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her to abate somewhat of the term, for sooth to tell, the
old rule is out of date. And if she has a husband and
sons and brothers to think of, she will soon give way.
Five weeks maybe will suffice her, though she may stand
out for three months, or even for six. But if it be a
chief that is dead, full twelve months will go by before
they doff the garb of mourning. All this while no other
dress is worn ; howbeit they wash the mourning apparel
every now and then. Nor when they plait their hair, do
they smear it with gum or scent it, until such time as
they issue forth from the mourning.
Modem 3QO. Times have changed, even among the Mengal


to cut and the BIzanjav and the Mamasam, who used to drag
it short. ou the term for the wearing of mourning two sad
years and more. In truth, they now look upon over-
long mourning as a mighty unlucky business. For in
the old days it happened often enough that a mourning
dress once donned was never doffed. They mourned so
long, that Death would be on his rounds again, and they
would have to mourn afresh. Small wonder then, that
they have grown content to lay the gloomy apparel aside

Different 301. Now the mourning apparel is of divers fashion.
mourning Well-to-do ladies of Sarawan wear white head-dress and
apparel, shift. Eed, you may be sure, is never worn in mourning :
it is the marriage colour ; and a widow may not wear it
even though her mourning be over. The shift is em-
broidered with plain embroidery, but with many of the
points and marks and patterns left out. Thus a mother
who has lost an only son will have no chat or lar or
nidm-tik on her shift. And the shift of a widow who has
lost her eldest son will be embroidered with plain thread.
But a widow who is the mother of children will keep the
nidm-tik and the gul-gulchik on her shift, in token that she
is the mother of sons despite her widowhood. Moreover,
she fears that she might be bereft of children into the


bargain, should she wear her shift quite plain, for all
the world like a childless widow. In Jhalawan the colour
of mourning is black. Yet as the workaday woman in
Jhalawan wears black at all times, you will have to peer
mighty close for the embroidery, to see whether she's in
mourning or not.

302. And a widow must discard her bandok, that cord Si g nin -

' . cancc

of red silk with its pretty silver tassels wherewith the of the


collar is fastened. In its stead she will use a fastener n(
made of plain thread, white or black, so long as she's in
mourning. And here's a bit of gossip not many know of.
Among the Raisam, in the chief's branch at any rate, a
widow will still wear a fastener of white thread even after
the mourning is over, whether she have children or no.
But should she put on her red bundok after all, 'tis a sign
to announce that she has it in mind to marry again.

303. And a widow who is left without sons to cheer piscard-
her widowhood must strip her jewellery off hands and jewellery,
arms and ears and nose and feet. But if she has a son

to mourn her loss with her, she will wear her cliallav, or
finger-rings, and her vat, the small ring in her nose, and
panara, or ear-rings. And the ornaments that she strips
off on her widowhood, she lays aside for life, so be she
marries not again.

304. Now so long as the mourning apparel is worn, the Seclusion
mourners keep themselves aloof from all gatherings of mourners,
company. If there be a wedding among the kin, the
merry-makers will bid the mistress of the mourning and

her mourners to the feast right graciously. Yet great
would be the scandal if they came. But should a dear
one be stricken down with disease, the mistress of the
mourning will step over to the house in the dead of night.
A few whispered inquiries, and she is gone under cover of
the dark. Even though there's a death among the kin,
she will not go to offer comfort. But there's naught
amiss should she send one of the mourners in her stead.
And if she does not hold herself aloof, but gads about


shameless!} 7 , the women will point the finger of scorn at
her, and say : " God preserve us from trampling our
dear ones under foot, in our hurry to be after strangers!"
Yet the mistress of the mourning looks to others to come
and comfort her. And should one be late in coming,
there'll be a sting in the courtesy of her greeting : no
doubt it was the henna on her feet that kept her so long
in coming ; ah, yes ! she quite understood. And the
shaft strikes home, I warrant, if the visitor is one that
has long looked for marriage in vain.

No 305. Such is the wearing of mourning apparel among

apparel" 8 ^ ne womenfolk. But neither in Sarawan nor in upper

worn by Jhalawan do the men don any mourning. To be sure,

among the Mengal or Bizanjav, or others of lower

Jhalawan, a man will sometimes wear a black turban for

a month or two ; but the custom is borrowed from the

folk of Makran. And if a son or a brother or some other

dear kinsman be foully done to death, a man in lower

Jhalawan will wear a black turban, till such time as he

can wipe out blood with blood.

Sal tinbig, 306. Carefully do we count the months from the day

the anm" 8 n which the dead died. For twelve months hence on

versary of the selfsame day do we keep holiday, and hold a feast

for the kith and kin. And the widow, I reckon, will

remember the day, though all forget ; for on that day is

she free to marry again. Howbeit the longer the time

she passes in mourning widowhood, the greater is her


The feast 307. And the wilder folk in Jhalawan make a great

Side? thC to - do over the feast > above a11 if the dead died without
Jhala- issue or heir. In the morning they take a number of

sheep and goats and drive them to the graveyard. There
they visit the grave of their dead, and then go a little way
apart, and slaughter the sheep and the goats. They
slaughter as many as they list ; howbeit the number, to
be sure, must be odd. And by the roadside they set
three cooking-stones we call a kiitagh, and by the side of


one kutagh they set another, and yet another and another.
And when they have set the cooking-stones all in a row,
they set yet a second row alongside the first. Now if you
chanced to pass by, you could tell how many beasts had
been slain for the feast. For the one row of stones is for
cauldrons for the boiling of the flesh, and the other for
pans for the baking of the bread ; and for each sheep or goat
that is slaughtered there must be one cauldron and one
pan. And when the flesh is cooked and the bread is baked,
they sit them down to the feast. And on the spot they
build a mosque or two in memory of the dead. In the
middle thereof they pile up a few stones, and upright on
the pile they set another stone in honour of a male ;
howbeit for a female no upright stone is set. Now
this custom was once common in Jhalawan, as you
may guess from the rows of stones by the roadside and
the mosques and all. Yet in these days it's only the
wilder folk among the Zahn and Mengal that keep
it up.

308. Early on the morning of the first Id after a death
in the house, the kith and kin come to the chief mourner fi r st id
and bid him rise and keep holiday. But he makes demur, ^ fter , a
till one among them takes him by the wrist and entreats
him. So with much ado he dons his holiday clothes and
puts antimony to his eyes. OS go the kinsmen and
deck themselves out for the merry-making ; for until
the chief mourner has donned his holiday clothes, it
would ill beseem them to don theirs. Nevertheless in the
house of the dead there is no holiday feasting ; yet the
daily meal is surely eked out with dishes sent by the kin.
But the womenfolk keep no holiday nor change their
clothes that day. For the space of half an hour do they
drone out dirges with the mistress of the mourning, not-
withstanding that the mourning may be over and done
with. And when they urge her to keep holiday, she bids
them wait till the morrow.


309. But we must hark back to the soul of the dead that
setting a was laid to rest in the graveyard. Now for the first three

watch at n *& n * 8 after the burial, and maybe longer, a mulla is set

the grave, to watch at the grave. With him watch his disciples.

And for their comfort the kinsmen furnish food and a

tent or other shelter, and pay them well for their pains.

Night and day they watch by the grave, reciting the

Holy Writ. For during the first three nights those

dread angels, Munkir and Nakir, come to the grave and

tax the soul shrewdly touching his faith and all that he

has done in this world. And the poor sinner takes com-

fort from the presence of the mulla and the sound of the

holy words, and is stayed in the awful inquest.

Preseuta- 310. And on the evening of the first day the mulla is

clothes to called into a room, where such of the womenfolk who do

the mulla. not jj ve }j en i n( j t ne ve ji are assembled. And they bestow

upon him the clothes that the dead wore, and a new set of
raiment and a cup, as part of his recompense for the
washing of the body. And as he takes them, he lifts up
his hands and prays the Almighty to bless the soul of
the dead with peace everlasting.

Lighting 31 1. Now every evening when the sun is set, the soul
tan-shod, of the departed comes to the place where its body was
washed for the burial, and then passes on to see how the
kith and kin are faring. Hence it is that night after
night for three nights they keep a lamp burning in the
place of washing, and thereafter every Thursday night
for the space of forty days. For it were churlish to
leave the poor soul to grope its way thither in the dark,
when it came on its rounds. Moreover, if the dead was a



man of rank or honour in this world, we set a wall round
the place where his body was washed, or mark it out
with stones. Folk might else come trampling over the
ground, not knowing that the ground on which they trod
was holy ground.

312. And for the better comfort of the soul for they
would not have him think that he is lightly forgotten meals for
the kin cook some meat and rice and sweetmeats in the
house, and set as much in readiness as a man would eat soul.
at a meal. This we call the fdtihand iragh, and it is
fetched away by the mulla or one of his disciples. Every
evening after sunset for at least forty days do they spread
out the meal, and thereafter every Thursday for at least
six months. And whatever the poor soul may think of
it, the mulla or some beggar or other is glad enough of
it, I warrant.

313. And every Thursday afternoon for the first seven Kh
weeks they summon the mulla with his disciples. To be recitation

sure, if they be poor folk, three or five times will suffice,
for the ceremony costs somewhat. And the holy men
sit them down in the nearest mosque and fall to reading
the Koran. And the mulla reads one chapter and his
disciples read others. So small wonder if the Koran is
read from cover to cover before the sun sinks. Then
the mulla and the disciples and other holy men go with
the near kin into the house ; for a sheep was s lain and
roasted while they were at their task. But before they
break bread, they raise hands and pray for the peace of
the soul of the departed. So they sit them down to the

314. Now the eve of most high festivals in the year Murdaita
but not of the two Ids is All Souls' Eve. And the holiest '^} 8 .
of all is the eve of the tenth day of the Muharram, that Eve -
we call Imamak. In the morning the ladies of the house
cook the daintiest of dishes of rice and meat and what not.
And towards sunset they call in the mulla, and the kith
and kin forgather together. And something from each


dish is placed on a platter before the mulla. And he reads
a chapter from the Holy Writ, and lifts up his hands in
prayer. He prays that the heavenly recompense for
their charity may fall on the soul of the Prophet and of
the saints and of all the dead of the household. Each
he calls by name, and that there may be no mistake, he
adds thereto the name of the mother. And he prays for
the peace of the martyrs who fought and died for the true
Faith. And he prays for the remission of the sins of the
dead of the household, both of those whose names he
remembers, and of those whose names he has forgotten,
but God must know. But the old ladies and the children
in the room leave the poor man no peace : " Don't forget
granny!" "Please put in uncle's name!" "There
now, if he hasn't forgotten father !" For they long for
the dainty fare spread before them, but until the mulla
has done his prayer, it must lie untouched. But
when at last he has rehearsed the roll of the dead,
the food allotted to the souls of the dead is made
over to him. Yet is he not suffered to take his leave
until he has offered up prayers apart for the souls of the
little children ; but for them no rice nor meat is allotted
naught save a little milk and fruit and sweetmeats.
Then they send out dishes to the neighbours and kins-
folk. And many a dish is sent to the house in return.
visiting 315. And early on the morrow the head of the house
on t sets forth to the graveyard, one or two of the kinsmen
tenth of bearing him company. With him he takes some red
Muhar- pulse and a jar full to the brim with rose petals and
mart leaves and water. And at the grave of one of his
dead he stands, and raising his hands he prays for the
peace of the soul. Then he scatters half a handful of
red pulse over the head of the grave, and all around he
sprinkles water and leaves from the jar. So he passes
on to the grave of another of his dead. And after
he has gone the round of his departed kin, he honours
the graves of others in like fashion. But here, as he


sprinkles the pulse and the water, he prays, saying :
"God grant to thee, oh strange dead, the heavenly
recompense for this my act, but oh ! let it fall moreover
on my dear ones who lie buried in a far-off land."

316. Very keen are the villagers and others who have L . es . 8 .
seen somewhat of the world over the reading of the f ik
Koran and the keeping of All Souls, and the furnishing dl . s ,? e ^ e

with these

of the evening meal for the departed soul, and the other cere-
customs touching which I have spoken. But hill-men monie8 -
and other wild folk can ill afford the like. Nor, to tell
the truth, do they care for souls to be forever hanging
about the house or encampment.

317. And it's not alone the wild folk either that would They are,

in I f l ( ' t

discourage these visits from the dead. For old-fashioned modern,
ladies are very much of the same mind. Now men who
live in villages and hobnob cheek by jowl with strange
peoples, turn lightly to other ways and new-fangled
manners. But among the womenfolk old ideas die hard.
Surely they are not only the mothers of our children, but
the jealous nurses of our customs from one generation to
another. And it is to them you must go, if you would learn
the ancient ways of our people. For as to the men, they live
hi the present. But the women are never more happy than
when living the past over and over again. And they are
ever railing at their men for catching at some new thing.

318. Now if a child should strike a metal cup in the Bells not
house after dusk and make it ring, the mother would rung a f ter
scold him for a thoughtless rascal. For when the dead dark -
hear the sound of a bell in the stillness of night, they

think the bells are ringing for the Day of Judgment, and
raise themselves all agog at the sound. But when they
find that the world is still moving in humdrum fashion,
they curse the ringer of the bell that made a mock of
them and roused them from their slumber for nothing.

319. And womenfolk and men, too, for the matter Averting
of that, think it a plaguey unlucky business to take the mention-
name of. the dead lightly on the lips. So if you have





of the




to mention the dead and the living in the same breath,
you should mind and add, " God pardon his sins !" or
" The peace of the Faith be upon him !" after the name
of the one, and " God grant him long life !" or " Let his
name be apart !" or " Let his name remain long with his
friends !" after the other. For the names of the living
should not be numbered among the dead. Thus we
will say : " May Sher Khan's name long remain with
his friends ! What a fine shot that uncle of his was !
Rahim Khan, God pardon his sins !"

320. But many women will have it that one should
never speak of the dead by name at all, once the sei-shdm,
or the third day's meal, is over. If needs must, one
should talk in a roundabout manner of the untimely
dead or the like. And anyone who blurts out the name
will come in for a scolding, I'll be bound. In the day-
light, to be sure, small's the harm. Yet the old
granny of the house will rebuke the careless one and
say : " Now don't you take his name again. Heaven
pardon his sins ! He lived his life, and what more does
he want, I should like to know ?" But if one of the
young folk speak of the dead by name after the sun's
gone down, there's a pretty to-do. The thoughtless
babbler will get a taste of her tongue and a taste of her
arm too, I warrant : " Let the nameless one be name-
less and keep his face to himself, and not come poking
his nose where he's not wanted. But as for you take
that, and don't you dare mention his name again after
dark and all. God bless us ! Does he want to scare the
little ones out of their wits?"

321. For the truth is that souls are mischievous
folk, and the souls of the aged are the worst of the lot.
And if disease hangs about a house after the death of
some old crone, it's on her the women will lay the blame :
didn't they always say she was a mischief -monger ? Now
the best way to be rid of the bane is to strike four iron
pegs at the four corners of the grave when none is look-


ing. And if death enters the house again, they will do
it without thinking twice about it, I reckon.

322. Nothing pleases the soul of some malicious old The
hag more than to haunt the dreams of a lad or lass in O f dreams,
the house : won't he come to his old granny that loved

him so dearly ? And if the dreamer tells his dream to
his mother and asks the interpretation thereof, she is
mighty upset. "Drat the old meddler!" she says.
" Never in all my born days have I seen the like ! Can't
she let things be, even in the grave?" And she bustles
off to slaughter a sheep as a sacrifice to the saint of the
house ; and all of a tremble she mutters up a prayer to
the saint of the house, beseeching him for pity's sake to
preserve them from mischief. Not that she will let
folks know there's aught amiss. " 'Tis a sacrifice to the
saint that I had vowed," is all she says. And the flesh
is carved and given to the kinsfolk and neighbours.

323. But if the old crone still haunts the lad's dreams Various
for all that, he should take an onion and set it before

him, and lift up his hands and whisper this prayer :
" Almighty God, on the soul of So-and-So, the daughter
of So-and-So " for it's as well to give the mother's name
that there may be no mistake about it " do I bestow
this onion, to the intent that never again may she
trouble my dreams. Convey it to her, therefore, I pray
you." And the prayer, let's hope, will be heard. Yet
even so, the soul may be so pestilent, he won't be quit
of her. So what must the old women of the house do,
but gravely offer her a bit of dung, when they are alone
out of doors.

324. Yet, strange to say, even this may not suffice. The last
And if disease and death are busy in the household, the re

old women will whisper among themselves that the old
hag must be feasting on her winding-sheet. And the men-
folk are let into the secret before long, and they aren't
left a moment's peace after that, you may be sure. All
will not do. They must just open up the grave and see


who's right. Yes, you may laugh, and small blame to
you. Yet he who laughs last, laughs loudest all the
world over. And though I myself have never seen the
sight, there are folk who can tell how they have found
an old hag with a strip of the shroud stuffed in her
mouth, and rags thereof clenched in her hands. And old
wives say there's nothing for it then but to sell all the
dead had in this world and give the money in alms
to the poor. " God preserve us all !" say you. And
"Amen to that!" say I.



ABDXILLA SHA, burial of, 133-4

Abortion among animals, one cause
of, 5

Address, mode of, to : a mother, 12 ;
a bridegroom, 58 ; step-children, 84 ;
the next-of-kin at a burial, 138

Aildi, tonsils, 98

Adulterers : punished with death, 84,
136 ; burial of, 136

Ague, 104

Ahmadzei, the family of the Khans of
Kalat : their shalvdr, 35 ; dower rate
among, 68 ; custom of dad toning
among, 146-7

Ahval (haval), the customary inter-
change of news, 43, 139

Akli, wisdom teeth, 32

Alej, a peculiar form of sacrifice to
exorcise Jinns, 118

All Souls' Eve, feast held on, 155-6

Alla-der, God's heap, the dombs'
wedding perquisite, 76

Alms : to purchase recovery from sick-
ness, 91 ; given at a funeral, 133 ;
to quiet mischievous souls, 160

Amcinat (anamat), temporary burial,

Amulets : worn as cures, 91 ; for
impotency, 2 ; barrenness, 3 ; diffi-
cult labour, 9 ; marital indifference,
82 ; diseases, 88, 90, 91, 100, 106 ;
grinding the teeth, 100 ; evil spirits,

Anniversary of a death, 152-3

Antimony, why given after measles,

Apuk: a rival wife, 82; a term of
reproach, 83-4

Arabic, 12, 69, 115

Artl, camels and provisions for a
wedding feast, 56, 60

Avalikij Id, the first Id after a death,

Aval-sham: the first meal after a
burial, 139, 140 ; attendance at,
avoided, 141

Azan, the call to prayers, uttered in
new-born's ears, 12


Babes : dedicated to God, 3 ; an-
nouncing the birth of, 11; clothing
of, 12 ; the seeing of the face of, 12 ;
the first suckling of, 12-13; how
cradled, 13; naming of, 15; how
guarded, 16-7; markings on, 17;
head and limbs, how shaped, 18-9 ;
lullabies of, 21-2 ; cutting of teeth
of, 23 ; weaning of, 24-5

Badalo, a pre-natal wasting sickness :
how avoided, 6, 125 ; how cured, 7

Badsdr fever, an after-effect of enteric,

Badsha, title given to a bridegroom, 58,
62, 63, 69

Balla-hilh, typhus, 107

Balochi, 21, 36, 56, 114, 143

Band, knotted threads, worn by the
sick, 90, 91, 118

Bandok, neck-cord, significance of the,

Baram khwahing, demanding the
marriage, 53

Barber, performs circumcisions, 30, 31

Barrenness : how diagnosed, 2 ; methods
to overcome, 2, 3 ; one cause of poly-
gamy, 2, 80

Barsh, an expensive drug, 99

Bathing: of mothers after childbirth,
20 ; of boys after circumcision, 31.
See also Washing

Baunrl, the whorl of the hair, im-
portance of the position of, 19, 37

Beard, an old man's, used to hasten
labour, 9

Beauty: ideas regarding, 18-9; in a
youth, 36, 143; in a maiden, 37.

Bed fakirs, their charm against night-
fever, 107

Begging by mother and child at the
first teeth, 24

Bel, a measure of time, 90





Bells: hung up at shrines, 134; never
rung after dark, 157

Beru, the wife in disfavour, 83

Betrothal, 34-51 ; age, 34 ; no fuss in
the case of cousins, 37 ; first mooted
by the boy's mother, 38; a doinb
woman acts as go-between at, 38-40 ;
a friend of the family acts as go-
between at, 40, 42 ; expenses con-
nected with, 40, 41, 44. 45, 47-8;
consent to, given before a deputation,
42, 43-4; discussed before the two
fathers, 45-6 ; the loving-cup at,
46; ceremonies among the women,
49 ; the girl's mother visited by the
lad after, 49-50

Bijjar, collecting subscriptions to-
wards a marriage, 55-6

Bijjarl, subscriptions collected as bijjdr,

Bilious attacks, 102

Birth, 1-20; premature, how avoided,
7 ; how hastened, 8 ; ceremonies
preceding the, 8, 9 ; customs at
the, 9-20 ; how announced, 11

Birthmarks, how caused, 5,17

Bitter plants, naming children after, 15

Blzanjav, the, one of the JhalawSn
tribes, 41, 146, 150, 152

Black : the colour of mourning, 95,
151; never worn at a wedding, 61,
64; worn by Jhalawan women, 31,
151 ; a bad symptom in smallpox,
95 ; turban, when worn by JhalawSn

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 15

Online LibraryDenys BrayThe life-history of a Brahui → online text (page 13 of 15)