Monday, February 17, 2014


W.H. Sleeman, Ramaseeana: Or, A Vocabulary of the Peculiar Language Used by the Thugs (Calcutta: G.H. Huttmann, Military Orphan Press, 1836), p. 122:
Oorutkawree—The "crepitus ventris" heard from a Thug when on the road. They either change the road or avert the omen by a sacrifice. They collect and burn a pile of cow-dung, and each member of the gang throws one of the burning embers at the offending party who runs the gauntlet among them. If any Thug is heard to break wind while they are at their phur, or resting place, dividing the booty, it is called "Phur ka Dhuneea," and considered a very bad omen. They remove the offender from among them, and kindle a fire upon the place where he sat, and quench it with water, saying. "As the signs of the water disappear, so may the threatened evil pass away." Five blows of a shoe inflicted upon the head of the offending person mitigates the evil to be apprehended, but cannot avert it altogether. If any one break wind between the point they set out from, and the first resting place, it is considered an extremely bad omen.