In the Podlasie region there are women who treat certain pathologies of children by murmuring (hence the name by which they are usually referred to) incomprehensible charms. The origins of this practice can be found in one of the terms used in the Germanic Middle Ages to indicate the mask, in this case the ritual masks used in funeral rites. The etymology in fact refers to a Germanic element at the origin of the German verbs dahlen, dallen, dalen also used to indicate the stammering (of children), comparable to the old Icelandic dylia, ‘to say, sing, murmur in a low voice as one who recite formulas and prayers’. The meaning of talamasca would therefore be ‘mask of a spirit of the deads stammering". And behind the stammering can be hidden the recitation of conjurations and magic charms that must remain incomprehensible to the uninitiated. Similarly, the papeoire of Picardy folklore: a greit mask with a wide open mouth whose name leads to «une femme qui va et vien dans le voisinage médire de l’un e de l’autre». A mask that must be propitiated by throwing bread and sweets into his mouth.
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