A General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels - Volume 1 - By Robert Kerr


















































































































 -  At last the person comes
forward, preceded by a number of instruments, and moves round the pile in
the midst - Page 140
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At Last The Person Comes Forward, Preceded By A Number Of Instruments, And Moves Round The Pile In The Midst Of His Friends And Relations.

During this ceremony, some person places on his head a garland of straw, or dry herbs, filled with burning

Coals, on which they pour sandrach, which takes fire as strongly as naphtha; notwithstanding of which, he continues his progress without betraying any sense of pain, or change of countenance, though the crown of his head be all on fire, and the stench of his burning flesh is felt all round. At length, he comes up to the pile, and throws himself in, where he is soon reduced to ashes. A credible person says, he once saw an Indian burn himself; and when he came near the pile, he drew out a cangiar, or sharp knife, with which he ripped himself open, and pulling out the lap of his liver with his left hand, cut off a piece of it with his cangiar, and gave it to one of his brothers, talking all the time with the most invincible contempt of death and torture, and at length leaped into the fire, in his passage to hell.

At the accession of some kings of the Indies, the following ceremony is observed: A large quantity of rice is dressed and spread out upon leaves of mousa, in presence of the king. Then three or four hundred persons come, of their own accord, without any constraint whatever; and after the king has eaten of the rice, he gives some of it to all that come forwards in succession, which they eat in his presence; and by this ceremony, they engage to burn themselves on the day when this king dies or is slain, and they punctually fulfil their promise.

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