Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/201

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


The Great Feast in Mo7'occo. 171

Atlantic coast, and in Morocco City (Marraksh). In the latter town I saw, at the Great Feast, a man dressed up in goatskins, with a mask over his face and a stick in his hand, walking about in the streets, dancing and frightening the people. He was accompanied by a man playing the tambourine, and a small crowd of spectators (Plate VIII.). I was told that there was a similar personage moving about in every division of the town.

In various other Moorish towns a masquerade takes place at the Great Feast. At Fez it is arranged by the farrdna, or bakers, of each quarter (Jidiund) of the town separately. It is there called bdssek, after the name given to the chief figure in it, who is represented by a person dressed up as an old man with his face covered by a mask made of the skin of a sacrificed sheep. The woolly side of the skin is turned outwards, but the wool has been cut off so as to leave only eye-brows, whiskers, beard, and a moustache. His wife, named Suna, is a fat old lady represented by a youth well padded with clothes, with several kerchiefs on his head and a mask made either of sheepskin, with the woolly side turned inwards, or of paper. Suna has her cheeks painted with ochre {'dkkar), her underlip with walnut-root, and her eyes with Moorish ink, as a substitute for antimony ; but, if her part is played by a beardless youth, his face may be left uncovered, and in such a case there is no blackening of the eyes and both the underlip and cheeks are covered with ochre, the stains of which are easily removed. The party consists of many other persons as well. There are three or four old "Jews" {l-ildid) with masks of sheepskin and beards, each carrying a tambourine {tar)^ and the same number of "Jewesses" {l-ihudidf), their wives, who wear masks like Suna's and have with them tambourines, like their husbands. There is, moreover, a "Jew" called l-ihiidi l-hdinvaf ("the Jew the fisherman "), carrying on his shoulder a bamboo cane with a basket {sullu) which is supposed to contain fish.