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CHINCHILLA—CHINESE PAVILLON

CHINCHILLA, a small grey hopping rodent mammal (Chinchilla lanigera), of the approximate size of a squirrel, inhabiting the eastern slopes of the Andes in Chile and Bolivia, at altitudes between 8000 and 12,000 ft. It typifies not only the genus Chinchilla, but the family Chinchillidae, for the distinctive features of which see Rodentia. The ordinary chinchilla is about 10 in. in length, exclusive of the long tail, and in the form of its head somewhat resembles a rabbit. It is covered with a dense soft fur ¾ in. long on the back and upwards of an inch in length on the sides, of a delicate French grey colour, darkly mottled on the upper surface and dusky white beneath; the ears being long, broad and thinly covered with hair. Chinchillas live in burrows, and these subterranean dwellings undermine the ground in some parts of the Chilean Andes to such an extent as to cause danger to travellers on horseback. They associate in communities, forming their burrows among loose rocks, and coming out to feed in the early morning and towards sunset. They feed chiefly on roots and grasses, in search of which they often travel considerable distances; and when eating they sit on their haunches, holding their food in their fore-paws. The Indians in hunting them employ the grison (Galictis vittata), a member of the weasel family, which is trained to enter the crevices of the rocks where the chinchillas lie concealed during the day. The fur (q.v.) of this rodent was prized by the ancient Peruvians, who made coverlets and other articles with the skin, and at the present day the skins are exported in large numbers to Europe, where they are made into muffs, tippets and trimmings. That chinchillas have not under such circumstances become rare, if not extinct, is owing to their extraordinary fecundity, the female usually producing five or six young twice a year. They are docile in disposition, and thus well fitted for domestication. The Peruvian chinchilla (C. brevicaudata) is larger, with relatively shorter ears and tail; while still larger species constitute the genus Lagidium, ranging from the Andes to Patagonia, and distinguished by having four in place of five front-toes, more pointed ears, and a somewhat differently formed skull. (See also Viscacha).  (R. L.*) 


CHINDE, a town of Portuguese East Africa, chief port for the Zambezi valley and British Central Africa, at the mouth of the Chinde branch of the Zambezi, in 18° 40′ S., 36° 30′ E. Pop. (1907) 2790, of whom 218 were Europeans. Large steamers are unable to cross the bar, over which the depth of water varies from 10 to 18 ft. Chinde owes its existence to the discovery in 1889 that the branch of the river on the banks of which it is built is navigable from the ocean (see Zambezi). The Portuguese in 1891 granted on lease for 99 years an area of 5 acres—subsequently increased to 25—to the British government, on which goods in transit to British possessions could be stored duty free. This block of land is known as the British Concession, or British Chinde. The prosperity of the town largely depends on the transit trade with Nyasaland and North East Rhodesia. There is also a considerable export from Portuguese districts, sugar, cotton and ground nuts being largely cultivated in the Zambezi valley, and gold and copper mines worked.


CHINDWIN, a river of Burma, the largest tributary of the Irrawaddy, its entire course being in Burmese territory. It is called Ningthi by the Manipuris. The Chindwin is formed by the junction of the Tanai, the Tawan and the Tarôn or Turông, but it is still uncertain which is the main stream. The Tanai has hitherto been looked on as the chief source. It rises in about 25° 30′ N. and 97° E., on the Shwedaung-gyi peak of the Kumôn range, 12 m. N. of Mogaung, and flows due N. for the first part of its course until it reaches the Hukawng valley, when it turns to the W. and flows through the middle of the plain to the end of the valley proper. There it curves round to the S., passes through the Tarôn or Turông valley, takes the name of the Chindwin, and maintains a general southerly course until it enters the Irrawaddy, after flowing through the entire length of the Upper and Lower Chindwin districts, in about 21° 30′ N. and 95° 15′ E. Its extreme outlets are 22 m. apart, the interval forming a succession of long, low, partially populated islands. The most southerly mouth of the Chindwin is, according to tradition, an artificial channel, cut by one of the kings of Pagān. It was choked up for many centuries until in 1824 it was opened out by an exceptional flood. The Tanai (it is frequently called Tanaikha, but kha is merely the Kachin word for river), as long as it retains that name, is a swift, clear river, from 50 to 300 yds. wide and from 3 to 15 ft. deep. The river is navigated by native boats in the Hukawng valley, but launches cannot come up from the Chindwin proper because of the reefs below Taro.

The Tarôn, Turông or Towang river seems to be the real main source of the Chindwin. It flows into the Hukawng valley from the north, and has a swift current with a succession of rapids. Its sources are in the hills to the south of Sadiya, rising from 10,000 to 11,000 ft. above sea-level. It flows through a deep valley, with a general E. and W. direction, as far as its junction with the Loglai. It then turns S., and after draining an intricate system of hills, breaks into the Hukawng valley a few miles N. of Saraw, and joins or receives the Tanai about 10 m. above Kintaw village. Except the Tanai, the chief branches of the Upper Chindwin rise in mountains that are covered at least with winter snows. Below the Hukawng valley the Chindwin is interrupted at several places by fails or transverse reefs. At the village of Haksa there is a fall, which necessitates transhipment from large boats to canoes. Not far below this the Uyu river comes in on the left bank at Homalin, and from this point downwards the steamers of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company ply for the greater part of the year. The Uyu flows through a fertile and well-cultivated valley, and during the rainy season it is navigable for a distance of 150 m. from its mouth by steamers of light draught. Ordinarily regular steam communication with Homalin ceases in the dry weather, but from Kindat, nearly 150 m. below it, there are weekly steamers all the year round. Below Kindat the only considerable affluent of the Chindwin is the Myit-tha, which receives the Chin hills drainage. The Chindwin rises considerably during the rains, but in March and April it is here and there so shallow as to make navigation difficult even for small steam launches. Whirlpools and narrows and shifting sandbanks also give some trouble, but much has been done to improve navigation since the British annexation. Kindat, the headquarters of the Upper Chindwin district, and Mônywa of the Lower, are on the banks of the river.  (J. G. Sc.) 


CHINDWIN, UPPER and LOWER, two districts in the Sagaing division of Upper Burma. Upper Chindwin has an area of 19,062 sq. m., and a population, according to the census of 1901, of 154,551. Lower Chindwin has an area of 3480 sq. m., and a population of 276,383. Upper Chindwin lies to the north of the lower district, and is bounded on the N. by the Chin, Nāga and Kachin hills; on the E. they are bounded by the Myitkyina, Katha and Shwebo districts; Lower Chindwin is bounded on the S. by the Pakôkku and Sagaing districts; and both districts are bounded on the W. by the Chin hills, and by Pakôkku on the southern stretch. The western portion of both districts is hilly, and the greater part of Upper Chindwin is of the same character. Both have valuable teak forests. The total rainfall averages in Lower Chindwin 27 and in Upper Chindwin 60 in. Coal exists in extensive fields, but these are not very accessible. Rice forms the great crop, but a certain amount of til-seed and of indigo is also cultivated. Kindat, a mere village, is the headquarters of the upper district, and Mônywa, with a population of 7869, of the lower. Both are on the Chindwin river, and are served by the steamers of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company. Alôn, close to Mônywa, and formerly the headquarters, is the terminus of the railway from Sagaing westwards, which was opened in 1900.


CHINESE PAVILLON, Turkish Crescent, Turkish Jingle, or Jingling Johnny (Fr. chapeau chinois; Ger. türkischer Halbmond, Schellenbaum; Ital. cappello chinese), an instrument of percussion of indefinite sonorousness, i.e. not producing definite musical tones. The chapeau chinois was formerly an adjunct in military bands, but never in the orchestra, where an instrument of somewhat similar shape, often confused with it and known as the Glockenspiel (q.v.), is occasionally called into requisition. The Chinese pavillon consists of a pole about 6 ft. high terminating in a conical metal cap or pavillon, hung with small jingling bells and surmounted by a crescent and a star. Below this pavillon are two or more metal bands forming a fanciful double crescent or squat lyre, likewise furnished with tiny bells. The two points of the crescent are curved over, ending in fanciful animal heads from whose mouths hang low streaming tails of horse-hair. The Chinese pavilion is played by shaking or waving the pole up and down and jingling the bells, a movement which can at best be but a slow one repeated once or