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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/98

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have a custom of 'crying a neck'. I believe that this practice is seldom omitted on any large farm in these counties. It is done in this way. An old man, or someone else well acquainted with the ceremonies used on the occasion, when the labourers are reaping the last field of wheat, goes round to the shocks of sheaves and picks out a little bundle of all the best ears he can find; this bundle he ties up very neat and trim, and plaits and arranges the straws very tastefully. This is called 'the neck' of wheat, or wheaten-ears. After the field is cut out and the pitchers once more circulated, the reapers, binders, and the Women stand round in a circle. The person with 'the neck' stands in the centre, grasping it with both his hands. He first stoops and holds it near the ground, and all the men forming the ring take off their hats, stooping and holding them with both hands towards the ground. They then all begin at once, in a very prolonged and harmonious tone, to cry 'The Neck'. At the same time slowly raising themselves upright and elevating their arms and hats above their heads, the person with 'the neck' also raising it on high. This is done three times. They then change their cry to 'We yen! We Yen!' which they sound in the