chapter  31
12 Pages


BOYS AND GIRLS Demand for girls among the Kurds-Preference of boys over girls among aU other oriental nations-WiU it be a boy or a girl?-Oriental pre-determination of sex-Retention by the pregnant woman-Its significance--The significance of the raven's croaking and the hen's cry-Sayings-Desire for boys-Bosnian method-Serbian superstition-The Old Testament on boys and girls-Opinion of the Jews in the middle ages-Superstition of presentday Jews in Syria-Elijah the boy bringer-Syrian customs-Arabian customs-The simple Turkish method-Birth feasts at the Osman Sultan's court -Difference in festivities for princes and princesses-Historic exceptions~ The Koran on the superiority of man over woman-The daughter of Allah-Murder of daughters among the heathen Arabs-The Koran on the

In the Orient practically only the Kurds prefer girls to boys. The heads of the tribe purchase for their harems only maidens of their people and pay a great price for them. They prefer not to take the daughters of a strange people as wives, but usually as slaves; to honor them by marriage is deemed a terrible mesalliance. The demand for Kurden maidens is therefore great, and a greedy father is only too happy to be able to profit by this. Elsewhere, however, boys are quite generally desired.