National Geographic : 1936 Jan
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE A TRUSTED SERVANT EXCHANGES SMILES WITH HIS WIFE Ahmed is a Kazak, honesty personified, and the chief, who relies on Ahmed to extricate him for the Kalmuck intoxicant leads him. Ahmed's fact (see illustration, page 54). Behind her hangs First kumiss, then tea, then mutton; such is the order of a Tekes feast. We had ar rived at sundown, and it was well on toward the setting of the quarter moon before we had disposed of the last of the sheep, licked our fingers, and cleaned our knives. An old shepherd came in with a two stringed lute; he warbled away in a high pitched voice, a weird falsetto in which most of the Turkic songs are sung. It thrills of the hills, of the wild steppes, and of the road. STRICT PRECEDENCE RULES ORDER OF SLEEPERS IN SEMICIRCLE We slept in a semicircle with our feet toward the smoldering fire; the host and his wife at the head end, Sayjan Beg and my self next, while the rest of the party were graded in rank down to Ahmed, the servant, at the tail end. The wife of our host was the last to bed. She was foraging around in the darkness for sticks of wood to throw on the fire. The a teetotaler. The latter quality endears him to from the many fracases into which his penchant wife is a Kirghiz; her headdress establishes that a wall decoration of Kirghiz-Kazak design. nomads of the Tekes are unusually blessed with wood for fires. Wood is a luxury rarely obtainable in Central Asia and the fires must generally be kept with dried dung. I once asked one of the women which she preferred to keep, a wood or a dung fire; she thought a moment, shrugged her shoulders, and laughed. "What is the dif ference? If it is dung, we must gather it; if it is wood, we must chop it." Morning found us up at daybreak, for people who live close to the earth waste none of the best hours of the day. A young Kirghiz took me down the ravine to the stream bank to show me his gaming eagle; it looked like an American golden eagle, was hooded, and tied to a three-legged perch. He showed me a small illik (Tien Shan roe deer) it had caught the day before. When in the velvet, the immature illik horns, as well as those of other deer, bring a fine price, because the Chinese buy them for medicinal purposes.