- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
114

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
114
by men. The men seemed mostly to be satisfied with
one wife. They plant the vine and drink wine,
although Muridism strove against it. On the whole
wc did not in these respects remark any difference
from the usual attitude and customs of Europeans.
Wc did not hear any muezzin in this town calling
out the times for prayer, and wc did not see the
men worshipping, or, for instance, saying their
evening prayer at sunset, which is generally held to
be indispensable for a true Mussulman. It may be
that Bolshevism, which seeks to do away with all
religion, has had some influence in this.
The museum was to a great extent given up to the
history of Daghestan. In particular, it seemed to be
a shrine to the memory of Shamyl, the prophet and
bitter foe of Russia, with pictures and photographs
from his remarkable life, his sabre, his harness, the
bag in which he carried the Koran with him, and the
cover of the book, the great stars of the order with
which he rewarded his brave Murids, and other relics.
Korkmazov spoke to us eloquently of his roman
tic life, and of how, as Mohammed’s unswerving
prophet, he had such remarkable power over the
mountaineers. He told us, too, of the hero Hadji
Murad from Avaria, who for eleven years was an
ally of Shamyl and his best leader, defeating the
Russians in battle after battle. But Shamyl, who
had had a hand in murdering his brother and his
near friends, the khans of Avaria, was afraid of
him, and in the end was bent on taking his life.
To revenge himself Hadji Murad then fled to the
Russians. His was a wonderfully tragic figure, torn

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