Illustrated Description Of Russia

the List of Illustrations

Interior of a Circassian Armor Manufactory

table of contents


click to enlarge

Arts, manufactures, and commerce, are at the lowest ebb among the Circassians. The doctors are simply conjurers or saints, who profess to cure diseases by charms and the roughest applications of actual cautery. Their success may be surmised from the fact that, notwithstanding the length and inveteracy of the war with the Russians, very few instances of maimed Circassian warriors are to be met with: to be wounded among these people is generally to die. Of artificers and skilled mechanics, there are only cutlers, armorers, and goldsmiths; who, however, exhibit great ingenuity in the construction and decoration of the warriors' arms. A view of the interior of one of their armor-manufactories is given on the opposite page. The art of preparing gunpowder has been known for ages in the Caucasus, and the abundance of saltpetre renders the inhabitants independent of other countries for this important element of warfare; their mode of manufacture is, however, very primitive. It has been already stated that t he wome n are the great manufacturers of clothes, which may be said to be the only manufacture which these people possess. They formerly traded with Persia and Turkey for their chain and other armor, and with Tartar tribes northward for salt; the equivalents on their part being their children and cattle. The Russians have annihilated both trades; and this is said to be one great cause of the hatred entertained against them by the Circassians.

see more - The Caucasian Provinces

Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855