Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/192

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164 The Popular Rztual of

ing villages. The Sba' beats with the skins on his arms everybody who comes within his reach ; there is baraka, holiness, in this beating, and hence sick people are anxious to approach him. He likewise beats the tents so as to give them also the benefit of his baraka. His two wives dance and cry out krd'^ krd', in order to induce the in- habitants of the tents to give them a foot {krd') of their sheep ; and they get what they want, there being merit in such a gift. The Sba' also dances, imitating the roaring of a real lion, and behaves most indecently before the public, pretending to have sexual intercourse with his wives ; while the accompanying bachelors from time to time discharge volleys of gunpowder. After they have visited some three or four villages, the party return before the morning. On the second day after supper one of the bachelors is dressed up as a Jew, having his face covered with a crude mask to which is attached a long beard of wool, and his head with a blue kerchief {kdssa) in the Jewish fashion, and carrying in his hand a stick. Two other bachelors make a camel, called n-nwiga (diminutive of ndga, " she-camel), by throwing over their heads a palmetto mat and carrying on the end of a stick the skull of some animal. The Jew leads the camel by a rope tied round its neck, and thus they walk, like the party on the evening before, from tent to tent in their own and neigh- bouring villages, accompanied by unmarried men and boys, the Jew asking for fodder for his camel and the people giving him eggs. He is addressed as se/e l-geddid (" the chief of the strips of dried meat"). In the following evening a young man is again dressed up as a Jew and two boys as a mule, called l-bgdila (" the little female mule"), and the same tour is made. In the evening of the fourth day the Jew is in a similar manner accompanied by a " leopard " {n-nmef) ; and in the evenings of the three following days the people have tugs of war, as already mentioned. Another custom may still be noticed in this