Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/388

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300 COORG FOLKLORE.

their own room and dismisses the party. After five, seven, nine, or eleven days the bride's relatives arrive at the house of the newly- married couple, and carry the bride away with them. On her return to her former home she is treated as unclean, her dress and orna- ments are taken from her, she is not permitted to touch anything in the house, and is shut up like a woman after childbirth. In this seclusion the young woman is kept for a fortnight, or a month, or even two months, from which time she becomes free. (138-139)

The birth of a child renders the mother and the whole house un- clean, and every one who may come in contact with them. This ceremonial un cleanness lasts for seven days. (141)

Daughters are not much valued. Boys are the stay of families, (141)

As soon as a Coorg boy is born, a little bow of a castor-oil-plant stick, with an arrow made of a leaf-stalk of the same plant, is put into his little hands, and a gun fired at the same time in the yard. (141)

On the 12th day after birth the child is laid into the cradle by the mother or grandmother, who on this occasion gives the name. (141)

A case of death defiles the house for seven days. The bodies of the young under sixteen years of age and of women are buried, those of other persons are burnt. On the death, messengers are despatched to every house of the village community. As on a wedding, each house must send at least one male and one female. The Aruva of the family has again the direction of the ceremonies. The body is laid upon a funeral bed in the middle apartment, and near to the bed a lighted lamp is placed. This lamp is of clarified cow's butter in half a cocoanut placed on a handful of rice in a copper dish. Towards evening the corpse is brought into the yard, a little water is poured into its mouth by the relatives, and a piece of money deposited in a copper dish containing a little cocoa milk, saffron, rice, and well water. Then the body is carried to the burial or burning ground. Each funeral guest approaches, dips his finger into the copper dish, moistens the lips of the corpse with a drop or two, and' lays a piece of money into the plate. This collection goes to defray the expenses of the funeral. The body is then deprived of its ornaments, laid in the grave.