Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/155

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147
The False Bride.

customs among Slavonic, Teutonic, and Romance peoples."[1] Mr. Hartland, in discussing the paper by Dr. Winternitz, spoke of the custom of disguising the bride as found in more than one Indo-European race, and "notably in the Balkan peninsula."[2] A closer acquaintance with this disguised bride is much to be desired.

Prof Jevons says: "The practice of substituting an old woman in disguise for the bride when the groom comes to take her to the church, is found in many places in Germany, amongst the Poles, the Wends, the Winds, the Servians, the Roumanians, the Swiss, the French."[3]

Dr. Schroeder thinks that Usener has made it probable that the curious myth in Ovid (Fasti, iii, 677) of the wedding of Mars and Minerva (Nerio) reflects the existence of the custom among the Romans; this again looks as if we were on the right track for solving the Dædala riddle."[4]

Dr. Schroeder cites the custom from all parts of Europe, and gives some variations, the interest of which only increases the desire for more details: such as the enacting of the False Bride among the Esthonians by the bride's brother in woman's clothes; in Bavaria, by a bearded man called the "Wilde Braut"; in Poland, by an old woman veiled in white, and lame; again, among the Esthonians, by an old woman with a birch-bark crown; in Brittany, where the substitutes are first a little girl, then the mistress of the house, and lastly the grandmother.[5]

These rites and myths would, I think, prove of interest to all who care for the thoughts and ways of classical or

  1. Report, Folk-lore Congress, 1891, p. 269.
  2. Report, Folk-lore Congress, 1891, p. 289.
  3. Ibid., p. 342.
  4. Dr. L. V. Schroeder, Die Hochzeitsbrauche der Esten in Vergl. mit denen der Indogermanischen Völker, 1888, p. 72; H. Usener, Italische My then, Rhein. Museum, xxx, 183.
  5. Dr. Schroeder, p. 72.