Letter | Published:

Baskets used in Repelling Demons

Nature volume 81, page 38 (08 July 1909) | Download Citation



IN the issue of NATURE published on May 27 Mr. Kumagusu Minakata inquires regarding the use of basket in repelling demons in countries other than Japan. I Calcutta, and I believe in other parts of India, it is customary when a new building is being erected to set us on the highest part of the scaffolding a pole, to the to of which a round basket and a scavenger's broom at attached. The basket and broom are apparently recognise as emblems of the low-caste “sweeper,” and therefore a being disgusting objects. They are supposed to ward of ill-luck from the building. Their use in this instance may thus be compared to the use in many countries of obscene objects or gestures as a protection against malicious spirit or the evil eye.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Author information


  1. Indian Museum, Calcutta, June 13.



  1. Search for N. ANNANDALE in:

About this article

Publication history





By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.