Moquamo a designation of the temples or chapels of the inhabitants of the island of Socotra, on the coast of Africa. These islanders are idolaters, and worship the moon as the parent of all things. The moquamos are very small and low. They have three little doors, and in order to enter any one of them a person must stoop almost to the ground. In each of them is an altar, on which are deposited several sticks formed like flower-de-luces, which have something of the resemblance of a cross. Every moquamo has a priest, called hodanzo, who is annually chosen, and the general insignia of office are a staff and cross, which he must not presume to give away on any pretence whatever, or suffer any person to touch on pain of losing one of his hands. The usual time set apart for divine service in these chapels is when the moon sets, or when she rises. They then strike a certain number of blows on a long staff with a shorter one, and walk around the chapel three times. This ceremony is accompanied with an oblation of some odoriferous wood, put in an iron basin, which hangs by three chains over a large fire. After this the altar is incensed three times, and the doors of the temple as often, and the devotees make the most solemn vows and earnest supplications to the moon. In the mean time the hodamo sets on the altar a lighted taper made of butter, and besmears the crosses and other utensils with this favorite grease. On certain days they make a solemn procession around the temple, when one of the chief men of the country carries a sacred staff. After the procession is over very singular honors are paid him. See Broughton, Biblioth. Historica, s.v. SEE SOCOTRA.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.