Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/176

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148 The Popular Ritual of

animal is preserved till the following 'dnsdra, that is, Mid- summer (Old Style). By eating the sacrificed animal the people expect to be benefited by its holiness, and by leaving some portion of it till the following 'Asura or 'Ansara they hope to transfer its benign virtue to this occasion. Among the Arabs of the Hiaina a portion is thus preserved only in case the animal is a ram without defects, since there is little baraka in any other sacrifice.

The holiness of the victim is also utilized in other ways. Magic propensities are ascribed to its blood. At Fez some of it, as it comes fresh from the wound, is smeared on the hands and feet of little children to prevent them from swelling in cold weather and the skin from chapping. A very common custom is for persons who have chapped skin on the feet, or who want to prevent the skin from being chapped, to dip them into the blood fallen on the ground; but the Ait Sadden, among whom the same method is also adopted by persons who are in the habit of kicking their toes against stones when walking, maintain that the feet must be dipped into the blood of seven different victims in order that any salutary eff'ect shall follow. The At Ubahti smear a little of the blood on their stomachs to avoid indigestion, and the Ait Nder anoint their eyes with a drop of the blood first gushing out from the wound with a view to preventing them from getting ill. At Rabat I was told that, if the person who flays off" the skin cuts his hand with the knife, he will have a long life. The Mnasara put into the hole in the ground over which the animal is sacrificed not only some salt but also a silver bracelet, in the belief that, when the blood comes into contact with the silver, the wealth of the family will increase. The blood of the sacri- ficed animal is frequently used as a means of keeping off or expelling jmln. Among the Ait Waryagal it is drunk by persons who are troubled with such spirits ; whilst, as a precaution against them, the corners of the walls of the room inhabited by the owner of the sacrificed animal are