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YASHPEH
International Folktales Collection

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Story No. 666


Pregnant Women

Book Name:

Folklore of the Santal Parganas

Tradition: India

Pregnant women are not allowed to go about alone outside the village; for there are bongas everywhere and some of them dislike the sight of pregnant women and kill them or cause the child to be born wry-necked.

A pregnant woman may not make a mud fireplace for if she does her child will be born with a hare-lip; nor may she chop vegetables during an eclipse or the same result will follow. She may not ride in a cart, for if she does the child will be always crying and will snore in its sleep; if she eats the flesh of field rats the child’s body will be covered with hair and if she eats duck or goose flesh the child will be born with its fingers and toes webbed. Nor may a pregnant woman look on a funeral, for if she does her child will always sleep with its eyes half open.

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