صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

berries; such are the goorgoor, moomanee, kookee, simloo, gurinda (the Kurounda* of Hindoostan) and some others. By the banks of streams there is found a plant which bears a fruit intermediate between the raspberry and bramble. The wild grape is found both in the warm and cool climates, but disappears in very cold ones; its fruit is sour, but is sometimes eaten either fresh or fermented. In the countries of the west, sugar being dear, various substitutes are found for it, for example, preparations of dates and other fruits, and a preparation of the sugar melon and honey; but perhaps the most common is what is called Doshab, which is sometimes made of apples or mulberries, but oftener of grapes, wild or cultivated, the juice of which is boiled to a


127. Where grasses are plentiful, as in Cabul and the cultivated parts of Khoorasan and Toorkistan, a spirit is extracted from them. In the Punjab and Sindh coarse sugar is the chief material from which spirits are extracted, but the inhabitants of the latter sometimes use the date alone, or mixed with sugar, and in the Punjab the same use is made of a fruit called Umlok, which is both wild and cultivated.

home use.

In some villages of Cabul a strong drink is extracted from mul berries, and in Kushmeer from pears. In Keerategin, and other parts of Toorkistan, there is a coarse grape called Muska, this they gather, boil, and afterwards dry in the sun. A water melon is now opened at one end, and about nine of these grapes are inserted and forced into the substance of the water melon, which being done, the orifice is shut up by re-applying the piece which had been cut out. In seven or eight days it is found that both substances have fermented, and the pulp of the water melon is converted into an intoxicating liquid fit for But in Toorkistan the favorite liquors are Koomiz, made from mares' milk, and Boza, made from rice; these liquors are both wines, not spirits; they are somewhat acid, and are reckoned wholesome. Koomiz is not considered as coming under the prohibition of the flaw of Mahomet; but in most of the principalities, especially where the Tajiks bear sway, Boza is strictly forbidden. Although these prohibitions, whether serious or not, are quite ineffectual when they are met by a disposition to elude them, both Koomiz and Boza are less consumed in the great towns than among the pasturing tribes; yet on the whole there is less intoxication among the latter, for the people of towns indulge themselves in opium, the wine of the grape, and

* Carissa Carandas. Linn.

various preparations of hemp. Not only in these countries but in most others, intoxication is commonest in cities and crowded neighbourhoods; whether it be that company invites conviviality, and conviviality leads to excess, or that the real and imaginary ills of life being more oppressive where population is accumulated, the miserable are driven to this resource to procure a temporary relief in forgetfulness; a review of these countries will furnish no arguments for the common opinion, that climate influences this part of the character. The force of example is much less doubtful, and the colonies of Persians settled in the Afghan dominions still retain the love of wine for which their ancestors were noted.

128. Very many wild shrubs and wild trees furnish materials for dyeing, but the natives seem to have no secrets in this art. The cultivated dyes are chiefly indigo, turmeric, bastard saffron,* and madder. Indigo is unknown in the countries of the west, which are supplied from Mooltan and the neighbouring countries. Turmeric+ is raised in Peshawur and many other places on the east side of the hills, but Bunno and Beer, a district of Pukhlee, are the most famous for it. It is not raised in the cold countries, or in the west. Bastard saffron, a more valuable product, is not raised in very warm situations, and indeed seems confined to Kushmeer and Ghaeen. The plant in India called Alt is found wild in Bajour and many other places on the east side of the hills, but is not used as a dye, though valued for its cathartic quality. The madder plant does not seem adapted for warm climates, yet some is cultivated in Gunduwah. It is raised at Kilat and Mungoochur, in Bulochistan, and some parts of Toorkistan, but its chief seats are Zumundour, and the country from Cabul to near Candahar. What comes to India chiefly passes through Candahar and Shikarpoor. Logwood, or rather sapan§ wood, grows on the mountains of Kushmeer, but whatever conjectures may be formed, I have found no evidence of its existence beyond the Indus until we reach Mazunduran. Toorkistan is supplied with it and kermes from Russia.

129. For tanning and colouring leather the bark of the almond, the leaves of the Kushnar|| tree, a shrub called Barik, and many others are used. In all cases a lye of lime and alkalies is required. Leather is ill prepared in Afghanistan, and the people of the hills are fond of

* Carthamus tinchorious. Linn.
Curcuma longa. Linn.

Morinda cihifolia. Linn. § Caexilpina sappan. Linn.

Bauhinia sp.

wearing shoes of undressed leather. Still simpler are those called Chuplee, woven from the leaves of a plant which the Afghans call Muzir, and the Peshawurees, Putha; it grows to the height of a man, but in general is under that height. It is not found in the cold countries, but extends to a certain height on the east side of the hills, beyond which is Khoorasan and Toorkistan. To the south it is found in some parts of Seeweestan, and to the east it is not known beyond the longitude of Husan Abdal. It is of the palm kind, and perhaps is yet undescribed. It bears a small fruit, which ripens in July. An Afghan will make a pair of chuplees in a single hour during a halt; they are tied on the feet like sandals. The Kushmeerees make sandals of rice straw.

130. The Assafoetida plant is produced in great abundance towards the source of the Ghorbund river, and also near Isfizar (which is three days from Furah), and some other places in the west of Khoorasan. It prefers a cool climate, and the only cultivation bestowed on it is to shield it from the sun. Assafoetida is more consumed in India than in the countries of its production, where however it is used in food and also medicinally. Many other shrubs furnish articles for the native materia medica. Blisters are made with the leaves of Kureel, a plant well known in India and also in Peshawur. The plant called

Akt or Uk, has a white corrosive juice, which the Rajpoots give to their infant daughters as a poison, when they do not intend to bring them up. This plant yields charcoal, and is good in tanning, dyeing, and pharmacy. The sacred Toolseet is found in all these countries among shrubs famous for the beauty of their flowers, but the most remarkable is that called by the natives Urghuwan, or Anemone shrub. It grows in some parts of Cabul, Budukhshan, and Durwaz. In Durwaz it grows to the height of twenty feet; spears are made of its wood, and it is a common fuel.

131. Shrubs are the chief fuel in these countries, generally considered, though there are some districts where more use is made of forest timber or the branches of large trees, and others in which the chief resource is the dung of animals. Caravans sometimes find a difficulty in procuring fuel at uninhabited stages, but few towns can be mentioned where this article is dearer than in our provinces. It is dear in Candahar and Cabul; and in the latter a great quantity being required, it forms an important part of the expenditure of the poor.

*Ferula Assafoetida.

Asclepias gigantea. Linn.
Ocimum sanctum. Linn.

The rich Cabulees chiefly burn the wood of four trees-the mulberry, mastich, oak, and bulhuk, a tree so called in Cabul, and by the Persians kurghuna. The poor content themselves with a fuel of shrubs or dung, and the dung of horses is eagerly carried away from the streets. The pasturing tribes bring the dung of sheep for sale, which in the city is used as fuel, but in the villages as manure for grapes. The capital was a good deal distressed in the winter of 1801, when the Ghiljies of the neighbourhood interrupted the usual supplies of fuel.

132. In the Indian desert there is abundance of the plant which, after the Arabians, we call Kali, and the same is found in some other quarters. By the Persians it is called Ishkar, but I apprehend this name is given to some other alkaline plants, particularly to that known to the Hindoostanees under the name of Lance, and which is plentifully found in the Indian desert, and also in the wastes of Khoorasan, Bulochistan, and Toorkistan. In these quarters are at least two other plants of an alkaline nature; the pasturing tribes wash by means of the leaves and flowers of these plants. The Lance is thus used in Jellalabad. A common practice is to burn them and use their ashes. Near the Indian desert great use is made of the ashes of Kali, and many in Toorkistan and Khoorasan use those of the Lance. By the addition of fat a true soap is formed, and this is preferred by the more civilized part of the population. The soap of Hindoostan is superior to that of all those countries, but Toorkistan and Bokhara are noted for this manufacture. In Kushmeer and Bajour meal of the Oord is substituted for an alkali, but in all cases a proportion of lime is added.

3rd. Of Trees.

133. The trees best known in India, for example-bamboo, mangoe, tamarind, neem, bukaen, seesum, sal, the banyan tree, peepul, firs, peeloo, kudum, lusora, bēl, jamun, khinnee, kuchnar, umlats, tota, semur, pakur, moursuree, senjhna, jand, dhak, babool, kyr, burhur, kuthur, aoonla, gondee, kumrukh, toon-are quite unknown in Cabul or the countries beyond it, and very few of them are to be seen in Kushmeer or Peshawur. The bamboo is not known beyond Khanpoor of the Gukhurs, nor is it found in any part of Sindh, or even of the Sooba of Ajmeer. The mangoe is cultivated in Sindh, but Tymoor Shah unsuccessfully attempted to introduce it at Peshawur. The mangoe is cultivated at Keech, in Bulochistan. The plantain does not bear fruit beyond the 33rd degree of latitude; it is unknown in the cold countries, and does not extend far into Bulochis


The tamarind and neem become rarer as we leave our provinces, and are unknown in Peshawur, as are the kudum, bēl, khinnee, tota, moursuree, jand, kyr, burhur, kuthur, kumrukh, dhak, and some others. In Jellalabad are lost, in addition to those, the seesum, banyan tree, peepul, lusora, jamun, kuchnar, umlats, semur, senjhna, babool, peeloo, aoonla, and some others. The date tree reaches Jellalabad, but extends no further in this parallel. In the south it extends through Bulochistan into Perna; and in Bulochistan it is very abundant, and a main support of the population. In Kilat however it is not found by reason of the cold, nor is it seen in Toorkistan or in any part of the north of Khoorasan.

134. In India gum is extracted chiefly from various species of the genus mimosa, which includes the kyr, babool, jand, and chhokur, of which the last only reaches Peshawur, but there is a species of mimosa, bearing a great resemblance to the first, but not found in our provinces. It is very common on all the low hills between the Hydaspes and Indus, and is called Pholoo, and yields gum, which besides being useful in medicine is sometimes eaten. It does not grow in the cold climates. It has been used with great advantage as

a hedge round a fort. In Cabul and the countries of the west where none of this genus are found, gum is extracted from the cultivated trees of orchards, the jujube tree, the wild almond shrubs, and the mastich. In Toorkistan the gum mastich is used for fixing colours in the dyeing of chintz. These are not the only trees from which gum is extracted both towards India and in the west. The jujube is not seen east of the Indus, perhaps is not seen east of the valley of Cabul, but there, and in the west, it exists both wild and cultivated. The mastich is not very abundant on this side the Indus, but beyond that river it is found on most of the hills, except the warmest, and it bears the cold of the Huzara mountains. To the west it extends to Persia, and in a northern direction it crosses the Jaxartes. It is seldom found far from hills.

135. There is a certain plant in Toorkistan, and elsewhere, which is called Seehuk, and its roots yield a coarse resin. The pine species yield the best, and tar is also extracted from them. In remote situations it is more common to rive the tree with wedges than to saw it into planks. Pines are not found in all situations even of the cool countries, but prefer the steep sides of hills, never being found indigenous to plains or tame featured hills. There are some now growing at Herat planted by the late Nooa Moohummud Babunee. They are plentifully found on the sides of the great northern range, and the Bebur,

« السابقةمتابعة »