HIRAVA, n.p. Malayal. Iraya. The name of a very low caste in Malabar. [The Iraya form one section of the Cherumar, and are of slightly higher social standing than the Pulayar (see POLEA). “Their name is derived from the fact that they are allowed to come only as far as the eaves (ira) of their employers’ houses.” (Logan, Malabar, i. 148)]

1510.—“La sexta sorte (de’ Gentili) se chiamão Hirava, e questi seminano e raccoglieno il riso.”—Varthema (ed. 1517, f. 43v).

[HIRRAWEN, s. The Musulman pilgrim dress; a corruption of the Ar. ihram. Burton writes: “Al-Ihram, literally meaning ‘prohibition’ or ‘making unlawful,’ equivalent to our ‘mortification,’ is applied to the ceremony of the toilette, and also to the dress itself. The vulgar pronounce the word ‘heram,’ or ‘l’ehram.’ It is opposed to ihlal, ‘making lawful,’ or ‘returning to laical life.’ The further from Mecca it is assumed, provided that it be during the three months of Hajj, the greater is the religious merit of the pilgrim; consequently some come from India and Egypt in the dangerous attire” (Pilgrimage, ed. 1893, ii. 138, note). [1813.—“… the ceremonies and penances mentioned by Pitts, when the hajes, or pilgrims, enter into Hirrawen, a ceremony from which the females are exempted; but the men, taking off all their clothes, cover themselves with two hirrawens or large white wrappers. …”—Forbes, Or. Mem. ii. 101, 2nd ed.]

HOBSON-JOBSON, s. A native festal excitement; a tamasha (see TUMASHA); but especially the Moharram ceremonies. This phrase may be taken as a typical one of the most highly assimilated class of Anglo- Indian argot, and we have ventured to borrow from it a concise alternative title for this Glossary. It is peculiar to the British soldier and his surroundings, with whom it probably originated, and with whom it is by no means obsolete, as we once supposed. My friend Major John Trotter tells me that he has repeatedly heard it used by British soldiers in the Punjab; and has heard it also from a regimental Moonshee. It is in fact an Anglo-Saxon version of the wailings of the Mahommedans as they beat their breasts in the procession of the Moharram“Ya Hasan ! Ya Hosain !’ It is to be remembered that these observances are in India by no means confined t o Shi’as. Except at Lucknow and Murshidabad, the great majority of Mahommedans in the country are professed Sunnis. Yet here is a statement of the facts from an unexceptionable authority:

“The commonalty of the Mussalmans, and especially the women, have more regard for the memory of Hasan and Husein, than for that of Muhammad and his khalifs. The heresy of making Ta’ziyas (see TAZEEA) on the anniversary of the two latter imáms, is most common throughout India: so much so that opposition to it is ascribed by the ignorant to blasphemy. This example is followed by many of the Hindus, especially the Mahrattas. The Muharram is celebrated throughout the Dekhan and Malwa, with greater enthusiasm than in other parts of India. Grand preparations are made in every town on the occasion, as if for a festival of rejoicing, rather than of observing the rites of mourning, as they ought. The observance of this custom has so strong a hold on the mind of the commonalty of the Mussulmans that they believe Muhammadanism to depend merely on keeping the memory of the imáms in the above manner.” —Mir Shahamat ’Ali, in J.R. As. Soc. xiii. 369.

We find no literary quotation to exemplify the phrase as it stands. [But see those from the Orient. Sporting Mag. and Nineteenth Century below.] Those which follow show it in the process of evolution: 1618.—“… e particolarmente delle donne che, battendosi il petto e facendo gesti di grandissima compassiono replicano spesso con gran dolore quegli ultimi versi di certi loro cantici: Van Hussein ! sciah Hussein !”P. della Valle, i. 552.

c. 1630.—“Nine dayes they wander up and downe (shaving all that while neither head nor beard, nor seeming joyfull), incessantly calling out Hussan, Hussan! in a melancholy note, so long, so fiercely, that many can neither howle longer, nor for a month’s space recover their voices.”—Sir T. Herbert, 261.

1653.—“… ils dressent dans les rues des Sepulchres de pierres, qu’ils couronnent de Lampes ardentes, et les soirs ils y vont dancer et sauter crians Hussan, Houssain, Houssain, Hassan. …”—De la Boullayele-Gouz, ed. 1657, p. 144.

c. 1665.—“… ainsi j’eus tout le loisir dont j’eus besoin pour y voir celebrer la Fête de Hussein Fils d’Aly. … Les Mores de Golconde le celebrent avec encore beaucoup plus de folies qu’en Perse … d’autres font des dances en rond, tenant des épées nës la pointe en haut, qu’ils touchent les unes contre les autres, en criant de toute leur force Hussein.”—Thevenot, v. 320.

1673.—“About this time the Moors solemnize the Exequies of Hosseen Gosseen, a time of ten days Mourning for two Unfortunate Champions of theirs.”—Fryer,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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