Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/171

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The Great Feast in Morocco. 143

and also throws some on the blood which has fallen on the ground. Among the At Ubdhti some salt and a piece of charcoal are thrown on the spot where the animal is going to be slaughtered, as a protection against evil spirits; among the Ulad Bu-'Aziz that place is merely swept clean previous to the sacrifice. Among the same tribe there is a consecration of the victim after its death ; it is hung up in the tent by a rope made of palmetto leaves which were brought from the msdlla in the morning.

It is considered obligatory on each head of a household to sacrifice one animal, but there are persons who sacrifice more, even as many as three or four, this being supposed to increase their merit. Among the Ait Yusi a man who has many sheep sacrifices not only one for himself but another one for his wife, and, if he has several wives, he sacrifices one sheep on behalf of each of them. Among their neighbours, the Ait Warain and Ait Sddden, it is considered quite a duty for such a man to slaughter a sheep or a goat for each wife, but a husband who has only one wife does not sacrifice more than one animal.

The first sacrifice is generally performed by ihefki, either at the msdlla or inside the village ; in the latter instance it sometimes takes place close to the mosque. Immediately after the sacrifice a gun is fired as a signal for the other men to follow the fkfs example, but possibly also with a view to driving away evil spirits. It is meritorious for a man to perform his own sacrifice. In Dukkala I heard a saying that he who does not wash his own clothes, who does not write his own letters, or who does not slaughter his own animals, is an object of mourning already before his death. But, if a man does not know how to butcher an animal, the sacrifice is performed on his behalf by the fki or by some other suitable man. Among the Ait Yiisi the fkt kills all the sacrificial animals in his village, and appoints one man from each neighbouring village which has x\o fkt to do the same, — some man who is in the habit