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is exemplified by Indians caught in a storm on the North American lakes, who would appease the angry tempestraising deity by tying the feet of a dog and throwing it overboard. The following case from Guinea well shows the principle of such offerings. Once in 1693, the sea being unusually rough, the headmen complained to the king, who desired them to be easy, and he would make the sea quiet next day. Accordingly he sent his fetishman with a jar of palm oil, a bag of rice and corn, a jar of pitto, a bottle of brandy, a piece of painted calico, and several other things to present to the sea. Being come to the seaside, he made a speech to it, assuring it that his king was its friend, and loved the white men; that they were honest fellows and came to trade with him for what he wanted ; and that he requested the sea not to be angry, nor hinder them to land their goods; he told it, that if it wanted palm oil, his king had sent it some; and so threw the jar with the oil into the sea, as he did, with the same compliment, the rice, corn, pitto, brandy, calico, &c. Among the North American Indians the Earth also receives offerings buried in it. The distinctness of idea with which such objects may be given is well shown in a Sioux legend. The Spirit of the Earth, it seems, requires an offering from those who perform extraordinary achievements, and accordingly the prairie gapes open with an earthquake before the victorious hero of the tale; he casts a partridge into the crevice, and springs over.3 One of the most explicit recorded instances of the offering to the Earth, is the hideous sacrifice to the Earth-goddess among the Khonds of Orissa, tearing the flesh of the human victim from the bones, the priest burying half of it in a hole in the earth behind his back without
| Charlevoix, ‘Nouv. Fr.' vol. i. p. 394. See also Smith, 'Virginia,' in * Pinkerton,' vol. xiii. p. 41.
· Phillips in Astley’s ‘Voyages,' vol. ii. p. 411 ; Lubbock, Origin of Civi. lization,' p. 216. Bosman, 'Guinea,' in ‘Pinkerton,' vol. xvi. p. 500. Bastian in . Ztschr. für Ethnologie,' 1869, p. 315.
3 Schouleraft, ‘Algic Res.' vol. ii. p. 75. See also Tanner, 'Narr.' p. 193, and above, p. 270.
looking round, and each householder carrying off a particle to bury in like manner in his favourite field. For offerings to the Fire, we may take for an example the Yakuts, who not only give him the first spoonful of food, but instead of washing their earthen pots allow him to clean out the remains. Here is a New Zealand charm called Wangaihau, i.e., feeding the Wind :
“Lift up his offering,
To Uenga a te Rangi his offering,
Let that food bring you down from the sky.” 3 Beside this may be set the quaint description of the Fanti negroes assisting at the sacrifice of men and cattle to the local fetish; the victims were considered to be carried up in a whirlwind out of the midst of the small inner ring of priests and priestesses; this whirlwind was, however, not perceptible to the senses of the surrounding worshippers. These series of details collected from the lower civilization throw light on curious problems as to sacrificial ideas in the religions of the classic world; such questions as what Xerxes meant when he threw the golden goblet and the sword into the Hellespont, which he had before chained and scourged; why Hannibal cast animals into the sea as victims to Poseidon; what religious significance underlay the patriotic Roman legend of the leap of Marcus Curtius.5
Sacred animals, in their various characters of divine beings, incarnations, representatives, agents, symbols, natu; rally receive meat and drink offerings, and sometimes other gifts. For examples, may be mentioned the sun-birds (tonatzuli), for which the Apalaches of Florida set out
· Macpherson, 'India,' p. 129.
Billings, • Exp. to Northern Russia,' p. 125. Chinese sacrifices buried for earth spirits, see ante, vol. i. p. 107 ; Plath, part ii. p. 50.
Taylor, ‘New Zealand,' p. 182. • Römer, Guinea,' p. 67.
5 Herod. vii. 35, 54. Liv, vii. 6. Grote, “Hist. of Greece,' vol. X. p. 589, see 715.
crushed maize and seed ;1 the Polynesian deities coming incarnate in the bodies of birds to feed on the meat-offerings and carcases of human victims set out upon the altarscaffolds; ? the well-fed sacred snakes of West Africa, and local fetish animals like the alligator at Dix Cove which will come up at a whistle, and follow a man half a mile if he carries a white fowl in his hands, or the shark at Bonny that comes to the river bank every day to see if a human victim has been provided for his repast;3 in modern India the cows reverently fed with fresh grass, Durga's meatofferings laid out on stones for the jackals, the famous alligators in their temple-tanks. The definition of sacred animal from this point of view distinctly includes man. Such in Mexico was the captive youth adored as living representative of Tezcatlipoca, and to whom banquets were made during the luxurious twelvemonth which preceded his sacrifice at the festival of the deity whom he personated : such still more definitely was Cortes himself, when Montezuma supposed him to be the incarnate Quetzalcoatl come back into the land, and sent human victims accordingly to be slaughtered before him, should he seem to lust for blood.5 Such in modern India is the woman who as representative of Radha eats and drinks the offerings at the shameless orgies of the Saktas. More usually it is the priest who as minister of the deities has the lion's share of the offerings or the sole privilege of consuming them, from the Fijian priest who watches for the turtle and puddings apportioned to his god, and the West African priest who carries the allowances of food sent to the local spirits of mountain, or
· Rochefort, 'Iles Antilles,' p. 367.
? Ellis, ‘Polyn. Res.' vol. i. pp. 336, 358. Williams, 'Fiji,' vol. i. p. 220.
3 Bosman, 'Guinea,' in Pinkerton, vol. xvi. p. 494 ; J. L. Wilson, "W. Afr.' p. 218; Burton, W. & W. fr. W. Afr.' p. 331.
4 Ward, “Hindoos,' vol. ii. p. 195, etc.
river, or grove, which food he eats himself as the spirit's proxy,' to the Brahmans who receive for the divine ancestors the oblation of a worshipper who has no sacred fire to consume it, “for there is no difference between the Fire and a Brahman, such is the judgment declared by them who know the Veda.”? It is needless to collect details of a practice so usual in the great systematic religions of the world, where priests have become professional ministers and agents of deity, as for them to partake of the sacrificial meats. It by no means follows from this usage that the priest is necessarily supposed to consume the food as representative of his divinity; in the absence of express statement to such effect, the matter can only be treated as one of ceremonial ordinance. Indeed, the case shows the caution needed in interpreting religious rites, which in particular districts may have meanings attached to them quite foreign to their general intent.
The feeding of an idol, as when Ostyaks would pour daily broth into the dish at the image's mouth, or when the . Aztecs would pour the blood and put the heart of the slaughtered human victim into the monstrous idol's mouth, seems ceremonial make-believe, but shows that in each case the deity was somehow considered to devour the meal. The conception among the lower races of deity, as in disembodied spiritual form, is even less compatible with the notion that such a being should consume solid matter. It is true that the notion does occur. In old times it appears in the legend of Bel and the Dragon, where the footprints in the strewn ashes betray the knavish priests who come by secret doors to eat up the banquet set before Bel's image. In modern centuries, it may be exemplified by the negroes of Labode, who could hear the noise of their god Jimawong emptying one after another the bottles of brandy handed in
TJ. L. Wilson, W. Afr.' p. 218.
? Manu, iii. 212. See also `Avesta,' tr. by Spiegel and Bleek, vol. ï. p. 2. 3 Ysbrants Ides, “Reize naar China,' p. 38. Meiners, vol. i. p. 162. 4 Clavigero, vol. ii. p. 46. J. G. Müller, p. 631. Ś Bel and the Dragon.
at the door of his straw-roofed temple;l or among the Ostyaks, who, as Pallas relates, used to leave a horn of snuff for their god, with a shaving of willow bark to stop his nostrils with after the country fashion; the traveller describes their astonishment when sometimes an unbelieving Russian has emptied it in the night, leaving the simple folk to conclude that the deity must have gone out hunting to have snuffed so much. But these cases turn on fraud, whereas absurdities in which low races largely agree are apt to have their origin rather in genuine error. Indeed, their dominant theories of the manner in which deities receive sacrifice are in accordance not with fraud but with facts, and must be treated as strictly rational and honest developments of the lower animism. The clearest and most general of these theories are as follows.
When the deity is considered to take actual possession of the food or other objects offered, this may be conceived to happen by abstraction of their life, savour, essence, quality, and in yet more definite conception their spirit or soul. The solid part may die, decay, be taken away or consumed or destroyed, or may simply remain untouched. Among this group of conceptions, the most materialized is that which carries out the obvious primitive world-wide doctrine that the life is the blood. Accordingly, the blood is offered to the deity, and even disembodied spirits are thought capable of consuming it, like the ghosts for whom Odysseus entering Hades poured into the trench the blood of the sacrificed ram and black ewe, and the pale shades drank and spoke ;' or the evil spirits which the Mintira of the Malay Peninsula keep away from the wife in childbirth by placing her near the fire, for the demons are believed to drink human blood when they can find it. Thus in Virginia the Indians (in pretence or reality) sacrificed children, whose
1 Römer, Guinea,' p. 47. 3 Bastian, ‘Mensch,' part ii. p. 210. • Homer, Odyss. xi. xii. 4 Journ. Ind. Archip.' vol. i. p. 270.