Зображення сторінки

ly the planks moved up and down through the city and into the like the keys of a piano as we neighbouring villages. passed over it.

The elder women wear a darkFollowing the road through the blue cotton scarf, which is some western suburb, I entered one of times replaced by a white cotton the shops to purchase some Chinese spencer, similar to that worn by umbrellas, as mine were the worse married. ladies in Burmah, and for wear, and was served by a have an extra width added to the person dressed in ordinary female top of their skirt, which can be costume, who seemed to be very raised and tucked in at the level masculine in appearance, and con-' of the armpit. siderably above 4 feet and 10 inches On gala occasions it is the fashin height-a height few Zimmé ion to twine gold chains round the Shan women attain to. On tell- knot of their hair, and likewise ing Dr M‘Gilvary, he informed adorn it with a handsome gold me that the individual was an pin. The Shans are famous for hermaphrodite; that this peculiar their gold and silver chased work; form of Nature's freaks was by no and beautifully designed gold and means uncommon in the country; silver ornaments, bracelets, neckand that all such people were ob- laces, and jewel-headed cylinders liged to dress in female costume. in their ear-laps, are occasionally

It is a pretty sight in the early worn by the wealthier classes. morning to watch the women and After passing through the gatos girls from the neighbouring vil- of the outer city, we entered the lages streaming over the bridge on market, which extends for more their way to the market, passing than half a mile to the gates of along in single file, with their the inner city, and beyond them baskets dangling from each end of for some distance towards the e shoulder-bamboo, or accurately palace. &

On either side of the poised on their heads. The younger main road, little covered booths women move like youthful Dianas, or stalls are set up; but most of with a quick, firm, and elastic the women spread a mat on the tread, and in symmetry of form ground to sit upon, and placing resemble the ideal models of Gre- their baskets by their side, excian art.

pose their provisions upon wickerThe ordinary costume of these work trays or freshly cut plantaingraceful maidens consists of flowers leaves. in their hair, which shines like a The variety of vegetables exraven's wing, and is combed back posed for sale is not very great, and arranged in a neat and beauti- and consists chiefly of sweet potaful knot; & petticoat or skirt, fre- toes, yams, onions, mushrooms, cuquently embroidered near the bot. cumbers, pumpkins, gourds, swordtom with silk, worsted, cotton, or beans, garlic, Indian-corn, young gold and silver thread; and at bamboo-shoots, chillies, and seritimes a pretty silk or gauze scarf leaf for chewing with tobacco, cast carelessly over their bosom areca-nut, and lime. and one shoulder. Of lato years, Some of the market-women bring moreover, the missionaries have ducks and fowls, others tobacco, persuaded their female converts areca - nuts, native confectionery, and the girls in their schools to jaggery, rice, wax, and flowers; wear a neat white jacket, and besides oranges, citrons, pomeloes, the custom is gradually spreading mangoes, tamarinds, plantains, co

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

coanuts, and melons, and


other lies 1140 yards from the entrance fruit that may be in season. of the inner town, and leads into

In the meat-market-which is an extensive court containing sevserved only by men—pork, fish, and eral buildings. The palace faces frogs, and sometimes venison, are the gate, and is a substantial onesold; and occasionally beef can be storeyed building, slightly Chinese had. Cattle may not be killed in aspect, with brick walls, plaswithout an order from the Court; tered over with an excellent cement, and whoever kills a beast must ex- and a tiled roof. pose its head and feet, to ensure Ascending a flight of steps, that it has not been stolen. Be- paved with black tiles, we entered fore this rule was made, cattle- the audience-hall, which occupied theft is said to have been frequent. the whole front of the building. The market generally lasts about The floor of the hall is inlaid with three hours, but some of the un- various woods, several chandeliers successful linger a little longer in hung from the ceiling, and the the hope of selling their wares. walls were papered like an English

In the shops adjoining the mar- drawing-room, and adorned with ket, some of which are kept by long, narrow, gilt-framed mirrors. Chinnmen and Burmese, the occu- The remainder of the furniture piers are general dealers. In them consisted of a lounge, an easyare kept for sale, umbrellas and chair, a dozen drawing - room fans, lacquered brass, and crockery chairs, upholstered in green rep, ware, native embroideries, English and a small tea-table. · Through cotton piece - goods, broadcloths, the doors leading into the private velvets, velveteens, satins, silks, apartments, some elegantly demuslins, Chinese silks and crapes, signed carved lattice-work partisilk jackets and trousers, silk jack- tions were seen, which served as ets lined with fur, German aniline screens to the interior of the dyes and needles, Swedish and palace. English matches, tinned salmon, A few minutes after we were sardines, milk, butter, jams, swords, seated, the king, dressed in a green knives, nails, gongs, hoes, large silk loongyee or skirt, and a white shallow iron pans, iron tripods for cotton jacket with gold buttons, setting over the fire, brimstone, entered the hall, and after shakbluestone, arsenic, native and pa- ing hands, welcomed us in a quiet tent medicines, pestles and mortars and dignified manner.

Tea was for elderly toothless people to crush then brought in, and we seated their betel-nut in, vegetable-wax ourselves round the table. After tapers for burning in the temples, a few preliminary remarks, Dr Chinese perfumery, and pictorial M'Gilvary told him the object of paper scrolls; kerosene oil and

[ocr errors]

my visit, and the great boon to lamps, glass basins, decanters and his country that the construction mantelpiece vases, and a selection of a railway to connect it with of earthenware jars, pots and pans; Burmah and China would be. He in fact, all that a native purchaser was rather thick-skulled, and had has learned to desire.

never been remarkable for intelPassing from the outer into the ligence. He could not underinner town, we continued along stand how trains could the main road until we came to faster than ponies, or how they the enclosure wall of the palace could move at all without being grounds. The gate of the palaco drawn by some animal. Anyhow,




they could not ascend the hills, An iron collar was riveted round for they would slide down unless their necks, and from this a string they were pulled up.

supported their leg-irons, and enI explained to him that I had abled them to work more easily: made three railways in England, There being no

Government and therefore he might rely upon allowance for their food, the what I said. Railways were made prisoners are dependent upon the in various parts of the world over charity of the market-women and much more difficult hills than their relations for their 'those lying between Zimmé and victuals. The term of their imMaulmain; that even along the prisonment depends greatly upon route I had taken, it would not be the ability of their relations or very expensive to carry a railway, friends to pay the fines which are and that it would be still easier imposed for all crimes but murder. to carry one from Maulmain to The prisoners, when not ‘at work, Raheng. As to the possibility of are allowed to roam about the city trains being moved without being in their chains, and their relations drawn by animals, he could ask are held responsible if they should any of his people who had been escape. to Rangoon; all of them would Ascending the steps of the house tell him that locomotives, al- we entered a broad verandah, though on wheels, dragged the where several of the princess's train along

women were engaged on fancy He seemed quite stupefied by needlework, and in weaving. Some the revelation. It might be som embroidering triangularit must be so, as I had seen it—but shaped velvet ends for Shan pilhe could not understand how it lows; others were embroidering could be. He was very old; he silken skirts, and showing great could not live much longer; he skill and taste in the designs and hoped we would be quick in set- workmanship. The audience-hall tling about and constructing the was raised about fifteen inches line, as otherwise he would not above the verandah, and at its have the pleasure of seeing it. back was a large stand of arms

I then asked him to aid me containing old Tower muskets, in collecting information, and in marked with G. R.; swords, crosschoosing the best route through bows, and lances, many of the his territories by having me pro- last being imitations made out vided with the best guides, and of wood, and painted red. The by issuing instructions to the muskets are sold in Bangkok for governors of the provinces to seven or eight rupees each, and assist me by every means in their fetch from ten to twelve rupees power. This he promised to do; in Zimmé. It must be about and after a little general conversa- equally dangerous to fire with such tion, we shook hands with him, a weapon as to be fired at. thanked him for his kindness, and After being introduced to the departed.

princess and her little daughter We next visited Chow Oo-boon- by Dr M‘Gilvary, and admiring la-wa-na, the only sister of the the embroidery which was worked queen, and the daughter of the in coloured silks and gold and late king of Zimmé. On enter- silver threads, I broached the subing her grounds we noticed several ject of my visit by telling her prisoners in chains sawing timber. about the proposed railway, and

saying that the missionaries had oxen from Lapoon and Lakon ; told me that she was the best and from 200 to 300 elephants person to apply to about the trade were yearly taken into Burmah. of the country, and that I should The porters travelled throughout be deeply obliged if she would give the year, and the Chinese caravans me what information she could proceeded as far south as Ootaraupon the subject.

dit, a Siamese town at the head In reply, she said that she was of the navigation of the Meh delighted to hear about the rails Nam. way. She was one of the largest According to her, elephants were traders in the country, and would very numerous in the country; do what she could to further the there were fully 8000 both in project. A railway, she knew, Zimmé and Lakon, even more in would bring wealth to the country, Nan, and about half that pumber and carry the produce cheaply in Peh. A considerable boat-traffic away. Every one, nobles and existed on the river, particularly people, would be glad, if a rail- in the rainy season. One thouway was made to connect their sand boats plied between Zimmé country with Burmah and China. and Raheng, many of them pro

She went on to say that she had ceeding to Bangkok. long taken an interest in the cur When taking

leave, the princess rents of trade that passed through promised to aid me in getting eleZimmé; and, in her own interests, phants for continuing my jourhad endeavoured to arrive at the ney, and said she hoped we would number of men and animals em- give her the pleasure of our comployed in the caravan trade. No pang at dinner before we left. We accurate statistics had been made, then returned to our house, as it but she would gladly give me the

about breakfast - time, and outcome of her inquiries.

Mrs M'Gilvary would be expectThen, after a little consideration, ing us. she told me that from 700 to 1000 After breakfast I went next laden mules and ponies came yearly door to have another chat with from Yunnan, and from 7000 to Mr Wilson. He told me that 8000 from Kiang Tung, Kiang Chow Oo-boon had great power Hung, and other places in the with the members of the GovernBritish Shan States; 1000 ele- ment, who were all connected with phants are employed in carrying the royal family ; because, besides goods to and from Kiang Hsen, being the queen's sister, she was chiefly for transhipment to Luang the spirit-medium of the family. Prabang and elsewhere; 5000 por- As an instance of her power, he ters travel into Lower Burmah, stated that when called in to conand 4000 to the neighbouring sult the spirits after the late States, .and to the British Shan Chow Ilona, or second-king, was States lying to the north ; 3000 struck down with sickness, she laden oxen ply between Zimmé boldly told him that the spirits and Lakon, and from 500 to 600 were displeased at his oppression to Lower Burmah.

The move of the people, and advised him at ment of unladen animals for sale, once to abolish certain vexatious she said, ivas as follows: Between taxes, particularly the monopoly 5000 and 6000 buffaloes were of arrack, or rice-spirit. brought yearly to Zimmó from Tho method practised when conLuang Prabang, and numorous sulting the beneficent spirits


who, like mortals, are fond of two or three rupees, and, being more, retaliating when provoked—is as or less intoxicated, is helped home. follows : When the physician's In case the spirit-medium's preskill has been found incapable of scription proves ineffective, and mastering a disease, a spirit-me- the person gets worse, witchcraft dium-a woman who claims to be is sometimes suspected, and an in communion with the spirits—is exorcist is called in. The charge called in. After arra ing herself of witchcraft means ruin to the fantastically, the medium sits on a person accused, and to his or her mat that has been spread for her family. It arises as follows: in the front verandah, and is at The ghost or spirit of witchtended to with respect, and plied craft is called Pee-Kah. No one with arrack by the people of the professes to have seen it, but it is house, and generally accompanied said to have the form of a horse, in her performance by a band of from the sound of its passage village musicians with modulated through the forest resembling the music.

clatter of a horse's hoofs when at Between her tipplings she chants . full gallop. These spirits are said an improvised doggerel, which in- to be reinforced by the deaths of cludes frquent incantations, till at very poor people, whose spirits length, in the excitement of her were so disgusted with those who potations, and worked on by her refused them food or shelter, that song, her body begins to sway they determined to return and about, and she becomes frantic, place themselves at the disposal of and seemingly inspired. The their descendants, to haunt their spirits are then believed to have stingy and hard-hearted neightaken possession of her body, and bours. Should any one rave in all her utterances from that time delirium, a Pee - Kah is supposed are regarded as those of the spirits. to have passed by.

On showing signs of being will Every class of spirits—even the ing to answer questions, the rela- ancestral spirits, and those that tions or friends of the sick person guard the streets and villagesbeseech the spirits to tell them are afraid of the Pee-Kah. At what medicines and food should be its approach the household spirits given to the invalid to restore him take instant flight, nor will they or her to health ; what they have return until it has worked its will been offended at; and how their and retired, or been exorcised. just wrath may be appeased. Her Yet the Pee-Kah, as I have shown, knowledge of the family affairs is itself an ancestral spirit, and and misdemeanours generally en follows as their shadow the son ables her to give shrewd and brief and daughter as it followed their answers to the latter questions. parents through their lives. It is She states that the Pee-in this not ubiquitous, but at one time case the ancestral, or, perhaps, vil. may attend the parent, and at lage spirits—are offended by such another the child, when both are an action or actions, and that to living. Its food is the entrails of propitiate them such and such its living victim, and its feast conofferings should be made. In case tinues until its appetite is satisthe spirits have not been offended, fied, or the feast is cut short by her answers are merely a prescrip- the incantations of the spirit-doction, after which, if only a neigh- tor, or exorcist. Very often the bour, she is dismissed with a fee of result is the death of its victim.

« НазадПродовжити »