페이지 이미지
PDF

They leave it standing in the field till the last waggon is about to wend homewards. Then they make a puppet out of it, dress it with clothes belonging to the farmer, and adorn it with a crown and a blue or white scarf. A branch of a tree is stuck in the breast of the puppet, which is now called the Ceres. At the dance in the evening the Ceres is set in the middle of the floor, and the reaper who reaped fastest dances round it with the prettiest girl for his partner. After the dance a pyre is made. All the girls, each wearing a wreath, strip the puppet, pull it to pieces, and place it on the pyre, along with the flowers with which it was adorned. Then the girl who was the first to finish reaping sets fire to the pile, and all pray that Ceres may give a fruitful year. Here, as Mannhardt observes, the old custom has remained intact, though the name Ceres is a bit of schoolmaster's learning.1 In Upper Brittany the last sheaf is always made into human shape; but if the farmer is a married man, it is made double and consists of a little corn-puppet placed inside of a large one. This is called the Mother-sheaf. It is delivered to the farmer's wife, who unties it and gives drink-money in return.2

Sometimes the last sheaf is called, not the Corn-mother, but the Harvest - mother or the Great Mother. In the province of Osnabriick, Hanover, it is called the Harvestmother; it is made up in female form, and then the reapers dance about with it. In some part of Westphalia the last sheaf at the rye-harvest is made especially heavy by fastening stones in it. They bring it home on the last waggon and call it the Great Mother, though they do not fashion it into any special shape. In the district of Erfurt a very heavy sheaf, not necessarily the last, is called the Great Mother, and is carried on the last waggon to the barn, where all hands lift it down amid a fire of jokes.8

Sometimes again the last sheaf is called the Grandmother, and is adorned with flowers, ribbons, and a woman's apron. In East Prussia, at the rye or wheat harvest, the reapers call out to the woman who binds the last sheaf, "You are getting the Old Grandmother." In the neighbourhood of Magdeburg the men and women servants strive who shall get the last sheaf, called the Grandmother. Whoever gets it will be married in the next year, but his or her spouse will be old; if a girl gets it, she will marry a widower; if a man gets it, he will marry an old crone. In Silesia the Grandmother—a huge bundle made up of three or four sheaves by the person who tied the last sheaf—was formerly fashioned into a rude likeness of the human form.1 In the neighbourhood of Belfast the last sheaf sometimes goes by the name of the Granny. It is not cut in the usual way, but all the reapers throw their sickles at it and try to bring it down. It is plaited and kept till the (next ?) autumn. Whoever gets it will marry in the course of the year.

» W. Mannhardt, op. fit. p. 318 sq.

- Scbillot, Continues populaires ile la Haute-ftrftagnc, p. 306.

s W. Mannhanlt, Sl.F. p. 319.

Oftener the last sheaf is called the Old Woman or the Old Man. In Germany it is frequently shaped and dressed as a woman, and the person who cuts it or binds it is said to "get the Old Woman."8 At Altisheim, in Swabia, when all the corn of a farm has been cut except a single strip, all the reapers stand in a row before the strip; each cuts his share rapidly, and he who gives the last cut "has the Old Woman."4 When the sheaves are being set up in heaps, the person who gets hold of the Old Woman, which is the largest and thickest of all the sheaves, is jeered at by the rest, who sing out to him, " He has the Old Woman and must keep her."5 The woman who binds the last sheaf is sometimes herself called the Old Woman, and it is said that she will be married in the next year.6 In Neusaass, West Prussia, both the last sheaf—which is dressed up in jacket, hat, and ribbons—and the woman who binds it are called the Old Woman. Together they are brought home on the last waggon and are drenched with water.7 At Hornkampe, near Tiegenhof (West Prussia), when a man or woman lags behind the rest in binding the corn, the other reapers dress up the last sheaf in the form of a man or woman, and this figure goes by the laggard's name, as "the old Michael," " the idle Trine." It is brought home on the last waggon, and, as it nears the house, the bystanders call out to the laggard, " You have got the Old Woman and must keep her."i In Brandenburg the young folks on the harvest - field race towards a sheaf and jump over it. The last to jump over it has to carry a straw puppet, adorned with ribbons, to the farmer and deliver it to him while he recites some verses. Of the person who thus carries the puppet it is said that "he has the Old Man." Probably the puppet is or used to be made out of the last corn cut.2 In many districts of Saxony the last sheaf used to be adorned with ribbons and set upright so as to look like a man. It was then known as "the Old Man," and the young women brought it back in procession to the farm, singing as they went, " Now we are bringing the Old Man."8

1 W. Mannhardt, M.I', p. 320.

- Ihid. p. 321.

s Ibid. pp. 321, 323, 325 */.

4 Ibid. p. 323; Panzer, Beitrag -ur dcutschen Mythologie, ii. p. 219, §403.

5 W. Mannhardt, op. cit. p. 325.

6 Ibid. p. 323. Ibid.

In these customs, as Mannhardt has remarked, the person who is called by the same name as the last sheaf and sits beside it on the last waggon is obviously identified with it; he or she represents the corn-spirit which has been caught in the last sheaf; in other words, the corn-spirit is represented in duplicate, by a human being and by a sheaf.4 The identification of the person with the sheaf is made still clearer by the custom of wrapping up in the last sheaf the person who cuts or binds it. Thus at Hermsdorf in Silesia it used to be the regular custom to tie up in the last sheaf the woman who had bound it.5 At Weiden, in Bavaria, it is the cutter, not the binder, of the last sheaf who is tied up in it." Here the person wrapt up in the corn represents the corn-spirit, exactly as a person wrapt in branches or leaves represents the tree-spirit."

The last sheaf, designated as the Old Woman, is often distinguished from the other sheaves by its size and weight. Thus in some villages of West Prussia the Old Woman is made twice as long and thick as a common sheaf, and a stone is fastened in the middle of it. Sometimes it is made so heavy that a man can barely lift it.1 At Alt-Pillau, in Samland, eight or nine sheaves are often tied together to make the Old Woman, and the man who sets it up grumbles at its weight.2 At Itzgrund, in Saxe - Coburg, the last sheaf, called the Old Woman, is made large with the express intention of thereby securing a good crop next year.8 Thus the custom of making the last sheaf unusually large or heavy is a charm, working by sympathetic magic, to ensure a large and heavy crop at the following harvest.

1 W. Mannhardt, op. cil. p. 323 sq. s K. Haupt, Sageniwc/i der Lausilz,

i. p. 233, No. 277 note.

2 H. Prahn, '* Glaube und Hrauch * \V. Mannhardt, op. cil. p. 324. in der Mark Urandenburg," Zeitschri/t i Ibid. p. 320.

des I'ereins fiir Volkskunde, i. (1891), 6 Ibid. p. 325.

p. 186 sq. * See vol. i. p. 209 sqq.

In Denmark also the last sheaf is made larger than the others, and is called the Old Rye-woman or the Old Barleywoman. No one likes to bind it, because whoever does so will be sure, they think, to marry an old man or an old woman. Sometimes the last wheat-sheaf, called the Old Wheat-woman, is made up in human shape, with head, arms, and legs, and being dressed in clothes is carried home on the last waggon, while the harvesters sit beside it drinking and huzzaing.4 Of the person who binds the last sheaf it is said, " She or he is the Old Rye-woman." 5

In Scotland, when the last corn was cut after Hallowmas, the female figure made out of it was sometimes called the Carlin or Carline, that is, the Old Woman. But if cut before Hallowmas, it was called the Maiden; if cut after sunset, it was called the Witch, being supposed to bring bad luck.6 Among the Highlanders of Scotland the last corn cut at harvest is known either as the Old Wife (Cailleach) or as the Maiden; on the whole the former name seems to prevail in the western and the latter in the central and eastern districts. Of the Maiden we shall speak presently; here we arc dealing with the Old Wife. In Bernera, on the west of Lewis, the harvest rejoicing goes by the name of the Old Wife (CailUach) from the last sheaf cut, whether in a township, farm, or croft. Where there are a number of crofts beside each other, there is always great rivalry as to who shall first finish reaping, and so have the Old Wife before his neighbours. Some people even go out on a clear night to reap their fields after their neighbours have retired to rest, in order that they may have the Old Wife first. More neighbourly habits, however, usually prevail, and as each finishes his own fields he goes to the help of another, till the whole crop is cut. The reaping is still done with the sickle. When the corn has been cut on all the crofts, the last sheaf is dressed up to look as like an old woman as possible. She wears a white cap, a dress, an apron, and a little shawl over the shoulders fastened with a sprig of heather. The apron is tucked up to form a pocket, which is stuffed with bread and cheese. A sickle, stuck in the string of the apron at the back, completes her equipment. This costume and outfit mean that the Old Wife is ready to bear a hand in the work of harvesting. At the feast which follows, the Old Wife is placed at the head of the table, and as the whisky goes round each of the company drinks to her, saying, "Here's to the one that has helped us with the harvest." When the table has been cleared away and dancing begins, one of the lads leads out the Old Wife and dances with her; and if the night is fine the party will sometimes go out and march in a body to a considerable distance, singing harvest-songs, while one of them carries the Old Wife on his back. When the Harvest-Home is over, the Old Wife is shorn of her gear and used for ordinary purposes.1 In the island of Islay the last corn cut also goes by the name of the Old Wife (CailleacJi), and when she has done her duty at harvest she is hung up on the wall and stays there till the time comes to plough the fields for the next year's crop. Then she is taken down, and on the first day the men go to plough she is divided among them by the mistress of the house. They take her in their pockets and give her to the horses to eat when they reach the field. This is supposed to secure good luck for the next harvest, and is understood to be the proper end of the Old Wife.2 In Kintyre also the name of the Old Wife is given to the last

1 W. Mannhardt, op. cit. p. 324.

- Ibid. p. 324 so.

s //'id. p. 325. The author of Die gestriegelte Rockenfhilosophie mentions (p. 891) the German superstition that the last sheaf should be made large in order that all the sheaves next year may be of the same size; but lie says

nothing as to the shape or name of the sheaf.

4 Mannhardt, op. cit. p. 327.

5 Ibid. p. 328.

0 J ami est in, Dietuniary of the Scottish language, s.x: "Maiden"; W. Mannhardt, Mythol. Forschungen, p. 326.

1 R. C. Maclagan, "Notes on folk- Folk-lore, vi. (1895), p. 149 sq. lore objects collected in Argyleshire," !R. C. Maclagan, op. fil. p. 151.

VOL. II N

« 이전계속 »