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Coulanges gives us several instances of Roman and Greek cities, the founders of which were worshipped by the inhabitants. 1 Sir John Malcolm says that »the most singular, and perhaps the most original worship of the Bhills, is that which they pay to their deceased ancestors, or chiefs of note.» 2 In Uganda deceased kings are demi-gods, 3 in Chicova, on the Zambesi, »they pray to departed chiefs and relatives,» 4 and similar customs are reported also from the Sandeh, north-west of the Albert Nyanza, 5 from the Zulu 6 and the Malagasy." The natives of Kuria, one of the Kingsmill Islands, seem to have believed » that their gods also had once been chiefs, who from the lapse of time had been forgotten.» 8 Of the inhabitants of Bornabi, it is asserted that »their prayers were usually addressed to the spirit of some deceased chief. » 9 One of the most popular gods of Hawaii, was Lono, an ancient king. 10 We are also told that Oro, the mightiest god of war of the Tahitians, appears to have been a deified mortal, an origin which, with more or less probability, is also assigned to Hiro, another widely venerated god. 11 In Samoa most gods derived their origin from the postmortal deification of chiefs. 12 The New Zealanders believed that several high chiefs after death became deified. 13
1 Fustel de Coulanges, La Cité Antique, p. 162.
Malcolm, 'Essay on the Bhills,' in Trans. Roy. As. Soc. i. 72. 3 Stuhlmann, Mit Emin Pascha, p. 187. + Livingstone, Missionary Travels, p. 605. 5 Casati, Dieci Anni in Equatoria, i. 185 sq. 6. Hartmann, Die Völker Afrikas, p. 224. 7 Ellis, History of Madagascar, i. 392. 8 Wilkes, Narrative of the U. S. Exploring Expedition, v. 87. 19 Cheyne, Western Pacific Ocean, p. 121. 10 Jarves, History of the Ilawaiian Islands, p. 23. 11 Meinicke, Inseln des Stillen Oceans, ii. 178 sq.. 12 1b., ii. 116. 13 Thomson, The Story of New Zealand, i. 110.
Under certain circumstances departed persons are transformed into malevolent spirits, of which many savage tribes live in terror. Very generally, persons who die a. violent death are considered to become spirits, and deformed and insane persons are also often referred after death to the same class of beings. The sudden interruption of life, without any subsequent propitiation of the spirit, seems to give rise to the idea of unappeased manes who inflict suffering upon men, while the awe with which idiots and cripples are regarded among many peoples accounts for the belief that they may bring about all sorts of mischief after death. Respecting notions of this kind, Crooke states that among the Chamârs in upper India, »persons who die in a sudden or unusual way become malevolent spirits (bhût), and must be carefully propitiated. » 1 The Rautia think that exorcists, women who die in childbirth, and persons killed by a tiger, are liable to reappear as Bhuts. 2 By certain tribes in Western India evil spirits are held to »originate from the souls. of those who have died untimely or violent deaths, or been deformed, idiotic or insane; afflicted with fits or unusual ailments; or drunken, dissolute, or wicked during life.» 3 In Cambodia, » les femmes mortes en couche deviennent des revenants très redoutés.» 4 The Pelew Islanders fear the spirits of relatives killed in battle who have had their heads cut off, as, also, the spirits of people murdered for revenge, those of women who die in childbed, and those of suicides, are greatly feared. 5 Among certain Australians, »men who are slain in battle, and their bodies left to rot or be devoured by wild dogs,
1 Crooke, Tribes and Castes of the North-Western Provinces and Cudh, ii. 189.
? Risley, Tribes and Castes of Bengal, ii. 207.
are supposed to become evil and wandering spirits.» 1 The Blackfoot Indians imagine that enemies killed in battle become evil spirits who cause diseases among men.2 In certain parts of Finland drowned persons as well as those who have been murdered and buried in a field, without thus in either case being interred in consecrated ground, are believed to become spectres. Also the ghosts of suicides, misers, and criminals are supposed to walk after death. 3
In some cases, what becomes of persons after death seems merely to be determined by the character which they bore while living. M. Banzarof writes with reference to the beliefs of the Mongols, that only those persons become Ongons, or spirits, after death who have made themselves renowned in life by their good or evil qualities. People who render their race great services pass into benevolent Ongons, whereas wicked men are thought of as inalevolently disposed also after death. 4 Of certain tribes in Western India it is remarked that the death of any well-known bad character is a source of terror to all in his neighbourhood, as he is sure to become a Bhûta or demon, as powerful and malignant as he was in life.» 5 M. Fustel de Coulanges, referring to the ancestor-worship of the Romans, says that it was not even necessary to have been a virtuous man to be deified; the wicked, as well as the good man, became a god, but he retained in the second life all the evil propensities which had characterized him in the first. 6
1 Wallace, Australasia, p. 100.
3 Allardt, 'Nyländska folkseder och bruk, vidskepelse m. m.,' in Nyland, iv. 113, 114.
+ banyapobb, ’III a maHCTBO y Mohr OJO Bb,' p. 32.
As an idea kindred to that mentioned above, we must regard the belief that the manes of bad priests and sorcerers become malignant spirits. It has been shown that by the Rautia in India, exorcists are supposed to appear after death as Bhuts. 1 The Páháriás, a tribe of Rajmahal, bury their priests in an exceptional way in the forest, because their ghosts are believed to be exceedingly troublesome if the bodies are laid in the village cemetery. 2 Among the Yakuts the shamans are thought to be transformed after death into evil spirits, 3 and among the Eskimo about Bering Strait, thieves, sorcerers and bad shamans, witches, and the people who practise certain forbidden customs are thought to be uneasy after death. 4 The Patagonians believe that the souls of their wizards after death are of the number of the demons. 5
Whilst ancestor-worship tends to centralize the cult within families, or kindred groups, no such tendency is manifested by mere nature-worship. These two forms of religion, however, are, among inost peoples, intermingled to a very great extent. Depending on the more or less
1 Risley, Tribes and Castes of Bengal, ii. 207.
з Приклонскій, "Три года въ Якутской области, in X i bag Crapuha, i, 4. p. 63.
+ Nelson, "The Eskimo about Bering Strait,' in Smithsonian Reports, xviii. pt. i. p. 423.
• Falkner, Description of Patagonia, p. 116.
6. The most important and detailed treatise of worship of gods in nature is given by Dr. Tylor in Primitive Culture. Different forms and manifestations of nature-worship have also been made the objects of careful investigations by De la Sayssaye, Manual of the Science of Religion, pp. 102–111; Goblet d'Alviella, Lectures on the Origin and Growth of the Conception of God, pp. 122 sqq.; Jevons, Introduction to the History of Religion, Chapter xvii; and Oldenberg, Die Religion des Veda, pp. 39–53.
1 Cf. Goblet d'Alviella, op. cit. p. 82. Fustel de Coulanges, La Cité Antique, pp. 136 sqq.
general occurrence of the phenomena which give rise to the belief in gods of nature, such gods are likely to be worshipped within larger or smaller divisions of mankind with little or no precedence given to certain kindred groups. So, too, the worship of ancestral gods is, as a rule, conducted by one of the descendants of the gods, and the priority of the relatives as regards the priesthood only disappears in proportion as the memory of the origin of the gods gradually fades. But it is obvious that the origin of the priesthood connected with the gods of nature cannot be in the same sense ruled by any regard to family ties. Relationship is of little or no consequence in nature-worship. These tendencies constitute the principal difference between ancestor-worship and nature-worship with regard to their respective influence upon the origin of priesthood. But on account of the fact that in most cases ancestral gods and the gods of nature are worshipped indiscriminately, our investigation must be directed to the first appearance of priesthood as a whole.
There is every reason to believe that in the earliest history of cult no proper priesthood existed. Although various kinds of priestly practitioners undoubtedly belong to a very early period of religious evolution, all conclusions point to the rule that originally everybody invoked the gods each for himself. Cult has therefore existed in some form or other before there were any professional men intrusted with the duty of conducting the different religious observances.
According to information received from several sources, among certain peoples the custom that everybody
1 This is also the opinion of Dr. Lippert who points out that the idea of cult cannot be ascribed to the invention or discovery of the priesthood. On the contrary, a primitive cult may have existed before there were any priests, being at first administered without priests. Allgemeine Geschichte des l'riesterthums, i. 47.