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dicating that resistance would be in vain. The tombs of these canonised worthies are the only buildings of any note in the country: they are, unlike all others, erected of permanent materials, and form places of pilgrimage to all true believers. The well-known Persian motto as applied to Múltan is in full force in Sindh-"Sindh may be known by four things, heat, dust, beggars, and tombs."
It is remarkable, as Colonel (now Sir Henry) Pottinger states, that he discovered among the Bilúchis many customs of the laws of Moses, particularly as affected their moral institutions of marriage, and says, that tradition, oral and written, assigns them an Israelite descent as a branch of the Affghans.* One or two of the instances of resemblance between the laws of the Bilúchis and the ancient Jews are certainly remarkable, from whatever source they may have originated. Thus, that in the event of a death of a woman's husband, his brother is bound to marry her, and the children are the heirs of the deceased †: if a married woman elope, she and her paramour are to be put to death, "that evil may be put away," or full expiation made; and a man may only repudiate his wife, according to rules similar to those of the Jewish covenant.
These circumstances are curious, and eminently
* See "Pottinger's Bilúchistan."
interesting; more particularly so at the present period, when the traces are so eagerly sought by men of learning and research for the lost tribes of Israel. Colonel Pottinger, who was well acquainted with Bilúchi manners, evidently inclines to the opinion that, although changed much by many external circumstances, such as the frequent conquest of Bilúchistan by Persia, Hindostan, and other invaders, that yet the Bilúchis may have preserved some of their ancient laws, and that these laws were not Moslem of the Koran, but Jewish of the covenant.
It would be dangerous to offer any opinion on a point of so much difficulty; the Bilúchis themselves strongly deny any thing approaching to a Jewish origin, but are desirous to be considered always of the Arab stock, with whom they have constantly, in olden times, made alliances; and in all inquiries made to ascertain if any Jews among the Affghan population were to be found in the large towns of Sindh or Catchi, the result has been a negative. There is much in the appearance and mien of the Bilúchis essentially Jewish; not so, it is true, as compared with the small-made, cringing, sinister countenanced Jew of England, but with the Jew of Bagdad, of Palestine, of the East generally, where he is seen tall in stature, noble, but prominent in feature, and most graceful in his loose robes, and proud demeanour. It is not generally known from whence the Bilúchis emi
grated, but they are decidedly foreigners. They are generally supposed to have come from Mikran : but it is, I think, beyond all question that although their general habits assimilate them with the Arabs, their appearance is essentially Jewish. In figure, the Bilúchi is usually large and muscular, his complexion dark, and his nose remarkably aquiline. His eyes are large and expressive; not the quick, small, fiery eyes of the Arab, but eminently handsome, although too often betraying powerful and evil feeling. The hair is worn long, and falls in bushy ringlets over the back and shoulders, a ponderous turban being twisted round the head, and plaits of coarse hair sometimes seen entwined with the folds. The dress is of heavy white cloth, commonly brown from long service, and its fashion deserves remark: it bears no resemblance either to the Mohammedan, the Hindú, the Persian, or the Affghan, neither the Arab; but is formed of a short-waisted, tight-fitting body and sleeves, with an enormously full petticoat attached, precisely similar to those worn by the ancient Jews.* The Bilúchis, however, do not observe the Israelite law of not wearing linen or woollen together†, as they frequently add a cloak of goat's hair in the winter; but this they may have learnt as the custom of the tribes about them. No dress can be imagined so unsuited to their present habits of life,
* See Calmet's Illustrations of the Bible.
or their hot and dusty country, as this of the Bilúchis; it is, however, still preserved. In the Arab fashion, they suspend over this dress an innumerable quantity of arms, belts, powder flasks, &c., with a sword, shield, and matchlock. The belts, ball pouches, and other appendages are tasteful and picturesque accoutrements, being made in various forms, and embroidered in coloured silks, with numerous fringes, ornaments, and tassels attached.
The above description of costume and general appearance applies to the Western Hill Bilúchis, where they are more primitive in their habits than those of the plains located in Sindh Proper; in the northern parts of that country, however, the Bilúchi retains his original characteristics. The Bilúchi emigrates, and as a mercenary soldier is to be met with in many parts of Western India, and ranks next to the Arab in this capacity.
Before dismissing the Bilúchis, I must not omit to mention their love of field sports. From the Mirs downwards, this is the ruling passion; the country is completely sacrificed to it, and Sindh may be said to be one large hunting preserve, so small a proportion does the cultivated land bear to that appropriated to the purposes of breeding game. On the occasion of the British representative, Colonel Pottinger's negociating a treaty with the Amirs, they particularly stipulated that they should have protection for their sports, and stated,
that every head of deer killed in Sindh was calculated to cost 800 rupees (807. sterling): this is certainly not an exaggeration, but, on the contrary, were the districts occupied by dense jungles enclosed as preserves, and now only devoted to the wild boar, tiger, and other wild and dangerous animals, cleared for the purposes of fertility, the revenues of Sindh might be unlimited, and the cost of the game must therefore be estimated by the loss the country sustains to preserve it. All denominations of Bilúchis, however, are willing to forego anything and everything for this all-absorbing occupation; and it is the only motive, except war or plunder, which will rouse them from their general love of ease. Their method of pursuing these sports is, among the inferior classes, with dogs and spears; but with the princes and chiefs it is a very systematic and luxurious affair. The Amirs, seated in temporary huts erected for the occasion at the termination of one of the enclosed preserves, have the game driven towards them by an immense crowd of men, the inhabitants of the country being collected from every direction for this purpose. Thus the Hindú is forced from his shop and the Mahommedan husbandman from his plough, and detained for several days without food, or a farthing of remuneration for their services, but too often losing their lives, or sustaining serious injuries, merely to contribute to the sport of their rulers. Thus driven from their covert by the yells and