Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/89

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THE TALDI.

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cultivated and populous country, comprising the towns of Nim-pi and Ou-yam-pu, and further to the west, Si-ning, Tonkir, and Seng-kwan.

The inhabitants of this part of the province of Kan-su[1] are Chinese, Tangutans,[2] and Taldi, to the latter of whom I will for the present confine my remarks.

This tribe inhabits a comparatively limited district near the towns of Nim-pi, Ou-yam-pu, and Si-ning, and the temple of Chobsen, where they form half the numerical strength of the population. Externally they are more like Mongols than Chinese, although a settled agricultural people. Their faces are round, with flattened features, cheekbones prominent, eyes and hair black, mouth rather large, and figure thickset. The men shave beard and hair, leaving a pig-tail.[3] The girls plait all their hair into a long tress behind, and wear a tall square head-dress made of daba (cotton cloth), but the old women put nothing on the head, dividing the hair in front and braiding it behind. The dress of men and women is very like that of the Chinese, with whom, as well as with the settled Tangutans, they intermarry. They are Buddhists by religion.[4]

  1. Kan-su is bounded on the north by Mongolia, on the east by Shen-si, on the south by Sze-chuan, while on the west, before the Dungan insurrection, it extended as far as Barkul and Urumchi in Eastern Turkestan.
  2. A description of the Tangutans will be found in Chapter IV. of this volume; the Chinese in Kan-su are the same as in other parts of the Empire; the Mongols only inhabit those districts lying near the sources of the Tatung, forming part of the Koko-nor administrative district.
  3. Unlike Mongols and Chinese, the Taldi can apparently grow beards.
  4. The following extract translated from Palladius' letter to Gen.