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Our method explains these facts as survivals of Totemism. Almost all known lower races, froin the level of the Australians to that of the Iroquois League, are in one or another stage of Totemism. The stocks of kindred, that is, claim descent from beasts, birds, or other creatures or natural objects. Each stock holds its own ancestral animal sacred, looks to it for aid and protection, and declines to kill it except in case of necessity, though the animal, in some places, is solemnly sacrificed once a year, itself to itself, in a mystical ceremony. Among certain peoples, as in Samoa, we see the process of advance towards the Greek and Syrian view of sacred animals. In Samoa many stocks combine to worship one god, but they do not therefore reject their sacred animals. They allege that in the various beasttotems of their various stocks the one god common to all these stocks is incarnate. It is easy to see how an opinion like this would fill the temples of Apollo and of the Syrian goddess of Lucian, like the temples of the Peruvian deities, with images of various sacred animals.26 In Egypt the usual features of savage Totemism show very much more distinct in the local animal-worships and sacrifices. Professors Sayce and Robertson Smith, sufficient philological authorities, accept this view, as far at least as Egypt is concerned.
If our hypothesis be correct, the greatest puzzle of ancient religion is solved as a survival of a worldwide custom of the lower races. Mr. Max Müller, however, remarks : • Totemism is one of those many words that sound so grand and mean so little—at least, so little that is definite.' I cannot say that “Totem 'sounds very 'grand’ to my ear, but 'Totemism' is as definite' as any clause in the latest Reform Bill. Nor do we say that, for example, “the Algonkins believed their ancestor and their chief divinity to have been a rabbit or a hare, because their crest was a hare or a rabbit. We do not pretend to have discovered the origin of Totemism; it is enough for us that the institution is of worldwide distribution among the lower races, and that certain elements of religion and myth among the advanced races are clearly survivals of that institution.
Mr. Max Müller, following Dr. Brinton, attempts to show that one totem—the Great Hare of the Algonkins--was a dawn hero! born of a misunderstood word. But Dr. Brinton's argument will not hold water. The names of the Great Hare are five or six. One of them is Michabo, in which the Doctor finds the root wab. Now wab means hare; but there is another root wab (Dr. Brinton says), meaning white.'27 He goes on : Beyond a doubt this' (wab=white, not wab=hare) is the compound in the name Michabo, which therefore means “the Great Light, the Spirit of Dawn.” ? 28 This beyond a
24 See Custom and Myth, 2nd edition, pp. 102–120 : •Apollo and the Mouse.' 37 Myths of the New World, pp. 178-179.
25 Other words meaning. The Great Hare' are Messou and Missibizi. Where is wab meaning 'light' or anything else in Missibizi and Messou ?
doubt' is diverting. The word Michabo is to be converted from “Great Hare’ to “Great Light;' and there can be no doubt’ that the conversion is correct, because—though it is directly contrary to all Indian opinion from the earliest known times—it 'lets in the dawn hero! Dr. Brinton is aware that the very race which believes in the Great Hare has some twenty other totemic animals. He does not dream of pretending that each of these--Lear, turtle, trout, crane, wolf, raven, coyote, and what not-is a corruption froin a root meaning dawn, or light, or anything of the kind. It is beyond the powers of human credulity to hold that a religion of the forces of nature, of dawn, sun, wind, storm, was degraded, by forgetfulness of the meaning of words, into a worship, literally, of every brute in the Zoological Gardens. Why should such a degradation and confusion have taken precisely the same form, that of animal worship, in Australian, Indian, American, African, Semitic, Egyptian, Asiatic, and Samoyede languages? A cause should bear some kind of proportion to its effects. There may be enumerated at least thirty or forty totemic animals in America. No approach to an explanation of their existence is given by the conjecture that one out of the whole array may have come to honour by a confusion between wab=white and wab hare. Even if this assertion were correct, Dr. Brinton would not for a moment think of explaining the whole totemic menagerie, and the institution all over the world, as a result of a corruption of language which everywhere, and in every tongue, took the same extraordinary forms. Dr. Brinton, in fact, offers another explanation of the worship of beasts. They were to man not inferiors, but equals, even superiors.' Then, with curious inconsistency, Dr. Brinton writes, 'It was not the beast be (man) worshipped, but that share of the omnipresent deity which he thought he-perceived under its form.' 29 The omnipresent deity he perceived ! And Dr. Brinton has just denied that there is one single instance of monotheism, personal and definite, or dim and pantheistic, to be found on the whole American continent ! 30 Yet Mr. Max Müller, following Dr. Brinton on one of his divergent tracks, recognises the Great Hare as “the not unworthy personification of the purest conceptions Red Indians possess concerning the Father of All.' Dr. Brinton says, “The phrases Good Spirit, Great Spirit, are entirely of modern origin, coined at the suggestion of missionaries.' As for the solar theory, as for explaining all symbols and myths by the actions of this orb on nature,' it has, says Dr. Brinton, had its bottom pulled from under it. Nowhere has it manifested its inefficiency more palpably than in America.'
Obviously there is not much to be learned by trying to follow the curiously devious trail of Dr. Brinton through the forest of mythology.31
29 P. 175.
30 P. 53. 3: Mr. Max Müller appears to have read Dr. Brinton's Myths of the New World in
So much space has been filled with the Great Hare that I can only indicate in so many words other gifts of anthropology to mythology in addition to the theory of totemism.
(2) It will be probably acknowledged in no long time that the kind of stories which the advanced (Greek and Indian) religions tell about anthropomorphic gods and heroes are in almost every one of the lower races told about theriomorphic or beast-shaped gods and heroes. As civilisation advances feather and fur drop off, the bestial heads are removed from the divine images, and gods are made in the image of man.
(3) Many myths now explained by Aryan etymologies will be found current all over the globe, among peoples who never spoke an Aryan tongue. In Custom and Myth, and in my introduction to Mrs. Hunt's translation of Grimm's Household Tales, I try to show this in the case of the myths of Cronus, of Cupid and Psyche, and of the Argonautic expedition. The essential ideas in all these are familiar to Samoans, Ojibbeways, Maoris, and appear to be in one case rude nature-myths; in others, relics of very early customs; in others, purely romantic inventions. I might add the myth of Prometheus the Fire-Bringer. Kuhn and many others explain that Pramantha, the fire-stick, is the original of the name Prometheus. The Aryan word for rubbing became confused with the word for stealing, and Pramantha (Prometheus) the Fire-Rubber became the Fire-Robber. To this 32 I reply by showing that, all the world over, peoples who do not speak an Aryan language, Maoris, Australians, Ahts, Thlinkeets, Cabrocs, possess the myth of the Fire-Stealer. They cannot have obtained it through forgetfulness of the meaning of an Aryan root. Their fire-stealing persons, too, following the law already mentioned (2), are almost always beasts or birds, or anthropomorphic heroes who have assumed a bestial shape for the occasion.
Many other examples of the results of the anthropological, or ethnopsychological, or agriological, or Hottentotic method might be given. I must be content with these for the present, and with the conclusion that, when Greeks or Indians were “in the same tale' with Maoris and Cahrocs, they inherited the legend from savage ancestors, or borrowed it from savages, or from people who retained survivals of savagery; they did not hit on it in the delirium produced by a disease of language.
an edition different from that which lies before me (Holt: New York, 1876). I give the references as they occur in that volume.
32 Encyclop. Britann. s.v. 'Prometheus, where a different hypothesis as to the meaning of the story of stealing fire is hazarded.
VOL. XIX.-No. 107.
THE LITTLE ONES AND THE LAND.
AWHILE ago I paid a call on Mrs. Grimbley. She is a very poor widow, and how she lives none know but herself; yet she does continue to live where her father lived before her, and his father before him. She is a strange old woman. She is descended from an old Huguenot family; they were thriving people once ; she is the last of her line. I found her cowering over a wretched fire that could hardly keep alight, and she was reading a gaudy tract given her by some apostle of the Rights of Man; it advocated the restoration to the people of what belonged to the people, to wit the land. Mrs. Grimbley was reading her tract in the great chimney corner, and she was holding over her head a large umbrella to protect her against the rain; the miserable hovel was full of smoke; the fire was sputtering with the big rain drops that came down the vast chimney steadily, heavily. I closed the door and sat down upon a three-legged chair (a genuine Queen Anne), and I attempted conversation somewhat timidly, for I saw that Widow Grimbley was not in the mood for talk. At such times I avoid the use of pronouns as much as possible and shrink from preaching or anything like it. Then the following dialogue ensued, question and answer following one another with long intervals of silence.
Chimney always smoke ? • Always'
Used to it?'
“Can't say as I am; I don't like it anyhow, but I've got to bear it. It's the law.'
*Law's a rum un, eh?'
“Ah! and a bad un, or some of us wouldn't be clothed in purple and fine linen and some of us have to sit under an umbrella.'
* Rain comes down here seemingly when some winds blow.'
Some winds ? It don't stop coming down for winds. Ah! There now ! you've found it out too!'
This à propos of a big blob of soot that fell upon my hand, brought down by the pelting rain.
Grand old chimney though to look at, eh? I verily believe, Mrs. Grimbley, that if I had a rampant horse with vaulting ambi
tion enough I could drive a gig up that chimney. Would you come? I'd take you with me.'
This was too much for Mrs. Grimbley; she shuddered silently. At last she could not restrain her sense of the ludicrous. Poor old soul, she used to know what laughter was once-ever so long agoand she tried not to laugh and tried to keep it back now, ashamed of the weak phantom of merriment that had surprised her.
I ain't no call to laugh,' she said, and then she dried her eyes. . • The old chimney, I've heard my grandfather say, was a very old one ever since he could remember. It belonged to him and it don't belong to me, and if it did I shouldn't be none the better. There ain't no room in this world now for the Little ones. That's the law!'
Poor Dolly Grimbley—her father had christened her Dorothea, if I betrayed her into laughter she almost startled me into tears, for the pathos of the scene touched me profoundly—the dreary and desolate old woman without a relative in the world, desperately resisting the horrible thought of ending her days in the Union, and slowly starving herself to keep out of the abhorred Bastile; she, in her forlorn condition, going for comfort to the Rights of Man and the dream of the spoliation of the haves for the benefit of the havenote; bitter at heart, so bitter that the Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief seemed to her to have gone over to the strong and to have no further care for the weak and weeping and all the suffering and wronged Little ones.
But it was Mrs. Grimbley who taught me that term, and I find it a convenient one which saves me much circumlocution at times, when I want to discuss one of the burning questions of the day with those who know something about it.
In Arcady to lump our children together under one designation which assumes that they are all of a size may often lead to your giving dire offence. To insinuate that the baby yonder is only an average baby will quickly bring upon you the maternal protest, • Lor, sir! we du reckon him a big buoy! We are matter-of-fact people in Arcady, and we stickle for the meaning of words, especially where the status of our progeny is involved. How's your wife, Simon ?' said I to a young father once. She's getting on bonny, sir !' And the baby? Is it a nice little baby?' “Well, sir, we think as it ain't a very nasty one.' No reproof was meant; it was only a cautious and modest way of putting it without conceding too much either way. Knowing this wary habit of mind, which the inexperienced would mistake for captiousness, we rarely speak of children as the little ones, because there are big children and little children, but some of us have consented to describe the smaller occupiers of land as the little folk,' or as Mrs. Grimbley did by naming them the Little ones. In Arcady we include among the Little ones all holders of land