Reading “Korea and her neighbors” – 4, Dogs & Women

 

But in the narrower alleys, of which there are hundreds, further narrowed by the low deep eaves, and the vile ditches outside the houses, only two men can pass each other, and the noble red bull with his load of brushwood is rarely seen. Between these miles of mud walls, deep eaves, green slimy ditches, and blackened smoke holes, few besides the male inhabitants and burden bearers are seen to move. They are the paradise of mangy dogs. Every house has a dog and a square hole through which he can just creep. He yelps furiously at a stranger, and runs away at the shaking of an umbrella. He was the sole scavenger of Seoul, and a very inefficient one. He is neither the friend nor companion of man. He is ignorant of Korean and every other spoken language. His bark at night announces peril from thieves. He is almost wild. When young he is killed and eaten in spring.

I have mentioned the women of the lower classes, who wash clothes and draw water in the daytime. Many of these were domestic slaves, and all are of the lowest class. Korean women are very rigidly secluded, perhaps more absolutely so than the women of any other nation.

Bird, Isabella L. (Isabella Lucy), 1831-1904. Korea and her neighbors; a narrative of travel, with an account of the recent vicissitudes and present position of the country (Kindle position No.740-750). New York, Chicago [etc.] F.H. Revell Co..

You can read the book online or get PDF and Kindle book from here.

See: the pictures of before and after.

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