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benefit of the soul of the deceased. Friends and relatives now took a last look at the face of the deceased, by slightly drawing aside the cloth-covering over the bier. This partial lifting of the curtain showed that the deceased was placed over the bier in a sitting posture, and that a silver coin had been already put into the mouth of the deceased. The bier was first taken three times round the grave and finally lowered into the grave, the Lāmā all the while chanting his mantrams and the men chanting the refrain of "Om Mâni pa [d] mẽ hūm" in a chorus. At each of the four corners of the grave, a long split bamboo was vertically inserted before the bier was let down. Over the bier was placed first a layer of stones, then a layer of earth, and again a layer of stones and over it another layer of earth and then a final layer of stones over which a longish stone was placed in an upright position. This upright stone indicated that the corpse was interred in a sitting posture. On inquiry I learnt that in some families the corpse was laid down in the grave in a lying posture and in those cases the uppermost stone was laid flat on the grave. Such stones on a number of graves close by were pointed out to me in proof of this statement. Another symbolic representation was a lenjed or thread-twister placed over the grave to indicate that the grave was that of a female, thread-twisting and weaving being the habitual occupation of a Lepcha female. Similarly, I was told a bow and an arrow are placed over the grave of a Lepchā male. Flowers were now strewn over the grave and a meal of boiled rice, stewed beef, and boiled māṛuā (Eleusine Coracana) was placed over the grave on a leaf-plate. A portion of this food, I must not omit to mention, was already burnt near the grave with fire lighted with dried leaves collected by the women who attended the funeral. Finally the four bamboo splinters that had been inserted into the grave at its corners were pulled out of the grave by men credited with a knowledge of charms and spells. A person skilled in magic lore is called 'bungthingbu' if a male, and 'mon' if a female. The reason for first inserting and then taking out these long bamboo splinters was explained to me by the assembled Lepchas as a precaution to

prevent the soul of the deceased from retaining in the grave the soul of any one present whom she particularly loved on earth. It is also worth mentioning that the Lepcha takes particular care to see that no green leaf or stone gets buried with the earth with which the grave is filled in, for such green leaf or piece of stone would stand in the way of the soul when it may be required to go to Yama, the god of death, or to other worlds.

From the burial place most of the party returned to the house where the death occurred, and I accompanied them. Outside the house every one who had been present at the funeral was at first thoroughly fumigated with the smoke of a fire in which a species of bitter plant was burnt. Each of them had next to present himself before a 'mon', or female exorcist, who was standing there with a live fowl in one hand and a kind of tall bamboo-grass in the other. The 'mon' made passes over the body of each with the fowl and the bamboo-grass Then the fowl was killed by being struck against the ground and was thrown away outside the house. Finally, māṛua beer was served in bamboo-tubes to those who attended the funeral and a meal was also provided for them.

Two days later a more imposing ceremony of driving away the evil spirit was performed in the house. The whole afternoon the inmates of the house were busy arranging the room where the ceremony was to take place, kneading flour and making various small figures of flour-dough resembling men and animals, and scrubbing a large number of ceremonial brass lamps and arranging them in several rows tier above tier. By evening the old Lama, with an assistant Lama and two disciples, took their seats in front of the rows of lamps, an elderly relative sat on the left of the rows of lamps, and close to him sat the husband of the deceased; important guests were given prominent seats and other guests were seated as best as they could in and outside the room. Many of them did not wait long in the room, but were soon replaced by others. Fortunately I was given a prominent seat from which I could see every part of the ceremonies. The Lama and his disciples went on chanting interminable chapter after chapter from a manuscript book which, I was told, was

known as the "Mellom ". The chanting was frequently punctuated by a chorus of the mystic mantram "Om Māni pa [d] mē hum" and by music of drums, cymbals, and conch-shells, and by a peculiar shrill whistling sound made by some of the men. At frequent intervals the Lāmās and the guests were drinking or rather sucking māṛuā-beer with hollow reeds from bamboo-tubes placed before them. As each guest arrived, he made a cash present of from one or two annas to eight annas, and a man went on noting the names and amounts on a slip of paper. As each guest paid his quota, he was asked to light one or two of the 152 lamps, and the man sitting on the left of the ceremonial lamps delivered a harangue which, I was told, was meant to inform the soul of the deceased that such and such a friend or relative was come to pray for her soul and light her path to the other world. Each man bowed before the lamps after he had lighted one or more of them. I made a present of a rupee and was given the privilege of lighting two of the lamps for the benefit of the soul of the dead woman. After the chanting of chapters from the "Mellom ", some of which, I was told, were addressed to the soul of the dead telling her that her friends and relatives had done all they could for her, but could not save her life, and bidding her not to grieve over her condition, nor to afflict the living but to follow the 'Law', and so forth. All the time the husband of the deceased was frequently bowing low to the soul of the dead, and I was told this was done by way of supplication to the soul of the deceased not to be angry with him or do any harm to him or to other surviving members of the family.

Now came the most exciting part of the ceremonies. Two persons carried into the room a large wooden plank on which were placed a few twigs representing a jungle and a number of miniature animal figures representing the denizens of the jungles and in the centre was prominently placed a lifesized model of a cat. There were also one or two miniature human figures arranged on the plank. The figure of the cat in the centre was meant for seating the evil spirit which caused the death of the deceased person and must have been obstructing

the passage of the soul of the deceased to the other world. It was intended that the evil spirit might lose its way in the jungle represented by the twigs and thus be unable to pursue the soul of the deceased. A number of pebbles coated with delicious grains were laid on the plank by way of food for the evil spirit. The Lāmā and his assistant and disciples now chanted song after song meant to allure the evil spirit by promises of tempting viands laid out for him. Some men were enthusiastically playing upon drums and cymbals and blowing conch-shells and one or two men were uttering a kind of peculiarly shrill musical sound by whistling. Suddenly the people became excited, and I was told that the evil spirit had arrived and was seated on the cat. The sound of music redoubled in shrillness. A number of men began to pelt grains and stones at the figures of animals on the plank. Some people drew out their swords which they brandished over the figures. Then the plank was taken up, and as it was being carried out of the house, the men followed it with frantic yells and some hit the figures with their sticks. When the plank was carried to an open space outside the house, burning torches were applied to the figures until they were all burnt to ashes. Thus was the soul of the deceased saved from pursuit by the evil spirit which killed her. Then we all went back to the room, and as we approached the door of the room, some women sprinkled us profusely with water so as to remove from us all evil influences that we might have contracted from contact with the evil spirit. Then food was laid out for the soul of the deceased and further chanting of mantrams concluded the ceremony.

I. Relics of the Copper Age found in
Chota Nagpur.

By Sarat Chandra Roy, M.A.

THE earliest discovery of ancient copper articles in Chōta Nagpur appears to have been made in the year 1870 in the Giridih (then Pachambā) subdivision of the Hāzāribāgh district. These consisted of five rough and unfinished copper celts of which four are now in the Indian Museum, Calcutta.1 The next find was that of a great cache of copper implements in the neighbourhood of the old Bargunda copper mine in the Hāzāribāgh district.1 A broad heavy copper axe-head and a large copper armlet from this find came to the hands of the late Mr. Robert Bruce Foote in 1887, and was figured (figures 4106 and 4107 of Plate 19) and described by him in Vol. I (page 164) of "The Foote Collection of Indian Prehistoric and Protohistoric Antiquities" (Madras, 1916).

The next discovery was that of a copper axe-head found in September 1910 at village Saguna, thana Patan in the Palamau district. This axe subsequently came to the hands of His Honour the President of the Society and was described at page 126, Vol. I, Part I of this Journal. Next in point of time was a find of twenty-one copper axe-heads of the same pattern as the Palamau axe. This was discovered in 1915 at village Bartol a in the Basia thānā of the Ranchi district and described at pages 127-128, Vol. I, Part I of this Journal.

Several years ago some copper axe-heads from the Manbhum district accidentally came into the hands of the Hon'ble and

1 Vide Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal for 1871, pages 231-231 and Anderson's Catalogue, Part II, pages 392–395.

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