Messengers Are Punished With Death, As Are Likewise Sacrilegious Persons,
Whom They Esteem Witches, Of Which More Will Be Said Hereafter.
When any one dies, he is mourned for with violent howlings, and the
mourners are free from tribute during a whole year.
Any one who happens to
enter a house, in which a grown up person lies dead, must not enter the
house of Mangu-khan during a whole year; if the dead person is a child, he
is only debarred for one lunation. One house is always left near the grave
of the deceased; but the burial place of any of the princes of the race of
Jenghis-khan is always kept secret; yet there is always a family left in
charge of the sepulchres of their nobles, though I do not find that they
deposit any treasure in these tombs. The Comanians raise a large barrow or
tomb over their dead, and erect a statue of the person, with his face
turned towards the east, holding a drinking cup in his hand; they erect
likewise, over the tombs of the rich, certain pyramids or sharp pinnacles.
In some places, I observed large towers built of burnt bricks, and others
of stone, though no stones were to be found about the place. I saw the
grave of a person newly buried, in honour of whom there were hung up
sixteen horses hides, four of which towards each quarter of the world,
between high poles; and beside the grave they had set cosmos, that the
deceased might drink, and flesh for him to eat, although the person was
said to have been baptized.
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