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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

Are intended for the top part of the kalian


To

enumerate all one sees in the bazaar would take a volume to itself, but on glancing through we see the excited auctioneer in his white turban calling out figures on an ascending scale, and tapping on a piece of wood when a sufficient sum is offered and no more bids are forthcoming. He has assistants showing round the various articles as they are being sold,--umbrellas, tooth-brushes, mirrors, knives, etc.

The pipe shops are small--with black and red and blue earthenware cups for the kalian. There is not much variety in the shape of the pipes except that some are made to be used in the joined hands as a draw-pipe for the smoke, the cup being held between the thumbs. Others, the majority of them, are intended for the top part of the kalian.

The barber's shop is a quaint one, remarkably clean with whitewashed walls and a brick floor. Up to some five feet along the walls is nailed a cloth, usually red, against which the customers rest their heads while being shaved. Hung upon the walls are scissors of all sizes, razors, and various other implements such as forceps for drawing teeth, sharp lancets for bleeding, the knives used for the operation of circumcision, and a variety of wooden combs and branding irons.

Yes, the Persian barber has multifarious occupations. He is surgeon, dentist and masseur, besides being an adept with comb and razor. He is--like his brother of the West--an

incessant talker, and knows all the scandal of the town. While at work he has a bowl of clean water by his side which he uses on the patient's face or top of the skull and neck, which are in male Persians all clean-shaved. No soap is used by typical Persian barbers. Their short razors, in wooden cases, are stropped on the barber's arm, or occasionally leg, and are quite sharp.

The younger folks of Persia shave the top of the skull leaving long locks of hair at the side of the head, which are gracefully pushed over the ear and left hanging long behind, where they are cut in a straight horizontal line round the neck. This fashion is necessitated by the custom in Persia of never removing the heavy headgear. The elder people, in fact, shave every inch of the scalp, but balance this destruction of hair by growing a long beard, frequently dyed bright red or jet black with henna and indigo.

The bread-shops of Persia are quaint, a piece of bread being sometimes as big as a small blanket and about as thick. These huge flat loaves are hung up on slanting shelves. In Central and Southern Persia, however, the smaller kind of bread is more commonly used, not unlike an Indian _chapati_. A ball of flour paste is well fingered and pawed until it gets to a semi-solid consistency. It is then flung several times from one palm of the hand into the other, after which it is spread flat with a roller upon a level stone slab. A few indentations are made upon its face with the end of the baker's fingers; it is taken up and thrown with a rapid movement upon the inner domed portion of a small oven, some three to four feet high, within which blazes a big charcoal fire. Several loaves are thus baked against the hot walls and roof of the oven, which has an aperture at the top, and when properly roasted and beginning to curl and fall they are seized with wonderful quickness and brought out of the oven. Gloves on the hands and a cover over the baker's face are necessary to prevent burns and asphyxia from the escaping gases of the charcoal from the aperture over which the man must lean every time.

In the bazaars of large cities one finds every now and then large caravanserais, handsome courts with a tank of water in the centre and shops all round. It is here that wholesale dealers and traders have their premises, and that caravans are accommodated on their arrival with goods. There are generally trees planted all round these courts to shade the animals and buyers, and often a high and broad platform or verandah all round, where the goods are spread for inspection. Some of the richer caravanserais are quite handsome, with neat latticed windows and doors. The walls are painted white. The court is crammed with tired camels, mules, beggars and loafers.


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