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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 486 pages of information about Observations on the Mussulmauns of India.

[24] The naarah is a cord of many threads dyed red and yellow; the moosul
    the heavy beam in use where rice is to be cleansed from the husks.  The
    custom is altogether of Hindoo origin. [Author.] [When the condiment
    (ubtan), made of the flour of gram, mixed with oil and perfumes,
    which is rubbed on the bride and bridegroom, is being ground, the
    handle of the hand-mill is smeared with sandalwood paste, powder of a
    kind of nut ( Vangueira spinosa), and some betel leaves; betel-nuts
    wrapped in a piece of new red cloth are tied to it.  Then seven women,
    whose husbands are living, sit down to grind the condiment.  Some raw
    rice is put in a red cloth, and with a parcel of betel-leaf is tied to
    the mill-handle with a thread (nara).  Women pretend to beat it,
    and sing a marriage song.  The rite is a form of fertility magic.  The
    handle of the mill here represents the rice-pounder (musal) in
    the rite described in the text.—­Bombay Gazetteer, ix, part i, 101;
    part ii, 163 f.[7]]

LETTER XV

On the birth and management of children in Hindoostaun.—­Increase of joy on the birth of a Son.—­Preference generally shown to male children.—­Treatment of Infants.—­Day of Purification.—­Offerings presented on this occasion to the child.—­The anniversary of the birthday celebrated.—­Visit of the father to the Durgah.—­Pastimes of boys.—­Kites.—­Pigeons.—­The Mhogdhur.—­Sword-exercise.—­The Bow and Arrows.—­The Pellet-bow.—­Crows.—­Sports of Native gentlemen.—­Cock-fighting.—­Remarks upon horses, elephants, tigers, and leopards.—­Pigeon-shooting.—­Birds released from captivity on particular occasions.—­Reasons for the extension of the royal clemency in Native Courts.—­Influence of the Prime Minister in the administration of justice.

The bustle of a wedding in the family of a Mussulmaun having subsided, and the bride become familiar with her new relatives, the mother also reconciled to the separation from her child by the knowledge of her happiness,—­for they are allowed frequent intercourse,—­the next important subject which fills their whole hearts with hope and anxiety, is the expected addition to the living members of the family.  Should this occur within the first year of their union, it is included in the catalogue of ‘Fortune’s favours’, as an event of no small magnitude to call forth their joy and gratitude.  Many are the trifling ceremonies observed by the females of this uneducated people, important in their view to the well-being of both mother and infant, but so strongly partaking of superstition that time would be wasted in speaking of them; I will therefore hasten to the period of the infant’s birth, which, if a boy, is greeted by the warmest demonstrations of unaffected joy in the houses both of the parents of the bride and bridegroom.  When

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