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for if it were round, people would fall off; it is the wrong side of another heaven, which covers another earth below, whither the dead will go down to their new life, and so, as Steller says, their mundane system is like a tub with three bottoms. In North America, the Tacullis held that the soul goes after death into the bowels of the earth, whence it can come back in human shape to visit friends. In South America, Brazilian souls travel down to the world below in the West, and Patagonian souls will depart to enjoy eternal drunkenness in the caves of their ancestral deities. The New Zealander who says “The sun has returned to Hades” (kua hoki mai te Ra ki te Rua), simply means that it has set. When a Samoan islander dies, the host of spirits that surround the house, waiting to convey his soul away, set out with him crossing the land and swimming the sea, to the entrance of the spirit-world. This is at the westernmost point of the westernmost island, Savaii, and there one may see the two circular holes or basins where souls descend, chiefs by the bigger and plebeians by the smaller, into the regions of the underworld. There below is a heaven, earth, and sea, and people with real bodies, planting, fishing, cooking, as in the present life; but at night their bodies become like a confused collection of fiery sparks, and in this state during the hours of darkness they come up to revisit their former abodes, retiring at dawn to the bush or to the lower regions. For the state of thought on this subject' among rude African tribes, it is enough to cite the Zulus, who at death will descend to live in Hades among their ancestors, the “Abapansi," the “people underground."5 From among rude Asiatic tribes, let us take example from the Karens.
i Steller, ‘Kamtschatka,' p. 269. ? Harmon, ‘Journal,' p. 299 ; see Lewis and Clarke, p. 139 (Mandans).
3 J. G. Müller, 'Amer. Urrelig.' pp. 140, 287 ; see Humboldt and Bonpland, ‘Voy.' vol. iii. p. 132 ; Falkner, * Patagonia,' p. 114.
4 Taylor, ‘New Zealand,' p. 232 ; Turner, ‘Polynesia,' p. 235.
ó Callaway, “Zulu Tales,' vol. i. p. 317, etc.; Arbousset and Daumas, P. 474. See also Burton, “Dahome,' vol. ii. p. 157.
They are not quite agreed where Plu, the land of the dead, is situate ; it may be above the earth or beyond the horizon. But the dominant and seemingly indigenous opinion is that it is below the earth. When the sun sets on earth, it rises in the Karen Hades, and when it sets in Hades it rises in this world. Here, again, the familiar belief of the European peasant is found; the spirits of the dead may come up from the land of shades by night, but at daybreak must return.?
Such ideas, developed by uncultured races, may be followed up in various detail, through the stage of religion represented by the Mexican and Peruvian nations, into higher ranges of culture.
The Roman Orcus was in the bowels of the earth, and when the lapis manalis, the stone that closed the mouth of the world below, was moved away on certain solemn days, the ghosts of the dead came up to the world above, and partook of the offerings of their friends.3 Among the Greeks, the land of Hades was in the world below, nor was the thought unknown that it was the sunsetrealm of the Western god (Tipos do tépov 0eoj). What Hades seemed like to the popular mind, Lucian thus describes “ The great crowd, indeed, whom the wise call “idiots' believing Homer and Hesiod, and the other myth-makers about these things, and setting up their poetry as a law, have supposed a certain deep place under the earth, Hades, and that it is vast, and roomy, and gloomy, and sunless, and how thought to be lighted up so as to behold every one within, I know not.”4 In the ancient Egyptian doctrine of the future life, modelled as it was on solar myth, Amenti, the western region of the departed, is an under-world or Hades; the dead passes the gate of the setting sun to traverse the roads of darkness, and behold his father Osiris ; and with a
Mason, “ Karens,' l. c. p. 195 ; Cross, 1. c. p. 313. Turanian examples in ('astrén, ‘Finn. Myth.' p. 119.
? See below, pp. 79, 85. 3 Festus, s. v.
manalis," etc. * Sophocl. Edip. Tyrann. 178; Lucian. De Luctu, 2. Soe classic details in Pauly, 'Real- Encyclop.' art. “inferi.'
like solar thought the Egyptian priests, representing in symbolic ceremony the scenes of the other world, carried the corpse in the sacred boat across to the burial-place, on the western side of the sacred lake. So, too, the cavernous Sheol of the Israelites, the shadowy region of departed souls, lay deep below the earth. Through the great Aryan religious systems, Brahmanism, Zarathustrism, Buddhism, and onward into the range of Islam and of Christianity, subterranean hells of purgatory or punishment make the doleful contrast to heavens of light and glory.
It is, however, a point worthy of special notice that the conception of hell as a fiery abyss, so familiar to the religions of the higher civilization, is all but unknown to savage thought, so much so that if met with, its genuineness is doubtful. Captain John Smith’s ‘History of Virginia,' published in 1624, contains two different accounts of the Indians' doctrine of a future life. Smith's own description is of a land beyond the mountains, toward sunset, where chiefs and medicine-men in paint and feathers shall smoke, and sing, and dance with their forefathers, while the common people have no life after death, but rot in their graves. Heriot's description is of tabernacles of the gods to which the good are taken up to perpetual happiness, while the wicked are carried to ‘Popogusso,' a great pit which they think to be at the furthest parts of the world where the sun sets, and there burn continually. Now knowing so much as we do of the religion of the Algonquins, to whom these Virginians belonged, we may judge that while the first account is genuinely native, though perhaps not quite correctly understood, the second was borrowed by the Indians from the white meu themselves. Yet even here the touch of solar myth is manifest, and the description of the fiery abyss in the region of sunset may be compared with one
' Birch in Bunsen's 'Egypt,' vol. v.; Wilkinson, 'Ancient Eg.' vol. ii. p. 368 ; Alger, p. 101.
Smith, Virginia, in Pinkerton, vol. xiii. pp. 14, 41 ; vol. xii. p. 604; seo below, p. 95.
from our own country, in the Anglo-Saxon dialogue of Saturn and Solomon. Saga me forhwan byth seo sunne read on æfen? Ic the secge, forthon heo locath on helle. -Tell me, why is the sun red at even ? I tell thee, because she looketh on hell.”] To the same belief belongs another striking mythic feature. The idea of volcanos being mouths of the under-world seems not unexampled among the lower races, for we hear of certain New Zealanders casting their dead down into a crater. But in connexion with the thought of a gehenna of fire and brimstone, Vesuvius, Etna, and Hecla had spiritual as well as material terrors to the mind of Christendom, for they were believed to be places of purgatory or the very mouths of the pit where the souls of the damned were cast down.3 The Indians of Nicaragua used in old times to offer human sacrifices to their volcano Masaya, flinging the corpses into the crater, and in later years, after the conversion of the country, we hear of Christian confessors sending their penitents to climb the mountain, and (as a glimpse of hell) to look down upon the molten lava.4
Fourthly, in old times and new, it has come into men's minds to fix upon the sun and moon as abodes of departed souls. When we have learnt from the rude Natchez of the Mississippi and the Apalaches of Florida that the sun is the bright dwelling of departed chiefs and braves, and have traced like thoughts on into the theologies of Mexico and Peru, then we may compare these savage doctrines with Isaac Taylor's ingenious supposition in his 'Physical Theory of Another Life,'—the sun of each planetary system is the house of the higher and ultimate spiritual corporeity, and the centre of assembly to those who have passed on the planets their preliminary era of corruptible organization. Or perhaps some may prefer the Rev. Tobias Swinden's
1 Thorpe, ‘Analecta Anglo-Saxonica,' p. 115.
book, published in the last century, and translated into French and German, which proved the sun to be hell, and its dark spots gatherings of damned souls. And when in South America the Saliva Indians have pointed out the moon, their paradise where no mosquitos are, and the Guaycurus have shown it as the home of chiefs and medicine-men deceased, and the Polynesians of Tokelau in like manner have claimed it as the abode of departed kings and chiefs, then these pleasant fancies may be compared with that ancient theory mentioned by Plutarch, that hell is in the air and elysium in the moon, and again with the medieval conception of the moon as the seat of hell, a thought elaborated in profoundest bathos by Mr. M. F. Tupper:
“ I know thee well, O Moon, thou cavern'd realın,
Sad Satellite, thou giant ash of death,
Skin for skin, the brown savage is not ill matched in such speculative lore with the white philosopher.
Fifthly, as Paradise on the face of the earth, and Hades beneath it where the sun goes down, are regions whose existence is asserted or not denied by savage and barbaric science, so it is with Heaven. Among the examples which display for us the real course of knowledge among mankind, and the real relation which primitive bears to later culture, the belief in the existence of a firmament is one of the most
1 J. G. Müller, ‘Amer. Urrel.' p. 138, see also 220 (Caribs), 402 (Peru), 605, 660 (Mexico); Brinton, 'Myths of New World,' p. 233; Taylor,
Physical Theory,'ch. xvi. ; Alger, 'Future Life,' p. 590; see also above, p. 16, note.
2 Humboldt and Bonpland, 'Voy.' vol. v. p. 90; Martius, 'Ethnog. Amer.' vol. i. p 233 ; Turner, “Polynesia,' p. 531 ; Plutarch. De Facie in Orbe Luvæ; Alger, 1. c.; Bastian, ‘Psychologie,' pp. 80, 89 (souls in stars.)