94 THE BELIEFS AND KELIGIOUS CEREMONIES
brought in water by the north gate,* filled the beer-kettles hanging in the horai shigat, or cooking shed, and lit a fire under them with the sacred candles. At the bidding of the ^9r?/ar^, the turostors at the same time attached lighted candles to the back rims of the vats under the sacred tree. When the carcases had been cleaned the entrails were thrown into the pit, and the posanhunaveds filled the kettles with flesh. At the greater feasts, when several animals were sacri- ficed, the meat was boiled in several kettles, for it was not allowable to boil the flesh of two animals in the same pot.
When this last operation was completed, the loud voice of the vosatya from the branches of the sacred tree rang out the command:
" Sakmede " (keep silence).
The people uncovered, kept silent, and the vosatya said in a loud tone:
" Pure pre sa mdrta, 2>ctigiire sa ?ndrta, andrya sa mdrta, shepete sa mdrta, veliJcoye sa mdrta, pashkin kodt.*^
The Ersa and Teryukhans are already so Eussianized, and have so forgotten their language, that neither they nor the vosatya com- pletely understand these words. But sa mdrta means " pray fer- vently," and pashkin kodi " make a lower bow or prostration."
Then all make a profounder obeisance, and each repeats indi- vidually ;
" Cham Pas, have mercy upon us. Voltsi Pas, Nasarom Pas, have m_ercy upon us. Nishki Pas, Svyet Vereshki Velen Pas, protect us. Ange Patyai Pas, mother, most holy mother of God, pray for us."
The prostrations and repetitions of this prayer, made in a subdued voice, occupy about half an hour or more.
The vosatya again shouts from bis hiding-place :
All are again silent, and cease bowing and making prostrations. He then repeats a second prayer, which he also does not understand. It begins :
" Chuval pusadyo, ilya mu sadyo chyaste vyaste^"*
- See note, § 13.