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But the tale can hardly have arisen and been propagated, with the incident in question as its catastrophe, unless a custom of marking with blood in connection with a wedding ceremony had been known to the original tellers. The exact form of that custom is still to seek. It must, however, have been analogous to those we have passed in review; and its barbarous nature points back to a remote antiquity, and a much lower grade of civilization, than the Norwegian people has now, and long since, attained.

From the examination, therefore, of the rites of other races, as well as of the Bengal aborigines, Col. Dalton's interpretation of the custom of marking the bride with red lead, and of its more archaic form of marking her with blood, is found to be correct. It is the obvious correlative of the practice of making covenants by blood, found among so many savage nations.

Mr. Ward describes this ceremony minutely on the occasion when he himself entered into the blood.covenant with Mata Bwiki, a chief of the Upper Congo. Its essential part consisted in making an incision in the fore-arm of each of them, and rubbing their arms together, “so that the flowing blood intermingled. We were declared,” he adds, “to be brothers of one blood, whose interests henceforth should be united as our blood now was."*

Other savages perforın the rite differently. The Karens suck a portion of one another's blood from a puncture in the arm, or infuse it in water and drink it; and Giraldus Cambrensis describes the Irish of his day as forming a league in the same manner.f It must be by mixture in one of these ways that the kindred of the Papuan wedded pair cement their alliance. Ellis describes the female relatives of a bride and bridegroom in the Society Islands as cutting their faces, receiving the flowing blood on a piece of native cloth, and depositing the cloth,

sprinkled with the mingled blood of the mothers of the

* Herbert Ward, “Five Years with the Congo Cannibals," and edn., 131.

† Macmahon, “The Karens of the Golden Chersonese," 396. Gir. Camb., "The Topography of Ireland," ch. 22.

married pair, at the feet of the bride.” And he tells us in so many words that this removed any inequality of rank that might have existed between them, and that “the two families to which they respectively belonged were ever afterwards regarded as one."*

At this point we may pause to glance at some other ceremonies bearing a similar import to the sindra dán.

Both at Hindoo marriages and among the non-Aryan population of India it is usual to tie the clothes of bride and bridegroom together. The ancient Aztec priest was wont to take the pair by the hands, asking if they were willing to marry, and on having their consent he tied a corner of the maiden's veil to her lover's gown, and led them thus tied together to the bridegroom's house, where further ceremonies awaited them. I The same rite is recorded of the tribes of Nicaragua. The Kúrmis of Bengal, who take the precaution of first wedding the bride and bridegroom each to a tree, attach some of the leaves of the tree thus married to the wrist of its human spouse: an adaptation, probably, of the same symbolism.||

An image more expressive still of union is found in the practice of covering both persons with one cloth. This obtains not only among several Dravidian tribes, but also among the Abyssinians, and the Chippeway Indians, and in the Society Islands; and it was one of the Aztec rites. I A recent writer in L'Anthropologie describes it as still in * Ellis, i “Polynesian Researches,” 272. † Dalton, 148, 234, 321. Featherman, op. cit., Turanians, 63, 120, 141. (Compare also the “Chaddar-dalna" "sheet-throwing” marriage form (second-class but still legitimate) among Hindus, especially Sikhs.—ED.]

Acosta, “ History of the Indies” (Hakluyt Soc.), 370. $ Stoll, “Ethnologie der Indianerstämme von Guatemala," 8, 10. || Dalton, 319.

Dalton, 252. Featherman, op. cit., Turanians, 30, 141 ; Aramæans, 605; Aoneo-Maranonians, 249; Chiapo- and Guarano-Maranonians, 101. Ellis, i, op. cit., 117. The skin of a mare killed and eaten at the wedding banquet forms the first shelter of the happy Patagonian couple. Guinnard, " Three Years' Slavery among the Patagonians," 139. Inasmuch as the horse has been known less than four hundred years in Patagonia, this must be a modern practice. What animal's skin was used previously?

use in Hebrew marriages, as it appears to have been in the days when Ruth was described as praying Boaz to “spread his skirt over his handmaid."*

Indeed up to a recent time, if not now, this very symbolism has been employed among the nations of modern Europe. In France a canopy, or veil, is held suspended over the heads of the pair during the ceremony: it bears the significant name of abrifou, or fool-shelter.f The most picturesque form of the practice was a Hessian usage now extinct. The bridegroom wore a large black mantle ; and as he stood with his bride before the altar he flung with one strong sweep its ample folds around her, so that both of them were covered by it. If the bride or her husband had any child, born before marriage, and she took it there and then under the canopy, or the mantle, this act was sufficient to render it legitimate. I Much more than mere protection was here symbolized: unity of flesh was proclaimed, Had mere protection been all that was intended, it would have been more to the purpose to place bride and child beneath a shield, or indeed any other weapon. The cloth, or the mantle, represented the solitary garment of a primitive savage; and those who in a solemn ceremony were thus taken beneath it were identified in a peculiar manner with its owner.

The same meaning doubtless underlies a much ruder rite reported of the inhabitants of several of the East Indian islands. On the island of Nias, off the coast of Sumatra, the bridegroom, after a resistance, real or feigned, on the part of the maiden and her friends, gets possession of her, and both prostrate themselves before an idol made for the occasion, while a medicine-man presses them to

* ïïi “L'Anthropologie,” 365. CF. Robertson Smith, "Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia,” 87. † Laisnel de la Salle, op. cit., ii 13, 39.

Kolbe, “Hessische Volks-Sitten und Gebräuche," 176. A belief is said to have lingered into modern times among the folk” in England that a mother might legitimate her children born before marriage by taking them under her clothes during the ceremony. Brayley's “Graphic and Historical Illustrator," 36.

gether so that their heads strike.* Among one of the Dyak tribes of Borneo the heads of the affianced pair are knocked together; and in like manner on the Kingsmill Islands their foreheads are pressed together, in both cases by the officiating priest. This uncouth practice appears happily to be confined to peoples of the Melanesian race.

But perhaps the most striking, as well as the most widely spread, of all these ceremonies is that familiar to us in the Roman law under the name of Confarreatio.' This solemn form of marriage took its name from the central rite, in which the man and woman ate together a round cake, called the panis farreus. In one shape or other this rite is found in many lands. It has been too often described to need an extended notice here ; but we may select for mention a few of the more significant instances. Beginning with the Santals—the couple to be married fast on the wedding day until after the sindra dán, when they sit down together and eat. Col. Dalton, in speaking of this custom, reminds us that it is the more remarkable because the Hindoo husband and wife never eat together, and tells us that this meal is the first time the maiden is supposed to have sat with a man at his food, and that it “is the most important part of the ceremony, as by the act the girl ceases to belong to her father's tribe, and becomes a member of her husband's family."! Father Bourien was present at several marriages of Mantras,ş an aboriginal people of the Malay Peninsula. According to his report, “a plate containing small packages of rice wrapped up in banana-leaves having been presented, the husband offered

* Modigliani, “Un Viaggio a Nias,” 550. Cf. Featherman, op. cit., Melanesians, 354.

† Featherman, op. cit., Melanesians, 267. Westermarck, “Hist. of Human Marriage,” 423, citing Wilkes' “ Narrative of the U.S. Exploring Expedition.

| Dalton, 216. One form of the blood-covenant among the Karens is eating together of a bullock. Macmahon, loc. cit.

$ This term, as also that of Basisi, is applied by the civilized Malays somewhat vaguely to all the wild tribes of the interior, whether of Negrito or Malay origin.-Prof. A. H. Keane, Malay Peninsula, page 7.

one to his future wife, who showed herself eager to accept it, and ate it; she then in her turn gave some to her husband, and they afterwards both assisted in distributing them to the other members of the assemblage.” In the feast which followed the remaining ceremonies husband and wife ate from one dish.* So among the tribes of New Guinea when the bride is brought to her husband's dwelling a dish of food is presented to them, out of which they both eat; and on the island of Mangaia, in the Hervey Group, they are seated the while on a single piece of the finest white native cloth, just as at Rome they sat, during one portion of the proceedings, on the fell of a sheep which had just been slain in sacrifice.t Variants in the ceremony among the Papuans are the eating of three mouthfuls in alternate succession out of a pot of sago mush, served by one another, and the eating of a roasted banana, one half by the bride, the other by the bridegroom.

The division of the roasted banana brings us more nearly to the Roman rite. In like manner in the celebration of a Yezeedee wedding a loaf of consecrated bread is handed to the husband, and he and his wife eat it between them. The Nestorians require the pair to take the communion.|| Nor is this requirement by any means confined to the Nestorians among Christian sects; and even until the last revision of the Book of Common Prayer the Church of England herself commanded, in the final rubric of the solemnization of matrimony, that “the new married persons the same day of their marriage must receive the holy communion.”

It would be a small and obvious modification of the symbolism of eating together out of the same dish, or of the same cake, to include a common drink out of the same vessel, or even to substitute it for the eating. On the Philippine Islands eating from one plate and drinking

* iii. Trans. Ethnol. Soc. of London, N.S., 81.
+ and Report Australian Assoc., 314, 319, 330.

Featherman, op. cit., Melanesians, 32, 33.
$ Ibid., Aramæans, 62.

|| Ibid., 75


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