Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/182

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154 The Popular Ritual of

and the Arabs of the Hidina, believe that, if the gall-bladder is full, the owner of the animal will have full churns that year. The At Ubahti ascribe the same meaning to a full urinary bladder, whilst, according to them, a full gall-bladder indicates that there will be much corn because there will be much rain.

The Sluh of Aglu make prognostications from the in- testines of the sacrificed sheep. If they are full of leavings, there will be plenty of rain and the year will be good ; if there are leavings in their forepart alone, rain will only fall in the beginning of the ploughing season (October and November), and the crops will be bad ; if there are leavings in the end of the gut tube, there will be much rain in the spring when the crops are earing, and they will consequently be satisfactory. The Ait Sadden maintain that, if the fore- part of the intestines is thick and full, the owner of the animal will have much milk, — " full churns," — during that year.

Very commonly fortune is read in the right shoulder- blade of the sacrificed sheep ; ^^ but, in order to be suitable for this purpose, the bone must be stripped of its meat not with the teeth but with the fingers, so as not to be scratched. When it is passed over to the fortune-teller, it must not be given into his hand, but must be laid down in front of him ; and I am told by an old man from the Hiaina that this must be done three times consecutively. The shoulder- blade is supposed to tell whether the year will be good or bad, whether there will be much rain or drought, whether the food will be cheap or dear, whether the Sultan will be strong or powerless, whether the Christians will trouble the country or leave it in peace, and whether the people will keep in good health or there will be many deaths. As to the manner in which this kind of divination is practised,

^* E.g., at Fez and Tangier, among the Arabs of the Hiaina and Dukkala, the Rifians of the Ait WarySgal, the Braber of the Ait Warain, Ait Yiisi, and Ait Nder, and the Sluh of Aglu, Demnat, and other places in the Great Atlas.