- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
23

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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TIFLIS
23
may change again and again as you go your way
and he follows you ; while the dignified Persian sits
stately on his crossed legs behind his own heap, and
leaves it for you to decide whether you will agree
to his price, which is certain not to be too low.
It has been said that it takes four Jews to be a
match for one Greek in trading, four Greeks to
be a match for one Armenian, but four Armenians
to match a Persian. Whether this is so may be left
an open question, but anyhow the traders of this
last nation are probably the most capable in the
East. Here Persian and Caucasian carpets are on
sale which might well tempt most weak mortals
beyond endurance, were it not for the thought ofthe
long journey by motor-car, tram, and steamer to
Norway. Farther on wc come to streets with shops
for goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ work and for
weapons, for which the Caucasus is renowned.
The skilful Caucasian weapon-makers seek to
convince you of the excellence of their weapons
by striking the kindjal (the big Caucasian dagger)
on the stones without any mark being left on the
steel edge. Here too one may be surprised to see
coats of mail offered for sale, and swords, iron
bound shields, and helmets, such as might well be
relics from Crusading days, but which are still used
by a few mountain tribes, especially the Khevsurs,
high up in the remote Caucasian valleys.
The Caucasians’ gold and silver work has been
highly esteemed ever since olden times, especially
the ornamental work of gold and silver inlaid in
bone and steel. As their weapons always played so

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