An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon in the East Indies eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 438 pages of information about An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon in the East Indies.

[Their Charm to find out a Thief.] When a Robbery is committed to find the Thief, they Charm a Coker-nut, which is done by certain words, and any one can do it, that can but utter the Charm words.  Then they thrust a stick into it, and set it either at the Door or hole the Thief went out at.  Then one holds the stick with the Nut at the end of it, and the Nut pursues and follows in the Tract that the Thief went.  All the way it is going they still continue Charming, and flinging the Blossoms of the Betel-nut-Tree upon it.  And at last it will lead to the house or place where the Thief is, and run upon his Feet.  This Nut will sometimes go winding hither and thither, and sometimes will stand still.  Then they follow their Charms, strewing on Blossoms, and that sets it forward again.  This is not enough to find the Thief guilty; but if they intend to prosecute the Man upon this Discovery, the Charmer must swear against him point blank:  which he sometimes will do upon the Confidence of the Truth of his Charm.  And the supposed Thief must either Swear or be Condemned.

[The way to dissolve this Charm.] Oftentimes Men of courage and metal, will get Clubs, and beat away the Charmer, and all his Company, and by this means put all to an end.  If the Thief has the wit to lay his tail by the way, the Coker-nut when it comes thither will stop and run round about it, but go no further.  I doubting the truth hereof, once took the stick, and held it my self, when they were upon this Business, but it moved not forward while I held it in my hand, tho they strewed their Flowers, and used their mutterings to provoke it.  But afterwards when another took it, it went forward.  I doubted whether they did not guide it with their hand, but they assured me it guided their hand.

[Inscriptions upon Rocks.] Here are some antient writings engraven upon Rocks which poseth all that see them.  There are divers great Rocks in divers parts in Cande Uda, and in the Northern Parts.  These Rocks are cut deep with great Letters for the space of some yards, so deep that they may last to the worlds end.  Nobody can read them or make any thing of them.  I have asked Malabars, Gentuses, as well as Chingulays and Moors, but none of them understood them.  You walk over some of them.  There is an antient Temple Goddiladenni in Tattanour stands by one place where there are of these Letters.  They are probably in memorial of something, but of what we must leave to learned men to spend their conjectures.

CHAP.  XI.

Of their Sickness, Death and Burial.

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An Historical Relation of the Island Ceylon in the East Indies from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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