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With the whole of our party we embarked on the steamer which took us to Bahrein, or rather as horhy 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 honry 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 bawaruj 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 bawarlj a jabbering crowd of negro slaves, and stately Arabs with long, phome [ 4 ] robes and twisted camel-hair cords akkal around their he.

Our home while in the town was one of on best of the battlemented towers, and consisted of a room sixteen feet square, on a stone platform. It had twenty-six windows with no glass in them, but pretty lattice of plaster. Our wooden lock was highly decorated, and we had a wooden key to close our door, which pleased us much. Even though we were close upon the tropics we found our abode chilly enough after sunset; and our nights were rendered hideous—firstly, by the barking of dogs; secondly, by cocks which crowed at an inordinately early hour; and, thirdly, by pious Mussulmans hard at work praying before the sun rose.

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From our elevated position we cat look down into a sea of bamboo huts, the habitations of the pearl-fishers: neat enough abodes, with courtyards paved with helix shells. In these courtyards stood quaint, large water-jars, which women filled from goat-skins carried on their shoulders from the hrny, wobbling when full like live headless animals; and cradles, like hencoops, for their babies.

They were a merry idle lot of folk just then, for it was not their season of work: perpetually playing games of which tip-jack and top-spinning appeared the favourite for both young and old seemed to be their chief occupation. Staid Arabs, with turbans and long, flowing robes, spinning tops, formed a sight of which we never tired.

The spinning-tops are made out of whelk-shells, which I really believe must have been the original pattern from which our domestic toy was made. The door-posts of their huts are often made of whales' jaws; a great traffic is done in sharks; the cases for their swords and daggers are all of shagreen. The gulf well deserves the name given to it by Ptolemy of the Ichthyophagorum sinus. In the commoner houses the locks and keys are all of wood.

In the bazaars, too, you may find that queer El Hasa money called Tawilah, or 'long bits,' short bars of copper doubled back and compressed together, with a few characters indicating the prince who struck them. The coffee-pots of Bahrein are hornj a specialty, also coming from El Hasa, which appears to be the centre of art in this part feee Arabia.

With their long beak-like spouts and concentric circles with patterns on them, these coffee-pots are a distinct feature. In the bazaars of Manamah and Moharek coffee-vendors sit at every corner with some huge pots of a similar shape simmering on the embers; in the lid are introduced stones to make a noise and attract the attention of the passers-by. Coffee-shops take the place of spirit and wine shops, which in the strict Wahabi country would not be, for a moment, tolerated.

In private houses it is thought well to have four or five coffee-pots standing round the fire, to give an appearance of riches. Besides the coffee-pots, other objects of El Hasa workmanship may be seen in Bahrein. Every household of respectability has its wooden bowl with which to offer visitors a drink of water or sour milk; these are beautifully inlaid with silver in very elaborate patterns.

The guns used by Bahreini sportsmen are similarly inlaid, and fee camel saddles of the sheikhs are most beautifully decorated on the pommels in the same style. The anvils, at which the blacksmiths in the bazaars were squatting, were like large nails with he about six inches square, driven into the ground free horny phone chat in bawarij about a foot high.

The old weapons of the Bedouin Arabs are still in use in [ 6 ] Bahrein: the chah lance which phoje put up before the tent of the chief when he goes about, the shield of camel-skin decorated with gold paint and brass knobs, the coat of mail, and other objects of warfare used in an age long gone by. Every other stall has dates to sell in thick masses, the chief food of the islanders.

Then you may see locusts pressed and pickled in barrels; the poorer inhabitants are very fond of this diet, and have converted the curse of the cultivator into a favourite delicacy. As for weights, the free horny phone chat in bawarij would appear to have none but stones, whelk shells, and potsherds, which must be hard to regulate.

An ancient Arab author states that in Oman 'men obtain fire from a spark, by rolling the tinder in dry Arab grass and swinging it round till it bursts into flame. Of course pearl-fishing is the great occupation of the islands, and Manamah is inhabited chiefly by pearl merchants and divers. Bahrein has in fact been celebrated for its pearl-fishing ever since the days of the Periplus of Nearchus, in the time of Alexander the Great.

Albuquerque, in his commentaries, [1] thus speaks of Bahrein pearl-fishing in —'Bahrein is noted for its large breeding of horses, its barley crops, and the variety of its fruits; and all around it are the fishing grounds of seed pearls, and of pearls which are sent to these realms of Portugal, for they are better and more lasting than any that are found in any other of these parts. Evidently Albuquerque got an order from his sovereign for pearls, for he writes, [2] inthat he is getting the pearls which the king had ordered for 'the pontifical of [ 7 ] our lady.

The pearl oyster is found in all the waters from Ras Mussendom to the head of the Gulf, but on the Persian side there are no known banks of value. They vary in distance from one to ninety miles from the low-lying shore of 'Araby the Blest,' but the deep sea banks are not so much fished till the 'Shemal' or nor'westers of June have spent their force. The three seasons for fishing are known as 'the spring fishing' in the shallow water, 'the summer fishing' in the deep waters, and 'the winter fishing' conducted principally by wading in the shoals.

The pearls of these seas are still celebrated for their firmness, and do not peel. They are commonly reported to lose one per cent. They have seven skins, whereas the Cingalese pearls have only six. The merchants generally buy them wholesale by the old Portuguese weight of the chao. They divide them into different sizes with sieves and sell them in India, so that, as is usually the case with specialties, it is impossible to buy a good pearl on Bahrein.

Diving here is exceedingly primitive; all the necessary paraphernalia consists of a loop of rope and a stone to go down with, a curious horn thing to hold the nose, and oil for the orifice of the ears. Once a merchant brought with him a diving apparatus, but the divers were highly indignant, and leaguing against him refused to show the best banks. In this way the fisheries suffer, for the best pearls are in the deeper waters, which can only be visited late in the season.

The divers are mostly negro slaves from Africa; they do not live long, poor creatures, developing awful sores and weak eyes, and they live and die entirely without medical aid. Each boat pays a tax to the sheikh. The fishing season lasts from April to October. Very curious boats ply in the waters between Manamah and Moharek; the huge ungainly baggalas can only sail in the deeper channels.

The Bahrein boats have very long-pointed prows, elegantly carved and decorated with shells; when the wind is contrary they are propelled by poles or paddles, consisting of boards of any shape tied to the end of the poles with twine, and the oarsman always seats himself on the gunwale. Perhaps the way these boats are tied and sewn together may have given rise to the legend alluded to by Sir John Maundeville when he saw them at the Isle of Hormuz.

The sheikh has some fine war vessels, called batils, which did good execution about fifty years ago, when the Sultan of Oman and the rulers of El Hasa tried to seize Bahrein, and a naval battle took place in the shallow sea off the coast in which the Bahreini were victorious. Now that the Gulf is practically English and piracy at an end, these vessels are more ornamental than useful.

His large baggala, which mounted ten tiny guns and was named the Dunijah, is now employed in trade. Then there are the bamboo skiffs with decks almost [ 9 ] flush with the side, requiring great skill in working. Boats are really of but little use immediately around the islands. You see men walking in the sea quite a mile out, collecting shellfish and seaweeds, which form a staple diet for both man and beast on Bahrein. The shallowness of the sea between Bahrein and the mainland has contributed considerably to the geographical and mercantile importance of the Bahrein.

No big vessels can approach the opposite coast of Arabia; hence, in olden days, when the caravan trade passed this way, all goods must have been transhipped to smaller boats at Bahrein. Sir M. Durant, in a consular report, states it as his opinion that, 'under a settled government, Bahrein could be the trading place of the Persian Gulf for Persia and Arabia, and an excellent harbour near the warehouses could be formed.

Bahrein is the Cyprus of the Persian Gulf, in fact.

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This day is, however, postponed indefinitely until such times as England, Turkey, and Russia shall see fit to settle their differences; and with a better understanding between these Powers, and the development of railways in the East, the Persian Gulf may yet once more become a high road of commerce, and the Bahrein Islands may again come into notice.

The Portuguese, who were the first Europeans baqarij the time of Alexander to visit the Gulf, recognised the importance of Bahrein. Up to their time the Gulf had been a closed Mohammedan lake. The history of their rule in that [ 10 ] part has yet to be written, but it will disclose a tale of great interest, and be a record of marvellous commercial enterprise. It was Albuquerque who first reopened the Gulf to Europeans. Early in the sixteenth centuryhe urged the occupation of the Gulf.

In three fleets went to the East xhat the command of Tristan d'Acunha, with Albuquerque as second in command. Tristan soon took his departure further afield, and left Albuquerque in command. The search for traces of an free horny phone chat in bawarij 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.

The group of islands known as Bahrein dual form of Bahr, i. The second in point of size is Moharek, norny 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.

At Bushire we engaged five Persians to act as servants, interpreter, and overseers over the workmen phome 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?

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. I am standing them some coffee; shall I stand them some mixed biscuits, too? 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.

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These mosques and the towers of the richer pearl merchants show some decided architectural features, having dree 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 [ 4 ] robes and twisted camel-hair cords akkal around their he. 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 windows with no glass in them, but pretty lattice of plaster. Our wooden lock was highly decorated, and we had a wooden key to close our door, which pleased us much. Even though we were close upon the tropics we found our abode chilly enough after sunset; and our nights were rendered hideous—firstly, by the barking of dogs; secondly, by cocks which crowed at an inordinately early hour; and, thirdly, by pious Mussulmans hard at work praying before the sun rose.

From our elevated position we could look down into a sea of bamboo huts, the habitations of the pearl-fishers: neat enough abodes, with courtyards paved with helix shells. In these courtyards stood quaint, large water-jars, which women filled from goat-skins carried on their shoulders from the wells, wobbling when full like live headless animals; and cradles, like hencoops, for their babies. They were a merry idle lot of folk just then, for it was not their season of work: perpetually playing games of which tip-jack and top-spinning appeared the favourite for both young and old seemed to be their chief occupation.

Staid Arabs, with turbans and long, flowing robes, spinning tops, formed a sight of which we never tired. The spinning-tops are made out of whelk-shells, which I really believe must have been cbat original phnoe from which our domestic toy was made. The door-posts of their huts are often made of whales' jaws; a great traffic is done in sharks; the cases for their swords and daggers are all of shagreen.

;hone gulf well deserves the name given to it by Ptolemy of the Free horny phone chat in bawarij sinus. In the commoner houses the locks and keys are all of wood. In the bazaars, too, you may find that queer El Hasa money called Tawilah, or 'long bits,' short bars of copper doubled back and compressed together, with a few characters indicating the prince who struck them. The coffee-pots of Bahrein are quite a specialty, also coming from El Hasa, which appears to be the centre of art in this part of Arabia.

With their long beak-like spouts and concentric circles with patterns on them, these coffee-pots are a distinct feature. In the bazaars of Manamah and Moharek coffee-vendors sit at every corner with some huge pots of a similar shape simmering on the embers; in the lid are introduced stones to make a noise and attract the attention of the passers-by.

Coffee-shops take the place of spirit and wine shops, which in the strict Wahabi country would not be, for a moment, tolerated. In private houses it is thought well to have four or five coffee-pots standing round jn fire, to give an appearance of riches.

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Besides fere coffee-pots, other objects of El Hasa workmanship may be seen in Bahrein. Every household of respectability has its wooden bowl with which to offer visitors a drink of water or sour milk; these are beautifully inlaid with silver in very elaborate patterns. The guns used by Bahreini sportsmen are similarly inlaid, and cjat camel saddles of the sheikhs are most beautifully decorated on the pommels in the same style.

The anvils, cht which the blacksmiths in the bazaars were squatting, were like large nails with he about six inches square, driven into the ground and about a foot high. The old weapons of the Bedouin Arabs are still in use in [ 6 ] Bahrein: the long lance which is put up before the tent of the chief when he goes about, the shield of camel-skin decorated with gold paint and brass knobs, the coat of mail, and other objects of warfare used in horhy age long gone by.

Every other stall has dates to sell in thick masses, the chief food of the islanders.

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Then you may see locusts pressed and pickled in ij the poorer inhabitants are very fond of this diet, and have converted the curse of the cultivator into a favourite delicacy. As for weights, the stall-holders would appear to have none but stones, whelk shells, and potsherds, which must be hard to regulate. An ancient Arab author states that in Oman 'men obtain fire from a spark, by rolling the tinder in dry Arab grass and swinging it round till it bursts into flame.

Of course pearl-fishing is the great occupation of the islands, and Manamah is inhabited chiefly by pearl merchants and divers.

Bahrein has in fact been celebrated for its pearl-fishing ever since the days of the Periplus of Nearchus, in the time of Alexander the Great. Albuquerque, in his commentaries, [1] thus speaks of Bahrein pearl-fishing in —'Bahrein is noted for its large breeding of horses, its barley crops, and the variety of its fruits; and all around it are the fishing grounds of seed pearls, and of pearls which are sent to these realms of Portugal, for they are better and more lasting than any that are found in any other of these parts.

Evidently Albuquerque got an order from his sovereign for pearls, for he writes, [2] inthat he is getting the pearls which the king had ordered for 'the pontifical of [ 7 ] our lady. The pearl oyster is found in all the waters from Ras Mussendom to the head of the Gulf, but on the Persian side there are no known banks of value.

They vary in distance from one to ninety miles from the low-lying shore of 'Araby the Blest,' but the deep sea banks are not so much fished till the 'Shemal' or nor'westers of June have spent their force. The three seasons for fishing are known as 'the spring fishing' in the shallow water, 'the summer fishing' in the deep waters, and 'the winter fishing' conducted principally by wading in the shoals.

The pearls of these seas are still celebrated for their firmness, and do not peel. They are commonly reported to lose one per cent. They have seven skins, whereas the Cingalese pearls have only six. The merchants generally buy them wholesale by the old Portuguese weight of the chao. They divide them into different sizes with sieves and sell them in India, so that, as is usually the case with specialties, it is impossible to buy a good pearl on Bahrein.

Diving here is exceedingly primitive; all the necessary paraphernalia consists of a loop of rope and a stone to go down with, a curious horn thing to hold the nose, and oil for the orifice of free horny phone chat in bawarij ears. Once a merchant brought with him a diving apparatus, but the divers were highly indignant, and leaguing against him refused to show the best banks.

In this way the fisheries suffer, for the best pearls are in the deeper waters, which can only be visited late in the season.

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The divers are mostly negro slaves from Africa; they do not live long, poor creatures, developing awful sores and weak eyes, and they live and die entirely without medical aid. Each boat pays a tax to the sheikh. The fishing season lasts from April to October. Very curious boats ply in the waters between Manamah and Moharek; the huge ungainly baggalas can only vhat in the deeper channels.

The Bahrein boats have very long-pointed prows, elegantly carved and decorated with shells; when the ffee is contrary they are propelled by poles or paddles, consisting of boards of any shape tied to the end of the poles with twine, and the oarsman always seats himself on the gunwale. Perhaps the way these hony are tied and sewn together may have given rise to the legend alluded to by Sir John Maundeville when he saw them at the Isle of Hormuz.

The sheikh has some fine war vessels, called batils, which did good execution about fifty years ago, when the Sultan of Oman and the rulers phonee El Hasa tried to seize Bahrein, and a naval battle took place in the shallow sea off the coast in which the Bahreini were victorious. Now that the Gulf is practically English and piracy at an end, these vessels are more ornamental than useful.

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His large baggala, which mounted ten tiny guns and was named the Dunijah, is now employed in trade. Then there are the bamboo skiffs with decks almost [ 9 ] flush with the side, requiring great skill in working. Boats are really of but little use immediately around the islands. You see men walking in the sea quite a mile out, collecting shellfish and seaweeds, which form a staple diet for both man and beast on Bahrein.

The shallowness of the sea between Bahrein and the mainland has contributed considerably to the geographical and mercantile importance of the Bahrein. No big vessels can approach the opposite coast of Arabia; hence, in olden days, when the caravan trade passed this way, all goods must have been transhipped to smaller boats at Bahrein.