Diaries

7/5/1909

Friday May 7. [7 May 1909] Off at 6. 1850. At 7.5 we reached Avriva, at 7.30 Musaka, 8.50 Ishkaftad (all these lying along the foot of the hills). We passed a small Yezidi Mazar where the path goes up to Sheikh Adi just after Ishkaftad. The latter is a Kurdish Kochar village - they live here however in underground houses not in tents and there is a square masonry mosque. It belongs to Hassan Jangir, a very much dreaded robber chief, and 2 days ago it was raided by soldiers, a man and 2 women were killed - the rest of the population driven up into the hills. Hassan Jangir is a feudatory of Sheikh Hajji who is now in prison in Mosul [Mawsil, Al]. He and Sheikh Nuri and another robber Kurdish chief were encamped just above us in the hills last night. At 10.30 we got to Baadri and went straight to 'Ali Beg. Peacocks in his court yard. He and others with long pointed curly beards, extraordinarily Assyrian. Charming little son Sa'ad Beg and very attractive wife dressed in purple cotton, black jacket, white veil and black cap, gold bracelets set with turquoises. Fattuh skilfully got me out of staying in the house. There was a Xian secretary from Al Kosh [Qosh, Al] who had travelled with the Chaldaean patriarch (who lives in Mosul) to Rome [Roma] and Vienna [Wien] in 1868. I explained to him that I wanted to go to Sheikh Adi that day. Ali Beg sent me an enormous lunch piled on a huge tray and then gave me 2 guides to Sh. Adi. I took my 4 soldiers. We left at 12 and got there at 2.15. Rocky road up from the Mazar and then up and down over the folds of the hills covered with balut (oak) and butsu and za'rur still flowering, poppies and the last of the ranunculus and several kinds of campanula. Baadri was 2100, Sheikh Adi 3150. Delicious place buried in trees, some fig trees. We stopped by a spring and drank - it flows through 2 chambers with a tank in each and then out into the street if it can be called so. Before we got down to it the path was covered with a vault. Ali Beg's sister met me in the first open court where are the shops used at the time of the 'aid. Then into another court with a tree in it and the ziarah at the E end. Built into the wall are several inscrips in Arabic, one dated 1115 but of what era I don't know. Scarlet ranunculus fastened over the door with a patch of mud. Inside 2 aisles, the S. with a water tank into which a little stream flows through the wall. In the N aisle a tomb "of a sheikh" they said. Arcade of 7 piers. The aisles vaulted and I think about the same width. At the E end of the N wall a door leading into a small chamber with a tomb - it is covered by the smaller of the 2 spires. Then a square chamber, quite dark with Sh. Adi's tomb in it. Very high dome on squinches. The Khatun said prayers to Sh. Adi in Kermam. I lighted the place up with magnesian wire. Then into a long vaulted chamber filled with oil jars - all the door posts were oiled and the Khatun kissed them all. Then into a long vaulted corridor which runs along the N side of the inner court. We then went back to the first small domed room and she took me alone down a little way into a chamber running from N to S with water coming out of the rock on the N side and running into a tank at the S end. To the E it was allowed to escape through a hole in the wall into another longish chamber running E and W and so by a winding vaulted passage (all was very dark) into another E and W chamber. It passed through the E wall outside. The Khatun lives to the S of the shrine and here 'Ali Beg lodges at the 'Id. There are bits of continuous pattern decoration built into the W wall and a doorway by the fountain in the village that look as if they might have come out of a Jacobite church, but I do not think any of the present building is part of a church: the aisles are too long and too equal in width. A snake lengthways in the wall besides the big snake in relief standing on its tail by the door and painted black. They will not kill a black snake. We sat under the mulberry trees and drank milk and so rode home. Tired, we did not get in till 6. Rested and Ali Beg sent me dinner. After which I went with Sa'ad Beg and sat for a little with the Khatun. I gather they drink a good deal. They said even Saad Beg drank Arak and he certainly smokes too much.

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