Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/295

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The Scape-Goat in Etiropean Folklore. 281

we learn nothing as to the intention of the ceremony. Possibly it may be the same as that of throwing objects over the roof; in the Jewish Atonement Day ceremony, the entrails of the cock are thrown over the roof; in Cornwall a pig's nose is thrown over the house for luck ; ^ just as we find dead lambs thrown into the trees in England, the Esthonians throw kids and lambs on the roof;'^ and it must be remembered that there is reason to regard many ceremonies for the removal of diseases as in reality ceremonies of transference or expulsion. A cock is killed in Russia on January 13th in order that the fowls may do well ; its head is cut off and thrown on the roof,^ When a hen crows like a cock one remedy is to kill it and throw it over the roof; the same should also be done with a so-called cock's &^g, which produces a basilisk.* There is, therefore, some ground for connecting these practices also with cathartic ceremonies ; and if this is so, the Palatinate custom goes to show that the removal of evils was one of the objects sought in European marriage customs.

We are on more uncertain ground when we come to the " Brauthahn." But even here there are traces of similar ideas. In Poland the bride of a widower has to enter through a broken window, by which a cat has previously been thrown into the house ; ^ taken in connection with the throwing of a cat into a new house, this custom seems very significant. Elsewhere the cat is rocked on a table before the bride, or cooked and given to the newly married couple,® but as a rule the animal so offered is a cock, partridge, goose, swan, sheep or other ordinary article of food, as I shall show below ; from this it might be con- cluded that the eating was the essential part of the rite ;

"^ Folklore Jl. v. 195. ^ Boecler-Kreutzwald, loc. cit. p. 1 1 8.

3 Globus, Ivii. 269. * Grimm, no. 583 ; Zts. d. Myth. iii. 339.

^ La Traditio7t, v. 346.

^ Haltrich, Zur. V, 290 ; Rolland, Faune, vi. 102.