Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 1)

(London :  Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.,  1910.)



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 180  

i8o                        ALBERUNPS INDIA.

T'hey divide the moustache into single plaits in
order to preserve it. As regards their not cutting
the hair of the genitals, they try to make people
believe that the cutting of it incites to lust and
increases carnal desire. Therefore such of them as
feel a strong desire for cohabitation never cut the
hair of the genitals.

T'hey let the nails grow long, glorying in their idle¬
ness, since they do not use them for any business or
work, but only, while living a dolce far niente life, they
scratch their heads with them and examine the hair for

The Hindus eat singly, one by one, on a tablecloth
of dung. They do not make use of the remainder of a
meal, and the plates from which they have eaten are
thrown away if they are earthen.

'They have red teeth in consequence of chewing areca-
nuts with betel-leaves and chalk.

They drink wine before having eaten anything, then
they take their meal. They sip the stall of cows, but
they do not eat their meat.

They beat the cymbals with a stick.

They use turbans for trousers. Those who want little
dress are content to dress iu a rag of two fingers' breadth,
which they bind over their loins with two cords; but
those who like much dress, wear trousers lined with
so much cotton as would suffice to make a number of
counterpanes and saddle-rugs. These trousers have no
(visible) openings, and they are so huge that the feet
are not visible. The string by which the trousers are
fastened is at the back.

Their siddr (a piece of dress covering the head
and the upper part of breast and neck) is similar to
the trousers, being also fastened at the back by

P'he lappets of the kurtakas (short shirts from the
shoulders to the middle of the body with  sleeves,   a
  Page 180