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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/466

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458
Pin-Wells and Rag-Bushes.

Those who would drink of it must enter the cave with a torch or lamp in one hand and pitcher in the other, which they must fill with the water, and, leaving some scrap of their clothing behind them, must turn round without being scared by the noises they may hear within, and quit the cave without ever looking back."[1]

In the district of Vynnytzia, government of Podolia in Ukrainia, there is a mineral spring much resorted to. The sick, after bathing, hang to the branches of the trees their shirts, handkerchiefs, and other articles, "as a mark", says M. Volkov, who reports the case, "that their diseases are left there".[2] Whether this be the original notion we shall consider presently.

Parallel superstitions exist in India. A festival called Mela is held at the beginning of the month of Mágha (about the middle of January) at the island of Ságar, atthe mouth of the Hugh. A temple of Kapila, who is held to be an incarnation of Vishnu, stands on the island, and in front of it is (or was) a Bur tree, beneath which were images of Rama and Hanuman, while an image of Kapila, nearly of life-size, was within the temple. The pilgrims who crowd thither at the festival commonly write their names on the walls, with a short prayer to Kapila, or suspend a piece of earth or brick to a bough of the tree, offering at the same time a prayer and a promise, if the prayer be granted, to make a gift to some divinity.[3] Elsewhere in India, as well as in Arabia and Persia, strips of cloth are suspended from shrubs and trees, which, for some reason or other, are venerated; and, in Persia at all events, not only are rags, amulets, and other votive offerings found upon the trees, but the trees are also covered with nails.[4]

Mr. J. F. Campbell records having found in Japan "strips

  1. Rodd, The Customs and Lore of Modern Greece, 165, 176.
  2. Rev. des Trad. Pop., vii, 56, citing Boijdovsky, Kievskaï Starina.
  3. H. H, Wilson, Works, ii, 169.
  4. Burton, Sindh, 177; Gaidoz, Rev. de l'kist. des ReL, vii, 9, quoting Ouseley, Travels in Various Countries of the East.