Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/54

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42 Midsummer Ctcstoms in Morocco.

hands on it, and if they bury it the spirits, or j7i fen, may run away with it ; but as a rule they seem to be less afraid of the jjitln than of their governors. It is interesting to note that among the Jbala and Rif Berbers, or at least among many of them, no ceremonial bathing occurs at l-'dsur, the ordinary custom of watering the graves being the only water-ceremony prevalent among them on that occasion.

The ^dnsara and ^dsur customs largely supplement each other. Among tribes which practise no fire or water cere- monies at l-'dnsdra we may be sure to find such ceremonies at l-'dsur, and vice versa. And even where they occur on both occasions, more importance is always attached to them in the one case than in the other. In this competition between l-dnsdra and l-dhir Muhammedanism is in favour of l-dsur. Many of the religious people and scribes alto- gether disapprove of l-dnsdra, maintaining that all cere- monies connected with it are bad. A good schoolmaster who acts up to his religion keeps the boys in school on l-dnsdra day, refusing the money they offer him to get a holiday ; however, my informant adds, there are very few schoolmasters who are so conscientious. It is important to note that the 'dnsdra ceremonies are most prominent among the Rif Berbers, the Arabic-speaking Jbala — a portion of whom are even by themselves recognized to be of the same stock as the Rif Berbers, — and among the Braber of Central Morocco ; whereas among the Shluh, who have been in- fluenced by Muhammedanism in a much higher degree than any of the other Berber groups, and among the 'Arab of the plains (with the exception of Arabic-speaking tribes border- ing on the Braber district), the midsummer customs are chiefly restricted to ceremonies calculated to promote vege- tation. Considering, further, that I have been unable to find a single trace of midsummer ceremonies among Arabs who have not come in contact with the Berber race, I venture to suppose that such ceremonies prevailed among the indigenous Berbers.