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Лисянский Юрий Фёдорович - Voyage round the world..., Страница 8

Лисянский Юрий Фёдорович - Voyage round the world...

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sight, and, under the guidance of my tailors, to partake of the sport I also took care to supply my crew with ship-muskets, powder and shot, that they might procure something like game for themselves. This was of great use, and by degrees rendered them expert marksmen. Sometimes they caught fish for the supply of their table; but when the weather was too cold for that pursuit, the shooting of crows was an inexhaustible employment. The crows here are small, and being stewed with vinegar were found no unpalatable food. I must own, that I set the example to the rest, by having sometimes a crow fricasseed for my own table; and though not very delicate, it was a considerable relief to the perpetual uniformity of salt meat, and proved as healthful as any provision we could be supplied with. I cannot dismiss my account of our residence here, without recording my obligations to Mr. Bander, who, in the absence of Mr. Baranoff, commanded the settlement. Being an old soldier, and a pleasant companion, he made many a day pass in cheerful and lively conversation, when cold or bad weather would not allow us to stroll far from home.

1804. Dec.-1805. Jan.

   During the month of December, though the winds blew from the north, the weather was tolerably mild. The thermometer was not lower than thirty-eight degrees till the 24th, when it sunk to twenty-six. The ground was then covered with snow, and remained so several months. The winter, however, was not supposed to set in till the beginning of January. During its continuance, a few days excepted in February, the air was dry and clear, and the winds blew fresh from the points between the west and south-west. The severest frost was on the 22d of January, when the thermometer fell to zero. The last days of February, and the beginning of March, were also so cold, that the mercury often stood between thirteen and fourteen. During this period, I purposely measured the thickness of the ice in the ponds near the settlement, and found it to be eighteen inches.

March. 9th.-22d.

   On the 9th of March commenced the return of spring, and with it our repairs on board, and other preparations for resuming our voyage. While these things were doing, I applied myself to astronomical observations, by which the longitude of the harbour of St. Paul proved to be 152° 8' 30" west. I also entered upon a plan I had formed, to explore the eastern part of the island of Cadiack; and I took with me for the purpose, the ship's master, and one of the fore-mast men, and left the harbour on the 22d of March in three bidarkas. On reaching the rock Horboon, the weather changed; and the clouds beginning to gather to the southward, I thought it prudent to pass the night ashore, on the side of the island where we then were, accommodating ourselves, by means of our boats, in the best manner we were able.


   The next morning, the weather being beautiful, I set out again on the business of exploring, and about noon was a-breast of the island of Oohack. In passing between this island and the island of Cadiack, we were completely drenched by the surf, occasioned, as I supposed, by the south wind acting against the current. We however reached the settlement of lhack without any other inconvenience, and stopped at a comfortable house belonging to the Company.
   From Cape Chiniatskoy to Broad Point, the shore is so steep, that it was impossible to land any where, but on the north side of that point. It consists of dark stone like slate, and is overgrown, in places, with a rough sort of grass and low poplar. I saw no pine-trees, except about Cape Chiniatskoy, and there the number was few. The only means I had of measuring the distance between the harbour of St. Paul and the bay of I hack, was the rate of going of the bidarkas; and by that I estimated it at forty-five miles.


   The next morning, after exploring the bay, I went on board a small vessel belonging to our American Company, which, on its way from Kamchatca had anchored there, from not having been able to reach the harbour of St. Paul. In the afternoon I visited the settlement of Ihack, which consisted only of eleven houses, or barabaras; the poverty and filth of which were extreme. As it was low water, all the people residing there, were busily employed along the beach in search of shell-fish, which constitute their chief food during this season of the year; the children only, who were too young, being left at home. From a very good meridian altitude I found the latitude of the settlement to be 57° 29' 58" north.
   After dinner, the chief of Ihack with his wife came to pay me a visit. On entering my room they crossed themselves several times, and then sat down on the floor, and begged snuff. In the course of conversation their poverty was mentioned, when I endeavoured to convince them that their extreme indolence was the chief cause of it; and I suggested various ways, by which they might improve their situation, and render life more comfortable. I advised them to build better habitations; to lay in regularly a sufficient stock of winter provisions, which they almost always neglect; to attend more to the article of cleanliness; and lastly, to cultivate different culinary plants near their houses, by which they would be relieved from the trouble of collecting wild roots and herbs, whick were neither so palatable nor so nutritious. In speaking of food, they gave me to understand, that the flesh of the whale was deemed the best; though, during the fishing season, the whalers were reckoned unclean, and nobody would eat out of the same dish with them, or even come near them.
   Of these whalers a story prevails, that when the fishing season is over, they conceal their instruments in the mountains, till wanted again; and that they steal, whenever they can, the bodies of such fishermen as die, and were known to have distinguished themselves in their calling, which they preserve in caves. These bodies are said by some to be stolen, from the idea that the possession of them conduces to render the fishing season prosperous; and by others, that a juice or fat is extracted from them, into which if an arrow be dipped, the whale, when wounded by it, dies the sooner.
   During my conversation with the chief of Ihack, I learned a circumstance very unfavourable, I am sorry to say, to one of my countrymen. The first Russian vessel that had been seen on the south side of Cadiack, was in the year 1768; and the captain of this vessel, he said, treated the islanders so ill, that they took a dislike to all strangers; and when another vessel from Russia touched there, the following year, they acted hostilely towards it, and forced it to retire without any of the crew having communication with the shore.


   In the evening of the 26th, while I was alone, writing the memorandums of my journal, a Russian introduced himself, who had resided on the island of Oonalashca, when a new island started up in its vicinity. I had heard of this phaanomenon, and was therefore desirous to learn what he knew respecting it. He said that, about the middle of April, 1797, a small island was seen where no island had been seen before. That the first intimation of its appearance had been brought by some Aleutians to Captain's Harbour, who, returning from fishing, observed a great smoke issuing out of the sea: that this was the smoke of the volcano, which was then gradually rising above the surface of the sea, and which in May 1798, burst. forth with a blaze, that was distinctly seen from a settlement called Macooshino. Oft the island of Oonalashca, at the distance of no less than forty miles to the north-west. This new island is tolerably high, and about twenty miles in circumference. It has been remarked, that it has not increased in size since the year 1799; and that no alteration has taken place in its appearance, except that some of the highest points have been thrown down by violent eruptions.


   On the 28th, I had a still more curious visitor, in an old man of the name of Minack, He was about eighty years of age, and the Most celebrated shaman, or wizard, in the island. Wishing, probably, to astonish me by his magic powers, he told me, that he had immediate intercourse with the devil, and was thereby able to foretell events to his countrymen. Observing, however, a smile of disbelief on my countenance, be became extremely angry, and abruptly left the room.
   The bay of Ihack is about twelve miles long, and has several good anchorages, and two very fine but small harbours at its extremity. In entering it, a vessel should keep near the south shore, as the opposite one is rather unsafe. The inner shores of the bay are mountainous, with only a few inhabited spots here and there. There are alder, birch, and poplar trees in abundance; the last of which is strong enough for props and beams to bouses, though not durable. Many small rivers run into the bay; which, during summer, are well stocked with fish. The quantity of ducks is also so great, that many hundreds of them may be killed in a day. They are of different species; and in the morning before sun-rise they make a prodigious noise. On our first arrival we killed an immense number; we likewise shot four black birds, that were nearly as large as the domestic hen, with red beaks and red feet.


   The next day the weather was fine and calm; and at seven in the morning I went to the bay of Kiluden with its chief, who had come on purpose to convey me thither. On the way we landed at the settlement of Oohasheck, and found its inhabitants in great distress, on account of the death of the chiefs son, who had been buried the night before. I saw the mother, her sister, and another female relation, weeping over the grave of the deceased; but, on my offering a pinch of snuff to each, their sorrow seemed to abate, and their countenance to brighten.- The coast here, to the extent of about eight miles, is steep, and, when the east or south-east winds blow, must be dangerous for such frail boats as the bidarkas.
   On approaching the Bay of Killuden we saw a number of small poles erected on one of the high clefts of the mountain, which were meant as a signal, some inhabitant having fallen from thence into the sea. Such precautions are very necessary in a country where fear acts more powerfully than common sense.
   In the afternoon we arrived at the chiefs house. He pointed out to me two islands in. the vicinity, which, he said, had formerly been inhabited by fourteen different families, and fortified, though at present no vestige of habitation remained.


   Except a few hours, which were employed in shooting, the whole of the 30th was taken up in examining the bay, which very much resembles that of Ihack. There are two places in it where ships may anchor with safety. We could not well determine the depth of water, the weather being so rough that, from our little bidarkas, we could with difficulty use the lead. In passing it we landed at a settlement, in which we only found women and children, the men belonging to it having been absent with Mr. Baranoff since the preceding spring. From not having laid in provisions in sufficient quantity for the winter, these poor wretches were literally half-starved. Wishing to afford them what aid was in my power, I distributed among them the stock of dried fish I had in the boats, and left this abode of wretchedness with no very pleasurable sensations. It was indeed a heart-rending scene to see these emaciated beings crawling out of their huts to thank me for the trifling relief I had afforded them.- I had this day an observation near the head of the bay, in latitude 57° 17' 43" north.
   Though the weather was the next morning very disagreeable, I went to Drunkard's Bay, where I witnessed the same meagre traits of poverty. Of the inhabitants I purchased several curiosities, consisting of images, dressed in different forms. The best were cut out of bone (Plate III. Fig. a, b). They are used here as dolls. The women, indeed, who have no children, keep them, I was told, to represent the wished-for infant offspring, and amuse themselves with them, as if they were real infants. If we may judge by these figures, the inhabitants of Cadiack must have lost much of their skill in carving, their old productions of this kind being greatly superior.

April 1st.

   On the 1st of April we had to encounter both rain and snow; but we were not to be diverted from our course, and we proceeded courageously for the harbour of Three Saints, where we arrived in the afternoon. In our way we visited a village called the Fugitive, which was in a thriving condition. The inhabitants appeared much healthier than those of Ihack or Killuden, and lived better. On our arrival, the chiefs wife brought us a bason of berries, mixed with rancid whale oil, begging us to refresh ourselves. This delicate mess, produced at a time when the berries are not in season, is regarded by the islanders as no small proof of opulence. I gave this treat, however, to my Aleutians; and, after distributing tobacco and other trifles among the family, took my leave.
   The next morning, as soon as my arrival at the harbour of Three-Saints was known in the neighbourhood, several of the toyons came together to see me. After the usual compliments, and a treat of snuff {Snuff is the best treat that can be offered to these people, who will often go twenty miles out of their way to get merely a pinch or two of it.} on my part, the conversation began on the common topic, of poverty; when I endeavoured, with some earnestness, to persuade them to throw off the sloth and idleness so visible amongst them, and exert themselves: and I stated, as I had done in a previous instance, the many comforts they would derive from it, of which they were at present perfectly destitute. The toyons listened attentively to my advice, and assured me they should be happy to follow it, but that there were many circumstances to prevent them; and I must confess I blushed when I heard, that the principal of these was the high price fixed by the Russian company on every necessary article, and especially its iron instruments, which rendered it impossible for the islanders to purchase them. While this is the case, what improvement can be expected in these people? or how can it be recommended to them with effect, to attend to the cultivation of the ground, which it was a part of my instructions to do?
   This led to the general conduct of the Russians, and particularly to their first settlement in the island, of which the oldest of the toyons gave me the following account.- When Mr. Shelechoff arrived at the harbour of Three-Saints, the first step he took was to demand hostages of the natives, as a security for their good conduct. Wishing, however, to have nothing to do with them, they refused to comply with the demand; and, apprehensive of hostile proceedings in consequence, they assembled from all the neighbourhood around, and agreed to fortify themselves on a high rock, situated on the east side of the island of Salthi-dack. But the first hostile measure proceeded from themselves. So far from resorting to violence, Mr. Shelechoff conducted himself amicably towards them, till he had been suddenly attacked in the night; when, supposing his peaceable disposition to have been misconstrued into timidity, he ordered an assault to be made on the rock, and the place, which had been deemed impregnable by the islanders, was quickly taken. After this, many skirmishes took place between the Russians and the natives, in which the latter were worsted, and were obliged at last to resign the island to the strangers. Upon my inquiring, what number of persons had assembled on the rock, the toyon informed me, that it scarcely amounted to four hundred, including women and children: Mr. Shelechoff, however, to enhance the importance of this conquest, has estimated it at four thousand.


   On the 5th we visited the bay of Naumliack. On our approaching the beach, some of the inhabitants who came to meet us, entered the water, and carried me on shore, in the bidarka, on their shoulders. I stopped at the toyon's hut for an hour or two. In examining the different apartments, it was with difficulty I succeeded in getting into the rooms called joopans, from the smallness of the entrance, which obliged me to squeeze myself through on my hands and knees. But of these rooms I shall have occasion to speak hereafter.
   This settlement pleased me more than any I had yet seen on the island. There was an air of order in it, and a supply of every thing necessary for a well-inhabited place. Having satisfied my curiosity, I returned to the harbour of Three-Saints towards evening.


   The whole of the next day was spent in Cape Bay, on the island of Salthidack. In examining the barabara of the toyon, at which we stopped, I was obliged again to bend my body to enter the joopans; my curiosity, however, did not go unrequited. In one of them I saw a man and woman, with their hair cut short, and their faces blackened with soot; which I understood, by my interpreter, were emblems of deep mourning. Before the Russians came among these people, this mode of expressing sorrow for the dead used to be observed for the space of a whole year; but at present it continues for a month only, and sometimes not so long,
   Amongst other things, the baskets called ishcats, in which the Aleutians keep all their valuables, caught my attention here, They are made of the thin roots of the pine-tree. Those of the men contained arrows, small pieces of wood, of different kinds and for different uses, a small crooked knife, a tooth, a piece of stone, and an implement resembling a small adz. Those of the women were filled with rags, strings made of the entrails of animals, beads, and other trifles, which a beggar in Europe would have thrown away.
   Towards evening the weather becoming cold, we made a fire in the middle of our barabara, which was soon surrounded by the inhabitants, young and old. They were very much amused at seeing us drink tea; but, I have no doubt, were still more gratified when I ordered some dried fish to be distributed amongst them, which was a rarity at this season of the year. The master and mistress of the house were invited to partake of our beverage, and they seemed to plume themselves upon the circumstance, as if distinguished by it from the rest of the party. During our tea repast, the family were at their supper, which was served up in the following manner. The cook having filled a wooden bowl with boiled fish, presented it to the master of the house, who, after eating as much as he could, gave the rest to his wife. The other dishes were served up in similar order, beginning with the oldest of the family, who, when he had eaten his fill, gave the dish to the next in age, and he again to the next; and thus it passed in rotation till it came to the youngest, whose patience, as the family was numerous, must have been a little exhausted. Perceiving, at length, that our companions were becoming drowsy, I advised them to go to rest, which they did, wishing us several times a good night, and expressing how satisfied they were with our kindness.


   The next morning when I arose at day-light, and was proceeding to take a walk, I found all the men sitting on the roofs of their houses. This is their favourite recreation after sleeping; though they are also fond of sitting on the beach, and looking for hours together at the sea, when they have nothing else to do. This practice resembles more a herd of beasts, than an association of reasonable beings, endowed with the gift of speech. Indeed these savages, when assembled together, appear to have no delight in the oral intercourse that generally distinguishes the human race; for they never converse: on the contrary, a stupid silence reigns amongst them. I had many opportunities of noticing individuals of every age and degree; and I am persuaded, that the simplicity of their character exceeds that of any other people, and that a long time must elapse before it will undergo any very perceptible change. It is true, that on my entering their houses, some sort of ceremony was always observed by them; but by degrees even this so completely disappeared, that an Aleutian would undress himself to a state of nudity, without at all regarding my presence; though at the same moment he considered me as the greatest personage on the island.
   At six o'clock in the morning, I dispatched my ship's master to examine a bay in the neighbourhood, and about eleven returned myself to the harbour of Three-Saints; where I had observations, and found its latitude to be 57° 5' 59" north, and its longitude 153° 14' 30" west This harbour is a fine and safe anchorage, being secure from all winds, and having a depth of water from four and a half to ten fathoms, with ground of mud and black sand. It is easy of access, and bears, from the south point of the island of Salthidack, west-north-west. Its shores were formerly tolerably high, but since the earthquake of 1788, they have sunk so much, that the equinoctial floods cover them almost to the very mountains. It has at present only one small company's settlement, but was a few years ago in a more flourishing state.


   Having, finished all I had purposed to do in this part of the island, we left it on the 8th, to return to the harbour of St. Paul. Though the weather was fine in the morning, the wind freshened so much in the course of the day, that we thought it prudent to stop at the Fugitive settlement, and pass the night there.
   As I observed before, this settlement is superior to many, though, like all that we saw, extremely filthy. The habitations, except that of the toy on, were miserable places. In one of the small buildings, or kennels, as they may very properly be called, was a woman who had retired into it in consequence of the death of her son. She had been there several days, and would have remained for the space of twenty, had I not entreated the toyon to permit her to quit it, representing that the weather was too bad for continuing long in so disagreeable a place. However ridiculous this custom may appear to an enlightened mind, it is so strictly observed by the inhabitants of this island, that they can scarcely be induced to abridge the period of its duration, though death itself should be the consequence of their pertinacity.


   The next day I removed to another settlement not far distant, where I was again obliged by the weather to pass the night. In the evening, I was amused by a tame eagle, which flew into the barabara, and at sun-set placed itself by the fireside, as orderly as if it had been one of the family. After warming itself, and deliberately adjusting its feathers, it fell asleep. This bird, they say, is so sagacious, that it will recognise at sea the bidarkas belonging to its master, and on seeing them return from fishing, will follow them home. The people of Cadiackkeep tame eagles for the sake of the feathers, which they use for arrows.


   In the morning of the 10th we stopped at the bay of Shashgat, in the neighbourhood of Ihack, to examine a lofty precipice, which, the inhabitants say, once formed a part of the conic mountain that, in the earthquake which happened here in the year 1788, was tumbled into the sea. What had been a fine sandy beach was so completely filled up, that it now presents nothing to the eye but a long rocky shoal. While in the village, I had an opportunity of witnessing a curious method of bleeding. A young woman performed this office of the surgeon. She first transpierced the vein of the arm with a stout needle, fixed in a wooden handle, and then cut the skin that was upon the needle with a copper instrument, which was far from being sharp. As she did not succeed in drawing blood the first time, she repeated the operation, when the blood gushed out in a stream. Though to me this was no very agreeable sight, the patient sat with the most perfect composure, which surprised me, when I understood that he had never been bled in this manner before.
   Between the harbour of Three-Saints and the Bay of Killuden we passed the Strait of Salthidack, which is about eight miles broad at the extremities, but draws so close towards the middle, that in the narrowest part of it the space does not exceed a quarter of a mile. In this contracted part two floods meet, one entering from the north and the other from the south. The shores are low here, and thinly covered with trees. Though the weather would not permit us to sound this strait properly, I am persuaded there is sufficient depth of water every where for small vessels.
   We passed the night of the 10th at Ihack, and proceeded the next morning for Oohack, which has four very good barabaras. The toyon of this settlement interested me much. He had lately buried his father, and was erecting a monument over his grave. We remained on this island but a short time, as the weather gave no promise of change for the better, and I wished to reach the harbour of St. Paul before night Though the distance was hot great, We did not arrive there till nine o'clock in the evening, and were perfectly drenched by the rain, and the sea, which rolled so high, especially about Gape Chiniatskoy, that we should have been id danger, in any species of canoe but bidarkas, which Are sis able to contend with rough weather as boats that have decks.
   On my arrival at St. Paul's, I found all my people in good health, and the rigging nearly repaired. The Easter holidays had commenced; and as soon as they were over (for I was unwilling to interrupt my people in their pleasures), I resolved on fitting out for sea. The large cargo, however, that we were preparing for Canton and Sitca, was not the business of a day; and it detained us yet for some time. Meanwhile I sent my ship's master to survey the western part of Cadiack, a task which he executed to my satisfaction. He toot only reached the settlement of Caflook, but explored also the islands of Afognack and Evrashechey, and took many very accurate observationi both of latitude add longitude oft his way.

May. 19th.

   The yeatr had now advanced to the middle of May, and the weather was so warm, that the lower part of the mountains were clothed with verdure. On the 19th, however, a sharp frost took place, and the ground was covered half an inch deep with snow, which remained at least twelve hours. So sudden a change, which is common here, might have produced in Europe much mischief; but in this part of the world, there is so little cultivation, that no injury could ensue. The natives, on the contrary, consider such changes as the forerunner of good luck: and in this instance it so happened; for the nest day, a dead whale, thirty-five feet in length, was brought into the bay; and though, to our sense of smelling, it stunk shockingly, it was quickly cut up and divided amongst the delighted inhabitants.
   We had hardly finished the stowage of. our cargo, when furs were brought us from the Bay of Kenay, or Cook's River, There were also some curious dresses of the natives, several of which I purchased from curiosity.
   The person who came from the Bay of Kenay with this cargo of furs, informed me, that the natives were of a quiet disposition, but had so great a dislike to our priests, that they threatened to take away the life of the first that should dare to come amongst them. This dislike commenced in the year 1796, in consequence of the imprudent zeal of one of our missionary monks, who, having prevailed on many of them to embrace Christianity, had top rigidly insisted on their throwing aside, all at once, their native prejudices and customs, and, by authority of his holy office, compelled some of them to marry in conformity to the rites of the Greek church. Provoked at last by the daring encroachments of this fanatic stranger, they put him to-death, and vowed at the some time, perpetual hatred to the whole Russian priesthood.
   From the same person I obtained some intelligence respecting our settlement at Nooshca. He told me, that one of our countrymen had been killed on the Copper River, whither he had been sent to establish a communication with the inhabitants, who had always been an implacable foe to the Company: and that another Russian, a Mr. Bogenoff, who had ascended the river as far as a hundred and fifty miles, for the same purpose, would have experienced a similar fate, but for the contrivance and kindness of a female native with whom he fortunately became acquainted, and whom, out of gratitude for having saved his life, he afterwards married. He added, that the river abounded in virgin copper, but the inhabitants kept the spots where large pieces of it were to be found a profound secret.
   Having mentioned the Bay of Kenay, I shall conclude this division of my narrative with a short account of it.
   This bay has fourteen settlements, and about three thousand inhabitants, who have a language of their own. Their canoes are sheathed with the bark of trees. The families, however, who live near the sea, use only the common bidarkas. Though the people profess the Greek religion, and are baptized, polygamy and witchcraft are as much in vogue among them as among the other inhabitants of the coast. They live better than the Aleutians; because, besides the article of fish, there are wild animals which they hunt, and especially wild sheep, the flesh of which is excellent. The other wild animals are the black and common bear, rein-deer, martins, foxes of different sorts, river-otters, rabbits, ermines, beavers, and squirrels.
   The inhabitants of Kenay bury their dead in wooden boxes, and pile stones over their graves, to hinder the wild beasts from scratching them out of the ground. They express their mourning by singeing their hair, besmearing their faces with black paint, and lacerating their bodies in different places. In other respects their manners differ but little from those of the people of Cadiack.



   Climate of the Island. Plants. Wild Beasts. Birds. Number of Inhabitants. Customs. Dress. Food. Marriages. Burials. Manner of catching Fish, wild Animals, and Birds. Instruments used for the Purpose. Shamans. Games. Building of Bidarkas. Building of Barabaras. Filthineu of the Inhabitants. Nature of the Government.

1805. May.

   Cadiack is one of the largest islands belonging to the Russian empire in the fourth quarter of the globe. It is very mountainous, and surrounded by deep bays, into which a number of small rivers fall. On the shores of these, many settlements might be formed; but the country elsewhere is in general too elevated, and is besides, for the greater part of the year, covered with snow. The materials of which the island is composed, are chiefly slate and common gray stone. The climate, from the account given of it by the inhabitants, and from what I experienced myself, is by no means agreeable; the air is seldom clear, and even in summer there are few days which maybe called warm: the weather, indeed, depends entirely upon the winds; so long as they continue to blow from the north, the west, or the south quarter, it is fine; when from other points of the compass, fogs, damps, and rain, are sure to prevail. The winters very much resemble what we experience in Russia in a bad autumn; the one, however, which we passed on the island proved to be an exception.
   Poplar, alder, and birch grow on the island, though in no great quantity, and pine {For trout of fir, we made a new bowiprit of one of these pine trees, which answered admirably.} is only to be found in the vicinity of the harbour of St. Paul, and farther to the northward of it. Till the arrival of the Russians, only wild plants and roots were to be seen; but at present cabbages, turnips, potatoes, and other culinary productions, are cultivated here and there, but not generally throughout the island, as they require great labour and patience, which are traits not belonging to the disposition of the natives. The dark and rainy weather is besides unfavourable to horticulture, as well as to tillage in general; though barley was sowed last year by the Company, and in many places succeeded; and hopes are thence entertained of similar success as to other grain.
   The native animals here are but few; they consist of bears, foxes of different kinds, ermines, dogs, and mice. Since the time of Mr. Shelechoffs establishment on the island, cattle, goats, pigs, and cats, have been introduced. I bad also the pleasure of adding, during my stay, a Russian ram and an English ewe, which, before I left Cadiack, had already brought forth young; and the breed of this useful domesticated animal will no doubt be multiplied. The feathered tribe, on the contrary, is very numerous; it is composed of eagles, partridges, plovers, crows, magpies, cranes, sea-parrots, fen-ducks, and many other water-fowl.
   Several species of the ducks fly away in the spring, and are replaced by geese and swans, which remain, in some places, the whole summer. There are three kinds of small birds, one of which, of a dark gray colour, regularly sings its song preparatory to bad weather. Cadiack abounds also in fish; which are halibut, cod, flounders, loaches, perch, herrings, and different kinds of salmon: the last come into the rivers, from the month of May to that of October, in such abundance, that hundreds may be caught in a short time with the hands only. The rivers, indeed, are sometimes so completely filled with them, that the wild beasts, and especially bears, will eat only the head, which they seem to consider as the most delicate part. The bears go into the river and catch these fish with their paws in a very dextrous manner. As they bite off the head, they throw the rest of the body on shore. The coast abounds in whales, porpoises, sea-lions, sea-dogs, and sea-otters. Sea-bears {At present sea-bears are caught by the American Company on the islands of St. George and St. Paul. Though they are not so plentiful there now as heretofore, yet with good management they will always abound. Formerly each person in the employ of the Company used to kill two thousand of these animals in a year. It is to be lamented, that there is no good harbour on these islands, as ships which lie in the open sea must get under sail on the appearance of foul weather. I was told that the two islands were very different, that of St. George being high, and that of St. Paul low. There is no fresh water in either. The people belonging to the Company who reside in them, drink the water which is collected in ponds from melted snow. They live entirely on the flesh of the sea-bears, and eggs of sea-birds.} also were formerly tolerably numerous, but are now very seldom seen. In the spring, sea-crabs are caught in plenty: I saw them enter the bay of St. Paul in pairs, two and two together, united by their claws.


   The population of this island, when compared with its size, is very small. As will be seen by the annexed account, which is the result of the minutest research, it amounts only to four thousand souls. It is also in a decreasing state; but as the Company have lately introduced several new regulations in favour of the inhabitants, I have no doubt it will soon be otherwise.
   In the district of the harbour of Three-Saints, are - 83 barabaras
   In that of Ihack - 57
   In that of Carlook - 34
   In that of Alitack - 25
   On the Wood Island - 3
   Which give a total of 202 barabaras.
   Now, if we multiply this number by eighteen, the average estimate of persons (men, women, and children) in a barabara, the number of natives will be - 3636
   And, if we add the Kaurs or Aleutians {These Aleutians are fed and clothed by the Company.} in the Company's service, which are - 364
   The amount of the population will be 4000
   The oldest inhabitants of the island say, that when the Russians arrived amongst them the population was double what it is now. Supposing this, it must even then have been short of ten thousand souls: yet Mr. Shelechoff, in the account of his voyage, says, that he subjected to the crown of Russia; about fifty thousand men on the island of Cadiack.
   The islanders are of a middle stature, and of a copper complexion. They have large round faces and broad shoulders; their eyes, eye-brows, and hair, are jet black. The last is strong and straight. The men cut it short, or wear it long and loose: the women wear theirs flat upon the forehead, with the points cut extremely even, but twist it in a club behind. The dress of both sexes consists of parkas and camleykas, both of which nearly resemble in form a carter's frock. The first are made of the furs of animals, or the skins of sea birds; and the other of the intestines of seals, sea-lions, and sea-bears, or of the whale's bladder. Formerly, the rich clothed and decorated themselves with the skins of sea-otters, river-otters, and foxes; but they are now obliged to sell these furs to the Company for tobacco and other luxuries; which, introduced at first by Europeans, are become necessaries of life. The men wear girdles round their bodies, with a square piece or-apron reaching to the mid-thigh. The women wear only a sash round the waist, about two inches broad, made of the skin of the seal. Both sexes wear caps, made of the skin of sea birds, or hats, of the fine roots of trees, platted: on the upper part of these hats some whimsical figures are generally painted. They have nothing on their feet, except when they go to a distance from home, in very cold weather; they then put on occasionally a sort of boot, made of the skin of the seal, or of some other skin equally strong.
   The people of Cadiack are very fond of ornaments. Both sexes pierce the ears all round, and embellish them with beads. The women also wear beads on the neck, arms, and feet. Formerly they wore strings of beads suspended from apertures in the lower lip, or else placed in these apertures small bones, resembling a row of artificial teeth, and had besides a bone passed through the gristle of the nose; while the men had a stone or bone, four inches long, in a cut made in the lower lip (Plate III. Eig. d): but these embellishments are now seldom seen. The fair sex were also fond of tatooing the chin, breasts, and back; but this again is much out of fashion.
   Amber amongst these savages is held in as high estimation as diamonds are in Europe. It is worn instead of ear-rings. I made a present of a small piece to a toyon's son, and I thought be would have lost his senses from joy. On grasping the precious article, he exclaimed, "Now Sava," which was his Christian name, "is truly rich! He was known before by his alertness and courage, but now he will also be famous by possessing amber." I was afterwards told, that this youth travelled over the island to exhibit this bauble as a curiosity.
   The food of the inhabitants consists of fish of different kinds, shell-fish, and amphibious animals. The fat of the whale, however, is the prime delicacy. It is eaten raw, as are also the heads of salmon. The other viands are boiled in earthen pots, or roasted on sticks, simply fixed in the ground before the fire. In a time of scarcity, which seldom fails to occur in winter, and is almost unavoidable during the spring, the islanders live entirely on shell-fish; they therefore form a settlement near some large bank, as the best situation for the means of subsistence.
   On the arrival of the Russians, the islanders believed alike in good and in evil spirits; but made their offerings to the last only, conceiving the first to be incapable of doing injury. At present many of them profess to be Christians of the Greek church, though all their religion consists in being baptized, in having but one wife, and in crossing themselves on entering a Russian house. They know nothing of the principles of the Greek faith; and profess the religion from mere interest, that they may receive a cross, or some other present. I knew several who, for the sake of getting a shirt or a handkerchief, had been baptized three times.
   The real history of the first peopling of this island is not known, though every old man has his story to tell about it. Toy oh Kolpack, who is held in great, esteem for his cleverness, and whose story obtains most credit, told me, that the true origin of the people was this:- To the northward of the peninsula of Alaska lived a toyon, whose daughter cohabited with a male of the canine species, by whom she had five children, three males and two females. The toyon being displeased with this degenerate conduct of his daughter, took an opportunity, in the absence of her lover, of banishing her to an island in the neighbourhood. The lover, coming home, and finding none of his family, grieved for a long time: at last, discovering the place of their exile, he swam towards it, and was drowned on the way. The whelps in the mean time were grown up, and the mother had acquainted them with the cause of their banishment; which exasperated them so much against their grandfather, that when he came to see them they tore him to pieces. The mother, on this melancholy event, resolved to return to her native place, and gave free leave to her offspring to go wherever they chose. In consequence of this permission, some went northward; while others, passing the peninsula of Alaska, took a southerly course, and arrived at the island of Cadiack, where they increased and multiplied, and were the founders of the present population.
   On my asking the toy on, by what means they reached the island, he very gravely affirmed, that it was formerly separated from Alaska by a river only; and that the present channel was made by a large otter, in the bay of Kenay, who one day took it into his head to push himself through between it and the peninsula.
   Another islander told me a very different tale of the origin of the first peopling of the island. The raven, it seems, is considered by many of the islanders as a divinity; and a raven, he said, brought the light from heaven, while a bladder descended at the same time, in which a man and a woman were enclosed. At first this pair of human beings enlarged their dungeon by blowing, and afterward by stretching their hands and feet; and it was thus mountains were constructed. The man, by scattering the hair of his head on the mountains, created trees and forests, in which wild beasts sprung up and increased; while the woman, by making water, produced seas, and by spitting into ditches and holes, formed rivers and lakes. The woman, pulling out one of her teeth, gave it to the man, who made a knife of it; and, cutting trees with the knife, threw the chips into the river, which were changed into fish of different kinds. At last this human pair had children; and while their first-born, a son, was playing with-a stone, the stone all of a sudden was converted into an island. On this island, which was the island of Cadiack, a man and a she-dog were then placed; and it was set afloat on the ocean, and arrived at its present situation. The man and the she-dog multiplied, and the present generation are their descendants.
   These fables, which have a degree of analogy, plainly show, how slow is the progress of civilisation; or, at least, how little effect has been produced on these people by an. intercourse of more than twenty years with the Russians.
   Formerly, polygamy was in use on the island. The toyons had then as many as eight wives, and private persons a smaller number, according to their situation and property. The shamans had persuaded their ignorant countrymen, that they ought to cohabit with as many women as the supernatural being, their patron, would allow them. Those who marry according to the rites of the Greek church, have now but one wife.
   The manner of courtship of the country is this:- A young man, on hearing that in such a place is a girl that he thinks will suit him, goes thither, carrying with him the most valuable things he is possessed of, and proposes himself for a husband. If the parents of the girl are satisfied with him, he makes them presents till they say - Enough. If they are not pleased with him, he returns home with all he brought. The husband always lives with the parents of the wife, and is obliged to serve them, though occasionally he may visit his own relations. When they are not married by the Greek church, there is no rite observed; having agreed to be man and wife, the young couple go to bed; together without ceremony. The next, morning, however, the husband, rises before day, to procure wood, which is very scarce in many parts of the island; and is obliged to prepare a hot bath, for the purification both of himself and his partner.
   There are no feastings at the time of marriage; but if the son-in-law should happen to kill a beast or fish, of value, the father-in

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