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say 1000 to 1300 years, and that I prefer the remoter period, because the transit was certainly made before the Tibetans had adopted from India the religion and literature of Buddhism, in the 7th and 8th centuries of our era. This fact is as clearly impressed upon the crude dialects and cruder religious tenets of the sub-Himálayans as their Tibetan origin is upon their peculiar forms and features, provided these points be investigated with the requisite care; for superficial attention is apt to rest solely upon the Lamaism recently as imperfectly imported among them, and upon the merely exceptional traits of the mixed and varying Tibetan physiognomy, which is likewise their's in all its original incongruity. That physiognomy exhibits no doubt, generally and normally, the Scythic or Mongolian type (Blumenbach) of human kind; but the type is much softened and modified, and even frequently passes into a near approach to the full Caucasian dignity and beauty of head and face, in the same perplexing manner that has been noticed in
N. B. Of the Hemalayan heights the 2 first are Webb and Herberts; the 2 last Captain Waugh's (not precisely fixed and verbally communicated); the 5th or Gosainthan, Colebrooke's.
N. B. Chumalari is detached and stands on the plateau of Tibet. Its relation to the Sub-Hemalayan basins and water sheds is questionable, whether as stated above or as stated any way. And with regard to the other peaks it is observable generally that they do not so much impend the bosoms or centres of basins as their extremities, thus forming the water shed between 2 basins, as Gosainthan between the Gandaks (7) and the Kosis (7) and Kanchan between the Kosis and the Tishtas-feeders of each; for all the rivers exhibit radiations or Deltas in the Sub-Hemalayas, though single streams in the plains and the space radiated over forms in each case the basin.
regard to the other branches of the Allophylian tree,* though among the Cis or Trans-Himálayans there is never seen any greater advance towards the Teutonic blond complexion than such as consists in occasional ruddy moustaches and grey eyes among the men, and a good deal of occasional bloom upon the cheeks of the children and women. A pure white skin is unknown, and the tint is not much less decided than in the high caste Hindus; but all are of this pale brown or isabelline hue in Tibet and the sub Himálayas, whilst the many in the plains of India are much darker.
Before concluding this notice of the Alpine Indian Aborigines, it may be as well to define summarily the limits and physical characters of their original and adopted abodes, or Tibet and the sub-Himálayas. Tibet is a truncated triangular plateau, stretching obliquely from southeast to north-west, between 28° and 36 of north latitude, and 720 and 102° of east longitude. It is cold and dry in the extreme, owing to its enormous elevation, averaging 10,000 feet above the sea, to the still vaster height of those snowy barriers which surround it on every side and which on the south reach 26,000 feet,† to an uncommon absence of rain and cloud, to the extreme rarification of its atmosphere, to its saline and sandy soil, and as a consequence of all these and a reciprocating cause too, to the excessive scantiness of its vegetation. It is bounded on the south by the Hemáchal, on the north by the Kuenlun, on the west by the Belúr, and on the east by the Pélingall for the most part perpetually snow-clad, and of which the very passes average 15,000 feet of elevation. Tibet is, for the most part, a plain and a single plain, but one extremely cut up by ravines, varied much by low bare hills, and partially divided in its length by several parallel ranges approaching the elevation of its barriers, and between the 3rd and 4th of which ranges stand its capitals of Lassa and Digarchi. These capitals are both in the central province of the Utsang;
* See Prichard, Vol. IV. pp. 323, 344, 356, and Humboldt's Asic Centrale 2. 62 and 133. Who could suppose the following description referred to a Scythic race? “Gens albo colore est atque pulchritudine et forma insigne."
+ The five giants of the Himalaya all approach to, and none surpass, this stupendous loftiness, for Chúmalári does not exceed 26,000. The others are Kanchan, Gosainthan, Dhawalagiri, and Juhar or Jowahir. Capt. Waugh has just determined Kauchan and
all west of which, to the Belúr, composes the province of Nari, and all east of it, to the Peling, the province of Kham, provinces extending respectively to Túrán and to China. Tibet, however arid, is no where a desert,* and, however secluded, is on every side accessible; and hence it has formed in all ages the great overland route of trade, and may even be called the grand ethnic, as well as commercial, highway of mankind; its central position between China, India aud Túrán having really rendered it such for ages, before and since the historic æra, despite its snowy girdle and its bleak aridity. Hence we learn the supreme importance of Tibet in every ethnological regard. Its maximum length is about 2000 and maximum breadth about 500, miles: the long sides of the triangle are towards India and little Bucharia: the short one, towards China; the truncated apex towards Túrán or Great Bucharia, where the Belur within the limits of Tibet has an extent of only one degree, or from 35° to 36° N. Lat. ; whereas the base towards China, along the line of the Peling, reaches through 8 degrees, or from 28° to 36° N. Lat. Just beyond the latter point, in the north-east corner of Kham, is Siling or Tangut, the converging point of all the overland routes, and which I should prefer to include ethnologically within Tibet but for the high authority of Klaproth, who insists that we have here a distinct language and race, though certainly no such separating line in physical Geography,† Siling or Tangut being open to the plateau of Tibet as well as to those of little Bucharia and Songaria, though demarked from China both on the north and east by the Khilian and Peling respectively.
South of the whole of Tibet, as above defined, lie the sub-Himalayas, stretching from Gilgit to Brahmakúnd, with an average breadth of 100 miles, divided climatically into three pretty equal transversal regions, or the northern, the central and the southern, the first of which commences at the crest or spine of Hemachal, and the last ends at the plains of Hindustan; the third lying between them, with the great valley of Nepal in its centre. The valley is of a lozenge shape,
* In the next plateau of high Asia, or that of little Bucharia, the vast desert of Cobi or Gobi, which occupies the whole eastern half of that plateau, has ever formed, and still does, a most formidable obstruction to transit and traffic.
+ It must be admitted however, that the Bayam Khar of Klaproth seems to divide Kham from Tangut, Klaproth cites Chinese geographers,
about 20 miles extreme length and breadth, cultivated highly throughout, and from 4200 to 4700 feet above the sea. The only other valley is that of Júmlá which is smaller and higher, yielding barley (Hordeum celeste) as the great valley, rice. The sub-Himálayas form a confused congeries of enormous mountains, the ranges of which cross each other in every direction, but still have a tendency to follow with their principal ridges the grand line of the snows, or a S. E. and N. W. diagonal between 20 and 35°. These mountains are exceedingly precipitous and have only narrow glens dividing their ridges, which are remarkable for continuity or the absence of chasm and rupture, and also for the deep bed of earth every where covering the rock and sustaining a matchless luxuriance of tree and herb vegetation, which is elicited in such profusion by innumerable springs, rills and rivers, and by the prevalence throughout all three regions of the tropical rains in all their steadiness and intensity. There are three or four small lakes in Kumaon situated near each other, and three or four more in Pókrá similarly juxtaposed. But in general the absence of lakes is a remarkable feature of the Subhemalayas at present, for anciently the great valleys of Cashmir and Nepál, with several others of inferior size, were in a lacustrine state. The great rivers descend from the snows in numerous feeders, which approach gradually and unite near the verge of the plains, thus forming a succession of deltic basins, divided by the great snowy peaks as watersheds, thus
In the two first of these 5 regions, all of which are plainly indicated by the distribution of the waters, the people are mongrel and mixed, save in the north-west parts, where the Rongbo or Cis-Nivean Bhotias, the Garhwális and the inhabitants of Kanáver and Hangrang are of Tibetan stock. The 3d, or Gandacean basin (Sapt Gandaki, in native topography, from the 7 chief feeders) is the seat of the Sun"
wárs, the Gúrúngs and the Magars. The 4th, or Kosean basin (Sapt Kousiki in native topography, after the 7 chief feeders) is the abode of the Kirántis and Limbús. The 5th or Tishtan basin, again is the fatherland of the Dijond maro and of the Plúh or Lhópá, that is Lepchas and Bhutanese. And, lastly, the high and level space-(a system of valleys around the great one, which is nearly 5000 feet above the sea)—between the basins of the Gandak and Kosi is the seat of the Néwárs and Múrmis. But observe that the terms level space and system of valleys, applied to this last tract, are merely relative, though as such significant, nor meant to be contradictory of what has been above remarked, more generally, as to the whole Sub-hemálayas. And here I should add that the best representation of the Hemálayas and Subhemálayas is by a comparison with the skeleton of the human frame, in which the former are analogous to the spine, and the latter to the ribs. The Sub-hemálayas therefore are transverse rather than parallel ridges, as above stated, and they trend diagonally towards union on the verge of the plains, so as to unitise the several great streams, but still with an irregularity which close observance of the aqueous system can alone reveal. The ruggedness of the surface, by preventing all intercommunication of a free kind, has multiplied dialects: the rank pasture, by its ill effect on herds and flocks, has turned the people's attention more exclusively than in Tibet to agriculture, though even in Tibet the people are mostly non-nomadic ;* heat and moisture, such as Tibet is utterly void of, have relaxed the tone of the muscles and deepened the hue of the skin, making the people rice-eaters and growers rather than carnivorous tenders of flocks. Thus the Cis-Himálayans are smaller, less muscular and less fair than the Trans-Himálayans; but the differences are by no means so marked as might have been expected; and though there are noticeable shades of distinction in this respect between the several tribes of the Cis-Himalayans, as well as between most of them and the Tibetans, yet if they all be (as surely they are) of the same origin, it must be allowed that very striking differences of climate
* Within the limits of Tibet are found abundance of Nomades of Mongol and Turkish race, called respectively Sokpo and Hor by the Tibetans, who themselves seem much affined to the latter race, which has long exercised a paramount influence in Tibet: witness the facts that all its hill ranges are Taghs, and all its Lakes, Núrs, both Túrks words.