Friday, February 29, 2008

The God of Murderers


In a certain mountain village on the northwest frontier of Burma, is a sacred pool, in which is said to live a nat — i.e., a demon — called Shearpanial, who is the guardian spirit of murderers.

When a murder is committed anywhere in these hills, the water of this pool is reported to turn blood red.

Now, when this happens it is a warning sign to the villagers, who are the wardens of the pool, to be on their guard lest the murderer, whoever he may be and from whatever village he may come, unobserved, succeed in reaching the pool, for the Chin law or custom is that if a murderer manages to elude the "avengers of blood" (who are usually some near blood relations of the victim) and the vigilance of the guardians of the pool and succeeds in gaining it and washes his hands in its blood red water, which, as soon as this occurs, resumes its usual appearance, testifying that the god of murder is appeased, he is absolved from his blood guiltiness and is thereafter a free man, and no one may henceforth molest him.

On the other hand, if he were overtaken by his pursuers or were he prevented by the village guardians from reaching the well be would speedily pay the penalty of his crime with his life. — London Answers.

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