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are very inferior to the Ghoonts of Simla, in size, strength, and appearance. Like all such creatures they are spirited, and sufficiently headstrong: they understand their duties perfectly, and are orderly enough on a line of march, unless the road is particularly easy. Very few first class ponies are to be found in Bootan, and none are to be obtained except, perhaps, at most exorbitant prices. The Booteas patronise nothing but stallions, the mares being almost exclusively used for breeding or for carrying loads; in such cases they are not led, but follow their leader quietly. Ridden ponies are always led; in difficult ascents they are assisted by pushing up, and in descents they are equally assisted by vigorous pulling at the tail. They form a part of all out of door ceremonials, and are dressed out with gay trappings; their switch tails are then converted into regular cock-tails, and ornamented with chowrys. Three or four ponies were selected as presents to the Mission, but as the hour approached for presenting them, the liberality of the Deb rapidly fell, and one alone was given to the Governor General. This creature never reached the Plains, for after falling twice, once a height of 15 to 20 feet, it expired above Buxa: we heard afterward that it had been very ill for a long time, so that the Deb thought it a capital opportunity of getting rid of him.
The mules are fine, and of much more reasonable price than the ponies: they are chiefly kept for riding, and are mostly of good size. Both ponies and mules are stabled and provided with litters, not as may be supposed of the cleanest description. Their food varies a good deal; on some rare occasions they partake of Indian corn and wild tares; still better off are those which have participated in some religious ceremonies-for these, the green corn of the poor ryot is not considered too good; generally, however, they are fed on the worm wood, which is so common throughout Bootan below 5500 feet, and which is cut up, and then boiled; and in some places they are fed on the young boiled leaves of an oak, not unlike the celebrated English tree. We saw few in good condition. It is probable enough that the ponies of the Deb and his chief ministers are occasionally treated to paddy husks, as the Deb very graciously sent us a handful or two of this nutritious material, in compliance with our requests for some grain for our ponies. Of grass they are deprived except during the rains, although Doab grass is to be found about Punukka in sufficience to feed six or seven ponies a day.
The ordinary dog appears to have been brought from the Plains, but its pariah qualities are not improved, neither is its condition. Of this, one was so convinced, that he took advantage of our escort, and returned to his native country with us, evidently highly pleased at
his escape, and very grateful to us for our good offices. Many of the better orders keep Tartar dogs: these are large, shaggy, powerful beasts, apparently very fierce, and the most incessant barkers I ever met with; they are always kept chained up. At a white face they appear perfectly furious, but perhaps they rely on the chain. Turner says they are not so bad if one is armed with a bludgeon. Mr. Blake found that in almost every instance their eyes were of different colours.
Of domestic birds, the common fowl is the only one : in many places it reaches considerable perfection; about the capital the breed is as bad as can be imagined. They all appear to be low-bred, and the old birds, especially the cocks, are generally lame from corns. Their crows are most curious, and very unlike those of any other variety I know of; it is of inordinate length, and when once commenced can not be stopped, for fright only changes it to a hasty gobble. The bird, while he is undergoing the process, walks along with neck and tail at full stretch, and with his beak wide open, totally absorbed in the business. No care is taken of the fowls, or at most, they are allowed to stand round when rice is cleared or pounded.
They have no ducks or geese, a want they share with all the mountainous tribes I have seen. A peacock is occasionally to be seen in the castles, and at Tongsa we saw one associated with a tame jacana. Fine Arts.-The ordinary form of houses in Bootan is that of a rather narrow oblong, disproportionately high, building: the better order are rather irregular in shape. They are built either of slabs of stone, generally unhewn, or of mud well beaten down; the walls in all cases are of considerable thickness, and almost universally slope inwards. They are for oriental houses well provided with windows, and are further furnished with small verandahs, of which the Booteas seem very fond. There is little or no ornamental work about them, with the exception of those infested by priests, in which there is generally a rather ornamental verandah. The roofs throughout the interior are of bad construction; they are formed of loose shingles, merely retained in their places by heavy stones placed on the top of each; this necessarily requires a very small slope, but even small as it is, the whole roof occasionally slips off. In some few places where bamboos are available the roofs are formed by bamboo mats, placed in several layers, and secured either by stones or rattans. In the better order of houses the great perviousness of the roof is compensated for by the imperviousness of the ceiling of the uppermost story, which is well laid down with mud; houses situated near the plains, where proper grasses are obtainable are thatched: (the most common grass is the Oollookher, Saccharum cylindricum), such roofs from their slope,
thickness, and projecting eaves are excellent. The generality of houses have a court-yard in front surrounded by a stone or mud wall, the entrance to which is, or has at one time been, furnished with a stout door. Access to the rst floor, (for the ground floor is invariably occupied by pigs, goats, &c.,) is gained by a rude sort of stair, intermediate between real stairs and ladders, and rather dangerous: a greater degree of safety is sometimes insured by the presence of a banister. Each story is divided into several apartments, which are generally defective in height; no regularity in their distribution appears to be ever observed; they are not provided with chimneys, and in many instances we found the smoke almost intolerable.
The houses of the poorer orders, situated near the plains, are miserable habitations, but still are better than those in common use in Bengal and Assam, in as much as they are built on muchowns.
The castles and palaces are buildings of a much superior nature; indeed it is said that they are erected by Thibetans or Chinese. They are of immense size, varying a good deal in form, according to the nature of the ground on which they are built, and which is invariably a spur or tongue of land situated between the junction of two streams. If the ground be even, the form chosen seems to be parallelogrammic, but if it be uneven, it has no form at all. They are, particularly in the latter case, ornamented with towers and other defences, either forming part of the building or detached from it.
The national walls and roofs are preserved; the former are of great thickness, pierced in the lower part with narrow, utterly inefficient loop-holes. In the interior there are one or two large court-yards. The first and second stories are the chiefly inhabited ones, the ground floor, however, is not so profaned as in other houses. Most of them are ornamented with a raised square or oblong tower or building, in which*
take up their quarters. That of Punukka is the largest and loftiest, consisting of several stories, and several roofs gradually decreasing in size-an obvious imitation, except in the straightness of the roofs, of the Chinese form; it is in part covered with copper, as the Booteas assured us, gilt.
All these large buildings, as well as the summer-houses attached to them, the houses of recluses, or active priests, the resting houses of chiefs, and religious edifices of every kind or description, are whitewashed, and most are ornamented with a belt of red ochre, not far from the roof. The residences of the great men, and some of the religious edifices, are distinguished by a folded gilt umbrella stuck on the top, resembling a long narrow bell, rather than that for which it is intended.
* A blank in the M. S.-EDS.
In none do there appear to be any particular accommodations for sleeping, but in each house there is a cloacus. One room is set apart for a cook-room, and constitutes the principal inconvenience in a Bootea house; no use is made of the uppermost story for this purpose, as the Booteas consider it sacred; and as they have no chimneys, out of pure reverence they are content to bear smoke in its blackest and most pungent forms. Their fire-places, that is for cooking, are good and powerful; these are likewise used as furnaces for their stills. A good representation is given of them in Turner's Bootan. The flooring of the houses is generally good, of many really excellent; the doors are folding, and the fastenings of the windows of similar construction; the only very deficient part of a good Bootea house exists in the stairs and want of chimneys.
To the castles, stables are appended; but in spite of their being deprived of this copious source of filth and vermin, the deficiency is made up by the number of inhabitants.
Of their religious edifices, some are of picturesque appearance, being ornamented with carved window-frames and verandahs. The most common are the pagodas, which approach in form to the ordinary Boodhistical forms, such, at least, as are universal throughout Burmah. Those of Bootan are, however, vastly inferior in size, form, and construction, and are mostly such as an ordinary Burmese peasant would be ashamed of building. They are built of slabs of unhewn stone, and are not much ornamented, particularly as they are not provided with a red belt. The handsomest and the largest* we saw was that close to Chinjipjee, this was ornamented with small pagodas at each corner, and had the umbrella, which was of curious form, garnished with bells, with the usual long tongues. In the upper portion each face had a nose of portentous dimensions, and two Chinese eyes. I am not aware whether, as in Burmah, they contain images or not, but slabs of inscribed slate are very generally let into their sides.† Appended to these are long walls of poor construction covered with roofs; on each they bear inscriptions, and in some instances paintings situated in recesses. The other forms generally occur as small square buildings; they are either built up over large idols or are empty, but decorated with paintings of gods, much resembling, especially in gaudiness, the common sorts of Hindoo deities; or they contain the peculiar cylinders which contain incantations, and which are constantly, or at
* The name of this, Chiotackari kocho.
†The pagodas are always surrounded by poles either of bamboo or fir, to which are attached longitudinally long strips of coarse cotton cloths, entirely covered with inscriptions.
least ought to be, kept in motion by the action of water. In some places where running streams are not obtainable, as in the Soobah's houses, these are revolved by the hand.
There is nothing particular in the construction of their flour mills, which are very small; the pivot is vertically attached at the bottom to an horizontal water wheel, and passing above through two horizontal stones, of which the upper one alone revolves, the flour is hindered from falling off the under stone by the person in attendance.
Of bridges they have two kinds, the suspension and wooden; the latter are, I think, of better construction than the former, although not of equal ingenuity. The finest suspension bridge in Bootan is that across the Monass, below Tassgong, and has a span of about sixty yards. The chains are slight, and the links too long; the masonry by which the chains are supported is massive, and built into tall respectable looking towers. The motion is very considerable. The great fault in this bridge, and in this respect it is inferior to that of Chicka, is that its bottom or platform is not flat, but forms the segment of a circle, and is continuous with the sides, which are made of bamboo matting.
The wooden bridges, which are thrown over all the second class torrents, are solid looking, and impress one with the idea of great strength. Considerable pains are taken in the selection of such spots where the span is less, and where solid abutments either exist, or may be readily made. The supports are large beams placed in pairs, with a cross timber between each, and which pass through the abutments, on which towers are erected for the purpose of giving stability. The beams gradually increase in length from below upwards, so that each projects somewhat beyond that immediately below it. On the upper pair, which form a slightly inclined plane, planks are placed. As the upper beams only project over perhaps one-third of the span, the centre of the bridge is made up of horizontal beams and planks; if quite complete the bridge is covered with a chopper, and provided on either side with a stout open balustrade. Small streams are crossed by planks, or timbers, the upper surface of which is rendered plane. From the consideration of their buildings it would appear that they possess consider. able architectural genius ;* but we were told that all those of superior construction are built by Thibetans or Chinese; this was certainly the case with the bridge erecting over the Deo Nuddee, not far from Dewangiri. As long as nature supplies rocks of easy and perfect cleav
• Turner in mentioning their aqueducts draws a comparison between the Booteas and the wonderful ancients; he compares a few wooden troughs, applied end to end, and so badly constructed that one kick would demolish considerable portions, to those masterpieces of master minds which laugh at time.