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as it may appear a paradox to assert that men learnt to eat cattle by abstaining from eating them, perhaps a few more words in elucidation should be given. The ordinary theory of the beginnings of domestication is presumably that the hunter, having learnt by experience that beef was good, or that “mountain sheep are sweet," resolved to spare the young animals and breed from them. To this there are two objections. First, the savage, having practically no thought for the morrow, is habitually reckless and wasteful in consumption, eats all he can, and only goes hunting again when there is absolutely nothing left to eat. Next, as a matter of fact, their cattle are precisely the animals which pastoral peoples do not eat. “The common food of these races is milk or game; cattle are seldom killed for food, and only on exceptional occasions, such as the proclamation of a war,” 1 etc. Amongst the Zulus the killing of a cow “is seldom and reluctantly done.”2 “A Kaffir does not often slaughter his cattle, except for sacrifice or to celebrate a marriage.” 3 “Every idea and thought of the Dinka is how to acquire and maintain cattle; a kind of reverence would seem to be paid to them ... a cow is never slaughtered, but when sick it is segregated from the rest and carefully tended in the large huts built for the purpose . . . indescribable is the grief when either death or rapine has robbed a Dinka of his cattle. He is prepared to redeem their loss by the heaviest sacrifices, for they are dearer to him than wife or child.”: “Though the Indian women breed fowl and other domestic animals in their cottages, they never eat them ... much less kill them.” 5 The Battas of Sumatra (who are totemists) have domesticated “the buffalo, dog, pig, goat, fowl, and horse ; buffaloes and goats, dogs and horses (which latter are carefully fattened), as a rule never serve for food except at festivals."
It is therefore the ordinary theory of domestication that is paradoxical, for it assumes that man domesticates animals for no other purpose than to eat them, and then does not eat them. On the other hand, the view here advanced is that totemism is or has been world-wide-it can be traced in Australia, North America, Central America, South America, Africa, Asia, Polynesia 1—that probably every species of animal has been worshipped as a totem somewhere or other, at some time or other; that, in consequence of the respect paid to them, those animals which were capable of domestication became gradually tame of themselves; and finally, in consequence of changing circumstances—religious, social, and economic-as totemism and the taboo on the flesh of the totem faded away, the habit of eating those domesticated animals which are good for food grew slowly up. The growth of this habit will be traced in the chapter on the Sacrificial Meal. Here, however, one or two points may be noted. If our theory be true, we should expect to find, even amongst those peoples who have taken to eating domesticated animals, traces of reluctance to kill or consume animals which once were forbidden food. Such traces are found. To kill an ox was once a capital offence in Greece, and the word Boubóvia implies that such slaughter was murder.3 In England, it was in Cæsar's time a religious offence to eat fowl (as it was amongst the South American Indians mentioned above in the quotation from Ulloa), goose, or hare; 4 and yet they were bred, he says. Cæsar feels that there is something strange in this, but (anticipating Lord Kames) he conjectures that the creatures were bred for amusement, “animi voluptatisque causa.” But there are two obvious objections to this : first, if they were bred merely for amusement, there could have been no religious offence in eating them; next, if there was a taboo on eating them, they were not domesticated merely for amusement. Wild animals are undoubtedly commonly kept as pets by savages, but savages have no scruples about killing pets. Thus Captain Speke says, “I was told Suna kept buffaloes, antelopes, and animals of all sorts . . . M'tese,
1 Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites, 297. 2 Ibid. quoting Shaw, Memorials of South Africa, 59. 3 Shooter, Kafirs of Natal, 28. 4 Schweinfurth, Heart of Africa, i. 163. 5 Ulloa, quoted in Galton, Inquiries into Human Faculty, 247. 6 Waitz, Anthropologie, v. 1. 183.
1 Frazer, Totemism, 91-9.
2 Varro, R. R. ii. 5. 3 Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites, 306. * Cæs. B. G. v. 12: "gustare fas non putant; haec tamen alunt." sGalton, Human Faculty, 243 ff., gives instances,
his son, no sooner came to the throne than he indulged in shooting them down before his admiring wives, and now he has only one buffalo and a few parrots left.” 1 If the fowl and other domestic animals bred by the South American Indians were merely pets, we should not find that "if a stranger offers ever so much money for a fowl they refuse to part with it;” or that, on seeing it killed, the Indian woman “shrieks, dissolves into tears, and wrings her hands as if it had been an only son.” 2
Other animals which civilised man is reluctant to feed on are swine, dogs, and horses. The two latter animals are of importance for our argument, not merely because they show how long the loathing set up by the original taboo can survive its cause, but also because they remind us that domestic animals serve other purposes than that of providing an artificial food-supply. According to our theory, animals that were capable of domestication became tame of themselves, in consequence of the respect and protection afforded to them as to other totem animals; and it was only in the course of time that it gradually dawned on the mind of man that he might make economic use of them. On the other hand, the ordinary view is that man first saw how useful
i Galton, op. cit. 249.
? Ulloa, ap. Galton, 247. 3 The swine, like the hare, was forbidden food to the Hebrews. With regard to the former animal, the facts seem to be as follows: The swine as a domesti. cated animal was not known to the undispersed Semites or to the Sumerian population of Babylon (Schrader, Prehistoric Antiquities, 261); on the other hand, its flesh was forbidden food to all the Semites (Religion of the Semites, 218). The inference, therefore, is that (1) it was after their dispersion that the Semites became acquainted with the swine as a domestic animal, (2) it was forbidden food from the time of its first introduction and spread amongst them. In the next place, (1) the pig can only be housed aud reared amongst a settled, i.e. agricultural, population, (2) the pig is associated especially with the worship of agricultural deities, e.g. Demeter, Adonis, and Aphrodite. The inference again is that, as agriculture and the religious rites associated with it spread together, it was in connection with some form of agricultural worship that the domestication of the pig found its way amongst the various branches of the Semitic race. Finally, the swine (1) was esteemed sacrosanct by some Semites, (2) is condemned in Isaiah (lxv. 4, 1xvi. 3, 16; cf. Religion of Semites, 291) as a heathen abomination. The inference, then, is that the worship with which the swine was associated did not find equal acceptance amongst all the Semites. Where it did find acceptance, the flesh was forbidden because it was sacred ; where it did not, it was prohibited because of its association with the worship of false gods.
the dog would be in hunting, and how pleasant, I suppose, the horse would be to ride; and then, without more ado, deliberately set to work to domesticate the animals. The early history of man's first faithful comrade, the dog, escapes our ken; but not so with the horse. It is as certain as things of this kind can be, that the primitive Indo-European reared droves of tame or half-tame horses for generations, if not centuries, before it ever occurred to him to ride or drive them, and this fact, inexplicable on the ordinary theory, confirms our hypothesis. To sum up, the cause which our hypothesis postulates, namely, that man spared and protected certain animals without any thought of making economic use of them, is a vera causa, for men do so treat their totem animals. That animals worshipped as totems do become tame, is also matter of fact. In Shark's Bay “the natives there never kill them [kites), and they are so tame that they will perch on the shoulders of the women and eat from their hands.” 2 Further, our hypothesis accounts for all the facts, especially for such survivals as the lingering reluctance of civilised man to eat the flesh of certain animals. It also accounts for savages making pets. It is the tameness of the totem animal which suggests the idea of taming other creatures. Again, it alone supplies a motive strong enough to restrain the savage from recklessly devouring or destroying (instead of breeding from) the animals he caught or tamed. Finally, it admits of verification ; for if it can be shown that not merely is the treatment of totem animals such as would naturally result in the taming of those that were domesticable, but that some domestic animals were actually totems, all the verification that can be required will be forthcoming. This will be seen to be the case with cattle in Egypt, and probably elsewhere also.
It seems, then, if the above argument commends itself to the reader, that totemism, and totemism alone, could have led to that “substitution of an artificial for a natural basis of subsistence” which consisted in the domestication of plants and animals, and which constituted the advance from savagery
Schrader, Prehistoric Antiquities, 263 ; and Hehn, Kulturpflanzen und Hausthiere, 6 19 ff.
? Woodfield, ap. Galton, op. cit. 251,
to civilisation. But totemism did not universally lead to civilisation, or invariably develop into a higher form of religion. On the contrary, the civilised and civilising peoples are in the minority, and totemism still exists.
Now, if we consider the geographical distribution of totemism, we find that the two countries in which it is (or was at the time of the discovery of those countries) most marked are Australia and North America ; while the peoples in which its traces are hardest to find are the Semitic and the Indo-European. If, again, we consider the geographical distribution of those species of animals which are capable of domestication and on the domestication of which the possibility of civilisation depended, we shall find that “ the greatest number belonged to the Old World, those of America were fewer, and Australia had none at all”]; indeed, of the three species occurring in America (reindeer, llama, and paco), none come into account in this argument, for they are outside the totem-area of North America. It will scarcely be considered a merely fortuitous coincidencehowever we may explain it—that the two areas in which totemism lasted longest and flourished most are precisely those in which there are no domesticable animals. Nor is it a merely accidental occurrence that the peoples who have most completely thrown off totemism, are precisely those which have by the domestication of plants and animals attained to civilisation. The inference is that the domestication to which totemism inevitably leads (when there are any animals capable of domestication) is fatal to totemism.
The fundamental principle of totemism is the alliance of a clan with an animal species, and when the clan ceases to exist as a social organisation the alliance is dissolved also. But with the transition from a nomad to a settled form of life, which the domestication of plants and animals entails, the tie of blood-relationship, indispensable to the existence of a wandering tribe, is no longer necessary to the existence of the community: local association and the bond of neighbourhood take its place, for the restriction of civic and political rights to the actual descendants of the original clan is inconsistent with the expansion of the community. By
1 Payne, 283.