Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/232

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220
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

avoids all the inhabitants of the lady's camp, except a few intimate friends, whom he is permitted to visit. A little tent is generally set up for him, under which he remains all day, and if he is obliged to come out, or to cross the camp, he covers his face.[1]

We now pass to the second group of survivals, namely, those which follow the consummation of the marriage. Our first sub-head of this group symbolizes an escape, or attempted escape, from the husband.

The least disintegrated example appears to be that which occurs in Zululand, where custom requires that the bride should make three attempts to run back to her old home, but the last attempt, made on the second day, and after she has been installed in her position as wife, is the only serious one. Should she succeed in escaping, the whole marriage ceremony has to be gone through again.[2]

The first modification of this is when the bride simply returns to her parents' house for a certain time. There is no appearance of flight, but there is a complete rupture of cohabitation. This custom is found among the Ewe-speaking tribes of the Slave Coast (West Africa), the wife, after a week's cohabitation with her husband, returning to her old home for a week. In Chittagong, hus band and wife are on no account permitted to sleep together until seven days after marriage.

The next modification is where the bride returns to her former home, but sees her husband by stealth. This form is observed by some of the Turkoman tribes, the bride returning to her father's house, " where, strange to say, she is retained for six months or a year, and sometimes two years, according, as it appears, to her caprice or the parents' will, having no communication with her husband, unless by stealth."[3]

According to Plutarch, the Spartans had the same custom, and some husbands even had children by their wives before they could see them otherwise than clandestinely.[4] Among the Fijians husband and wife do not usually pass the night together, except as it were by stealth ; and Lafitau says the same of some of the North American Indians. In Crete it was the custom for married people to see each other clandestinely for some time after the wedding, and a similar custom is said to have existed among the Lycians.

A variation of these forms exists among the Arabs of the Mezeyne tribe (Sinai Peninsula), where the bride runs away to the mountains every evening, being followed by her husband, and returns to her mother's tent every morning. This is done for several days, after which she returns to her mother, and she does not

  1. Travels to Timbuctoo, vol. i, p. 94.
  2. Eraser's Journey, loc. cit.
  3. Leslie's Among the Zulus, pp. 116-11S.
  4. Lycurgus, c. 15.