Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/158

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132 The Popular Ritual of

the people for the holy feast and its principal feature, the sacrifice ; (2), preparatory practices the object of which is to purify or sanctify the sacrificial animal, and also the in- strument with which it is to be slaughtered ; (3), the act of sacrifice itself; (4), practices by means of which the people aim to utilize the baraka, or benign virtue, of the sacrificed victim ; (5), practices by means of which they aim to guard themselves against, or rid themselves of, the evil influences of the feast and its sacrifice.

The people must purify and sanctify themselves in order to benefit by the holy feast and its sacrifice, and also to protect themselves against supernatural danger ; for holi- ness implies not only beneficial energy but also a seed of evil, which is particularly apt to affect an unclean individual. Personal cleanliness should be observed. The men and boys have their heads shaved, and many persons have a bath ; in Fez the barbers' shops and the hot baths are kept open throughout the night preceding the feast. On the morning of its first day the people dress themselves in clean clothes, and those who can afford it put on new shoes. Among the Arabs of the Hiaina and their neigh- bours, the Braber of the Ait Sadden, it is the custom to purify the clothes with rose- or orange-water, or to fumi- gate them with agal-wood {^'^d kmdri) or other incense commonly used for the purpose of keeping o^ jrmn, or evil spirits.

An important preparation for the feast is the application of hinna to persons, animals, and dwellings. This colouring matter, produced from the leaves of the Lawsonia inermis or Egyptian privet, is considered to contain much baraka ; hence it is not merely a favourite cosmetic among the women, but is also frequently used as a means of protection against evil influences. Among all the country people with whose customs I am acquainted, whether Arabs or Berbers, the women paint their hands, and very commonly also their feet, with henna, as a rule on the eve of the feast ; whereas