Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/44

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


32 Midsummer Customs in Morocco.

cattle, sheep, and goats. Many saints of Northern Morocco whose " tombs " are situated on the sea-shore have their feasts on l-'dnsdra day — for instance, Sidi 1-Mahfi at 1-Ksar s-sger in Andjra, Sidi Kasem in the Fahs, Sidi Hamed ben Marzok at Azila ; and on these occasions much bathing takes place in the sea. Ceremonial bathing on l-dnsdra day prevails among various, if not all, tribes ot the Jbala group. I also found it prevalent among the Beni Ah'sen and at Salli, on the Atlantic coast ; whilst in Rabat, Mequinez, and Fez, people on that day pour water over each other in the streets or from the roofs of their houses without giving offence to anybody by doing so. On the other hand, I have found no water customs at midsummer among the 'Arab of the tribe Mnasara, or Shawia or Dukkala ; nor among the Braber of the tribe Beni Mgild ; nor among the Shluh of the Great Atlas. But midsummer bathing occurs among some Shluh in Sus. I was told by an old man from Tazerwalt that on I'dnsart day children bathe in springs and grown- up people in their houses. In Aglu, men, women, and children on the same occasion bathe in the sea or in springs or rivers, maintaining that if they do so they will suffer from no disease during the whole year. And if a woman is desirous of knowing whether she will be blessed with a child or not, she goes to the sea-shore on I'dnsart day and on the two following days, and lets seven waves go over her body each time ; then she knows that, if she is going to have a child at all, she will have it very soon. In this case magic has dwindled into divination. According to all accounts which I have obtained from Rif Berbers, midsummer bathing is extensively practised in their country ; animals also are bathed.

Whilst at midsummer all water is supposed to be en- dowed with magic energy, there is a certain kind of water to which such energy is attributed in a special degree, namely, water which has fallen on April 27th, Old Style