Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/187

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The Great Feast in Morocco. 159

the tug of war seems to be chiefly a woman's game ; this, I was told, is the case at Jraifi, in the Garb. An old Arab from the Hiaina informed me that among his people the jubbeid hbel is no longer practised at the Great Feast, as it was in his childhood, but that it is performed in the autumn when the threshing is going on and the fruits are ripe. Then men and women have a tug of war by moonlight so that the bds, or evil, shall go away, that the year shall be good, and that the people shall live in peace. Some man secretly cuts two of the three cords of which the rope is made, with the result that both parties tumble down. Among the Jbala of the Tsui a similar match takes place, likewise by moonlight, at the same time of the year, but for the purpose of influencing the weather; it is arranged when the sky gets overcast and the people want sunshine in order to dry their figs and grapes. Among the Braber of the Ait Warain and the Sluh of Glawi, on the other hand, the tug of war is resorted to as a means of producing rain, — which shows that its essential function as a weather charm is to bring about a change in the weather.^^ But at the Great Feast it is not practised for any such purpose.

Racing, powder play, and target shooting are common features of the Great Feast. Among the UMd Bu-*Aziz, shortly after the sacrifice has been performed, horsemen from a neighbouring village arrive ; one of them dismounts, and goes to a tent to ask for the flayed-off" skin of the sheep, which he then takes to his friends who are waiting outside the village on horseback. He gives it to the one who has the best horse, for there is soon going to be a race for it. A man accompanied by friends on horseback comes riding out from the village to pursue the person who has the skin, trying to hit him with a rod and catch him. If successful, he deprives him of his turban or cloak as well as the skin. Then a man belonging to the other party

^ Cf. Doutte, Merrdkech, p. 387, where the tug of war is said to be practised by the Arabs of the Rahamna as a method of producing rain.