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GREENLAND. out of the coaches; it is extended to the horses, whose heads, manes, and tails are ornamented with the rarest plumage, and set off with ribbons and artificial flowers."
The bereditary jurisdiction of the nobles over their vassals subsists in the follest rigour of the fendal government. The peasants therefore are poor, and it depends entirely on the personal character of the master, shether their poverty be not the least of their grievances. As this power is too often abused, the importance of the nobility depends in a great measure on the favour of the king, who, under pretence of any offence, can confine them to their estates, oi imprison them, at pleasure, and he has little to fear from their fesentment.
MANNERS, CHARACTER, AND Customs Of the Natives of
GREENLAND. Is winter the people dwell in huts of stone or turf; on the sides are two windows, covered with the skins of seals or rein-deer. These huts are seldom more than two ells above the surface of the ground; the rest of them being sunk in the earth, for defence against wind and cold. Several families live in one of these bouses, possessing each a separate apartment, before which is a hearth with a great lamp placed on a trevet, over which hangs their kettle; above is a rack or shelf, on which their wet clothes are dried. They burn train oil in their lamps; and instead of wick, they use a kind of moss, which fully answers the purpose. These fires are not only sufficient to boil their victuals, but they likewise produce such a heat, that the whole house is like a bagnio. The door is very low, that as little cold air as possible may be admitted. The house within is lined with old skins, and surrounded with benches for the convenience of strangers. In summer they dwell in tents made of long poles fixed in a copical form, covered in the inside with deer-skins, and on the outside with seal-skins, dressed so that the rain cannot enter them.
In their dispositions, the Greenlanders are cold, phlegmatic, indolent, and slow of apprehension, but very quiet, orderly, and good natured. In natural affection they seem to equal the natives of the warmest climates. Two of them were carried off, and brought to Denmark, but though caressed by the king and court to the utmost, were quite unhappy, and one of them always wept upon seeing an infant in its mother's arms, whence it was concluded that he had left a wife and a young child in Greenland.
They live peaceably together, and have everything in common, without strife, envy, or animosity. They are hospitable, but sloveply, to a degree almost beyond the Hottentots. They never wash themselves with water, but lick their paws like a cat, and then rub their faces with them They eat after their dogs without washing their dishes, devour the Fermin which devour them, and even lick the sweat which they scrape off their faces with their knives. The women wash themselves with what must not be named, which they imagine makes their hair grow; and in winter go out immediately, to let the liquor freeze upon their skin. They often eat their victuals off the ground, and
devour rotten flesh with avidity. In times of scarcity they will subsist on pieces of old skin, reeds, sea-weeds, and a weed called tugloronet, dressed with train oil and fat. The intestines of rein-deer, the entrails of partridges, and all sorts of offals, are counted dainties among these savages, and of the scrapings of seal skins they make pancakes. At first they could not taste the Danish provisions 3:1 without abhorrence ; but now they are become extremely fond of bread and butter, though they still retain an aversion to tobacco and spirituous liquors; in which particular they differ from almost all z. savages on the earth.
The Greenlanders commonly content themselves with one wife; who is condemned, as among other savage nations, to do all the drudgery, and may be corrected and even divorced by the husband at pleasure. Heroes, however, and extraordinary personages, are indulged with a plurality of wives. These people never marry within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity, nor is it considered decent for a couple to marry who have been educated in the same family.
They have a number of ridiculous superstitious customs. While a woman is in labour, the gossips hold a chamber utensil over her head, as a charm to hasten the delivery; when the child is a year old, the mother licks and slabbers it all over, to render it, as she imagines, more strong and hardy. The Greenlanders are constantly employed either in fishing or hunting. At sea they pursue the whales, mooses, seals, fish for eating, and sea fowls. On shore they hunt the reindeer in different parts of the country. They drive these animals, which feed in large herds, into a varrow defile, where they kill them with arrows. Their bow is made of fir-tree, wound about with the twisted sinews of animals ; the string is of the same stuff, or of sealskin; the arrow is a full fathom in length, pointed with a bearded iron or a sharp bone ; but those with which they kill birds are blunt, that they may not tear the flesh. Sea-fowls they kill with lances, which they throw to a great distance with surprising dexterity.
Their manner of catching whales is quite different from that practised by the Europeans. About fifty persons, men and women, set out in one long boat, which is called a kone-boat, from kone a women, because it is rowed by females only. When they find a whale, they strike him with harpoons, to which are fastened, with long lines, some seal-skins, blown up like bladders. These, by floating on the surface, not only discover the back of the whale, but hinder him from foundering under water for any length of time. They continue to pursue him until he loses strength, when they pierce bim with spears and lances till he expires. On this occasion they are dressed in their spring coats, consisting of one piece, with gloves, boots, and caps of seal skin, so closely laced and sewed, that they keep out the water. Thus accoutred, they leap into the sea, and begin to slice off the fat, even under water, before the whale is dead,
They have many different ways of killing seals ; namely, by striking them with a small barpoon, equipped also with an air-bag ; by watching them when they come to breathe at the air-holes in the ice, and striking them with spears; by approaching them in the disguise of their own species, that is, covered with a seal skin, creeping upon
53 the ice, and moving the head from side to side just as the seals are taustomed to do. By this stratagem the Greenlander moves towards the unsuspecting seal, and kills him with a spear.
The Greenlanders angle with lines made of whalebone, cut very small, by means of which they succeed wonderfully.
The Greenland canoe, like that used in Nova Zembla and Hudson's Bay, is about three fathoms in length, pointed at both ends, and three-quarters of a yard in breadth. It is composed of thin rafts fastened together with the sinews of animals. It is covered with dressed seal-skins both above and below, in such a manner that only a circular hole is left in the middle, large enough to admit the body of one man. Into this the Greenlander thrusts bimself up to the waist, and fastens the skin so tight about him, that no water can eater. Thus secured, and armed with a paddle broad at both ends, be will venture out to sea in the most stormy weather, to catch seals and sea-fowl; and if he is overset, he can easily raise himself by means of his paddle. A Greeolander, in one of these canoes, which was brought with him to Copenhagen, outstripped a pinnace of sixteen oars, manned with choice mariners.
The kone-boat is made of the same materials, but more durable ; and so large, that it will contain fifty persons with all their tackling, baggage, and provisions. She is fitted with a mast, with a triangular sail made of the membranes and entrails of seals, and is managed without the help of bracings and hawlings. The kones are flat-bottomed, aod sometimes sixty feet in length. The men think it beneath them to take notice of them, and therefore they are left to the conduct of the women, who indeed are obliged to do all the drudgery, including even the building and repairing of their houses, while the men employ themselves wholly in preparing their bunting implements and fishing tackle.
CossaCKS. This is a name given the people inhabiting the banks of the rivers Dnieper and Don, near the Black Sea, and borders of Turkey. The word implies irregular troops of horse. These people are divided into European and Asiatic Cossacks. The first consist of the Zaporogs, who dwell below the cataract of the Dnieper, some on the side next to Russia, and others on the opposite side of that river ; the Upper and Lower Cossacks, the Bielgorod Cossacks, and a part of the Don Cossacks. The Asiatic Cossacks are composed of the rest of the Don Cossacks, the Grebin Cossacks, the Yaik Cossacks, and the Western Cossacks, who retiring from those that inhabited the south borders of Siberia, under Yaneki Khan, settled upon
the Wolga, and are dependent upon Russia. The Cossacks have been known by that name ever since A. D. 948. They dwelt upon Mount Caucasus, in the place now called Cabardy; and were reduced to the Russian dominion by prince Mastiffau in the year 1021. Many Russians, Poles, and others, who could not live at home, have at different times been admitted among the Cossacks; but the latter, abstracted from these fugitives, must have been an ancient and well-governed nation.
The Cossacks are tall and well made, generally hawk-vosed, and of good mien. They are hardy, vigorous, brave, and extremely jealous of what is most valuable in life, their liberty; fickle and wavering, but sociable, cheerful, and sprightly. They are a very powerful people, and their forces consist wholly of cavalry. Their dialect is a compound of the Polish and Russian language, but the latter is the most predominant. They were formerly Pagans or Mahometans; but upon their entering into the Polish service, they were baptized Christians of the Romish communion; and now that they belong to Russia, they profess themselves members of the Greek church.
Each of their towns, with the district belonging to it, is governed by an officer called cettoman, attaman, or hettman. The Cossacks in general are of great service to garrison towns by way of defence, or to pursue an enemy, but are not so good at regular attacks.
Don Cossacks, (so called from their residence on the banks of the Don.)--In 1599, when the czar, John Basilowitz, was emperor of Russia, they voluntarily put themselves under his protection, and are at this time on a pretty equal footing with the other Russian subjects. They have several towns and villages on the banks of the Don; but are prevented from extending farther up the country, by the scarcity of fresh water and wood in many places. Their chief support is grazing and agriculture, and occasionally robbing and plundering, for which they want neither capacity nor inclination. Every town is governed by a magistrate called tamann; and the tamanns, with their towns, are under the jurisdiction of two tamans, who reside at Tsherkasky. The troops of these Cossacks consist entirely of cavalry; and their manners in general resemble those of the Zaporog Cossacks. In this country all the towns and villages are fortified, and encompassed with palisades, to defend them against the incursions of the Calmucs and Kuban Tartars, with whom they are continually at war.
The Heidamack or Seitsh Cossacks have their particular hettman. They inhabit the Russian, Polish, and Turkish dominions on the Dnieper.
The Yaik Cossacks, dwell on the south side of the river Yaik, and, upon the success of the Russian arms in the kingdom of Astracan, voluntarily submitted to them. In stature they greatly resemble the other Cossacks; though by their boorish manner of living, and intermarriages with the Tartars, they have not the shape and air peculiar to the rest of their countrymen. Their natural dispositions, and customs are, however, nearly the same. Husbandry, fishing, and feeding of cattle are their principal employments ; and, like the other tribes they slip no opportunity of making depredations on their neighbours. Their continual war with the Kara Kalpacs, and the Kasal-Shaia-Horda, oblige them to keep their towns and villages in a state of defence. They are indeed subject to Russian waywodes, to whom they pay an annual tribute in corn, wax, honey, and cattle ; but they have also their particular chiefs, who govern them according to their ancient customs. Though the generality of the Yaik Cossacks profess the Greek religion, yet a great many relics of Mahometanism and Paganism are still found among them.
Being naturally bold and hardy, they make excellent soldiers ; and they are not so turbulent as the other Cossacks. They live entirely