Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/365

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A Batch of Irish Folk-lore.

The following items were forwarded to me by Mr. Daniel H. Lane of Cork; most of them were given to him by the doctor of Kilkeiran and Carna, South Connemara. (April 1892.)

1. Immediately after birth the child is sometimes spat on by the father.

2. Child very generally given a piece of sugar after birth.

3. On May 1st, Shrove Tuesday, and certain Mondays in the year, the country people will not give food or fire or any commodity out of their houses.

4. Woman, before childbirth, occasionally wears coat of father of expected child, with the idea that he should share in the pains of childbirth.

5. There is a witch of great repute in the neighbourhood of Carna. When consulted by a rich person she goes into the fields, collects certain herbs not known to anyone but herself, performs secret rites and incantations, and, when these are over, the first living thing she sees is affected by the malady of the sick person, who immediately recovers. A man who saw her performing the incantations crawled away on his face and hands, to avoid being the first living thing seen by her.

6. At Letterard, two sisters tried to cure a sick brother by walking three times round three houses adjacent to one another, the tenants of which all had the same name.

7. A posthumous son (not daughter) is supposed to have healing power by breathing or expectorating on part affected.

8. A seventh son is also supposed to possess the power of healing by stepping across the body of diseased person.

9. A pregnant woman will not take an oath in a Court of Justice. This custom is recognised by the local magistrates.

10. A pregnant woman considers it unlucky to meet a hare.

11. A drowned body is searched for by floating a bundle of straws on the surface of the water; it is supposed to stop and quiver over the body.

12. When anyone dies a violent death, a heap of stones is placed on the spot, and passers-by keep adding to it.

13. Bodies always carried not by the shortest way to the grave-