Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/223

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211
SURVIVALS FROM MARRIAGE BY CAPTURE.

in a disintegrated condition, of this or of the foregoing form. He says, "A candidate for the hand of a virgin must escalade her cabin, and is expected to overthrow a strong man placed in her defense."[1] A still more disintegrated form is found in Turkey, where the bridegroom is chased by the guests, who slap him on the back and pelt him with their slippers. A curious variation of this ceremony survives among the Arab tribes of Upper Egypt, where, at the marriage feast, "the unfortunate bridegroom undergoes the ordeal of whipping by the relations of his bride." Sometimes the punishment is exceedingly severe, it being administered with a whip of hippopotamus-hide; but, if the bridegroom wishes to be considered a man of gallantry, he must receive the chastisement with an expression of enjoyment. After the flogging, the bride is led to the bridegroom's residence.[2]

The next disintegration appears in those cases in which resistance is offered only by the women of the bride's party, the men remaining passive. This form prevails among the Khonds in the hill tracts of Orissa (India). The bridegroom, assisted by a party of twenty or thirty young men, carries off the bride, in spite of the desperate attacks of her female friends, who hurl stones and bamboos at the head of the devoted bridegroom, until he reaches the confines of his own village. The same form is observed by the Kolams of the Pindi Hills (India), by the Mosquito Indians (Central America), and by the Eskimos of Cape York. A variation is found in the kingdom of Futa, Senegal, West Africa, where the bridegroom and party come to the house of the bride by night and endeavor to carry her off. In this they are resisted by all the girls of the village. A very disintegrated form of this variety seems to have been in vogue at royal marriages in Ceylon. Dr. Davy tells us that the king and queen threw perfumed balls and squirted scented water at each other. In this the wives of the chiefs took part, and were at liberty to pelt and bespatter even royalty itself as much as they pleased.[3]

We pass now from cases in which actual violence is offered to those in which violence is merely simulated. The first of these is that in which there is a sham fight between the opposing parties. This form is very widely distributed. Colonel Dalton mentions that, among the Kols of central India, when the price of a girl has been arranged, the bridegroom and a large party of his friends of both sexes enter with much singing and dancing and sham fighting into the village of the bride, where they meet the bride's party, and are hospitably entertained.[4] The Malays of the Strait

  1. Kingdom and People of Siam, vol. ii, p. 45.
  2. Sir S. Baker, Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia, p. 125.
  3. Account of Ceylon, p. 166.
  4. Ethnology of Bengal.