- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - III. The mountain peoples near the military road

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eats from are also unclean, and must not be used
by others. She must now stay in the "women’s
house" (or "cleansing house") outside the village
for thirty to forty days before she is once more
clean. Women, too, at their periods must betake
themselves to it.
Owing to the hard conditions of life they have no
wish for many children, and abortion is said to be
a general practice. It is not seemly to have a child
before the fourth year of wedlock, the second one
may come three years later, and three children are
enough; but girls are not welcome, although they
are not killed, as happened formerly among some
They make their clothing of wool, torn, and not
clipped, from the sheep. It is characteristic that the
underclothing is much coarser and heavier than the
men’s, for whom the finest and softest wool is used.
The Ossetes
The Ossetes are a people about 225,000 in number,
dwelling in Ossetia, on the west of our road to the
north. About them there has been much dispute
and much written by the learned. They are generally
held to be the descendants of the Indo-European
Alans, and perhaps partly, too, of the Massagetians
mentioned by Herodotus; they have also been
connected with his Sarmatians. Ptolemaeus (2nd
century a.d.) called them Ossilians, while for the
Arab and medieval writers they are Assans or Alans.
In the Russian chronicles in the beginning of the

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