+ The period of mourning varied. In the case of Jacob it was seventy days, (Genesis 50:3) of Aaron, (Numbers 20:29) and Moses, Deuteronomy 34:8 thirty. A further period of seven days in Jacob's case. (Genesis 50:10) Seven days for Saul, which may have been an abridged period in the time of national danger. (1 Samuel 31:13) With the practices above mentioned, Oriental and other customs, ancient and modern, in great measure agree. Arab men are silent in grief, but the women scream, tear their hair, hands and face, and throw earth or sand on their heads. Both Mohammedans and Christians in Egypt hire wailing-women, and wail at stated times. Burckhardt says the women of Atbara in Nubia shave their heads on the death of their nearest relatives--a custom prevalent also among several of the peasant tribes of upper Egypt. He also mentions wailing-women, and a man in distress besmearing his face with dirt and dust in token of grief. In the "Arabian Nights" are frequent allusions to similar practices. It also mentions ten days and forty days as periods of mourning. Lane, speaking of the modern Egyptians, says, "After death the women of the family raise cries of lamentation called welweleh or wilwal, uttering the most piercing shrieks, and calling upon the name of the deceased, 'Oh, my master! Oh, my resource! Oh, my misfortune! Oh, my glory!" See (Jeremiah 22:18) The females of the neighborhood come to join with them in this conclamation: generally, also, the family send for two or more neddabehs or public wailing-women. Each brings a tambourine, and beating them they exclaim, 'Alas for him!' The female relatives, domestics and friends, with their hair dishevelled and sometimes with rent clothes, beating their faces, cry in like manner, 'Alas for him!' These make no alteration in dress, but women, in some cases, dye their shirts, head-veils and handkerchiefs of a dark-blue color. They visit the tombs at stated periods."--Mod. Eg. iii. 152,171,195.
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