Puslapio vaizdai

offence, or objected to this arrangement since this was the only proper way to become engaged and married.

Monthis passed and Trashi was still at Bamehgong, milking the yak and cows, shearing the sheep, hoeing the fields, or beating the clods to pieces with a long-handled mallet. The ploughing was generally done by the menfolk.

The plough itself was a most primitive one, of wood, slightly tipped with iron. In the autumn she would be busy, with the rest, harvesting the barley, wheat, turnips, and pease, practically the only crops that will grow at this altitude under present methods. The harvesting is generally accompanied by much mirth and fun. The Tibetans, being by no means a dull sort of people at any time, are especially cheerful in harvest time, when a number are thrown together. Men and women will bring home great burdens of barley or pease and climb up

the dangerous steps to the flat roof of a two or three-storeyed house, where the thrashing is performed. Women, generally, do this work by means of a stick tied to a long handle. They all keep time to a special harvest song, or a tune set to the formula “ommanipemehum.” As the Tibetan women have sweet voices, this performance is perhaps the most interesting to an outsider. It may be heard from all parts of the country where farm-houses are scattered.

In the dry corn fields groups of men and women may be seen squatting round a churn of beer or tea, and Tibetan women enjoy their tea as much as English ladies do, that is, if buttered and seasoned to taste. While beer drinking is a habit all over Tibet, it is more of a vice in Central than in East Tibet. The really ruinous drink in Tibet is not “chiang" (a mild beer, but “ara” wine), which is often imported from China. It is too dear for common use, happily, or Tibet would be a worse country than it is to-day. Women, too, will have their special beer parties. They seat themselves in a ring on the ground with churns of beer, or chiang, in the centre. They will sit thus for hours, drinking and singing. Sometimes they will get up and dance round the beer, holding one another's hands, like children round a Christmas tree, singing all the time.

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CHAPTER V. Trashilhamo had just turned twenty, when one afternoon in February a messenger came from Ranang, bringing the "noorin” (mother's “milk price'') as they call the presents


given in “gratitude" for a daughter “wooed and won." It is quite optional what to give-ranging from a few rupees to a small fortune, according to circumstances. The bridegroom's parents give to the bride's family, while the girl's parents provide the bride's dowry. Of course customs vary in different parts of the country.

In this case the noorin consisted of a handsome pony, some pieces of “gonam” and silk, and about 200 rupees for the parents; while Trashi got soine pieces of silk and cloth and a few ornaments.

These last-being made for the Litang district-caused a good deal of fun. Trashi fastened the ornaments in her friend's hair and the kitchen rang with their laughter. Even the ponbo had to join in, but then suddenly he commenced to explain the use of these various ornaments, partly in apology, adding that they were generally used in the Litang province.

The silver discs or plates for the hair-110 less than three in number—caused fresh bursts of laughter as they found them so difficult to disentangle from the hair. Trashi and her mother then admired the corals and jade with which they were setinuch to the messengers' pleasure, who were sitting crosslegged on the floor sipping their nicely buttered and seasoned tea. Trashi knew how to make good tea. An ornamental wooden bowl (only used for special occasions) was placed before the messenger and his companion, full of the finest dsamba, together with a plateful of butter and a cake of sour cheese. T'rashi urged them to eat, and Drolma kept replenishing their wooden tea cups from the bright brass tea pot brought out for the occasion. Ordinarily an earthenware tea pot, ornamented with small pieces of china, is used, and people help themselves from it. No wonder the elderly messenger, dressed in sheep skin trimmed with red shagreen, jovially stroked the few long hairs on his upper lip, and then with an air of importance produced from the bosom of his gown a letter from his chief, which was carefully wrapped in a silken “kata" (white salutation scarf), and with a low bow presented it to the ponbo with both hands, saying politely “Kuzug tsen gye" (long life and honour to you)! “Katas” had also been presented with the presents, but not with so much grace and confidence.

The ponbo read the letter aloud. It was from the Ranang chief, and though very politely styled, was quite intelligible to


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Trashi, who sobered down at the sentence, “The 18th of the 3d moon is an auspicious day, and with your favour we will send for the bride, Trashilhamo (glorious goddess) on that day."

"Only about two months left then," said mother and daughter at the same time, thinking chiefly of all the work before them.

Dorje Semden wrote in acquiescence, and the messenger left the next morning with many bows and smiles.

The morning of the 8th of the 3rd moon was a little wet. Trashi, Gezang, and a little servant girl had gone off early that morning for the winter pastures, about one and a half day's journey towards the south-east.

“I saw Treshiang, Aggutsering's wife yesterday,” remarked Palma, to her husband, "and she said that Aggu had taken two skins of butter with him to sell in Batang in order to pay that priest the interest due on the money borrowed last year.

He could not pay him at the New Year and the man threatened to take from him the only field worth having." “I will talk with him," said the chief ;

said the chief; "he is really not a bad man, but he seems to have money standing out all over.” “Yes, and getting rich on it," she added.

“ He took that fine mule from Tsao in Batang. It was worth a hundred rupees at least.” Meanwhile Trashi and her party were nearing the top of

They stamped bare-foot through the snow so as not to soil their boots, which they tucked in under the sash behind. The young servant girl and Trashi were now and then battering one another with snow-balls. Gezang was muttering some well-known prayer as he led the yak over the difficult path. The sing-song did not cease, though now and then a ball would hit his thick skip gown. him, Trashi cast a big ball on his fur cap.

This had the desired effect. He looked back with a revengeful smile. Trashi tried to run, but he had hold of her grey woollen gown before she thought he meant it, and cruelly enveloped her neck in snow. With a cool smile he caught hold of the yak again while Putty helped Trashi to brush the snow off. Again the sing-song commenced, and the trio ascended, without further fun, to the summit of the pass, marked by a pile of stones, to which Gezang and the girls each added a stone,

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the pass.

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saying: “Cho sheh " (accept the offering). Immediately past the summit the scenery, the climate, and even Gezang's prayer changed.

They reached a camp of black-tent nomads at the upper end of the valley, where they spent the night. The tent (entirely made of yak hair) resembled a huge spider, with legs of yak-hair-ropes extending in all directions. The two sides of the tent were loosely laced together at the top so as to allow an exit for smoke.

Trashi knew the inmates well, who received her and her companions with apparent pleasure. They were soon seated on skins spread on the ground, and almost in no time the tent wife had churned the tea, and, with a broad smile on her greased and wrinkled face, poured the liquor into their wooden cups with a brass ladle. Trashi was soon at home with the three plump, round-faced daughters of the nomad, and made herself generally useful. She helped them to carry water in big churns or bamboos, balanced on the small of the back by means of a rope over the chest. She helped them to get the cows, sheep, and yak into the big enclosure by the tent. The wee lambs were carried into the tent after getting their drink of milk from their respective mothers, who being members of the Asiatic Cow League, absolutely refused to give any milk till these rightful owners had first had their portion.

Then the short twilight was gone and all found shelter under the black fabric, lit up (and smoked) by a pine fire suspended on an iron grate. Wolves were heard on the mountain side, So the nomad took down his loaded musket, cautiously lighted the cotton fuse, and discharged the long, forked gun a few steps from the tent.

The next morning the travellers were courteously offered milk. This was politely refused, as Tibetans seldom drink fresh milk, but save it for churning. They were then pressed to accept “shio” (curdled milk), which they gratefully accepted.

Trashi insisted on the “nemo" (hostess) accepting a few handfuls of tea leaves, and then with a “kali shu" left the little group at the tent door, smilingly responding in chorus: “Kali pe, ah!" (proceed carefully).

(To be continued.)





The demand for well-transCHINESE VIEWPOINT.

lated hymns (from English into

Chinese) is not little. I may To the Editor of

state that I was once asked by "THE CHINESE RECORDER.

one of my relatives to select

hymns from the hymn books DEAR SIR : I have received a (translated from English hymns) letter, and from it I am glad to for him to put in a more effectlearn of your energetic efforts ive manner in order to maintain to reorganise church music in

as much as possible the effect China, which is of great impor- of the tunes. The matching of tance in our worship, and though the present Chinese translated my experience and knowledge hymns to the tunes is not nearly are not as wide as others', I con- as good as the ordinary English sider that in the present times of ones.

There are many very progress in China such organisa- good English hymns, and if tion should not be overlooked translated by good translators by us Christians.

As I was the singers will certainly sing asked to express my opinion with much higher spirit than at and suggestions in reply to the present. queries put forward by you, I consider it my duty to submit 3. Good Chinese Christian to your judgment a few remarks poets with modern education, on the reorganisation required and lovers of Christ, can, in my in the south as well as in the opinion, compose splendid hymns north. And though my sug:

to match tunes from English gestions may not be of any as- tune books or music recently sistance to you, I hope you may composed by Chinese Christians consider that my reply to your

for use in sacred services. As queries shows my appreciation to the melodies I think Chinese and thankfulness for the under- vocal capacities should be suited taking on behalf of our Chris- both in translating from the tians in China. I now venture English or selecting some good to give the following remarks :- ones composed and sung by

Chinese themselves. 1. Not many days since, I went to church with my family ; 4. From my youth I have the service was opened, to my never felt, or been trained, to agitation, with an unbearable take interest in Chinese music singing of a hymn for worship. as I do in Western music, for I cannot describe how the hymn the reason is that the former is was sung, as so many varied not agreeable to me as the latter. tones, with yelling and shouting, Chinese music in ancient times covered the hearing of the organ. was good, but through the loss It made me think of the first of of the good ancient music the your series of questions, and I Chinese schools nowadays are believe that reorganisation of adopting foreign music. How church music really should not could or how could the be delayed.

church abandon the existing


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