Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 3, 1892.djvu/214

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206

Divination among the Malagasy.

Columns with same Figures. Native Word for Combination. Meaning.

1. Fàhasìvy and Màsina = Tsi-ròngatra = does not move or agitate.

2. Fàhasìvy and Nìa = Màti-ròa = two deaths; that is, two will die, but two locusts may be thrown away as a fàditra or piaculum.

3. Fàhatèlo and Harèna = Vahòaka = a crowd of people.

4. Tràno and Mpànontàny = Tsìndrilàsy = enemy approaching.

5. Tràno and Làlana = Sàmpona = hindrances expected.

6. Andro and Asòrotàny = Làhi-àntitra = old man; that is, the sick will recover, and reach old age.

7. Fàhasìvy and Asòrotàny = Ravòakòny = a mouthful thrown out (?).

8. Vòhitra and Fàhatèlo = Fotòan-tsi-mihàtra = the fixed time will not be kept.

9. Làlana and Nìa = Fèhi-tsi-ròso = the troops will not advance.


The following five possibilities refer to somewhat different cases, thus:

10. If the figure Alokòla ((Symbol missingsymbol characters)) occurs three times in different columns, three stones are to be thrown away as a fàditra to avert evil.

11. If Vànda mitsàngana ((Symbol missingsymbol characters)) occurs three times, the feathers of a white hen are to be a fàditra.

12. If Alaimòra ((Symbol missingsymbol characters)) occurs twice, it means that the son of a mighty man is likely to be a mighty man too.

13. If Sàka ((Symbol missingsymbol characters)) occurs in Tràno, and Vontsìra ((Symbol missingsymbol characters)) in Talé, or Alaimòra ((Symbol missingsymbol characters)) in Tràno, and Adibijàdy ((Symbol missingsymbol characters)) in Talé, the case will follow the analogy of the one preceding it; e.g., if my child, who was formerly ill, was cured, this one will be cured; if it died, this one will die too.

14. If a sikìdy happens to contain eight Vontsìra ((Symbol missingsymbol characters)) they are called "the eight healthy men", and are considered an excellent remedy against disease, as will be shown later on.

It is evident that many of these "meanings" can be construed into answers to questions, although the general tendency of many of them seems to be rather to point out the fàditra to be used against the evil. But it might happen that the figures were all unlike one another, at any rate that those which were like the one in the column representing the question were so incongruous with it that even the most inventive imagination and the greatest acuteness, sharpened by long practice, would prove unequal