Page:A Wayfarer in China.djvu/128

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A WAYFARER IN CHINA

Lolos were much in evidence. We were here about two thousand one hundred feet below the summit of the great pass through which the raiders in times not far past made their way into fertile Chien-ch'ang. After getting settled in the inn, I went for a walk, carefully guarded by two soldiers especially detailed for the purpose by the Yamen. In one alley I noticed Lolo women spinning in the doorways, and with the aid of the soldiers, who seemed to be on very friendly terms with them, I succeeded in getting a picture of two. In feature and colour they might have passed for Italians, and their dress was more European than Chinese in cut. On their heads they wore the Tam o' Shanter-like cap of black stuff, common among these people, bound on with their long braids, and their coats were of the usual felt. Their skirts, homespun, were made with what we used to call a Spanish flounce. According to Baber, the Lolo petticoat is of great significance. No one may go among the independent Lolos safely save in the guardianship of a member of the tribe, and a woman is as good a guardian as a man. Before setting out she puts on an extra petticoat, and the traveller thus escorted is sacred. But if the guarantee is not respected she takes off the garment, spreading it on the ground, and there it remains, telling to all the outrage that has been committed, and appealing to Heaven for redress. Altogether the women that I saw had a rather