KICKED PROSTRATE AS A LAST HUMILIATION IN THE FLAGELLANTS'
Eastertide sees the consummation of this willingly suffered
self-punishment. The devotees gather in the native cemetery,
their heads swathed in leaves, an imitation of the crown of thorns.
The flogging done, each one in turn kneels, his back a torn expanse of
clotted blood and slashed flesh, and waits with wide-stretched arms.
Upon the gore-soaked grass comes a shadow, whose symbolism is plain,
and then a comrade kicks him to earth. After some prayers, the sufferer
washes himself and goes away clean, as he believes, of twelve months' sin.
In this way, an hour's torture brings a year's freedom from moral anxiety