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of hair for an offering of blood. This last is a common practice: it is probably what is meant by the shaving of the head on the part of the worshipper of Bingu just mentioned; it was frequent amongst the Semites and the Greeks, and even survives in modern times.? To return to the bloodoffering: evil dreams are due to evil spirits, so in the New World, “ among the Ahts, when a person starts in a dream with a scream, a relative will cut his arms and legs and sprinkle the blood around the house." 3 In Greece, the χαλαζοφύλακες, if they had no victim to offer to avert the threatening hail-storm, fell back on the ancient ways, and drew blood from their own fingers to appease the storm. The transition from boyhood to manhood was a time when the youth required specially to be placed under the protection of the god, and this was effected by scourging him till his blood ran on the altar, amongst the Spartans; by cutting off a finger, amongst the Mandans ; 5 amongst the Dieyerie tribe of the Australians, by making down his back ten or twelve long cuts, the scars of which he carries to his grave.
Other special occasions on which the worshipper offers his blood are great festivals. Thus, in Samoa, at the feast in June in honour of Taisumalie, after the meal “ followed club exercise, and in terrible earnestness they battered each other's scalps till the blood streamed down and over their faces and bodies; and this as an offering to the deity. Old and young, men, women, and children, all took part in this general mêlée and blood-letting, in the belief that Taisumalie would thereby be all the more pleased with their devotedness, and answer prayer for health, good crops, and success in battle.”? Amongst the Semites, a familiar instance of the blood-offering in distress is that of the priests of Baal. On joyful occasions, also, the rite is observed, as, for instance, at marriages. In Samoa, the bride “was received with shouts of applause, and as a further expression of respect” (?), “ her immediate friends, young and old, took up stones and beat themselves until their heads were bruised and bleeding."i In Equatoria, part of the Donagla wedding ceremony is a survival of the bloodletting rite. “The husband scratches the sides and shoulders of the bride (with nails prepared a long time before) till the blood starts, as is required by custom.”? To commend themselves and their prayers, the Quichés pierced their ears and gashed their arms, and offered the sacrifice of their blood to their gods.3 The Mexicans bled their ears or tongues in honour of Macuilxochitl 4 and many other gods. The practice of drawing blood from the ears is said by Bastian 5 to be common in the Orient; and Lippert 6 conjectures that the marks left in the ears were valued as visible and permanent indications that the person possessing them was under the protection of the god with whom the worshipper had united himself by his blood-offering. In that case, earrings were originally designed not for ornament, but to keep open and therefore permanently visible the mark of former worship. The marks or scars left on legs or arms from which blood had been drawn were probably the origin of tattooing, as has occurred to various anthropologists. Like most other ideas, we may add, that of tattooing must have been forced on man; it was not his own invention, and, being a decorative idea, it must have followed the laws which regulate the development of all decorative art. A stick or bone is prized because of itself it suggests, or bears somewhat of a likeness to, some object, e.g. the head of an animal; and the primitive artist completes the likeness suggested. So the scars from ceremonial blood-letting may have suggested a figure; the resemblance was deliberately completed; and next time the scars were from the beginning designedly arranged to form a pattern. That the pattern then chosen should be a picture of the totem animal or the god to whom the blood was offered, would be suggested by a natural and almost inevitable association of ideas. That the occasion selected for the operation should be early in life, and should be one of which it was desirable that the worshippers should carry a visible and permanent record, e.g. initiation, whether into manhood or, as amongst the Battas," priesthood, is also comprehensible;2 and when we recollect that in death the clansman is often supposed to be reunited to his totem, we can understand the belief of the Esquimaux and Fiji Islanders, that none but the tattooed can enter their respective paradises.
i Bastian, Der Mensch, iii. 4.
2 Religion of the Semites, 335. 3 Dorman, Primitive Superstitions, 61. * Plutarch, ed. Wyttenbach, ii. 700 E.; Seneca, Quæst. Nat. 4. 6. 5 Bastian, Der Mensch, iii. 4.
6 Bastian, Allerlei, i. 171. 7 Turner, Samoa, 57.
81 Kings xviii. 28.
i Turner, Polynesia, 187. 2 Casati, Ten Years in Equatoria, i. 69. 3 Brasseur de Bourbourg, Popol Vuh, 229, 259.
Sahagun, i, xiv. 6 Der Mensch, iii. 4.
6 Culturgeschichte der Menschheit, ii. 328.
By the time that the blood-letting rite has come to be stereotyped and obligatory on all in the form of tattooing, or in its original form has come to be too usual to secure the undivided attention which a man's own fortunes seem to him to require, there will be a tendency-unless the community exhibits that loyalty to its own gods which is essential both to the existence and to the moral and religious development of the tribe—to seek the aid of supernatural spirits other than the tribal god. Now, for the savage, supernatural beings are divided into three classes—the gods of his own tribe, those of other tribes, and spirits which, unlike the first two classes, have never obtained a definite circle of worshippers to offer sacrifice to them and in return receive protection from them. This last class, never having been taken into alliance by any clan, have never been elevated into gods. There is, in the case we are now considering, no question of seeking the aid of strange gods—they are presumably already too much engaged in looking after their own worshippers to meet the exorbitant demands of the man who is dissatisfied with his own proper gods. Thus in Peru, “ each province, each nation, each house, had its own gods, different from one another; for they thought that a stranger's god, occupied with someone else, could not attend to them, but only their own.” 5 It is therefore to the third class of spirits that he must turn. He has not far to go to find them: he can scarcely set out from the camp or village in any direction without passing some spot, a conspicuous rock, a gloomy
1 Bastian, Oest. Asien, v. 45.
• The rite of circumcision has probably been diffused from one single centre. Whether the practice belongs in its origin to the class of ceremonies described in the text, is matter of conjecture. The existence, in the New World, of a rite similar, except that it is confined to an offering of blood, seems to favour the conjecture. 3 Supra, p. 103.
4 Bastian, op. cit. vi. 151. 5 Garcilasso de la Vega, Royal Commentaries of the Yncas (Hakluyt Soc.) i. 47.
glade, which tradition or the taboo-fear 1 has marked as the abode of one of these spirits. In the Pelew Islands, for instance, a most trustworthy observer 2 says that, besides the tribal and family gods, there are countless other spirits of earth, mountain, woods, and streams, all of which are mischievous and of all of which the islanders are in daily fear. So, too, on the Slave and Gold Coasts, the malignant spirits Srahmantin and Sasabonsum haunt places easily recognisable —where the earth is red, or silk cotton trees grow. If the savage has little difficulty in finding the abode of him whom he seeks, he has also little doubt as to the manner of approaching him : he will treat him as he would his tribal god
-he knows no other way of opening communication with supernatural beings. He adapts, therefore, the tribal ritual. Bishop Caldwell's very careful observations in Tinnevelly are so instructive in this respect, that we will summarise them here, inserting in brackets what is necessary to bring out the parallel between the religious and the sacrilegious rites. In Tinnevelly evil spirits have no regular priests; but when it becomes necessary, in consequence of some pressing need, to resort to the aid of these spirits, some one is chosen or offers himself to be the priest for the occasion, and is dressed up in the insignia of the spirit. [As blood is the sacrifice to a god, so] in the dance with which the evil spirits (like the tribal god :] are worshipped, the dancer in an ecstasy draws his own blood and drinks that of the victim," a goat, say, and thus the spirit passes into him and he has the power of prophecy. [As the sacrifice of the sacred victims was a solemn mystery to be celebrated by night and terminated before sunrise, so] the worship of the evil spirits must be performed by night, and the general opinion is that night is the appropriate time for their worship. [As the god was supposed to be in or to enter the victim, and the entrance of a god into possession of a human being is universally manifested by the shivering, convulsive movements of the possessed person, it was a common custom to pour water on
Supra, p. 136.
the animal victims, which naturally shivered, and by their shivering showed that the god had entered the victim. So in Tinnevelly) water was poured on the animal, which, when it shivered, was pronounced an acceptable sacrifice. [As the god was sacramentally consumed, so] “the decapitated victim is held so that all its blood flows over the altar of the evil spirit. When the sacrifice is completed, the animal is cut up on the spot and stripped of its skin. It is stuffed with rice and fruit and offered to the spirit, and forms a holy meal in which all present at the sacrifice partake.”
Bishop Caldwell's account shows that in Tinnevelly the mode of approaching the spirits who are as yet unattached to any body of regular worshippers, is modelled on the sacrificial rite of the established gods. In the Tinnevelly proceedings, indeed, it is not an individual who is seeking the assistance of one of these unattached spirits, but a reference to the early part of this chapter will show that the method by which the negro of Western Africa obtains a suhman is an exact copy of the legitimate ritual by which a family obtains a family god ; and in the next chapter we shall see i that all over the world these private cults are modelled on, derived from and later than the established worship of the gods of the community. The difference between the private cult of one of these outlying, unattached spirits and the public worship of the community's gods does not lie in the external acts and rites, for these are the same in both cases, or as nearly the same as the imitator can make them. Nor does the difference lie in the nature of the spirits whose aid is invoked; for, on the one hand, the community originally drew its god from the ranks of the innumerable spiritual beings by which primitive man was surrounded ; and, on the other hand, the outlying, unattached spirits, who were not at first taken into alliance, and so raised to the status of gods, may ultimately be domesticated, so to speak, and made regular members of a pantheon. The difference lies first in the division which this species of individual enterprise implies and encourages between the interests of the individual and of the community, at a time when identity of interest is
1 Bishop Caldwell in Allerlei, i. 164-8.