Изображения страниц

children entirely ignorant of their original intent, and even of their meaning, the wonder is not that they are corrupted, but that they remain so perfect as they actually are. Even in the Malaha figure the names Sun, Moon, Pilate, and the formula at starting, I go alone, are not a little suggestive.

There remains to trace the earlier history of the game. Previous to Christianity it obviously cannot have existed in its present form, but games, in order to be as lasting as this has been, must not be invented, but grow. There is reason to believe that Hop-Scotch developed itself from a combination of several ancient games. Julius Pollux speaks of a game played by the ancients where they counted the number of hops which could be made on one foot, but no scores are spoken of.1 The penalty of peopioμòs used in connection with an ancient game of marksmanship, and in which the vanquished player had to carry the victor on his back, has also associated itself with HopScotch, and forms part of the game both in Spain and Italy. It would seem, then, that the game of hopping got wedded to some other game consisting of a figure, some recess of which it was the player's object to reach. Whether this union took place before or after Christianity it is difficult to determine, but certain it is that even now Hop-Scotch is played in many places, both at home and abroad, without any hopping at all, so much so that Sr. Ferraro3 suggests it may be a modification of the ancient game of quoits. We must therefore look for some preChristian game with a figure which would supply the remaining features of Hop-Scotch.

Pliny, in his description of the labyrinths, mentions casually a game played by the Roman boys where they drew labyrinthine figures on the ground. Now, labyrinthine figures are still used for Hop-Scotch, though far less frequently than those of the type already described. Fig. 12 is used in France, the inner circle being called Paradise. The same figure is found in England, and the game played on it called "Round Hop-Scotch," while a less perfect form of it also occurs in Scotland. Fig. 10 (which is not unlike a rough sketch of the Cretan labyrinth) represents another form the game takes in France, the same figure also being used for the game of Marelle. Fig. 11 is perhaps the transition between the two types. It is used at Villafranca, Spain, but a figure conforming to the ordinary type obtains also in that place. It is therefore not unreasonable to suppose

1 Jul. Poll., " Onomatiscon," ix, 7.

2 Pitré," Guiocchi," p. 142; "Tradiciones pop. Espan.," iii, p. 203.

3 "Archivio per lo studio delle tradizioni populari," p. 246. Palermo, 1882.

[ocr errors]

Pliny, xxxvi, 13.

Crawley, "Manly Games for Boys," p. 79.

that those labyrinthine figures may be survivals of a form of figure more ancient than those of the ordinary type by which they have now been superseded.

Moreover, we know that among the ancients the tradition of the labyrinths was more or less vaguely associated with the future world, and this might have suggested to the Christian children the eschatological ideas which they introduced into the game, even if the difficulties and wanderings of the labyrinth had not in themselves offered sufficient analogy to the wanderings of the soul in a future state. But how came the labyrinthine figure to be exchanged for that of the rectangle with the rounded end? It is well known that when Christianity replaced a pagan culture, it did not destroy, but assimilate. It adopted the stones of the old edifice, but it insisted on hewing them into Christian shapes. I can account for the transition of figure in the game of Hop-Scotch only by suggesting that this principle had been in operation there also. The Christian children, I believe, not only adopted the general idea of the ancient game, converting it into an allegory of Heaven, with Christian beliefs and Christian names; but they Christianised the figure also. They abandoned the heathen labyrinth, and replaced it by a form far more consistent with their ideas of Heaven and future life, the form of the Basilicon, the early Christian Church, dividing it into seven parts as they believed Heaven to be divided, and placing the inmost sanctum of Heaven in the position of the altar, the inmost sanctum of their earthly church.

Explanation of Plate XVI.

Various figures of the game of Hop-Scotch, as played in different countries of Europe.

[ocr errors]

Figs. 1 and 2 represent forms frequently used in many parts of Italy, Spain, and Portugal; fig. 3 is found at Fregenal, Spain; fig. 4 at La Marca, Italy; fig. 5 at Llerena, Spain; fig. 6 in co. Antrim, Ireland; fig. 7 in France and England; fig. 8 at Mazzara, Italy; fig. 9 at Malaha, Spain; fig. 10 in France; fig. 11 at Villafranca, Spain; and fig. 12 in France and England.


Dr. E. B. TYLOR thought that the author had made out his case that the varions forms of the game, especially in the South of Europe, point back to an original game probably in vogue before the Christian Era. In that case, for the source of the seven compartments we may perhaps look back beyond the Christian seven heavens to the seven planetary spheres from which these were derived.

Dr. E. B. TYLOR gave a verbal abstract of the following paper :

On the MIGRATIONS of the KURNAI ANCESTORS. By A. W. HOWITT, Esq., F.G.S., Cor. Memb. Anthrop. Inst.

Introductory Note.

It might well be thought an almost impossible task to indicate with any probability of certainty the directions followed by the early Australian tribes during their migrations. Savages keep no records except such as are handed down by word of mouth, and which in the process of transmission become so distorted by age and by imaginations of the transmitters that it is only very rarely that such legendary tales can be recognised as referring to events which probably once happened.

This is the case with the Australian tribes. Of their legends and tales there are but few which can be reasonably believed to relate to past events. Such are the Deluge legend of the Kurnai, Woiworung, and Coast Murring tribes; the Woiworung and Kurnai legend of Loän,' and perhaps also the legend of the migration into Gippsland of the "first old man Kurnai." Such legends as these only throw a dim and doubtful light on some parts of the tribal history, such as their early migrations, and it is in this aspect that I now refer to them.

On this view I have thought it might be well to draft a preliminary memoir, which should have for its general object the broad delineation of some main lines of migration and for its special object the question, "From which stock did the somewhat abnormally developed Kurnai tribe spring?"

I do not propose to consider whence was derived the original stock, the Australian aborigines, but I start from the assumption that their distribution over Australia was from its northern shores, if not from an earlier continental extension still further to the north.

The Migratory Process.

The existing distribution of the class-systems, so far as I have yet been able to collect and compare them, leads me to think that the migrations have not been in an undivided stream advancing in an unbroken front across the continent, but in several streams which spread out on either hand of the main

1 See p. 416.
2 See p. 416.

routes wherever the conditions of water and food were favour able.

In other words, the migration has been diverted into various routes by meeting with obstacles such as waterless tracts or mountain barriers.

It seems to me that the most probable process by which this continent has been peopled has been this. It is reasonable to suppose that whenever a group of the aborigines, who were settled in some favourable spot, became too large for the natural resources of the locality, its younger members would spread outwards in search of new centres, from which in time new departures might again be made. It may, perhaps, be more correct to describe such a process of settlement by saying that from time to time "swarms left the parent hive" to take up a quasi independent existence on their own account, in some favourable locality, either already known to or to be sought out by them.1

Besides this, which may be called the regular and orderly process of settlement, there must have been also what may be termed the irregular and disorderly process. Intertribal wars would tend to send forth "war-driven" emigrants; broken men escaping from individual or tribal vengeance, and couples who had broken the moral laws of their tribe, would seek safety in flight; and even, perhaps, the wreck of a "totem" may have escaped from a feud which involved it in an unequal strife with a related group far stronger than itself. Instances illustrative of such causes have been made known to me, and in the past there must have been many fertile but unoccupied tracts into which the guilty or the unfortunate might flee and find a safe refuge from the pursuer. I shall have occasion to point out, when speaking later on of the Bidweli tribe of Eastern Gippsland, that there is evidence that out of such materials new tribes have been formed on the ancient social lines.

Whatever may have been the mode of settlement, there are

1 According to Taplin, the Narrinyeri had a tradition that their ancestors were led by Nurundere, the Supreme Being, down the Darling and Murray Rivers, and thence east and west along the coast, where they were settled when the white men first arrived. 66 Native Tribes of South Australia," pp. 3, 55, 61. Wigg, Adelaide, 1879.

[ocr errors]

2 Such a case might have arisen in the Wotjobaluk tribe of the Wimmera River. A" white cockatoo man had killed one of the "black snake" totem, and according to the tribal custom he had to submit to spear-throwing by the kin of the deceased. He was speared during this ordeal, and, quoting my informant's words, "the old head-man of the Gartchukas (white cockatoo) threw up the piece of lighted bark he was carrying, and the fight ceased." To my question, "Supposing that the Wülernunt (black snake) men had continued their attack, what would have been done?" he replied-" If they had not ceased there would have been a war between all the Gartchukas and all the Wülernunts."

two main lines of march clearly indicated, namely, the eastern and western coast-lines. Others probably lay along the wellwatered and generally fertile downs of the great dividing range, and perhaps also followed approximately the direction of the transcontinental telegraph.

Assuming that when the migration began, the physical features of the Australian continent were much as they are now, one line of advance would clearly be indicated as extending southwards from Carpentaria and the country extending eastwards to the sea. So far as the country proved favourable, population would spread, ascending the streams to their sources, and thence descending by other waters flowing on the one hand into the Pacific Ocean, and on the other into the great and arid expanse of Central Australia.

As the streams proceed further from the great dividing range of Queensland into the central depression they become more widely separated from each other by generally waterless and often almost desert tracts, until at length they are lost in the great saline depression in which lie a vast series of salt lakes, such as Lake Eyre.

Still further to the southward where the great dividing range approaches and finally enters into New South Wales, the rivers still flow widely separated from each other by dry tracts, but finally, as the Darling, Lachlan, and Murrumbidgee, contribute to the perennial stream of the river Murray.

Migrations in early times most certainly would extend down such great waters, and would thus become more or less completely isolated from their kindred who occupied adjoining rivers. Thus, in time, well-marked groups of tribes have arisen having certain characteristics in common; usually recognising kindred with each other, and also joining in the same initiation ceremonies. They are distinguished from each other by dialect, by variation of custom, often by variation of initiation ceremonies, and frequently from all other tribes by applying to themselves some special word meaning "man."

Such large groups are recognisable in the better watered parts of Eastern Australia, and even also in Victoria.

[ocr errors]

I have said just now that such great aggregates of tribes are frequently marked by the use of a common word meaning man," which is restricted in use to their own males. Thus a very large group of tribes having the Kamilaroi organisation might be spoken of as the "Murri Nation," and this designation would bring them properly into relation with their southern and south-eastern neighbours, who use the word "Murring" or "Murrin" in the same sense. Similarly, a great group of tribes

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »