Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/229

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

Collectanea. 191

Athena in the month of February, 1905. A waterspout was sighted between Missolonghi and Cyllene at less than a mile's distance from the ship. On sighting the waterspout the sailors went down into the hold, drew cabalistic figures on a paper, took a knife with a black handle, made a movement with the knife as if cutting something, and said * eKoxf/afiev t»jv rpofxPav.' "

In reply to my questions, Vagliano stated that so far as he is aware the sailors did not recite any formula before, during, or after the drawing of the cabalistic signs ; that the sailors told him that it was essential to employ a ^/^c^-handled knife,^ but gave no explanation why this was so ; and that it was the common sailors only who performed the ceremony, the captain and officers taking no part in it. Vagliano told the captain, who merely laughed at the whole affair ; and told him that it is a very common custom among sailors, especially on sailing vessels.^


Hotel Grande-Bretagne, Athens, May 3rd, 1905.

^This charm is common in Greece; see Folk-Lo7-e, vii. 144, 145; x. 163, 168. Compare also vii. 300, from Ireland. — W. H. D. R.