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people should eat meat as their daily food. Their chiefs kill an ox when a stranger comes, or half a dozen oxen on a birth or circumcision feast, or any great event, and then everybody present shares the meat. . . . Damaras have a great respect, almost reverence, for oxen."1 The same notion that sacrifice is the only excuse or reason for killing meat, reappears far from South Africa, in Polynesia. In Hudson's Island, “even the killing of a pig had to be done in a temple, and the blessing of the god asked before it could be cooked or eaten.”2 So in New Guinea, all “ their great festivals are connected with the worship of the gods. Many pigs are killed on these occasions." 3 The idea that all the clan have a right to partake, shows itself amongst the Tehuelche Patagonians, who celebrate births, marriages, and deaths by the sacrifice of mares, to the feast on which all may come. In the Old World, the idea that all slaughter is sacrifice is found amongst the Aryan peoples : it is Indian and Persian ;5 and at Athens the hestiaseis or feasts at which the hestiator entertained his tribe 6 or his phratry or his deme? are a survival of the same feeling. Finally, amongst the Hebrews, “a sacrifice was a public ceremony of a township or of a clan (1 Sam. ix. 12, xx. 6)... the crowds streamed into the sanctuary from all sides, dressed in their gayest attire (Hos. ü. 15, E. v. 13), marching joyfully to the sound of music (Isa. xxx. 29), and bearing with them not only the victims appointed for sacrifice, but store of bread and wine to set forth the feast (1 Sam. x. 3). The law of the feast was open-handed hospitality; no sacrifice was complete without guests, and portions were freely distributed to rich and poor within the circle of a man's acquaintance (1 Sam. ix. 13; 2 Sam. vi. 19, xv. 11; Neh. viii. 10). Universal hilarity prevailed; men ate, drank, and were merry together, rejoicing before their god.”8 The ideal here implied was earthly, but it was not selfish. The interests prayed for were those of the community, not of the individual. The festival was a renewal of the bond between the worshippers * Galton, South Africa, 138.
? Turner, Samoa, 290. 3 Ibid. 349.
* Journ. of Anth. Inst. i. 200. Religion of Semites, 255 ; Manu, v. 31 ; Hdt. i. 132 ; Strabo, xv. iii. 13. 6 Poll. iii. 67. ? Corpus Inscr. Atticarum, ii, 163, 578, 582, 602, 603, 631. 8 Religion of the Semites, 254.
and his god, but it also strengthened the bonds of family, national, social, and moral obligations. The joint eating and drinking was a bond of fellowship. By it the god and his worshippers were united. But it was only as a member of the clan, not on his private merits, that the individual was admitted to this meal. All worship of this kind was public, and taught that a man lived not to himself but also for his fellows. Again, when all feasts are religious, and the gods are invited to all rejoicings, there is and can be “no habitual sense of human guilt.” 2 Nor, as the god is the god of the community 3 rather than of the individual, could any such feeling be awakened as long as the community prospered. But when public disaster or national calamity supervened, one or both of two things happened: the individual sought supernatural protection by means not included in or recognised by the public worship of the community; and the older, gloomier rite of worship, which still continued, regained its former and more than its former importance.
Public disaster, as we have seen, was interpreted as the sign of individual sin. At the same time, the older annual sacrificial rite, so different from the common joyous festivals, was felt, in consequence of its difference, to require some explanation. That explanation was found in the view that it was an atonement for the sins of the people; that it was piacular: hence its gloomy nature. The feasting with the god, which was characteristic of the ordinary festival, was here out of place; and the worshipper left the whole of the victim for the offended god. Thus doubly consecrated to the service of the god, the victim was sacrosanct, and contact with it proportionately dangerous. The whole of the victim therefore was treated as the uneaten remains alone had been treated before-burnt. Doubtless also a motive for burntofferings was the feeling that the offering was etherealised, and thus made a more fitting form of food for a spiritual being. But it was the sacrosanct nature of the piacular victim which first made burning necessary; and then sacrifice by fire was extended to the god's portions of the victim, even in ordinary sacrifices.
i Religion of the Semites, 263, 264.
2 Ibid. 255. 3 « The natives worship not so much individually as in villages or communities. Their religion is more a public than a private matter."- The Rev. Duff Macdonald, Africana, i. 64. * Supra, p. 155.
5 Supra, p. 111.
But the revival of the gloomy annual rite, in the new shape of piacular sacrifice, reacted not only on the mode of sacrifice, but on the nature of the victim. The piacular sacrifice was conceived as the atonement for the sin of a member of the community; it was a member of the community, therefore, that ought to suffer, or, if he could not be discovered, then at least a life of the same kind, i.e. human, must be offered. This was probably the origin of the sacrifice of human beings to the gods amongst the Mediterranean peoples. Amongst the Americans it was, as we have said, due to the lack of domesticated animals—an explanation which also covers the case of Polynesia, where the pig and the rat were the only quadrupeds. that were known. The slaughter of human beings to accompany a dead chief to the next world is not sacrifice in the sense in which the word has been used in this chapter. Such slaughter was in all probability known in early Indo-European times, and is widespread in Africa, where the sacrifice of human beings in the worship of the gods may have been simply borrowed from the ritual at the grave.
If, however, at the piacular sacrifice, an animal continues to be sacrificed, as it originally was, then an explanation has to be found to account for the victim's being animal and not human. The explanation forthcoming is that the animal is a “scape-goat” and a substitute for the human being who ought to be slain. Thus in Cochin-China the king makes a yearly offering in February to the heaven and the earth for benefits received. In ancient times this offering consisted in a slaughtered animal, placed on an altar, over which wine was poured. The offering is now conceived as a piaculum for the sins which every man is conscious of having committed, and which could only be expiated by death : the animal is regarded as being slain instead of a man. If, again, the god insists on human life, an alien is offered, as, e.9., on the Gold Coast,amongst the ancient Greeks, and universally amongst the ancient Mexicans.
1 Tylor, Primitive Culture, i. 464.
? Bastian, Oest. Asien, iv. 411. For the scape-goat amongst the Hebrews, see Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites, 397, 422; in classical antiquity and amongst other peoples, Frazer, Golden Bough, ii. 182-217,
The primitive, annual, nocturnal rite was also revived in the “mysteries” of the ancient world, but with them we shall deal hereafter. It remains for us now to discuss the devices to which the individual resorted, when the god of the community failed to render him efficient protection, or when the services required were not such as a god of the community ought to afford. This will require a fresh chapter.
1 Ellis, Tshi-speaking Peoples, 169.
FETISHISM is often supposed to have its home and place of origin amongst the negroes of West Africa. It is certainly amongst the inhabitants of the Gold Coast and Slave Coast that the subject can best be studied; but if our conclusions are to be of any value, they should not be based on the hasty reports of passing visitors or the statements of semi-civilised natives, and “fetishism ” should not be detached from the general religious beliefs of those who practise it. Fortunately, within the last few years trustworthy information has been placed at the command of the student, and a signal service to the science of religion has been rendered by LieutenantColonel Ellis, First Battalion, West India Regiment, from whose valuable works (The Tshi-speaking Peoples, The Ewespeaking Peoples, and The Yoruba-speaking Peoples) the following account is taken.
The Gold Coast is inhabited by various Tshi-speaking tribes (of whom the best known are the Fantis and the Ashantis), who are all of the true negro type, as distinguished from the Negroids in the Mohammedan States to the north and the Congoese in the regions to the south. There are four classes of deities worshipped by them: (1) General Deities, few in number; (2) Local Deities, very numerous ; (3) Tutelary Deities of sections of the community; (4) Tutelary Deities of individuals. General deities are those generally worshipped by all or most of the different tribes, such as Bobowissi (“blower of clouds ') or Nana-Nyankupon (“ lord of the sky”). Local deities are confined to one locality and one particular natural object, such as Tahbi, who resides in or under the rock on which Cape Coast Castle