Costumes of the utmost magnificence were worn, and the chiselling of masks for the use of the performers occupied scores of artists and ranked as a high glyptic accomplishment.
On the principle that as a rule like begets like, it has been the practice to select as sires the best public performers on the turf, and of two horses of like blood it is sound sense to choose the better as against the inferior public performer.
In regard to mares it has very frequently turned out that animals which were brilliant public performers have been far less successful as dams than others which were comparatively valueless as runners.
Terminating as it usually does with the feeding and feeing of a greater or less number of Brahmans and the feasting of members of the performers' own caste, the Sraddha, especially its first performance, is often a matter of very considerable expense; and more than ordinary benefit to the deceased is supposed to accrue from it when it takes place at a spot of recognized sanctity, such as one of the great places of pilgrimage like Prayaga (Allahabad, where the three sacred rivers, Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati, meet), Mathura, and especially Gaya and Kasi (Benares).
The subdivision of a poem like the Iliad or Odyssey among different and necessarily unequal performers must have been injurious to the effect.