From Kulja, across the Tian Shan to Lob-Nor

From Kulja, across the Tian Shan to Lob-Nor  (1879) 
by Nikolay Przhevalsky (as Nicholas Prejevalski), edited by T. D. Forsyth and E. D. Morgan, with preface by T. D. Forsyth and remarks by F. von Richthofen, translated by E. Delmar Morgan

PRJEVALSKY [Przhevalsky], NIKOLAI MIKHAILOVICH (1839-1888), Russian traveller, born at Kimbory, in the government of Smolensk, on the 31st of March 1839, was descended from a noble Cossack family. [...] On his second journey in 1877, while endeavouring to reach Lhasa through east Turkestan, he re-discovered the great lake Lop-nor (q.v.), which had not been visited by any European since Marco Polo. [...] Prjevalsky's account of this second journey, From Kulja, across the Tian-Shan, to Lop-nor, was translated into English in 1879.—from Prjevalsky, Nikolai Mikhailovich in 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica This journey was characterized by Dr. Petermann as the crown of Central Asiatic exploration, and as equal in importance to Stanley's journey down the Congo, or even to the attainment of the pole. Of its results, "Nature" said, in a summary of them, that the traveler's observations would be "of special value to the ethnologist, as containing important details concerning the various peoples he met with. The zoologist and botanist will also find much to interest him." In its notice of the book, the same journal referred to the part of the narrative describing what the author observed during his stay at Lob-Nor concerning the migrations of birds as being of exceptional value. The Royal Geographical Society, in April, 1879, awarded a gold medal to Colonel Prejevalski, "for the great additions he has made to our knowledge of Central and Eastern High Asia, by his successive expeditions into the unexplored parts of the great plateau of Mongolia and the lofty deserts of Western Thibet, and for the admirable way in which he has described the regions traversed by him in the published narratives of his journeys." —from Sketch of Nicholas Prejevalski in Popular Science Monthly, Volume 30 (January 1887)

FROM KULJA,

ACROSS THE TIAN SHAN TO LOB-NOR.


BY

COLONEL N. PREJEVALSKY,

AUTHOR OF "TRAVELS IN MONGOLIA."


TRANSLATED BY

E. DELMAR MORGAN, F.R.G.S.

MEM. OF THE IMP. RUSS. GEOGR. SOC.


INCLUDING NOTICES OF THE LAKES OF CENTRAL ASIA.


With Introduction

By Sl. T. DOUGLAS FORSYTH, C.B., K.C.S.I.


and maps.


London:

SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON,

CROWN BUILDINGS, 188, FLEET STREE .

1879.

[All rights reserved.]

LONDON:

GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, PRINTERS,

ST. JOHN'S SQUARE.

CONTENTS.

page

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1
Departure from Kulja — Valley of the Ili — Crossing the Tekes — Inhabitants — Fertility of Kunges Valley — Abundance of fruit; bears, birds, &c. — Pass to the Tsanma — Fir forests —Autumn in the mountains — The Narat range — Yulduz and its fauna—Hunting — Ovis Poli — Descent of Tian Shan — Yakub Beg's envoys — River Kaidu-gol — Arrival at Korla — Jealousy and distrust of officials —Desert of Lob — Hydrography of Lower Tarim — Barren country — Oleasters — Monotonous scenery
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
31
Fauna of Tarim — Avi-fauna — New species — Inhabitants of Tarim — Rude dwellings — Details of population — Dress of the people — Cloth manufacture — Habits, pursuits, and diet — Position of their women — Peculiarities and failings— Route continued — Observations for altitude — Natives are suspicious — Airilgan-ferry — Climate — Village of Chargalyk — Cherchen, Nai, and Keria — Ruins of Lob — Starovertsi — Start for Altyn-tagh — Description of these mountains — Mountainous system — Fauna of Altyn-tagh — Hardships— Return to Lob
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
61
Wild camel hunters — Habits of this animal — Mode of killing it — Distinguishing marks — Its origin considered — Lake Kara-buran — Chon-Kul, or the Great Lake — Disappearance of the Tarim — Mode of fishing — Lake-dwellers — Animal life — Details of population — Appearance of natives; language; dwellings — Cloth made of Asclepias fibre—Domestic utensils — Occupations and religion— Marriage— Burial of dead— Expert boatmen — Existence in winter — Novel surroundings — Ornithology, extraordinary number of birds — Duck-shooting — Specimens for the collection — Migratory waterfowl — Climate — Departure of birds — Dust storms — Spring at Lake Lob— Return to Korla — Yakub Beg's presents — Yulduz again — Spring vegetation — Return to Kulja — Close of expedition
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
88

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
136
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
160

APPENDIX.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
166

Earliest notices — Origin of name — First surveys — Russian explorers — Assanoff; Schrenk — Incorrect cartography — Feodoroff's observations — Height of lake and  relative position — Rivers flowing into it; the Ili and its headwaters the Tekes — Muzart pass — Kuija and its neighbourhood — The Lepsa — Chubar-agatch valley — The Kara-tal — Buddhistic remains — Nifantieff deputed to survey Lake Balkash — Preparations; he launches his boats — Difficulties — He constructs a felt dam; arrives at the lake: begins survey — His assistant shipwrecked — He completes survey following year
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
169
Humboldt's theory on the lake — Topography — Meaning of the name — Geographical position and height — Alternation in level — Rivers flowing into it — Subsidiary lakes: Sassyk-kul, or "the stinking lake;" Jelanash-kul, or "the open lake" — Island of Aral-tiube — Russian settlement — Pate of Chuguchak — New Russo-Chinese trade-route — Ala-kul in summer — Barlyk range — Russo-Chinese frontier — Arasan, or mineral springs — The Ehbi wind — Legend concerning it — Inhabitants
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
187
Origin of raskol — Society in Central Russia twenty years ago — Repressive measures of Emperor Nicholas — Retreats of the Starovertsi — Grigorieff's note on the Lob-nortsi — Historical sketch of "Kamenshiki" — Their refuges in Siberia — Bielovodiye — Meaning of the word "Kamenshiki" — First settlers — Their retreats in the mountains ; huts, occupations, fishing, and trapping expeditions — Beaver hunting — Mode of obtaining salt — Ineffectual measures of government — First discovery of refugee Starovertsi — Their patriarchal mode of life: system of administering justice; quarrels and dissensions ; crimes and immorality — Extraordinary punishment — Intercourse with Chinese —Necessity for adopting more effectual measures of government —They give themselves up to the Chinese and are sent to Kobdo — Captivity there — Release and return to Siberia — They open negotiations with Russian government — Interview with Lieut. Priyésjeff — Empress Catherine II. pardons them — Visit of M. Frintz in 1863 — Villages of Uimon and Koksa— Crossing the Holsun range — Camp in the forest — Bear-huntings adventures — Steep ascent of the pass — Splendid view — Precipitous descent — The Chemovoi or Black Water — Luxuriant vegetation — Apiaries — Valley of the Bukhtarma — Settlement of Sennoi — Bielki, or snowy mountains — Village of Fikalka — Farms of Kamenshiki — Bukhtarma honey — Warm summer — Fur districts — Mode of catching sables — Vagabond habits of Kamenshiki — Their comparison with outlawed communities in America — Conclusion
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
202




. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
237