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to have been of Tibetan extrac- round their bodies and necks, and tion, who in 518 A.D. were spread they were then lowered. Some, that a great extent of country, fell from the mountain and perished,
they could not keep their hold of, which probably included Kafiris
but two horses reached the bottom in tán. He mentions the great snowy safety, and Amír Tímúr mounted mountains, and the horned head- again, while his Amírs and troops dress of the court ladies. But the accompanied him on foot.” 1 first distinct notice of the Káfirs
The next important notice is was, according to Sir H. Yule, in
by the Jesuit Brother Benedict 1398, when the Great Timur in
de Goes, a member of the third vaded their country. He had to
mission to Akbar the Great.? slide down the steep snow slopes That emperor had desired a subin a basket, after the manner of a toboggan; and it is recorded that deacon, by name Leo Grimon, "a he slew many Káfirs, took some
person of great merit and good forts, but found the country so
discourse,” 3 to proceed to Goa and
ask the Fathers to send some men difficult that he had to retire.
of prudence and learning to his Major Raverty describes how when the air was warm the horses court, in order that they might
instruct him in the faith of Jesus sank in the snow, and that Timur Christ, and dispute with his doctherefore marched at night when the surface was hard, supporting cordingly in 1591 Jerome Xavier,
tors, “whom we call Kázis."3 ACthe few horses he had on platforms nephew of St
Francis, Father Pinof felt during the day :
heiro, and Brother Benedict de "As these infidels had taken up Goes arrived at Agra. The Brother their quarters in the darahs, and as, was the most distinguished of the from the mountain-range on which party. He had been a soldier, they then were, there was no road and had led a wild life, but reby which to descend and gain access
In to those places on account of the pented whilst still young. depth of snow, a number of the 1603, accompanied by Leo Grimon Amirs and troops of the right and (who returned from Kábul, being left wings lowered themselves down unequal to the fatigue of the jourfrom the mountains by means of ney), he set out from Agra to ropes; while others, lying on their travel by Afghanistan, Yarkhand, backs on the surface of the snow, slid and Tibet, to China. When bedown, until they conveyed themselves to the more level ground of the valley heard " of a country to the north
tween Pesbáwar and Jalálábád he beneath.
They made a sort of wooden called ' Capperstam,' in which there sledge for Amír Tímúr, to which were a people very hostile to Mairon rings were attached, and to hommedans, who made and drank which ropes were fastened.
In wine, had temples, and dressed in this Tímúr was seated, and a party black garments; in fact in a few of troops lowered him down" by de
lines he gave substantially all the grees. “An attempt was made to lower several horses . .
for his use.
facts, with the exception of those Their legs were first firmly tied to- relating to the language, which were gether, and strong ropes were fastened
known at the present day.” 4
1 “Kafiristán and the Káfiri Tribes,” “Cal. Rev.,' July 1896.
2 See paper by E. D. Maclagan, B.C.S., read before the As. Society of Bengal, April 1896. 3 Letter from Akbar to the Fathers of the Society at Goa.
Yule, ‘Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, May 1881.
After this we come to com- worthy. After describing the paratively modern history. Major country, its crops, roads, and Rennell referred to the Káfirs in wooden bridges, the villages are his memoir (ed. 1794) on the map mentioned as of Hindustan; and Mountstuart Elphinstone, that most valuable “built on the slopes of hills, so that
the roof of one house forms the street public servant, when on his mis
The sion to the court of Kábul(1808-10), people have no general name for the
leading to the one above it. inspired by the reference, institut- nation. Each tribe has its peculiar ed inquiry
name, . . each valley being held by
a separate tribe. The Mussulmans “after our Macedonian neighbours. confound them all under the name of We were soon obliged to give up an Cautir or infidel, and call their counopinion, derived from Abool Fuzl, that try Caufiristaun. They also call one these colonists were a branch of the division of them Seeaposh (black Eusofzyes; but we learned that the vested) or Tor Caufirs (black infidels), Cautirs, a people in the mountains and another Speen Cautirs (white north of Bajour, had many points in infidels). Both epithets are taken character in common with the Greeks. from their dress.” They were celebrated for their beauty and their European complexions, wor- Their language and religion are shipped idols, drank wine in silver noticed, and the Mulla was prescups or vases, used chairs and tables, ent at Kámdesh on the occasion and spoke a language unknown to their neighbours."
of a sacrifice to Imra their god.
His description is interesting, and An agent duly qualified to make bears the stamp of truth on every inquiries on the spot was found line. . in “Moola Nujeeb, a person admirably fitted for the task by his
“There is a stone set upright about talents and curiosity. He left
four feet high, and in breadth about
that of a stout man. This is the Peshawer in the middle of May, Imrtan or holy stone, and behind it and penetrated into the country to the north is a wall. This is all the of the Caufirs by the way of Punj. temple. The stone represents God. coora." But he did not return They say 'this stands for him, but we when expected, and was given up know not his shape. To the south as lost or murdered ; nevertheless of the Imrtan burns a fire of Kanchur, he arrived, unexpectedly, after
a species of pine which is thrown on several months'absence, at Elphin- of smoke. A person whose proper
green, purposely to give a great deal stone's camp at Delhi.
" He had
name is Muleek, and his title Ota, been as far as Caumdaish, a vil- stands before the fire, and behind lage within three stages of Buduk- him the worshippers in a row. First shaun, had made himself master water is brought to him, with which
he washes his hands, and taking some of everything relating to the Caufirs, had completed a vocabulary times through the smoke or flame on
in his right hand, throws it three of their language, and brought the Imrtan, saying every time Sooch, full answers to a long list of that is, pure ; then he throws a handqueries with which he had been ful of water on the sacrifice, usually a furnished at his departure.” The goat or a cow, and says Sooch. Then information thus obtained, checked taking some water, and repeating by Elphinstone (of whom the
some words (meaning 'do thou accept
the sacrifice !' &c.), he pours it into Afghans said that he could see
the left ear of the sacrifice, which on the other side of a hill), has stands on his right [Moola Nujeeb proved to be remarkably trust- saw two sacrifices, one to God and one
to an idol]. If the animal now turn and whiskers black, and his figure up its head to heaven, it is reckoned well-set and active. He would somea sign of acceptance, and gives great times bring us a present of a few satisfaction.”
partridges, and returning the Maho
medan salutation with which we Further ceremonies are described greeted him, take his seat at the fire when the priest says, “He ! and
without further ceremony. Crossafter him the worshippers and he legged he could not sit, for in this say He Umuch! that is accept !” respect the Kaffirs differ from all
Eastern nations, and like Europeans The various gestures are defined, prefer a chair or anything raised to a and a prayer, “Ward off the fever seat upon the ground. He gave us from us ! increase our stores! kill an animated account of his countrythe Musulmans ! after death admit men, and pressed us to visit them us to Buré le bóola! or paradise, inducement to do so, he promised us
when the passes opened. and three He Umuch are said.”
plenty of honey and oceans of wine. Then the “Pusha, or person pos- His sister was married to Mirza Sulisessed by a spirit," is mentioned, as man; but though thus connected are many minute details too long with Mahomedans, he bore them the for insertion. The curious will most deadly ill-will, and even in their find all in the appendix to Elphin- presence would recount the numbers
that had fallen by the bow or spear stone's 'Caubul,' in which the
of his countrymen.
· The Mussulmanners and customs of the Kafirs, mans,' he said, ' were responsible for “ a harmless, affectionate, and kind- the blood thus spilt, for since they hearted people,” are well described. hunted down the Kaffirs to make
This information was gathered them slaves, the latter had retaliated; in 1809, and the next references for the loss of liberty was worse than th need be noticed are those of
the loss of life.'” the eminent explorer, Captain
About forty precious years were John Wood, who, on his way to
now wasted, as far as addition to the source of the Oxus in the first days of 1838, was in Badakshán, concerned, in what its admirers
our knowledge of the Káfirs is and visited the lapis-lazuli mines
call a policy of masterly inactivity, immediately north of and close to
of which Russia did not fail to Káfiristán. When there he men
profit. By 1878, however, the tions a raid of Káfirs“ some time
Governments in India and at back on the village in which he
home awakened to the fact that slept, and his satisfaction that the
under existing circumstances it passes between his party and these
was desirable to control the exbarbarians were then closed with
ternal affairs of certain tribes on However, he got safely back to Jirm, which he describes command of their northern passes,
our extreme frontiers, to secure as the largest place in Badakshán, with a substantial fort, a governor, which were happening beyond
and to keep watch over events and perhaps fifteen hundred in
them. With these objects in view, habitants. Among his acquaint
an agency was established at Gilance there none was more welcome than a Siyáh-posh Kafir whom he git under Major Biddulph, who
visited Chitral, and there received thus describes :
deputations of Siyáh-posh Káfirs,
who invited him to visit their “He was an uncommonly handsome man of about twenty-five years of country. He was unable to go, age, with an open forehead, blue eyes,
but he collected information about and bushy arched eyebrows, his hair Káfiristán which is recorded in his
book · Tribes of the Hindoo Koosh' cribed as short but well-built men, (Calcutta, 1880). Briefly, whilst and very warlike, constantly fightadding considerably to our know. ing with the Afghans or among ledge of the Káfirs, his researches themselves. Hunza Nagar had fairly corroborated what Elphin- been visited by Grombtchevsky, stone had written. The horned the handsome giant who met Frank head-dress of the ladies, the danc- Younghusband with his escort of ing, and peculiar ceremonies, are sturdy but diminutive Gurkhas in specially mentioned. All went the neighbourhood of the Taghwell till 1880, when there was a dumbash pamir. Younghusband tribal disturbance near Gilgit tells how, when Grombtchevsky which Biddulph failed to quell, inspected the Gurkha guard, the and by which his safety was in a non-commissioned officer, fearing measure threatened. This that the tall Russian might be ample to induce the cold fit to unfavourably impressed with their which Mr Gladstone's second Min- short stature, begged that he might istry seemed specially subject, and be told that these Gurkhas present the
agency was withdrawn in 1881, were unusually small, but that the inactivity again exercising its bane- rest of the regiment were much ful influence till 1889, when Lord bigger than Captain G. himself ! Lansdowne's Government showed Then also the Russians had parties good cause for the re-establishment marching about the pamirs, and of the mission.
the name of Colonel Yonoff may Meanwhile Colonel H. C. Tan- be remembered, as he on one occaner in 1881, and Mr M‘Nair in sion took high - handed and un1883 (whose “modest account of warrantable action for which his one of the most adventurous jour- Government apologised. neys that had ever been described These and other considerations before the Geographical Society"re- induced Lord Cross, who in 1889 ceived the marked commendations was Secretary of State for India, of Lord Aberdare, Sir Henry Yule, to sanction Lord Lansdowne's proand Sir Henry Rawlinson), had posals; the agency at Gilgit was added to our store of knowledge. reopened with Captain Durand in In 1885, Colonel, now Sir William, charge, and a person was wanted Lockhart with his party passed who could be deputed to visit through that part of the country certain tribes and prepare them and entered Káfiristán, but owing for our intended policy. For such to complications he soon left, re- pioneering work medical officers turning by another route to Chi- are specially fitted. Possessed of trál.
considerable scientific attainments, The Russians, too, had not been they have educated power of obidle. Terentieff is mentioned by servation and a knowledge of Biddulph as having promptly human nature — most valuable settled disputed points concerning qualities —not to mention their the Káfirs, declaring that they professional skill, which at once were “incontestably of Slav ori- commends them to the respect gin and the natural subjects of the and protection even of savage Ozar”! In 1880 Mr Delmar Mor- tribes. There are plenty of ingan, when travelling in Central stances. In ancient days (522 Asia, met a Russian officer who B.C.) Democedes, the physician of had visited Badaksbán and seen Crotona and son-in-law of Milo, Siyá h-posh Kátics, whom he des- was taken prisoner with Polycrates,
and sent to the Court of Darius; recommended Robertson to marry he cured the king and queen and a daughter of the land and settle received honours, but his down for some time. panion was crucified ! In recent posal was embarrassing; but it was times Dr Lord in Afghanistan, adroitly evaded by reference to the Sir John Login, in charge of difference of national custom, and Maharaja Duleep Singh, Dr the visit commenced under favourCayley at Leh, in political work, able auspices.
, and Doctors Cleghorn and Stewart
The information collected may of the Forest Department in India, conveniently be divided into what are instances in which medical is geographical, and that which officers have risen to distinction concerns the people. As regards and filled highly paid offices beyond the former, the detail, though imthe limits of their proper pro- perfect and covering but a small fession. And it is well that these part of Káfiristán, is nevertheless advantages should be borne in à distinct addition to our scanty mind at a time when, we think knowledge. The Bashgul 2 river mistakenly, some army doctors en- and valley may be considered as deavour to rank as soldiers rather fairly explored, for Robertson apthan as surgeons, and when we pears to have travelled to the top are told that there is a lack of of it and crossed the Mandal pass candidates for the Army Medical into the Minjan Valley of BadakDepartment.
shán, at a place within twelve or Now, to resume the story : & fifteen miles from the lapis-lazuli pioneer was wanted, and in 1888 mines visited by Captain Wood. Dr Robertson was chosen. Dur. It is a pity that the junction was ing his ten years of service he had not effected. The Presun or Viron seen war in Afghanistan, had been valley was entered, and the course attached to a mountain battery, of the Chitral river, to near Asand had also experience as a civil mar, where the river from Dír surgeon. He visited Káfiristán joins, was followed. Unfortunon two occasions, and has recently ately tribal jealousy and quarrels published an interesting book 1 re- prevented distant excursions, and lating his experiences. Like other the valleys of the Ramgal, Kulam, travellers, his curiosity was excited Ashkun, and Wai tribes remain to by the traditions about the Káfirs, be explored. and when he had met some of them In respect to the Káfirs the new his desire to see the country be- information, though necessarily came insatiable.
A preliminary much more detailed than the old, visit was made in 1889, and Dr is chiefly remarkable as confirming Robertson returned to India ac- the latter—a result greatly to the companied by a Káfir named Sher credit of the old travellers. RobertMalik. Next year they went back son considers the present dominant to Kámdesh, where Múlla Najib races to be descended from the had been, and were received by a ancient Indian population of Eastdeputation of the head men, who ern Afghanistan who resisted con
1 The Káfirs of the Hindu-Kush. By Sir George S. Robertson. Lawrence & Bullen.
2 So spelt by Robertson ; it should probably be Báshgal, the second half of which word is most likely identical in meaning with the Sanscrit gal or gala, the French col, and the English gullet or gully.