National Geographic : 1919 Jul
THE LAND OF LAMBSKINS in affairs of trade, government, and religion, gave me cordial and enjoy able entertainment for two nights at his home in the oasis. During that time I did not se cure a glimpse of any of his three wives or the older daughters among his seventeen living children. Our host informed us, how ever, that we were being duly scruti nized by his wo menfolk, as well as by the neighbors, through "peep holes." The women re mained, for the most part, in the kitchens preparing food and tea and sending them out NEWLY B( to be served to us by the boys of the The pursuit of beat Sm y methods of securing family. objects of beauty, who In order to con- tion, and scientific dev verse with the na- gathering of furs, fea tive it was neces- quaintance of even the sary to address, may be perpetuated. first, an English Russian-speaking interpreter, and he, in turn, passed the message on through an interpreter who spoke Russian and the native dialect. The part taken by the native in the conversation would then come to me reversely through the same interpreters. My conversation with actual breeders of Karakuls was confined, for the most part, to the owner of a flock of 8oo who resided at the juncture of the oasis and desert steppes of Bokhara, where are found the outlying irrigation ditches, which during ordinary years contain water for only short periods-a situation that had forced this ranchman to move in and out at intervals and to depend upon wells continually. On arriving at the headquarters of the )RN LAMB: STEPPES OF BOKHARA ity too often leads to cruelty, and some of the unborn lambs are quite revolting. Demand for lesale destruction, popular indignation, conserva elopment-these are the stages through which the thers, and flowers has progressed. Now the ac fearsome skunk is cultivated in order that beauty Karakul sheep-owner, our party was re ceived with kindly consideration, though with much curiosity and even suspicion, by the proprietor and two of his sons. However, as we sat on the rugs in his quarters, in Oriental style, with shoes re moved, and drank tea, cordiality soon de veloped, and one after another of the men and boy attaches of the establish ment joined the circle. At first the conversation, carried on with great difficulty through the two in terpreters, consisted of questions about sheep-raising, the taking of pelts and marketing, with the cautious replies; but as time passed, the situation became more mutual, till eventually the tables turned and they were quizzing me concerning affairs in my country.