Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/242

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232 Some Algerian Stiperstitions.

however, except that it was left to my doctor friend by his father.

Two substances to which jenoun in general have a great objection are salt and iron. In the case of the former this may be due to its taste, while as regards their dislike for the latter, it has been said that jenoun are stone-age beings who have dreaded iron since the time when it was first manufactured.' Thus we find that salt is used to protect small babies from the " evil eye " among the Shawia of the Rassira valley.

These people take a small quantity of trade salt (not the natural salt that can be obtained upon some of the neighbouring hills), wrap it up in a bundle of rag and pass it with a circular movement seven times over the baby's head, counting aloud, as the child lies in its basket-cradle slung from the roof. The bundle of salt is then attached to the cord which supports the cradle on the left hand of the baby. When the baby appears to be suffering from the effects of the "evil eye" the above seven circular movements are repeated, a little of the salt is scattered around the child and a pinch or two of it is thrown upon the fire, doubtless with the object of driving away any jenoun that may be in the neighbourhood by means of the fumes that arise as it burns.

In a Shawia village of the Wad el Abiod I noticed a child wearing a small bundle of salt attached to its left foot in order to keep away jenoun.

My Arab orderly informed me that the town-dwelling natives of Ain Touta put aside a little salt upon the twenty- seventh day of the month preceding Ramadan, and when a person thinks that the "evil eye" has been cast upon him he puts a little of it, with some hedgehog's bristles, on the fire and jumps across the fire seven times while these substances are burning.

An iron bracelet is worn upon the left wrist by people of all ages and both sexes among the Ouled Ziane as a charm

' Westermarck, " Nature of ihe Arab Ginn " {Journal Anth. hist., .\xix).