Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review Volumes 32 and 33.djvu/103
Tke Pre-Buddhist Religion of the Burmese. 9 1
in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute for the latter half of 191 5 I have suggested, following Pro- fessor Ridgeway,^ that such a tree may have happened to grow on or near the graves of the Brothers, and have been, in the belief of the people, impregnated with their virtue. " The original tree may have been cut up and distributed, and when it failed a tree or branch brought from the forest may have been treated in the same way, as is done now. The sacrifice of human life has already taken place, once for all, and the tree is dismembered, not in substitution for a man, but because the virtue of this particular man has entered it." ^
Another royal victim who became a nat was Nga Pyi, servant of a prince of the twelfth century. His master was sent away by the king to a distant part of the country, and compelled to leave his beautiful wife behind him. He instructed Nga Pyi to come to him at once if the king sent for his wife. The king did send for her, and Nga Pyi rode to his master, but slept a night on the way, and was put to death for his negligence.
In the fortune-tellers' booths at the Taungbyon festival, already mentioned, the images I saw most frequently were those of the Brothers, Yeyingadaw, Tibyuzaung, and Maung Po Tu.
Yeyingadaw seems to be a kind of evil spirit dwelling in the wild country to the west of the ancient shrine of Powundaung in the Chindwin. I could get no other information about her at the festival, perhaps owing to the fear with which she was regarded. I have since heard that she must be propitiated if cattle are to be kept free from attacks by tigers.
^ Dramas and Dramatic Dances, pp. i6, 17.
^J.R.A.I., 1915, p. 362. For a fuller version of the story of the Brothers see the Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States, pt. ii. vol. ii. p. 104. WTien I wrote my account for the J. R.A.I. I had seen neither this version nor Mr. J. A. Stewart's description of the ceremony on pp. 387 sq. of Professor Ridgeway's book.