Open main menu

Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/496

This page needs to be proofread.


4 70 Collectanea.

nervous trouble, being tied for the purpose upon the upper arm of the patient.

(74, V.) A cake of wax, bearing the symboHcal figure of the " Lamb of God " and the name of a Pope, partly beneath glass, in a silver frame, for suspension ; Madrid. Apparently a cake of "Agnus Dei" wax from a candle blessed by the Pope at Easter, formerly a highly valued preservative against various evils, and one still considered by many Roman Catholics to be exceedingly efficacious.

(75^) v., and 75*^, VIII.) Obverse and reverse of a large bronze medal, apparently mystical or magical in origin ; Madrid. On the obverse the Trinity, with the symbols of the Four EvangeHsts ; on the reverse human figures, various symbols, and irregularly disposed letters. Probably of the sixteenth century. Of unknown origin and significance ; probably not amuletic.

In all the Spanish cities, palm-branches plaited into ornamental designs, are to be seen in prominent positions upon many of the dwellings, and usually fastened to the balconies. These branches, which are renewed each year, have been blessed by a priest on Palm Sunday, and are regarded as being an excellent protection against lightning. A belief in the virtue of the blessed palm (or its equivalent) is, of course, not exclusively Spanish, but is to be found in most, if not in all, Roman Catholic countries.

Gipsy Amulets. There is a large Gipsy colony at Granada, settled upon the Albaicin Hill, just outside of the city proper, which was carefully gone over in the expectation that amulets not employed by the Spaniards would be found. This expecta- tion was, with a single exception, not fulfilled, although the settle- ment was traversed in the company of one of its principal women, who, assisted by several children, made enquiries of all those who she thought might be wearing amulets. The people seemed to have little hesitation in showing, or in speaking of, their various protections, and many such were exhibited. Religious medals and tiny images of saints, which appear to have almost entirely displaced the former secular amulets, are now worn against the effect of the evil eye, as well as against all other ills.

Horns in particular were asked about, but although their