Study of Beelzebub's Tales


Kolenian Loots


42 Beelzebub in America


“Take, as an example, one of the most seemingly senseless of the customs there—one existing among a certain tribe of Asiatic beings called ‘Kolenian Loots’ or ‘Kolenian gypsies’ dwelling between Persia and Afghanistan, and which other beings there call ‘Gypsy self-fumigation.’

“Exactly the same end is served by this seemingly stupid custom as by the Persian custom of ablution or abdest. This gypsy tribe is regarded as the lowest and filthiest of all the tribes existing on the Earth; and indeed they are so filthy that their clothes are always swarming with the insects called lice.


“Their custom of ‘self-fumigation’ also serves by the way to destroy these insects.


“Although the men-beings of that tribe are indeed exceedingly filthy, yet not only do no venereal diseases exist among them, but they do not even know and have never heard that such diseases can be contracted.


“In my opinion, this is the outcome entirely of that custom of theirs, which some ancient clever being there invented for the welfare of the people of his epoch, and which passing afterwards from generation to generation, chanced to reach these contemporary filthy beings of the tribe of Kolenian gypsies.


“This tribe is not filthy as is the tribe of the Kolenian gypsies. On the contrary, from their daily bathing in the river Arax and existing mostly in the fresh air—being chiefly shepherds—not only are the people of this tribe very clean but they even do not give off the specific odor which is peculiar to people of almost all the small tribes which populate this great Asia.