Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/528

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492 Correspondence.

by Richarde Eden 1576), Book i cap. 14 {The tourney to Mecha), the following passage : — " I may not here omit to speake of the sea of sande, and of the daungers thereof. ... In these sandes is founde Motnia, whiche is the fleshe of such men as are drowned in these sandes, and there dryed by the heate of the Sunne : So that those bodyes are preserued from putrifaction by the drynesse of the sand \ and therefore that drye fleshe is esteemed medicin- able.^ Albeit there is an other kynde of more pretious Momia, which is ye dryed and embalmed bodies of kynges and princes, whiche of long tyme have been preserued drye without corrup- tion." He adds in a footnote, — ^ " Wonderful tales are still told about this same Momiya (mummy). I was assured by an Arab physician, that he had broken a fowl's leg, and bound it tightly with a cloth containing man's dried flesh, which caused the bird to walk about, with a sound shank, on the second day." Dr. T. J. Pettigrew, in A History of Egyptian Mummies etc. (1834), cap. ii. (On Mummy as a Drug), states that in the sixteenth and part of the seventeenth century the trade in mummy was chiefly in the hands of the Jews of the East, that " the desiccated bodies of travellers lost in the desert, and buried beneath the sands, were equally with the mummies employed in medicine," and that " the Arabs to this day make use of mummy powder for a medicine. They mix it with butter and call it mafitey" (p. 12).

In former papers ^ I have written of various curiosities of folk- lore in Jerusalem, Jewish, Christian, and Moslem, but, in spite of seven years' familiarity with the people of Palestine, I had encoun- tered no trace of the survival of the belief referred to by Burton until I became acquainted in 19 10 with the following circumstances in Jerusalem : —

A young girl, of a respectable Aleppan Jewish family, had become somewhat anaemic and hysterical. A long-continued course of fantasias (entertainments) given by the neighbour's family in an adjoining room disturbed her rest and increased her malady, and it became clear that energetic measures were neces- sary. The various lodgers were all Aleppans, and, nolens volens, were expected to co-operate in the prescribed treatment.

The house was cleared of all inhabitants. Every nook and

^Vol. xviii., p. 52; vol. XV., p. 186.