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Hawkers of Ko-i-staun, with Valley of Caubul and Mountains of Hindoocoosh

Hawkers of Ko-i-staun, with Valley of Caubul and Mountains of Hindoocoosh

Artist: Rattray, James

Medium: Lithograph, coloured

Date: 1848

Shelfmark: X562(4)

Item number: Plate 4

Length: 26.6

Width: 37.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Print

This lithograph is taken from plate 4 of 'Afghaunistan' by Lieutenant James Rattray. In September 1841 Rattray sketched two men from Kohistan, Khudadard and Guldin, who were part of the cavalry escort of his brother, Captain Rattray.

In their capacity as falconers they also accompanied the brothers on sporting rides. Two kinds of birds of prey were used for hunting: the 'chirk' for antelope, bustard and other large game; the 'baz' for smaller quarry like partridge and quail. After the hunting season the birds were released. If recaptured, they were sternly schooled to accept their masters, kept in a darkened room, starved and then fed. Six weeks was the usual period taken to 'form' a bird. Rattray wrote: "That an old hawk should be rendered so docile and clever is wonderful, much more so when the same bird has been captured by the same fowler for several successive years."

Rattray's brother was killed in this beautiful valley only a month later.

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