National Geographic : 1894 Apr 25
Methods of Wind making. Kinahan, illustrating the sincerity of the belief in the power of whistling in raising wind, says : " In a dead calm you may whis tle for wind, except in a dangerous place. Crossing from Skib bereen to Clear island, county Cork, a friend of mine was very nearly getting into a row for inadvertently whistling." This belief is very general. In California sailors say that one may whistle softly for a breeze, but that it is dangerous to indulge in loud or thoughtless whistling, as it may bring a gale. Here the skipper scratches the mizzen-mast for a fair wind. Sailors profess great confidence in the ability of the cat to raise the wind, and are accustomed to say that the cat carries the wind in her tail. Cats have the general reputation of being very weather-wise. On shipboard especially, it is considered imprudent to provoke a cat, because she is assumed to have a certain share in the arrangement of the weather. Imprudence of this sort appears, however, to have no terrors for the Soudan ese in western Java, for, when rain is needed, they form in procession with gongs and clappers, take their cats to the nearest streams, where the animals are sprinkled and bathed.* Many sailors also have a very curious notion that hen's eggs on board ship produce contrary winds, and on the occurrence of such winds they are likely to insist that the eggs must be thrown overboard. Another of these folk-lore remnants of sailors is the idea that there is a distinct relation between the albatross and wind. This superstition has been embalmed in most attractive form by Coleridge in his " Lay of the Ancient Mariner." One stanza runs as follow : For all averred I had killed the bird That made the breeze to blow. Oh, wretch! said they, the bird to slay That made the breeze to. blow. In addition to the above folk-lore remnants there are some methods which are purely magical. The earliest reference to this sort which I have found is the case of S6pater. He is said to have caused a horrible famine in Asia Minor by "chaining the winds." He was put to death by Constantine-probably for this reason, as this crime was forbidden by the laws of the Twelve Tables as well as later in the Theodosian code. * Forbes: EasternArchipelago, p. 75.
1894 May 23
1894 Mar 17