The Travels Of Marco Polo - Volume 2 Of 2 By Marco Polo And Rustichello Of Pisa











































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Is it not possible that the red colour imparted to the teeth by the
practice of chewing betel with lime - Page 180
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"Is It Not Possible That The Red Colour Imparted To The Teeth By The Practice Of Chewing Betel With Lime May Go Some Way To Account For The Ancient Name Of This Region, 'Zar-Dandan,' 'Chin-Ch'ih,' Or 'Golden-Teeth'?

Betel-chewing is, of course, common all over China; but the use of lime is almost unknown and the teeth are not necessarily discoloured.

"In the neighbourhood of Tali, one comes suddenly upon a lime-chewing people, and is at once struck with the strange red hue of their teeth and gums. That some of the natives used formerly to cover their teeth with plates of gold (from which practice, mentioned by Marco Polo, and confirmed elsewhere, the name is generally derived) can scarcely be considered a myth; but the peculiarity remarked by ourselves would have been equally noticeable by the early Chinese invaders, and seems not altogether unworthy of consideration. It is interesting to find the name 'Chin-Ch'ih' still in use.

"When Tu Wen-hsiu sent his 'Panthay' mission to England with tributary boxes of rock from the Tali Mountains, he described himself in his letter 'as a humble native of the golden-teeth country.'" - H.C.]

Vochan seems undoubtedly to be, as Martini pointed out, the city called by the Chinese YUNG-CH'ANG-FU. Some of the old printed editions read Unciam, i.e. Uncham or Unchan, and it is probable that either this or Vocian, i.e. VONCHAN, was the true reading, coming very close to the proper name, which is WUNCHEN.

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