108 THE BELIEFS AND RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES
with handkerchiefs and scarfs. Three girl parindyaits follow their
leader, carrying bast and birchbark baskets, adorned with branches of
birch. On approaching each house the girls sing a special song called
hyol-moro (birch-song). In the government of Samara and Simbirsk,
where the girls have forgotten their own language, they sing in
" Hail ! thou white birch, Hail ! thou great maple leaf, Hail I guardian of the lime, All hail I ye lovely girls, All hail ! our mistress dear : To thee, mistress dear, Are coming lovely girls To gather yellow eggs, Omelets and also pies.
The mistress of the house gives eggs, millet, meal, and butter through the window. The leader takes the eggs, but the daughter, niece, or some relation of the mistress takes the meal and butter. These gifts are laid in the baskets of the girl parindyaits. While delivering these presents the mistress says : Ange Patyai Pas, dear mother, preserve thy dear child, so that a bad man may not fall in love with her, nor carry of her green wreath."
As they retire from the window, the girls arrange themselves in a circle in front of it, and, to the accompaniment of the pulaman, sing a song of thanks to the daughter of the house. The three following are specimens of these songs as they are still sung in Mordvin in the districts of Saransk and Krasnoslovodsk, in the government of Pensa, though some singers do not completely understand tbem. In the first, in which several Eussian words occur, there are traces both of Finnish metre and alliteration :
" Xdti Kdierha materJtay KaterTta yaltoi shchogolsta. Kati sTicTiogolsta, chuvansta, Vai Saratovslioi chyulkasi, Seri TiocTikeri hdslimahsa, Kdta kvdlmasa palyasa Kem Tiaftova riitsyasa Vai, pall sarya shtofnoisa.**