Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/90

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vorotà) was made on the north, south, and east sides. The people entered by the south gate ; the sacrificial animals were led in by the east entrance ; and the water for cooking the flesh was brought in by the northern one (see note, § 6, 10, 13).

Inside the keremet, at the east gate, there stood generally three posts, called ter shigat. The horses for sacrifice were tied to one, the bulls to another, and the sheep to the third. But for a long time no horses have been sacrificed. Even in the full pagan period, when they became acquainted with the Kussians, they had ceased eating horse-flesh, and therefore from sacrificing them. They are still offered by fishermen to Ak shakal ozais (white fish ozais) but not in the old-fashioned manner, by cooking the flesh in the kettles ; they merely slaughter the animal as an oJBfering to the divinity of fisheries.

On the west side there were also three posts, called yuba, near which the cattle were slaughtered. A small pit was dug between them for the blood to flow into, and which was afterwards covered over with stones. Near the posts was erected a small shed, called the horai shigat, or cooking-shed ; and in its centre small stakes were driven in to support the bar to which the kettles for boiling the flesh were suspended.

At the south gate stood the huma, or table, on which the sacrificial flesh was cut into as many portions as there were participators in the feast.

The flayed hides were hung up on the eastern posts (ter shigat). In former times all the hides were always left hanging there ; but, latterly, they were sold and the proceeds spent on the salt necessary for the sacrifice. The Arab travellers of the tenth century relate having seen hides hung up at the offering-places of the people that dwelt along the Volga.

Save in size and the occasional absence of a fence, there was no difference between a parish and a village keremet.

The praying feasts held at places of burial, when the celebrators eat pancakes and other eatables cooked at home, and drank beer, were on the whole nearly the same as the Russian festival for commemoration of the dead.