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Abercromby, John / A trip through the eastern Caucasus
(1889)

A trip through the eastern Caucasus: chapter I: from Tiflis to Nukha,   pp. [1]-29


Page 11

FROM TIFLIS TO NUKHA. 
very bushy white sheep-skin bats (papak), while the 
Georgians either wear a black papak or a low cloth 
cap, not unlike the pork-pie hat of thirty years ago. 
Soon after leaving the village we had to cross a 
boulder-covered water-course about four hundred 
yards in width, then another less extensive one half- 
way between Bielokani and the next post-house. The 
horses must have been sorry for themselves. They 
were probably better pleased with the last few miles 
of the road, which ran between luxuriant orchards, 
full of all sorts of fruit-trees, especially of mulberries 
and walnuts, completely shading the route. In front 
of many of the houses were piles of cocoons, for 
silkworms are much cultivated in this part of the 
country. We soon entered the town of Zakatali, a 
small commercial centre of some importance. It is 
dominated by a fortress, built upon a commanding 
height and garrisoned by Russian troops. It was far 
too hot to think of paying it a visit on foot, and I am 
not sure whether it is an old native citadel or was 
built by the Russians. The town is inhabited by a 
mixed population of Lesgians, Armenians, Georgians, 
and Tatars.   I was told that about 20,000 pnds-a 
pud is 40 lbs.-of walnuts were exported yearly to the 
great fair of Nizhni Novgorod, and about 12,000 pud8 
of cocoons were collected in the neighbourhood and 
sent to Nukha, there to be spun into silk. A few 
years ago large quantities of cocoons and silkworm 
eggs used to be exported to Marseilles, but now the 
trade has entirely ceased. From the size of the place 
the post-station offered rather better accommodation 


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