페이지 이미지

obnoxious meat. A reproach hurled by the wild tribes at their brethren who had fallen under European influence was "They eat venison!"1 Californian Indians have been known to plead for the life of an old grizzly she-bear, because they thought it housed the soul of a dead grandam, whose withered features had borne some likeness to the wrinkled face of the bear.2

The doctrine of the transmigration of souls is viewed with great favour by the negroes of northern Guinea. In different parts of the coast different species of animals are accounted sacred, because they are supposed to be animated by the spirits of the dead. Hence monkeys near Fishtown, snakes at Whydah, and crocodiles near Dix Cove live in the odour of sanctity.8 In the lagoon of Tendo, on the Ivory Coast of West Africa, there is a certain sacred islet covered with impenetrable scrub, on which no native dare set foot. It is peopled only by countless huge bats, which at evening quit the island by hundreds of thousands to fly towards the River Tanoe, which flows into the lagoon. The natives say that these bats are the souls of the dead, who retire during the day to the holy isle and are bound to present themselves every night at the abode of Tano, the great and good fetish who dwells by the river of his name. Paddling past the island the negroes will not look at it, but turn away their heads. A European in crossing the lagoon wished to shoot one of the bats, but his boatmen implored him to refrain, lest he should kill the soul of one of their kinsfolk.4 Some of the Chams of Indo-China believe that the souls of the dead inhabit the bodies of certain animals, such as serpents, crocodiles, and so forth, the kind of animal varying with the family. The species of animals most commonly regarded as tenanted by the spirits of the departed are the rodents and active climbing creatures which abound in the country, such as squirrels. According to some people, these small animals are especially the abode of still-born infants or of children who died young. The souls of these little ones appear in dreams to their mourning parents and say: "I inhabit the body of a squirrel. Honour me as such. Make me a present of a flower, a cocoa-nut, a cup of roasted rice," and so on. The parents discharge this pious duty, respect these familiar spirits, ascribe illnesses to their displeasure, pray to them for healing, and on their deathbed commend to their descendants the care of such and such a spirit, as a member of the family.1

1 Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, v. * J. C. Reichenbach, "Ktude sur le 215 sq. royaume d'Assinie," Bulletin de la

2 Schoolcraft, op. cit. iii. 113. SoeieU de Geographic (Paris), vii. Serie, s J. L. Wilson, Western Africa, xi. (1890), p. 322 so.

p. 210.

The Igorrots of Cabugatan, in the Philippines, regard the eels in their stream as the souls of their forefathers.. Hence instead of catching and eating them they feed them, till the eels become as tame as carp in a pond.2 In the Sandwich Islands various people worshipped diverse kinds of animals, such as fowls, lizards, owls, rats, and so forth. If a man who adored sharks happened to have a child still-born, he would endeavour to lodge the soul of the dead infant in the body of a shark. For this purpose he laid the tiny body, together with a couple of roots of taro, some kava, and a piece of sugar-cane, on a mat, recited prayers over it, and then flung the whole into the sea, believing that by virtue of this offering the transmigration of the child's soul into the shark's body would be effected, and that henceforth the voracious monsters would spare all members of the family who might otherwise be exposed to their attacks. In the temples dedicated to sharks there were priests who, morning and evening, addressed prayers to the shark-idol, and rubbed their bodies with water and salt, which, drying on their skin, imparted to it an appearance of being covered with scales. They also wore red stuffs, uttered shrill cries, leaped over the sacred enclosure, and persuaded the credulous islanders that they knew the exact moment when the children thrown into the sea were turned into sharks. For this blissful revelation they were naturally rewarded by the happy parents with a plentiful supply of little pigs, cocoa-nuts, kava, and so on.8 The Pelew Islanders believed that the souls of their forefathers lived in certain species of animals, which accordingly they held sacred and would not injure. For this reason one man would not kill snakes, another would not harm pigeons, and so on; but every one was quite ready to kill and eat the sacred animals of his j neighbours.1 The Kayans of Borneo think that when the human soul departs from the body at death it may take the form of an animal or bird. For example, if a deer were seen browsing near a man's grave, his relations would probably conclude that his soul had assumed the shape of a deer, and the whole family would abstain from eating venison lest they should annoy the deceased.2 Solomon Islander is restricted tothe animal kingdom; he is free, after death to become a vegetable, if he feels so disposed. When a mission-school was established in the island of Ulawa it was observed with, 'surprise that the natives would not eat bananas and had ceased to plant the tree. Inquiry elicited the origin of the restriction, which was recent and well remembered. A man of great influence, dying, not long .before, had forbidden the eating of bananas after:his death; saying that he would be in the banana; The older natives would still mention his name and say, "We cannot eat So-and-so."1 :,

1 E. Aymonier, "Les Tehama et leurs religions," Rcviu de rhittoire des Religions, xxiv. (1891), p. 267.

* F. Blumentritt, "Der Ahnencultus and die religiosen Anschauungen der

Malaien des Philippinen - Archipels,"
Mittheilungen der Wiener Geogr.
Gesellschaft, 1882, p. 164.

8 L. de Freycinet, Voyage autour du Monde, ii. 595.^. (Paris, 1829).

Some of the Papuans on the northern coast of New Guinea also believe in the transmigration of souls. They hold that at death the souls of human beings sometimes pass into animals, such as cassowaries, fish, or pigs, and they abstain from eating the animals of the sort in which the spirits of the dead are supposed to have taken up their abode.8 In the Solomon Islands a man at the point of death would gather the members of his family about him and inform them of the particular sort of creature, say a bird or a butterfly, into which he proposed to transmigrate. Henceforth the family would regard that species of animal as sacred and would neither kill nor injure it . If they fell in with a creature of the kind, it might be a bird or a butterfly, they would say, "That is papa," and offer him a cocoa-nut.4 In these islands sharks are very often supposed to be ghosts, for dying people frequently announce their intention of being sharks when they have shuffled off their human shape. After that, if any shark remarkable for its size or colour is seen to haunt a certain shore or rock, it is taken to be somebody's ghost, and the name of the deceased is given to it . For example, at Ulawa a dreaded man-eating shark received the name of a dead man and was propitiated with offerings of

1 K. Semper, Die Palau-Inseln im xxiii. (1894), p. 165. Stilkn Ocean, pp. 87 so., 193. These * F. S. A. de Clercq, "De Westsacred animals were called kaiids. A en Noordkust van Nederlandsch Nieuwsomewhat different account of the Guinea," Tijdschrift van het Kon. kaiids of the Pelew Islanders is given Nederlandsch Aardrijkskundig Genootby Kubary (" Die Religion der schap, Tweede Serie, x. (1893), p. 635. Pelauer," in Bastion's AllerUi aus * Mr. Sleigh of Lifu, quoted by Prof. Volks- und Menschenkunde, i. 5 sqq.). E. B. Tylor, in Journal ofthe Anthro

- C. Hose, "The Nativesof Borneo," pological Institute, xxviii. (1898), p.

Journal of the Anthropological Institute, 147.


porpoise teeth. At Saa, certain, food, for example cocoa-nuts
from particular trees, is reserved to feed such a ghost-shark,
but men of whom it is positively known that after death
they will be in sharks are allowed by anticipation to partake
of the sharkrfood in the sacred place. Other men will some-
times join themselves to their. company, and speaking with
the .voice of a shark-ghost will say," Give me to eat of that
food." If. such a man.happens to be really possessed of
supernatural power, he will in due time become a shark-
ghost himself; but it is. perfectly possible that he may fail.
In Savo not very long ago a certain man had a shark that
he used to feed and to which he offered sacrifice. He swam
out to it with food, called it by name, and it came to him.
Of course it was not a common shark, but a ghost, the
knowledge of which had been handed down to him from his
ancestors. Alligators also may lodge the souls of dead
Solomon Islanders. In the island of Florida a story was
told of an alligator that used to come up out of the sea and
make itself quite at home in. the village in which the man
whose ghost it was had lived. It went by the name of the
deceased, and though there was one man in particular who
had a special connection with it and was said to own it, the
animal was on friendly terms with everybody in the place
and would even let children ride on its back. But the"
village where this happened has not yet been identified.1 In:
the same island the appearance of anything wonderful is
taken as proof of a ghostly presence and stamps the place as
sacred. For example, a man planted some cocoa-nut palms
and almond trees in the bush and died not long afterwards.
After his death there appeared among the trees a great
rarity in the shape of a white cuscus. The animal was
accordingly assumed to be the ghost of the departed planter
and went by his name. The place became sacred, and no
one would gather the fruits of the trees there, until two
young men, who had been trained in the principles of
Christianity, boldly invaded the sanctuary and appropriated
the almonds and cocoa-nuts.2 It must not be supposed,
however, that the choice of transmigration open to a

1 R. H. Codrington, The Melanesians, p. 179 sq.
* Codrington, op, cit. p. 177.

[ocr errors]

...We are now perhaps in a position to understand the ambiguous behaviour of the Ainos and Gilyaks towards the bear. It has been shown that the sharp line of demarcation which we draw between mankind and the lower animals' does not exist for the. savage. To him many of the other animals appear as his equals or even his superiors, not merely in brute force ,. but in intelligence ;. and if choice or necessity leads him to take their lives, he feels bound, out of regard to his own safety, to do it in a way which will be as inoffensive as possible not merely to the' living animal, but to its departed spirit and to all the other animals of the' same species, which would resent an affront put upon one of their kind much as a tribe of savages would revenge ah injury or insult offered to a tribesman. ' We have seen that among the many devices by which the savage seeks to atone for the wrong done by him to his animal victims one is to show marked deference to a few chosen individuals of the species, for such behaviour is apparently regarded as entitling him to exterminate with impunity all the rest of the species upon which he can lay hands. This principle perhaps explains the attitude, at first sight puzzling and contradictory, of the Ainos towards the bear. The flesh and skin of the bear

1 Codrington, op. cit. p. 33. East same writer's article "lets over de

Indian evidence of the belief in trans- I'apoewas van de Geelvinksbaai," p.

migration into animals is collected by 24 sqq. (separate reprint from Bijdragen

G. A. Wilken (" Het animisme bij de tot de Taal- Land- en Volkenkunde van

volken van den Indischen Archipel," Ned. India, 5e Volgreeks ii.). Wilken's

De Indische Gids, June 1884, p. view on this subject is favoured by

988^/.), who argues that this belief Professor E. B. Tylor (Journal of the

supplies the link between ancestor- Anthropological'Institute, xxviii. (1S98),

worship and totemism. Compare the p. 146 sq.).

« 이전계속 »