Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/96

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76

'AMNEH,' THE SACRED PEAKS.

less steep and rugged than that over the southern, the peaks on this side are the loftiest, including Mount Konkir,[1] which is covered with snow the whole year round. The highest mountains in either ranges are held sacred by the Tangutans under the name of Amneh, i.e. 'ancestors.' They are thirteen in number, situated about the middle and upper course of the Tatung, but the southern chain has only three, viz. Chaleb, Bsiagar, and Kumbum-damar. The sacred mountains of the northern range, taking them in the order in which they come, are Mela, Konkir, Namrki, Chiskar, Rargut, Rtashtai, Shorun-tsun, Marntu, Djagiri, and Sienbu.[2]

The geological formations are chiefly schistous clay, chlorite, limestone, felspar, gneiss, and diorite. The mineral wealth of this region consists in its coal-fields and gold, which, according to the natives, is found in almost every mountain stream; the coal-beds near Chertinton are worked by the Chinese.

According to the natives, shocks of earthquake are frequent and violent, but we only felt one slight shock.

The climate is exceedingly damp, especially in summer, part of autumn and spring; in winter, the people told us, that it was generally clear, cold winds alternating with calm warm weather. It rained constantly during the summer. We registered

  1. This mountain is situated at the sources of the Tatung, near Yunan-chen.
  2. I could not discover why Mounts Gadjur in the northern, and Sodi-Soruksum in the southern range, are not included in the number of the sacred mountains.