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appear from the following blood-curdling account of an exorcism ceremony which has been related from the Bombay Presidency :

Mr. R. E. Enthoven, I.c.s., while a Junior Magistrate at Dharwar in the Bombay Presidency, about 30 years ago (i. e. 1894) investigated a case of murder in which a girl named Giddwa was killed under the following circumstances: The girl complained of a pain in her back, which was supposed to be caused by an evil spirit named Uzzi, which had entered her. Thereupon a Muhammadan exorcist named Jimal Din and two Hindu exorcists named Mudewala and Adevi were called in. These men at first made the girl lie flat on the ground and commenced to tread and jump on her body. Then they flogged the girl with a stick asking the evil spirit Uzzi to leave her. Being unable to bear the pain of the beating, the girl fled crying out that the spirit was leaving her. Then more flogging followed. The result of this was that the girl became unconcious and died.1

The Filipinos, or the natives of the Philipine Islands, also believe that diseases are caused by demons who take possession of the bodies of their victims. In such cases the treatment, adopted by Filipino witch-doctors for the care of these maladies, is the application of fire to the victim's toes or by flogging the sick patient, as will appear from the following evidence, which has been recently collected from the aforementioned islands :-" Often the sickness takes the form of temporary paralysis, or the sick man jumps and twitches as if he had St. Vitus's dance. In such cases a cure is possible, and the witch-doctor is summoned. All his 'cures' are extremely brutal, the favourite methods of expelling the demons being by fire or by beating the afflicted. The sick man is tied securely with rattan withes before any operation is attempted, and, if fire is to be used, splinters are thrust between his toes and lighted. Soon the demons will cry out and leave the body. In case a beating is considered best, the huntating hagni' is 1 Op. cit., pp. 9, 10.

called into play. This murderous instrument is the horny tail of the deepsea-sting-ray, and a slight blow on the bare skin will draw blood. If the victim recovers the witch-doctor is liberally rewarded, but if his victim dies the neighbours will merely shrug their shoulders and have a deeper fear for the witch supposed to have brought about the death."

Sometimes it is believed that spirits take possession of certain individuals and take up their residence in their brains. The exorcist, who is called in to treat these spirit-obsessed persons, resorts to the expedient of driving out the obnoxious spirit, not by flogging the patient but by making a hole in the latter's skull by driving a nail through it in order that the spirit might go away through that hole. The result of this treatment is that the patient, more often than not, dies, as will appear from the following case which occurred in the district of Muzaffarpur in North Bihar during 1925 and which has been mentioned in the Annual Report of the Administration of the Police in Bihar and Orissa for that year

"In Muzaffarpur a village Ojha drove an iron nail into the head of a woman to liberate the evil spirit which was said to possess her "2

Now, the second expedient or remedy, which has been devised by the uncultured folk, is that epidemics and other outbreaks of diseases can be stopped by the interment in the earth of the corpse of person into whose body the Disease Demon has entered and who has therefore died of the ailment. This is the root cause of the aforementioned folk-belief which is prevalent in North Bihar, Bengal and the Bombay Presidency and which forms the subject matter of this paper.

Then again, the further question arises: How has this belief, in modified form, found its way into such widely separated

1 Vide the article entitled Witchcraft in the Philippines. Weird Rites practised by Native Sorcerers published in the Statesman of Sunday the 10th October 1926.

Vide the article cutitled Amazing Crimes in Bihar. Witchcraft Belief published in the Statesman of Wednesday the 13th October 1926.

parts of India as North Bihar, Bengal and Bombay. This can be explained only by the fact that, from time inmemorial there has been considerable intercourse between the peoples of these parts, either for the purpose of pilgrimage or of trade. So the people may have carried the belief from one part of the country to another.

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