Letter | Published:

Baskets used in Repelling Demons

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

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Abstract

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.

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  1. Indian Museum, Calcutta, June 13.

    • N. ANNANDALE

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/081038c0

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