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Communicated by Me. Edward Glaser.
JeAvs living amongst the several indigenous tribes especially to be found amongst the Hanenshas, and amongst the Djeridis. Those who lead a nomadic life are especially to be found near Zaghuan, in Tessour, in the neighbourhood of Besha, and amongst the Beni Zid in the mountains bordering on Gabes.
C'arette, in his work on Algeria, found that in the year 1807 there were 200 Jewish tents within the tribe of the Hanenshas, one of the largest elements of population in the Regency of Tunis. The Jewish occupants of tents were as combative as the Arabs, and carried long guns, which were richly mounted with silver ornaments. In consequence of internal discord, 150 families were obliged to emigrate, and it is alleged that they retired into the oasis of Djerid, towards the south of their former roving places. The Jews, living amongst the native tribes, have adopted the manners and customs of their neighbours, and, like them, inhabit tents or gurbis. Sometimes thev carry on agriculture on a socialistic principle, sometimes on individual account, and they combine with it in a remarkable degree the habits of a nomadic life. It is, however, stated that agriculture is not their favourite occupation. Usually they follow the trade of goldsmiths, or carry on the traffic of hawkers. On this account most of the tribes place no difficulties in the way of receiving Jews among themselves, but some of the tribes are intolerant and exclude the Jews.
The Jewish settlers dress like their non-Jewish neighbours, and speak the same language as the natives. Yet some slight external distinctions are noticeable. Instead of the liheit, that is a cord of camel hair which the natives wind round the red shashiya (tarbush or fez), the Jews use a twisted handkerchief or black turban. The Jewish women avoid tattooing their faces in obedience to the biblical prohibition. The intellectual life of the nomadic Jews is totally different from that of their domiciled brethren, the latter being under the control of their
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