Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/243

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Some Algerian S2iperstitions. 233

against the " evil eye," and jenoun in general ; while among these nomads I collected a string of fifteen different charms worn by a boy of about one year old, among which were the following objects : a European key (very commonly worn as a charm in Algeria) and small iron models of a native key, a hoe blade, a reaping-hook, and an agricultural imple- ment which, I was told, were intended to act as charms against the "evil eye" and jenoun. It seems possible that two objects are missing from this set, for my Arab orderly told me that among the town-dwelling populations seven iron models are worn by children for these purposes, the set which he obtained for me at Ain Touta consisting of a pick- axe, a ploughshare, a knife, a reaping-hook, a shovel, a hoe blade, and a mattock.

A disc of lead, which is another item in the above string of fifteen charms, and which is said to consist of, or to represent, a flattened bullet, is worn as a charm against the "evil eye," and may be intended to convey a threat against the jinn, for Lane tells us that these demons are subject to death,^ as may also the small glass points of European manufacture, somewhat closely resembling stone arrow- heads, which are commonly worn in necklets of beads by both the Ouled Ziane and Shawia girls.

The chief sheykh of the Ouled Ziane told me that these points were intended to enter into the eye of the giver of the admiring glance, but it is curious that they should be called "heart of the cock" (gelb el ferodj); and an old sorceress, from whom I obtained a good deal of my infor- mation upon Ouled Ziane superstitions, could not say what their origin was, and denied ever having seen a real cock's heart worn as a charm.

Upon a Turkish string of cornelian points in the Pitt- Rivers Museum, similar in shape to the glass ones I collected, there is a heart-shaped piece of cornelian, and upon another specimen in the same collection, from Mecca, there is a

  • Lane, Mociei-n Egyptians (" Everyman's Library" ed.), p. 228.