Billeder på siden

flesh is cut up and divided between the chiefs, head-men, and priests.”] But we have as yet no instance of a totem animal sacrificed by a totem clan in the hunting stage. It is therefore conceivable, though improbable, that the sacrifice of totem animals dates from pastoral times, i.e. the period of domesticated animals, and does not go back to the hunter stage. This is improbable for two main reasons : first, if sacrifice originated with the slaughter of domesticated animals, we should expect only domesticated animals to be sacrificed, whereas wild animals also are sacrificed, as we have just seen; next, the sacrificial rite, altar stones, the idols which grew out of them, the partition of the victim amongst all the worshippers, are known to the Red Indians, who cannot have first learnt the rite in connection with domesticated animals and then extended it by analogy to wild animals, because they have not any domesticated animals. Indeed, the horrible human sacrifices of the semi-civilised peoples of Central America are due, I conjecture, to the fact that in their nomad period they sacrificed wild animals; and in their settled, city life they could get little game, and had no domesticated animals to provide the blood which was essential for the sacrificial rite. Still, though in North America the circle of worshippers was a totem clan, which offered animal sacrifice, and though there are traces of the annual killing, by the clan, of its totem animal, still, in the absence of an actual instance of the eating as well as the killing of the totem, we must regard it merely as a working hypothesis that in pre-pastoral times the animal sacrificed and eaten by the totem clan was the totem animal. The point, however, is of less importance, if we were right in contending that domesticated animals were totems before they were domesticated, and owed their domestication to the fact that they were totems. For we have instances in which they are sacrificed by the clan to which they are sacred. Once a year the Todas, by whom the buffalo is held sacred, and treated “even with a degree of adoration,” kill and eat a young male calf, and “this is the only occasion on which the Todas eat buffalo flesh.” 4 The Abchases once a year sacrifice an ox: "any man who did not get at least a scrap of the sacred flesh would deem himself most unfortunate. The bones are carefully collected, burned in a great hole, and the ashes buried there.”

1 Ellis, Tshi-speaking Peoples, 225. ? Frazer, Golden Bough, ii. 90. 3 Supra, p. 114 ff.

* Frazer, op. cit. 136.

We have already had occasion to note that in the beginning pastoral peoples do not kill their cattle. In East Africa, “the nomad values his cow above all things, and weeps for its death as for that of a child.” 3 He cannot afford to kill his cattle, for one thing; and, for another, they are his totem animal. Hence, in the beginning of the pastoral period, sacrifice is a rare and solemn rite. The cattle are the property of the clan, and are only slaughtered for the annual clan sacrifice. But if the clan prospers, things alter. The taste for flesh-meat develops, and with the increase of wealth in the shape of flocks and herds, the means for the more frequent gratification of the taste are afforded. Excuses for killing meat, under the pretext of sacrifice, become common; thus a Zulu said to Bishop Callaway, “Among black-men slaughtering cattle has become much more common than formerly ... 0, people are now very fond of meat, and a man says he has dreamed of the Idhlozi, and forsooth he says 80 because he would eat meat.” 4 Hence, sacrifice tends to become less awful and more frequent. The Madi or Moru tribe sacrifice a sheep annually, for religious purposes; but “this ceremony is observed on a small scale at other times, if a family is in any great trouble, through illness or bereavement ... the same custom prevails at the grave of departed friends, and also on joyous occasions, such as the return of a son home after a very prolonged absence.” 5 Thus the sacrificial feast becomes a festival of rejoicing; and private generosity manifests itself in an invitation to the whole of the community to make glad in the name of religion. Nor is the god excluded from the invitation, for he too is a member of the clan. In Samoa," the people feasted with and before their god.” In a different zone, “when a Jakut is about to start on a long journey to get skins, he carves an 1 Frazer, Golden Bough, ii. 135 (note).

2 Supra, p. 116. 3 Religion of Semites, 297, quoting Munzinger, Ostafr. Studien, a 547. * Callaway, Religious System of the Amazulu, 172.

5 Felkin, Notes on the Madi or Moru Tribe of Central Africa, quoted by Frazer, Golden Bough, ii. 138.

6 Turner, Samoa, 26.

idol of wood and smears it with the blood of an animal which he sacrifices in its honour. With the flesh he entertains the shaman and guests, the idol occupying the seat of honour.” 1 The Tartars do not begin a meal until they have first smeared the mouth of their god Nacygai with fat.2 On the Slave Coast, every god has his festival or sacred day, when sacrifice is offered, and the blood of the sacrifice is always smeared on his image, as it is the blood which “especially belongs to or is particularly acceptable to the god,” whilst the body is eaten (unless it is a human body) by the worshippers. The Quichés rubbed the mouths of their idols with blood, evidently that they might drink it. The ancient Peruvians, according to a contemporary, “every month sacrifice their own children and paint the mouths of their idols with the blood of their victims,” 5 or, as it is put more generally, “ they anointed the huaca with the blood from ear to ear.” 6 In Mexico, the blood of the captives offered to any god was smeared on the idol's mouth. When the Samoyedes offer sacrifice, at their “sacrificial piles,” “ the blood of the sacrifice is smeared on the slits which represent the mouths of the gods.” 8 Whether the blood which was dashed on the altar stone, before it had come to be shaped into an idol, was supposed to be consumed by the god, there is nothing to show; and it would be hazardous to affirm it.

This state of things, the period when all slaughter of cattle was sacrificial, and every member of the clan was entitled to his share of the victim, has left its traces behind it in various parts of the world. Among the Zulus," when a man kills a cowwhich, however, is seldom and reluctantly done, unless it happens to be stolen property—the whole population of the hamlet assemble to eat it without invitation.”. Among the Damaras “another superstition [i.e. in addition to that which forbids clans from eating their totem animals] is that meat is common property. Every slaughter is looked upon as a kind of sacrifice or festal occasion. Damaras cannot conceive that 1 Bastian, Allerlei, i. 213.

2 Bastian, Der Mensch, iii. 154. 3 Ellis, Ewe-speaking Peoples, 79.

- Bastian, Der Mensch, ij, 269. 5 Xérès, La Conquête du Pérou (Ternaux-Compans, iv, 53). & Markham, Rites and Laws of the Yncas, 55. i Sahagun, Appendix.

8 Journ. Anth. Inst. xxiv. 400. 9 Shaw, Memorials of South Africa, 59, quoted in Religion of Semites, 284.

people should eat meat as their daily food. Their chiefs kill an ox when a stranger comes, or half a dozen oxen on a birth or circumcision feast, or any great event, and then every body present shares the meat. . . . Damaras have a great respect, almost reverence, for oxen.” 1 The same notion that sacrifice is the only excuse or reason for killing meat, reappears far from South Africa, in Polynesia. In Hudson's Island, “even the killing of a pig had to be done in a temple, and the blessing of the god asked before it could be cooked or eaten.” 2 So in New Guinea, all “ their great festivals are connected with the worship of the gods. Many pigs are killed on these occasions.” 3 The idea that all the clan have a right to partake, shows itself amongst the Tehuelche Patagonians, who celebrate births, marriages, and deaths by the sacrifice of mares, to the feast on which all may come. In the Old World, the idea that all slaughter is sacrifice is found amongst the Aryan peoples : it is Indian and Persian ;5 and at Athens the hestiaseis or feasts at which the hestiator entertained his tribe 6 or his phratry or his deme? are a survival of the same feeling. Finally, amongst the Hebrews, “a sacrifice was a public ceremony of a township or of a clan (1 Sam. ix. 12, xx. 6)... the crowds streamed into the sanctuary from all sides, dressed in their gayest attire (Hos. ii. 15, E. v. 13), marching joyfully to the sound of music (Isa. xxx. 29), and bearing with them not only the victims appointed for sacrifice, but store of bread and wine to set forth the feast (1 Sam. x. 3). The law of the feast was open-handed hospitality; no sacrifice was complete without guests, and portions were freely distributed to rich and poor within the circle of a man's acquaintance (1 Sam. ix. 13; 2 Sam. vi, 19, xv. 11; Neh. viii. 10). Universal hilarity prevailed; men ate, drank, and were merry together, rejoicing before their god." 8 The ideal here implied was earthly, but it was not selfish. The interests prayed for were those of the community, not of the individual. The festival was a renewal of the bond between the worshippers 1 Galton, South Africa, 138.

2 Turner, Samoa, 290. 3 Ibid. 349.

* Journ. of Anth. Inst. i. 200. Religion of Semites, 255 ; Manu, v. 31 ; Hdt. i. 132 ; Strabo, xv. iii. 13. 6 Poll. iii. 67. ? Corpus Inscr. Atticarum, ii. 163, 578, 582, 602, 603, 631. 8 Religion of the Semites, 254,

and his god, but it also strengthened the bonds of family, national, social, and moral obligations. The joint eating and drinking was a bond of fellowship. By it the god and his worshippers were united. But it was only as a member of the clan, not on his private merits, that the individual was admitted to this meal. All worship of this kind was public, and taught that a man lived not to himself but also for his fellows. Again, when all feasts are religious, and the gods are invited to all rejoicings, there is and can be “no habitual sense of human guilt.”2 Nor, as the god is the god of the community 3 rather than of the individual, could any such feeling be awakened as long as the community prospered. But when public disaster or national calamity supervened, one or both of two things happened: the individual sought supernatural protection by means not included in or recognised by the public worship of the community; and the older, gloomier rite of worship, which still continued, regained its former and more than its former importance.

Public disaster, as we have seen, was interpreted as the sign of individual sin. At the same time, the older annual sacrificial rite, so different from the common joyous festivals, was felt, in consequence of its difference, to require some explanation. That explanation was found in the view that it was an atonement for the sins of the people; that it was piacular: hence its gloomy nature. The feasting with the god, which was characteristic of the ordinary festival, was here out of place; and the worshipper left the whole of the victim for the offended god. Thus doubly consecrated to the service of the god, the victim was sacrosanct, and contact with it proportionately dangerous. The whole of the victim therefore was treated as the uneaten remains alone had been treated before-burnt. Doubtless also a motive for burntofferings was the feeling that the offering was etherealised, and thus made a more fitting form of food for a spiritual being. But it was the sacrosanct nature of the piacular

1 Religion of the Semites, 263, 264.

? Ibid. 255. 3 « The natives worship not so much individually as in villages or communities. Their religion is more a public than a private matter."--The Rev. Duff Macdonald, Africana, i. 64. * Supra, p. 155.

6 Supra, p. 111.

« ForrigeFortsæt »