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incarnation of an indwelling divine soul or other deity, or as one of the myriad representatives of the presiding god of its class, the case is included under and explained by the general theory of fetish-worship already discussed. Evidence which displays these two conceptions and their blending is singularly perfect in the islands of the Pacific. In the Georgian group, certain herons, kingfishers, and woodpeckers were held sacred and fed on the sacrifices, with the distinct view that the deities were embodied in the birds, and in this form came to eat the offered food and give the oracular responses by their cries. The Tongans never killed certain birds, or the shark, whale, etc., as being sacred shrines in which gods were in the habit of visiting earth; and if they chanced in sailing to pass near a whale, they would offer scented oil or kava to him. In the Fiji Islands, certain birds, fish, plants, and some men, were supposed to have deities closely connected with or residing in them. Thus the hawk, fowl, eel, shark, and nearly every other animal became the shrine of some deity, which the worshipper of that deity might not eat, so that some were even tabued from eating human flesh, the shrine of their god being a man. Ndengei, the dull and otiose supreme deity, had his shrine or incarnation in the serpent. Every Samoan islander had his tutelary deity or “aitu," appearing in some animal, an eel, shark, dog, turtle, etc., which species became his fetish, not to be slighted or injured or eaten, an offence which the deity would avenge by entering the sinner's body and generating his proper incarnation within him till he died. The “atua ” of the New Zealander, corresponding with this in name, is a divine ancestral soul, and is also apt to appear in the body of an animal. If we pass to Sumatra, we shall find that the veneration paid by the
Malays to the tiger, and their habit of apologizing to it when a trap is laid, is connected with the idea of tigers being animated by the souls of departed men. In other districts of the world, one of the most important cases connected with these is the worship paid by the North American Indian to his medicine-animal, of which he kills one specimen to preserve its skin, which thenceforth receives adoration and grants protection as a fetish. In South Africa, as has been already mentioned, the Zulus hold that divine ancestral shades are embodied in certain tame and harmless snakes, whom their human kinsfolk receive with kindly respect and propitiate with food. In West Africa, monkeys near a grave-yard are supposed to be animated by the spirits of the dead, and the general theory of sacred and worshipped crocodiles, snakes, birds, bats, elephants, hyænas, leopards, etc., is divided between the two great departments of the fetish-theory, in some cases the creature being the actual embodiment or personation of the spirit, and in other cases sacred to it or under its protection.* Hardly any region of the world displays so perfectly as this the worship of serpents as fetish-animals endowed with high spiritual qualities, to kill one of whom would be an offence unpardonable. For a single description of negro ophiolatry, may be cited Bosman's description from Whydah in the Bight of Benin ; here the highest order of deities were a kind of snakes which swarm in the villages, reigned over by that huge chief monster, uppermost and greatest and as it were the grandfather of all, who dwelt in his snake-house beneath a lofty tree, and there received the royal offerings of meat and drink, cattle and money and stuffs. So heartfelt was the veneration of the snakes, that the Dutchmen made it a means of clearing their warehouses of tiresome visitors; as Bosman says, “If we are ever tired with the natives of this country, and would fain be rid of them, we need only speak ill of the snake, at which they immediately stop their ears and run out of doors.”] Lastly, among the Tatar tribes of Siberia, Castrén finds the explanation of the veneration which the nomade pays to certain animals, in a distinct fetish-theory which he thus sums up: “ Can he also contrive to propitiate the snake, bear, wolf, swan, and various other birds' of the air and beasts of the field, he has in them good protectors, for in them are hidden mighty spirits.” 2
i Marsden, Sumatra,' p. 292.
? Loskiel, “Ind. of N. A.' part i. p. 40 ; Catlin, ‘N. A. Ind.' vol. i. p. 36 ; Schoolcraft, • Tribes,' part i. p. 34, part v. p. 652 ; Waitz, vol. iii. p. 190.
3 See antè, p. 8; Callaway, 'Rel. of Amazulu,' p. 196.
4 Steinhauser, ‘Religion des Negers,' I. c. p. 133. J. L. Wilson, · W. Afr. pp. 210, 218. Schlegel, 'Ewe-Sprache,' p. xv.
The cases of a divine ancestral soul worshipped as incarnate in an animal body, form a link between manesworship and beast-worship, and this connexion is made otherwise in another department of the religion of the lower races, the veneration of a particular species of animal by a particular family, clan, or tribe. It is well known that numerous tribes of mankind connect themselves with, call themselves by the name of, and even derive their mythic pedigree from, some animal, plant, or thing, but most often an animal. Among the Algonquin Indians of North America, the name of such a tribe-animal, as Bear, Wolf, Tortoise, Deer, Rabbit, etc., serves to designate each of a number of clans into which the race is divided, a man belonging to each such clan being himself actually spoken of as a bear, wolf, etc., and the figures of these creatures indicating his clan in the native picture-writing. Such creatures must be, so far as possible, distinguished from the mere patron-animal of an individual, the “medicine" just mentioned among the American Indians. The name
? Bosman, Guinea,' letter 19; in Pinkerton, vol. xvi. p. 499. See Burton, “Dahome,' ch. iv., xvii. An account of the Vaudoux serpent-worship still carried on among the negroes of Hayti, in Lippincott's Magazine,' Philadelphia, March 1870.
? Castrén, 'Finn. Myth.' p. 196, see 228.
or symbol of an Algonquin clan-animal is called “ dodaim,” and this word, in its usual form of “totem,” has become an accepted term among ethnologists to describe similar customary surnames over the world, the system of dividing tribes in this way being called Totemism. The origin of totemism of course comes within the domain of mythology, while the social divisions, marriage arrangements, and so forth, connected with it, form a highly important part of the law and custom of mankind at certain stages of culture. It only comes within the province of religion so far as the clan-animals, etc., are the subjects of religious observance, or are actually treated as patron-deities. To some extent this seems to happen among the Algonquins themselves, some accounts describing the totem-animal as being actually regarded as the sacred object or “medicine" or protector of the family bearing its name and symbol. This is the case among certain Australian tribes; a family has some animal (or vegetable) as its “kobong," its friend or protector, and a mysterious connexion subsists between a man and his tribe-animal, of which species he is reluctant to kill one, for it might be his own protector, while if his kobong be a vegetable, there are restrictions on his gathering it.” So in South Africa the Bechuana people are divided into clans : Bakuena, men of the crocodile ; Batlapi, of the fish; Bataung, of the lion; Bamorara, of the wild vine. A man does not eat his tribe animal or clothe himself in its skin, and if he must kill it as hurtful, the lion for instance, he asks pardon of it and purifies himself from the sacrilege.3 So in Asia, among the Kols of Chota-Nagpur, we find many of the Oraon and Munda clans named after animals, as Eel, Hawk, Crow, Heron, and they must not kill or eat what they are named after; it is to be noticed, however, that this only forms one part of a system of tribal food-prohi
1 James, 'Long's Exp.' vol. i. ch. xv.; John Long, Voyages and Travels, p. 86. Waitz, vol. iii. p. 190. See 'Early History of Mankind,' p. 286.
Grey, “Australia,' vol. ii. p. 228. 3 Casalis, ' Basutos,' p. 211 ; Livingstone, p. 13.
bitions. Among the Yakuts of Siberia, again, each tribe looks on some particular animal as sacred, and abstains from eating it. These facts seem to indicate not mere accidental peculiarities, but a wide-spread common principle acting among mankind in the lower culture. Mr. M‘Lennan, in a remarkable investigation, has endeavoured to account for much of the wide-spread animal-worship of the world by considering it as inherited from an early “totemstage of society."3 If this view be more or less admitted as just, the question then arises, what is the origin of to. temism ? Sir John Lubbock, in his work on the Origin of Civilization,4 and Mr. Herbert Spencer, have favoured the idea of its springing from the really very general practice of naming individual men after animals, Bear, Deer, Eagle, etc., these becoming in certain cases hereditary tribe-names. It must be admitted as possible that such personal epithets might become family surnames, and eventually give rise to myths of the families being actually descended from the animals in question as ancestors, whence might arise many other legends of strange adventures and heroic deeds of ancestors, to be attributed to the quasi-human animals whose names they bore; at the same time, popular mystification between the great ancestor and the creature whose name he held and handed down to his race, might lead to veneration for the creature itself, and thence to full animalworship. All this might indeed possibly happen, and when it did happen it might set an example which other families could imitate, and thus bring on the systematic division of a whole people into a number of totem-clans, each referred to a mythic animal ancestor. Yet, while granting that such a theory affords a rational interpretation of the obscure facts of totemism, we must treat it as a theory not vouched