Observations placeholder

The Fiery Ordeal of Fiji - Maurice Delcasse

Identifier

026418

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Houdini in this precis added that it was easy to explain how it was down as the formula for what to put on the feet had been set down by Albertus Magnus

": the following translation of it is from the London Mirror: Take juice of marshmallow, and white of egg, flea-bane seeds, and lime; powder them and mix juice of radish with the white of egg; mix all thoroughly and with this composition annoint your body or hand and allow it to dry and afterwards annoint it again, and after this you may boldly take up hot iron without hurt."

Houdini did not say whether he had ever tried this himself.

 

A description of the experience

The Fiery Ordeal of Fiji - Maurice Delcasse, [the Wide World Magazine for May, 1898] as precis’ed by Houdini

From Mr. Delcasse's account it appears that the Fijian ordeal is practically the same as that of the Japanese, except that there is very little ceremony surrounding it. The people of Fiji until a comparatively recent date were cannibals; but their islands are now British possessions, most of the natives are Christians, and most of their ancient customs have become obsolete, from which I deduce that the fire-walking rites described in this article must have been performed by natives who had retained their old religious beliefs.

The ordeal takes place on the Island of Benga, which is near Suva, the capital of Fiji, and which, Mr. Delcasse says, "was the supposed residence of some of the old gods of Fiji, and was, therefore, considered a sacred land." Instead of walking on the live coals, as the Japanese priests do, the Fijians walk on stones that have been brought to a white heat in a great fire of logs.

The source of the experience

Kahuna

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Fire walking

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References