Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/561

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Reviews. 525

the end, momentum being given to it by means of a seven-foot blow-pipe. Under " Hunting in Wynad," a locality where wild elephants are to be seen in immense herds, where the bison, and, indeed, nearly all the forest fauna of India may be found, "The Tiger Hunt" and "The Boar Hunt "alone are mentioned. True, the author says the Chettis bear a part in the former, but he does not say that it is the particular metier of this people to slay the tiger in the extraordinary manner which, as it obtains nowhere else in India, I may briefly relate. The houses and yards of the Wynad Chettis are always most remarkably and scrupulously clean, and, while everything is in its place, one always sees somewhere about every Chetti's house or yard a piece of about twenty feet of stout rope netting. When it is announced that a tiger has visited the neighbourhood, the elders get together, and a religious ceremonial is gone through for the purpose of ascer- taining whether the (ancestral) deity wishes this tiger to be siain, i.e. sacrificed. Should the response be negative, no further notice is taken of the tiger, but, if it is affirmative, every Chetti at once brings out his piece of netting, and the place in the forest where the animal is known to be is soon enclosed by a net some seven feet high. The circle is gradually made smaller and smaller, and at last the tiger, infuriated by noise and missiles, — the whole countryside is gathered there en fete by this time, — charges the net, to be killed by long spears. These spears, ten or twelve feet in length, are, like the pieces of netting, kept solely for this purpose. The carcass is sacred, and, save that it is suspended in mid air, the tail straight in a line with the vertebral column, fastened to a pole hung horizontally, it is untouched. It is a sacrificial offering, and absolutely tabu. There it must remain until it rots away. To sell or give away the skin, or any portion of the body, or barter the former for the government reward, would be unthinkable. The author does not allude to the religious feature of this affair, surely its most interesting one.

For the illustrations, reproductions of photographs of individuals of each of the eighteen tribes, we may be thankful. Something might well have been said of a climate where a rainfall of 52 inches has been measured in three days, and is not so very unusual. The chapters on ancient and political history, compiled