Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet/Volume 2/The Taldi



P. 69-70.

It is obvious that the passage of Palladius which Mr. Morgan has translated in the footnotes bears no very clear reference to the Taldi of Col. Prejevalsky. Mr. Ney Elias remarks on his account of them as follows:—

'The description of these people, as also the locality in which they occur, corresponds closely with Huc's account of the race he calls Dchiahours. The name of Dalde[1] may certainly have suffered in copying or printing, but I can find no approximation to it in any work treating of Western China; nor, with the exception of Huc's, it must be added, of the Dchiahours either. The only specimen of Dchiahours that I am personally acquainted with is Huc's old servant "Samdadchiemba," who certainly, as regards language, corresponds to Prejevalsky's description of the Daldes.'[2]

I transcribe Huc's account, referred to by Mr. Elias: 'The Dchiahours ... occupy the country commonly called San-tchouan—"Three Valleys,"—the native district of our camel-driver Samdadchiemba. The Dchiahours have all the rascality and craft of the Chinaman without his civility and polished language; so they are feared and detested by all their neighbours. When they fancy their rights infringed on it is always with the dagger that they seek redress. Among them the man held in most honour is always the one who has committed most murders. They speak a language of their own, which is a medley of Mongol, Chinese, and East-Tibetan. By their own account they are of Tartar origin; and if it be so it may be said that they have exceedingly well preserved the savage and independent character of their forefathers, whilst the manners of the present people of Mongolia have been singularly modified and softened.

'Although subject to the Emperor of China, the Dchiahours are under the immediate government of a kind of hereditary sovereign belonging to their own tribe, and bearing the title of Tou-ssẻ.'[3]—[Y.]

  1. So it is written in Col. Prejevalsky's original letters as published in the Journal de St. Pétersbourg.
  2. Proc. Roy. Geog. Soc., xviii. 84.
  3. ii. 35-36.