478. THE INHABITANTS OF THE PHILIPPINES
calls *the Iman, who goes through a form of prayers with him, after which they proceed in company to the maiden's house, followed by a slave bearing presents, and from the street call out for leave to enter. The father appears at a window and invites them in, but when about to enter, the male relations of the damsel simulate an attack on the visitor, which he beats off, and throws them the presents he has brought with him.
He then enters with the Iman and finds the lady of his desires reclining upon cushions, and presents his respects to her. The priest then causes her to rise and, taking hold of her head he twirls her round twice to the right, then taking the hand of the man he places it on the forehead of the girl, who immediately covers her face. The priest then retires, leaving them alone. The bridegroom attempts to kiss and embrace the bride, who defends herself with tooth and nail. She shrieks and runs, and the bridegroom chases her round and round the room.
Presently the father appears, and assures the bridegroom that he may take for granted the virginity of his daughter. The bridegroom then leaves the house to make preparations for the wedding-feast, which begins that night, and finishes on the third night, when the bride takes off all the garments she has worn as a maid and dresses in handsome robes provided by the bridegroom. At the end of the feast, the emissary who first solicited her hand for his friend conducts her to the house of the bridegroom, accompanied by the guests singing verses allusive to the occasion, and cracking jokes more or less indecent.
Contrary to the custom in other countries, it is easier to get divorced than to get married, for this is the privilege of the man, who can repudiate his wife at any time.
They celebrate the baptism of their children, and the circumcision of their boys, with feasts and entertainments. They fire off cannon and lantacas on the death of a datto, and with all sorts of instruments make a hideous discord in front of the house of death.
Professional wailers are employed, and the pandits go through many days of long-winded prayer, for which they receive most ample fees.
They have regular cemeteries, and, after the burial, place on the grave the head of a cock with a hot cinder on the top of it. I am quite unable to explain what meaning is attached to this custom, but they are soaked inThey have regular cemeteries, and, after the burial, place on the grave the head of a cock with a hot cinder on the top of it. I am quite unable to explain what meaning is attached to this custom, but they are soaked in