Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/53

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Midsummer Customs in Morocco. 41

people who carry them say : — JSTsdrd iugiir'da ula tilkin ula tiimidan tila lauhasad agddrrdnin, " We make complaint against the rats and lice and illnesses and beasts which have hurt us." Both in Aglu and Glawi, in the Great Atlas, smaller fires are also made, over which the animals are taken. At Demnat, girls who are anxious to marry boil water over the 'dhir fire and wash themselves with the water; and in Dukkala diseased eyes are rubbed with the ashes of that fire. 'Asur fires seem to occur among the Shluh in general, as also among the 'Arab of the plains; whereas I have found no traces of such fires among the Rif Berbers and the Jbala. I am told that among the Beni Mgild a white chicken is burned in the tent on l-'dsur day, but this seems to be the only fire ceremony practised by them on that occasion. Among the 'Arab of the tribe Mnasara a fire is only made in the place where the sheep are kept, and the tail of the sheep which has been pre- viously sacrificed at " the Great Feast " {I- did l-kbif) is roasted on the fire. The person who roasts it says : — ^Aj 'dj ma Pilled gneimta ger n-n'dj : ^"AJ 'dj, may our ewes only give birth to females."

Water ceremonies similar to those practised at mid- summer are very common at l-dsiir. On l-^dsur morning all water or, according to some people, only spring water, is endowed with baraka, especially before sunrise. The people then bathe and pour water over each other, and, in some places, sprinkle their animals, tents, or rooms with water. In Dukkala a portion of the water which has been brought home at l-dhir is preserved till next 'dsur ; and some of it is kept to be taken as medicine, or poured on the place where the corn is threshed {l-gd'a), or put into the vessel {l-kdnikovi) where money is laid before it is buried in the ground. In the last-mentioned case the 'dsur water serves as a charm against the earth-spirits. The 'Arab of the plains are always in danger of losing their money : if they keep it in their houses their governor easily lays