Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/262

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252 Sonic AlgeiHan Superstitions.

With the exception of this method of administering "shih," the magical forms of treatment for illness which I have described above seem to me to be based upon the belief that a jinn has caused the complaint they are employed to cure or to prevent ; those, with a list of which I conclude this paper, however, do not appear to be con- nected with any such superstition.

A well-known Shawi surgeon informed me that one eye of an owl sleeps but the other is permanently wakeful ; in order to tell which is which the eyes must be put into a bowl of water, when the sleepy eye will sink while the other floats. The sleepy eye can then be suspended as a charm upon a person who suffers from insomnia, and the wakeful one may be similarly used by one who sleeps too much.^^

An Ouled Ziane wife who has borne no child and is desirous of having one must drink the milk of a mare with her iirst foal or of a bitch with her first litter, having added a little saffron to the milk. It is curious that even at the present time women in Oxfordshire will drink an infusion of saffron and wear a sprig of it between their stockings and their shoes for the directly opposite purpose of pre- venting conception.

The Ouled Ziane consider a dried piece of the gorge of a camel to be a valuable charm against coughs in children, who wear it upon necklets. Among those nomads I learned the following cure for the bites of scorpions, which must be of common occurrence during the summer in their stony deserts. Any person bitten must on no account mention the accident to anyone (this is most important), but must at once put a little earth into his mouth and retain it there until it becomes paste, by which time all chance of the venom causing any ill effects will have

^^Mauchamp, I.a Sorcellene an Maroc, p. 144. " En sorcellerie, si on fait manger I'ceil gauche d'un hibou a quelqu'un on le prive de sommeil, tandis que I'oeil droit fait dormir."