Old Man of Obi

Old Man Of Obi a remarkable idol of the Ostiac Tartars, who live near the river Obi. It consists of wood, and has a nose resembling the snout of a hog, in which is a hook of iron. The eyes are made of glass, and the head is embellished with a large pair of horns. Its devotees oblige it to change its place of residence every three years, transporting it over the Obi from one station to another with great solemnity, in a vessel made for that purpose. When the ice dissolves, and the river overflows its banks, the Ostiacs flock to this idol in a body and beseech it to prove propitious to their fishery. If the season fails to answer their expectations they load the god with a myriad of reproaches, and insult him as an old, impotent, and despicable deity; but if they prove successful in fishing, the god is allowed part of the booty.

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