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(their barracks,) near the palace of the Kassiba, or citadel, at the south-west corner. The dress of some of the people is very beautiful, especially that of the Moors, which is covered with gold lace and braid. It consists of a highlyornamented jacket, generally of blue or scarlet cloth, and some of silk, stiff with gold or silver, and several vests covered with embroidery; a rich Eastern shawl girds the waist; the limbs are covered with wide-bagged trowsers, descending to the knees. The legs are generally bare, and the feet incased in red slippers, down at heel. The head is covered by a turban, expressive of the rank and condition of its wearer. In some it is red, but in the greater number white; and those who have performed the pilgrimage to Mekeh, wear a green one ; over all is thrown the hyke. This requires notice. It is a white scarf of the finest wool, from five to six yards long, and about two broad ; fringed at the ends, and worn much in the same manner as the plaid of the Scottish Highlanders. At times it serves as a cloak, and when wound gracefully round the body in loose folds, presented to us at once the Roman Toga—in all probability, a remnant of the Mauritanian conquest. It is a very beautiful piece of dress, and almost peculiar to Barbary, which has always had immense manufactories of this article, as well as of the burnoose, or white cloak, which is occasionally worn, and consists merely of an oblong square
piece of fine thin flannel, doubled and joined together at the top ; the hood thus formed is thrown over the head, and the folds are drawn about the body. The manufacture of both those articles of dress is
peculiar, no shuttle being used in the weaving, much in the same manner as is exhibited in the figures on Egyptian temples.* Might it not have been such a dress as this that was worn by our Saviour, being “ without seam, woven from the top throughout ?”
These Moors are a noble-looking race of men, with fair and rather florid complexions. Several of those whom we met spoke English, and more plainly than any foreigner I ever heard, with a good pronunciation—never once misplacing a word, and finding no impediment from that stumbling-block to our continental neighbours, the th. The Moors are the principal natives here, and fill some places of trust—the judges, or kádees, f still sit in their own courts, deciding the civil and religious differences of the Moóslim population. Some of those old kádees, with their long silver beards, formal turbans, slow-measured gait, and eastern costume, looked quite patriarchal, and always reminded me of the early days of Scripture history, and brought vividly to my recollection the magnificent picture by
Appendix F. * In the spelling of this and other Arabic terms, I have endeavoured to do so as much as possible in accordance with the true pronunciation, as adopted by Mr. Lane, at the same time avoiding the repetition of the same sounds as expressed in the letters hh and ck, &c. &c.
Guerchino, of Abraham turning out the bondswoman and her son.
Whether from their connection with Gibraltar, or in remembrance of Lord Exmouth, the natives hold the English and every thing belonging to them in the greatest veneration.
The Jews form a large portion of the population of Algiers, amounting to between three and four thousand; but at the census taken in 1823 the number was 5,949. The cause of the decrease since that time is owing to a number having set forward to Jerusalem with French passports. Strange it is, that though the politician, the statesman, and the soldier, look with a curious eye on the late conquest of Algiers, few would have thought the subjection of this place would have contributed towards the fulfilling of a prophecy, by restoring to their promised land nearly three thousand Israelites.* You now meet them in every quarter of the city, where they hold a high head, being admitted to all the privileges of Frenchmen.
Barbary was always a great resort of this people, and up
to the period of the evacuation, they were the despised, hated, and oppressed race of all in Algiers. Christians were always preferred by the Turks; yet although compelled to be the executioners, and to hold the lowest menial offices, the Jews were the money-changers and bankers of the
* Isaiah, xi. 11, 12; xiv. 1; xviii. 7.—Jeremiah, xii. 14; xvi. 14, 15.-Ezekiel, xi. 17; xx. 34, &c. &c.
community. Heretofore they were only allowed by their Osmanli masters to wear black, and to ride asses, and that outside the walls ; they now seem to make up for past restrictions, by wearing the most gaudy dresses. Although still subject to all the civil regulations of citizens, their own petty differences and religious disputes are settled by a person called the king. . This office has been of long standing in Algiers, and was one of considerable profit to its possessor; for although he paid a large sum for it to the reigning Dey, yet his exactions from his brethren more than compensated for the tax.
The principal part of the female population met with in the streets are Jewesses; they wear no veil, and are not remarkable for personal beauty ; they dress inelegantly, though their garments are covered with gold lace and braid. The girls wear the hair in long plaits hanging down behind; the head is tied up in a handkerchief, the ends of which are twisted up with the plait, and reach below the waist.
From what I have observed amongst the numerous tribe of Jews, first at Gibraltar, now here, and further on throughout the east—of the many thousand I have seen, a peculiar colour of the hair is so striking as to seem characteristic of the nation. Amongst us, Jews almost invariably have hair of the deepest black, but this is a light auburn, of a tint I have never seen before. If the letter to the Roman emperor may be relied on, this was, in all probability,
the colour of our Saviour's. There is one peculiarity in the dress of the Jewish matrons at Algiers; this is the sarmah—a most extraordinary head-tire consisting of a taper cone of silver filligree, from two to two and a half feet in length, open at the back for about one-third of the circumference, where it is closed by a loose bag of black silk. It is fastened on the head by a tight-fitting cap of silk or velvet, and rises out behind, very like, to use an odd simile, the spanker boom of a man-of-war. Over this is thrown a black net or gauze veil, which hangs down nearly to the ground. The fitting on of the sarmah forms no inconsiderable item in the toilette of a Jewish matron; and a lady who has been long resident in Algiers assured me, that rather than be at the trouble of removing, they frequently sleep with them on. Although peculiar to the Jews here, I have seen some few Moorish ladies wear ones of gold, but covered over with the usual thin white muslin veil --white being still the distinguishing colour between the Jew and the Mooslim.
It is probable the sarmah was introduced from Syria, a similar ornament being used by the women of Mount Lebanon, but with them it is worn in front, projecting like the horn of a unicorn—the flowing veil that covers it acting equally as a protection against the sun, and preserving the modesty of the wearer. By some of the Druses it is worn on the side of the head, and resembles a small trumpet-among them it is called the Tantoura.