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carpets are the most celebrated in Turkey.
Their clothes are heavily embroidered with
gold and silverthe colours generaly deep
red, and bright yellow, and black, in stripes;
they tinge their eyelids with kohl, and live
well and luxuriously. The girls of the Malli
tribe are considered the most beautiful of the
Kurdish women, and are greatly sought after
a hundred pounds, or twenty purses, being
often given for them. They are tattooed by
Arab women, who wander from tent to tent
for that purpose, and who work with
gunpowder and indigo. The operation is
performed at the age of six or seven, and an
elaborate pattern gains perhaps an extra
purse in the matrimonial market. The women
show their faces, and eat with the men. Well,
these Kurds have been mortal enemies of the
Yezidis; have razed more valleys, slain more
men, and captured more women, than even
the Turks themselves, and are dreaded and
hated in consequence. Because of the oppressions
committed and the dangers in which
the Yezidis had lived, their great festival
the pilgrimage to the tomb of Sheikh Adi
had been greatly neglected of late years; but,
in the year when Layard was with them, it
was exceedingly well-attended. To this
pilgrimage the tribes all flocked. The clean
white houses of the Yezidi valleysmany
standing in their own little gardens, with a
stream of running water passing through
emptied themselves of their inmates; all
pressing onward to the valley of the tomb of
the Sheikh Adi. Every person bathed and
put on clean clothes before entering the
valleythe men washing in one part of the
stream and the women in anotherbut,
unconscious of evil, bathing in the midst of the

As soon as the pilgrims saw the sacred
tomb, each man fired his matchlock and set
up his war-cry; the women clapped their
hands and shouted too; the children mingled
their shrill voices in the cries. Almost
every one was clothed in white, and wore
flowers and leaves in their hair or turbans.
The beauty of the women, the varied dresses
and countenances of the different tribes as
they wound down the sacred valley, the gaiety of
the people, and the softness of the scenery,
made up a prospect perhaps unrivalled in
the whole worldall was so gay, and bright,
and innocent. The child-like enthusiasm of
the pilgrims was equalled only by their
child-like innocence and gaiety, and it was
well worth the journey from Mosul to witness
only their delight. Sheep were slain
and distributed to the poor; members of a
herd of white oxen penned near the temple
shared the same fate; bread was baked,
dried figs and raisins strung in grotesque
figures, fresh fruit and sour curds formed the
food of most; and then night drooped over
the valley, teeming with its mighty congregation
of near five thousand souls. As the
darkness deepened, torches and fires were
lighted, men and women wandered into the
forest, carrying lighted masheals in their
hands; the red light tossed high about, and
every now and then was lost among the trees,
then glimmering out through the leaves and
across the black branches, producing a magical
effect; lamps hung round the white walls
of the temple, the priests and elders sitting in
the full blaze, with the women of their own
order, grouped about; the voices of men and
women came up, soft and sweet, from the
valley, and laughter and happy childish joy
mingled with them; when suddenly all was
stilland then a chant, wild, solemn, and
majestic, swelled on the air, and soft tones of
the flutes and the clash of symbols and of the
tambourines blending with the voices. This
song, sweet and low, like a cathedral chant,
continued for about an hour, and then gradually
changed into a lively air, the musical
instruments louder and quicker as the
harmony became merrier and the voices swifter.
All soon grew into a mere Babel of sounds.
The tambourines rung quick and hard, the
clash of the symbols, and the wild pourings
forth of the flutes, increased both in measure
and in energy; the musicians gave way to
an excitement that was almost madness;
they flung their instruments frantically in
the air, and shrieked, rather than sung,
and writhed, and strained, and threw
themselves into all strange, mad contortions, until
both players and singers fell exhausted to
the ground. And then a yell, that seemed to
pierce the very heaven above, from every tree,
and stone, and grassy plot, and from the
banks of the rippling streama fearful shriek
that burst like the scream of tortured spirits
let loose; and then a silence, dumb as death,
came upon them all; and then the cheerful
voices of men and women chatting merrily
beneath the trees, or in the woods, or on the
lawns, lasting until the morning. In the
morning the pilgrims slept until the noonday;
and, in the evening again, when about seven
thousand pilgrims were then assembled, the
solemn chant falling gradually into the rapid
melody, and melody becoming temporary
madness, was again renewed. But emphatic
testimony is borne to the fact that, though
roused to the state of wild excitement, not
an act, or word, or gesture, was attempted,
that the most scrupulous purist could have
condemned. Yet, from this ceremony in the
pilgrimage to the sacred valley, the Yezidis
have been called the Extinguishers of Lights,
and are believed to enact a scene of profanity
and vice equalled only by the traditions of
extinct orgies.

Devil-worshippers as they are, the poor
Yezidis are not to be despised. They are no
worse than their neighbours, except in
their given name. Ah! not only with the
Yezidis, but with all men, perfect knowledge
would cast out hatred, and condemnation
would die if understanding and sympathy
were born in the hearts of men. Not even a

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