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伊朗古老村庄的“小人国”

更新时间:2018/1/25 21:39:43 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

Iran's ancient village of little people
伊朗古老村庄的“小人国”

In the first part of Jonathan Swift’s book Gulliver’s Travels, Lemuel Gulliver washes ashore on the island country of Lilliput, where he encounters the Lilliputians, who stand barely taller than 15cm.

在乔纳森·斯威夫特(Jonathan Swift)的著作《格列佛游记》(Gulliver's Travels)的第一部分中,莱米尔·格列佛(Lemuel Gulliver)在海上遇难时,被海水冲到了利立浦特岛国(Lilliput),岛上的居民身高甚至不超过15厘米。

While Swift’s Lilliput is merely a fantasy, a comparable village exists in the eastern extremities of Iran. Up until around a century ago, some of the residents of Makhunik, a 1,500-year-old village roughly 75km west of the Afghan border, measured a mere metre in height – approximately 50cm shorter than the average height at the time.

尽管斯威夫特的利立浦特只是一个虚幻的传说,但在伊朗最东端,的确存在着一个类似的村庄。直到一个世纪前,阿富汗西边界以西大约75公里处坐落着一个拥有1500年历史的名为马库尼克(Makhunik)的小村庄,村里的部分居民身高仅1米——比当时的平均身高矮了大约50厘米。

In 2005, a mummified body measuring 25cm in length was found in the region. The discovery fuelled the belief that this remote corner of Iran, which consists of 13 villages, including Makhunik, was once home to an ancient ‘City of Dwarfs’. Although experts have determined that the mummy was actually a premature baby who died roughly 400 years ago, they contend that previous generations of Makhunik residents were indeed shorter than usual.

2005年,一具25厘米长的木乃伊尸体在这片区域被发现。此次发现使人们相信,在伊朗的这个偏僻角落,有13个村庄(包括马库尼克),曾经是古老"小矮人城"的所在地。尽管专家们据专家判断,这具木乃伊事实上是一个死于约400年前的早产儿,但他们仍然认为,马库尼克村的前几代居民们的确比正常身高要矮小。

Malnutrition significantly contributed to Makhunik residents’ height deficiency. Raising animals was difficult in this dry, desolate region, and turnips, grain, barley and a date-like fruit called jujube constituted the only farming. Makhunik residents subsisted on simple vegetarian dishes such as kashk-beneh (made from whey and a type of pistachio that is grown in the mountains), and pokhteek (a mixture of dried whey and turnip).

营养不良是马库尼克居民身高缺陷的重要原因之一。这个地区干燥、荒凉,动物很难饲养,萝卜、谷物、大麦和一种类似枣子的水果是当时仅有的农作物。马库尼克居民依赖简单的蔬菜维持生活,如kashk-beneh(由乳清和一种生长在山里的开心果制成),还有pokhteek(一种乳清粉和萝卜的混合物)。

Arguably the most astonishing dietary anomaly was a disdain for tea – one of the hallmarks of Iranian cuisine and hospitality.

有证据表明,这里最不可思议的饮食异常是对茶的厌恶——茶是伊朗美食和招待客人的特色之一。

“When I was a kid no-one drank tea. If someone drank tea, they’d joke and say he was an addict,” recalled Ahmad Rahnama, referring the stereotype that opium addicts drink a lot of tea. The 61-year-old Makhunik resident runs a museum dedicated to Makhunik’s historic architecture and traditional lifestyle.

"在我还小的时候,这里没人喝茶。如果有人喝茶,大家会开玩笑说他是个瘾君子。"阿马德·拉纳马(Ahmad Rahnama)回忆说,并谈及鸦片瘾君子大量喝茶的印象。这位61岁的马库尼克居民经营着一家博物馆,专门纪念马库尼克的历史建筑和传统生活方式。

In the mid-20th Century, the construction of roads and the proliferation of vehicles allowed Makhunik residents access to ingredients found in other parts of Iran, such as rice and chicken.

二十世纪中期 ,道路建设和车辆的增加使马库尼克居民能够获取到伊朗其他地区的食材,如大米和鸡肉。

“When the vehicles came, people could bring food from nearby towns so there was more to eat than just kashk-beneh and bread,” Rahnam said.

"有车来以后,人们可以从附近的城镇运来食物,于是这里有了更多可以吃的东西,再不仅仅是kashk-beneh和面包。"拉纳马说。

Although most of Makhunik’s 700 residents are now of average height, reminders of their ancestors’ shorter statures still persist. Of the roughly 200 stone and clay houses that make up the ancient village, 70 or 80 are exceptionally low, ranging between 1.5 to 2m – with the ceilings of some as low as 1.4m.

尽管如今马库尼克700位居民大多数是平均身高,但有关他们的祖先身材矮小的迹象依然存在。这里约200座砖石房屋构成了这个古老村庄,其中70或80座格外矮,大约在1.5到2米之间——有些房屋的天花板甚至低到1.4米。

Stooping down, I followed Rahnama into one of Makhunik’s ‘Lilliputian’ homes, ducking through the wooden door that was located on the house’s southern side to let in more light and protect the home’s single room from strong northerly winds. I found myself in a small living quarters known as the ‘sitting room’ – aptly named as I was forced to sit due to the low ceiling. This roughly 10- to 14-sq-m space consisted of the kandik (place for storing grain and wheat), a karshak (a clay stove for cooking) and a sleeping space.

俯下身来,我跟随拉纳马进入了马库尼克的一个"利立浦特"家中,我穿过了一扇木门,它设置于房屋南侧,便于更多光线进入,也保护这个家的房间不受强烈偏北风的侵袭。然后,我发现自己进入了一个被称为"坐谈间"的小客厅中——这个名字很贴切,因为低矮的天花板让我必须得坐在里面。这个约10到14平方米的空间内,有存放谷物和小麦的地方、烹饪用的粘土炉和一个睡觉的空间。

Constructing these tiny homes was no easy feat, Rahnama said, and residents’ short stature wasn’t the only reason to build smaller houses. Domestic animals large enough to pull wagons were scarce and proper roads were limited, meaning locals had to carry building supplies by hand for kilometres at a time. Smaller homes required fewer materials, and thus less effort. Additionally, although cramped, smaller houses were easier to heat and cool than larger ones, and blended in more easily with the landscape, making them harder for potential invaders to spot.

建造这些小房屋可不是件容易的事情,拉纳马说,居民的矮小身材并不是建造小房屋的唯一原因。大到可以拉货车的家畜很少,道路通行也有限制,这意味着当地人必须用双手来搬运建筑用材,一次要走好几公里路程。小房屋要求用的材料要少一些,这样就能省下不少力气。此外,尽管狭小的房屋比大房屋更容易受热或受冷,但前者与周围的景观更融合,不易被潜在入侵者发现。

Life in the village still isn’t easy; the little agriculture that existed has declined in recent years due to drought, forcing younger residents to look elsewhere for work.

在这座村庄生活不是件易事,由于干旱,过去的小农业近些年已经衰落了,这里的年轻人不得到外面找工作。

“Nowadays young people go to nearby cities for work and bring back money and food. The women do some weaving, but aside from that there is no work,” Rahnama said. Meanwhile, older residents have had to rely heavily on government subsidies.

"如今,村里的年轻人到附近的城市里找工作,带回钱和食物。女人们做一些编织活,但除了这个,这里没活可干。"拉纳马说。同时,年纪大一些的居民在很大程度上不得不依赖政府补贴来养活自己。

Despite the difficult circumstances, Rahnama is hopeful that interest in the village’s unique architecture will lure visitors and that tourism will create more jobs and business. For now, though, “it is what it is,” he told me with a resigned smile.

尽管境况艰难, 拉纳马仍希望村子里的独特建筑能够吸引游客,旅游业会创造很多工作机会,促进商贸发展。不过现在,"就是这个样子",他有些听天由命地笑着对我说。

“But,” he added, chuckling, “things are better now than they used to be before. Before people were short and stocky, and now they’re tall and lean.”

"但是,"他继续一边咯咯笑一边说,"情况比以前要好些了。以前这里的人矮小粗壮,现在大家都又高又瘦的。"

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