336 LlUHi AMU TKUTH.
THE ANCIENT ARABIANS.
The Arabians a people of color, are the only people who
have preserved their descent, their language, independence,
manners, and customs from the earliest age; and to whom we
are to look for examples of patriarchal life and habits. The
tribes in general choose to pitch their tents— whether on a
hill or plain — so as to form a circular encampment. A col¬
lection of black tents thus arranged, is said to present a pleas¬
ing and beautiful appearance to the distant traveller. Tents
were first made it is thought of skins of animals, fastened
to a long pole set perpendicularly into the ground,— and
the covering was drawn away from the bottom of the pole
so as to form a small round dwelling. Subsequently tents
were enlarged and made oblong. Tents were first invented
in the family of Jubal — brother of Noah, and son of La¬
mech. The covering of the large tents, was made of goat's
hair, and was black. This fact beautifully illustrates the
passage in the Song of Solomon : "I am black as the tents
of Kedar." Kedar was the second son of Ishmael : and
Isaiah frequently personifies the Arabians under the name
ofKedar. (Isa. 20th and OQth chap.) " The curtains of
Solomon" was a shelter in Arabia — a cavern whither the
Arabian shepherds gathered their herds and flocks at night,
for refuge. Tents are very portable dwellings; and are
therefore conveniently adapted to the habits of those wan¬
dering tribes whose occupation leads them to frequent re¬
movals to different purts of the'country.
When they remove from one place to another, they take
their tents with them ; and when they stop, they erect them
again ; this they call " pitching their tents."
It appears, that about the time ofthe Hebrews' bondao-e