Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/184

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156 The Pop2ila7'- Ritual of

originally looked upon as a cause of the event which it forebodes. Hence the fact that the sacrificed animal prophesies both prosperity and misfortune may be taken as an indication of its being a source not only of beneficial influences but of harmful influences as well. As already said, it is a general characteristic of holiness that it is a seat of good and evil at the same time. The rules relating to the eating of the sacrificed animal illustrate this idea, and so do various other facts connected with the Great Feast and its sacrifice. As the flesh, so also the skin is in the beginning a source of danger. Among the Ait Sddden it is left for three days on the roof of the house or tent, and during this period it must not on any account be taken inside the dwelling. The bones of the head, particularly of the lower jaw, and sometimes those of the feet, are looked upon as dangerous. Among the Ulad Bu-'Aziz they are buried underneath a stone or cairn outside the village, since, if left near a tent, they are supposed to cause the destruction of its pottery or even give sickness to its inhabitants. But both in this and in various other tribes, — such as the Arabs of the Hiaina, and the Berbers of the Ait Nder, Ait Sadden, Ait Wardin, and At Ubdhti— it is also the custom to throw some of these bones, which are collectively called buhdrt'iis [buJidrriis, bilhdrrus), at or out- side the tent or house of a person from another village or an enemy, with the phrase, Ana Idht ' dlik buhdmls ("I threw on you the buhdrrus "), or " I threw on you the buhdrriis before you threw it on me".^ If the person who does so is caught, he may have to undergo a severe flogging or even be shot dead ; but in many cases he is merely put to ridicule by being smeared with dung, having sour milk poured into his beard, being tied to an animal, or being

^^ In Fez the phrase, Ana rviit^ '■alik buhiirrus ("I threw on you the buhdrrtis"), has lost its original meaning, and is used by a person who finishes his work before another with whom he has been working. It is known to mean something bad, but is said as a joke.