Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/47

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Mids2immer Customs in Moi^occo. 35

just as women like to stay where there are men. In Andjra I also saw the people hanging oleander twigs in their fig-trees. A few days before l-dnsdra some pennyroyal is, moreover, placed under the roofs of the houses. There is baraka in it, but only if it is gathered before midsummer. It is used as medicine for colds and coughs, and is applied externally to wounds. When it is to be taken internally, its dry leaves are pulverised and the powder is mixed with kesksu, the national dish of the Moors, or with milk. Shortly before l-'dnsdra some olean- der branches are also carried into the houses and preserved under the roof, where they serve as charms against the evil eye. In cases of sickness caused by the evil eye the leaves are burned and the patient lets the smoke pass underneath his clothes, inhaling it as it comes through. The greatest efficacy is ascribed to the so-called " sultan of the oleander " (si'dtan dfel), a stalk with a cluster of four pairs of leaves round the stem. The stalk is used as a pen, and the leaves, written upon, are used as charms. The " sultan of the oleander " is always endowed with baraka, but its magic power is greatest when it has been cut immediately before midsummer. The oleander which grows in dry places is more efficacious than that which grows in rivers. When brought to the house, the branches must not touch the ground, lest they should lose their baraka. Like oleander and pennyroyal, marjoram is gathered just before l-dnsdra, and preserved to be used as medicine when occasion requires. The dry leaves of this herb are burned and the smoke is inhaled by persons troubled with cough, whilst, in the case of eye diseases, the eyes are held over the smoke. Its stalk is lighted and the regions of the eyes are touched with the glowing top. When a person is suffering from jaundice, the nails and various parts of the body — the temples, the forehead over the bridge of the nose, the top of the head, the joints of the arms and leo-s — are treated in a similar manner. On