Page:Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet vol 2 (1876).djvu/118

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96

LEGENDS.

so quiet a spot. I visited another small lake, called Kosin, near the summit of Sodi-Soruksum, also formed by springs; but its situation is more exposed, and it is not surrounded by the same mystery as Gadjur. Kosin, however, is also held sacred ever since the spirit (good or evil, I know not) drove from the spot a Tangutan hunter, attacking him under the form of a grey yak;[1] since which time sport is strictly prohibited on this and the other sacred mountains (Amneh).

According to another tradition, Mount Gadjur was sent hither by some Dalai-Lama to impress the minds of the people with the wonders of the holy country (i.e. Tibet).

Its precipitous cliffs, composed of felspar, limestone, and schistous clay, rise to about 1,000 feet above Lake Demchuk; it is, therefore, higher than Sodi-Soruksum. However, I only saw a few patches of melted snow in sheltered spots on the northern side.

On the south of the Tatung the Tangutan[2] population is very thick in certain districts less exposed to the marauding Dungans, as for instance, round the temple of Chertinton, but in the northern range towards Mount Gadjur not a human being could be seen. Pillaging parties frequently passed here on

  1. It is curious that in the popular legends of this people 'grey' cows, yaks, &c. take as prominent a part as they do in the popular legends of Russia.
  2. Eight miles below Chertinton some agricultural Chinese have settled in the valley of the Tatung; this colony escaped the Dungan ravages.