« ForrigeFortsæt »
prophetic spirit,' and in certain parts of South Arabia the mentally afflicted are held as saints, anything being allowable to them. Dr. Westermarck informs me that the Moors of Morocco consider idiots and madmen as being under the influence of superior powers and divinely inspired. 3 In his description of the people of Minahassa in Celebes, Dr. Hickson says that »lunatics and idiots are held in high honour, as being specially favoured by the gods; and those who suffer from the many forms of hysteria and epilepsy are believed to possess the gift of prophecy.» In Hawaii lunatics were often objects of contempt and even cruelty, but occasionally they were »treated with attention and respect, being supposed to be inspired by some god.» 5 Among the Maoris of New Zealand insanity is stated to be almost unknown, but » any person thus afflicted is said to have the Atua (supernatural power) within him, or to have received the spirit of prophecy.» 6 Codrington, mentioning the inhabitants of the Leper's Island, says that when a lunatic spoke, »it was not with his own voice, but with that of the dead man who possessed him; and such a man would know where things were hidden; Thus the possession which causes madness cannot be quite distinguished from that which prophesies, and a man may pretend to be mad that he may get the reputation of being a prophet.» 7 Lunatics among the Indians of Guiana are regarded with great awe by the people on account of
Hamilton, 'A New Account of the East Indies,' in Pinkerton, A General Collection of Voyages and Travels, viii. 280.
? Maltzan, Reise nach Südarabien, p. 348.
Cf. Lemprière, 'Tour to Morocco,' in Pinkerton, op. cit. xv. 694. 4 Hickson, A Naturalist in North Celebes, p. 259. 5 Jarves, History of the Hawaiian Islands, p. 44. & Polack, Manners and Customs of the New Zealanders, ii. 101.
Codrington, Melanesians, p. 219.
the universal conviction that they stand in intimate communication with the gods, for which reason their doings and utterances are also held to imply manifestations of the gods.1 To the Buryats, insanity indicates a close connection with the highest beings.
From the dispositions which are thought to qualify a person for priesthood we shall now turn to the initiation of a neophyte into the sacerdotal office. As a rule, candidates for the profession of a priest or wizard have to undergo a preparatory instruction which is imparted by some expert practitioner. Thus, according to Mr. Andersson, a Namaqua who wishes to make himself a witch-doctor of any importance is required to be previously instructed by one who is well versed in the mysteries of the black art. To become a member of the priesthood among the Tshi-speaking peoples in West-Africa a long noviciate is necessary, during which the novices are instructed by the priests in the secrets of the craft. And among the Yoruba-speaking peoples, seminaries for youths and girls who devote themselves to the priestly office are a regular institution. 5 The Rev. J. Shooter tells us that the priestly aspirant among the Kafirs of Natal, after having manifested his divine inspiration, » goes to a prophet; and presenting him with a goat, seeks to be instructed in the mysteries of the profession.» 6 A Buryat who wishes to prepare himself for the profession of a shaman attaches himself as a pupil to one already
1 Schomburgk, Reisen in Britisch-Guiana, ii. 54.
Кулаковъ, 'Буряты Пркутской Губерніи, іn Извѣстія В.-Сиб. Отд. Геогр. Общ. xxvi, 4–5. p. 138.
Andersson, Lake Ngami, p. 330.
Shooter, Kafirs of Natal, p. 191.
thoroughly versed in the same. ' Similar statements are
The Eskimo novices are trained by their older and more experienced colleagues.
It is not always, however, that a preparatory instruction is necessary for becoming a priest. Although
Шашковъ, Шаманство, іn Записки Геогр. Общ ii. 84.
? Припузовъ, Шаманство у Якутовъ, in Извѣстія В.Сиб. Отд. Геогр. Общ. хv. 65.
Friis, Lappisk Mythologi, p. 4.
Ling Roth, Natives of Borneo,' in Jour. Anthr. Inst. xxi. 115.
Bancroft, Works, i. 777.
Bancroft, op. cit. ii. 201.
Astrup, Blandt Nordpolens Naboer, p. 283. Nansen, Eskimoliv, p. 240.
the statements on this point are somewhat ambiguous, it would seem that those who had been inspired by the gods were less in want of instruction than those who were self-chosen. Among the natives of the Gold Coast any one may assume the office of a fetish-man after suitable training, but the priestly order is said, in addition, to be augmented by persons who can prove that the fetish has suddenly seized upon them.' The Golapûrabs in the Agra district of India also acknowledge that any one may undertake the duty of a »cunning man» if he learns the appropriate spell from some teacher, or by intensity of devotion compels an evil spirit into his power. 2 Among the Buryats there are shamans who have obtained the requisite powers from the gods without being previously instructed in the profession. 3 The way in which the sorcerers of the Ojebway Indians are made »is either by direct communication with the familiar spirit during the days of their fasting, or by being instructed by those skilled in the art.» 4 The Murring of Australia considered that it was the spirits who gave their powers to the Gommeras, or seers, but, at the same time, thought that a boy could be trained up »in the way he should go.» 5 By certain tribes in New South Wales »a doctor is believed to acquire his powers in one of two ways, either by being trained from boyhood by his father, or by being instructed by the spirits of the dead. » 6 The Arunta and Ilpirra tribes are said to have three distinct schools of medicine-men, the members of
Kingsley, West African Studies, p. 145.
? Crooke, Tribes and Castes of the North-Western Provinces and Oudh, ii. 428.
з Кулаковъ, 'Буряты Иркутской Губерніи, іn Извѣстія В.-Сиб. Отд. Геогр. Общщ. xxvi, 4—5. p. 139.
+ Jones, History of the Ojebway Indians, p. 146.
Howitt, ’Australian Medicine Men,' in Jour. Anthr. Inst. xvi. 48 sq.
two of which are chosen by the spirits, whereas those belonging to the third are initiated by other medicinemen; but the two first are more highly thought of than the third. 1
Similarly, as the disposition for the priestly office is often thought to be conspicuous even in childhood, so the preparation of a novice, in many cases, begins at an early age. Among the Eskimo »the 'studies' necessary before becoming an angakok were in most cases begun in infancy,» 2 and among the inhabitants of Kadiak on the South coast of Alaska, the professors of shamanism >are brought up to their business from their infancy.» 3 The Ojebway Indians encourage their youths from the age of ten to manhood to fast, in which way they obtain the favour of the gods. * Concerning the Panama Indians we read:
» Boys destined to be piaces are taken at the age of ten or twelve years to be instructed in the office.» 5 The Ipurina sorcerers generally begin their preparation while boys. Of the Tshi-speaking peoples in West Africa it is said that even children can become members of the priesthood by being devoted to the profession by their relatives." The Bilians, or priests, of certain natives of Borneo »are trained for their task from their earliest
It seems to be the rule that, where the priests are subjected to a regular course of instruction, the preparatory period commences early in life, whereas the more impulsive assumption of priesthood, with little or no previous training, is liable to take place at any age.
Spencer and Gillen, Native Tribes of Central Australia, p. 522.
Bancroft, Works, i. 777.
Ellis, Tshi-speaking Peoples, p. 120.