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Punjkora, Swad, Bhooner, and Pukhlee, afford abundance of grass in the summer; and the plain of Bajour is even more verdant than that of Peshawar. The grass of Koonur is inferior to that of Bajour, and that of Jellalabad to Koonur, but Lughman is superior to both. Kushmeer, and the hills which surround it, have a very abundant herbage in summer, but it is not reckoned nutritious; in the winter the sheep and other stock are house-fed-a management probably more judicious than if they were kept on the grass remaining under the snow, or were driven to a warmer climate.
120. A great part of the surface of the districts of Cabul and Ghuznee is covered with stones, and the soil is in other respects unfavorable to the growth of grass. The new leaf appears in April, and there are but few places, where it is affected by the summer heat, or withers until autumn. If the soil be moist and has been well covered by snow, the grass remains green even during the winter, but makes very little progress in the spring. It may be observed, that the grass of sandy soils appears earlier and also decays sooner than that of other soils. In the winter the sheep of these upper countries are driven to warmer climates to the eastward, and have been known to come as far as Husun Ubdal. It would be difficult to estimate whether the cold or the warm countries here have most grass during the year on a given surface. In the summer, that of the cold is most luxuriant, but in the winter there remains little beyond some withered herbage under the snow; whereas in that season the warm countries have a certain degree of verdure remaining, especially after a shower, and when the surface is free from snow. The nature of the soil too has an influence, and the upper countries are the less productive of Cabul is prograss, as much of their surface is covered with stones. verbial for a scarcity of fodder, but this does not arise from the nature of the soil, but from there being a great number of horses and other animals, and but little ground for pasturage left uncultivated.
121. Khoorasan has a dry climate, and no summer rains; hence Buits temperate and warm parts have very little herbage. lochistan has still less, and Seestan is ill supplied. Sheep and goats are seldom kept in the villages, but pasture during all seasons at a moderate distance from them. There are indeed certain parts, particularly in the Dooranee country, where the flocks return to the villages after the grass has been burnt up, and are subsisted on straw and other products of agriculture or gardening, with some assistance from the meadows which are not withered by the heat. A considerable part of the Dooranee flocks are driven in summer to the
country of the Ymaks, where they find plentiful pasturage. The Ymaks do not, on the other hand, resort in the winter to the country of the Dooranees, which has less herbage than their own, though warmer, but returning to their kishlaks, or winter residences in the vallies, subsist their flocks partly on what grass they can find in good weather, and partly on what has been cut for them in the autumn. The Huzaras, in a climate still more severe, reap great quantities of grass for their sheep, which are seldom unhoused during three months of winter, but sleep under the same roof with their master. Grass is very abundant during the summer in both countries. Bactria too, with the exception of the sandy spaces, is a verdant country and has many meadows, which are always green. In the plains the snow is seldom so deep as to prevent the cattle reaching the grass, but among the hills it is found prudent to provide in part for their provender by a stock of grass, cut in the autumn. The reaping of grass is very common in Kushmeer and in parts of Pukhlee, Bhooner, Swad, Punjkora, Cabul, and Ghuznee, but in general the sheep which have not gone to the low countries are driven out to feed on the shrubs and withered herbage of a hill exposed to the sun, which has been reserved for this purpose. Straw also composes a great part of their food.
122. With respect to Chinese Toorkistan, we have little information. Yarkund and the sandy tracts (see para. 106) have but little grass. Khootun is in this respect much superior, as in most others. As to independent Toorkistan beyond the Oxus, generally considered, it is not inferior to Bactria, but within it we are to distinguish-1st, the dry sandy plains-2nd, the moist plains and meadows-3rd the little and lower hills-4th, the high hills and elevated plains. The first has least grass; the new leaf which had been nourished by the snow is on the 20th March about three inches long; after three months it withers from the heat of the sun. The meadows have abundance of grass, which is continually renewed. Some banks of rivers have a close sweet turf, but the meadows in general afford a deep grass. The lower hills are better clothed with grass than the dry plains, but are not equal to the meadows; their grass has nearly the same periods as the former, and on a given surface perhaps supports during the year an equal number of animals. The hillocks, are, in the country beyond the Oxus, of sand, and bear a scanty grass, which soon withers. In Bactria and Muro the hillocks are of a good soil, and bear good grass. The high mountains and plains of Toorkistan have a grass which makes little progress in the spring, but grows luxuriantly in the summer, sometimes exceeding a man's stature, and it does not wither until autumn; the inhabitants
reap a portion of it for the sustenance of their stock during winter. In the west of Toorkistan this practice is but little known. In districts, such as that of Samarkand, which are well cultivated, the stock, which is not very numerous, is fed on straw or hay. Where natural pasture is near and plentiful, they are driven out to it even in the depth of winter; hence an extraordinary fall of snow causes a great mortality among them. It is still more fatal to the stock of the Kirghizes and Kuzzaks, who inhabit a more rigorous climate, and having little agriculture have less resource when the surface of the ground is covered with snow. They make no provisions of dry grass, in which we are not altogether to blame them as improvident, for some have scarcely a fixed residence for winter; and the flocks are so numerous, that it would be difficult to provide sufficient provender for all. Some of the Kirghizes frequent the Pamer, which bears a most luxuriant herbage, but by reason of the cold it is not pastured more than a third part of the year. On their return, they feed their flocks in the warmer vallies below, until the heavy falls of snow and severe cold force them to retire to their kishlaks in the vallies, near which they have left forage remaining for the wants of winter. The sheep remove the snow with their feet, or if too deep they follow the track of the horse, where he has uncovered the herbage. All the animals drink the snow in this season. It is thus the quantity of herbage and its natural seasons, determine the mode of life of a great part of the population.
123. Pasturage may be divided into two species, the shepherd remaining in one climate, or visiting another different from his own. In warm or temperate climates far removed from any other, he feeds his flocks all the year near his own village, and according to the distance, brings them back to the village by night, or not. In very cold climates when circumstances prevent an access to more temperate ones during the winter, they subsist in that season on reserved pasture, on the grass which has been reaped, or on the straw or other products of tillage. But when in the same neighbourhood there are warm plains and cold mountains or upland plains, nature lays the foundation of a more erratic life, the flocks being driven up in the summer and down in the winter. Sometimes there are constant inhabitants in both the upper and the lower countries. It is thus the Ghiljies, who stay in the elevated country of Cabul and Ghuznee, send part of their flocks in the winter to the various warm countries, from the most southern parts of Daman to Koonur and Jellalabad. In the summer the inhabitants of these countries send a part of their sheep to the upper country, but the proportion is not considerable. Sometimes the
habitations of the people are in the vallies and plains, and they frequent the hills and upper plains in the summer-this is the practice 2 of Kushmeer, Pukhlee, Bhooner and Punjkora. Sometimes they reside in the high country-it is thus part of the Kafirs leave their high hills in the winter to pasture their goats among the low ones, and the declivities. The Afreedies too in general stay in the upper part of their country. During the summer the shepherd shelters himself. under trees or rude sheds of grass; in the winter he removes to low hills, where he finds natural or artificial caves in the rocks to receive him and his flocks by night. Some of the Dooranees near the Helbund construct habitations for themselves from the branches of trees and mud. The Dooranees, in general, Ghiljies, and Beelochees live under black tents; the Ymaks, Huzaras, and nations of Toorkistan use khirgas made of felt and wood, or kuppas made of felt and reeds.
124. Some details might be given of the species of plants found in these countries, but they would be little interesting. A considerable number of spontaneous products form articles of food. The chief are the lotus, the ruwash, some of the fungins, a kind of wild vetches, a plant bearing some resemblance to the turnip, the roots of the tulip, the leaves of the plant in India called paluk,* and the seeds of some of the gramina; other plants are used in medicine, and perhaps we have here something to learn of the natives. Perfumes are extracted from others, for instance from the grass which in India is called Gundhel or Mircheeagundh, + and which according to some yielded the spikenard of the ancients. The well known dool‡ grass of India seems to extend over all these countries, some parts of which moreover have superior species. Two of these called Rishka§ and Shuften || are also artificially raised. The Surkunda appears to extend to the utmost verge of our inquiries to the north-west, and it is not so much from the want of proper grasses as from other circumstances, that in the countries of the west a thatched house is scarcely to be found; a flat roof with a balcony, or a vaulted one without it, are substituted. This last expedient is resorted to wherever wood is dear. Of noxious vegetables, there is none worthy of mention except it be the Bhoart. This abounds in the country of Beekaneer and the neighbouring ones, as far as our military station of Lodhiana, the sandy parts of the great Indian desert, and in some quarters of the country between the Hydaspes and Indus. Its seed which is some
A species of beet. † Andropogon, nardus vahl.
times gathered, and even sold at a considerable price, is covered with several sharp prickles, which readily attach themselves to clothes, and are with difficulty taken out. However insignificant they may seem, they are the chief annoyance to a traveller. Beyond the Indus, and a short distance from its banks, we do not find that grass which yields the khus* so useful during the hot winds in India. In these countries tattees are not much used except in the hottest season, and then only by people of condition. The plant employed is the Juwasat of India, in Peshawar called Jhoy, and by those who speak Persian Shooturkhar, from its being a common food of the camel; besides these uses, in some places it yields manna, for example, the neighbourhood of Candahar and Hirat, and the banks of the Chilchick (see paragraph 45.) This precious substance exudes from it after the spring rains are over, and is collected by merely shaking it off. It is also produced in Toorkistan, on the dark barked or cultivated willow, and from some other plants.
2nd. Of Shrubs.
125. These countries have shrubs and low trees of several varieties and in great abundance. It may be remarked that they are most abundant in unfertile and uncultivated places; whether it be that such is their peculiar situation, or that they occupy places refused by the herbs and succulent plants and by the timber trees I know not. Some insinuate their roots among rocks and loose stones; some grow on the hardest clays and merest sands, and in the driest climates; and others overspread the salty deserts. Though humble, they are however useful, and demand some of our attention.
126. Some furnish food from their roots, barks, flowers, or fruits. The last only is worth mentioning, and the most remarkable species is the barberry, which abounds in the east of Toorkistan, the Ymak country, the skirts of the great northern range, and some parts of that of 34°. It is little cultivated, but that which is raised in Ghaeen is much esteemed. The plant in India called Jhurbeereeat extends to the foot of the hills in the northern and western directions. The Byr, which is said to be merely a cultivated species of the barberry, is raised in Peshawar but not in Khoorasan or Toorkistan, where instead of it is cultivated the Connal, a fruit which much resembles it in taste and properties, and is found wild in the hill of Bajour, in Pukhlee, some parts of Persian Khoorasan, and probably many other quarters. On the low hills in the east of Afghanistan, and those south of Kushmeer, which yield
* Andropogon muricatum. Linn.
† Hedysarum Alhaji. Linn.