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Full Text: Anthropos, 45.1950,1-3

L. F. VAN Helvert, 
[45, 1950J 
the sickness has a natural cause, therefore the gunia starts to question the 
spirit as to the nature of the disease. He questions all the deva’s and bhut’s 4 
till he gets the answer. As soon as the gunia has found the answer for the 
cause he continues to question the evil spirit as to how he can be appeased, 
and the patient relieved from his trouble, v. g. The gunia will ask : “Is it 
the Bara dev a? Is it Diilha dev a?” etc. Receiving the answer he continues : 
"What do you demand, a black goat, a white chicken ?” etc. 
When the sorcerer has received the answer he will tell the patient or 
his relatives what is required, and if they agree to offer the requested sacrifice, 
the gunia makes the promise of the sacrifice, provided the patient is cured 
after a certain period (usually one or two days). 
If the patient does not recover within that period the promise is not 
kept. The gunia takes the lamp from the supa and puts it in front of him. 
He asks for some wheat, which is put somewhere to the right of the lamp. 
He takes at random a few grains between his index, thumb and middle finger 
and puts these in front of him. He counts them and if there happen to be 
5 grains, he is satisfied and starts again till he has an other separate heap 
of 5 grains. He has to repeat this till he has two separate heaps of 5 grains 
each. Then he puts the first 5 grains on the head of the patient. The second 
5 grains he throws away through the door. The spirit is asked to cure the 
patient and the promise is made. 
The work of the gunia is now finished. No further notice is taken of 
the grains, the lamp is blown and put away. 
It is not known why there must be 5 grains. They are put on the head 
of the patient as an expression of faith and in the hope that the patient may 
be cured. To indicate that the spirit should leave and not return the 5 other 
grains are thrown away. 
The gunia will question first the deva’s and then the bhuts, and that 
first the deva’s of the house and if he is not succesful there then the others. 
Some of the deva’s and spirits to be questioned are : Bara Deva, Dtdha 
Deva, Nira Deva (who remains in the fire place), Ratwala Deva, Suraj- 
Narayan, Holy Ray, Poitar Poi, Mata. If there is no answer from these 
house deva’s then he asks the deva’s of the village, v. g. Thakur Deva — 
conneoted with him are Hardolala and Marethan; Kila Muta the place 
where the cattle remains ; Sath se Jogni or Paniwala — who resides near 
the well ; Sath se Paniharan — this is the companion of Paniwala ; Sath 
se Jogni is the protector of the well, and Sath se Paniharan is the servant 
of those who draw water. 
Hardolala is the same as Hardo Baba. 
Chitla Mai is the Khermai or village goddess. 
If there is no answer from these either, then he starts with the bhut’s 
or evil spirits, v. g. Marha Deva, Marhi-Marha. 
These are usually called in one name. It seems that Marha deva is the 
single male and Marhi-Marha a pair. 
Dev or deva — spirit; bhut — spirit (a bad one).

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