Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/297

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


The Scape- Goat in European Folklore. 283

east of France the custom has become so far symbolical that the cock is white and is given only to a virtuous bride.^ Among the South Slavs it is the bridegroom who receives from his mother-in-law the cock and a cake.^ Sometimes it is the guests who eat the cock, sometimes the married couple, either in public or private.^ Some- times the cock is kept all night in the nuptial chamber.* Sometimes it is only brought on the morrow and introduced alive. In the Middle Ages there was a German custom which faintly suggests something of the nature of a tug-of- war between the newly-married couple. A cock was brought, whose wing had been cut in a manner to permit of the bride separating it from the body of the cock, while the husband held the other wing. It is, perhaps, not unimportant that the bride had to throw the wing away or get rid of it in some manner.^

The cock is not the only animal which figures in these ceremonies. In Pojk, lUyria, the bride receives from her husband or his brother an ox, cow, or sheep ; she takes it by the horns, and then one of her near relatives must lead it three times round in a circle. ^ Among the Crim Tartars a lamb is given ; in Bulgaria a goat or a sheep, which is eaten.'^ In the Caucasus, on the other hand, the sheep are offered to the gods.^ In La Creuse a cat and a fowl are killed and cooked together for the newly married.® More remote from the original custom is the Vosges practice, according to which the younger sister who marries first must give a white goat to her elder sister.^*'

In Moscow geese, which have perhaps replaced swans, are presented to the newly-married.^^ In the Ukraine an

^ Rev. der Trad. prop. iv. 364. " Krauss, Sitte, p. 397. ^Bavaria, i. 390, 394; Roiland, vi. 102; Krauss, p. 487; Soester Danneil, p. 119; Prohle, Harzbilder, p. 87, etc.

  • Soester Danneil, 113. * Rttss. Rev. xii. 268.

^ Die ill. Prov. p. 155. Holderness, New Russia, p. 236.

^ Aiithropologie, v. 287. "Roiland, Faune, vi. 102.

1" Melusine, i. 454. " Rev. Trad. Pop. iv. 324.