Interesting history about Bukharian Jews

From the book “. Vassili Verestchagin: Painter-Soldier -Traveller Autobiographical Sketches” ( London, 1887) 

The Jew in the [village] Buka 

“Jews are trading a little tea, and generally all that happens, but mostly raw silk; they and traders commodity red, hung their bright wealth on both sides of a whole line of shops occupy the most fashionable part of the market “(From a trip to Central Asia / Essays, sketches, memories V. V. Vereschagina. With pictures. SPb., 1883 ) 

In the book of Eugene Schuyler presented so that’s engraving etude Vereshchagin: 

Jews in Samarkand. The front is piece of the 1st volume of the book Eugene Schuyler “Turkistan: Notes of a Journey in Russian Turkistan, Khokand, Bukhara, and Kuldja” ( London, 1876) 

Meanwhile, number 9 of the magazine “Niva” for 1878 by the author of the same It works for some reason called Sedov (an obvious error, unless, of course, is not an alias Vereshchagin): 

and even more perplexing is the fact that the New York edition of the book Rounders (even in the reprint in 1885!) confused illustrations, and instead of the Jews represented dervishes-Kalandar, well known for many other works of Vereshchagin. The Jews themselves are depicted on the frontispiece of the 2nd volume of the signature “Dervishes”.

Kalendarhan – a shelter for the poor; places where these shelters are built, are always full of shade and coolness, and belong to the best corners of the city.

In the middle of the courtyard elevation, a place of prayer – an indispensable accessory of every public place. Further, the rise of another, more spacious, the middle of which stands a poor, poor, dirty, miserable beggars zdanitse immediately and sits, usually along the walls and on the platform. Some of them are talking, others smoke, drink tea, and sometimes got drunk kuknaru asleep at full length. (  Next  )

First, a few words about the slave caravanserais and the slave trade. The truth is that no slave caravanserais, nor the slave trade now I do not exist in Tashkent, nevertheless to say something on this subject will, I think, and it is interesting neizlishne. For this trade building in Central Asian cities are arranged in the same way as all the caravanserais; only divided them into a larger number of small cubbyholes, with separate doors to each; If the yard is large, the middle of his shed for pack animals; then, for the most part, it is placed and corrupt people, among whom unreliable tied to wooden poles canopy. All people on the courts of such commonly pushed a lot: who buys, who just stares. VV Vereshchagin. Sale of child slave. 1872

Buying goods will ask: what he can do, which knows the craft, etc. Then lead into the closet, and there at the host will examine whether there are any physical defects or diseases… Young women for the most part in the court are not exposed, and look in closets and not examined by the buyer, and experienced elderly wise woman. </ P>

Prices for the people, of course, vary, depending on the time and the greater or lesser tide of “goods”. Fall under the bargaining usually goes shibche, and the city of Bukhara, for example, by this time, in each of the dozen available where slave caravanserais is, as I said, from 100 to 150 for sale. Since most slaves deliver Central Asian unhappy adjacent to the Turkmen tribes Persian border, the success or failure of hunting exploits turkmentsev in these places mainly set the price for slaves in Khiva , Bukhara and Kokand ; but sometimes the war and the inevitable with the enslavement of prisoners, if they are not Muslims are Sunni persuasion (otherwise, the seizure and resale of all the slaves defeated side), significantly and immediately to all these markets change prices: in such cases, the person goes to the very cheap price – a few dozen rubles, sometimes even for 10 rubles.

In general, women in the sale of a lot more than women, among other things because the Turkmens, willingly selling men hold more than at women. Beautiful young woman is very expensive, up to 1,000 rubles or more.

At a good price and are pretty boys: for them is a huge demand in all of Central Asia. I happened to hear stories of former slaves, Persians how little else they were captured Turkmen: one in the field, at work, with his father and brothers, others just on the village street, in broad daylight, with the helpless howling and screaming cowardly people. The story follows the travels then, the transition from the hands of these unfortunate robber-turkmentsa slaves in the hands of the merchant and from here to the house bought them very sad and can not but rejoice that through the intervention of the Russian dirty slough became apparently cleaned. 

Russian influence in the slave trade affected in the three most outstanding facts: firstly, the general decline in the number of slaves, because in the whole of Russia attached to them to make the country free; secondly, generally decreased demand for new slaves, because in all of these countries there is a newfound marketing them, and in cities such as Tashkent , Khujand , Samarkand and others selling them was not small; Third, trade, this has dropped substantially, reduced in size, and in all the neighboring barbarian states of Central Asia to the simple and meaningless speculation that Russian is not today or tomorrow may grant to each of them, and as each of them well they know that the Russian slaves mercilessly free, then all purchases and transactions of this kind are now taking unreliable, ungrateful appearance.

But not alone, so to speak, the official slaves sigh now free: all kinds of poverty and zagnannosti begin boldly look into the eyes of the capital, the nobility, power, because sentient considerable embarrassment.

But another sort of servants, who is not named so insulting in any textbook, but who, nevertheless, is the worst form of slavery – mothers, wives, daughters Central savages, did not experience a slow but irresistible influence on their situation and the fate of kyafirskih ( ” kafir “- wrong) laws and all orders kyafirskih? Without a doubt, yes; and not to go far enough to listen to the cautious, but bitter complaints that pours out in a conversation with me, the owner of my house, the old man elder. “The last days are coming!” – he says, waving his hand frantically. “How so?” – “Yes, of course! What else to expect, and his wife, the husband is not instructive:’ll be beat – scares that will go to the Russian … “In fact, they do not hesitate to aziattsev when his property, his thing, right acquired lawfully enslavement begins to declare about any what their rights and especially the right not to be arbitrarily bitoyu! How not to upset such a split, and how not to guess all the perpetrators of this heresy! ..

About undeservedly humiliated eastern women have already spoken a lot many multiple travelers, and there will not repeat platitudes; I can only say that the fate of women in Central Asia, generally speaking, is even more sad fate of her sister in a western country like Persia, Turkey and others. Even lower than in the past, her civil status, even more seclusion and exclusion from its ruler, men more closely restricted activity odnoyu physical, the animal’s side, so to speak. From the cradle of pre-sold a man undeveloped, unreasonable child taken them, she even sexually, does not live life to the full, because the epoch of conscious adulthood have time to grow old, crushed moral role of females and physical work beast of burden. All intellectual movement, all development can therefore affect only the lowest manifestations of the human mind -.. In the intrigue, gossip, etc., but there is nothing to be surprised, and that they are intriguing, gossiping …

This is extremely humiliating position of women is the main cause, among other things, of the abnormal phenomenon, what appears to the local “batch” . The literal translation of “batch” means a boy; but since these boys perform even a strange and, as I said, not quite normal role, and the word “batch” has yet another meaning, awkward to explain.

The butch-coming dancers usually pretty boys ranging from eight years old, and sometimes more. From the hands of unscrupulous in the way of getting the money parents the child reaches the hands of one, two, sometimes many admirers of beauty, partly a little bit and scams that are using old, graduated from the career of dancers and singers learn a these arts the pupil and once you have learned nurse, dress up like a doll, pamper, groom and give money to parties wishing to public performances.

These public performances – “Tamasha” I have seen many times; particularly but remains in memory vision of the first I, the former one rich merchant SA [ Seid Azim . – rus_turk]..

“Tamasha” are almost every day in one way or another in the town house, and sometimes many at once, to the post of chief Adha holiday, when there is the most of all weddings, usually accompanied by similar ideas. Then, in all parts of the city heard the sound of a tambourine and drums, screaming and measured strokes his hands under the beat of the singing and dancing of Butch. Speaking as someone who has few friends in the city, I asked SA purposely arrange “Tamasha” and again, late at night, to notify him that the submission is prepared and is about to begin, we are now in a few people went to his house.

At the gate, and before the gates of the house, we found a lot of people; the yard was packed; Only in the middle of a large circle remained composed Sitting on the ground, waiting for the presentation of the audience; all of the remaining space of the yard – a solid mass of heads; people in all doors, the galleries, on roofs (roofs more than women). On one side of the circle, on a raised platform, the musicians – some big drum and small drums; about these musicians, the place of honor, seated us, unfortunately for our ears. Yard was illuminated enormous torch oil, red light is strongly flame which gave, with dark azure starry sky, a surprising effect scene.

“Come over here,” – whispered to me one friend Sart, winking eye, as is done at the suggestion of a forbidden fruit. “What? Why?” – “Let’s see how Butch dress.” In one of the rooms with doors opening onto the courtyard, were, for the sake of modesty, closed, a select few, most of the natives of honor, reverence surrounded Butch very pretty boy dress up to represent; it is transformed into a girl: Tie up long hair in a few melkozapletennyh braids, her head covered with a large bright silk handkerchief and then, above the forehead, tied another one, narrow folded, bright red. Before Butch held a mirror in which he always looked coyly. Thick-pretolsty Sart was holding the candle, the other with reverence, barely breathing (I’m not exaggerating), look at the operation and considered it an honor to help her, when you need something to fix, hold. In conclusion, the toilet boy podchernili eyebrows and eyelashes to stick to the face a few a sheepskin – signes de beauté – and it really is transformed into a girl came to the audience greeted him with a loud, friendly cheers. VV Vereshchagin. Portrait of Bachi. 1867- 1868

Butch quietly began slowly to walk in circles; it rhythmically, in time with the second drum quietly and clapped his hands viewers spoke, gracefully curving body, playing with his hands and rolling his head. His eyes, large, beautiful, black, and a pretty mouth had something defiant expression, sometimes too indiscreet. Lucky member of the audience to which the batch treated with such meaningful glances and smiles, melted with pleasure and repay the flattering attention may take the lowly posture, gave his face obsequious, touching expression. “My joy, my heart” – was heard on all sides. “Take my life, – he shouted, – it is nothing compared to odnoyu thy smile,” etc. This is the music played often and louder.. Following her dance became more animated; feet – dancing barefoot batch – steel manufacture deft, rapid movements; hand snake whirled around Sunset housing; tambourines rattled even more often, even louder; spun even faster batch, so that hundreds of eyes barely have time to keep track of his movements; Finally, in desperation cod music and frantic cry spectators consequential final figure, after which the dancer or dancer, whatever you like, refreshing slightly served him tea, again quietly went on stage, gently waving his hands, handing out smiles and throwing right and left their gentle, languorous , a sly look.

Extremely interesting musicians; with an increase in the dance beat them even more than the audience, come to the rapturous state, and in the most powerful places even jump up from his squatting position on your knees and utterly furiously straining their already loud instruments. Butch-girl-boy replaces the batch, the general nature of which varies from a little dance first. Dance of changing his singing an original, but a monotonous, monotonous, mostly sad! Longing and sadness at the lovely, unsatisfied, depressed, but rapturous love and love is rarely happy are common themes of these songs by listening to the native become sad, and sometimes vsplaknet.

Interestingly, although unofficial and not available to all part of the show begins when the official, t. E. The dancing and the singing was over. Here begins the meal batch, continued for a long time – a very strange meal for a little familiar with the native customs and traditions. I went into the room during one of the scenes of backstage and found a picture: a wall is important and proudly sits a small batch; high vzdernuvshi her nose and narrowed his eyes, he looks around proudly, with the consciousness of their dignity; from him along the walls around the room, sit next to each other, cross-legged, kneeling, Sart different species, sizes and ages – young and old, small and tall, thin and thick – all buried with his elbows on his knees and possibly bent , fondly looking at Butch; they were watching his every move, caught his eyes, listening to his every word. Lucky, that boy honors its look and even more short, meets the most respectful, obsequious way, crouched previously from the face of his, and the whole figure view complete jerk and make baht (born greetings, consisting jerked his beard), adding continuously for more respect, the word “taxing” (emperor). Who will have the honor to submit anything Butch cup if tea or anything else, he did not do it except by crawling on his knees and is sure to make pre baht. The boy takes it for granted, it is proper, and no express gratitude for it does not consider itself obliged. 

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