ROOMAUL, s. Hind. from Pers. rumal (lit. ‘face-rubber,’) a towel, a handkerchief. [“In modern native use it may be carried in the hand by a high-born parda lady attached to her batwa or tiny silk handbag, and ornamented with all sorts of gold and silver trinkets; then it is a handkerchief in the true sense of the word. It may be carried by men, hanging on the left shoulder, and used to wipe the hands or face; then, too, it is a handkerchief. It may be as big as a towel, and thrown over both shoulders by men, the ends either hanging loose or tied in a knot in front; it then serves the purpose of a gulúband or muffler. In the case of children it is tied round the neck as a neckkerchief, or round the waist for mere show. It may be used by women much as the 18th century tucker was used in England in Addison’s time” (Yusuf Ali, Mon. on Silk, 79; for its use to mark a kind of shawl, see Forbes Watson, Textile Manufactures, 123).] In ordinary Anglo-Indian Hind. it is the word for a ‘pocket handkerchief.’ In modern trade it is applied to thin silk piece-goods with handkerchief-patterns. We are not certain of its meaning in the old trade of piece-goods, e.g.:

[1615.—“2 handkerchiefs Rumall cottony.”—Cocks’s Diary, Hak. Soc. i. 179.

[1665.—“Towel, Rumale.”—Persian Glossary, in Sir T. Herbert, ed. 1677, p. 100.

[1684.—“Romalls Courge…16.”—Pringle, Diary Ft. St. Geo., 1st ser. iii. 119.]

1704.—“Price Currant (Malacca)…Romalls, Bengall ordinary, per Corge, 26 Rix Dlls.”—Lockyer, 71.

1726.—“Roemaals, 80 pieces in a pack, 45 ells long, 1½ broad.”—Valentijn, v. 178.
Rumal was also the name technically used by the Thugs for the handkerchief with which they strangled their victims.

[c. 1833.—“There is no doubt but that all the Thugs are expert in the use of the handkerchief, which is called Roomal or Paloo….”—Wolff, Travels, ii. 180.]

ROSALGAT, CAPE, n.p. The most easterly point of the coast of Arabia; a corruption (originally Portuguese) of the Arabic name Ras-al-hadd, as explained by P. della Valle, with his usual acuteness and precision, below. 1553.—“From Curia Muria to Cape Rosalgate, which is in 22½°, an extent of coast of 120 leagues, all the land is barren and desert. At this Cape commences the Kingdom of Ormus.”—Barros, I. ix. 1.

„ “Affonso d’Alboquerque…passing to the Coast of Arabia ran along till he doubled Cape Roçalgate, which stands at the beginning of that coast…which Cape Ptolemy calls Siragros Promontory ( [Greek Text] SuagroV akra)….”—Ibid. II. ii. 1.

c. 1554.—“We had been some days at sea, when near Ra’is- al-hadd the Damani, a violent wind so called, got up….”—Sidi ’Ali, J. As. S. ser. I. tom. ix. 75.

„ “If you wish to go from Rásolhadd to Dúlsind (see DIUL-SIND) you steer E.N.E. till you come to Pasani…from thence…E. by S. to Rás Karáshí (i.e. Karachi), where you come to an anchor.…”—The Mohit (by Sidi ’Ali), in J.A. S.B., v. 459.


“Olha Dofar insigne, porque manda
O mais cheiroso incenso para as aras;
Mas attenta, já cá est’ outra banda
De Roçalgate, o praias semper avaras,
Começa o regno Ormus…”

Camões, x. 101.

By Burton:

“Behold insign Dofar that doth command
for Christian altars sweetest incense-store;
But note, beginning now on further band
of Roçalgaté’s ever greedy shore,
yon Hormus Kingdom.…”

1623.—“We began meanwhile to find the sea rising considerably; and having by this time got clear of the Strait…and having past not only Cape Iasck on the Persian side, but also that cape on the Arabian side which the Portuguese vulgarly call Rosalgate, as you also find it marked in maps, but the proper name of which is Ras el had, signifying in the Arabic tongue Cape of the End or Boundary, because it is in fact the extreme end of that Country…just as in our own Europe the point of Galizia is called by us for a like reason Finis Terrae.”—P. della Valle, ii. 496; [Hak. Soc. ii. 11].

[1665.—“…Rozelgate formerly Corodamum and Maces in Amian. lib. 23, almost Nadyr to the Tropick of Cancer.”—Sir T. Herbert, ed. 1677, p. 101.]

1727.—“Maceira, a barren uninhabited Island…within 20 leagues of Cape Rasselgat.”—A. Hamilton, i. 56; [ed. 1744, i. 57].

[1823.—“…it appeared that the whole coast of Arabia, from Ras al had, or Cape Raselgat, as it is sometimes called by the English, was but little known….”—Owen, Narr. i. 333.]

  By PanEris using Melati.

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