Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/163

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135
The Great Feast in Morocco.

character of a magical means of purification, appears from the belief of the Ulád Bu-'Ăzîz that he who has been fasting on the day of 'Arafa and on the following morning and breaks his fast by eating part of the liver of a sacrificed animal, and in addition to this says a hundred rek'āt (forms of prayer), is thereby enabled to pronounce curses of very great efiicacy. Among the same tribe nobody is allowed to make séksu, their staple food, on the eve of the feast; and the Rifians of the Ait Wäryâġäl abstain on that evening, and as long as the feast lasts, both from this food and from their ordinary daily dish, damreḳt, a kind of porridge made of dried beans.

Almsgiving is another method by which the people prepare themselves for the feast. Among various Arab and Berber tribes, on the day of 'Arafa, the children of the village go about from tent to tent or from house to house in their own village or in neighbouring villages as well, singing a song with a view to inducing the inhabitants to give them presents of food or money. Among the Ulád Bu-'Ăzîz the ambulating boys, accompanied by the little girls, sing as follows:—'Arfa, 'Arfa, lalla mẹimûa! a mūlât l-háima, a'ṭêni báiḍa báiḍa baš nzáuwăḳ loḥi, loḥi 'add ṭ-ṭâlĕb, ṭ-ṭâlĕb b-ṣḥâbu fĭ j-jínna yĭtṣâbu. a 'Aiša wa Ḥlîma, rafdat l-lîma lĕṭ-ṭúlba mersûla! ("'Arfa, 'Arfa, propitious lady! O mistress of the tent, give me an egg, an egg that I may paint my writing-tablet, my writing- tablet is with the scribe, the scribe and his friends will find each other in Paradise. O 'Aiša and Ḥlîma, who take away the guilt which was sent to the scribes!"). In some places the ambulation of the children commences on the previous day, which is called nhâr Mina[1] or 'Arafa ṣ-ṣgera,

  1. It is on this day, the 8th of Du 'l-ḥijja, that the pilgrims proceed from Mecca to Minā, to which place they again return from 'Arafa on the 10th, when the sacrificial animals are killed. The Braber of the Ait Waráin call the day in question Umna. In the East, Minā is also called Muna (Burton, Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah, 1898, vol. ii, p. 180).