Arabia, by Theodore Bent and Mabel Bent Project Gutenberg's Southern Arabia, by Theodore Bent and Mabel Bent This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions wha tsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Proje ct Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: Southern Arabia Author: Theodore Bent Mabel Bent Release Date: May 22, 2007 [EBook #21569] Language: English Character set encoding:
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  Arabia, by Theodore Bent and Mabel BentProject Gutenberg's Southern Arabia, by Theodore Bent and Mabel Bent This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: Southern ArabiaAuthor: Theodore Bent Mabel BentRelease Date: May 22, 2007 [EBook #21569]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-8859-1*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK SOUTHERN ARABIA ***Produced by Michael Ciesielski and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.netSOUTHERN ARABIA[Illustration: Lafayette, photo.Walker & Boutall ph. sc.[Signature: Theodore Bent]London. Published by Smith, Elder & Co. 15, Waterloo Place.]SOUTHERN ARABIABYTHEODORE BENT, F.R.G.S., F.S.A.AUTHOR OF 'THE RUINED CITIES OF MASHONALAND' 'THE SACRED CITY OF THE ETHIOPIANS' 'THE CYCLADES, OR LIFE AMONG THE INSULAR GREEKS' ETC.ANDMRS THEODORE BENTWITH A PORTRAIT, MAPS, AND ILLUSTRATIONLONDON SMITH, ELDER, & CO., 15 WATERLOO PLACE1900[All rights reserved]PREFACEIf my fellow-traveller had lived, he intended to have put together in book form such information as we had gathered about Southern Arabia. Now, as he died four days after our return from our last journey there, I have had to undertake the task myself. It has been very sad to me, but I have been helped by knowing that, however imperfect this book may be, what is written here will surely be a help to those who, by following in our footsteps, will be able to get beyond them, and to whom I so heartily wish success and a Happy Home-coming, the best wish a traveller may have. It is for their information that I have included so many things about the price of camels, the payment of soldiers and so forth, and yet even casual readers may care to know these details of explorers' daily lives.Much that is set down here has been published before, but a good deal is new.My husband had written several articles in the Nineteenth Century, and by the kindness of the editor I have been able to make use of these; also I have incorporated the lectures he had given before the Royal Geographical Society and the British Association. The rest is from his note-books and from the 'Chronicles' that I always wrote during our journeys.I thought at first of trying to keep our several writings apart; but, to avoid confusion of inverted commas, I decided, acting on advice, just to put the whole thing into as consecutive a form as possible, only saying that the least part of the writing is mine.The bibliography is far from complete, as I can name only a few of the many books that my husband consulted on all the districts round those which we were going to penetrate.As to the spelling of the Arabic, it must be remembered that it is a very widely   spread language, and there are naturally many different forms of the same word--e.g. ibn, ben, bin--and such very various ways of pronouncing the name of the Moslem prophet, that I have heard it pronounced Memet, Mamad and Mad.I must give hearty thanks in both our names to all who helped us on in these journeys, and especially to Mr. Headlam, who has given me much assistance by going through the proofs of this book. Mr. W. C. Irvine has kindly provided the column of literary Arabic for the vocabulary.MABEL VIRGINIA ANNA BENT.13 Great Cumberland Place, W: October 13, 1899.CONTENTSPAGE Bibliography ixSOUTHERN ARABIAchapter I. Manamah and Moharek 1 II. The Mounds of Ali 16 III. Our Visit to Rufa'a 30MASKAT IV. Some Historical Facts about Oman 45 V. Maskat and the Outskirts 63THE HADHRAMOUT VI. Makalla 71 VII. Our Departure into the Interior 81 VIII. The Akaba 88 IX. Through Wadi Kasr 98 X. Our Sojourn at Koton 111 XI. The Wadi Ser and Kabr Saleh 126 XII. The City of Shibahm 142 XIII. Farewell to the Sultan of Shibahm 162 XIV. Harassed by our Guides 177 XV. Retribution for our Foes 199 XVI. Coasting Eastward by Land 210 XVII. Coasting Westward by Sea 220DHOFAR AND THE GARA MOUNTAINS XVIII. Merbat and Al Hafa 227 XIX. The Gara Tribe 244 XX. The Gara Mountains 256 XXI. The Identification of Abyssapolis 268 XXII. Sailing from Kosseir to Aden 277AN AFRICAN INTERLUDE: THE EASTERN SOUDAN XXIII. Coasting along the Red Sea 287 XXIV. Halaib and Sawakin Kadim 298 XXV. Inland from Mersa Halaib 303 XXVI. Mohammed Gol 309 XXVII. 'Dancing on Tom Tiddler's Ground, Picking up Gold' 313 XXVIII. Behind the Jebel Erba 327THE MAHRI ISLAND OF SOKOTRA XXIX. Kalenzia 343 XXX. Eriosh and Kadhoup 353 XXXI. Tamarida or Hadibo 361 XXXII. We Depart for the Land's End, i.e. Ras Momi 371 XXXIII. Mount Haghier and Fereghet 378 XXXIV. Back to the Ocean 390BELED FADHLI AND BELED YAFEI XXXV. Experiences with the Yafei Sultan 399 XXXVI. Among the Fadhli 412 XXXVII. From the Plain of Mis'hal to the Sea 421Appendices 431Index 451BIBLIOGRAPHYAbu'lfida Ismael ibn Ali Imad ed din, Prince or King of Hamar.--G¨¦ographie d'Aboulfida, traduite de l'Arabe et accompagn¨¦e de notes et d'¨¦claircissements par M. Reinaud, par M. S. Guyard. Paris, 1848-83.Baros, Jo?o de.--Dos feitos que os Portugueses fizeram. 1778-80.Binning, Robert.--A Journal of Two Years' Travel in Persia, Ceylon, &c. 1857.Bunbury, Sir E. H.--Ancient Geography among the Greeks and Romans. 1879.Cartas de Alfonzo de Albuquerque.--Commentaries of Albuquerque, Hakluyt Society, translated by W. de G. Birch. 1875.Carter, Dr.--Paper in the Journal of the Asiatic Society. Bombay branch.Chabas, Joseph.--Les Inscriptions des Mines d'or. 1862.Correa, Gaspar.--Three Voyages of Vasco da Gama. Hakluyt Society, 1869.Fernan Lopes de la Castanbeda.--Historia do descubrimento e conquista da India pe los Portugueses. Lisbon, 1833.Glaser, Eduard.--Skizze der Geschichte der Geographie S¨¹d-Arabiens. Berlin, 1890.Goeje, J. de.--Bibliotheca geographicorum Arabicorum. 1870-85. M¨¦moires d'histoire et de g¨¦ographie orientales. 2nd edition, 1886.Helps to the Study of the Bible.Hommel, Fritz--S¨¹d-Arabische Chrestomathie und Min?o-Sab?ischen Grammatik. M¨¹nchen, 1893.India Directory,Part I. 1874.Miles, Colonel.--Report of the Administration of the Persian Gulf Residency, 1884-88. Journey through Oman and Dhakrireh. Blue Book, ccxx.  Muhamad ibn Muhamad, Geographie d'Edrisi.--Traduite de l'Arabe. Paris, 1836-40.Muhammad ibn Abdallah, called Ibn Batuta.Muhammad ibn Muhammad.--Geographia Nubiensis, 1619, 4o.M¨¹ller, D. H.--Epigraphische Denkm?ler aus Arabien (Denkschriften der K.K. Ak. der Wissenschaften Wien). Phil. Hist. Cl. 37, 1894. Himyarische Studien (Z. D. M., ¡ì 30). 1870.Palgrave, W. G.--Narrative of a Year's Journey through Central Eastern Arabia. 1865.Pollak, Dr. J. E.--Das Land und seine Bewohner. 1865.Sprenger Aloys.--B¨¹rger und Schl?sser S¨¹d-Arabiens. Die Alte Geographie Arabiens.Vincent, W.--The Commerce and Navigation of the Ancients in the Indian Ocean. 1886.Wellsted, Lieut.--Visit to Dhofar in the 'Philomel.' 1883. Rough notes of a visit to Nakhl and Jebel Akhdar.Ali Ibn al Husain, El Masudi, Abu al Hasan, Diodoros, Marco Polo, Sir John Maundeville, Pliny, the Periplus, Strabo, Ebn Said, Ptolemy, and others; but, as many of these names have been copied by me from rough notes of my husband's, I cannot be certain about the editions. I hope the imperfections of this bibliography will be excused.ILLUSTRATIONSA Mosque at Manamah, Bahrein to face p. 3Theodore Bent Receiving Visitors at the Mounds, Bahrein 24 The Interior of Sheikh Saba's House at Rufa'a, Bahrein 34 The Castle of the Sultan of Shibahm at Al Koton 110 The Castle of the Sultan of Makalla at Shibahm 125 A Sab?an Altar 145 A Gara Forge 247 The Abyss of Abyssapolis, Dhofar 271 Elba Mountains From Shellal 304 Flute-Players in the Wadi Koukout, Soudan 337 The Plain of Eriosh, Sokotra 354 Theodore Bent making the Vocabulary at Fereghet 365 Vegetation in Sokotra 379 The Breakwater at Fereghet 383 Dragon's-Blood Trees at Yehazahaz 387 The Haghier Mountains from Suk 394 Castle at Kanfar 402 Dirgheg 408 Old Na'ab 413 Fadhli at Shariah, Wadi Reban, with Curious Sandal 418 Village of Mis'hal 421 Plain of Mis'hal and A¨°deli Tribe 425 Fragment of Alabasteroid Limestone 435 Sab?an Antiquities 436MAPSArabia, showing the Routes of Mr. J. Theodore Bent to face p. xii Hadramut 70 Dhofar and the Gara-Range 226 Mount Erba and Surrounding Country 286 Sokotra 342 The Fadhli Country, South Arabia 400[Illustration: Map of ARABIAshowing the routes ofM^r. J. THEODORE BENT.Stanford's Geog.^l Estab.^t, LondonLondon: Smith, Elder & Co.]SOUTHERN ARABIACHAPTER IMANAMAH AND MOHAREKThe first Arabian journey that we undertook was in 1889, when we visited the Islands of Bahrein in the Persian Gulf; we were attracted by stories of mysterious mounds, and we proposed to see what we could find inside them, hoping, as turned out to be the fact, that we should discover traces of Phoenician remains.The search for traces of an old world takes an excavator now and again into strange corners of the new. Out of the ground he may extract treasures, or he may not--that is not our point here--out of the inhabitants and their strange ways he is sure, whether he likes it or not, to extract a great deal, and it is with this branch of an excavator's life we are now going to deal.We thought we were on the track of Phoenician remains and our interest in our work was like the fingers of an aneroid, subject to sudden changes, but at the same time we had perpetually around us a quaint, unknown world of the present, more pleasing to most people than anything pertaining to the past.  The group of islands known as Bahrein (dual form of Bahr, i.e. two seas) lies in a bay of the same name in the Persian Gulf, about twenty miles off the coast of El Hasa in Arabia.Bahrein is really the name of the largest of the islands, which is twenty-seven miles long by ten wide. The second in point of size is Moharek, which lies north of Bahrein, and is separated from it by a strait of horse-shoe form, five miles in length, and in a few places as much as a mile wide, but for the greater part half a mile.The rest of the group are mere rocks: Sitrah, four miles long, with a village on it of the same name; Nebi Saleh, Sayeh, Khaseifa, and, to the east of Moharek, Arad, with a palm-grove and a large double Portuguese fort, an island or a peninsula according to the state of the tide.It was no use embarking on a steamer which would take us direct from England to our destination, owing to the complete uncertainty of the time when we should arrive, so we planned out our way via Karachi and Maskat; then we had to go right up to Bushire, and again change steamers there, for the boats going up the Gulf would not touch at Bahrein. At Bushire we engaged five Persians to act as servants, interpreter, and overseers over the workmen whom we should employ in excavating.We had as our personal servant and interpreter combined a very dirty Hadji Abdullah, half Persian, half Arab. He was the best to be obtained, and his English was decidedly faulty. He always said mules for meals, foals for fowls, and any one who heard him say 'What time you eat your mules to-day, Sahib?' 'I have boiled two foals for dinner,' or 'Mem Sahib, now I go in bazaar to buy our perwisions of grub,' or 'What place I give you your grub, Mem Sahib?' would have been surprised.He had been a great deal on our men-of-war; he also took a present of horses from the Sultan of Maskat to the Queen, so that he could boast 'I been to Home,' and alluded to his stay in England as 'when I was in Home.'Abdullah always says chuck and never throw; and people unused to him would not take in that 'Those peacock no good, carboys much better,' referred to pickaxes and crowbars.[Illustration: A MOSQUE AT MANAMAH, BAHREIN]He used to come to the diggings and say: 'A couble of Sheikhs come here in camp, Sahib. I am standing them some coffee; shall I stand them some mixed biscuits, too?'I must say I pity foreigners who have to trust to interpreters whose only European language is such English as this.With the whole of our party we embarked on the steamer which took us to Bahrein, or rather as close as it could approach; for, owing to the shallowness of the sea, while still far from shore we were placed in a baggala in which we sailed for about twenty minutes. Then when a smaller boat had conveyed us as near to the dry land as possible, we were in mid-ocean transferred, bag and baggage, to asses, those lovely white asses of Bahrein with tails and manes dyed yellow with henna, and grotesque patterns illuminating their flanks; we had no reins or stirrups, and as the asses, though more intelligent than our own, will not unfrequently show obstinacy in the water, the rider, firmly grasping his pommel, reaches with thankfulness the slimy, oozy beach of Bahrein.Manamah is the name of the town at which you land; it is the commercial capital of the islands--just a streak of white houses and bamboo huts, extending about a mile and a half along the shore. A few mosques with low minarets may be seen, having stone steps up one side, by which the priest ascends for the call to prayer. These mosques and the towers of the richer pearl merchants show some decided architectural features, having arches of the Saracenic order, with fretwork of plaster and quaint stucco patterns.On landing we were at once surrounded by a jabbering crowd of negro slaves, and stately Arabs with long, flowing robes and twisted camel-hair cords (akkal) around their heads.Our home while in the town was one of the best of the battlemented towers, and consisted of a room sixteen feet square, on a stone platform. It had twenty-six w
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