« ForrigeFortsæt »
that they cannot possibly be divided into classes. 1 Mr. Bailey also makes mention of the equality of rank» prevailing among them, ? and Messrs. P. and F. Sarasin remark that they have no slavery nor any system of castes. 3 . Unanimous statements prove that the Fuegians live in a state of complete equality. »They did not appear,» writes Captain Cook, »to have among them any government or subordination: none was more respected than another.» 4 Admiral Fitzroy expresses the same opinion. » There is,» he says, »no superiority of one over another, among the Fuegians, except that acquired gradually by age, sagacity, and daring conduct.» 5 Darwin makes mention of »the perfect equality among the individuals composing the Fuegian tribes,» 6 and finally we read of them in a paper by M. Hyades that »il n'y a ni roi, ni chef, ni aristocratie, ni castes, ni hierarchie sociale, ni esclaves; c'est le régime de l'égalite dans toute sa pureté. » 7
Respecting the Western Eskimo Mr. Seemann writes that »slavery, even in its mildest aspect, is totally unknown; every one is on a perfect level with the rest of his countrymen.» 8 » An Innuit», to quote Mr. Hall, »is subject to no man's control.» 9 It is true that among
De Butts, Rambles in Ceylon, p. 149. Davy, Account of the Interior of Ceylon, p. 118. Bailey, 'Wild Tribes of the Veddahs of Ceylon,' in Trans. Ethn. Soc. N. S. ii. 281, 282.
3 Bailey, loc. cit. N. S. ii. 307.
: Sarasin, Ergebnisse naturwissenschaftlicher Forschungen auf Ceylon, iii. 488.
4 Cook, An Account of a Voyage round the World, Hawkesworth’s Ed. ii. 58.
Ő Fitzroy, Surveying Voyages of Adventure and Beagle, ii. 178. • Darwin, loyage of Beagle, p. 229.
1 Hyades, 'Ethnographie des Fuegiens,' in Bulletins de la Société d'Anthropologie, T. iv. Série x. 335.
8 Seemann, Voyage of Herald, ii. 59 sq.
mith's Straii Astrup wri
the Central Eskim), according to Dr. Boas, men who are not able to provide for themselves are sometimes adopted by others and may almost be considered as servants. »The position, however,» the author adds, »is a voluntary one, and therefore these men are not less esteemed than the self-dependent providers». 1 By Mr. Hearne we are told that the Eskimo on Hudson's Bay »live in a state of perfect freedom; no one apparently claiming the superority over, or acknowledging the least subordination to another.» 2 Describing the Greenlanders, Crantz declares that »no one desires to usurp the least authority over another, to prescribe to him in the least, to call him to account for his actions, or to demand any rates or taxes for the public want or weal. For they have no overplus nor riches; they have a natural antipathy against all compulsion, and the whole country stands open to each of them.» 3 Mr. Astrup writes of a tribe in the vicinity of Smith's Strait, in North-Western Greenland, that their community is based upon the principles of a complete equality. 4
These instances serve to show that arbitrarily divided classes are by no means universal among mankind. Turning to peoples with which social differentiation has taken place, we meet with a variety of higher and lower classes. Also the number of classes and subclasses varies very much, some peoples having only two, others a considerable number. Among these miscellaneous divisions we have to find out the general types. From peoples with a simple and unadulterated organisation of classes, we can best judge which classes are to be regarded as typical. The lowest grade met with in any community, are the slaves, who form perhaps the best
1 Boas, 'The Central Eskimo,' in Smithsonian Reports, vi. 581.
. ?Hearne, Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort to the Northern Ocean, p. 161, note.
3 Crantz, The History of Greenland, i. 180.
defined group. The rest of the population is, among different peoples,, very differently organized as to classes, but in communities with an extensive system of classes we are, as a rule, able to discern at least one higher and one lower division, a nobility and a commonalty.
We believe that these categories now mentioned, the nobility, the commonalty and the slave-class, represent the classes in which peoples with social differentiation are divided. One or other of these typical orders may be wanting among some peoples, but, as a rule, every degree of rank is comprehended in the said groups. The universal prevalence of this gradation of classes is illustrated by the fact that a great number of peoples, in different parts of the world, are expressly stated to be divided into a nobility, a commonalty and a slaveclass. 1 And when taking into consideration the varying ranks of other peoples, it becomes clear that in most cases they are to be regarded as subdivisions or combinations of the chief classes.
1 Instances of such peoples are given by: Wilson and Felkin, Uganda und der Aegyptische Sudan, i. 96 (Waganda); Buchner, Kamerún, p. 29 (Dualla); Möller, Pagels and Gleerup, Tre år i Kongo, ii. 132 (Natives on the Upper Congo); Lang, in Steinmetz, Rechtsverhältnisse, p. 240 (Washambala); Desoignies, ib. pp. 277 sq. (Msalala); Haxthausen, Trans'caucasia, p. 406 (Ossetes); Dareste, Nouvelles Etudes d'Histoire du Droit, p. 321 (Natives of Cambodia); Riedel, De sluik- en kroesharige rassen tusschen Selebes en Papua, pp. 154, 228, 293, 384, 406, 434 (Several tribes in the Austral-Asian Archipelago); Semper, Die Palau-Inseln, pp. 36 sq; Wilkes, Narrative of the U. S. Exploring Expedition, v. 83 (Inhabitants of Makin); Hale, 'Ethnography and Philology,' ib. vi. 82 (Natives of Banabe, or Ascension Island); Gräffe, 'Die Carolineninsel Yap,' in Jourinal des Museum Godeffroy, Bd. i. Hft. 2. p. 22; Holmberg, Völker der Russischen America, in Acta Soc. Scient. Fennicae, T. iv. Fasc. ii. 294 (Tblinkets); Boas, 'The Social Organisation and the Secret Societies of the Kwakiutl Indians,' in Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, 1895, p. 338; Stoll, 'Ethnologie der Indianerstämme von Guatemala,' in Internationales Archiv für Ethnographie, Suppl. zu Bd. i. 4; Von Martius, Beiträge zur Ethnologie und Sprachenkunde Ameriku's, i. 232 (Guaucurūs).
In comparison with the lay classes priesthood' occupies, in many respects, a peculiar position. Owing to the universal prevalence of »priests», »medicine-men», »rain-doctors», or whatever name may be given to those functionaries in different stages of evolution, who perform religious or inagical rites, we should have the most profitable opportunity of studying the differentiation of this class from humanity at large, if only our knowledge of the priesthood of uncivilized races were complete.
Are we, however, justified in including the magician, or sorcerer, in our investigation of the origin of priesthood? – I think we are not only justified, but even bound to do so. In whatever way we may look upon the relation between early magic and early religion; it is evident that religious observances and magical practices are largely confused by the performers of mystical rites. When studying the origin of priesthood we must; therefore, commence with taking into account all performers of actions with a superhuman bearing, whether they may properly be called priests or magicians, until we are able to examine in what degree the different classes of priesthood may possibly be distinguished from each other. And in any case, we must be careful not to leave out, prematurely, any part of our subject that may prove to be of real importance.
Regarding the question of the universality of priesthood among mankind; we sometimes, in books of travel, meet with accounts of a people without priests. And as priests presuppose the existence of religion; statements of this kind are connected with the frequently discussed question whether there do exist peoples without religion or not. As Lord Avebury and Dr. Tylor have pointed out the answer depends very much on the meaning which is ascribed to »religion», 1 Whatever may be regarded as the essential nature of religion, there is every reason to reject, as Dr Tylor does, too narrow a limitation of that term, so as not to identify religion with any special form of worship. We have to distinguish between two different opinions as to the essence of religion. Dr Tylor's often-quoted » minimum definition> of religion is » belief in Spiritual Beings.»l Professor Tiele holds a similar opinion of the essence of religion, 2. and somewhat analogous is also the meaning which Count Goblet d'Alviella gives to the term, defining religion as »the conception man forms of his relations with the superhuman and mysterious powers on which he believes himself to depend.» 3 On the other hand, the principal importance has by certain scholars been attached not to the mêrê belief, but to the cult. Thus Dr. Frazer understands by religion »a propitiation or conciliation of powers superior to man which are believed to direct and control the course of nature and human life.» 4. Grant Allen, again, denotes worship and sacrifice as the prime factors of religion. »In all early religions, » he says, »the practice is at a maximum and the creed at a minimum.» 5 Dr. Westermarck points out that religion is not the mere belief in the existence of supernatural beings, but at the same time a form of action. Religion contains an element of thought, i. e. the religious belief, and an element of action, i. e. the religious
1 Avebury, Pre-Historic Times, p. 551. Tylor, Primitive Culture, i. 424.
Whether it be the cult of supernatural beings or the belief in such beings that is to be regarded as the essential element of religion, it does not, however, great
1 Tylor, Primitive Culture, i. 424.
3 Goblet d'Alviella, Lectures on the Origin and Growth of the Conception of God, p. 47.
4 Frazer, The Golden Bough, i. 63.