Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/389

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COORG FOLKLORE. 301

or upon the' pile, the contents of the funeral lamp dish are thrown upon it, and the ceremony of burning or burial is concluded. Before the last scene, however, some relatives must be set apart for funeral observances until the Dhiti, the great ceremonial day which is cele- brated at the end of the lunar month in which the decease has oc- curred. The relatives set apart have to perform a lesser course of fasting. At noon they bathe, prepare their own food, eat part of it themselves, and give the rest to the crows, which consume it for the dead. When the Dhiti arrives, the whole village community is in- vited to a feast in honour of the departed and for the quiet of his soul. (143-144)

The Kaveri feast, which is a public bathing ceremonial at a sacred well, is celebrated also in Coorg houses. Before sunrise the mistress early goes to the cooking-room, takes a brass dish, throws into it a handful of rice, spreads it over the plate, and puts a common lamp which has been in daily use into the centre. The burning lamp is surrounded with flowers gathered from a garden or the jungle. To these a fresh young cucumber is added. Then a red handkerchief is placed behind the lamp. Upon the handkerchief one jewel of gold or silver is laid. Then a good mat is spread upon the ground, and a tripod, which serves the Coorgs for a dinner-table, placed upon the mat. Upon the tripod the woman sets the brass plate with the rice, lamp, cloth, and jewel. She then proceeds to bake three little cakes from a dough of rice-flour and plantains, well kneaded together on the pre- ceding night upon a stone mould well heated. Three of these little cakes are added to the contents of the plate. Then she calls the inmates of the house. They all rise instantly, go straight into the kitchen, and fold their hands before the tripod as in adoration. One of the men takes three or five of the fresh cakes and carries them down to the rice-fields. There he puts the cakes upon one of the bamboo-sticks which have been put in every field on the preceding day crowned with a bundle of Keibala creepers. The field next to the house is chosen for this offering. When the cakes are duly laid on the top of the creeper-crowned pole the man gives three shouts and returns to the house. On the return of the man from the field,