Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/161

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The Great Feast in Morocco. 133

the women of Fez are too busy with household duties on this occasion to have time to subject themselves to that process, accompanied as it is by certain inconveniences. The painting of the married women is not infrequently more profuse or more elaborate than that of the unmarried ones. Children of either sex are commonly painted in the same manner as the unmarried women ; but, among some Berber tribes at least, henna is more liberally applied to girls than to boys, the latter having it daubed on their hands only, or even confined to the right hand. The grown-up men either entirely abstain from it or only smear it on the palms of their hands or the tips of their fingers, or dip the little finger of their right hand into it ; but unmarried young men often make a larger use of it. Among the Ait Sadden left-handed bachelors daub it on their left hand instead of their right.

In many cases the women not only paint their hands and feet with henna, but also rub their hair with it ; this, however, is never done on the eve of the feast, but on the first or second day of it. Among the Braber of the Ait Warain it is the unmarried girls that are addicted to this practice; and that it is not merely looked upon as a means of improving their beauty appears from the fact that they are supposed to lose their hair unless they rub it with henna before the hair of the sacrificed animal is singed off on the first day of the feast. The Br£ber of the Ait Nder, (in Arabic called Bni Mter), smear a little henna on their navels on the eve of the feast in order to prevent indigestion.

Henna is applied to domestic animals as well as people, especially to such white spots as may be found on their bodies. In certain tribes it is the custom to daub it on the foreheads and chests of horses, mules, and greyhounds, and also on their feet ; of the Rifians of the Ait Waryagal, who are great hunters, I was told that they apply hinna to the feet of their greyhounds only, but not to any other