Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/546

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Folk-lore Items from North Indian Notes and Queries (vol. iii), April-June, 1893.

Popular Religion.

2. Mirzapur. Worship of Birnath.—Protector of cattle. Small platforms, on which are one, three, or five wooden posts with rude human head, on which oil or ghee is continually poured. Rice, milk, and cakes are also offered. Worship is always done in the morning.

5. Dog-Worship.—In W. India it is the custom to feed dogs as a sacred duty "each day in each month". Crows are also sometimes fed.

7. Legenid of the Origin of the Seven Sub-classes of Sweepers, as told by a Sweeper. (The hero becomes a Thug, and "every Brahman traveller he throttled, and hung his caste-thread on a holy fig-tree".)

43. Fire-making, part of the ceremonial of Brahmanism. Still done by rubbing sticks.

44. Jain Rosaries, their make and meaning. 56, 57. Rosaries of snake-bones and other objects, and their comparative value. 84. More about Rosaries.

85. Minor Gods worshipped by Hindus in Mirzapur.—Amongst many curious things is mentioned that sometimes rice and pulse are put on the head of the victim [like Homer's ούλοχύται]. One deity is simply a cloth twisted up roughly in form of a woman.

14. Gorakhpur. Magahiya Doms.—Their two chief deities. They offer milk to snakes. Their only sacred tree is the pipal, and no M. will pick its leaves. Special superstition about iron, which they will not use for certain purposes. Any M. who breaks open a house with iron is outcast, and some day or other his eyes are put out. Mode of taking a solemn oath (iron, water, pipal leaves, charcoal, a certain grass, and a wheel). Subdivided into seven clans, which intermarry. Each is headed by hereditary chief, succeeded on death by the eldest male kinsman. It is a crime to bring in a woman from an outside tribe. Adoption is practised. Polygamy; no polyandry; they bury the dead. (An interesting piece.)