Skin Bottle

Skin bottle.

The people of Asia west of the Indus use the skins of animals, on a journey, for carrying water and other liquids, as well as, in general, other articles of provision which they are obliged to take with them in their journeys across the deserts or thinly inhabited plains. The preference of such vessels is well grounded. Earthen or wooden vessels would soon be broken in the rough usage which all luggage receives while conveyed on the backs of camels, horses, or mules. And if metal were used, the contents would be boiled or baked by the glowing heat of the sun. Besides, such skins exclude the encroachments of ants, which swarm in those countries, and also effectually guard against the admission of fine impalpable dust. The scarcity of streams and wells renders it indispensable for all travelers to carry water with them. When a party is large, and the prospect of a fresh supply of water distant, large skins of the camel or ox, two of which are a good load for a camel, are used. Goatskins serve in ordinary circumstances. Individual travelers, whether in large or small parties, mounted or on foot, usually carry a kidskin of water, or else a sort of bottle of prepared leather shaped something like a powder flask. The greater portability of such skins is another advantage. The skins of kids and goats are those used for ordinary purposes. The head being cut off, the carcass is extracted without opening the belly, and the neck serves as the mouth of the vessel. SEE BOTTLE.

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