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servant, perceiving that the Tartar women of the Qasan always covered their faces, and ran away at

his approach, thought it polite to save them the

trouble, by putting his hands to his own face, and
getting out of their way as quick as possible. This
excited female curiosity. The next time they met
him, they partially removed their veils; and he, as
in duty bound, ran the faster. At last they fairly
hunted him in troops, with their veils off, impatient
to see the man who thus hid his face at the approach
of a woman.
Even the poorest habitations are divided into two
parts; and the most intimate friend would give
deadly offence, if he were to enter the dwellings ap-
propriated to the female members of the family.
Where there are several wives, each one has a sepa-
rate set of apartments. The houses are generally
very clean, being often whitewashed, and the floors
well covered with neat mats and carpets. The rich
sometimes have handsome Turkish sofas with da-
mask canopies.
Wives are purchased at various sums, from twenty
to five hundred rubles, in money or flocks, according
to beauty and other advantages. Among some of
the pastoral tribes a good healthy girl may be ob-
tained for two or three rubles. Their numbers are
regulated by the same laws that prevail in other Mo-
hammedan countries; and, as usual, the poorer
classes seldom have more than one wife. But when

the first grows old, or ceases to please, they take a

second. Merchants who are obliged to travel a good deal, generally maintain houses at various places, with a wife at each. - The wedding ceremonies bear a general resemblance to those already described. When the stipulated price has been paid, the priest, in the presence of assembled friends, asks the young people if they will wed one another, repeats a prayer, and bestows the nuptial blessing. Among the Tartars of the Casan, all the female friends of the bride meet at her father's house the day previous to the marriage, and deplore with her the approaching change in her condition, while two men sing songs that treat of the happiness of married life. The Katschinzes, when they wish for a bride, send an agent to the girl's father, to present him with brandy and a pipe of tobacco, and retire instantly without speaking. If, when he returns sometime afterward, the presents remain untouched, it is a refusal; but if one has been drank and the other smoked, it is acceptance. At the end of six months, the lover himself comes to repeat the same ceremony; the price is stipulated, and the wedding appointed. Sometimes several months elapse, before a day deemed sufficiently lucky arrives; but however long the probation may be, the young people must not indulge in any thing like courtship. A girl would be disgraced, if she were to give her intended husband the slightest reason to suppose she preferred him to any other man. When a young man is too poor to purchase a bride, he often agrees to serve her father four or five WOL. I. 12

years. If a richer or more fortunate rival present himself before the term of service expires, the first suitor can merely demand wages for his work. If the girl dies in the mean time, the bargain is transferred to her sister; and if she had no sister, the lover loses his labor. If the intended bridegroom should die, his future bride becomes one of his father's wives. But if none of these misfortunes occur, and the wedding takes place, the bride must never see her father-in-law after the day of the marriage; should she chance to meet him, she must fall on the ground and conceal her face till he has passed. Her other relatives visit her when they please. In case of any dissatisfaction, the husband sends his wife back to her parents, and retains the children as his property. A Baschkir girl, before marriage, takes formal leave of all the females of the hamlet, and afterward of the milk vessel from which she has been fed since infancy; this memorial of childhood is embraced with many tears. When the priest unites the young couple, he gives the husband an arrow, saying: “Be bold; support and protect thy wife.” The bridegroom conducts her to his hut, and a woman goes before them proclaiming aloud the portion of the bride. When the bride enters her husband's dwelling, she kneels down before his nearest relations. The festivities continue three days. Among the Yakutes, it is customary for the bridegroom to remain with his father-in-law several days

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after the wedding, and entertain his friends there. When his wife is conducted to her new habitation, she is led by female relatives, her own face being closely covered with ermine. The door is barred by a slender piece of wood, which she pushes against and breaks. When she has entered, seven small sticks with bits of butter are put into her hands, and she throws them in the fire, while the priest pronounces a blessing. On this occasion, feasts are again given for two days to relations and friends. Married women of this tribe wear an odd kind of cap, made of the skin of some animal, in such a manner that the ears stand upright and resemble horns. The Yakutes and Baschkirs, unlike most of the neighboring nations and tribes, always consult the inclinations of their daughters, before they agree to a marriage contract. Where there is more than one wife, the first, provided she has borne children, always retains a certain degree of pre-eminence over the others. When a husband dies, such of his wives as have had no children return to their parents, with the clothes and presents they have received; if they have no paternal home, they can remain subordinate to the oldest wife, and are entitled to a tenth part of the cattle. The occupations of the wealthy classes are similar to those of other Asiatic women of rank. The love of smoking is universal. Tartar women, besides cooking, tending their children, making garments, and milking the flocks, tan the skins of water-fowl, with the feathers on, for caps and other articles; weave cloth from common nettles; spin cotton of extraordinary fineness; make felt coverings for the tents; dye cloth; tan leather by means of sour milk and chalk; and manufacture water-bottles, as transparent as horn, from the hides of horses and camels. While they are busy at these various avocations, the men take care of the flocks, hunt, fish, or lie stretched at their ease beside the kumiss bottle. Few Tartars marry more than one wife. They seldom take a second while they live in peace with the first. They expend a great deal in wedding entertainments; even the peasantry sometimes lavish a thousand roubles on such occasions. The higher classes will never bestow a younger daughter in marriage before the elder is disposed of, though a much higher price should be offered for the junior sister. When a murza, or Tartar noble, enters the apartments of his women, they all rise up respectfully, and repeat the same ceremony when he leaves the room, though he may come and go very frequently. Very aged women are, by permission, excused from this inconvenient homage, on account of their infirmities. or But though the women are kept in a state of such complete subjection, personal abuse is considered very dishonorable, and the Tartars are seldom guilty of it. In case of ill usage, a wife may complain to magistrates, who, attended by some of the principal people of the village, go to the house, pronounce a

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