Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/385

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Collectanea. 349

mixture of Hindu deities, Siva, Vishnu, and Narayan, with the Umang Lai or forest gods of the Manipuris, is typical of the religious muddle in which the people are.

The Rain-Stopper claims that, if the rain stops with this charm, he can prevent it from raining again as long as the lamp remains burning and the articles remain untouched, and he keeps on saying the charm at intervals. He claims to have once, at harvest time, kept off rain thus for three months. [The harvest comes in December, the dryest part of the year.]

Should Sanamahi prove unwilling or unable to stop the rain, recourse is had to Sorarel, the god of the sky, whose //^'a (worship) is rather more elaborate. An earthen pot is half filled with sand, and this is placed over the fire, used for warmth and not for cooking, the hearth having been first freshly plastered over and the fire lit afresh. Above the hearth a light platform is con- structed on which reposes the book containing the ritual of Rain- Stopping. The Rain-Stopper stirs the sand with a rice spoon on which the words Ong karo Ong karo have been inscribed, and while he does so he mutters the following charm, — '■'■Brahma, nang chako, Hangso naiig tumo " {i.e. " Brahma you burn, O Soul wear away"). It was explained to me that, as the sand and the book were warmed by the fire, so it was hoped that Sorarel would warm the earth and the air. If both the preceding performances have no result, there remains only nong-kamba, {i.e. rain-stopping). The words Ong karo Ong karo are written on a billet of wood, and the Rain-Stopper goes out into an open place and twirls it round his head till he notices a break in the clouds. He then observes in what direction the clouds seem to be moving, and waves them in that direction with his stick, at the same time ordering them off. A wind then rises and blows them away. Sometimes the rain is obstinate, and the poor Rain-Stopper told me he had been kept at work for three days before the rain stopped.

While twirling his staff the Rain-Stopper shouts, — " Gurugi thang di chumthangne. Gurugi chnnggoi di leichinne. Leichin nongphai kaib.itie. Setkaiu settumu, Thangjing thang di tondumba, Nongpok thang di chinaiba, Mapugi thatig di tongonba, haikup, haiphra. Thabat, thab.at hiragi di thangne haidatlo. Ong Durga