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GROUP OF CHRISTIANS. – KARENS.

shawl, or wound round the body.  These garments are usually one black and one red.  For a petticoat another rectangular piece of cloth is wrapped two or three times round the person, and is kept in its place by a wampum belt some six inches in diameter.  Another enormous band of beads is worn below the knees, and on the ankles are large silver bangles.  Both sexes wear silver bangles on the wrists, and the women a profusion of silver necklaces, formed of ingots of silver or coins, to which are added a dozen or more strings of beads.  Ear drops are worn both by men and women, and the latter have silver ear plugs of an inch or more in diameter.  Beads are as numerous among the women, though all imported, as among the American Indians, and the profusion of silver ornaments seems to indicate any thing but poverty.  A girl being asked to begin to learn spelling, asked whether she would have to put off her ornaments if she did, was told she would have, and answered decidedly, 'Then I won't yet.'"
    Dr. Mason states that the country inhabited by the Red Karens is the finest in the interior of Burmah.  About fourteen days' journey from Toungkoo, Dr. Mason found himself on the top of a mountain from 4,000 to 5,000 feet high, when the land of the Red Karens opened suddenly before him, and a more beautiful prospect was never beheld.  What appeared to be a broad valley, bounded on both sides by perpendicular limestone cliffs, was in fact a rolling country, very fertile and studded by considerable villages.  It resembled parts of Scotland and Vermont, and the climate is delightful, not unlike that of Italy.  Other tribes of Karens reside to the eastward, who are more powerful than the Red Karens, and were about to attack them, when they received a warning from the British authorities, and have since refrained from annoyance.  The Red Karens are by far the most civilized of the race, or indeed of any of the forest tribes of Burmah.  "They are better clad, provide themselves with better food, are better skilled in the arts, and are more vigorous, active, and laborious than any jungle tribe Dr. Mason met with.  They make their own knives, swords, spears, axes, hoes, bangles, silver ornaments, and earthenware; bits and stirrups, bridles and saddles.  Every foot of ground they cultivate is hoed with a broad heavy hoe of the European form, such as is never seen among Burmese, but is used by Chinese.  They have cattle in great abundance, which are trained to carry panniers, which bring produce from the fields to the village.  The land is very productive, yielding cereals and vegetables in great abundance and variety, and cotton grows more abundantly than in any other part of Burmah.  They have built some 1,200 villages, consisting of 35,000 houses, and one large town, Garytoung, which serves as a rallying point for the tribe, and the centre of its very considerable trade.  They sell timber, sticklac, cutch, &c., to the traders of Moulmein, and receive from them British goods to a great extent.  They also deal in cattle, and the peculiar breed of beautiful ponies so well known."
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