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the sea-side at every season of the year, we may gather edible shell-fish from the shoals, and even from the bottom of the sea, as well as snails in considerable quantities. The accumulations of shells of edible molluscs, which extend in heaps along the shores of the Danish islands, and are known to archeologists under the name of kitchen-middens, consist of the shells of four species of molluscs found in the Baltic, which formed the sustenance of the inhabitants of the shores from the palæolithic to the neolithic age. 18 As soon as attention was directed to these remains, similar accumulations were recognized in Scotland, the United States, Brazil, and Australia.

The capture of fish without the use of fishing apparatus, either net or line, is an every-day occupation in Kamtshatka. Fifteen miles in the interior of this peninsula, Kennan 19 found the sluggish streams polluted by the bodies of dead and putrifying salmon. He saw fish of this species from 18 to 20 inches long, laboriously wending their way upwards in brooks scarcely deep enough to cover their backs with water, so that they could be taken out with the hand. In Cambodia, where fishing-tackle is not used, Adolf Bastian 20 observed that the natives let the water of the river Tasavai into a canal, dammed it up, and then drained it off again, in order to catch in their hands the fish which had entered during the interval. A Chinaman at Calumpit, in the island of Luzon, was seen by F. Jager 21 to do exactly the same thing. Poisoning the water, as it is practised in South America, presupposes more reflection and more protracted observation of nature. The process in use in Guiana has been elaborately described by F. Appun,22 who saw the Cambodian system of damming and draining in use among the Indians of that district.

It would evidently be a hopeless undertaking to point to any one region of the earth as that which, by a constant supply to meet daily needs, was best adapted for the home of our first ancestors before they were strengthened by thought and practice; on the contrary, innumerable districts of both continents of our

18 See above, p. 40.

20 Völker Ostasiens. Jena, 1868.

21 Reisen in den Philippinen, p. 74. Berlin, 1873.

19 Tent Life in Siberia. 1871.

22 Ausland. 1870.


planet were fully adapted for the reception of man. The facts which we have put together may, however, free us from the old mistake of supposing that the spread of our race from one centre of creation to remote continents, could only have taken place under more mature conditions. Of food, at least, there can have been no want the profusion, greater in some localities than in others, and the narrow regions to which palatable articles of food were originally confined, may have contributed much to entice tribes which had roamed abroad and had discovered these new sources of food, to settle in the uttermost corners of the world. Throughout historic and such prehistoric times as are susceptible of investigation, nations have constantly been in a state of migration, adhesion to the soil being peculiar to highly advanced states of society.


We must not here entirely omit to mention a custom unworthy of the human race.23 While it seldom occurs that animals devour their own species, we meet with cannibalism in nearly every part of the world. In some cases, this horrible custom is less depraved, in that it is founded on the lamentable superstition that the estimable qualities of the person devoured are thus absorbed. At the time of the Taiping insurrection, an English merchant at Shanghai met his servant in the street, carrying home the heart of a rebel, with the avowed intention of eating it to increase his own courage.24 Sometimes it is not the sensual appetite but the desire for revenge which prompts this most dishonourable mode of interment for the fallen enemy. Occasionally the deity himself is made to take part in the transaction, when human sacrifice is followed by a revolting feast on human flesh, as was the custom' in ancient Mexico. 25 On the other hand, it is quite inadmissible to justify cannibalism by a plea of physical compulsion, as if our bodily welfare urgently depended on an alternation of animal

23 Richard Andrée has lately published a work on the spread of cannibalism in the Transactions of the Ethnological Association of Leipsic, from which it appears that this vice is more common among the Australians than was supposed. A distinction should be made between cannibals by taste and those who are so from superstition.

24 Tylor, Early History of Mankind, p. 167.

25 Prescott, Conquest of Mexico, vol. i. p. 78.


and vegetable food, for in India more than a hundred million people are satisfied with a vegetable diet. It is usual to quote the case of the Maori who on their arrival in New Zealand found no terrestrial quadruped there, and driven by an uncontrollable natural impulse, were forced to eat human flesh.25 But cannibalism is common to all other Polynesians. It has been proved to exist on the Marquesas Islands, the Hawaï group, Tahiti, and elsewhere, where pigs and dogs are bred for the sake of their flesh, so that the Maori must assuredly have been polluted by this disgusting vice before they 26 separated from their kindred tribes. Moreover, even nations which were in the habit of breeding cattle, such as the Immithlanga, a Zulu tribe in South Africa, were not free from this abomination, 27 and among their kindred, the Basuto, it was only suppressed by the chief Moshesch, 28 It would be a mistake to regard this as a vice peculiar to the so-called inferior and less responsible nations. The Australians, although they cannot be entirely exculpated, are yet not habitual cannibals. As far as we know, neither Hottentots nor Bushmen have ever been suspected, but there can be no doubt of the cannibalism of the Botocudos. The detestable custom is most frequently encountered exactly among those nations and groups of nations which are distinguished from their neighbours by their abilities and more mature social condition, such as the ancient Mexicans, who have already been mentioned. Papuans in general, including the inhabitants of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, and the Fiji group, are cannibals by taste, and yet as a race we must rank them as high or even higher

25 The same might be said of the inhabitants of Rapa-nuí, near Easter Island. Revue maritime et coloniale, tome xxxv.

26 While alluding to the fact that cannibalism was suppressed on the Western Paumotu Islands by the Tahitians, Meinicke conjectures that the latter were free from this vice, but Gerland (Waitz, Anthropologie) has given evidence of the contrary.

27 Waitz, Anthropologie.

28 Casalis, Les Bassoutos. 1859. Among the cave-cannibals were two Betschuan tribes, the Ba-fukeng, or Ba-brukeng, and the Ma-katla, as well as two Kaffir tribes, the Ba-makakana and the Ba-matlapatlapa. Their hidingplace was in the vicinity of Thaba-Bosigo, near the source of the Caledon river. Anthropological Review. April, 1869.

Antiquity of Cannibalism.


than the Polynesians. Among the Asiatic Malays, the Batta of Sumatra are so advanced as to have framed an alphabet of their own, although after the Indian model. 29 The statement made by a Dutch governor of Padang to Bickmore 3o the traveller, respecting the supposed recent origin of cannibalism, is a legend invented by the Batta themselves, for they were cannibals as early as Nicolo Conti's time,31 and even in the days of Marco Polo; 32 nay, if the island of Ramni of the old Arabian records has been rightly indentified as Sumatra, the Batta disgraced the dignity of the human race by this vice a thousand years ago.33 In Equatorial Africa we find two tribes equally degraded, namely, the Fans of the West Coast, described first by Du Chaillu and afterwards by Burton, as remarkable for their work in iron and generally for their high degree of intelligence, 34 and the Niamniam, or Sandeh, in the region of the Gazelle Nile, who excel their neighbours in civilization, both of which tribes are cannibals according to Petherick and Piaggia. Finally, Schweinfurth brought to Europe the first account of their southerly neighbours on the Uelle, the light-coloured Monbuttoos, whose semi-civilization is very wonderful when compared with the primitive condition of the Nile tribes; yet there can be no doubt of their cannibalism. An old experience was confirmed by their case, namely, that the consumption of dogs' flesh generally accompanies, and is the first step to, cannibalism.35 Schaaffhausen 36 maintains that even Europeans within this century have not abstained from human flesh, but we must leave him to answer for the trustworthiness of his authority. In the last siege of Messina, the flesh of the captured soldiers is said to have been

29 Waitz, Anthropologie.

30 Reisen im ostindischen Archipel. Jena, 1869.

31 In the only correct version of Poggio, recently published by Fr. Kunstmann (Indien im 15 Jahrhundert. Munich, 1863), his words are: "In ejus insulae (namely, Sumatra), quam dicunt Bathech parte anthropophagi habitant."

32 Lib. iii. cap. ii.

33 Peschel, Gesch. d. Erdkunde.

34 Winwood Reade (Savage Africa, 1863) speaks of the Fans as an extremely civil and amiable race. According to Zucchelli (Missione di Congo. Venezia, 1712), the Congo negroes are also cannibals.

35 Im Herzen von Afrika, vol. i. p. 442, and vol. ii. p. 98. 36 Archiv für Anthropologie. 1870.

sold on the Giudecca, and that of the Swiss at a higher price than that of the Neapolitans.

From all these facts, we learn that cannibalism does not pervade entire groups of nations, with the exceptions of the Papuan and the Polynesian, but occurs only in very isolated cases in Africa and America, while it is almost entirely absent in Asia, and in Europe belongs to past ages of uncertain date. The supposition that all human societies in their more barbarous stages have been guilty of this vice, and have overcome it, is incapable of proof, especially as it has lately been acknowledged that legends of cannibalism have easily spread from one nation to another, so that their local occurrence by no means proves anthropophagy in prehistoric times. It was also assumed with unjustifiable haste that where human sacrifices were customary, human flesh had previously been eaten, as if nothing had been laid upon the altars of the gods which was not esteemed as valuable food by those who brought the offering. Cannibalism was never associated with the numerous human sacrifices in Khondistan. As may be ascertained from Campbell's minute descriptions, they were offered to the deified Earth in order to obtain the boon of a productive harvest. Sacrifice of women and of domestic slaves on the tombs of the deceased is certainly quite unconnected with anthropophagous habits. Thus the Ada, or "great custom," of Dahomey is founded solely on a belief in immortality. Hundreds of men perish at the grave of a king, victims to the delusion that their spirits will follow and aid the departed, or convey to him the latest tidings from this world. 37 For thousands of years the Hindoos have abstained from all animal food, and yet at the great festivals of Juggernaut, these people, in a paroxysm of religious frenzy, were wont to cast themselves by dozens under the wheels of the idol's car in voluntary self-sacrifice. Because Abraham bound his son on an altar of wood, it does not follow that before Abraham's time the Hebrews were cannibals, nor that the Romans had once been in the habit of eating their fellow-creatures, because Pliny 38 mentions that an edict against human sacrifices was published at Rome in U.C. 357. We may therefore assume that here and there, not only

37 Ausland, p. 407. 1861.

36 Hist. nat. xxx. 3, 4.

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