Page:Frederic Shoberl - Persia.djvu/202

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173
PERSIA.

Instruments of the class called Thabl.

The Persians have several kinds of drums:

The dembal, a kind of long drum which seems to have come from India.

The dohol resembles our military drum.

The kous is a large copper drum, about five feet high and nine or ten in circumference. It is used only in the army, and in caravans, to give the signal for departure.

The naccareh, a pair of kettle-drums joined together. The body of the naccareh is of copper. We have already observed, that this instrument is employed to beat the time.

The thabli-baz, or falcon drum, is so called because it is used in sporting to call back falcons which have been slipped. People of distinction, not excepting the king himself, carry them on the left side of the saddle. The thabli-baz is of copper.

There is also a kind of drum used by the inhabitants of Multan. It is of an oblong shape, and the body is made of wood. It is beaten at both ends, with the hands, and not with sticks.

The dombek is a drum used by the country people. It is a kind of erthen pot, having a foot by which the instrument is held under the arm: the head is covered with a stretched bladder or skin.

Tabors are called def, when furnished with rings, and daireh, when they have little bells. The latter are commonly four or five spans in circumference, and have foul or five little copper bells which turn on an axis.

Sindi, or cymbals, are also used by the Persians; and a little bell, resembling the bells attached to horses' heads in the western parts of England.


CHAPTER V.

DANCING.

Among the Persians, dancing is left almost entirely to females of the lowest class and the most depraved morals. A dancer and a courtesan are with them synonymous terms. In this art the Persian women display incomparable agility, and it is in this, rather than in the graceful combination of their steps and motions, that their talent consists.

From the accounts of the most recent travellers, it would appear, that it is men chiefly, or rather boys, and not females, who follow the profession of dancing for the amusement of the great,