- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
100

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
100
teristics, although these peoples were not originally
Semitie.
The Lesghian tribes live up in the mountain
valleys in villages (a-ul), which lic in terraces,
house above house up the sides of the great
mountains, always facing south so as to get the
warmth of the sun; they are generally in very
inaccessible places, easy to defend. The houses are
rectangular, as a rule, built of stone with coarse
mortar, and mostly on two floors; they are flat
roofed, and so packed one above the other that the
roof of one house often måkes a kind of courtyard
or terrace for the one over it. It is the same as what
wc have already (pp. 56, 57, 66) described in the
case of Khevsurs and Ossetes. On the lower floor
are the stalls and store-rooms, on the upper floor
the room for the men and women, and the guest
room. It is seldom that there is a separate room for
the women. There are but few chairs ; they sit with
crossed legs on the ground, which is spread with
rugs ; sometimes there are also rugs hanging on the
walls. As fuel, dried cow-dung in bricks is mostly
used, also wood where there is any. The houses
are generally separated from the narrow, steep
streets by a small courtyard fenced with a stone
wall, which has no opening but the gate.
Over their underclothes the men wear a long
cloth coat with a belt round the waist, cloth
trousers, leather leggings, and soft leather shoes, or
else high felt boots. On their head they wear heavy
sheep-skin caps; the hair is usually close-cropped.
Over the coat they wear a thick cloak (burka) of

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