Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/99

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OF THE MORDVINS. 9l

hand the day the collectors will come round, and the wjomen make preparations to receive them. They sew three or more linen bags, and fasten two cords or leather straps to each. The mistress of the house puts into one bag 2 lbs. or more of meal, a birchbark-box of honey into a second, a few 10-kopek pieces into a third, a box of butter into a fourth, a basket of eggs in^o a fifth, etc., She then spreads the table with a clean cloth and piles up the bags upon it.

All this must be done by women only. The men, who are not allowed to see the preparations, go off accordingly early in the morn- ing to their out-door occupations, or hide themselves in the stable as soon as they hear the parindyaits and yanheds have entered the village.

When the collectors have arrived they make a halt. The girls in the street rush off to tell their mothers of the fact. The boys are in concealment with their fathers, as only children at the breast or boys that cannot yet walk are allowed to remain with their mothers. After waiting for a bit, the collectors begin going from house to house. The yanhed thrusts his knife five times into the door, and repeats the following prayer: —

" Cham Pas, Nishhi Pas, Svyet vereshki Pas, Ange Patyai Pas, mother, most holy mother of God, have mercy on Vasyai (the name of the master of the house), have mercy on Mashka (name of the mistress)."

He then opens wide the door, which had been left unlocked, and, accompanied by his companion, advances straight to the kardo syarJco in the centre of the courtyard. The yanhed thrusts his knife five times against the stone, the parindyait places the sacred vat upon the stone, mouth downwards, while the former prays: —

" Cham Pas, Nasarom Pas, Kardas syarko ozais, have mercy on Vasyai, have mercy on Mashka."

They then go to the porch, the yanhed again drives his knife into the door of the dwelling-room five times, opens it, and prays: —

" Cham Pas, Voltsi Pas, Yurtava ozais, have mercy," etc. (as above).

Yurtava ozais is the special guardian spirit of the dwelling-room.