Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/186

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158 The Popular Ritual of

and travelling on that day is likewise supposed to be accompanied with danger. But labour is also suspended on other days of the feast, especially by the women. Among the Ait Yiisi and Ait Sadden they perform no other work than such as is implied in the preparation of food during the three days immediately preceding the feast and the following seven days.

Among the Ulad Bu-'Aziz many persons are in the habit of pouring water over each other in the morning of the day of the biihdrrus, and it is believed that such ablutions are particularly beneficial to sick people. I presume that they are of a purificatory character, like the water ceremonies practised in various parts of Morocco at

  • Ansara (Midsummer, Old Style), or 'Asura.^^ The same is

in all probability the case with the tug of war which is frequently performed at the Great Feast. Among the Ait Nder it takes place in the afternoon of the first day ; among the Ait Warain, who call it ajbdd nnsgiin, in the afternoon of the second day ; among the Ulad Bu- ' Aziz, who call itjubbwid hdbH, in the evenings of the fifth, sixth, and seventh days, that is, the three last days of the feast. But among the Ait Sddden the tug of war {jebbiid hbel) is practised in the morning of the first day, previous to the sacrifice, by the women and those men who are not taking part in the service at the insalla ; and among the Ait Yusi, who call it vizdgniira, it is performed either before that service or in the afternoon of the same day, as also in the morning of the day of the Little Feast. Both sexes generally participate in the contest, the men pulling at one end of the rope and the women at the other, and sometimes the weaker party apply to persons of their own sex in a neighbouring village for assistance. When they are all tugging it happens that the men suddenly let the rope go, so as to upset the women. But in some places

2^ See my article "Midsummer Customs in Morocco," Folk-Lore, vol xvi, pp. 31-2, 41.