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with its head pointing squth. The son or grandson circumambulates the corpse three times, and then 'with his left eye closed, described above, puts the lighted torch into the corpse's month and straightway leaves the ground without looking backwards, goes to some stream or spring, where he bathes and returns home. After fire is first set to the corpse in this way by the son or grandson, wood is placed on the corpse in the
name of each absent relative and then by every one present. When the corpse is' wholly burnt, the women of the tândā bring jars of water from some stream or spring close by and with a winnowing basket pour it on the embers. Then the women with their left hands pick up first a tooth, next a finger-bone, then a thigh-bone and finally the remaining bones. These they carefully wash in water and put into a new earthen jug. This jug with the bones in it is carried home and hung up on some tree near the deceased's hut to remain there until the Hoyon ceremony. Then all go and purify themselves by bathing in some stream or spring, and return towards their fanda After the
When the funeral party return after the Fuporal. purificatory bath to the limits of their țândă, they have to undergo a further purification by fire and fumigation. Some burning charcoal has already been placed there by the women, and on the approach of the party a quantity of the aromatio resin of the Sal tree (Shorea robusta) is sprinkled on tho fire to produce a strong-smelling smoke. Arriving there each one of the party touches the fire with his left great too and waves his left hand over the fire. Then they proceed to the space (ångan) in front of the deceased's hut; and there water in which a bit of copper and some leaves of the sacred basil have been dipped is sprinkled on their persons. Then the men in a body enter the hut of the deceased. When the corpse was removed from the hat, the part of the floor where the deceased breathed his last had immediately been cleaned with mud or cowdung diluted in water, and ashes spread over it in the belief that the footprints of the spirit wbich caused the death would be discernible in the ashes. The men scrutinize the supposed footprints in the ashes to discover whether the spirit was a family spirit or an interloper. If the footprints look like those of a person entering the hut, it is concluded that death was cansed by a spirit of the house. If the footprints look like those of a person going out of the but, it is concluded that it is some outside spirit-perhaps one of a different fandawhich is responsible for the death. The mati again works himself into a state of supposed spirit possession and declares what sacrifices are necessary to propitiate the spirit, if it is a spirit of the țândā. If it is an outside spirit, the mati performs the 'ninchha' ceremony, so that the spirit may not come again to the house.
On the evening of the day after the death, a son or parent or .widow or other member of the deceased's family goes with a leaf-plate of boiled rice and pot-herb or pulse, a leaf-cup of water, a little tobacco (if the deceased used to take it) and lime, and a glowing faggot to the outskirts (kulhi-muri) of the settlement, where the corpse was put-down by the palbearers on their way to the burial or cremation ground. As the person puts these down on the ground, he or she addresses the shade of the deceased saying, “Here now, we have brought food for thee, we have brought tobacco and lime for thee. Take these and be quiet". If the deceased was a babe at the breast, mother's milk is taken to the spot instead of rice and other articles.
(v) THE HÖYON OR SHAVING CEREMONY, On the seventh or ninth day after death the bones of the cremated corpse are buried in a small hole just outside the tanda under some tree, and covered up with a stone slab, saying "Ancestorspirits, carry the bones to the original home [ of the clan ].” It is believed that the ancestor-spirits of the deceased carry the bones to the original home of the clan. Then all the Birhörs of the settlement go outside the limits of the tändå and shave themselves. Women have their nails pared. Then they bathe themselves in some stream and return to the tånda. The widow of theldeceased, when she goes to the stream for bathing, throws away the iron bracelet hitherto worn by her as a sign of the married state. After bathing, she puts on a new sāļi-cloth, called the widow's cloth (rändi sāri), presented to her by her father or brother who come to the tanda for the occasion.
(vi) UMBUL-ADER OR CALLING BACK THE SPIRIT. In the evening a few men go to the spot on the outskirts of the tändā where the corpse rested on its way to the burial place or cremation ground. There they put up a miniature leaf-shed running north to south in length, and then go back to their fāņdā. The whole țândā now maintain absolute silence. Three or five other men go to the new shed carrying with them two sickles, a new basket and a chicken. A few other men wait in breathless silence at the deceased's house, where a lamp is kept burning. Arrived at the miniature leaf-shed the men who go there with the chicken sacrifice it, saying, “All ye stray spirits, spirits of persons who were long lost or died a bad death, leave ye the spirit of the newly-deceased. Here we offer this fowl to you ; do ye give up his spirit.” Saying this, the men strike one sickle against another and call out the name of their recently-deceased relative and erclaim,"Come, so-and-so (names)! Look I thy house is burning." With repeated exclamations like this the party return home, followed, as they believe, by the spirit of their dead relative. the meanwhile the door of the deceased's old hut is closed against their approach. Arrived at the door, they call out—"Which of you are sleeping and which of you are awake?” Those within the hut ask." Are you our own people or « We are your people, and not strangers”, is the reply. Thereupon they ask, “What then do you want ?” The men reply, “ We have taken out sorrow, and bring you happiness". The door is then opened and they are admitted into the hut. On entering the hut, they ask with bated breath, “ Has the shade come in ?” The reply is always in the affirmative. A mäti, however, must be called in. He takes up a handful of rice, sprinkles it round his head-swings his head from side to side with increaseing rapidity until he gets into a state of spirit-possession in order to see if the spirit has really entered the hut. One of the men
present asks the name of the spirit which has entered his body and the mäti in a nasal voice, supposed to be characteristio of spirits, gives out the name. If the name is not that of the deceased but of some other spirit, the ceremony of burning the miniature hot and calling back the spirit is repeated. And the måti again gets into a state of spirit-possession. When the soul of the deceased at length enters the måti's body and reveals itself, people present joyfully exclaim : " Ah ! he has come now! This is his own house ; where else can he go to ?” It is now no longer the
" māti who speaks, but the spirit of the deceased who uses the māti's mouth in speaking. The spirit is now questioned-"Who took you away from this world? Was it an outside bhut or a bhut of the house ?" On naming the bhut that is responsible for the death, the spirit asks leave to get out of the body of the māti. If some spirit of the family of the deceased, either an ancestorspirit or the Buru-Bongā, or some spirit of the țāņdà has been named as responsible for the death, proper sacrifices are offered to appease it ; if it is some outside spirit that has caused the death, the ninchha ceremony is performed by the māti. In the case of a Birhoş killed by a tiger, his spirit is called back by the ümbülader ceremony and a seat is provided for the spirit of the deceased by planting an erect stone under some tree, and sacrifices are offered there.
After the måti has declared that the shade has entered the hut, the men who carried the corpse to its grave or cremation ground are each given a leaf-plate with some boiled rice on it. Each of them takes up the leaf-plate and places it on his shoulder and then puts it down again on the ground. This is repeated three times. Each time he does so the man is asked by others present.--". Whose shoulder-pole (kandh-katij* is this you put down ?" He replies :
He replies : “ Now at length I am laying off the shoulder-pole of so-and-so (names the deceased).” When this ceremony is finished, the three leaf-plates of rice
Pole used in carrying a burden. This refers to the polos of the bier in which the corpse was carried to its grave or cremation ground,
are taken to the spot where the corpse rested on its way to the grave or cremation ground, and are left there. This ceremony, known as “Discharging the shoulder-pole, ” must be performed that night, whether the funeral feast is then given or delayed.
Generally the funeral feast to all the people of the settlement is also provided that night ; but sometimes owing to want of means it is delayed for a few months or even for a year. A family postponing the feast may perform the hoyon ceremony on the fifth day from the death. Two interesting ceremonies prelude the feast. When their meals are served to the guests, but before they begin eating, a wailing is heard and the widow or a son or a brother of the deceased plaintively exclaims, “ Other people live in (pools] full [of] water [bharal pāni] I am living in dried up (pool of] water (sukhal päni].. The guests in reply say by way of consolation : " Why, friend, we are still alive. Why should we allow you to be swept away By this ritual wailing and consolation is the social tie that binds the surviving members of the deceased's family to the other families of the țândă renewed or cemented and streng. thened.
The next interesting ceremony that precedes the feast serves to incorporate the spirit of the deceased in the community of his ancestor-spirits (häprom). Before the guests have yet begun to eat the dinner placed before them, the Näyå of the settlement and another elder of the tribe, who have both been seated side by side in a central position, take up in their lands a little rice from their plates and drop it on the ground by
way of offering to the ancestor-spirits, saying: “ Here we make rice-offering to ye all in the name of so-and-so (names the deceased). Do ye incorporate him in your herd (goth). From to-day we shall offer rice and liquor to ye all ”. Then each of them drops a little water on the ground and says, “ To-day we have performed · Hariböl’of so-and-so (names). * Haribol !
• Haribol, means utter the name of Hari or God". This is the customary oxclamation of Bengali-speaking Hindas when a death occars in a family and a oor pse is carried. The Birhors like the Maņdas appoir to have borrowed this unge from the Hindys.