couM better lay the inhabilants nndcr sub*, 
jection by ieiTor, gave the city up for half a day to pillage hy the 
soldiery, and immediately sent to capture Madali Khan and bis 
family. The unfortunate Khan, after leaving Khokand, had thought 
it might be best to return there, and to go personally to the Amir and 
make what peace he could with bini, and had come to Khokand 
for that purpose when he was discovered by the persons who bad 
promiatfd to captnra him, and was brought to the Amir, who resolved 
to e5:eeute him. 

This intention was opposed in council by the magnates of 
Khokand, as well as by Irdane, the Knsh Begi of Bukhain, who 
said how much better it would he for the Amir to rule th© 
country by love than by fear. This council displeased the Amir, 
and the Kazi ELalian of Bukhara, who was present, knowing hit 
mastfi-'s wishes, immediately accused Madali Khan of the crime of 
having married his step- mother^ and insisted on his death, Madali 
Khan, his mother, and his eldest son Madamin Bek, were im* 
mediately brought btfore the council j and executed in their presence* 

A sec-oijd eon, MoznfTar^ wfis also killed by the Amir's orders, 
|md a third son by another wile, Aiihiila, was killed near Tchujsta 


in 1^06-7, by the orders of Khndayar Khan. It was really tme 
that Madali Khan had married his step-mother, the widow of hifi 
father Omar Khan. She was apparently an attractive person, for 
after Madali Khan's death, the Amir Nasmllah married her himself, 
although he put her to death in the same year after his second ex- 
pedition against EJiokand. The other wives of Madali Khan were 
8ent in forty carts to Bukhara. Two hundred and fifty of the 
chief Khokandians were also taken to Bukhara as hostages. 

The Amir appointed as Governor of the Khanate Ibrahim Datkha, 
formerly Governor of Samarkand, and left with him 600 soldiers, 
and after arranging affairs there to suit him, made a triumphant 
entry into Bokhara, the whole campaign having lasted only fifty, 
four days. 

Hardly three months had elapsed, however, since this easily 
gained triumph, when the whole of Elhokand was in an insurrection^ 
and the Bukharan power there was destroyed. It seems that 
Ibrahim Datkha greatly oppressed the people, and made them pay 
not only all the taxes which existed in Bukhara, but others in- 
troduced at his own pleasure. The people, indignant at these 
exactions, resolved to rid themselves of the Bukharan yoke, and 
sent to the Kiptchaks where Shir Ali, the son of Hadji Bii was 
living, and asked them to come and deliver them. Shir Ali was 
himself extremely feeble, and unfit for governing, bat the leading 
Kiptchaks thought it would be a good opportunity for their own 
personal aggrandisement, and for restoring the supremacy of the 
Kiptchaks and Uzbek tribes in the Khanate. In former times they 
had had possession of all the important offices, and had ruled the 
country, but had afterwards been turned out by the town people, 
or Sarts, who surrounded Madali Khan, and were his favourites. 

Shir Ali had taken refuge among the Eliptchaks on account of 
the designs of Madali Khan against his life, and had there married 
daughters of two of the prominent chiefs. 

The Eliptchaks then were moving in a mass on the capital, 
when the inhabitants threw themselves on the Bukharans and 
killed nearly all of them. Ibrahim Datkha and his brother with 
difficulty saved themselves by flight. Shir Ali immediately entered 
the city, occupied the citadel, and was at once proclaimed EHiam 

The news of this successful rebellion threw the Amir Inl*- 
great rage, and he immediately ordered the panishment of Hi 
Datkha and his brother, confiscated their property, m 
decided to send another army to Khokand, thinking tibaA 
chaks, hearing of its approach, would at once run awft/^ 
autumn set out with an army of 20,000 men, taking w 
250 Khokandian officials, whom he had previously 1 



&» hostages. He fear^ei to leave tbem in Bukhara^ lust ttey might 
enter into some plot witli Allah Kul, the Khan of Khiva, who had 
long been in disagreeable relations with him, and was particularlj 
jealous of his extension of dommioiis* 

The Amir laid siege to Khokandj but the garrison refused to 

One of the hostages, a Kiptchak, who had formerly been a Tne 
Bashi, or centurion, in Khokand — a person of remarkahle intelli- 
gence and capacltj — called Mussulman Kul, and popularly known 
as Tchnlak { crip pi g) on account of Ha lameness, resolved to ftave 
his country* He adroitly flattered the Amir, and offered to obtain 
for him the possession of the city, and was therefore allowed to 
enter Kbokand. Once arrived there, however, he energetically 
preached *no surrender,* and urged the inhabitants to tight till the 
last drop of blood. Aa he had previously been much respected, hia 
words inspired them with con ft deuce, and consequently sortiea 
were made, in some of which the Bukharan army met with heavy > 
losses. At the same time he had recourse to cunning. He addressed 
a letter to some of the Bukhanin notabilities, urging them to fulfil 
their promise of rising against the Amir during the present 
campaign, and contrived that these letters should fall into the 
hands of the Amir. At the same time, by a most lucky coincidence 
intelligence arrived from Bukhara that the Khan of KiuFa, by 
intrigues with Kliokand, had invaded the countryj and had carried 
oflTa large amouot of spoil. 

Nasrullah, terrified by this news, at once raised the siege, freed 
the 250 hostages, and returned to Bukhara, The whole sieg^ 
lasted forty days. 

After the departure of the Amir^ Shir All was maintained in 
peaceful possession of the throne. He was simple and good-natured, 
and was a kind and mild ruler, so weak as to get the nickname of 
pitgtixih (mat or rag)^ and distinguished the beginning of his reign 
by causing the body of Madali Khan to be dug up and re-buried 
with great funeral ceremonies conducted by all the clergy.* 

The reign of Shir AH was chiefly markeci by a struggle for 
finpremacy between the nomads and the settled inhabitants. The 

1 A dJ5ticb n>Tnpo§o4 by Shir Afi, qtioted by Petrofsky, slsowa liifi chfimcter* It 
IB addressed to hittiHaLfi 

Adal huMyr Khanlaf tchiksn y^gmur l/ng^t ; 
San na Khan san t tuJga Xchikstmg khalk ktmndan kanlar if agar ^ 
Wliat gort of a KLan art thou ? when thou gooat out, blood flows horn tha 
Vjti of tho p^'ople/ 

Th« tradition i» that -whm Khun^ go out of doois, zain falU (t,tf. 


T?zbek party had put Stir All on the throne, and it was therefore 
only natural that, knowing the Khan's weakness and inability to 
rule, their leader should insist upon governing the country. Their 
chief, the Kiptchak Yusuf, was made Ming Bashi, and began to 
remove all the Sarts from influential positions, and to fill up their 
places with his own favourites and adherents. But the head of 
the Sart party, Shadi, was more loved by the people ; and, there- 
fore, with the consent of Shir AH, he poisoned Yusuf, and ordered 
many of his adherents to be executed. Desiring to get rid of 
Mussulman Kul, the hero of the revolution, who was his greatest 
enemy, he ordered him to come to Khokand. Mussulman Kul 
replied politely that he was on his way, and that he was rejoiced 
to hear of the death of Yusuf, who had been ill-disposed to him, 
but in reality he collected an army, and took into his service all 
the fugitive adherents of Yusuf. When Shadi heard of this, he 
sent hired assassins to Andijan, but they were caught and hung^ 
by order of Mussulman Kul. An open war now began between 
the two parties, and their armies met at Tuz, where the Uzbeks 
defeated the Sarts ; Shadi was killed, and the Khan Khudayar, who 
had accompanied him, was taken prisoner. Owing to difficulties 
in finding a successor, he was retained on the throne, and Mussulman 
Kul occupied the place of Shadi Ming-bashi. Bat Mussulman Kul 
found it impossible thoroughly to propitiate the Sarts, adherents 
of Shadi, for he could not give them all the offices tbey desired ; 
and the more he endeavoured to make friends with them, the more 
he displeased the Kiptchaks, who were jealous of his prominence 
in the government, and there was consequently a stroxig oppo- 
sition to him, and every me'ans were used to overthrow bim. Finally 
the dissatisfied party, in 1845, sent deputies to Shahrisabs, and 
invited Murad Bek, son of Alim Khan, who was living there, to 
come to Kliokand and take possession of the throne. 

On the accession of Madali Khan, Murad Bek had gone ta 
Khiva, where he had married his daughter to the Khan Allah Kul, 
bat after her death had quarrelled with his son-in-law, and had 
sought refuge in Bukhara. Murad Bek easily persuaded the Amir 
NasruUah to assist him, and with a small body of soldiery made his 
way to Khokand, and, profiting by the absence of Mnssulman Kul, 
who had gone to the mountains in the east to collect tribute, seized 
the capital by a coup-de-mainj put to death Shir Ali, and pro- 
claimed himself Khan, but at the same time ysssal wid iWteDanA 
of the Amir of Bukhara. Had it not beea 
perhaps have been successful, but the people 
that word was at once sent to MoasahiHi 
his forces, stopping at Marghilan on the 



KKndayar, one of the younger sons of Slnr Ali, and Bek of tliat 
place^ who was at the &ame time hia son-in-la-Tr, 

Ab soon as Murad heard of the approach of Massulnmii Eul, his 
courage deserted hira, and he fled from the city and retiirnod to 
Shahrisabs- According to other accounta he waa killed* The 
Bakharan troops for tb© most part escaped.' 

Shir AH had left flv^esons ; by hi^ first wife Jarkin, the daDghter 
of the Kiptchak Tokbta !Nazar, Sarymsak, then twenty-two, Bek 
of Taebkeiyt, Khiidayar, sixteen, Bek of Marghilan, and Sultan 
Hnrad ; and by bia second wife Sana Aim (also a Kiptchiik)^ 
Malla, seventeen years old, Bek of Andijan, and Sufi, 

Mnssulman Knl was in unplea&?int relations with Sarymsak, the 
eldest SOD, and preferred one of the yo angler boys as Khan^ becanso 
in that way he could really govern the country himself. He there- 
fore Bent a letter with the seal of XI\udayar to Sarymsak, who waa 
then at Tashkent^ asking him to come to Khokand and become 
Khan» Saryrosak believed this and started, but was murdered on 
the way. It is genei'ally believed that this execution took place 
witbont the knowledge of his brother. On the next day bis death 
was announced, and Khudayar was proclaimed Khan. 

After the accession of Khudayarj there ensued a painful epoch. 
for Khokand. The Khan himself was too yoang to engage in 
business, and was kept by Mussnlman Kul in most strict seclusion* 
Mb whs, for instance, riirely allowed any money, for fear be should 
toy himself friends, and only obtained a little through the good 
«i(£rcea of the Aftobatcha Abdurrahman, the sou of Mussulman Kul^ 
then bis best friend, 

MasSQlman Kul himself was a kind and naturally a jnst man ; 
but he now removed fix>m the government all of the Sarta who had 
been hestile to him, and the persons who surrounded him oppressed 
the people with their extortions. Mussulman Kul himself was not 
a man who could be contradicted, and insisted on the fulfilment of 

' AtiiljlCt the second son of Alim Khftfi, had benn sent to KnmtegiQ wttb btt 
brother Murad on tho tusurpfition of Omaj, He was sabsequentlj inyited W> 
Eiikliiira, where he married, going afterwards to Balkh. In 1844 ho headed a 
trifling insurrection in Kliokand, but was defeated by Shir AU at Kara Yasi and 
waa killed S^x years after his difuth hia widow went to live at Samarkand^ 
aopompanied by her son Pnlatt, then a boy of Mven, and by a daughter, wha 
aflorwiirdii married Mohammed Rahim Subankul, the Mnt^vali of tha ModresBd 
Ho4jii Akhmn In 1872 Pnlad went to Khoktind T^hero ho was arrested by 
Khudayar, and wns only eet at lihtrty oti the intercoBdon of hie Biater. In the 
iusurrpction of 1&76 Pulad took no part, and the person bearing that naroe» who 
was BubHcqnently execnbsd by the Rnagiana at Margliilan^ wajB an impoator^ ft 
Kirgbii! from near Andijan, namefl Mullah Ifilak^ wJio was a tobacco-fteUfiT «t 
f iskeut, and wai put forward by the leadem of the Kipbcb&k pftrtj. 


tiB will, whether it was according to law or not. He had raised up 
for himself enemies even among his own Kiptchaks, and the rnlers 
of Ura-tepe, Hodjent, and Marghilan, and Nur Mohammed, the Bek 
of Tashkent, became especially hostile to him. In 1850, too, tho 
Elhan Khndayar reached his majority, and was less disposed to 
Bubmit himself to the arbitrary will of his regent. 

Open rebellion did not, however, begin until 1851, when Nur 
Mohammed led armed forces towards the capital, with the view of 
meeting with Utenbai, the Governor of Marghilan, and overthrowing 
Mussulman Kul. The latter, however, got wind of this, and cut 
off their intercourse, and forced !N^ur Mohammed to retreat to 
Tashkent, while Utenbai came to Mussulman Kul and declared 
that he had come to his assistance, and not to that of Nur 
Mohammed. He was, however, removed from oflBce. 

In consequence of various disputes arising out of the collection 
of the tribute due from Tashkent, in the next year another rebellioA 
broke out, and in March 1852, Mussulman Kul marched with an 
army of 40,000 men, and laid siege to Tashkent, taking the Khan 
with him, as he dared not leave him in Khokand. The siege, owing 
in part to the treachery of the Bek of Marghilan, and to the violent 
rains, was unsuccessful, and after a fortnight, the Khokandian 
army was obliged to retire.* 

This disaster was followed with very important consequences for 
Mussulman Kul. The intrigues against him grew stronger, and were 
secretly supported by the Khan. He tried to disarm and propitiate 
his enemies with favours and promises ; but at last^ in July, he was 
obliged to besiege Tashkent again with 30,000 men. As, however, 
preparations for defence had been made, he found it impossible to 
take the place by storm, and contented himself with besieging the 
email fort of Niazbek, and with cutting off the water supply of the 
city ; and then, turning to the north, took Tchimkent. In his 
absence, however, he found that a sortie had been made from 
Tashkent, the force blockading Niazbek defeated, and tie water 
supply restored to the city. Hurriedly returning to Tchimkent 
with his army, he met the Tashkendians on the Tchirtchik, When 
just on the eve of battle, it was found that tbe Khan Khudayar and 
numerous of his followers had abandoned him, and gone over to the 
enemy. The Khokandian army, losing heart, ran away, and Mw 
man Kul himself was obliged to take refuge among the Sliptdb 

' The Riusian meichant Kliutcharef, then Iiring in TiMrnnir 
interesting diary of all these proceedings from Febmaiy jk ^ ^ 
is published as an appendix to Mr. Yelyaminof-Zemofs aitid 

' Nurekin relates this differently. According to him 1 
battle and captured the Khan, and the fall of 
the explosi >n of a subsequent intrigue. 



KIiEdajar Khan had, lioweT'»r, not freed himself from tin 
deapotiem of Miissiilman Ktil to full into the liandg of new regent^t 
and tt party among the Sarta of Khokaiid bein^ formed, adverse to 
the Kiptcbaks, ho readily joined with them, Nar Mohammed was 
execnted^ and his ft'ieuda were orerthrowii. Mai la Bek, the brother 
of tlie Klian, was ^ent to govern Tashkent. General orders were 
now given foy the massaere of all the Kiptchaks in the Khanate 
fi'om Ak Masjid (Fort Perovsky) to the mountains separating 
Khokand from Kashgar, and they were killed everywhere, in the 
bazoai-Sj in the streets, and on the gteppe, wherever they were found, 
Kh<jkand was thus tnrned into a vast place of execntion, and in all tbe 
three months during which thia massacre laRf^^d, 20jO()0 men, it is 
8 apposed^ were killed, Khudajar was himself by bis mother'e si do 
a Kiptchak, and this act of carnage was never forgiren nor forg-otten- 

In the VjeginHing of 1B53, while these nmrders were still con^ 
tinaing^ Mussalman Knl was cnught, and publicly pnnished. He 
was made to sit loaded with fetters, with a tall cap on his head, 
on a woodeTi platform, while 600 Kiptchaks were killed before hie 
eyes, and at last lie him sell was hung. To please tbe people, whc 
"were delighted with the fall of their former oppressors, new 
and most unheard -of kinds of torture, were applied. It is said 
that when Mussulman Kul witnessed the horrible spectacle of the 
punishment of his partiaanFt, he at first sat pale and silent, with 
difficnlty Eustaining his emotion i but that when he saw the heads 
fall of persons entirely innocent, ho conld no longer contain himself, 
And eried out, * For God's sake kiH me iirst.* 

After the reign of the Kiptchaks came that of the Sarta. Mai la 
Bek poon qnan^elled with Ins brother and declared war o gainst 
him, and being dcfeat»ed flod to Bukhara. Subsequently, at the 
reqnest ol his mother, he was pardoned and recalled to Khokand, 
hut received bo new position, 

Mirza Akhraet, one of the Sart leaders, and a great opponent 
of Mnesubnan Knl, was appointed Bek of Tashkent bi his place.* 

Mrraa Akhmct by his severity e:3ccited great discontent among 
the Eii^ghi?> who lived in the district surrounding Tchimkent and 
Auli^-ata ; and finding it impossible to put them down, was obliged 
to make a compromise wHh them and satisfy their demands. 

This was in 1B57. At the same time the Kara Eirghia and 
what was left of the Kiptchaks entered into negotiations with 
Mai la Bek and gained to their side many influential Uzbeks, espe- 
eiaily Alim Kul, a person who afterwards roae to great promi- 

» Mimi Akhmet is now one of Uie chief sidviiefs of TakuL Khan, thi Amir of 


^ence. They at once proclaimed Malla Bek their Khan and ^. 
marched against EJiokand. ^"^ 

The Khan with his army went out to meet them, bnt suffered 
a decisive defeat at Samantchi. His most trusted adherents 
immediately turned against him, and he was obliged to give up his 
throne and fly to Bukhara, while Malla Khan was received as the 
lawful ruler. 

Another reason of dislike to Khudayar Khan had been the 
ad ranee of the Russians, who in 1853, after the fall of Mussulman 
Kul, had captured Ak Masjid, and founded Fort Perovsky, and had 
made considerable progress in the north, having captured Pishpek, 
Tokmak, and other forts near Viemy. 

Khudayar Khan was very well received at the Court of Buk* 
hara, for !N'asrullah thought that this might prove another oppor-- 
tunity for him to obtain possession of Khokand, a country the loss 
of which he had never ceased to regret, and Khudayar was given a 
sort of honorary position at Court, and subsequently went to livc^ ^ 

at Samarkand. When he had lived there for some time, for some 
reason or other the Amir suddenly changed his disposition to him, 
and sent him to live at Jizakh, at the same time giving strict 
orders to the Bek of that place to assist him in no possible way, 
and to prevent all peoj)le from holding any communication with 
him. Khudayar Khan saw himself, therefore, on the point of 
starvation. He lived with two personal adherents in a little hut 
made of mud outside of the walls. Afraid to appear in public him- 
self, his attendants gathered reeds and roots which could be used 
as fuel, and disguising themselves sold them in the town, and with 
the money thus obtained purchased provisions. Then the mother 
of Khudayar Khan managed to send him from time to time small 
sums, and with this money, under an assumed name, he procured 
two or three camels, which he hired out to carry freight, and when 
events recalled him to Khokand he had laid the foundation of a 
foi'tune, and was standing the chance of becoming a rich merchant. 

Malla E^an reigned for two years, during which time he suo^ 
ceeded in making himself much loved by the people. Alim Kul 
became his chief adviser, but, contrary to the hopes of the other 
Biis who had taken part in the insurrection, he gave them no share 
in the Government, and allowed no one to approach the Khan, 
Their discontent increased to such a degree that some of their 
leaders, including Shadiman Hodja, resolved to murder the Khan, 
and taking advantage of the absence of Alim Kul, who had been 
appointed Bek in Andijan, and having gained over the attendant 
who always watched over his master, they murdered him during 
his sleep and proclaimed as Khan Shah Murad, a boy of abou« 



fifteen J&^VB old, the son of Sarymsak, and therefore nephew 4>f 
Khudayar Khan.* 

Malla Khan had left a son, a boy of about thirteen years, Seid 
Sultan, whom it waa the intention of the coTispirators also to kill, 
but Alim Kul, who La,d qaick intelligence) of what was takings 
placo, sent to Khokand, and managed secretly to get him ont of the 
palace and bring him to Andijan, The conspirators were very 
much frightened, thinking Alim Knl had intended immediately to 
proclaim Seid Sultan the Khan, but were soon qnieted by receiTing" 
& message from Tiitr that he merely wished to save him from d'Mithj 
and that he was devoted heart, and ionl to the new government. 
He probably temporised in this way on aeconnt of the danger of 
being disunited in view of the position taken by Tashkent, for 
this city, with its nsnal rebellions apirit, niider the inflnence of 
Shadiraan Hodja, one of the mnrderers of Malla Khan, and of 
Khanayat Shah, Bek of TnrkLstani had jnst recalled EHmdayar Khan 
from Jizakh, and he had occupied it with his adherents. The army 
of Khokand, nnder the command of Shah Murad, with most of the 
conspirators, immediately moved on Tashkent and besieged Khnda- 
yar Khan ; hnt as Tashkent held out strongly, after thirty^one days* 
iiege, they retired. On the homeward march, while the army was 
Testing, Alim Knl, who had just arrived from Andijan, pnt to death 
in the Khan* a presence fonr of the leading murderers of Malla 
Khan, who had just plotted to go OTer to Khudayar, and on the 
same day anothfir, Alim Bii, was also killed by his orders. Contrary 
to expectation Sliah Mnrad^ who was with the army, remained 
Khan, the only change being that Alim Knl was made regent^ as 
Le had been in the time of Malla Klian, 

Khedayar Khan and his army at once followed and attacked 
Hodjent. AHm Kul at first began to defend Khokand, bnt find- 
ing general treachery he retired to Margbilan, and then to the 

The young Khan, Shah Mnrad, somehow disappeared^ and it 
was ascertained afterwards that Khudayar had sneceeded in cap- 
tnring and mnrdering him. He was also desirous of getting hold 
of Seid Sultan, hut was nnsnccessfuh 

Khokand received its old tyrant, Khndayar Khan, with great 
delight, and there were now two strong parties in the country — 
that of Khudayar, who was once again the lawful ruler, and that of 
Alim Kul, the Regent ■ and a violent contest lasted between them for 
three years, all the Uzbeks, with the exception of the Kara Kalpake, 
Bupportifig Alim Kul, and the Sarta and townapeople being on the 
iide of Khudayar. Not only the two armies fought, hnt the mdu 
' I have given \h& detailed account of thia murder on p. 92* 




▼idaals of the two classes of populabions murdered eacli other when t 
ever they had an opportunity. 

The Uzbek party was somewhat divided in consequence of three 
new pretenders to the throne, descendants of the former Khans— 
Shahrukh, who had been proclaimed by !Mirza Akhmet, SadyJc 
Bek, and Hadji Bek — and it was said that Alim Kul, to rid himself 
of opposition, enticed these young men to himself ard had them all 
murdered in Ush, where they are buried on the side of the hill 
called * Solomon's Throne.' 

After this Alim Kal proclaimed Seid Sultan Khan, and began 
decisive operations against Khudayar, and soon took Marghilan and 
Andijan, and twice defeated the KJian's army. Khudayar Khan 
then sent Sultan Murad Bek to the Amir of Bukhara, asking for 
assistance, and the Amir — now Mozaffar.Eddin, the son of Nas- 
rnllah—came in person with a large army. Alim Kul retreated 
and shut himself up in the defiles of Kara-Kuldja, where he was for 
a long time besieged. 

At last the Amir became disgusted at his want of success, got 
angry with Khudayar, sent to Alim Kul as presents a golden staff, 
a cap, a belt, and a fine Koran, and retired to Bukhara. Upon 
this Alim Kul advanced from the piountains, took Khokand with, 
out difficulty, and Khujdayar for a second time sought refuge in 

Alim Kul was now supreme ruler of Khokand, for Seid Saltan 
bore but the nominal title of Khan. Fully understanding the diffi.. 
culties which internal disputes were causing the country, while 
lenient to ordinary offenders, he punished with unexampled severity 
all those accused of political offences, and is said to have executed 
over 4,000 men. 

At first by these means he restored qaiet to the Klianate, but 
soon reaction took place, and he was greeted with general dis- 
content. Prayers from every city went out to Khudayar to return 
and assume the throne. Khudayar in the meantime was living in 
Jizakh, where he had renewed his former mercantile operations, 
but this time on a larger scale. On making representations to the 
Amir he succeeded in persuading him again to attempt an expedi- 
tion, and preparations were being made when news arrived of the 
death of Alim Kul in Tashkent. He had been wounded in the first 
attack the Russians had made on the ciiy in 1865, under General 
Tchemaief . The partizans of Alim Kul, fearing the vengeance of 
Khudayar Khan, immediately fled, most of them going to Kashg^, 
where Yakub Bek was now making for himself a throne under the 
pretext of being the general of Buzruk Khan. 

VOL, I. A A ^^ 


jA.bont tlie same time that the Russians took Tashkent, the Bnk« 
haran Amir took Hodjent, and one of the first propositions of the 
Russians in their eflPorts to make a peace was that the Amir of 
Bukhara shonld place on the throne of Khokand the rightful Khan 
Khudayar, even offering him the support of the Russian troops for 
that purpose. This, however, he did not accept, feeling confident 
of his own strength, and advanced to Khokand and reinstated 
Khudayar. He insisted on retaining Hodjent as the price for his 
servioes, and that town therefore remai:ned a Bukharan possession 
until it was taken by the Russians in 1866. Seid Sultan Khan 
escaped for the time, but was brought to Khokand and executed 
in Isfara in 1871. 

The Khanate of Khokand, by both Russian and Bukharan con- 
quests, had now been reduced to but a small portion of its former 
dimensions, but the Khan succeeded in escaping complete conquest 
by following the shrewd advice of Ata Bek in sending to congratu- 
late the Russians upon the capture of Hodjent. While in his 
heart hating the Russians, Kliudayar became apparently submissive, 
and for the remaining ten years of his reign was unmolested by them. 
Fear of the Russians in a great measure restrained his subjects 
from rebellion, although they were no more contented with his rule 
than they had previously been ; in fact, his reign had become much 
more severe. He did not give himself up so much to open licen- 
tiousness as he had previously done, but he began to make money 
as fast as possible out of his dominions, both by seizing the bazaars 
and taking the profits arising from them, and by imposing taxes 
of every kind upon the country. The Kirghiz and Kiptchaks, 
although they have not been the greatest sufferers by these taxes, 
have been the most indignant at them, and in all of their projects 
they have had the full support of the settled population — a thing 
which has never before occurred. It was with diflBculty that anything 
could be attempted, as there was great fear that the Russians 
would march in and reduce the population to submission to the Khan, 
it being thought that the new conquerors looked upon him as 
theii* instrument. 

In 1871 an open revolt broke out, but was speedily terminated. 

During 1873 a much more serious movement began. The 
Khan desired to impose additional taxes upon the Kira-Kirghiz 
in the mountains to the south of Ush and Andijan, and asked as 
much as three sheep instead of one from a family. There were 
also some new taxes upon the cultivated land in the mountains. 
These taxes the Kirghiz refused to pay, and stripped and beat the 
officers who were sent to collect them ; and when troops were sent^ 


conflicts ensned, and the Elirgliiz in a mass retired to tiie inac- 
cessible defiles of the mountains. 

At this time the Aftobatcha Abdurrahman Hadji, th^ son of 
Mnssalman Knl, and brother-in-law to the Khan, who had jast 
returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca,' — to the great surprise of all, 
who had supposed he had been secretly murdered by order of the 
Khan, — and who enjoyed a great influence among the Kiptchaks, 
was put in command of the troops, and was sent to bring the 
Kirghiz to obedience. 

The Aftobatcha persuaded the Kirghiz to send to the Khan 
a deputation of forty men to represent their grievances, and to try 
to come to some understanding. At the same time he urged the 
Khan to retain them as hostages, but on no account to harm them, 
and to treat them well, as order could only be restored by pacific 
means. The Khan stupidly had all of them executed, and the 
Aftobatcha was obHged at once to return to KJiokand, as the 
Kirghiz were thoroughly aroused at this act of perfidy, and the 
Kiptchaks were threatening to join them. All this occurred while 
I was in Khokand. 

Open hostilities commenced at once, and the Kirghiz im- 
mediately took Uzgent and Suk, a small fortified place in the 
mountains, where was part of the private treasury of the Khan^ 
In the low country the rebels met with little success, as they were 
too badly armed and disciplined to cope with even the poor soldiers 
of the Khan. A large number of them were taken prisoners, and 
500 of them were executed in the bazaar at Kiiokand ; and the 
pretender to the throne, who called himself Mozafiar Khan, son of 
Madali Khan, was impaled alive. At the same time the Khan sent 
two or three special envoys one after the other to Tashkent asking 
for assistance, and making complaints to the Russians that the 
Kirghiz subject to the Emperor had invaded Kiiokand, and were 
devastating it. On investigation the facts proved to be that 
several thousand E^ghiz from Kiiokand, on the breaking out of 
the disturbance, had emigrated from Kiiokand into the Russian 
territory; but when the rebels began to get the upper hand, 
with the exception of a few Eliptchaks, they all returned. The 
Russians refused to interfere on the side of the Khan, and the 
commander of the forces even telegraphed to St. Petersburg for 
permission to occupy Khokand if the insurrection continued, as 

* Although the pilgrimage was the avowed object of the Aftobatcha's journey, 
he had been in reality sent by the Khan to the Sultan at Constantinople to ank 
his aid against he Russians. Jftobatcha is an honorary title meaning ewez^ 

A A 2 

S56 ^^^^f^ APPENDIX L 

mmh a stute of a^mrs was veiy mjiirioiiB to BnBsmn mtereBts* 

Tlufl peiTnis^ion was, how ever ^ refased, 

TheL,poKition of the Khan was yeiy a npl enfant ; he felt bo could 
not even rely on thotie persons who oaghi to be the most deFotwi to 
bitn. ^[irza Hakim, the EhokHndmn envoy at TasKkont, told tna 
that he himself was gtronfflj in favour of the inanrg-ents. and that 
he, as well as many others, wonld abandon the Khan as soon ms they 
saw that the reliellion liad any prospect of success. He said that 
the Khan had promised him in case hia mission were succesef iil 
to make him Bek, bat if it were nnsaccessful^ he was to have hia 
head cut off. It was known that conspiracies were on loot in 
Andijan and Khokand, and the Khan hfid great fear of his son the 
Khan*Zada Nasr*eddin, Bek of Andijan, and desired to briBg him 
to Kliokand. The Khan-Zada, however, feared for his life, aa 
some time before the Klmn had openly told him that as long bq ^te 
lived he could feel no safety. He thei-efore refused to go. At tbe 
same time three high military commanders in Andijan laid a plot 
to seme upon the person of Khan-Zada. carry him to the mountains, 
ftad proclaim him Khan, hoping that this would add conlideiice to 
the insurgent* a cause. The Khan-Zada refused to he a party to 
this plotj and personally wounded two of the conspirators, and Lad 
them all arrested and sent to Khokand, where they were executed. 
It was noty howeveis until the good offices of his auBt^^a sister ot 
Mai la Khan, and much respected at Khokand, — had been brought 
into play, that he consented to go to his fnther at Khokand, 
reBignirig at the same time the Beksbip, and taking his family and 
treasure with him, saying that he no longer wished to hold any 

U&h and Andijan were immediately after taken by the rebels, 
and various Bmaller places, sach aa Suzak, Uteh-Kurga,n, and 
Balykt^hi. This last city greatly suffered from the insurgents* 
Its Bek was put to death by being pinned to the ground by ft 
stake driven through his mouth. 

The Khan now took command of the troops in person, togpther 
with Ata-Bek and the Aftobatcha, although the two former soon 
retired, leaving the Aftobatcha in sole command. He had 
seveml Email engagements with tlie rebels ; but a large number of 
the Khan's soldiers, — it is said several thousand,— ^passed over to 
the enemy, and the Aftobatcha shut himself up in the small fort 
of Tiura-Kurgan^ near Namangan^ and refused to take any farther 

Messages from Khokand and other cities were sent to the 
Kirghiz, asking them to advance more quickly, as they would lit 
once rise agaiust the Khan ; and the aid of the KiptchakS| who 


liad hitherto taken no active part in the rebellion, was promised, 
and it was hoped that the Aftobatcha even might be on their side. 

It was now, however, antnmn ; and with the approach of cold 
weather the insurrection died out, and the Khan retook his cities 
with bat little opposition, and the country during the winter 
returned to its usual quiet state. In 1874 the insurrection began 
again with a plot to put on the throne Mohammed Amin, or Madamin 
Bek, the second son of Khudayar, who, it is said, himself let out 
the conspiracy by his great talkativeness. The plan had been 
prepared by his uncle Batyr Khan Tiura, and it was proposed to 
seize the Khan about April 1, in one of his towns outside of the 
capital. Batyr Khan and sixteen of the conspirators were called 
to the palace, and never returned ; it is supposed that they were 
drowned in a pond within its precincts. Madamin himself was 
placed under strict surveillance. The Mekhter, Mullah Mir Kamil, 
was also one of the victims, and was poisoned by order of the 
Khan, for not having given him previous information. Before 
that, the Mekhter had been suspected of embezzling the custom- 
house f ands, and had been subjected to a severe ordeal. He was 
bound on a thin lattice work, which was thrown over a deep 
ravine, and a horse was made to gallop several times over this 
frail bridge, threatening at every moment to break through. As the 
Mekhter came out alive, he was considered innocent — ^at least, of 
that offence. The Kirghiz and Kiptchaks now united, and sought 
for another claimant to the throne, entering into negotiations with 
Abdul Kerim Bek, a boy of sixteen, and a grandson of Fazyl Bek, 
the Khan's uncle, who was living at Hodjent. As an infant of a 
year old, his mother had taken him from Khokand to Hodjent, 
where she soon after died, and, it is said, that he did not even know 
of his extraction. At a request of Khudayar, the Russians com- 
pelled Abdul Kerim to remove to Tashkent, where he would be 
under the strictest surveillance, and sent his chief adviser, Abdul 
Kauni, to Tchimkent. 

The failure of these two plots did not restore to the Klian that 
tranquillity and quiet which he had previously enjoyed. He became 
sombre and distrustful. His body-guard, composed of 400 picked 
men, educated to that trust from their infancy, ceased to inspire 
him with the same confidence as before. He felt himself menaced 
everywhere and at all times, and he even saw dangers where there 
were none. For a long time he did not even leave his palace. 
The entry of his room was usually guarded day and night by a * 
black slave, Nasim Toga, who was blindly attached to him, and 
who was ordered to let no one — not even his wives or children — 
enter without consulting him. BLis distrust and fear were so 


great, that he waa only lulled asleep by the noise of the vcfces of 
three of his most faithful servants, who were ordered to remain in 
the adjoining room, and to make themselves constantly heard, as a 
palpable proof that watch was being kept.'* His eldest sou 
Nasreddin was placed under strict surveillance, and the system of 
espionage throughout the Khanate waa carried to its utmost limits. 
His best spy was a certain Mir Alim, a rich merchant of E^okandy 
who had agents in the Russian possessions, as well as everywhere 
within the dominions of the Khan, and who naturally played upon 
the affairs of the Khan in order to gain for himself a good fortune.' 

One of the most popular chiefs of the insurrection of 1873, was 
a certain Mamyn Batcha, from Andijan, ^ho had taken refuge first 
on Russian territory, and then in Kashgar, where he had tried to 
find support. Not succeeding in this, he returned with some 
adherents to Khokand, but was defeated, and took refuge im 
Russia, where he was arrested and sent to Siberia. A Kiptchak, 
too, Mussulman Kul, a relative of the former Regent, Alim Kul, 
in June, 1874, collected a band of partisans in the mountains north 
of Namangan, and finally succeeded in taking the town of Kasan, 
from which the Bek had fled. The Khan sent against them 
7,000 men, under the command of the Aftobatcha, and of Issa- 
aulie, the Bek of Shahrikhana, and defeated the insurgents at Tiura 
Kurgan. Mussulman Kul died in the fight, and Said Pulad Khan, 
a new pretender, together with a certain Mumyn, a Kirghiz chief, 
fled to Russian territory, where they were caught. Another slight 
insurrection of the Kirghiz to the north of Namangan, was also 
easily put down. 

In 1875, General Kaufmann, in order to make a bargain with 
the Khan, resolved to give up Abdul Kerim, and sent him to 
Khokand. While the Russian embassy was still there, the re- 
bellion broke out again; and the Aftobatcha, who "had been 
waiting his own time to avenge the murder of his father, Mussulman 
Kul, appeared as its leader. Everything must have been well 
prepared, for the army deserted in a ma^^s, and Khudayar's brother 
and sons immediately went over to the rebels. Khudayar was 
forced to fly for the third time, and escaped with all his treasure 
to Tashkent, where he was well received by the Russians. He 
was subsequently sent to live at Orenburg. His eldest son, 
Nasrcddin, was proclaimed Khan, but did not long keep the title, 
for he allowed himself to be drawn into a war against the Russians, 
the details of which I have given elsewhere — and eventually lost 
his throne, after which Khokand was annexed to Russia under the 
hietoric name of Ferghana. 

■ 'Journal de St. P^lerbbourg,' No. 24, January 25 (February 7^, 1875. 













c9 a 









a ^"s 



.o to 




















EU Try of Bulchara from the Earliest Period down to the "Present^ composed fof 
the firij time after OrieDt;il known and unknown historical manuscriptfl, by Ar- 
minins Vamb^ry, London, 1873, xxxv. 419 pp. 8vo. 

In the very title of this work the anthor represents that it is the 
first which has appeared in Enrope on this snhject, and that it has 
been based in a great measure on Oriental historical mannscripts 
uitknown in Europe. In the preface he expatiates still more on his 
services. ' It seems, however, to be the lot ordained for me to 
traverse regions where I have had scarcely any, or absolutely no, 
predecessors ; ' and having now to explore with the pen an entirely 
new field, he says (p. viii.), and further on (p. xvi.) : * The second 

* As this review was published in a journal, but little circulated in Russia, 
and hardly known abroad— the * Journal of the Ministry of Public Instruction ' for 
November 1873 — I have thought that a translation of it would be interesting and 
valuable to students of the East. I have in some cases slightly condensed it 
without changing the ideas of the author. 

* As is evident from this and other passages, Mr. Vamb^ry seems to think 
that he was almost the first traveller in Central Asia in recent times. 

Without speaking of the numerous Russian merchants and agents who went to 
Khiva and Bukhara during the seventeentli century, I subjoin an imperfertlistof 
European travellers in Central Asia from the beginning of the eighteenth century up 
to the date of Mr. Yambery's journey, the most of whom have left published accounts 
of their travels. 

1690. Dubrovin, Khiva. 

1*^25. Flofio Benev(nif Khiva and Bukhara. 

1727-30. BasUio Batazzi, Turkistan and Persia. 

1732. Colonel Garber. 

1741. George Thompson and Btynold Hogg^ Khiva and Bukhara. 

1740-1. Mvravin and Gladishef, Khiva. 

1743. Muler, Tashkent. 

1752. Nikolai Grigorief Bukhara. 

1774. rhUij> Yefremof Bukhara and Samarkand, 


part of my work (i.e. tlie * History of Bukhara, from its Conqnest 
by the Uzbeks *) deals almost entirely with data hitherto little 
known, or entirely unknown even to the world of scholars, for they 
bring before ns a series of princes and even whole dynasties regarding 
whom scarcely anything has^ as yety been written in Asia, and not a 
single word in Europe,* In conclusion the author says that * it 
must always be a difficult task to write the first history of any 
country,* and that the present is * the fruits of many years* toil.* 

Statements of such a kind from a professor of Oriental languages, 
who has personally visited the country, the history of which he 
writes, and who has already, succeeded in giving himself a reputa- 
tion as a writer, would naturally cause every Orientalist, interested 
in the history of Central Asia, to read this ' Histoiy of Bukhara * 
with the expectation of finding in it, if not an artistic historical 
work, at least a whole mine of new information, of new facts, and 
of new conclusions penetrated with the spirit of European criticism, 
and enlivened by the author's acquaintance with the nature of the 
country investigated by him, and with the character of its inhabi- 

1793-4. Blankennagel, Khiva. 

1793-5. Metropolitan Chrysanth^ Balkh, Bukhara and Khiva. 

1794. THmothei Bumasho/And A. 8. Bemosikof, Bukhara. 

1800. Poifpiilof and Bumashqf, Tashkent. 

1813-4. Nazarof, Tashkent and Khokand. 

1819. Muravief, Khiva. 

] 820. i^egri and Baron Meyendorf, Bukhara. 

1821-2. Fraser, Khorasan. 

1830. Pofanin, Khokand. 

1831-3. Burnes, Bukhara. 

1834. Uoniberger, Bukhara. 

1834. Demaisont Bukhara. 

1836. Vitkeviich, Bukhara. 

1840. Abbott, Khiva. 

1840. Thomson, Khiva. 

1840. Shakespeare, Khiva, Merv. 

1841. .yUv/oro/, Khiva. 

1841. CvnnoUy, Khiva, Khokand, and Bukhara. 

1841. iS^od^r^, Bukhara. 

1 8 11-2. Khanikof, Lehmann, Butenief, Bukhara and Samarkand. 

1842*3. Danilefsky and Basiner, 

1842-3. Evcrsruann, Khiva. 

1843. Dr. Wolff, Bukhara. 

1851. X/m^cAar^-/, Tashkent. 

1858. Admiral Butakoff, the Oxus to Kungrad. 

1858. General Jgnaiuff, Lerch, and Kuhlewein, Khiva and Bukhara. 

An interesting map by Mr. Jacob Khanikof, giving the routes of many of these 
travellers, is appended to Book X. of the Memoirs (Zapiski) of the Imp. Buss. 
Geogr. Soc., 1855. [K S.] 



tfiTits. ITn fort DTI ate! J, eveiy page of Hr* Yirabeiy's book only 
disitp points eoch cxpectaliors, nncl the general result of reading it 
bUows tbat the ver)* small particle of wliM is really new in Ma book 
is lost in tho taass of what is old and wclUknownj which in TOOtii 
ca^^es, too, he has raisunderstoud and has erroneously studied. It 
Bppcai*s tlvat inslead of ^ommunieatitig now sourc^es of information 
Le lias not even made use of very important Itooks accessible to all, 
and Las not even known of their existence. It seetns^ in short, 
that Mr. Vteberjj in beginning hia work, had not the slightest 
acquaintance with the history of Central Asia ; and in the simpli- 
city of Lis soul regarded his own gradual emancipation from com- 
plete ignorance on this sul>ject as discoTeries which would astomsh 
and deliglit tho learned world. 

In consequence of this relation of Mr. YAmb^ry to Ma subjeotj 
we have not in hia book a conscientioBs and learned work, the 
result of many years* stntiy, but a very light and superficial com- 
pilation^ put together somehow or other in a few months, and witb 
Tery frequent erroj-s and omissionB of the most unpardonable cha- 
racter — a compilation which would not be worth speaking about 
had it not been received both in the West and in Russia by unlearned 
persons with full credence in tbc boast of the author, as a monu- 
mental work, and in this quality been lauded to the skies. 

To show the foundation of our own unfavourable opinion of the 
last work of the noted traveller who has shown himself such a poor 
historian, we shall look more or less minutely at tlie contents of all 
the nineteen chapters of his book, together with the preface and 
the introduction. 

In his preface, Mr. Yambery, after naming eleven works in 
eastern languages, which were his chief materials for the first part 
of his book - the * History of Bukhara to the Uabek invasion * — 
adds that besides these he has made uso of all that he * could find 
relating to the past history of Transo5:iana in Oiiental works, both 
printed and in manuscript, or in European histories, biographies, 
or books of travel* (p. xii.). 'As extensive a knowledge as can 
possibly bo obtained of all literature bearing on this subject/ he 
adds directly after wards^ ^ is now-a-daya the first requisite for an 
author attempting any work,* This is of course true, and yet there 
can be no doubt that tlje aathor of the 'History of Bukhara* did 
not refer in preparing it to such European writers on the history of 
Central Asia as Peguignea, Abel Remusat, Klaproth, and Ritter, 
to say nothing of those leas known. This circnm stance alone shows 
what kind of a writer Mr, Yambery is, as well as what kind of a 
professor. Further on he en um orates five sources of infonnation 
fur the history of Bukhara which he bupposea to be n^w and **«- 


knovm to anyone but himself ; and what are they ? The most im- 
portant of these, aud that which has fumishfd him with the whole 

* series of princes and even dynasties,* about which, as he boa8% 

* not a word has been written in Europe,' is the * Tarikhi Mukim- 
Khani,' the text of which, with a partial French translation, was 
published fifty years ago in St. Petersburg by the late Professor 
Senkofsky.* The second in importance, the * History of Bukhai'a,' 
by Narshaki, has been known to the learned world for more than 
thirty years, thanks to the extracts made from it by our Orientalist 
Khanikof . There are five manuscripts of this work in the librai ies 
of St. Petersburg alone. The third source, * Tarikhi Seid Rakim,' 
was obtained by Mr. Lerch during his visit to Bukhara in 1 859, 
and is well known by extracts made from it in various works by 
Mr. Lerch and by the Academician Veliaminof Zemof.* Thus only 
two out of the five sources mentioned appear to be really new and 
unknown to anyone but Mr. Vambery — the poem in the Jagatai 
language, * She ibani Nameh,' and a collection of poems, * Dakhme- 
i-Shahan,' both of which, as is evident from the citations of Mr. 
Vambery himself, contain almost nothing historical.^ There was 
no reason on account of this to raise a ciy throughout all Europe 
and boast of the abundance of the new information communicated 
to the world. 

In calling his book the * History of Bukhara,' its author was 
obliged to explain what he meant by the name of Bukhara, for the 
boundaries of the country, the capital of which is the city of Buk- 
hara, have greatly differed in different times. Part of the intro- 
duction is dedicated to this explanation, from which it is evident 
that by Bukhara the author means the Khanate of Bukhara within 
the limits which it had before the Russian movement beyond the 
Syr Darya, and in addition the countries on the left of the Ajna 
Darja, north of the Hindukush and of the Paropamisus, beginning 
from the sourc s of that river to the Murghab on the west — countries 
very often in historical times independent of Bukhara. Let it be 
so, although this extension of the term Bukhara is not entirely 
correct; but why does the author then identify Bukhara with 
Mavei-annahr, or Transoxiana, and try to prove that the Arabs 
meant by Maverannahr not only the country to the north of the 
Oxus, or Amu Darya, but also the left bank of that river from its 

"The title is 'Supplement k Thistoire g^n^rale des Huns, des Turks, et 
des Mogols,' par M. Joseph Senkowski :— St. P^tersbourg, 1824. [E. S.] 

* Among others in * Archaeological Journey in the Kegion of Tiirkistan in 
1^67,' by P. Lerch. St. Petersburg, 1870. [E. S.] 

• A copy of the * Sheibani Nameh,' has long been in the Imperial Library of St» 
Petersburg. [E. S.] 



source to the Margliab, wt^ can m no way imderfttand, ffpeeittlly 9M 
aU that IS non«eE!?ie, and \» not even proved by tliu only Arab 
gi^Qgrapher whom Mr. Vambi^iy read and whom he cites. We find, 
liuwever^ that this geograplier aayB entirely tbe contrary to that 
Btated by Vambery (see * Viae Regnomm, an c tore al-Istakhri * in 
edit M. I. de GcNige, Logd. Batav., 1870, pp, 286, !^87). Indeed, it 
could not be otherwise, for the veiy name Maveraimahr means 
* what is beyond the river/ and by the river is there meant the 
Jaihun, the Oxus of the ancients, and the Amu of onr times. Qnlte 
mistakenly, too, does Mr. Vambery ciill this geographer (El Belkhi) 
the oKiesit Arabian geographer ; and finding there the name of ft 
country * Udjan,* explains that thm would be more correctly written 
' Vftdjan/ when this is the well-known ' Yakiian * ; and in the aame 
place in ennmerating the districts on the left bank of the Amu lio 
omitB Badak^han, and informs ns that the Amn means among tho 
natives * river,' while it is wcU known that the Aran Darya waf^ so 
cailed from the city Amn ye, or Aranlye, On its left bank. He tber& 
repeats his absard idea that it is necessar^y to pronounce Kliahivzm 
and not KhArozm ' In the same place, speaking i^f the tbirty-fif th 
degree of latitude bo calls it longitude, and the seventy- first degree 
of longitude he calls latitude, and in addition does not tliink it 
necessary to say from, what meridian he calcniates, probably snp^ 
posing that on all maps the degrees are conot^id from the aam© 
meridian. All this is on one page of the introd notion (p. xxii.), 
not connting the statement on the same page that at'eording to hia 
' historical reaearches ' the left barjk of the Amu was an integral 
portion of Bukhara, or Maver-annaiir, from the time of tie 
Samanides j whereas there is nothing in the book to show any 
gix;nnd for this wrong assertion. I^o lesg ignorance of the hLstory 
and geography of Maverannahr under Arab I'ule is evident on the 
two following pages (xxiii, xxiv). The chief town in the district 
of Osrnshna be positively calls Bu Mekhet, althongb in the maun* 
scripts the name of this city is w^ritten without diacritical points in 
so msmy different w^aya that it is by no means known how it should 
be read J In tbe neighbouring district of Tehatch (Tashkent) 
there appear, according to him, the cities Otrar, Sigaaak, and Sirem 
{i.e. Sftirawi), of which Balkhi (that is, latakhri) makes no mention 
whatever, and w^hich only became knoiivn in very late times* Mi*, 
Yamberj is even surpnsod that during his joai-uey in Bukhara ha 

' Mr* JjEm*h in his ' Khiva ofler Kbdrezm' (' Edasiaa Review,' Tfil il pp. 445, 
4'i7)Ji>VB eonduflively shown Mr. Vamb^ry's error, aud tiikes Khiresua lo mcmii 
Lowhtnd, [E. SJ 

* In tho »vTiie pHBarigfi * Sjibnd or Snvat^ aliEVuId bc^ idcstitifitKl not with Sarrud- 
but wilh attVrtt Letweuri Ztimia and Um-ttp^ [R S.j 


lieard no mention of tlie * great wall, which Belkhi describes as 
having been built by Abdullah bin Hamid betv'^en the mountainn 
and the Yaxartes.' No wonder, because there is net a word abonf 
any such wall neither in Belkhi nor, as far as we know, in anj 
other Arabian geographer or historian. Turning then to the hittory 
of Tchatch, Mr. Vambery infomM us that 'in the pre-lsiaaitt 
period these northern shores of the Yaxartes formed an independent 
state governed by Turks, which, however, was annexed to Bukhara 
during the Arabic rule there in the time of the Samanides.' But 
in the pre-Islamite period all Maverannahr consisted of indepen. 
dent districts, for the most part having Turkish rulers ; and the 
district of Tchatch was subdued by Mussulman arms long before 
the appearance of the Samanides. ' It asserted its independence 
again under the Seldjukides,* continues our historian, * and the 
Turkish prince E^adr Khan rose to considerable power.' The feet 
is that the district of Tchatch, which fell under the power of the 
Samanides, together with the oth«r dominions of the Abbasides in 
Maverannahr, never again obtained its independence, but with 
the enfeebling of the Samanides became subject to the Turkish 
sovereign ruling in Kashgar. This happened at the end of the 
tenth century, when the Seldjukides had not yet become important. 
And the power of the sovereigns of Kashgar did not begin with 
Kadr, or Kadyr Elhan, who died in 1032, but at least with Bogra 
Elhan, who took from the Samanides both Samarkand and Buk- 
hara. * From the date of the Mongolian invasion,* we read further 
in V^mbery, * Tchatch became a bone of contention between Khah. 
rezmians in the west and Uigurs in the east ; and after the death 
of Djenghiz Kadr and his successors, waged a long fratricidal war 
with the Jagataides about this very territory.' Here there is 
hardly a word that is not erroneous. After the Mongol invasion of 
Maverannahr th^re were neither E^rezm-Shahs who could fight 
with the Uigurs, nor Uigurs who could fight with the KhS.rezm- 
Shabs ; and even before the Mongol invasion the KhArezm-Shahg 
contended, not for Tchatch, but for Bukhara, and not with the 
Uigurs but with the Karakhatai or Karakidans, of the very ezis- 
tence of whom, as is evident further on, Mr. Vamb^ry is ignorant. 
But what is best of all is the * fratricidal * war, which, after the 
death of Tchingiz, Kadr Khan and his successors had with the 
Jagataides. Kadr Elhan, as we have seen, died in 1032, and Mr. 
Vambery makes him outlive Tchingiz Khan, who died in 1227. 
The result is that Kadr Khan lived two centuries and a half, to say 
nothing of the fact that the power of his successors was destroyed 
by the Karakidans in 1120 ; so that the Jagataides, even if they 
had wished, could not have fought with the descendants of Kadr 



KJiftn, wlio did Bot then exist, and wko besides bad not tbe Blight ^st 

iieliitioti to tkem* 

To show all the Tnistates of Mr* VamMry we should be obliged 
to write a book three timeB larger than his * History of Bukbar^.' 
Therefore^ in his introduction wg shall note onlj two more capital 
errors. On page xxviii. Mr, Vamb^ry says that Samarkand * never 
became a centre of inland conimercfi/ for *■ it lay a little on one side 
of the great high-road to India ' (wheucse ?)* This shows tliat 
Vamb^ry Jms no idea of the groat and active traffic which waa 
formerly carried ou through Samarkand between China and Eastern 
Tu-kistan on the one hand, and Wi stern Asia and Europe on the 
other, to say nothing of the fsict that even part, of the goods coming 
from India arrived at Bukhara only through Kashgar and Samar- 
kand. On page xxKii we read that Bukhara has ' grain, ftaiit, silk, 
cotton, and d)'es, all unriralled of their kind/ and that *the same 
may be said of its cattle, for besides their horses, which are cele- 
brated throughout AfiLa^ their camelsf surpass all the other kinds of 
thia most useful domestic animal in the smith and west of Asia, 
and tiieir mutton, finally, is equal to any in the world.' This is not 
history. Mr, Y^biSry was himself in Bukhai^a^ and therefore 
allows himself such inadmissible liyperholes. In what part of Asia 
are Bukhaiuu horses celehrateti, and why does he think that Buk- 
Lnran cotton ia nnrivalled ? With regai'd to camels and sheep, it 
is well known that Bukliara obtains animals of this kind chiefly 
from the Kirghiz steppe. 

The first chapter of hia work Mr, Y^mbery devotes to the 
history of the country before the introduction of Islam, It ia 
natural to expect that the reader should find here the information 
ahont this period given by the Greek writers ,— for the Greeks 
reigned over Transoiiana a long time after the conquest of the 
coQutry by Alexander the Great, — as well as from the Chinese 
writers ; for in the second centnry, B.C., this country was visited 
by Tchjan-Tsiang, and the beginning of the seventh century, A. p., 
by Hionen Thsang ; and both of these travellers commanicate very 
important details with regard to it, irreepective of the information 
contained in the Chinese oflicial histories of the Han dy nasty » of 
the elder and younger dynasty of Bei^ of the 'Northern Courts/ 
and of the dynasties of Su and Tlrnug. Instead of this, Mr, 
Ydmbery has apparently never beard of the Greek and Chinese 
euLhorities ou the past of tha country, the history of which he 
undertook to write. There ia not even one word in his history fo 
Eihow tliat the Greeks ever ruled there, or that there was a tim© 
when the soveieigns of Maverannsihr considered themselves vassale 
of the Emperor of China. The ancient history of Bukhara, ao- 


cording to Vambery, begins with the legendary tales of Narsliaki 
about the origin of the city of Bukhara, and the people who 
reigiied there not long before the invasion of the Arabs, and alK)ut 
the early times of their conquest ; and these tales are besides set 
forth without any criticism, with the name of a town Eskedjiket 
(Sekedjiket) taken as the name of its ruler. After that, he tells 
us, as one of his own discoveries, that Maverannahr was anciently 
inhabited by a race of Persian origin distinguished by high culture, 
and ascribes to the Roman historian Justin (p. 6) a phrase about 
Bactria which belongs to the Greek wiiter Apollodorus of 
Artamis, and refers, not to Bactria, but to India ; and further on 
he makes the erroneous statement that *the Persian dialect of 
modem Central Asia contains both in its words and forms more 
traces of the old Persian language, before it was disfigured by 
Semitic and Turanian elements, than all the other dialects of the 
language put together ; ' and that in the Tadjik dialect, * the 
pronoun and verb appear to be less influenced by the Turkish 
language, than is the Persian or modem Iran.' Those who wish 
to assure themselves of the contrary, may read the grammatical 
notes on the Tadjik dialect appended to the edition of the * Memoirs 
of Mirza Shems,' in that dialect.^ On the west of Bukhara the old 
Transoxanian civilisation could not extend itself, we read further 
in Mr. Vambery's work (p. 8), because there, on the west of 
Bukhara, began sandy steppes, while on the previous page he 
cites from Rawlinson a quotation of Al Biruni, with regard to the 
high state of the civilisation of Kharezm, the present Khanate of 
Khiva, on the west of Bukhara. 

In the same way, when beginning to talk about the Turanian 
neighbours of Ti-ansoxiana, Mr. Vambery at the tirst step displays 
his complete ignorance of the subject. He does not know where 
is the fatherland of the Guzz, because Balkhi (the only Arabian 
geographer read by the celebrated t;aveller), places them on the 
north of Tchatch, while Persian authoiities many centuries later 
apply the same term to the Persian nomads in the neighbourhood 
of the modem Andkhoi. When a man is not able to put together 
such simple things, he should not vrrite history, but confine 
himself to sketches of travel. Immediately after this, Vambery 
ascribes to the Turks what Rawlinson says of the Scythians, and 
then expresses a doubt whether the first migration of the Turks 
over the Oxus could have taken place 700 years before Christ. 
This doubt is very well put, since the Turks appear in history only 
in the sixth century after Christ ; and with such information, ard 

'See Note, p. 109. [E. S.] 



ffucb Ku liiatoncal metliod, people set tbemselvea to write lifsidiy, 
and wibH even to teach and to astoniah, ♦ , ♦ The leAmiBg of the 
author is also well teconimeiided by his deri ration of the imm^ 
Balhh^ from the Turkish balifk (p. 11} j his book aboonds in fiimilai 
derivations, of which he is eyidently pi*OTid, thinking that they are 
discoveries* Aecoi'ding to him, Bukhara is also a Mongol word 
(p* 14), for BuhJiar is even now the word for a Buddhistio 
* temple * or * monastery,* This Sanscrit mhara^ borrowed by the 
Mongols, he takes for a Mongol word, Aa to when and how the 
nomad population of the steppes of the north of the Syr Darya 
came into Maverannahr^ the celebrated traveller has not the 
fill gh test idea, and therefore with childish naivete asks the qnestion 
whether the Turks at their earliest appearance in Transoxiana 
played the parts of rulers, or served as auxiliary troops of native 
prineea; and with still greater nmvefS, F«aya this is difficult to 
decide. But he has no difficulty in deciding that the Sogrdian 
ruler Manmkh mentioned by Zemarkhus was a Turanian, Why ? 
Beciiuae Mamahh is a Turkisli woi'd, meaning * prince, noble^ 
distinguished/ and must have this meaning, because the ehiefg of 
the Diko-kamenny Kirghiz are called Manaps, as if ManhJch and 
Manap were the same word. He also has no difficulty in deciding- 
that Buddhism penetrated iiito Maverannahr before the beginning 
of history (p. 14?), for he evidoutly does not know that the teachings 
of BuddhR began in India only five centuries, B.c, as he is also 
ignorant that Hiouen Thsang travelled in this conn try not in the 
fifth (p. 15) but in the seventh century, A.D, 

The second and third cliapters, treating of the conquest of 
Bukhara by tho Arabs, and of the rule of the Khalifs there, to the 
time of the Samanides, Are perhaps the best of the book, t.e., least 
filled with mistakes of every kind. Unfortunately here, as in the 
remaining parts of his book, tho autlior does not cite the sources 
whence he borrows his facta, which tuTTia his history into a child's 
book. In applying himself to his work^ the author, it appears, did 
not suspect that an historian who is not contemporary with the 
events which he describes, t.R., who ia not himself an authority. Is 
bound to show whence he derives hia information, because, among 
other things, the probability of the event ia to some degree de- 
termined hj the character of the person who recounts it* Writers 
like Mr. Ydmbery always avoid this dnty, because if they should 
give the sources of their infornaation, they would show their want 
of acquaintance wifch the literature of their subject, and their 
inability to become oriented in it. Concerning the fncte rolativ© 
to this penod of Bukharan history, the * Gcschichte der ChaHfen * 
of Weil, gives them much better than the special wort uf Vambt'ry^ 


who cares for nothing more than the tales of Narshaki. With 
regard to the choice of these facts, their gronjing and their 
meaning, Mr.. Vdmbery's work is beneath criticism. The struggle 
of Maverannahr with the Arabs for independence, and its struggle 
a thousand years liefore with Alexander the Great for the same 
independence (of which there is not a word in Ydmb^iy's book), 
are eyents almost nnparalleled in the history of all Asia ; and 
Mr. Ydmb^ry, in telling of this struggle, OTerlooked such cha- 
racteristic moments as the last efforts of Ezdedjerd to oppose 
the attack of the Arabs with forces which he chiefly drew from 
his vassal possessions on the north of the Amu, For Mr. Vambery 
this struggle begins only in the forty-sixth year of Hejra {666 A.D.). 
In this connection,— ^the relation of the yictories of the celebrated 
Kuteibi-ibn-Muslim, — our historian communicates facts which are 
neither in Tabari nor in Narshaki ; — whence did he get them ? 
— and makes Knteibi take Yardan (that is Yardan-Khudat, ac- 
cording to Narshaki), in the ninety-ninth year, A.H. (717-718 a.d.), 
although Knteibi had died long before. The year 89 a.h. (corres* 
po'iding to 7o7-8 a.d.), he makes 698 (p. 26) and a little further 
on, 94, A.H. (712-713 A.D.), he makes 742 ; while 96, a.h. (713-714 
A.D.), he makes 711 of our era. In general, Y^mbery considers 
chronological accuracy as superfluous, and to put one year instead 
of auother is apparently of no importance to him. The best of all 
is his account of the invasion of Elashgar by Kuteibi in the 
beginning of the eighth century of our era. Y^mbery finds there 
Uigur (?) princes whom he makes call in Kalmuk auxiliaries from 
north Jungaria (p. 31), while the name of Kalmuk, as is well 
known, appears in history for the first time in the fifteenth 
century. The following phrase too is good : ' we are told that the 
Arabs extended their incursions into the province of Kansu ' (in 
Western China). There are no references for this, and judging 
from the character of the information, we should suppose that 
during his wanderings in Bukhara Mr. Y4mb^ry heard about this 
from his Dervish companion. From the same source he probably 
also obtained the information that Turf an in Eastern Turkistao 
embraced Islam on the very first appearance of the Arabs (p. 32). 

In the third chapter, the most amusing thing is the part which 
Mr. Yambery makes the well-known Abu-Muslim (whom he calls 
* founder of a dynasty *) play among the present Turkomans and 
Uzbeks, and his reflections on that favourite as well as on the 
false prophet EUMokanna; nowhere in other parts of the book 
does his historical tact shine so brilliantly. No, we are mistaken ; 
farther on he is still more amusing about Tamerlane. 



Tlie fourfh page is devoted to praise of the flonrisLiag period 
of the rale of the Samanides, which he describes under the guidance 
partly of Narshaki, and partly of Mirkhond, a compiler of the 
fifteenth century, and of Zlnet-et-Tavarikh, a compilation made in 
the beginning of the present century. Neither here nor further 
on is there any mention of Ibn-el-Athir, or of his copyist Ibn 
Khaldun. We are mistaken ; Vambery knows of the existence of 
Ibn-el-Athir, but only by a quotation of this chief Mussulman 
chronicler in Defremery. This would be the same as writing the 
history of the ancient east, and ignoring Herodotus. Mr. Vambery 
also displays a total absence of any knowledge of the whole 
literature of the coins of the Samanides which have been found 
in Northern Europe, and which show how great was the trade of 
Maverannahr under their rule. There is not one word on this 
subject of the highest importance and interest. Instead of. this, 
in his efforts to show the political power of Samanide Ismail, he 
erroneously ascribes him dominion over Shiraz (p. 67), which was 
never in his power. 

The fifth chapter relates to the fall of the Samanide power, and 
the transition of Maverannahr to the * rule of the Turks ; * but what 
Turks they were, ho certainly does not know. Without hesitation 
he calls them Uigurs, while if he had carefully read the only 
Arabic geographer known to him, Balkhi (I.e. Istakhri), 1» say 
nothing of Ibn Khordadbah, Ibn Khaukal, Masudi or Edrisi, he 
would have seen at once that these were not Uigurs, but Kharlukhs. 
Mr. Vambery, as an Uigur specialist, ought to have understood 
this long ago ; but even in his * Uigurische Sprachmonumente ' 
he displayed an astonishing historical ignorance on this subject. 
This fifth chapter also exposes Mr. Vambery's knowledge of the 
Persian language to great doubt. Amiri Eeshid, he translates, 
' the brave prince,' instead of * the just ; ' and Amiri Shedid, * the 
j^ist prince,' instead of *the austere ' (pp. 78-9.) But the Uigurs, 
or Kharlukhs, had Turkish rulers, who took Maverannahr from 
the Samanides, and the history of these rulers Mr. Vambery knows 
very unsatisfactorily. It is given by him chiefly in the sixth 
chapter, which is especially devoted to a detailed history of the 
Seldjukides, — very much out of place in a history of Bukhara, — 
a country which fell under their sway only temporarily. With 
regard to the struggle of Hek Elhan with the famous conqueror of 
India, the Sebuktekinide Mahmud, in the very beginning of the 
eleventh century, about which Utbi, Ibn-el-Athir, and others speak, 
there is not a word in Vambery. He knows only of the last 
intervention of Mahmud in the dispute of the successors of Ilek, 
and the Khans Arslan and Kadyr. He makes Ilek Khan live tiU 


the time of this dispute, and take part in it, although in reality he 
liad died some years previously ; and not knowing that II ek and 
his successors were vassals of Mahmud, presents the events related 
by them in a false light (p. 91). However the history of the 
Kharlukh' sovereigns, who, besides Maverannahr, ruled over 
Western Jungaria and Eastern Turkistan, has never been well 
studied, and presents much that is dark and perplexing ; the confusion 
of Mr. V^mbery is, therefore, perhaps excusable. But what is inex- 
cusable is to take, as he does in his whole book, Karahidans for 
Uigurs, and to suppose that Kara Khatai means the modem Chinese 
provinces of Shansi and Hausu (p. 101). This is the height of 
historical distortion, the like of which is not even found in the 
works of Mr. Vdmbery's famous countryman the late VienT»ese 
orientalist Hammer.^ Before these two colossi of historical, 
ethnographical, and geographical ignorance, comparatively little 
importance should be given to all the other errors of the famous 
traveller ; such as his admission, that he is unable to discover any 
mention of Jend in th« geographers (p. 8^), his statements that the 
country between the Oxus and Yaxartes, that is, all Maverannahr, 
was the inheritance from their fathers of the grandsons of Seldjuk 
(p. 91-2) ; that the authority of the Seldjukites was felt even in 
Africa itself ; that the Gurkbau (Mr. Vambery does not know that 
this is the title of a man called Yeliu-Tashi, but takes this title for 
his proper name) extended his authority over a portion of the * so- 
called * Khatai (p. 103), to say nothing of other charming passages 
in the sixth chapter. 

The struggle for the supremacy over Bukhara and Samarkand 
between the sovereigns of Kara Khatai on one side, and the 
Kbarezm- Shahs on the other, constitutes the subject of the eighth 
chapter. Even there Mr. Vambery continues to call the Kara 
Khatayans Uigurs, and besides, does not understand the events of 
this struggle, wliich, for the KMrezm- Shahs, had a religious cha- 
racter. He does not understand, too, that it was ccJnstantly 
excited by the rulers of Bukhara and Samarkand with the aim of 
making themselves independent, both of the Khitrezm- Shahs, and 
of their Kara Khatai suzerains. He does not know that . these 
rulers were descendants of these Kharlukh Karakhanides, who 
took Maverannahr from the Samanides, and as such had certain 
reasons for their political claims. The sway of the Kbarezm- Shahs 
extended on the north, according to Y^mbery, to the very Volga 

' The orientalists of St. Petersburg saj that Hammer can never be quoted or 
believed without the verification of his citations, which are veiy frequently 
•none-jiis. [E. S.] 

B B 2 



(p. 100), but m ooDcksitm, the Kam Kidan ruler who fooglit 
agattisi the KMream-Sbah, Kutb Eddin Mohammed, Vamb^ry 
eoDBiders as the game Gnrkhan (Teliu Tashi) who founded tho 
eorereignty of Kam KitanB, and BeiiouBlj remarks that the Gorkhan 
was now 90 joars old (p* 113)* This campaign took place in 
1213f and Yelin Tashi (the Gurkhan) died in 1136, and had he 
liyed till 1313, won Id have been oot 90, but more than 130 
years old. This great mistake Mr* Yimbery made, notwithstanding 
that tljo historian JtiTein^ whom he quotes, calls the Gurkhan 
who fonght with Katb Eddin by liis name Tchiluka. 

To relate the conquest of Maverannahr by Tchinghiz Khan, 
following Jnvemi only as YAmb^ry does in his ninth chapter, is no 
gipat service wlien this Cfmqnest waa recounted by D^Ohsson forty 
yeara ago from all the other sources* YAmbery appareotty cannot 
know of the e:EisteTice of the first volume of such a work as 
D*OhsBon'a * L^Histoire des Mongols/ If he knew of it he would 
not derive the name of the Kt^raib Yan Khan (Ong Khan) from 
the Uigur %n^ * right ' f p, 120), because Yan is a Chinese title ; and 
if ho had known even a little Mongolian he would not have derived 
the name of tlie Kerait from the Turkish words kir-ii^ * g^J dog * 
(/owi.), for i in tho name Kerait is evidently the Mongolian s^gu of 
the plural. This tribe, which still exists, la called Kirei or Kerai. 
Had Mr. Yamboi^ been aequaint.ed with the work of D'Ohssou he 
would not have said that Tchinghiz Klian fixed hia rcsidenco in the 
fortress of Karakorum (p. 131), siBce Kai-akorum was constructed 
only by hia successor, Ugedei, and waa never a fortress ; and he 
he would not have said that Tchinghiz gave his son Tuli Khorasan 
Persia and India, when the appanage of TuU was Mongol Li itself ; 
and if he had read the traveller no leas famous than himself, 
Marco Polo, he would not have mad© the Emperor Khubilai aend 
Mareo Polo on a miision to Kerman (p> 139) ! When we know 
what kind of an historian Mr. Yamb^ry ia, we of course do not 
blame him for blindly following tlie Muaaulman stories of the com- 
plete depopulation of Maveranitahr by Tchinghiz Khan; but we 
should have considered it the duty of anybody else to tura hia 
atontion to what is said on this subject in the travels of the Taoist 
monk, Tch'ang Tch^nng. 

Tho rule of the TchtnghissidcH over Maverannahr is considered iji 
the ninth chapter. But wu wero wrong in saying conmder&l; he 
does not consider it there, but copies extracts from Mussulman 
historians, chiefly after the incorrect Hammer, about the iniin and 
devastation that were brought on this country by the quarrels of 
the difici'cnt members of the family of Tchinghiz* About th© 
j^cnealogy of the JagaUidcs, who inherited Mavci'annahr, Mr. 




Vimherj has very confused ideas. For instance, he c nsiders 
Kabul-Shah to be the last of this race (p. 157), and while thus 
ignorant has the boldness to accuse the Persian historian Mirkhond 
of errf>r in saying that the Jagataides long after appear as rulers in 
the Djete Ulus and in Mongolia, when that fact does not admit of 
the slightest doubt. Nevertheless, taking into account the absence 
of detailed authorities for the history of the Jagataides, we must 
say of the ninth chapter that it is one of the most satisfactory in 
Vambery's book. He very truly remarks that it was in the period 
of the Jagataides that various religious teachers obtained in Maver- 
annahr an immense importance, which the Mussulman clergy have 
kept up to this time ; for under the Mongolian sway it was only 
with the religious class that the population could find support, 
defence, and protection (p. 160). 

There now comes on the historical scene a personage about 
whom writers like Vdmb^ry love to speak in grand and sounding 
phrases — the terrible Tamerlane ; and our historian of Bukhara of 
course does not let pass an opportunity of showing himself the 
panegyrist of such a hero, and devotes to him fifty pages of his 
book — the tenth and eleventh chapters. Unfortunately, in these 
fifty pages we find nothing new, except mistakes of various kinds, 
and a complete misunderstanding of the causes and character and in* 
finence of the events of the history of Central Asia. The explana- 
tion of the psychological contradictions united in the character of 
Tamerlane would be a very new and interesting problem — incom- 
parably more interesting than an account of all the well-known 
campaigns of this conqueror beyond the boundaries of Maverannahr, 
an account with which Mr. Vdmbery feasts the learned world, for- 
getting that the biographies of Tamerlane by Sheref-eddin and 
Arabshah have existed in European translations for more than a 
hundred years. Mr. Vambery begins his biography of Tamerlane 
by the discovery that the title of Kurkan, the only one borne by 
this ' scourge of the world,' is the name of that branch of the family 
Berlas, fn>m which he was descended (p. 163). Without going 
into an explanation of what this title means, we may remark that 
Tamerlane himself ought to know the source of this title, at least 
as well as Vambery, and Tamerlane in his autobiography, speaking 
of his ancestor Karajar Noyan, says that among other favours from 
Jagatai, the son of Tchinghiz Khan, his ancestor received the title 
of Kurhan (the * Mulfazat-i-Timury,' translated by Stewart, p. 28), 
and therefore this was not the family name of Tamerlane. The 
remark of V&mb^ry that Karajar Noyan is a mythical personage 
was made before him by Defremery. 

Our Hungarian historian in general prefers silence with legard 


to those learned men whose ideas he borrows. It is also strange 
that in many places he textnally cites the * Autobiography of 
Tamerlane,' when from his quotation on page 164 we must believe 
that he knows it only through the * Indian Surveys ' of Markham, 
nn excellent book in its way, but not an authority on the history of 
Jagatai literature. 

On page 179 Vdmb^ry does a thing very unusual for him — he 
names his authorities. He enumerates the biographies of Tamer- 
lane which are accessible to European readers, that is, which have 
been translated into European langaages, but he forgets to mention 
such authorities as Arab Shah, the * Autobiography ' and ' Decrees ' 
(* Tazukat ') of Tamerlane himself, long ago translated by Mangere, 
Davy, and Stewart. On the same page he explains that Tokhtamish 
is a modem Jagatai name, although it is one of the oldest peculiarly 
Turanian names known to us, and means not * immortal ^ or 
' immoveable,* as Vamb^ry states, but * magician.' The meaning 
of 'immortal,' our historical linguist ascribes to it for the reason that 
a certain Khokandian in the presence of Mr. Vamb^ry, changed the 
name of his son, Tokhta, to Bahi, which in Arabic means immortal 
— a very good reason ! That in recounting the campaign of Tamer- 
lane against Tokhtamish Vamb^ry did not make use of the special 
work on this campaign, written by Professor Oharmoy in French, 
can be easily explained. How should he know of such specialties, 
when he has not even read Deguines ? But what are all his re- 
maining mistakes in comparison with his apology for Tamerlame on 
pages 195-197, where he tries to justify his cruelty and his lust for 
conquest ? He there shows the depth of his historical sense. The 
six pages following are extracted from the account of Ruy Gon- 
zalez de Clavigo, who was sent as ambassador to Tamerlane by 
Henry HI. of Castile ; of the existence of Schiitberger*s account 
Vambery says nothing. The well-known motto on Tamerlane's 
seal he reads Rtistl rasti, and translates ' Justice is Strength,' when 
he should read Basti resti, which means, * If Thou be Right, Thou 
shalt be saved,' or ' Safety is in Right.' On page 210 the well-known 
Mussulman savant, Taftazani, receives the unintelligible surname 
of Ulama, and on the following page, to Jezeri, a contemporary 
with Tamerlane, is attributed the composition of an Arabic dic- 
tionary, the author of which was not Jezeri but Jougerl, who lived 
four centuries before Tamerlane. 

In the history of the Timurides, which constitutes the subject 
of the twelfth chapter, Mr. Vambery ascribes to Khudaidad, an 
official of Khalil (p. 216), the insults heaped on Khalil's wife, the 
famous Shadi Mulk (with whom her husband was passionately in 
love), when, according to all historians, these insults were heaped 


upon her by Klialil's nncle Shahmkh ; and Mr. Vamb^ry does this, 
not from ignorance, but becaase he is a great psychologist. ' Shah- 
rukh/ he says, page 216, *had a romantic passion for his wife,Gowher 
Sbadi, and it seems difficult to imagine him capable of thas farther 
torturing his love-sick nephew.' In consequence of this acquain* 
tance with the human heart the historian considers it just and 
logical to place the crimes of one man on another who was perfectly 
innocent of them. It appears that his psychology is worthy of his 
logic and vice versa. It also appears from his note on Khudaidad 
that he confuses this official of Khalil with the Khudaidad, the son 
of Puladji, the famous chief of the U lasses in the possessions of the 
Djete Jagataides. We see this confusion also in the fact that 
Varabery makes his Khudaidad (called Hussein), give over to 
Khalil, after defeating him, the government of Kashgar (p. 215), 
wliereas Kashgar was in the hands of Khudaidad, son of Puladji. 
On the bottom of page 217, where there is printed Khalil we should 
re^ad Shahnd'h, This is perhaps only a slip of the pen, but we 
cannot explain so easily the statement that Sheikh Nur-Eddin, 
after rebelling against Shalirukh, was beaten by his commander 
Shahmulk, when, on the contrary, Shahmulk was twice beaten by 
Nur-Eddin, who was obliged to retreat (not to Tashkent as Vambery 
says), only in consequence of a dt-feat inflicted on him by Shahrakh 
himself. On page 218 our historian makes Ulug Bek, the son of 
Shahrukh, fight with the Mongolians (he does not know that from 
the time of Timur the name Mongol or Mogol was given by the 
Mussulman historians not to the Mongols but to the Turkish sub- 
jt^cts of the Jagataides who ruled in Jungaria and the western 
pjirts of what are now the Kirghiz steppes), and penetrate to Ak-su 
in Ejustem Turkistan, when his authority, Abd-er-Rezzak, speaks 
not of Ak-sn but of Akhsi, the old capital of Ferghana. In addition 
to this Mr. Vdmbery gets his knowledge of the astronomicfll *^^*ibles 
of Ulug Bek from the same source from which he drew that about 
Tamerlane's autobiography, that is, from Markham. 

Not having at hand the Mussulman writer who is the authority 
for our historian in the accounts of the Timurides (that is, Abd-er- 
Rezzak, who can only be used in the translation of Quatremere, 
which stopped at the year 1420), and being unable to verify how 
correctly he cites him, we shall not go into any further investi- 
gation of the twelfth chapter ; hut the examples quoted are enough 
to convince any one how carelessly the author of the * History of 
Bukhara * refers to his authorities, how badly he understands them, 
and consequently how he confuses and misstates events. Mr. 
Vambery, however, does not found his reputation as an hiatorian 
on the part of his work of which we have spoken, but rather on 



that wbich fitlll remmns to tie coniidered — hm tLecount of the 
fate of Buklmra. from the time of the Uz1>ck eonqaest. Let ma see 
if this part be any better than tbe pirceding* 

* On© of the most pleaBing traits in the ehameter of the TnrldBli 
people ' (Mr. Vambery ought U> say raai^ and nOt pmple^ for there 
is not one Turkish * poi ►pie * in the world, and there are many 
peoples of TarkiBh T«ee) ' lias* always been the custom of adopting 
the names of thuse prmci'S whose glorious reigns, or whose 
exertions for the public sveal, hai given them special claims on the 
graiitndo of poster! tj% an Kiir names.* 

Thus Mi\ Yainbeiy beginti his thirteetith chapter about the 
commencement of the U/*bek rule in Biikharaj and it mast be said 
begins very unfortunately. Whence did lie get the idea that such 
a custom exists among the Turkish peoples, when wo do not find 
a single example of it in tbeh' history ? He apparently took thisj 
although, of course, he did not merition his authority, from 
J5entinck*B notes to the French tranfilatton of Ahul Ghazi, on page 
458. In makiug this plagiarism, Mr. Vdmbery did not notice that 
what is pardonable in a sacaut in the beginning of the ©ight&entli 
century, ia not allowable to a writer in the second half of the 
njQeteenth. In our times it ia not possible seriously to say tliat 
the Mongols received their name from a certain Mongol Khan, or 
the Tartars from Tartar Kh>in. To the examples of Bentinck 
Yarabcry adds one of his own ; that is, that the present Osmanlia 
(Turks of Constantinople) called themselves so in remembrance 
of their leader Osman. In reality, the present Osmanlis are called 
after, the son of Ertogrnl, hut not in remembrance of him* 
The companions of O^man — the baud of which he was the chief — 
received and accepted the namo of OsmanUs, just as in our time 
the companions of Garibaldi got the name of Garibaldi an s, and as 
the n?bberfi of the band of Lisofsky, that plundered Russia in the 
begintdug of the seventeentii century, were known under the name 
ol Lisidtchiki. Subseqaently the name of Osmanlis was extended 
over a mixture of various races which came under tbe banners of 
the BUT 'CeH3 ors o f Osm an . Butt here n ever e listed , and does no t n o w 
exist, any people that can be called Osmanli. What relation, bow- 
ever, does this have to the Uzbeks ? This j that even this popular- 
name Mr* Vambery considers adopted by Turkish tribes in re- 
membrance of a Khan of the Golden Horde, — ^on© Uabek, as the 
Khivan historian Abul GhaKi affirms. But if one comes to that, 
Abul Ghazi believes also that the Turks are so called from Turk, the 
Bon of Japhet, and repeats on this head no end of nonsense. If 
we allow that the Uzbeks rer^iv^ed this name in romembrance of 
an U^hiik Khan, then we can also allow the existence of sdhlq 


betievoleiit Khan called Kaeak, from wbom the present Kazak 
people mnst have derived its name (by ns wrongly called Kirghiz 
Kaisak, or fdmply Kirghiz). The fact is, that it was no moro 
known to Abol Ghazi than to ns, when, or in consequence of what 
circumstances, the name of Uzbek arose in the steppes north of the 
Syr Darya and the Aral Sea,-<-a name nnder which the population 
of these steppes began to be called by the Mussulman historians of 
the last half of the fifteenth century. As an Asiatic, without any 
idea of historical criticism, Abul Ghazi might easily refer the origin 
of this name to Uzbek Kban ; but wo in the nineteenth century 
must be more careful than Tartars of the seventeenth, and if we 
do not exactly know, we onght to say we do not know, and not 
repeat stupid fables. Stupid, we say, because in the Golden 
Horde, where Uzbek Khan lived, there were never any Uzbeks ; 
but the Uzbeks appear in the Blue Horde, over which the power 
of Uzbek Khan never spread, and they only came on the scene 
a huudred years after his death. According to Yambery, a whole 
century must have passed before the population of the Blue Horde 
had sufficiently digested the services of Uzbek Khan, and had 
thought of adopting his name. This is about as probable as that 
in the beginning of the present century, the Poles, from a deep 
sense of the services of Peter the Great, should have suddenly 
called themselves Petroftsi. Vambery, however, says that the 
name of the Uzbeks is mentioned by a contemporary with Uzbek 
Khan, the celebrated Arabic traveller Ibn Batuta, but how he 
discovered the passage where Ibn Batuta speaks of this, is a 
mystery. He does not cite it, and we can find no such mention in 
Ibn Batuta, and do not believe that he can do so. 

Explaining in this brilliant way the origin of the Uzbeks, Mr. 
Vambery passes immediately to the well-known Uzbek ruler Abul 
Khair Khan, saying that his name was found in the list of chiefs 
and vassals who renounced their allegiance to the ruler of Sarai 
during the reign of Ivan III. Vasilievitch, and exercised the right 
of sovereignty as grey benrds or independent Khans. We should 
be glad to see this list in which ' aksakals ' are put on an equality 
with Khans, and where Abul Khair is represented as the vassal of 
the ruler of Sarai, if such a detailed list exist. But, alas ! it only 
exists in the imagination of Mr. Vambery, as does also the fact 
that Abul Khair * retired (whence ? — apparently from the banks of 
the Volga, from the encampments of the Golden Horde), with the 
tents and herds of his nomads, before the storm which was gathering 
in the north of Christendom against the Mussulman power, and 
sought refuge in the eastern steppes.* According to all known 
anthorities, Abul Khair was the descendant of Sheibani, the brother 



uf Bjitj, who liad bis own special uItis^ and was never conaidered 
a vatit^al of the tulers of the Golden Horde, who were descended irom 
Hiitj K.hsaiD, never eeparated himself from them, and always reigned 
within the domains of the Bine Horde as an independent ruler by 
Tirtno of hereditary right. Is it allowable to destrojr ffictB atid 
their relations m this unceremonious way ? According to Vamb^rj, 
Kifcchik-Mohararoed was the Khan of the Blue Horde, instead of 
th© Golden Horde, and the last one too, notwithstanding the fact 
that after Iiim reigned Seid AJchraed, who brought such terror 
upon Russia. Vdmbery calls AMimerl Yasavi, the ' national saint * 
of the Uzbekfi, and says that these Ual^ekj* invaded Mavei*antiahr 
* wrapped in home ekins ! * The further fato of Abnl Khair and of 
his descendants, he gives, according to Abol Ghazij a writer wbom 
Enrfipe has known for a century and a half in a French translation, 
accordit^g to Baber, whose * Memoirs ' were translated into English 
more than fnity jears ago, and according to other well-known 
works, with the addition of some unimportant details from one 
new source, the porm Shiiihini Namelt, Init with mistakes, saoh as 
that he represents the Jagataide Mahmud Khan, son of Yunua 
Khan.^ and Ynnna Khan himself, eis i-ebels ngainst the Timnrides, 
and the Uzbek Khan Sheibani {p, 263), This is in a certain 
way even more radical than the idea of the Russian common 
people, who, when we had a war with tlie Turks, always insisted 
that the Tarkinh Snltan had again rfhelhd against our Tsar. The 
coiiqneror of Muver an nahr, and the introducer of Uzbek rule 
there^ Mohamnjed Slicibani, of course appears to Yam be ry as a 
hero, for the reason that w^hoever succeeds must be a hero. In 
conclusion, we learn that there exij^ted in the world the historically 
celebrated *■ State of Transoxiana ' (p. 270) about which, however, 
no one has ever yet heard, excepting Mr. Vambery. 

The history of the successors of Sheibani in Maverannahr is 
the sabject of the fourteenth chapter. It is well-known that tb© 
beginning of this hif^tory is very confused, both in the Mu?3sulman 
writers who constitute the sources of oar information, and in the 
works of Europeans who liave written on this subject. We should 
expect therefore that a new hisforiaii of Bukhara would investigate 
iheao contradictions, and would explain the character of the Uzbek 
monarchy, which was undoubtedly divided up into appatmpjes for 
a very long time ; bat we do not find here a word about the con^ 
tradiefcions in the authorities, or even of tbis peculiar character of 
the Uzbek kingdom » He states events as if there were nothing 
at all doubtful or dark, and, besides this, does not tell ns whence 
he gets tlie material for such atatements. On the death of 
Ho hammed Sheibani, who fell in battle with Ismail Sefevi, the 


U^bek sultans were deprived of a leader ; but we read that im- 
modiately after this, a treaty was concluded with Ismail, accoidiug 
t<> which the boundary between the dominions of the Uzbeks and 
Sefevides should be the Amu Darya (p. 273). With what Uzbek 
rulers this treaty was concluded, or which of them had the right 
to conclude it without asking the rest, Mr. Vamb^ry avoids telling 
us. Sheibani was killed unexpectedly, but we read that at his 
death he gave as appanages to his eldest son a^nd presumptive heir, 
Mohammed Timur Sultan, Samarkand, Kesh, Miankal, and even 
Bukhara and Karakul, which before that had been the appanage 
of his brother Sultan Mahmud (p. 64). How could Sheibani 
make this disposition at his death, when he fell in battle very 
unexpectedly? According to Vambery, this Mahmud inherited 
Bukhara from his father, but only reigned a few days, and died 
apparently a violent death (p. 274) ; wl.ile, according to other 
authorities, Mahmud did not reign in Bukhara, but in Samarkand, 
and even had conmiand of the array, which, in 1512, three years 
after Sheibani's death, defeated Baber, who had taken from the 
Uzbeks Bukhara and Samarkand. According to Vamb6ry, Kutch- 
kunji Sultan was chosen as Sheibani's successor before the pro- 
posed invasion of Maverannahr ; whereas it is stated by trustworihy 
authority that this happened only After the battle of Hidjuvan. 
Such and similar contradictions should not be passed over in 
silence. Further, according to Vdnibery, Ubeidullah, the nephew 
of Sheibani, appears in relation to Kutchkunji, up to his very 
death, as his generalissimo, but was really only an appaTia«»^ed 
prince of the district of Bukhara Of the other appanages we find 
no mention made. On this subject we find only the following 
phrase : — * The Government of Transoxiana had hitherto (i.e. to the 
death of Ubeidullah) been more or less divided between the 
children of Kutchkunji and Sheibani, and the result was general 
confusion amongst the Uzbeks after the death of Ubeidullah 
(p. 281).' 

As regards the division of which he speaks, Vdmbery had a 
very confused idea, as is evident from his remark that the division 
was between the children of Kutchkunji and Sheibani, when he 
ought to have said between the descendants of Abul Khair, for the 
son of this latter Sinndj-Hodja had the appanage of Tashkent, and 
the grandson of Abul Khair, Jani Bek, had MiankaJ, Sogd, and 
Nur. Maverannahr was therefore not* the general inheritance 
of the descendants of Sheibani Khan, but of those of Abul Khair, 
and consequently the dynasty, which is called by Vambery (as 
well as by his predecessors, of whom he makes no mention) the 
Sheibanides, it would be more correct to call the Abul-Khairides. 



Such mis tinder standing of the tribal relatrions between the 

tJxbek sultana, makes Vimbery consider tb© eleotion to the 
Khanate on the death of Ubeidultah, Abdullah, and then AbdaUatif 
the sons of Kntchkunji^ as the work of a party (p. 281), when 
this waa perfectly legtil^tbat in^ in conformity with Uzbek cnstom 
— and makcfi hira represent Abdul Aziz, eon of Uheidnllah, a^; 
the snpreme Khan, wnenaa AbdaUatif waa Fuch nntil his death 
in 1551, and Abdul Aziz from 1541 to 1551 was only the prince of 
the appanage of Bukham. B'nrther, the anccesar^r of Abdul Aziz 
in the Khanate is chilled by Varnhery Mobammed Yar, and his 
successor Burhan, whereas botli wei^ princea of the appanage of 
Bukhara, and on the death of Abnllatif, the dignity of Khan fell 
tt3 Nouruz Akhmed, son of Siundj Hodja, and on the death of 
Kournz Akhmed in 1556 f^ Pir Mohammed, the son of Jani Bek, 
who reigned til! 156L The names of these Kbaus are not even 
mentioned by Vambery, No \ Nouruz Akhmed is mentioned, but 
bow ? — not as a lawful Uzbek Khan, but as a Jagataide, eon of 
Mahmnd Khan, a cruel tyrant, who pillaged and devastated 
Maverannahr from Otrar to BuHiara. That wonld be the same 
as if an historian said that Ivan 111. Vusilievitob, was a Khan of 
the Golden Horde, who devastated Bussia from Sara t of to Moscow, 
In this accurate way has the historian of Bukhara stated the 
events of that period, about wbich he think?* that Ms every wi>rd 
is a discovery for Europe. Hepresentingj as is quite just, Abdullah, 
the aon of Iskenderj as the most remarkable of the Sheibanido 
sovereigns, Mr. Yaiiibcry knows so little of this celebrity^ that he 
makes him first appear on the historical scene not earlier than 
&02 A.H., when this Abdullah had Jong before, by his ambition^ 
spread disorder throughout the whole of Maverannahr. And all 
these errors are to be found on page 282 alone. On the following 
page he confuses Nonruz Akhmed (whom he constantly caHti 
Boi*ak) with Barb an Sultan, the appanaged prince of Bukhara, and 
makes Abdullah kill Bur ban, whereas this latter died by the hands 
of quite a diflerDnt perHunage, We then rt-a^i, * Having thus 
driven out the invaders * f there wore no invaders ; Viimhery lae, 
as we have said^ taken for an invader the lawful Khan Nonruz 
Akhmed, and no invaders were di ivcn out ;— driving out here meana 
the seizure by Abdullah of Bukhara which belonged to his relative 
Bur ban Sultan), * he firmly re-established once more the authority 
of the Sbeilianides in Transoxiona * (which had never been menaced 
by any danger from without, and, besides, Abdullah was not a 
Shaijbanido) *in imitation of Sheihani and Dbeidnllab, who, 
although practically sovereigns of the country, had left, the actual 
, Beat of the Khanate to others, the more freely to pursue their 


military career. Abdullah placed his father Isker.der on the 
throne of Samarkand, and put himself at the head of the army to 
reconquer the original frontier of the Uzbek empire ' (p, 284). 
Here there is not a word which does not show a complete mis- 
understanding of events, and a falsification of facts. Sheiban; 
never gave up the throne to anybody. Ubeidullah, we have seen, 
could not give it up, because he was in 939 a.u. by right, and in 
reality, only prince of the appanage of Bukhara ; and Abdullah, 
when he defeated Burhan and seized Bukhara, made himself only 
the appanaged prince of Bukhara, and could not dispose of the 
throne of the Khanate. The Khan at this time, 964 A.H., was hip 
uncle Pir Mohammed, who reigned from 963, i.e. from the verj 
death of Nonruz Akhmed, until 968 ; and only in this last year, ou 
the dethronement of Pir Mohammed, was Iskender, the father of 
Abdullah, chosen Khan 

With such complete misunderstanding of the juridical relations 
of the descendants of Abul Khair, that ruled in Bukhara, and with 
mistakes of a similar kind does Mr. Vambery narrate also the 
remaining period of the rule of this race to the end of the sixteenth 
century. Although boasting of the abundance of new authorities 
unknown to previous orientalists, he did not use, nor even know of 
the existence of sn h works as the * Lubb-ul-tevarikh ' of Kazvini, 
and the *Abclir] h-Nameh' of Hafiz Tanysh, or oven of the 
e tracts from them, published by the academician Veliaminof- 
Zernof, to whom belongs the honour of explaining, as many as 
fifteen years ago, the greater part of the misunderstandings with 
regard to the descendants of Abul Khair in Bukhara., which have 
completely confused our new historian, who has worked over, in 
his own words, * a field untouched ' before him. He was led astray in 
part by his chief authority, the *Tarikhi Mukhim-Khani.' In 
reading it, he did not notice that it is not the history of all Maveran- 
nahr under Uzbek rule, but only of the appanage of Bukhara, and 
ir. is probably for that reason that Mr. Vambery constantly gives to 
the appanaged saltans of Bukhara the rank of the supreme Khan, 
or Khakan, and is either ignorant of the existence of these latter, 
or considers them intriguers, and even invading foreigners. The 
appanage period of Bussian history would not have come out Yerj 
well if some one had related it as Vambery relates the Bukharan 
history of the sixteenth century. 

The history of the so-called Aishtarkanides or Astrakhan dynasty 
— we prefer to call it with Fraehn the Janide — we find in the 
fifteenth and sixteenth chapters of V&mbery, related for the seven- 
teenth century after the ^Tankb] JHwWii>>iKham'»' with additions 
from Abul Ghazi and oUier Wf u There is very 


little new there, nnd tli^re are not sncli mistakes as in otbej? parl^ 
of his book. In the beginning of the eighteenth century the 
oriental sources for the history of Bukhara are, so to specJi:, dried 
up. The facts must be obtained chiefly from the accounts of Euro- 
peans who have visited the country in one way or another, or from 
the few described coins of the later Astrakhanides ; but of numis- 
matics as an aid to history Mr. Vdmb^ry has no idea. In his whole 
book he does not once refer to this source of information, and the 
works of orientalists on this subject are utterly ignored by him.. 

The Europeans who penetrated into Bukhara during the 
eighteenth century were almost exclusively our countrymen, who 
have left accounts in Russian of which Mr. Vdmbery has apparently 
not known, or which, at least, he has not used.* But Mr. Vamb^ry 
does not even know of the information collected somewhat later by 

* These authorities are not abundant in historical information, but still as 
they were contemporaries and eye-witnesses a skilful hand can get profit from 
them. Such are — 1. The report and letters of Florio Benevein, the secretary of the 
* Oriental Expedition of the Ambassadorial Prikaz* who was sent by Peter the 
Great to Bukhara, and remained there from the autumn of 1721 to the Spring of 
1726, published by A. N. Popof, in vol. ix. of the Memoirs of the Imperial Hnssian 
Geographical Society. 2. The report of the Greek Nikolai Grigoriefy who traded 
in Bukhara for more than ten years. It was taken down from his words in 
Orenburg, in 1762, and was printed by Veliaminof-Zernof in his * Historical In- 
formation about the Kirghiz-Kaisaks,' Ufa, 1863. 3. The recollections of PhiUp 
Yefremofy who, about 1774, was made a slave in Bukhara, and put into the military 
service, where he served several years taking part in various expeditions, and at 
last escaped to Russia through India. These recollections were published by 
Yefremof himself at St. Petersburg in 1786 under the title * Ten Years* Wanderings 
and Imprisonment in Bukhara, Khiva, Persia, and India, of the Kussian 
Non-commissioned officer Yefremof, now a College Assessor.' 4. The Memoirs of 
the Mining Official Timothei Bvmashof, who went to Bukhara in 1794 and returned 
in 1795. Extracts of these Memoirs were printed by G. J, Spaski in the 'Siberian 
Messenger' 1818. Besides this, information about the events in Bukhara in the 
eighteenth century is contained in the works of Russian travellers, who visited 
this country in the nineteenth, such as Meyendorf, Eversmann, and others. Mr. 
Vamb^ry did not even use these sources, although Meyendorf wrote in French and 
Eversmann in German. 

In the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs preserved at Moscow there 
are still other materials for the history of Bukhara and Khiva. Such are the 
papers relating to the missions of Boris and Semen Pazukhin to Bukhara, 1669- 
1672 ; of Vassily DaudoJ to Bukhara and Khiva, 1677-8 ; of Ivan KhokhloJ to 
Bukhara and Samarkand, 1620-23 ; of Anisim GVt6o/ to Bukhara and Khiva, 1642 ; 
to the affair of the Boyar's son Ivan Sorokin, who in 1643 was ordered to be whipped 
for going to Bukhara without leave ; to the mission of Ivan Fedoiof to Khiva in 1 670— 
73 ; and to the numerous embassies from Khiva and Bukhara to the court of the 
Tsars at Moscow, of which full accounts are preserved, from 1616 to 1739, with 
lists of presents, and details of ceremonies at the receptions. As regards the Russian 
embassies, not only are all the instructions Dreserved, but in most oxats the 


Izzet-ullah, and long ago translated into Bnglisli ard Frencli. It 
is t^asjr to imagine how short, therefore, is his account of the history 
o** Bukhara during the greater part of the eighteenth century. The 
campaign of Nadir Shah against Maverannahr during the reign of 
Abul-Feiz Khan is told, of course, after Nadir's historian, Mirza 
Me^di ; but Vambery ascribes to Abal-Feiz a reign of forty years, 
and in another place of almost fifty years, although in his own 
words this Khan came to the throne in 1717 and died in 1737. At 
the same time coins of Abul-Feiz are known which were struck in 
1154 A.H.. and which therefore show that in 1741-2 A.D. this Khan 
was still living ; and other authorities lead us to believe that ho 
died in 1747, or ten years later than when Mr. Vambery kills him 
off. Even Vambery in another place (p. 342) speaks of the meeting 
of Nadir Shah with Abal-Feiz in 1740. What he says on p. 341 
of the treachery of Rahim Bii was first invented by Burncs, and 
Vambery without studying the matter repeats Burnes, although he 
does not mention him. Nothing is said of the service of Rahim Bii 
under Nadir Shah in Persia, althcmgh it was due to this circum- 
stance especially that Rahim Bii was afterwards able to get into 
his hands the power over Bukhara, to depose Abul-Feiz Khan, and 
to put him to death. M« ntioning this latt*?r circumstance our his- 
torian continues — • A similar fate befell his son, who had married a 
daughter of Rahim Bii, and although a third prince, said to be an 
Astrakhanide, was raised to an illusory sovereignty, in point of 
iact Abul-Feiz closed the line of rulers of that dynasty * (p. 343). 

Why should such a 'conclusion bo drawn with regard lo Abul-Feiz, 
who, in the handH of Rahim Bii, was just as much of a puppet as were 
his successors, whose names are evidently unknown to Vambery ? 
The first of these successors was named — if Mr. Vdnib^ry cares for 
the information — Abdul Mumin, and had the title of Khan appa- 
rently from 1747 to 1751. In any case there are coins of his 
marked 1160 and 1163 a.h. (1747 and 1750 a d.). The successor of 
Abdul-Mumin was called Ubeidullah, and hardly belonged to the 
Astrakhan dynasty. On the other hand there is evidence thiat the 
Astrakhan dynasty did not cease with Abdul-Mmnin, because Abal 
Ghad, who after him had the title of Elian, was the son of » ^ 

detailed jonmals (stateir^y spisok) of the misflion. SoniA short «^ 
few of these papers were printed hj Mr. Ehanikof in his 'jBiptK 
to the map of the Aral Sea and the Khanate of EhiiPm*!-^ 
Imperial Russian Geographical Society, Book Y. p. 268;'186l)» 
mnch that is interesting and curious that they should mtfm 
lull, or a careful abstract should be made of them. In 18 
read before the Imperial Kussian Geographical Society', a p#3 
the mission of Dubrovin and the expedition of Colonel GatlMr 
has yet been printed on the subject. [K S.] 


gt^^man of Abal-F©iz, and Mr. Tamb^iy himself calls tTiis Abnl 
Gliaii, witK wliat reaaoa is not plain, the grandson of Abul-Feia,. 
Therefore this grandson or nephew of Abnl-Feia, and not AhuUFeiss 
himself, mast be considered the last Astrakhanide on the throne of 
Bnkhara. But it eonld sRarcelj have been in 1199 a.b. that Abnl 
Gliazi was deprived of the throne, as Vambery says on page ^50, for 
we have a coin of this Khan with tho date of 1200 a.h,, of which 
apparently the historian of Bnkhara knowa nothing'^ although ib 
has been described more than seventy years* 

The last and the now ruling dynasty in Buklmra is called Man* 
ghU, from that Uzbek family to which its foQndc^rs belonged. The 
acconnt of these founders is also given in the sixteenth chapter, bnt 
in such a way that it is evident that tho author dn! not know ev^en 
a fact of such importance ns that Mohammed Rahim^ whom he 
speaks of as Atalifl:^ was the first of the Maiighit Biis who took the 
title of Khan. This m indubitable^ hccauso we have his coins with 
thii title. Mohammed Hahim, Vambery riglitly calls Rahim Bii, 
bnt his successor f Dauial Bii, he calls Danial Bat\ and explains that 
hat means *8U]^rior grey-beard* (p. 347)^ which shows that he does 
not know the present meaning ^f the word hii among the Uzbeks, 
those vtiry Uzbckii whose language and life, according to him, no 
one in Europe knows so well as hiinself^'^ Of the date of the death 
of Rahim Bii and of the date of the coronation of Abnl-frha^i, 
Vambery does not spenk* He does not know that Danial Bn W'^aa 
the own nephew of Rahim Bii, but insfcead of that tells us without 
frnthority that he was related on his mo therms sido to the Astra- 
khan ides. The accuFatiou which he makes against Uanial Bii of 
*• tlie most disgmceful excesses, of covetonsnesa and tjTanny/ \b 
doubtful, for he does not mention his authority, and in all tho 
authorities known to us nothing like this is ascribed to Danial, 
Shah-Marad, too, was not the immediate successor of Danial in the 
rule of the Khanate, as appears according to Vambery, for on 
Danial's death the management of affairs passed to the Kush Begi 
Douiet, of whom Vambery makes no mention. We will state also 
that thei-e is in Persian a whole history of Rahim Bii and Dani&l 
Bii J unknown to Mr. Vambery, a copy of which, obtained in Buk- 
hara by Mr. P* I* Lerch, is now kept in the library of the Asiatic 
Museum at St. Petersburg, 

Shah.Murad, son of Danial Bii, was one of the most remarkably 
political personages in the modern history of Asia, and the sketch 
of him by VAmb^ry is lively, and full of relief; but this is not m 
merit of Vdmbery, bnt of the English histodau of Persiaj Malcolm, 

* Mi h&B the eeti66 tyt judge or r titer, Ikki thai of rich, [K B,J 


from wbom Vamb^ry took bodily all that he says of Shah-Murad, 
and without the slightest use of quotation marks. Those who 
wish to be assured of this, may compare pp. 348 to 355, and 861 
of Vamb^ry's history, with pp. 243 to 261 of the second volume of 
Malcolm's 'History of Persia' (London, 1815). Not in vain did 
Mr. Vdmb^ry play for a long time the part of a shameless Dervish : 
in writing a book in English, he has dared to rob a well-known 
and respected English writer, and to think that no one would notice 
it. To cover it up, he adds to what he has taken from Malcolm 
a few mistakes, which we do not find in the English writer. 
Among such errors is the statement that Shah-Murad, when he 
removed Abul Ghazi in 1784, mounted the throne of Bukhara 
(p. 350). We have already remarked that coins of Abul Ghazi 
are known with the date of 1200 A.H., =1785-1786, a.d. If, there- 
fore, Shah-Murad mounted the throne, it could not have been in 
1784, but later, and there are strong reasons for supposing that 
he never took the title of Khan, was never raised on the felt (a 
ceiemony equivalent to the European coronation), and until the 
death of Abul Ghazi, which did not take place earlier than 1796, 
considered himself nothing more than the regent of the Khanate, 
with the title of Naib (viceroy), and the honourable appellation 
Veli-n-niem. At least, he coined no money in his own name, and 
there is evidence that his name was not mentioned in the Khuihe ; 
and the right to coin money and to be named in the Khutbe, are 
characteristics of supreme power in the Mussulman East. Shah- 
Mnrad, too, did not die in 1802, as Vambery states (p. 360), for 
wo have coins of his successor Mir Haidar, dated 1215, l.H. (1801 
A. P.), and therefore cannot say, as does Vdmbery, p. 362, that Mir 
Haidar mounted the throne in 1803. For the history of the reign 
of Mir Haidar, Mr. Vdmb6ry evidently had no materials at all, 
and did not use either Izzet-Ullah, or even Meyendorf, and there- 
fore says that Mir Haidar 'enjoyed for twenty-three years the 
peaceful possession of his dominions,' p. 368. If this historian 
and professor had known of the ' Memoirs of ICina Shemiy' ^ he 
would have seen that the years of Mir Haidar's leign did not pafl« 
in -such quiet. On one side he mm eomteiitly figUiiqg..liitf 
Khans of Khiva, and on the other his own autjapti wm 
against him. And whence did Yimbtaej get ipi 
Haidar reigned nnder the name €i Andr Baidf T 
certainly gave himself, as we see from hie eoiMi^-i 
18 stamped on them, unless by Said "Mr. Ytm 
(Seid). Seyid, descendant of Mohammed, Mir H 
>-See note on page 109, voLL [1 
yOL. I. 

386 APPENDIX 11. 

himself at times, on the ground that his mother was the daughter 
of Abul-Feiz Khan, and that this latter was descended from Din- 
Mohammed (the first Bukharan Khan of the Astrakhan dynasty), 
who was married to the daughter of Mirza Abnl-Talib, really a 
direct descendant of the Khalif Ali. But besides this title, Mir 
Haidar bore others, — the Persian Padshah, and that of the Khali fs, 

The eighteenth chapter of the book is devoted exclusively to 
the reign of the Amir Nasrullah, who ruled from 1826 to 1860. 
The history of his reign up to 1842 is told according to the excellent 
book on Bukhara, written by our countryman N. V. Khanikof, 
which was translated into English; but although Vambery is 
guided by it, he has not a single reference to it, perhaps con- 
sidering Khanikof a personal enemy because he was in Bukhara 
before him ; for he tries to convince himself and the world that 
up to his time nobody had been there, nobody had seen anything, 
or had written anything about the country. Mr. Vamb6ry spoils 
Khanikof with his additions in the satne way as he spoils Malcolm. 
In entering upon the account of the conquest of Khokand by 
Nasrullah, he communicates some historical infomiation about this 
Khanate, which is enough to make the hair stand up on the head 
of any one who is at all acquainted with the history of Central 
Asia. It is enough to say that he makes Mohammed Ali Khan of 
Khokand, genealogically related to Kaidu Khan of the thirteenth 
century, and says not a word either about Erdeni Bek, or Narbuta 
Bii and his successors, and assures us that there are no historical 
accounts of Khokand during recent times, and therefore follows 
what was told him by a Khokandian whom he met in his travels 
in Central Asia. Such an addition to the account of Mr. Khanikof 
is also the statement that, in 1841, when in war with Nasrullah, 
Mohammed Ali did not dare to risk a battle, because he had to 
detach a considerable portion of his forces to watch the Bussians 
on the lower Yaxartes, p :^74. But in 1841, not only had we not 
moved to the lower byr Darya, but we had not even established 
our power in the Kirghiz steppes further than Orsk, which had 
been built a century before. The account of Khanikof ends with 
the war of Nasrullah in Khokand in the spring of 1842, and 
Vambery says nothing more of an intelligible character about the 
further acts of Nasrullah in regard to Khokand, or about the 
events in that country We may mention that he seriously says 
that the well-known Mussulman Kul was a pretender to the throne 
of Khokand, put forward by Nasrullah (p. 376) ! The events in 
the neighbouring Khanate of Khiva are no better known to him. 
He makes Rahim Kuli Khan reign from 1841 to lri43 (p. 377), 


whereas this Khan occnpied the throne from 1842 to 1845. As 
concerns Bassia, of the relations of which country with Bukhara 
Vamb^ry speaks on page 379, the mistakes are endless. The first 
Russian mission in Bukhara, he thinks, was the one of Negri in 
1820, although even in 1620 Bukhara had seen a Russian mission 
within her walls. In 1884, Russia, according to Vdmb^ry, sent as 
an envoy to Bukhara, Demaisons, and in 1835, Yitkevitch, as a 
political agent, both to procure the liberation of Russian slaves 
(p. 380) ; whereas both of these persons went there secretly, 
hicofjnito, the first under the guise of a Tartar Mullah, the last as 
a Kirghiz, which, we may say, demanded of both no less boldness, 
no loss adroitness, and no less acquaintance with the languages 
nnd customs of the East, than the travels of Vambery himself 
disguised as a Dervish. Russian cannon hnd never at that time 
sounded on the Syr Darya, as Vambery says (p. 380), &c. &c. 

The English relations with Bukhara, beginning with the mission 
of Stoddart in 1838, are much better set forth. 

Let us pass to the last chapter of this book, which tells of the 
events from 1860 up to the present time. Here, Mr. Vdmbery, 
who constantly, as a publicist, had incited England against Russia, 
and had proclaimed to all the world our du[»licity and lust for 
conquest, very unexpectedly appears as the apologist of Russian 
policy in Central Asia, and is even enthusiastic over our victories. 
We might therefore risk being considered prejudiced, if we should 
say that the end of his book is incomparably bettor than the middle 
or the beginning. In the first plan in this conclusion appear the 
Russian actions against the Khokandians, and those against the 
Bukharans. In recounting them, Mr. Vambery had no recourse 
to Russian authorities, and knows of these matters apparently only 
by the compilations of the Messrs. Michell (* The Russians in 
Central Asia.' London, 18(55), and the German Hellwald's (* Die 
Rnssen in Central Asien,' Wien, 1869). But as these compilations 
•are very good, we do not meet with many mistakes in the way in 
which he has retailed them. Some, however, we will point out. 
Mussulman Kul is again put forward as a usurper of the throne of 
Khokand (p. 393) ; and it is said that he was assassinated by 
Bukharan intriguers, and that the throne then reverted to Khudayar 
Khan, while the fact is that Khudayar Khan was placed on the 
throne by Mussulman Kul, and that Mussulman Kul was publicly 
executed on the scaffold by Khudayar, in consequence of a general 
uprising of the Sarts against the . supremacy of the Eaptchaks, at 
whoso head he was. Further, Khudayar Khan is not the grandBon 
of Mohammed Ali, as Yimb^ry.Btates (p, 893)j ' 

00 S . 


of Khndayar Khai]^ Bliir AH, wab not the son of Motiammcd AH, 
as Yambeiy saja (p* 373), tut his oonfiiix Moreover Kba^laya^r 
Khan never personally led liis armies against the RuBsians, nevet 
was in Bokhara previooR to bis dethroneraent by Afalla Bek, and 
never found the gates of hiB capital ^hot in hi^ faoe on returning 
from a campaign against the Russians, ns Vambery reconnta 
(p. 394)^ tie ran awaj to Bukhara only after he had been 
def^kted by Mai la Bek bet ween Taslikent and Kbokand, and took 
refug*^ not with Mozaffar Kddiii, who had not then ascended 
tba Bukharau throne, bat with NasruUah ; and neither Moza0Ur 
Bor Nasrullah commanded the Bukharan army &ent afterwai-d^ 
against the Kliokandtans to restore Khudayar to tha I hrone. These 
are all inTentit*UB of Mr, Y^mbery, and all on the 394th page. Bat 
this unlui'ky piige has still other and more improbable facts, viz., 
that MaHa Bek was kilk*d by the partisans of the Amir of Bukhara, 
and that Shah Murad was the younger brother of Khudayar, 
and that be did not succeed in getting on the throne after Malla 
Bek*s murder, be<^isse he was forestalled by Mozaffar Eddin, who 
reins tMed Khudayar, and theu returued to Bukhara, This waa 
not at all so. MaHa Bek perished^ assassinated by the leaders of 
toe Kiptchak party, who were discontented with him, and who 
had nothing in commoa with the Amir of Bukhara, Bhah Muind, 
the son of Khudsiyat's elder brother Sarymsak, was the uephei 
of KInidayar; and on the murder of Malla Bek, he was proelaimcdl 
Khan, and rtigned until Khudayar was recalled from Bukhara by 
the inhabitants of Ta-ehkent, and with their aid got possession of 
Kbokand, when Shah Murad was dethroned. With all this, neither 
Kssrullab nor bis son Mozaffar had anything to do» In the seventh 
line from the bottom of the same page, Samarkand is an error for 

The further account by Yimb^ry of the eTonta in Khokand, 
ive do not at all undorstaod; it is so confused, and baa so utterly 
disttirted what we know to have taken place there. 

We remark fattUor ; 1* KuMar means tn Kirghiz not the lucky 
one, as Yambery translates it on p. 399, but * podicem habens * in 
the sense of * magna pod ice praeditus ; ' and that the robber known 
as I set Kutebarof not only did not undermine the Russian supre- 
macy in the Midtlle Horde, nor even in the Lesser Horde, bofc 
enticed into temporary disobedience in all only two or three tribes j 
and Mr* Yanibery has no idea of what he is talking of, when be 
speaks of the gold medal given to Kutebarof, 2* Mir Said was not 
the son of Sarymsak, but of Malla Khan. 3. General Tchemuief 
was not the successor of General Per ovsky, and in 1805 thore wia^ 
no Russian army or. the banks of the Syr, but only an itisij^nificaut 


mi. The hofitoiian of Bukhara does not know the position 
of OOP affairs in the region of Tashkent in 1866 sufficiently well to 
« y^> ry a proper estimate of the acts and capacities of Generals 
Tn^iflnmief and Romanofskj, as he does on p. 403. 4. The fort 
of Ura-tep6 was not captured by Count Vorontsof-Dashkof alone 
(p. 408), as he commanded only one of the stormiog columns. 
5. Yany Kurgan was occupied without any opposition on the part 
of the Bukharans, who had abandoned it, by Lieutenant Colonel 
Abramof, and not personally by Ghwieral Kaufmann. 6. The affair 
of June 2 between the Russians, under the command of General 
Kaufmann and the Bukharans, took place not at Serpul, but on the 
heights of Zera.Bu1ak. 

We have concluded, and we hope that we hav6 confirmed our 
opinion of the character of Mr. Vdmb^ry's * History of Bukhara * 
by a sufficient number of proofs. We have pointed out many 
errors, but it must not be thought that we have exhausted the 
supply of them. Persons who wish to assure themselves of this, 
may look in the review of Mr. Vdmb^ry's book published in the 
LUerarisches Cetitralhlatt of Leipzig, No. 19, ]873, written by 
Professor A. von Gutschmidt. Mr. Gntschmidt does not find 
words enough to brand the manner in which the author set about 
the work, for which he was not at all fitted by his education, the 
want of conscientiousness which he has displaved in his labour, 
and the vain-gloriousness with which he has proclaimed the un- 
usual qualities of his history; but there is no evil in the world 
without some particle of good, and so there is one good side to Mr. 
Vdmb^ry's work, that is, his endeavour to correct the orthography 
of peculiarly Turkish names, which has been corrupted by the 
ignorance of the Turkish dialects both by the various Arab and 
Persian historians who wrote of the Turks, and perhaps even more 
by European orientalists who have used these historians, and who 
have not been able to read aright the names as given by them. 
However, in sometimes happily correctinjjr the false orthography of 
peculiarly Turkish names, Mr. Vambery himself acts very illogically 
with regard to the Arabic names of Central Asiatics, writing them 
most frequently, not as they are pronounced by the natives, but art 
they are pronounced in Constantinople only. 




Although mnch has already been written on the routes of the early 
travellers from Europe through Northern Central Asia, it may not 
be profitless briefly to review some of them again in connection 
with the Chinesb records of similar journeys. 

1. Zemabchus. 

In the fragments of Menander Protector, we find an account 
of an embassy of Turks, accompanied by Maniach, the chief of 
Sogdia, which arrived at Byzantium in 568. The next year the 
Emperor Justinian sent Zemarchus on a mission to Dizabulus, 
the ruler of these Turks. Dizabulus appears to be Dalobian Khan, 
the younger sou of Kigin, or Muyui Khan, who established the 
power of the Turks (Tu-hin) from the Western Sea to the Gulf 
of Corea, and from the Northern Sea to the steppes of Shamo, and 
who ruled from 553 to 572. Dalobian KLan, after his father's death, 
rebelled and founded the Western House of the Tu-hiu. He must 
have exercised a viceregal sway during his father's lifetime. He 
lived on the northern slope of the Tian Shan, which was then 
called the White Mountains, by the Chinese Bo-shan or Pe-shan, 
and by the Turks Ak-tag. 

According to Menander, Z^^maichus went to the mountains 
Ek-tag, which he translates Golden Mountain, where he found the 
camp of Dizabulus in a hollow, very probably the same * Thousand 
Spnngs' mentioned by Hiouen Thsang. As Altai means golden, 
the residence of this Turkish Khan has been placed by some in the 
Altai Mountains, and Ritter on the strength of this even names 
a portion of the Altai range the Ek-tag Altai, an appellation 
unknown on the spot, and against which Captain Sosnofsky pro- 
tests. (* Mem. Imp. Russ. Geog. Soc' ; vol. v. Geography, p. 566 ; 
St. Pttersburg, 1875). 

After Zemarchus had been fitly entertained, the most of hii9 
suite was sent back to the land of the Choliatae or Chliatae (prt 




is on an 
•pped at 
tian am- 

ake with 

^^ Oech — 

— jonrney, 

" ^-3 of the 


. having 

of the 

• Ural), 
r Volga), 

own the 
got to 

• Cathay 
"see Re- 
,. 1872) 
nr Oxus. 

~ sed the 
elow its 


Cbt the 
S^li the 
* Pass, 
;>«d up 
fcter in 
i»g ice 
^V'aj is 
f high 
'© and 

or to 
^ne is 




Although nr 
tetvellers fn 
be profifclea 
with the CI: 

In the'' •'^ 

of an em 

Sogdia, w 

Emperor . 

the mler V 

the jroun. 

power o 

of Corea;,S 

who rule 
have exti 
lived oi 
called t 
and by 

camp I 


the ro 


a por 



St. r 





the Kangli), while he himself accompanied Dizabnlns on an 
ition against the Persians. On the way they stopped at 

(near Anlie-ata), where they were met by a Persian am- 
ior). Here, being dismissed, and being allowed to take with 

deputation from the Choliatae, he crossed the river Oech — 
I it would be difficult to identify — and after a long journey, 
to a huge wide lagoon, perhaps the northern shore of the 
3ea, or the Mertvii Kultuk Bay of the Caspian. Travelling 
reive days across the sandy shores of this lagoon, and having 
ss some very difficult places, he came to the stream of tbe 
Ich (the Emba ?), then to the Daich (the Yaik or Ural), 
aen by other swampy tracts to the Attila (the Ethil or Volga), 
ben again to the land of the Ugors, Then passing down the 
shore of the Caspian, he crossed the Caucasus, and got to 
zond, whence he posted to Byzantium. (See Yule's * Cathay 
he Way Thither,* clx-clxvi). The Vech is by some (see "Re- 
of Marco Polo in * Edinburgh Review ' for January, 1872) 
fied with the Wakh, a name once given to the Upper Oxus. 
•ding to this supposition Zemarchus must have crossed the 
)arya without mentioning it, and the Oxus a little below its 

2. HiouJEN Thsang. 

xty years after Zcmarchns, in 029, Hiouen Thsang, a Buddhist 
m and student, started on his long journey through Central 
Leaving China by Liang-tchow and Kna-tchow, at the 
m extremity of the Great Wall, he went to Khamil (B!ami)| 
vshar and Kutche, and then leaving the high road to Kashgar, 
lich he returned fifteen years later, and passing through the 
rs of Pa-lu-kia (Ak-su), north-east, he crossed a stony desert, - 
irrived at an icy mountain (Ling-tchan, the Muzart Pass, 
to the peak Khan Tengri), where * snow had been heaped up 

the beginning of the world, which never melts either in 
2^ or in summer. Smooth fields of hard and glittering ice 
h out unendingly, and join with the clouds. The way is 

between icy peaks overhanging ou each side, and over high 
8 of ice. These places are passed with great trouble and 
r, with constant blasts of piercing wind and gusts of snow ; 
at even with warm boots and a fur coat, the oold penetrates 
t bones. There is no dry place in which to lie down or to 
You must cook your food and sleep on the ice.* *One is 

a prey to the ferocity of dragons, which attack travellers. 

who follow this roate should not wear red clothing, or carry 
ishes, or cry aloud. Should these precautions be forgotten. 



tbo greatest miafortanes would come. A violent wind wool 
suddenly arise, whirl abont the sand, and enguJf the trayeller with 
H showct' of t*toucs. It IB very difficult to escape death.* Such 
were then the terrors of the Muscart Pase. Seven days* jonrnej" 
tlirough these mountains brought Hioueu Thsflng to a great lake, 
called TliSinij^tchit about 1,00Q li in circumference . ' Itia lengthened 
from east to west, and narrowed from south to north ; on all sides 
it ia BUiTOunded by mountains. A number of rivera throw them 
selves into it, and are In^t there. The colour of the water is 
greenish black, and its taste is at once salt and bitter. Sometimes 
its vast waves extend in immense sheets, sometimes they swell up 
and roll impetuously. Dragons and fish inhabit it, and from time 
to time extraordiuary monsters are seen to rise out of it. For tLia 
reason the travellers who go and come pray for good luck* Although 
tho guests of the lake are very numerous, no one dares to fish 
tbere.* In this description it is impossible not to recognise Lake 
Issyk Kul. Atter travelling 500 U north-west from tins lake, h« 
arrived at the city on the river Su*ye. * The city is from 6 to 7 
U in circumference, and is the meetiog-place of merchants from 
different kingtloms.* There can be no question that this river i» 
the Tcbu, and judging from the distance travelled, the city would 
be «iear Tokrtiak, where an ancient town existed. We are further 
told that, ' from this city to the kingdom of Kw-cJiomig-no, (Kesh)^ 
the con u try is called 8u-li^ and the inhabitants have the same 
name» This name is also applied to their wiiting and to their 
language. The radical forms of the graphic signs are very few, 
and are reduced to thirty-two letters, which, by being combiJied 
together, have gradually given rise to a great number of worda. 
The inhabitants possess but few historical memoirs. They read 
from top to bottom.' An interesting descriptioa of the inhabitants 
follows. Su^h^ which nearly reaembles SuM^ was the Chinese name 
for Kashgar™ 

* West of Sitr-ye, there are many isolated towns* In each city 
chiefs are establisbed, who are independent of each other, but who 
are all submitted to the Tii-hm (Turks),* 

After travelling about 400 U west of the river Sti-^e, ho 
arrived at the * Thousand Springs.' * The country of the Thousand 
Springa is about 200 li square. On the south it ia bounded by 
Buowy mountains, and on the three other sides by level plains. 
The land is abundantly watered, and the forest trees offer beautiful 
vegetation. In the last month of spring the most varied flowers 
beautify the earth like a rich embroidery, There are a thousand 
basins of living water, whence have come the name of the Thousand 
Springs* Tho Khan of the Ta-kiMj (Turks) comes to this place 





every year to avoid the warmth of summer. Here are a mnltittide 
of si^gs ornamented with little bells and rings. They are familiar 
with men, and do not flee their sight. The Khan likes to see 
them. He has published a decree, in which he says that any one 
who dared to touch one of them, would be punished with death 
without pardon. This is why all these stags can tranquilly end their 

The £[han of the Turks at this time, as we find from the annals 
of the T*faang dynasty, was Sy shekhu. Khan, who had just de- 
throned Sybi Khan, and the ^ Thousand Sources,' Mtng-hulah, or 
Thsian Thaionen, where he passed his summers, was probably the 
same place as that at which Zemarchus had found his predecessor 
sixty years before. Mr. Severtzof places Ming-bulak in the valley 
of the Ters, a little west of Auli6-ai», where there is now a locality 
of the same name, noted for its fine pastures, but this does not seem 
to answer the requirements of the narrative, and at the same time 
Ming-bulak is not an uncommon name in any part of Central Asia. 
A glance at the map, which shows numerous streams descending 
the Alexandrofsky range and watering the triangle formed by the 
Tchu and its chief branch, the Kurgati, can leave little doubt as to 
the probable situation of the ' Thousand Springs,' which, according 
to Hiouen Thsang was a locality about fifty miles square. According 
to the distances given it would be between Merke and Auli^-ata. 

After travelling 140 or 150 U west of the Thousand Springs, he 
* arrived at the city of Ta-lo-ase (Talas, at or near Auli^-ata), eight 
or nine U in circumference. Merchants from difierent countries 
live in it indiscriminately. As regards the products of the soil and 
the climate, this country resembles that of Su-ye* About ten li 
south of this he found an isolated city, inhabited by 330 families of 
Chinese origin, who, although they had adopted the dress and tastes 
of the Turks (Tu-A^ue), had yet preserved the language and usages 
of their country. ' Leaving this kingdom and travelling 200 li to 
south-west, he arrived at the city Pi- shut, or White Water (in Per- 
sian Isfidjdb^ the modem Tchimkent). This city is six or seven U 
in circumference. With regard to the products of the soil and the 
nature of the climate this country is much better than that of 

* Travelling about 200 li to the south-west, he arrived at the 
city of Kong-yu (Yangy ?), which was five or six li in circumference. 
The plains were rich and fertile, and the gardens and forests 
offered magnificent vegetation.' Thence he went 40 or 50 ^ south 
to the kingdom of Ku-tch^ i-hien (the old Nejkat or Nujkent), and 
thence 20<J li west to the kingdom of Tche-ahi (Tchatch, Shash, or 



Hioaen Tlisang then went to Ferghana, Uartiahnfl (Ura-tep^), 
Samarkanil» and Kesh, and througli the Ii'on Gatew, to the Oxns, 

The full accotinfc ot the travels of HiDuen Thsang ia to be foand 
in the 'Yoj^agee dea Pelerins BoaddhiateB/ par M. Stanisla 

3. Yfi-LU TCH*U-t3AI, 

The celehmte<i Chinese statesman, Te-lil TchV-ifiai, accom 
panied Tchinghiz Kbau in his conquest of the West, aud wt^ote a 
book alwut hia tnivelaj which he named * Si-yu-ln^* or an * Account 
of a Journey to the West/ an abstract of which was made and 
published long afterwards by Jn^tzOt I qn.ote some passages from 
the translation given in Dr, JBretschn6ider*s * Kutee on Chinese 
Mediffival Travellers to the West * 7 — 

* In the next year (1219) a vast army was raised and set in 
motion towards the west. The way lay through the Kiii-shan 
(Chinese Altai). Even in the iniddle of the summer, masaea o£ i 
and anow ulate in tliese mountains. The army passing that 
road was obliged to cut ita w^ay through the ice. The pines and 
larch ti"eeS are so high that they seem to reach heaven ; the valleys 
(in the Altai) all abound in grass and flowers. The rivers west of 
the Kiti-ghafL all run to the weet, and finally discharge into a laki 
(Nor Zai^n), So nth of the Kin-ahan is Bie-ght-la (BtHkhaltk^ 
UrumtBi), a city of the RuUht (Mohammedan a, Uigurs). There 
is a tablet of the time of the T'ang dynasty, on which it is 
said that here at that time was the station of the army of tb© 
northern desert. The desert is several hundred U distant from the 
city (of BishbaHk), There is a lake with an island in it, on which 
a great nnmber of birds used to mew. West of the city (of Bish- 
balik), 200 U distant, ia the city Lfin-Vat-hien, where also a tablet 
of the time of T'ang is found. South of the city (of Bishbalik) hOO 
U (beyond the Tian-Shan) is Mtto^tahou^ the same place which ai 
the time of T'ang was called Kao-ich'ang, and alao Yi^tehou. Wesfc 
©f Kao-tch'ang^ 3,000 or 4,000 U distant, is the city of Wu-duan^ 
which is the same as the realm of Yi4'ieu (Khotau), of the T ang 
dymasty. There is a river tberfi, in which is found white and black 
jade. I 

* At a distance of more than 1,000 Zi, after having crossed tha 
desert, one ai-rivea at the city of Bii4a. South of this city ia tbo 
Yin^&haii monntain, which extends from east to west 1000 U^ 
and from north to south 200 IL On the top of the moJintain 
a lake (Sairam l^or), which ia 70 or 80 U in circumference. Tl 
land sonth of the lake is overgrown with apple trees, which form 
aach dense forests that the sail beams cannot peuetii^te. After 





leaving the Yiiushan one arrive* at the city of A-U-ma ( Almalyk) . 
The western people call an. apple O'li^ma (alma), and as all the 
orchards aronnd the city abound in apple trees, the city received 
this name. Eight or nine other cities and towns are snbject to 
A4i-ma. In that country grapes and pears abound. The people 
cultivate the five kinds of grain as we do in China. West of 
A-li-ma there is a large river, which is called I-lie (Ili). Further 
on, west of this river, is the city of Hu-sze^wo'lu-do, the capital 
of the 8i-liao (Karakhitai), several tens of cities are subject to it. 
To the west of Hu-sze-too-lU'cl-o, several hundred It, is the city of 
Ta-la-sze (Talas). From this place, 400 U and more to the south- 
west, are the cities K'tu^an (Hodjent), Ba-p*u, JCo-aan (Kassan) 
and Bor-lan (Badam, Kanabadam).' 

After this follow notices of Hodjent, Badam, Otrar, Samarkand^ 
and Bukhara, from which I have previously given some quota- 

Two places in this account deserve mention, Bu-la and Hu-szc' 
wo'lu'do. Bti'la is probably the same place as that marked on 
ancient Chinese maps P*u-la, the Bolo of Tchang-Te, the Phulad of 
Hethum, and the Pulad of the historians of the Mongols. It was a 
little to the north or north-east of Lake Sairam Nor, and may 
perhaps derive its name from the river Boro-tala, r and I being 
interchangeable, as in Talas and Taraz, and is perhaps Ulan»buru ; 
or it may come from Bulahy a spring, which enters into seveml 
names in this region. May this not be the city which Rubruquis 
calls Bolak, to which the German prisoners were sent from Talas, 
and which he passed at a distance of three days' journey ? 

Hu-sze-wo^hi'do was the capital of the Si-lia^ or Karakhitti. and 
should, therefore, be BaJa Sagun, though whether it is meant for 
that is hard to tell. Wo-ltt-do is simply ordo, or camp. 

4. Tch'ang Tch'dn. 

Tch'ang Tch'un, the Taouist monk, also passed through this 
region in 1221 and 1224, on his way to and from the court of 
Tchinghiz Khan. 

After leaving Bie-sze-via (Bishbalik, the modem Urumtsi), and 
going along the northern slope of the Tian Shan, and ptissing 
several towns, he came after seven days* journey to Teh' ang-ha-la 
(Tchangbalik, a town on old Chinese maps, but not otherwise 
known). After travelling westward several days, during which he 
crossed a sandy desert, and then, turning southward on a long 
slope, he came to a lake, which h^ calls the Lake of Heaven (the 
modem Sairam Nor), the description of which, as well as of the 
Talki defile, which I have elsewhere quoted, is still very exact. 



Wbat a Rlopo this was wliich he ascend e^i may be aeea from tlio 
fact that Sairam Nor is ?,200 feet above the level of the sea, while 
Ebi NoFj at a distance of less than 80 miles, is but 700 feet. AffccfT 
passing through tbis defile he came to the uitj A-li-7na. This was 
the old Almalyk, situated near the modem Kuldja, and its name ho 
rightlj derives from the Turkish aJma^ apple. Having been enter- 
tained by the ruler of the P*tt~i^u^man {Mossulmans), be jouruejed 
* further to the west, and arrived in four days at the T a-la~surtio~ 
lien. The river, which is deep and broad j comes from the east^ and 
eutfing across the Yiu-shan mountains, runs in a nortb-weatem 
direction. To the south of the river, again, are snow-covered 
mountains* On the first of the tenth month (end of October) we 
crossed the river in a boat, and proceeding southward arrived at a 
great mountain, on the northern side of which was a small town* 
Thenee we travel led five days to th^ west. . , . Travelling again 
westward during seven days, we crossed a mountain, and met a 
Chinese envoy who was retuming to Cbina. . * , Next day there 
was a great snow*fall, and we reached a small town of the Hui-ho 
(Mohammedans), The snow was one foot deep, but it was q^uickly 
melted by the sun. 

* On the 16th of the tenth month, we went in a south -western 
direetion, crossed the river on a bridge of planks, and in the 
eveniitg reached the foot of the son them mountains. Here were 
(formerly) the do minion a of Ta^sld Idn^ya. < . . Here the elimate 
is quite difieretit from that of the regions north of the Yin-shan 
(Tian Shan)p The country has many plains, and the people ar© 
employeil in agriculture and breeding of silkworms. They rnako 
wine from grapes. The fruits are about the same as in China ; 
bnt it does not rain there during the whole summer and autumn, 
hence the fields are irrigated artificially by canals led off from the 
rivers^ and tke com is brought to maturity. To the north-east &ve 
mountains, to the south-west valleys^ which stretch out for ten 
tb on sand IL 

'Thjs kingdom (of Tasbi-Linya), existed about a hundred 
yeai*B, As the power of the Ntmnari was broken, they (t,e 
Gatehlnk and the Naimans)^ fled to the Ta*shi, and after becoming 
powerful, overthrew that nation. Subsequently the Buan^timn 
(SuHan of Kh^rezm), conquered the western part of their domimons, 
then Tchingiz arrived, the Naiman were totally destroyed j and tlia 
Baatutuan was also overthrown, 

'We were told that the way still before U8 presented many 
difficulties. One of our carts was broken, and we were obliged to 
leave it behind, 

* The loth of the tenth month, we travelled westwai^ along 


fche hills, and after seven or eight days' journey, the mountains 
suddenly turned to the south. We saw a city huilt of red stones ; 
and there were the traces of an ancient military encampment. To 
the west we saw great graVe mounds, which resembled the Great 
Bear. Passing over a stone bridge, and travelling five days along the 
south-western mountains, we arrived at tbe city of Sai-lan (Sairatn).' 

The chief, and, indeed, only diflRculty in fixing the localities 
mentioned on this route, lies in the river called Ta-la-su wo-lien. 
Mullen is the same as Mureii, the Mongol word for river, and there 
is no question but that literally it must mean the river Talas. But 
Tch'ang Tch'un could not possibly have travelled the distance from 
Kuldja (Alima) to the Talas, about 600 miles, in four days, and 
have taken twenty-five days to go from the Talas to the city of 
Sairam, only about 100 miles. 

On the return journey, the account is more easily understood. 
Tch'ang Tch'un left Sairam on the 16th of the third month. On 
the 23 rd of the month he was joined by the Imperial envoy, A-gou, 
who had been ordered to accompany him along the southern bank 
of the Tck'nimu-lien (the Tchu). Ten days later, he was at a 
distance of more than one hundred U to the west of Alima, and 
crossed a large river. On the 5th of the fourth month, he arrived 
at a garden east of the city of Alima, and in the evening reached 
the foot of the Talki defile. 

Dr. Bretschneider, in his * Chinese MedieBval Travellers,' pp, 
34-36, in order to explain these difficulties, supposes there must be 
some confusion in dates, or that parts of the diary have been trans- 
posed. Mr. Lerch thinks that by the Ta^4a-8u mo-lien, Tch'ang 
Tch'un does not mean the modern Talas, but the Tchu. It seems 
to me, however, very much more simple to suppose a slip of the 
pen on the part of the diarist. If we look attentively at the 
account, we shall see that he must have meant the Hi, although he 
called it the Talas. He had probably entered in his note-book | 
the names of all the rivers he crossed, and of the places to which 
he came, and by an easily intelligible error placed here the wrong 
name. In no other way is it possible to understand the route. 
This must be the same river which was last crossed on the return 
journey before reaching Alima, but which is not named there. 

After crossing the Hi in a boat, for it is too deep to be fordable, 
and probably was never bridged, and proceeding southward, he 
arrived at a great mountain, on the northern side of which was a town, 
probably somewhat to the east of the modem Vierny. Following 
these mountains, the Alatau, to the west, he crossed them pro- 
bably at the Kastek Pass, on the route of the old post road, and 
then came to the river Tcsbn, wbiok lie^ oroesed- on » bridge, and^ 


reached the foot of the Alexandrofsky range, where he came into 
the country of tie Karakhitai, the history of which people he briefly 
relates. Then travelling westward along the foot of this range, 
he came to the mins of Akhyr-tash, of which I have spoken on 
p. 121, vol. ii, and crossing the Talas on a stone bridge, arrived at 
Sairam, near Tchimkent. This supposition, that the river of which 
Tch*ang Tch'un speaks is the Hi, will make his dates properly agree. 
For a note on the translation of the account of Tch'aDg^ 
Tch'un's journey, see vol. i. p. 238. I have chiefly followed Dr. 

6. TcH'ANa Tb. 

In 1259, Tch'ang Te was sent by the Mongol Emperor Mangn 
Xhan to his brother Hulagu, who had just defeated the Khalif of 
Bagdad. On his return an account of his journey was written by 
Liu Yu, who gave it the name of * Si-shi-ki.* I quote a portion of 
it from Dr. Bretschneider's translation, which is much fuller and 
better than those of Kemusat and Pauthier." 

' On the 20th day of the first month of 1259, Tch'ang Te set ont 
as a courier despatched to the west (to the prince Hulie-wu or 
Hulagu.) After leaving Ho-lin (Karakorum), he travelled through 
the country of Wu-surt, in a north-western direction, more than 
two hundred U, the ground rising gradually. After a halt, the 
traveller then crossed the desert. The country was very high and 
cold, and notwithstanding the great heat in summer, the snow 
nev^ melts there. The rocky mountains were covered all over 
with fine pine trees. After seven days* travelling in a south- 
western direction, Tch'ang Te had crossed the desert, and de- 
scending gradually for three hundred U, arrived at a river several 
U broad. It was called Hunmvr-lien (the modem Dsabiran), and 
in summer often overflows the country. He crossed in a boat 
and a few days later passed the river Lung-gu (Ulungur). 

' Thence Tch'ang Te proceeded again in a north-westen 
direction ; the distance by road southward to Bie-shuha-li (Bish- 
balik), at the nearest point being five hundred 1% (through a 
country inhabited by a great number of Chinese). They cultivate 
wheat, barley, millet, and setaria, 

* The river (Ulungur) flows to the west, stagnates, and forms 
a lake, which is more than a thousand li in circumference. The 
name of this lake is KiMe'luha-sze (Kyzyl bash). It abounds in 
good fish. There are mills (on the river), which are put in motion 
by the running water. Proceeding gradually westward, Tch'ang 
Te arrived at a city called Ye-ma7i, Further to the south-west a 
city; Bo-lo, was reached. In this country wLeat and rice 


OttltiTated. On the mountains many cypresses are fonnd, bnt tbey 
do not thrive vigorously, and grow tortuously between the stones. 
The dwelling-houses and bazaars stand interspersed among the 
gardens. The houses are built of clay, and the windows furnished 
with glass. 

* To the north of this place <(Bo-lo), is the Haie fie shan (the 
iron hill of the lake). A furious wind comes out from the 
mountains, and blows people passing there into the lake. 

'Proceeding south-west twenty /t, Tch'ang Te reached a defile, 
which is called Txe-mu-rM'' an-ch^ a (the Talki Pass). It was 
guarded by Chinese. The way leading through the defile was very 
rugged, with overhanging rocks. After quitting this defile, Tch'ang 
Te arrived at A-lumaM (Almalyk). There the reservoirs in the 
market-places were connected by running water. As regards fruits, 
there were melons, grapes, and pomegranates of excellent quality. 
The Hui-ho (Mohammedans) in Alimali lived mixed up with the 
Chinese, and gradually their customs had got changed into the 
customs of the middle kingdom. 

* South (of Alimali) there was a city called TchH-mu^r. Amongst 
the inhabitants were a great many Chinese from Ping and Fen. 

* Going from the city of Bo-lo westward, the coins in use are 
made of gold, silver, and copper, and bear inscriptions; but they 
have no square holes. 

* Tch*ang Te now entered the country called Ma-a (Maveran. 
nahr, t^., Turkistan). In this country the people (in winter) put 
horses to sledges, and carry heavy burdens in this manner from 
station to station, going very quickly. It is reported that the Ki- 
li.hi'Sze (Kirghiz), instead of horses, use dogs (for drawing 

' On the 24th of the second month (in the first half of April), 
Tch*ang Te passed Yi-tu, situated between two mountains. The 
ground there was level, and the population numerous. The 
cruntry was intersected in all directions by canals, which irrigated 
the fields. Numerous ancient walls and other ruins were seen. 
The people said that in former times the ICi-tau (Elarakhitai). 
dwelt there. Tch'ang Te calculated that this country was fifteen 
thousand li distant from Ho4in (Elarakomm). In the neighbour- 
hood there is a river called Yi-yiin (probably the Kurgaty). It 
runs bubbling to the east. The natives say that this is the source 
of the Yellow River (the Tchu). 

' On the 28th of the second month, Tch'ang Te passed Ta^la'Sza^ 
(Talas), and on the 1st of the third month, arrived at Sai-laoh 
(Sairam). There is a tower in which the Hui-ho (Mohanmiedans) 



Yeman is perhaps Imil or EmiJ^ a town sflppoaed to be sifcuated 
on the Tiver of that name, running int<:j l^ke Ala KqI, and iVe« 
quen tl J mention eil by tlia hi'itrirraJia of (he Mongols. It was tho 
appanar^e at one time of Kiijuk Klian. It \vos probably somewhere 
near the pre^ient Tcba^^ntchak. Yt-fti ia appawjtiy the country near 
PiisLpek and Tokniak, between the Ala-Taa and tiie Alexaudrofsjky 

6, Plako Caeptni. 

In 124-5 John de Piano Carpfni, a Franc bran monk, wa-a sent aa 
A miaRionary by Pope Innocent IV., to Mongolia. With Friar 
Benedict, the Pole, ho reached the encampment of Batn on the 
Volga in Fobmary 12 i6, in Coraania, and cros^siiig tbe Yaik, or 
TItal, entered the land of the Kangli (KunLjittae), an arid and 
deseH region. Thence they went into tbe land of the Bisermans, 
or BueBarmans (a Enssian comiption of fhe word Mussuhnanj used 
in all the old chronicles, and even now by the common people) 
who spoke tbe language of the Comanians, but obserred the lavr 
of the Saracens. Here they found many ruined cities and forts, 
and saw on a great river a certain town called Jaurldtd (the old 
Yany, or Jany-kent^ on tbe lower Syr Barya), as well as others, 
among wbich were Batchin and Onms. The ruler of tbiB land 
was called Alii sold anus ^ whicb Mr, Lercb thinks is probably a 
corruption of the name of the Khiirc^zni Sbah ruling at tbat time, 
Ala Eddin Mobammed Sultan. Tbence tbcy went into the land 
of the Black Kitayans (Kara Kbitai), in which they saw the city 
Omtfl^ which had just been rebuilt, and after tbat came upon 'a 
oertaine small aea^ npon the shore whereof stands a little monnfaine, 
in which mountaiiie is reported to be a hole, from which in winter 
time such vehement tempestes of wind doe issue, tbat trareilem 
can scarcely, and wnth great danger, passe by the same way, la 
Bommer time the noise indeedc of the winde is heard there, bat it 
proceedeth gently out of the hole* Along the shores of the foresaid 
sea we travailed for the space of many daye^, which, although it 
bee not very great, yet hath it many islands, and w ee passed by, 
leaving it on our left hande.* 

The friars then passed by the lands of the Naima^ts, and arrived 
at Karokoritm on Jaly 22, remained there until Ifovcmbcr 13j and 
reached Kief again on Jnne H, 11! 4 7. 

English translations of the relation of Piano de Carpini wer© 
pttblisbed in * Hakluyt's Voyages,* and in ' Purchas, His Pilgrims,* 
hut the best text of the original with all the variations of reading 
in different njantiscripts, is to be found in tbe fourth volume of the 
'UecueiJ de Voyages et de Memoircs publie par la Societe de 


G^ograpliie,' Paris, 1839, accompanied by learned and interesting 
notes on ancient travellers, by M. D'Avezac. 

After crossing the Yaik, Piano Carpini went throngb the 
southern portion of the steppe now belonging to the Lesser Horde 
of Kirghiz, and passing, as Friar Benedict says, many salt marshes, 
pools, and streams, and then a vast sandy waste (the Great and 
Little Barsuk, and the Kara-Knm), until he arrived at the Syr 
Darya, which is evidently the large river of which he speaks. At 
that time the lower regions of the Syr Darya were inhabited and 
cultivated, and contained many cities, which, up to the Mongol 
invasion, had been under the Kharezm Sha>hs. The people 
which Carpini calls Bisermins or Mussulmans, were apparently of 
Turkish race, and of the Mohammedan religion. Of the cities 
there mentioned, Janckint is evidently Yanikent, the ruins of 
which were investigated by Mr. Lerch in 1867, and were 
described by him in his * ArcheBological Journey in Turkistan.' 
Barchin is probably the same as Partchin, mentioned in the journey 
of King Hethum, and appears also to be mentioned by Shchab- 
Eddin, in his enumeration of the cities of Turkistan. The name 
is apparently also found, although without diacritical points, in a 
coin of Jutchi, described by Frsshn (see Lerch, ibid. p. 10). As 
to Omas, Karamzin, D'Avezac, Kunik, and others identify it 
with the city of Tana or Azof, at the mouth of the Don, while 
FraBbn and others think it to be Urgentch, the modem KJiiva. It 
seems probable that Carpini has confused in the two passages where 
he speaks of this place, cities with similar names. A full discussion 
of the various identifications proposed for Omas is to be found in 
Professor Philip lirunn*s notes to his Russian translation of 
Schiltberger in the * Memoirs of the Imperial University of New 
Eussia' (Odessa, 1867), vol i. pp. 30-34 Lemfiiio (Lemfino, or 
Lemfint), mentioned in the last chapter, is otherwise unknown. 

From the Syr Darya Carpini probably went by the usual road, 
through Talas, <fec., but there is no means of settling his route until 
we come to the lake with islands and a violent wind, which is 
commonly believed to be Lake Ala Kul, or Alak-tuguUnor, as the 
Mongols call it, and which is mentioned by Tch*ang Te, as well as by 
Bubruquis. Ala Kul means the spotted lake, either on account of 
the islands in it, or because, as the Kirghiz think, it lies among the 
mountains Ala-tau. The Mongol name means the 'lake of the 
spotted bull.' It is the only lake on this route with large islands, 
and was explored first by Schrenk, and then by Golubef, whose 
account is printed in the ' Memoirs of the Imp. Buss. Geog* 
Boc. : * Geography, vol i. p. 349. 


A. 'r/ V III. 

Th3 difficulty here is that if Omtjl be Ijrmil or Emil (or Yeman 
in Tchang-Te), which is sorae distance beyond Lake Ala Knl, the 
lake mnst be the Kyzyl-bash, which has no islands, though it is 
frequently disturbed by violent winds. Ala Kul is the only lake 
in this part of Asia, except Balkash, which has any islands. 

The place of the violent wind is the defile in the mountains on 
the road from the Ala Kul to Sairam Ngr, of which I quote tlie 
account of a recent traveller, Mr. Zakharof, on p. 191 of vol. ii. 


In 1253, William de Rubruk, or Rubruquis, a Flemish Fran- 
ciscan friar, was sent by St. Louis of France on a mission to the 
Tartars. He set out from the Yolga on September 16, 1253, 
and went to the Court of Mangu Khan, at Karakorum, and got 
back to Antioch about the end of June 1255. 

Twelve days from the Volga, the missionaries came to the Jagag 
(Faik, Ural), and travelled through the land of the Kangli eastward 
till October 31 ; the inhabitants of the country having all migrated 
southward, they went straight south through certain Alps eight 
days, when they saw high mountains south of them (the Alexan- 
drofsky range), and on November 8, they came to the city of 
Kenchat (Kentchak, near Merke). 'Here there descended a great 
riuer downo from the mountaines, which watered the whole region, 
according as the inhabitants would give it passage by making 
diuers chanels and sluices ; neither did this riuer exonerate .it selfe 
into any sea, but was swallowed up by an hideous gulfe into the 
bowels of the earth (lit. was absorbed by the soil) ; and it caosed 
many fennos or lakes ' (probably the Tchu). 

Hence they travelled eastward, and in a few days after * entered 
upon those Alpes where the Cava Catoyans (Karakhitai) were woont 
to inhabite (Ala Tau). And there wee found a mightie riuer : 
insomuch that wee were constrained to imbarke our selues, and to 
saile ouer it (the Hi). Afterward we came into a certaine valley, 
where I saw a castle destroyed, the walles whereof were onely of 
mudde : and in that place the ground was tilled also. And there 
wee founde a certaine village, named Equius, wherein were 
Saracens, speaking the Persian language ; howbeit they dwelt an 
huge distance from Persia. The day following, hauing passed ouer 
the aforesaid Alpes (sjmrs of the Ala Tau), which descended from 
the great mountaine southward we entred into a most beautiful 
plaine, hauing high mountaines on our right hande, and on the 
left hande of us a certaine sea or lake, which containeth fifteene 
dayes journey in circuite (Lake Balkash). All the foresayde plaine 
is most comm odiously watered with certaine freshets distiUing from 


the said monniaines, all which do fall into the lake. In srmmor 
time wee returned by the north shore of the saide lake, and there 
were great mountaines on that side also. Upon the forenanaed plaine 
there were wont to bee great store of villages ; but for the most 
part they were all wasted, in regarde of the fertile pastures, that 
the Tartars might feede their cattel there. Wee found one gteat 
citie there named Gailac, wherein was a mart, and a great store of 
Merchants frequenting it. In this citie wee remained tifbeeno 
dayes, stayiug for a certaine Scribe or Secretarie of Baata, who 
ought to have accompanied our guide for the despatching of certaine 
businesse in the court of Mangu. All this countrey was wont to bo 
called Organum : and the people thereof had their proper language, 
and their peculiar kinde of writing. But it was altogether inhabited 
of the people called Coutomanni. The Nestorians likewise in those 
parts ueed the very same kinde of language and writing. They are 
called Organa, because they were wont to be most skilfull in playing 
upon the Organes or citherne, as it was reported unto me. Here 
first did I see worshippers of idoles, concerning whom, bee ife 
known unt^o your maiestie, that there be many sects of them in the 
East countries.' 

After leaving Kayalik on November 30, Rubruquis came to a 
' small city of Nestorians, and then, after three days, arrived at the 
chief place of that province, at the extremity of the aforesaid sea, 
which seemed to us to be as tempestuous as the ocean. We saw 
in it a great island. My companion approached its shore, and 
dipped his linen cloth into it to taste the water, which was a little 
salt, but drinkable. Then there came a certain valley between the 
great mountains in the region between the south and east, and 
there among the mountains there was another great lake, and a 
river came through that valley from that lake into the other, and 
so great a wind continually comes through that valley, that men 
pass it with great danger of bfing carried into the lake. We then 
crossed this valley, going northward to great mountains covered 
with the deep snow which was then lying on the ground.* Here, 
the population being small, they hastened their journey, and on the 
second Sunday of Advent, passed between very horrible rocks, so 
that they were requested to say some good words to put to flight 
the demons which were accustomed there to fall on man. After 
that they entered into a plain, where was the Court of Kenkhan 
(Keucan or Kencan), formerly the land of the Naimans (tho 
valley of the Black Irtysh). The place mentioned was not seen 
at that time, but only on the return journey. Then again they 
Grossed mocifctainH, always going northward, and at length on 

D d2 



KoTerolrer 26, came into a j^reat plain like a sea where no hilla 
appear^, and on tlie ne3di day arrived at the Court of Mangn 

The best text of Rabrnqtais is that given hf D^Avezac, but I 
hikve quoted in part from the qaaint, though imperfect tranBlaUnn, 
giVen in Haklnyt, There are certain thingB in the acoonnt of 
Rnbruqnifl wbich it k very difl&ouH to explain nntil we come to 
Xentchak, What tlie Alps were which be crossed, it is impassible 
to say, unless they are the high landti soath of AkmolifiRk, but the 
high moQntaina which he saw to the pouth of bim^ and wbich ha 
evidently did not cross^ are the Alexandrofsky raugGj as ia evident 
from, the position of Kent-chak, 

Qnatroraere (* Notices et ext^-aitil/ vobTiii. p. 226), cites variona 
passages from Mnaflulmaii historians, mentioning' Kentcliak^ and 
nearly always in connection wiOi Talas, For instance, Rashid 
Eiblin speaks of the prairies of Talas and Kentchak, and Haider 
Hazi says * the meadows of Talas and Xentchak which are commonly 
called Mesici and Taras.* Me^ki is so similar to Merke or Mirky, 
tliat it seems to mo plain that Kentcbak was situated in the 
neighbourhcod of tbe present Merke, I had come to this con- 
elusion even before reading the passage in Qnatremere, from what 
Bubruquis Bays of Talas, for in the village close to the mo nn tains, 
wbich he reached the day after leaving Kentcbak, he made 
inquiries aboat the situation of Talas, and was told that it was 
six day*a jonraey behind him {VI di^ttis j^od nog). The VI may 
here be a misprint for IV, or even for II, or it may bo that his 
question was not accurately answered. As at that time there was 
ice there, and as since Micbaelma^ tbey had had frost, it ia probable 
tbat Ilubrnquis crossed the Tehn without noticiug it, and the river 
wdiicli irrigated the country must therefore be either the Kurgaty, 
or ono of the branches of tbe Tchn, or possibly the Tchu itself, 
which he approached from tbe other side* A few days afterwards 
ho entered tbe Alps where the Karakbitai lived, and found there a 
large river^ which he was obliged to cross in a boat, Le., he crossed 
over the spurs of the Ala*Tau going toward Yiemy, where the hiJl« 
wore not particularly bigh, and came to the Hi, which ia the only 
Btream in ibis region deep enougli to need a boat to cross it. Aft^r 
crossing this, he comes to the town of Equius. Colonel Tule 
(* Cathay,' p* cc.)^ leans to tbe opinion that Equine ii a transktion 
of afiparalt^ the a^^p of which is the Persian for horee- Thi&, how* 
ever, seems to me somewbat strained, as Rabmquis is always very 
carefnl to give the native names for placee, jind not a tmnsla 
name of tbis kind without the original Mr, Howortfi Wi>iiKl 
Equius Il-kikhiij the * dog*sf,ud,' on thr right banky^ thu Ku 



ten miles above its junction witli the Tclm. Its name is indeed. 
somewhat similar, but it is impossible in any way to reconcile this 
identification with the topography of Rnbmqnis. The next day 
after leaving Equius, cei-tain other Alps were crossed, which 
branch off from the mountains from the south, which must be the 
high lands through which the post road now runs, going from the 
station of Hi towards Kopal. He then had the high mountains of 
the Ala-Tau on his right hand, and Balkash on his left, and soon 
came to the town of Kayalik, which Colonel Yule is probably right 
in placing near Kopal (ibid, p. ccxiii). This land, he sajs, was 
called Organum. This name, as Colonel Yule says (ibid. p. 522), 
is probably derived from that of the Princess Regent Organa 
(Organah), widow of Kara Hulagn, grandson and successor of 
Jagatai, then reigning in Almalyk, and was probably given to the 
country through some misapprehension of Rubruquis. His deriva- 
tion of the name is, of course, utter nonsense. The description of 
Lake Ala Kul, which Rubruquis apparently and very easily mistook 
for a part of Lake Balkash, seems to be very excellent and accurate. 
From here he went northward towards the present Tchugutchak, 
across the mountains north-eastward toward the Black Irtysh — 
the country of the Naiman, and where they even now live — turned 
in the direction of Lake Kyzyl Bash, and came out on the plain to 
the south of that lake, and probably ascended the river Ulnngn or 

8. King Hethum. 

* Hethum, King of Armenia, very faithful and a friend of Christ, 
reigning at Sis, in the regions of Cilicia, had previously sent his 
brother, the General Sembat (Sempad), with presents and offerings 
to Giug (Knynk) Khan, who received him honourably, and sent him 
homo with confirmatory letters. 

* When Mangu Khan became sovereign, the great Generalissimc 
Batn, bearing the title of * Royally Descended,' residing in the 
north with bis innamerable legions, on ^hiB Imnks of the great and 
deep river Etel (Volga), which falls into the Caspian Sea, mq ties ted 
for himBelf and Manga Khan a visit from King Hethum, This 
prince, who feftred BatUf left secretly in disguise, for fear of being 
recognised by his neighbonrB^ the TarkSj and their Sultan, Ala- 
Ed din o£ Roam, who mortally bated him for his fmudly retiktion? 
with the Tartars , Having qnlekly ttare rsod the Tu rid eh j 
in twelve days be arrived at Kars, where he ifiw^ 
commander of the Tartar armj in the Eust^ m well^^. 
who treated him bonoui-abjy. He stopped at the^ 
in the district of Arjgatzofo, uid opposite Mo 




of Prince Kurd, of Ariiienian racei, and in religion a (Tbristias* 
Here he r^maiiied irntil tie received from home the things Intended 
for preacTits and offi^nngn. These things were sent to him by his 
father Prince Constantino, almadj an old man* . . , Accompanfod 
by them the Kin*^ went through. Agovanie { A^llmnm), and bj the 
Gates of DerbeEt, Le.f the fortress of 'J'chor, to Batu, and hia eon 
Sarfakh, a Christian* They welcomed him with honour aisd 
afieetion, and fitted him out for liia long jonrnej to Mangn Khan, 
beyond the Ca&piau Sea. 

* Having set OTit on tbe 6th of the month of Marerii or May 13, 
the King and his aaita crossed the great river Aiekh {the Yaik or 
Ural), and arrived at Or (the river Or, or a town on it), midway 
between tlm camp of Batu and Mangu Khan» 

* After crossing the river Efilfch (Irtyfih)^ they arrived in the 
conntry of the Naiman, thence among the KtirfihhLtai\ and reached 
Tatar i*'t an on the 4th of the iiKPnth HuH, September liJ, and on 
tlie festival of the elevation of the Holy Ci OBi«, were presented to 
Mangu Khan, who was sitting in all the greatness of his fame* 

* King Hethum offered him his presents, and was treated with 
due respect, and reniaine<l in the Horde fifty days, Mangu Khan 
gave htm a special rescript, forbidding any one to disturb him or 
hia states, as well as an order granting liberty to all churches. 

'StartiBg thence on the fiftieth day, the 2tJrd of Sahmi (Kovember 
1), in thirty days he reached Qmnafjut\ then went to Herhalikh 
and to BcsJihaJikh (Bishbalik), and to the sandy countries where 
live savage men who are quite naked with the exception of the 
liair on their heads j the breaafes of their women are long and 
enormous* They are quit.e dumb. Here there are also wild borset 
with yellow and black skins, and white or black mulea, muck 
larger than horses or asses, as well as camels with two humps. 

*Tl3ence they went to Arlekk (or Lekh), to Knlluk^ Etthalh^ 
Jajihtihlch (Tchangbalik, see in Teh' an g Tch*un), KhuJapai^ and 
Afih'hahJch (Yanf^balik). Thence they entered into Tui-kistAni 
and came to Ehtp'-tik, lH>ngahilehh^ aiid Pulod. 

* Crossing the Syt-Knl or Milky Liike (Sairam Nor), they cattie 
to Ahtahkh (Almalik) and Ilau-htdelh (serpent town). Passing 
over the river ]lan-^i> (the Hi), ar»d crossing an arm of Mount 
Taurus, arrived at Taloji^ and came to Hufavn (Hulagu), the 
brother of Mangu Khan, who had ta,ken for his shared the countries 
of the East, 

* After that, tuming to the north-west, they came to Kntnlteki7%^ 
Berkeni^ Snkttlkhan^ Uni^'?f>kan, Ktiihind^ Khut^nkh (Sumk ?), Kamid^^ 
Khfmhd'hulrj and Sctjnakh (Baganak), or the iilount-fiins of Khar' 

^^ukk (a ri?tjr near Turkiat4in)j whence come the Seldjukldes, and 


which begin at the Taurus, and reach to Partchin (Barchin), where 
they end. 

* Thence tbey came to Sartakh, son of Batu, who was going to 
Mangu Khan. Then they went to Sengakh (var. S^ngan, Ongan\ 
Savran (Sauran), which is extremely large, Kharatchukh, Ason 
(Yassy, Turkistan), Sori (or Savri, Sauran), Otrary Zurnukh (on 
the left bank of the Syr Darya), Dizakh (Jizakh), and thence in 
thirty days to Samarkcmd, Saripuly Krman (Kermineh), and 

* After crossing the great river Jaihun (Ox as), they went to 
Mrmn, Saraskh, Tim, situated opposite to Khorasom^ or Bokastan. 
Then they entered into Mazanderan, and then came to Bestan^ 
then to the country of Erak (Irak), on the frontiers of the Mulhids 
(the assassins), to Damgan, the large -town of Bei, to Kazuin^ AvheTg 
Zongian, Miana, and in twelve days to Tauriz, 

* Twenty -six days after they traversed the Eraskh (Araxes), 
and went to Sisian, to Batch u-Nuin, chief of the Tartar army, 
who sent them on to Hodja-Nuin, to whom he had entrusted the 
command of his army, while he himself with the other chiefs went 
to meet Hulavu (Hulaga), brother of Mangu Khan, who was going 
to the East (i.e. Persia and Armenia). ... 

'The King related to us with regard to barbarous peoples, 
marvellous and unknown things which he had seen, or of which he 
had heard. There is, he said, beyond the Khatai, a country where 
the women have the shape of human beings, and are gifted with 
speech, while the men have that of dogs, and are dumb, large, and 
hairy. These dogs allow no one to penetrate into the country, and 
hunt beasts, with which they feed themselves as well as the women. 
When the dogs lie with the women, the males are bom in the shape 
of dogs, and the females like women. 

' There is also a sandy island, where there grows like a tree a 
kind of precious bone, called the " fish's tooth,** and when it is 
cut, it sprouts again like a stag's horns. 

' In another country there are numbers of idolaters, worshipping 
very large idols of clay, called Shakmunia (Shakya-Munya, or 
Buddha), which they say has been a god 3,040 years, and is yet to* 
live 37 tumans of years, of 10,000 each. At the end of this time 
his divinity will be taken away by another god, called Madrin 
{Mcddariy the future successor of Buddha), in honour of whom they 
have erected clay statues of an immense sise, and have placed them 
in five temples. These people, indndiogiheir iromen and children, 
are all priests; they ave oaUad IWni: ^THar skiive off their hair 
and their beards, wmt JvHow ^ b tiie bftok, 

bnt round the noolb ^ S ^viUi. 



regard to tnairlage. Taking a woman of twentj, tliej lie witH hep 
unLil she be thirtj years old, three times a week ; until forty, tnree 
tirnert a inonth ^ until fifty, tbrea timed a year; after the fiftieth year 
tbey teach them no more, 

' The wise King related about barbarians many other thingSt 
which I oinit, that I Eoay not be taxed with exaggeration. Ha 
entered Armenia eight months after leaving Mangn Khan. This 
was in the year 704 of the Armenian Era (125^1256).' 

The King Hethum, whose journey to Mongolia I have just 
given » waa Hethum or Hay ton, the Armenian form of the name 
which is in Ai^bic Hatem^ who reigned over Cilicia, or, as it