Printed for the Hakluyt Society,
Text on page 138
GAMES AND LOVE MAKING.
assemble in bands and companies to play it.1 On their part the women and girls pay visits at each otheras houses, and play little games suitable to their sex and to their bringing up ; and of these they have many kinds and varieties.
In this month you see boys and girls caressing and making love of their own accord, more than at other seasons.2 Then they send songs, sonnets, and verselets, written on cocoleaves, which are as white as paper, the letters being graven with bodkins. The boys cull the fairest and sweetest flowers, and arrange them in garlands very prettily, and send them to the girls, who in return send some betel, nicely ordered and prepared. This is their way of making love. They are not allowed to marry by day in this month, but must await the night. In short, during this month they seek out every means of passing the time gaily. So the fast of Ramedan lasts from one new moon to the next. The women and girls are obliged to fast eight days longer than the men at the close of the month, on account, as they say, of their courses.
Three days before the close of Ramedan, the bell, or colyt and the trumpets go round the town in the usual way, as when a festival or a royal command is announced, and warn the people on behalf of the Pandiare (whom the Arabs call Cady), that all the Maldive islanders should bring or send in writing the names of all, both great and small, men and boys, women and girls, to be registered ; those of Male to the Pandiare, and those of the other islands to the Naibe of their atoll. When they do this, they have to give in for each person an offering of half a larin, equal to four sols of our
1 The game of football, not practised by the Sinhalese, was probably introduced from the Malay countries, where it is a favourite amusement.
2 Though, according to the above description, the Maldivians observed Ramadan in strictness, the youths would appear to be somewhat lax, it being unlawful even to touch a woman during the fast (Sale, Prel. Disc., sec. iv).2 Though, according to the above description, the Maldivians observed Ramadan in strictness, the youths would appear to be somewhat lax, it being unlawful even to touch a woman during the fast (Sale, Prel. Disc., sec. iv).