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Across Coveted Lands by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

Beluch wives are said to be quite faithful


The

women on their side have a similar sort of entertainment by themselves, stuff themselves with food to their hearts' content, and wash it down with water or tea. At the end of the meal a bowl is passed round and each man and woman rinses mouth and hands.

The _Sung_, or betrothal, is regarded as most sacred, and much rejoicing is gone through for several days with music and dancing and firing of guns, and this is called the _nikkar_, just preceding the _urus_, or actual marriage ceremony, which is performed by a Mullah. The bridegroom, having ridden with his friends to a neighbouring Ziarat to implore Allah's protection, returns and sits down in the centre of the circle formed by the men. Two of his friends are sent to fetch the girl's father, who is led down to the assembly.

The bridegroom again assures him in front of all these witnesses that should he from any fault of his own divorce his wife he will forfeit the premium paid for her, whereupon the father replies that he will settle a sum on the girl as a "_mehr_" or dowry. The father then departs, and returns, bringing the bride wrapped up in her best clothing and _chudder_.

A slightly modified Mussulman form of marriage is then gone through, and the Mullah asks the woman three times if she agrees to marry the man. Everything having passed off satisfactorily, the happy couple depart to a hut or tent placed at their disposal,

and very discreetly, nobody goes near them for some considerable length of time.

It is said that the thoughtfulness of the Beluch towards a newly-married couple will go so far that, even if the tribe were stalked by the enemy, no one would go and warn the happy couple for fear of disturbing them!

The bridegroom stays with his bride for several days, and if he belongs to some other village or encampment, will then return to his home, and leave his wife behind for months at a time.

Beluch wives are said to be quite faithful, and at the death of the husband go for a considerable time without washing. This mark of respect for the husband is, however, extensively indulged in even before the wife becomes a widow--at least, judging by appearances.

CHAPTER XXXVIII

A long march--Karodak--Sandstorm--A salt plain--Yadgar--Padag--Beluch huts--Fierce wind--Plants--Kuchaki chah--Another double march--Mall--Two tracks--Peculiar cracks--A gigantic geological fault--An old Beluch fort--Nushki.

Captain Webb-Ware having most kindly arranged to "dak" camels for me, I was enabled to remain here one day by sending my own camels with loads ahead, I proposing to catch them up by going three marches on January 27th. The distance was 54 miles 980 yards, and I covered it in nine hours, which was quite good going.

"Sand mounts and high hill ranges were to the north and south, and the track lay east-north-east (70 deg. b.m.) with parallel sand ridges to the north. Three long sand banks from 30 to 50 feet high, facing north, accumulated by wind coming through gaps in the hills. To south, high mountains as one approaches Karodak."

That is the only entry I find in my note-book for the march between Dalbandin and Karodak (16 miles 380 yards). Here the camel that had been sent ahead for me to ride to the next post-house had unluckily bolted, and after wasting nearly an hour the Beluch were unable to capture him. I bade good-bye to the _jemadar_ and his men, who had politely escorted me thus far, and had to continue upon the same camel.


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