Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/171

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MONGOLS. KARA-TANGUTANS.

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country of Tsaidam are Mongols and Kara-Tangutans. The Mongols are chiefly Oliuths (Eleuths), with some Turguts, Khalkas, and Koites. Exposed to the implacable hatred of the Tangutans, the Mongols of Koko-nor are the worst of their race. In face they are not unlike the Tangutans, but their expression is stupid, their eyes dull and heavy, and their disposition morose and melancholy. They show no energy, no strong desire for anything, but a sort of brute apathy as to everything in the world except food. The prince (Wang) of Koko-nor, a man of some intelligence, spoke of his subjects to us as only externally resembling human beings; as in all other respects absolutely beasts. 'Knock out a few of their upper front teeth, set them on four legs, and you have regular cows,' added he. The Mongols of Koko-nor have adopted even the mode of life of the Tangutans, and live in black tents; towards Tsaidam, however, further from Koko-nor, the felt yurta re-appears. The Kara-Tangutans outnumber the Mongols in Koko-nor, but their chief habitations are near the sources of the Yellow River where they are called Salirs;[1] they profess the Mahommedan religion, and have

  1. Salirs or Salars. The archimandrite Palladius observes that they are so named after their place of habitation. They are also called the 'black-yurta Fans,' 'dog-Fans,' and 'Mahommedan Tangutans.' Suen-hwa quotes a legend in which this people are described as a colony of Uigurs. They are noted for their fanaticism, and appear to be the backbone of the Dungan insurrection. They inhabit the department of Ho-chau, near the borders of the Koko-nor district. 'Trans, of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society,' vol. ix. 305. — M. [According to a Russian work quoted in 'Marco Polo,' 2nd ed. ii. 23, Salar is the name by which Ho-chau is known to the Mahommedans of Central Asia. See 2nd ed. ii. — Y.]