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the answer is that it is all over with him.64 One of the current sayings then is, that at death all is past. It is possible that in the last case the witness quoted had not succeeded in gaining the confidence of the negro. Sproat, an excellent ethnologist, who had nearly fallen into errors such as we suspect in the case of Du Chaillu, very strikingly observes: “A traveller must have lived among savages for years as one of themselves before his opinion of their intellectual condition is of any value." 65 In Central and Southern Africa especially the idea of immortality is the source of great uneasiness. The negroes of the Gold Coast sacrifice slaves at a burial that they may serve the deceased in the other world.66 In the Congo land Winwood Reade 67 assures us that a son killed his mother merely because he expected that as a glorified spirit she would render him more powerful assist

Wherever the Bantu languages are spoken, that is to say, throughout Southern Africa, the souls of deceased parents are invoked for aid. 68 Rebmann has noted down a prayer of this sort from the lips of a negro in the Tshagga country on the East Coast ; and another of the Kaffirs in Natal to a deceased chief runs literally : “O Mossé, son of Motlanka, look upon us ! Thou, whose breath (fumée ?) is seen by every one, turn thine eyes upon us this day and shield us. Thou our god !” 69 The Bushmen also prayed in Livingstone's presence at the grave of an ancestor.70 As divine descent is attributed to the chiefs in Polynesia, it is not surprising that sanctuaries are erected to them after their death, as Mariner frequently relates of the Tongans. It is due to Polynesian influences that at Tanna, an island of the New Hebrides, the deceased chiefs are thanked for the blessings of the harvest. 71

Permanent worship of the dead has been very appropriately

64 Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa. 65 Anthropological Review, vol. vi. 1868.

66 Bosman, Guinese Goud-Tand-en Slavekust; and Tylor, Primitive Culture, vol. ii. p. 116.

67 Savage Africa.
68 Krapf, Reisen in Ostafrika.
69 Casalis, Les Basoutos.

70 South Africa.
71 Turner, quoted by Tylor, Primitive Culture, vol. ii. p. 114.

Ancestor Worship.


described as ancestor worship. Thus the Caribs of the West India Islands saw their immortal heroes in the constellations. Worship of the dead has been developed with peculiar strength among the Chinese, who built special temples for the deceased emperors. When their moral philosopher, Confucius, was canonized, he received the first sacrifice from the hand of an emperor in 194 B.C., and in A.D. 57 festivals were established, and sanctuaries erected in his honour. Hero worship is also apt to be extended to founders of religions, and thus Buddhism has been gradually alienated from its original purity and has degenerated into relic worship.72 Even Napoleon III. who, like the old kings of France, was so eager to play the part of the eldest son of the Church, paid homage to ancestor worship, if the recently published will of April 14th, 1875, is genuine. “We must remember," writes the Emperor, that those we love look down upon us from heaven and protect us. It is the soul of my great uncle which has always guided and supported me. Thus will it be with my son also if he proves worthy of his name.” 73

To the question, whether in any part of the world a nation has ever been found utterly destitute of religious emotions and ideas, we will venture to give a decided negative. In every stage of his mental development man feels a craving to discover an agency for every phenomenon, and an author for every event. As long as the powers of the understanding are small a fetish satisfies the demand for causality, but as the intellectual sagacity of nations increases, the powers of credence are diminished, and the conception of God acquires dignity, until it finally becomes the noblest and highest product of the human mind. Similarly, while the intellectual faculties are advancing, the first crude attempts to discover the unknown Creator constantly tend to the rejection of the first solutions, and ultimately to the hypothesis of a supreme incomprehensible Being. Yet history and ethnology tell of innumerable races of men who never raised themselves to such, a height, and even of many who fell back from the nobler notions which they had acquired into gross errors of the understanding,

19 Justi in the Ausland. 1871.
13 Alleg. Zeitung. 1873.

which they have been unable to shake off for hundreds, nay, for thousands of years. These superstitions we shall speak of as Shamanism, and we will attempt to examine their origin.


When in future we speak of Shamanism, this word must be understood in a comprehensive sense to include magic and ritualism of every description. The name itself originated from a corruption of Cramana, as the Buddhist anchorites and penitents are called in India. The term Shaman, however, has been hitherto applied only to the magicians of Northern Asiatic races. Their

inctions consist chiefly in working cures by magic, for among all barbarous nations, in present and past times, sickness and death are ascribed to witchcraft," which the Shaman has to counteract by his secret remedies.

In Siberia and both continents of America the magician usually sucks the part of the body which is paining the invalid, and then produces from his mouth a thorn, a beetle, a stone, or some other unexpected object, which he shows to the anxious bystanders as the cause of the evil which he has detected and conquered by his intervention. The Shamans among the Dyaks of Borneo and those in South America on the Orinoco,3 operate in the same way.

A priestess of the Fingo Kaffirs—for there are female operators also—who had pretended to extract a number of magic seeds from the body of the patient, was unmasked by the wife of a missionary. Previous to the operation she had swallowed some tobacco leaves as an emetic. 4

Another branch of the business of a Shaman depends on their power of communicating with the invisible powers, occasionally

| This is the case among the Australians (Latham, Varieties), the Kutshin or Loucheux Indians of Hudson's Bay territory (Ausland, 1863), and the Hottentots (Kolbe, Cap der guten Hoffnung).

2 Spenser St. John, Life in the Far East, vol. i.
3 P. Jos. Gumilla, El Orinoco ilustrado.
* Tylor, Early History of Mankind, p. 355.

Priests and Medicine-men.


with departed spirits, and receiving from them revelations as to the future. On these occasions the performer is able to put himself into a state of nervous excitement, in which his mouth foams and his limbs are convulsed.5 Hence Shamans in all parts of the world like to select, as their pupils, boys of epileptic tendencies.“ Dwarfs or albinos are preferred by the negroes.?

The proceedings of the Siberian priests and of the so-called medicine-men of the North American Indians are so similar, that the similarity constitutes one of the evidences in favour of the hypothesis that the New World was peopled by races once belonging to Northern Asia. The sole difference between the Siberian Shaman and the North American medicine-man 8 is, that in his operations the former uses a magic drum, the latter a magic rattle; both wear fantastically decorated cloaks. The North American medicine-man reappears in South America under the names of Piaye, Piaï, or Paye, and he also carries a magic rattle (maracca) formed of a hollow gourd filled with hard seeds.9 Lastly, separated from their fellow-craftsmen by the entire breadth of the Atlantic, there are the Mganga in South Africa, who carry neither drum nor rattle, but a magic horn, and who devote themselves to the work of calling down the much-desired rain on those dry countries. 10

As illness is ascribed to the influence of a magician, death also, even when caused by the debility of old age, is believed to be due to the operations of evil powers. Hence, in every part of

5 See an example among the Kares in Burmah, in A. Bastian's Völker des östlichen Asien, and with regard to the Kaffirs, comp. Fritsch, Eingeborne Südafrika's.

6 It is so among the Tatars on the Southern Yennessei (Globus). Other examples in F. Schultze, Der Fetischismus.

7 Winwood Reade, Savage Africa, p. 363. & Catlin, North American Indians.

9 P. Gumilla, El Orinoco ilustrado ; Dobrizhoffer, Geschichte der Abiponer ; Appun in the Ausland, No. 29. 1872.

10 Among the Natchez of Louisiana, in America, the Shamans busy themselves with conjuring the weather. Charlevoix, Nouvelle France. It has been suggested that the word maracá is derived from the Spanish matráca ; but, independently of the difference of accentuation, the word maracá exists in the Tupi language. See Lexicon in Martius' Ethnographie, vol. i. p. 513.

the world in which Shamanism has carried on its malpractices, there is the strange delusion that man might indefinitely prolong the duration of his bodily existence, were it not curtailed by the malice of a wizard. This superstition is prevalent not only among races such as the Australian," though this has been unjustly ranked too low; but even the Abipones assured the Jesuit Dobrizhoffer, 12 that deaths would cease if the magicians would renounce their deplorable arts. The Patagonian Casimiro confessed to Lieutenant Musters 13 that, after the death of his mother, he had caused a woman to be murdered to whose bad influence he did not hesitate to attribute this calamity. Let us now pass far


from the Patagonians to the island of Tanna, one of the New Hebrides in the South Seas, peopled by Papuans, a race of men having nothing in common either physically or in language with Northern Asiatics, Americans, or South Africans. Here, again, Shamans are to be found. They, too, make it their business to procure rain, and are believed to be the creators of flies and mosquitoes. Their special interest for us, however, is their power of inflicting diseases and death whenever they can procure a Nahak from any individual. This word properly signifies refuse, but is more specially applied to neglected remnants of food; these ought not to be thrown away but carefully and secretly burnt or buried. If a Papuan magician finds a banana rind which has been thrown aside, he rolls it up in bark with a leaf, and when night falls he sits down by a fire and slowly burns the Nahak. If the whole is transformed into ashes, the spell has taken effect, and the person to whom the refuse belonged will certainly die. But news of the nocturnal deed spreads immediately and rapidly. Hence, if there is any one in the neighbourhood whose conscience accuses him of neglecting the remains of his food, or who is already prostrate with illness, he gets his friends to blow a blast on the shell trumpet as a sign that the Shaman is to cease his work of destruction. The next morning money is offered for the restitution of the Nahak. The missionary Turner 14 relates that

11 Eyre, Central Australia, vol. ii. 1845. 12 Dobrizhoffer, Geschichte der Abiponer. 13 Unter den Patagoniern.

14 Nineteen Years in Polynesia.

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