Asia. The first part being an accurate description of Persia, and the several provinces thereof : the vast empire of the Great Mogol, and other parts of India, and their several kingdoms and regions : with the denominations and descriptions of the cities, towns, and places of remark therein contain'd : the various customs, habits, religion, and languages of the inhabitants : their political governments, and way of commerce : also the plants and animals peculiar to each country
Ogilby, John, 1600-1676.

The several sorts of People about Mengrelia and Mount Caucasus.

*MOunt Caucasus is inhabited by a wild sort of People of several Languages. The nearest to Mengrelia are the Lesgissian Tartars, Sovanians, Abcassians, Alans, Circassians, Ziques and Carocholians. They all boast them∣selves Christians, though they have neither Faith nor Religion amongst them. The most civiliz'd are the Sovanians, who willingly desire to be in∣structed they possess a great part of the Moun∣tains towards the side of Odisci and Imereti, and serve the Prince of Imereti, Vice-Roy to the King of Dadian. They are of a large Stature, and well Limb'd, but ill Featur'd; they are valiant Sol∣diers, good Archers, and have the Art of making Guns and Powder; but yet they are so very slo∣venly, that it would be loathsom to any nice Per∣son to touch them. They have plenty of Provi∣sions, yet come every Spring to Georgia, where they enter into Service, work in the Fields, and after Harvest return, carrying away with them Copper Plates, Kettles, Iron, Linnen Cloth, Carpets, and Salt, but with Silver they will not meddle, and about the beginning of Winter carry Wood to Odisci, which is much wanting there.

The Inhabitants of Mount Caucasus which dwell more Northerly, by the Turks call'd Abasses or Abcassians, are well proportion'd, of a good Complexion, and strong for all laborious Em∣ployments. The Countrey which they inhabit is very healthful, pleasant, and full of fruitful Hills,* and is water'd by two Rivers, the one call'd Soutbesu and the other Subasu: There is also a brave Harbor, nam'd Eschissumeni. They possess great Herds of Cattel. They never eat Fish, though they have great quantities thereof, both in the Sea and Rivers, and utterly abhor Lobsters and Page  98Crabs, mocking their Neighbors the Mengrelians for accounting them delicate Meat. They have no Corn, neither do they make use of Salt. There are an innumerable company of Hawk sand Fal∣cons, which they teach so well in eight days, that letting them flie at the Game, they return with the same upon the gingling of a Bell; and are from thence lent to Constantinople, Persia, and Georgia.

*Hunting and Hawking is their chiefest Busi∣ness and Recreation. They inhabit neither in Towns nor Castles, but fifteen or twenty Fa∣milies together, who erect Tents or Huts on the top of some pleasant Hill, which they fortifie with a kind of Pallisado's, that they may not be sud∣denly surpris'd and taken by their own Natives. Some affirm, that the Woods are their places of Residence, and that when once they setlte them∣selves in any one place, they never desert the same.

They endeavor to take away and sell one another for Slaves to the Turks, who highly esteem these Countrey People.

*Their Riches and Merchandise consist in all manner of Skins, Wax, Honey, and Slaves. Their Nobles commonly sell their Vassals to the Turks, in Barter for other Commodities.

There come yearly into the Haven of Eschissu∣muni several Ships from Lazi, Trebizonde, Constan∣tinople, and Caffa, where they stay sometimes all the Winter. The Merchants which come in them go not ashore with their Commodities, but sell them aboard, having beforehand given Oath or Hostages not to hurt one another.

Amongst other Customs peculiar to these Peo∣ple, one is, That they neither bury nor burn their Dead, but put the Corps into the Body of some hollow Tree, hanging up the Arms and Garments of the Deceased about it.

They go Cloth'd after the manner of the Cir∣cassians, onely their Hair they wear otherwise:* They let their Mustacho's grow, but shave their Beards: On the contrary, the Papari let all their Beards grow.

They maintain constant Wars against the Cir∣cassians and Mengrelians,* and are good Soldiers both on Foot and on Horseback, knowing well how to manage Fire-arms, as also Simiters, Bowes, and Arrows.

The Alans and Zichi agree for the most part in their manner of Living, with the Sovanians and Abcassians.

The Caracholians dwell also to the Northward of Mount Caucasus. Some call them Caraquirquez, that is, Black Circassians; for Cara is Black in the Turkish Language: But they are of a fair Com∣plexion, and therefore we may rather suppose, that this Name was given them because the Air of that Countrey which they inhabit is always dark and cloudy, and full of Snow. They speak the Otto∣man Tongue, notwithstanding they dwell in the midst of so many several forts of People, but so exceeding quick, that they can scarce be under∣stood.

The Jesuite Archange Lamberti affirms, that these People had their original from the Hunnes.

At the Black Sea dwell a sort of Mahumetans call'd Lesgi, who acknowledge no Prince abroad, but being divided amongst themselves, are un∣der many petty Governors, in their Language call'd Myrza, or Princes, of which some have scarce twenty Men under their Command. Moreover, they are a robust, and rude kind of People, chu∣sing rather to live in Villages in the Countrey, than in wall'd Cities. They are salvage and cruel, and implacably hated by their Neighbors, as a People that live by robbing and stealing.