DEAD MEN'S DUST
tives who live. Indians who are wont to paint themselves habitually, go after a funeral totally unbedecked with colour. On the other hand, other savages daub themselves fantastically with various colours, making themselves as unlike to what they were previously as is possible. The Coreans, when in mourning, assume hats with low rims that conceal their features.
The Papuans conceal themselves under extinguishers made of banana leaves. Elsewhere in New Guinea they envelop themselves in a wicker-work frame in which they can hardly walk. Among the Mpongues of Western Africa, those who on ordinary occasions wear garments, when suffering bereavement walk in complete nudity. Valerius Maximus tells us that among the Lycians it was customary in mourning for the men to disguise themselves in women's garments.
The custom of cutting the hair short, and of scratching and disfiguring the face, and of rending the garments, all originated from the same thought—to make the survivors unrecognisable by the ghost of the deceased. Plutarch asserts that the Sacæ, after a death, went down into pits and hid themselves for days from the light of the sun. Australian widows near the north-west bend of the Murray shave their heads and plaster them with pipe-clay, which, when dry, forms a close-fitting skull-cap. The spirit of the late lamented, on returning to his better half, either does not recognise his spouse, or is so disgusted with her appearance that he leaves her for ever.
There is almost no end to the expedients adopted