DEUTI, DUTY, s. H. diutí, dewtí, deoti, Skt. dípa, ‘a lamp’; a lampstand, but also a link-bearer.

c. 1526.—(In Hindustan) “instead of a candle or torch, you have a gang of dirty fellows whom they call Deûtis, who hold in their hand a kind of small tripod, to the side of one leg of which…they fasten a pliant wick…. In their right hand they hold a gourd…and whenever the wick requires oil, they supply it from this gourd…. If their emperors or chief nobility at any time have occasion for a light by night, these filthy Deûtis bring in their lamp…and there stand holding it close by his side.”—Baber, 333.

1681.—“Six men for Dutys, Rundell (see ROUNDEL), and Kittysole (see KITTYSOLL).”—List of Servants allowed at Madapollam Factory. Ft. St. George Cons., Jan. 8. In Notes and Exts. No. ii. p. 72.
DEVA-DASI, s. H. ‘Slave- girl of the gods’; the official name of the poor girls who are devoted to dancing and prostitution in the idol-temples, of Southern India especially. “The like existed at ancient Corinth under the name of [Greek Text] ierodouloi, which is nearly a translation of the Hindi name…(see Strabo, viii. 6).”—Marco Polo, 2nd ed. ii. 338. These appendages of Aphrodite worship, borrowed from Phœnicia, were the same thing as the kedeshoth repeatedly mentioned in the Old Testament, e.g. Deut. xxiii. 18: “Thou shalt not bring the wages of a kedesha…into the House of Jehovah.” [See Cheyne, in Encycl. Bibl. ii. 1964 seq.] Both male and female [Greek Text] ierodouloi are mentioned in the famous inscription of Citium in Cyprus (Corp. Inscr. Semit. No. 86); the latter under the name of ’alma, curiously near that of the modern Egyptian ’alima. (See DANCING-GIRL.)

1702.—“Peu de temps après je baptisai une Deva-Dachi, ou Esclave Divine, c’est ainsi qu’on appelle les femmes dont les Prêtres des idoles abusent, sous prétexte que leurs dieux les demandent.”—Lettres Edifiantes, x. 245.

c. 1790.—“La principale occupation des devedaschies, est de danser devant l’image de la divinité qu’elles servent, et de chanter ses louanges, soit dans son temple, soit dans les rues, lorsqu’on porte l’idole dans des processions….”—Haafner ii. 105.

1868.—“The Dâsis, the dancing girls attached to Pagodas. They are each of them married to an idol when quite young. Their male children…have no difficulty in acquiring a decent position in society. The female children are generally brought up to the trade of their mothers…. It is customary with a few castes to present their superfluous daughters to the Pagodas….”—Nelson’s Madura, Pt. 2, p. 79.

DEVIL, s. A petty whirlwind, or circular storm, is often so called. (See PISACHEE, SHAITAN, TYPHOON.)

[1608–10.—“Often you see coming from afar great whirlwinds which the sailors call dragons.”—Pyrard de Laval, Hak. Soc. i. 11.

[1813.—“…we were often surrounded by the little whirlwinds called bugulas, or Devils.”—Forbes, Or. Mem. 2nd ed. i. 118.]

DEVIL-BIRD, s. This is a name used in Ceylon for a bird believed to be a kind of owl—according to Haeckel, quoted below, the Syrnium Indrani of Sykes, or Brown Wood Owl of Jerdon. Mr. Mitford, quoted below, however, believes it to be a Podargus, or Nighthawk.

c. 1328.—“Quid dicam ? Diabolus ibi etiam loquitur, saepe et saepius, hominibus, nocturnis temporibus, sicut ego audivi.”—Jordani Mirabilia, in Rec. de Voyages, iv. 53.

1681.—“This for certain I can affirm, That oftentimes the Devil doth cry with an audible Voice in the Night; ’tis very shrill, almost like the barking of a Dog. This I have often heard myself; but never heard that he did anybody any harm…. To believe that this is the Voice of the Devil these reasons urge, because there is no Creature known to the Inhabitants, that cry like it, and because it will on a sudden depart from one place, and make a noise in another, quicker than any fowl could fly; and because the very Dogs will tremble and shake when they hear it.”—Knox’s Ceylon, 78.

1849.—“Devil’s Bird (Strix Gaulama or Ulama, Singh.). A species of owl. The wild and wailing cry of this bird is considered a sure presage of death and misfortune, unless measures be taken to avert its infernal threats, and refuse its warning. Though often heard even on the tops of their houses, the natives maintain that it has never been caught or distinctly seen, and they consider it to be one of the most annoying of the evil spirits which haunt their country.”—Pridham’s Ceylon, p. 737–8.

1860.—“The Devil-Bird, is not an owl…its ordinary note is a magnificent clear shout like that of a human being, and which can be heard at a great distance. It has another cry like that of a hen just caught, but the sounds which have earned for it its bad name…are indescribable, the most appalling that can be imagined,

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