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at funeral feasts—though some indeed would eat all. In Madagascar, the elegant little upper chamber in King Radama's mausoleum was furnished with a table and two chairs, and a bottle of wine, a bottle of water, and two tumblers were placed there conformably with the ideas entertained by most of the natives, that the ghost of the departed monarch might occasionally visit the resting-place of his body, meet with the spirit of his father, and partake of what he was known to be fond of in his lifetime. The Wanika of East Africa set a cocoa-nut shell full of rice and tembo near the grave for the “ koma” or shade, which cannot exist without food and drink. In West Africa the Efik cook food and leave it on the table in the little shed, or “ devil-house” near the grave, and thither not only the spirit of the deceased, but the spirits of the slaves sacrificed at his funeral, come to partake of it.* Farther south, in the Congo district, the custom has been described of making a channel into the tomb to the head or mouth of the corpse, whereby to send down month by month the offerings of food and drink.5
Among rude Asiatic tribes, the Bodo of North-East India thus celebrate the last funeral rites. The friends repair to the grave, and the nearest of kin to the deceased, taking an individual's usual portion of food and drink, solemnly presents it to the dead with these words, " Take and eat, heretofore
have eaten and drunk with us, you can do so no more; you were one of us, you can be so no longer; we come no more to you, come you not to us.” Thereupon each of the party breaks off a bracelet of thread put on his wrist for this purpose, and casts it on the grave, a speaking symbol of breaking the bond of fellowship, and “next the party
1 Brebeuf in 'Rel. des Jes.' 1636, p. 104.
· Ellis, ‘Madagascar,' vol. i. pp. 253, 364. See Taylor, ‘New Zealand,' p. 220.
Krapf, ` E. Afr.' 4 T. J. Hutchinson, p. 206.
('avazzi, 'Congo, etc.' book i. p. 264. So in ancient Greece, Lucian. Charon, 22.
proceed to the river and bathe, and having thus lustrated themselves, they repair to the banquet and eat, drink, and make merry as though they never were to die.”? With more continuance of affection, Naga tribes of Assam celebrate their funeral feasts month by month, laying food and drink on the graves of the departed. In the same region of the world, the Kol tribes of Chota Nagpur are remarkable for their pathetic reverence for their dead. When a Ho or Munda has been burned on the funeral pile, collected morsels of his bones are carried in procession with a solemn, ghostly, sliding step, keeping time to the deep-sounding drum, and when the old woman who carries the bones on her bamboo tray lowers it from time to time, then girls who carry pitchers and brass vessels mournfully reverse them to show that they are empty; thus the remains are taken to visit every house in the village, and every dwelling of a friend or relative for miles, and the inmates come out to mourn and praise the goodness of the departed; the bones are carried to all the dead man's favourite haunts, to the fields he cultivated, to the grove he planted, to the threshing-floor where he worked, to the village dance-room where he made merry. At last they are taken to the grave, and buried in an earthen vase upon a store of food, covered with one of those huge stone slabs which European visitors wonder at in the districts of the aborigines in India. Beside these, monumental stones are set up outside the village to the memory of men of note; they are fixed on an earthen plinth where the ghost, resting in its walks among the living, is supposed to sit shaded by the pillar. The Kheriahs have collections of these monuments in the little enclosures round their houses, and offerings and libations are constantly made at them. With what feelings such rites are celebrated may be judged from this Ho dirge:
“ We never scolded you; never wronged you;
Come to us back!
" Hodgson, · Abor. of India,'p. 180.
9 Journ. Ind. Archip.' vol. ii. p. 235.
We ever loved and cherished you; and have lived long together
Under the same roof;
Desert it not now!
Do not wander here !
Come to your home! It is swept for you, and clean; and we are there who loved you ever; And there is rice put for you ; and water ;
Come home, come home, come to us again!
Among the Kol tribes this kindly hospitality to ancestral souls passes on into the belief and ceremony of full manesworship : votive offerings are made to the “old folks” when their descendants go on a journey, and when there is sickness in the family it is generally they who are first propitiated. Among Turanian races of North Asia, the Chuwash put food and napkins on the grave, saying, “ Rise at night and eat your fill, and there ye have napkins to wipe your mouths !” while the Cheremiss simply said, “ That is for you, ye dead, there ye have food and drink!” In this region we hear of offerings continued year after year, and even of messengers sent back by a horde to carry offerings to the tombs of their forefathers in the old land whence they had emigrated.'
Details of this ancient rite are to be traced from the level of these rude races far upward in civilization. South-East Asia is full of it, and the Chinese may stand as its representative. He keeps his coffined parent for years, serving him with meals as if alive. He summons ancestral souls with prayer and beat of drum to feed on the meat and drink set out on special days when they are thought to return home. He even gives entertainments for the benefit of
I Tickell in ‘Journ. As. Soc. Bengal,' vol. ix. p. 795 ; Dalton, ibid. 1866, part ii. p. 153, etc. ; and in ‘Tr. Eth. Soc.' vol. vi. p. 1, etc. ; Latham, 'Descr. Eth.' vol. ii. p. 415, etc.
• Bastian, “Psychologie,' p. 62 ; Castrén, ‘Finn. Myth.' p. 121.
destitute and unfortunate souls in the lower regions, such as* those of lepers and beggars. Lanterns are lighted to show them the way, a feast is spread for them, and with characteristic fancy, some victuals are left over for any blind or feeble spirits who may be late, and a pail of gruel is provided for headless souls, with spoons for them to put it down their throats with. Such proceedings culminate in the so-called Universal Rescue, now and then celebrated, when a little house is built for the expected visitors, with separate accommodation and bath-rooms for male and female ghosts.' The ancient Egyptian would set out his provision of cakes and trussed ducks on reed scaffolds in the tomb, or would even keep the mummy in the house to be present as a guest at the feast, oúvdelni'ov xai ovu trÓTNU ÈTOLÝCato, as Lucian says.? The Hindu, as of old, offers to the dead the funeral cakes, places before the door the earthen vessels of water for him to bathe in, of milk for him to drink, and celebrates at new and full moon the solemn presentation of rice-cakes made with ghee, with its attendant ceremonies so important for the soul's release from its twelvemonth's sojourn with Yama in Hades, and its transition to the Heaven of the Pitaras, the Fathers. In the classic world such rites were represented by funeral feasts and oblations of food.
In Christian times there manifests itself that interesting kind of survival which, keeping up the old ceremony in form, has adapted its motive to new thoughts and feelings. The classic funeral oblations became Christian, the silicernium was succeeded by the feast held at the martyr's tomb. Faustus inveighs against the Christians for carrying on the ancient rites : “Their sacrifices indeed ye have turned into love-feasts, their idols into martyrs whom with like vows ye
Doolittle, 'Chinese,' vol. i. p. 173, ctc. ; vol. ii. p. 91, etc. ; Meiners, vol. i.
3 Manu, iii. ; Colebrookc, “Essays,' vol. i. p. 161, etc. ; Pictet, ‘Origines Indo-Europ.' part ii. p. 600; Ward, “Hindoos,' vol. ii. p. 332.
Pauly, ‘Real- Encyclop.’s. v. “funus ;" Smith’s ‘Dic.'s. v. “fumus." See Meiners, vol. i. pp. 305--19.
worship; ye appease the shades of the dead with wine and meals, ye celebrate the Gentiles' solemn days with them, such as calends and solstices,-of their life certainly ye have changed nought," I and so forth. The story of Monica shows how the custom of laying food on the tomb for the manes passed into the ceremony, like to it in form, of setting food and drink to be sanctified by the sepulchre of a Christian saint. Saint-Foix, who wrote in the time of Louis XIV., has left us an account of the ceremonial after the death of a King of France, during the forty days before the funeral when his wax effigy lay in state. They continued to serve him at meal-times as though still alive, the officers laid the table, and brought the dishes, the maître d'hôtel handed the napkin to the highest lord present to be presented to the king, a prelate blessed the table, the basins of water were handed to the royal arm-chair, the cup was served in its due course, and grace was said in the accustomed manner, save that there was added to it the De Profundis. Spaniards still offer bread and wine on the tombs of those they love, on the anniversary of their decease. The conservative Eastern Church still holds to ancient rite. The funeral feast is served in Russia, with its table for the beggars, laden with fish-pasties and bowls of shchi and jugs of kvas, its more delicate dinner for friends and priests, its incense and chants of “everlasting remembrance"; and even the repetition of the festival on the ninth, and twentieth, and fortieth day are not forgotten. The offerings of saucers of kutiya or kolyvo are still made in the church; this used to be of parboiled wheat and was deposited over the body, it is now made of boiled rice and raisins, sweetened with honey. In their usual mystic fashion, the Greek Christians now explain away into symbolism this remnant of primitive offering to the dead : the honey is heavenly sweetness, the
Augustin. contra Faustum, xx. 4 ; De Civ. Dei, viii. 27. See Beausobre, vol. ii. pp. 633, 685.
* Saint-Foix, “Essais Historiques sur Paris,' in 'Euvres,' vol. iv. p. 147, etc.
3 Lady Herbert, 'Impressions of Spain,' p. 8.