Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/162

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134 ^-^^^ Popular Ritual of

animal, on account of its being scarce among them. The Ait Sadden smear some henna on the foreheads of their cows, goats, and sheep, and on the tips of the sheep's tails, or, if they have a considerable number of animals, sprinkle them with a mixture o{ henna and water. Other Berbers put a little henna on one animal of each species, and the Braber of the Ait Yusi and the Arabs of the Hiaina on the sires of their sheep. Arabs and Berbers that live in tents also smear some henna on their tent poles, and the Ait Sadden on the vertical poles supporting the roofs of their houses.

Among various tribes the women on the eve of the feast or afterwards paint their eyes black with antimony {khol), and their lips and teeth brownish with walnut root or bark {swak). There is baraka in these paints also. Hence menstruating women must abstain from their use ; hence, too, among the Jbala of Andjra the scribe who conducts the service on the first morning of the feast has his eyes coloured with antimony. Among the Arabs of the Ulad Bu-'Aziz, in the province of Dukkala, this is the case with other men as well.

There are other practices, of a more religious character, that are^intended to prepare the people for the celebration of the feast. On the day preceding it, the so-called nhdr 'Arafa, "the day of 'Arafa," ^ visits are paid to the tombs of saints, since such visits are believed to confer baraka on the visitor. The Uldd Bu-'Aziz on this occasion take home with them some earth from the saint's tomb, — they call this earth " the henna of the saint," — and also some dates which they buy at the place.

Everywhere in Morocco it is considered meritorious, but not obligatory, to fast on the day of 'Arafa till sunset, and there are a good many persons who do so, although in some tribes their number is infinitesimal. That this fasting, in spite of its religious significance, has not altogether lost its

2 It has its name from the hill of 'Arafa, or 'Arafat, which on this day is visited by the pilgrims.