November, 1873.] MISCELLANEA. 337 saved as a memento. They sometimes mourn long for the departed, especially for the wife. I know the headman of a village who mourned threo years the death of his wife. Ho could not work. Ho feasted his friends and neighbours for consolation. Thus he continued till his property was expended. Nearly all the village turn out and assist at fune¬ rals. The young men cut and bring wood for the pile. This is built near the house, and the dead placed upon it at sundown. Tho elder men and women collect the native-made rum from the vil¬ lage, and make more if necessary. Early in the afternoon all begin to drink. The bereaved are brought under the influence of liquor as soon as possible, to drown their sorrows. At dusk the fire is kindled. Now men, women, and children drink until all are drunken ! They have no knowledge of the Maker of all things—not even a name for God. They have no temples, or images, or forms of religious worship— unless sacrificing to demons be regarded in this light. They say they worship nothing,—that there is no future after death,—that they desire simply to be let alone. The demons are evil and disturbing spirits. They believe in these—believe them to be numberless,—to live under trees, rocks, and to fill the mountains,—to be the cause of famine and pestilence, all diseases of mind and body—in short, the cause of whatever disturbs the happiness of man, and of death itself. Of these they live in perpetual dread! Hence, to induce theso demons to depart from their country, tho G&ros sacrifice under every green tree, near rocks, at the base of hills, and in every street leading to their villages. This is done by individuals, families, or the entire village, as circumstances seem to indicate. They sacrifice fowls, pigs, goats, bullocks, and young dogs. The latter, because of superior sagacity, are supposed to be most acceptable to tho demons. As no time, place, or individual is exempt from trouble and sorrow, so the G&ros, in their fear, are most inces¬ sant in shedding of blood. The wealthy become poor, and the poor remain thus, by these fruitless and endless attempts to drive away theso imagi¬ nary demons. They say there is no hereafter—that when a man dies, that is the end of him. Still every G&ro confesses himself to be a sinner and to be worthy of punishment. They firmly believe that notoriously bad persons will live again, and per¬ haps for ages, in the bodies of tigers, snakes, or other vile forms, as a punishment for evil deeds in the present life. Ignorance and superstition go hand in hand. Two Christian Garos were on a preaching tour. Soon after they had spent a night in a certain Digitized by Google village the headman was very ill for soveral days. In due tircn these men returned that way and called for lodgings as before. It was late. The next village was at a distance and the road dan¬ gerous. But they were driven from the place. The demons, said they, are not pleased with Chris¬ tians, or those who give them shelter, therefore “ no person of this new faith can ever lodge in our village again!” Some G&ro Christians cut a few bamboos sup¬ posed to be the dwelling-place of demons. About this time there was a great drought. Crops were suffering. The heathen G&ros divined that the demons had been offended, and armed themselves with knives and spears to cut up the Christians who had given the offence. Meantime Providence sent rain, and the bloody raid was abandoned. A people thus ignorant and superstitious are liable to move suddenly and to great extremes. Filled with fear and dread uncertainty, they de¬ scend upon the nearest village and cut off a dozen heads of inoffensive men, women, and children. They hastily drive Christians from their village, or as quickly turn from demon-sacrificing to the worship of the Christians’ God. In customs, language, and religion (if they have any) this people are quite different from those of the plains. They are entirely free from caste influences. The G&ros do not object to the education of their girls and women. Several married women, wives of preachers and teachers, have learned to read. G&ro women are held in respect, and have a voice in all domestic matters, and they are not ignored even in the village counsels. There is hope for such a people. PERSIAN STANZAS ON ATTRACTION AND REPULSION. Selected and Translated by E. JRehatseJc, Esq., M.C.E. VI.—From Shyryn Ferliad.
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