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Another way of enforcing the water barrier is to plunge into a stream, in the hope of drowning, or, at least, washing off, the that sombre stream which has flowed in the imagination of so many nations of the world. For evidence see Grimm, "Deutsche Mythologie," p. 692 sqq.; K. Simrock, "Handbuch der deutschen Mythologie," p. 255 sqq.; Rochholz, "Deutscher Glaube und Brauch," I, p. 173 sqq.; Tylor, "Primitive Culture," II, p. 94; Brinton, "Myths of the New World," p. 265 sqq.; B. Schmidt, "Das Volksleben der Neugriechen," p. 236 sqq.; Sonntag, "Todtenbestattung," p. 164; Bancroft, "Native Races," III, pp. 519, 538, 543; Ralston, "Songs of the Russian People," p. 107; Monier Williams, "Religious Thought and Life in India," p. 290; Dennys, "Folk-lore of China," p. 24. Amongst the Kasi Indians, when the funeral happens to pass a puddle, they lay a straw over it for the soul of the dead man to use as a bridge (Dennys, loc. cit.). Polynesian ghosts can swim (Bastian, "Die heilige Sage der Polynesier," p. 52; Turner, "Nineteen Years in Polynesia," p. 235). On the other hand the idea of a journey by land appears in the Norse, German, Prussian, and Californian custom of shoeing the dead (Grimm, “Deutsche Mythologie," II, p. 697; K. Simrock, op. cit., p. 127; K. Weinhold, “Altnordisches Leben," p. 494; Dasent, "Burnt Njal," I, p. cxxii; Rochholz, I, p. 186; Sonntag, "Todtenbestattung," p. 171; Töppen," Aberglaubeu aus Masuren," p. 107; Bancroft, "Native Races," I, p. 569; Brinton, "Myths of the New World," p. 250). In Bohemia, on the contrary, no shoes are put in the grave, because, if they were, the ghost would be obliged to walk the earth till they were worn out (Grohmann, “Aberglauben," &c., p. 197). The custom of placing a coin in the mouth of the corpse has prevailed in ancient Greece (Lucian, "De Luctu," 10), ancient Italy (Marquardt, “ Das Privatleben der Römer," I, p. 338 sq.), amongst the Franks (K. Weinhold, "Altnordisches Leben," p. 493); in modern Greece, Thessaly, Macedonia, Asia Minor (Wachsmuth, "Das alte Griechenland im neuen," p. 117 sqq.; B. Schmidt, "Das Volksleben der Neugriechen,” p. 236 sqq.), Albania (Hahn, "Albanesische Studien," I, p. 151), France (Vréto, "Mélanges Neohelleniques," p. 30, referred to by B. Schmidt, loc. cit.), Germany (Grimm, "Deutsche Mythologie," II, p. 694, id. III, p. 441; Wuttke, "Deutscher Aberglaube," § 734; F. Schmidt, “Sitten und Gebraüche in Thüringen,” p. 91; Rochholz, I, 189 sqq.), Burma (Forbes, "British Burma," p. 93; "The Burman," by Shway Yoe, II, p. 338), Lao (C. Bock, "Temples and Elephants," p. 361), among the Kakhyens (J. Anderson, "Mandalay to Momien," p. 143), in China (Gray, "China," I, p. 281), among the Hindus (Monier Williams, “Religious Thought and Life," p. 296), Madagas of Southern India (Marshall, “Travels among the Todas," p. 172), and in Yucatan (Bancroft, "Native Races," II, p. 800). The idea that this money in the dead man's mouth is to pay the ferry across the River of Death occurs in Italy, Greece, Asia Minor, Germany, Burma, among the Kakhyens, and in Yucatan. In Asior Minor the monev is called TEρаTIKLOV, in Burma Kădō ǎkāh, both meaning "ferry-money," like the old Greek ναῦλον, πορθμήιον. (At Komiako in Naxos the old name ναύλον is still retained, but it is applied, not to a coin, but to a little wax cross placed on the lips of the corpse. Bent, "The Cyclades," p. 363). In Arachoba on Parnassus it is thought to be a bridge-toll, an idea probably imported into Greece by the Turks, as Schmidt suggests. In some parts of Germany the notion is that if the deceased has hidden a treasure the coin in his mouth will prevent him returning. In Lao it is to pay a fine in the spirit-world. The Hindus suppose that it keeps at bay the ghostly ministers of death; hence it is inserted in the mouth of the dying, and to make sure of having it in the hour of need a Hindu in good health will have gold inserted in his teeth. In Corea the mouth of the dead is filled with boiled whangmi, three holeless pearls, and a piece of jade (J. Ross, “ History of Corea,” p. 324 sq.). In Tonquin the common people put three grains of rice in the mouth of the corpse; wealthy families put one or more precious stones (J. G. Scott, "France and Tongking," p. 97); Baron tells us that persons of quality put small pieces of gold and silver together with seed pearls, in the belief that this would secure the spirit respect in the other

ghost. Thus among the Matamba negroes a widow is bound hand and foot by the priest, who flings her into the water several times over, with the intention of drowning her husband's ghost, who may be supposed to be clinging to his unfeeling spouse. In Angola, for a similar purpose, widows adopt the less inconvenient practice of ducking their late husbands. In New Zealand all who have attended a funeral betake themselves to the nearest stream and plunge several times head under, in the water.3 In Fiji the sextons always washed themselves after a burial. In Tahiti all who had assisted at a burial fled precipitately and plunged into the sea, casting also in the sea the garments they had worn. All who had helped to bury a king of Michoacan bathed afterwards." Amongst the Mosquito Indians all persons returning from a funeral undergo a lustration in the river. In Madagascar the chief mourner returning from the funeral immediately washes himself. In North Guinea, after a corpse has been buried, the bearers rush to the water and wash themselves thoroughly before they return to the town."


But the barrier by water, like the barrier by fire, often dwindled into a mere stunted survival. Thus, after a Roman funeral it was enough to carry water three times round the persons who had been engaged in it and to sprinkle them with

world and save him from want ("Description of the Kingdom of Tonqueen" in Pinkerton's "Voyages and Travels," ix, p. 698). In China the things inserted in the mouth vary in value with the rank of the deceased; grains of paddy or seeds of three different kinds are sometimes inserted. In Yucatan corn as well as money is put in the mouth. In Wallachia the coin is placed in the hand of the corpse (Schott, "Wallachische Mährchen," p. 302); and so in Masuren, where the dead is at the same time addressed in these words, "Now you have got your pay, so don't come back again” (Töppen, “ Aberglauben aus Masuren,” p. 108). The Slavonians used to put money in the grave to pay the passage of the spirit across the Sea of Death, and Russian peasants at a funeral still throw small coins into the grave (Ralston, "Songs of the Russian People,” p. 107 sq.) ; the coin is sometimes put in the hand of the corpse (ib., p. 315). The Norsemen also put a piece of money in the grave (Weinhold, loc. cit.). The original custom may have been that of placing food in the mouth, for which in after times valuables (money or otherwise) were substituted, that the dead might buy his own food.

1 Sonntag, "Todtenbestattung," p. 113.

2 Ib., p. 115.

3 Yate, "New Zealand," p. 137; Taylor, "New Zealand and its Inhabitants,"

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7 Ib. I, p. 744.

8 Ellis, "History of Madagascar,” I, p. 238.

J. L. Wilson, "Western Africa," c. 17 (p. 171 of the German translation. I have not seen the original. The English of this passage is given in Gardner's "Faiths of the World," I, p. 938).

the water.1 Modern Jews, as they leave the graveyard, wash their hands in a can of water placed at the gate; before they have done so they may not touch anything, nor may they return to their houses. In modern Greece, Cappadocia, and Crete, persons returning from a funeral wash their hands. In Samoa they wash their faces and hands with hot water.4 In ancient India it was enough merely to touch water. In China, on the fifth day after a death, the mourners wash their eyes and sprinkle their faces three times with water. In ancient Greece, so long as a corpse was in the house a vessel of water stood before the street-door, that all who left the house might sprinkle themselves with it. Note that in this case the water had to be fetched from another house, water taken from the house in which the corpse lay would not do. The significance of this fact I shall have occasion to point out presently.


When considered along with the facts I have mentioned, it can hardly be doubted that the original intention of this sprinkling with water was to wash off the ghost who might be following from the house of death; and, in general, I think we may lay down the rule that wherever we find a so-called purification by fire or water from pollution contracted by contact with the dead, we may assume with much probability that the original intention was to place a physical barrier of fire or water between the living and the dead, and that the conceptions of pollution and purification are merely the fictions of a later age, invented to explain the purpose of a ceremony of which the original intention was forgotten. The discussion of the wider question, whether all forms of so-called purification may not admit of an analogous explanation, must be reserved for another occasion. Here I will merely point to two kinds of purification which are most obviously explicable on the hypothesis that they are modes of barring spirits. The first of these is the purification for manslaughter. The intention of this ceremony was probably to rid the slayer of the vengeful spirit of the slain, the ghosts of all persons who come by a violent end being especially vicious. In accordance with this view we find purification exacted when the slain man was

1 Virgil, "Eneid," vi, 228. Servius on this passage speaks of carrying fire round similarly.

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2 Bodenschatz, "Die Kirchliche Verfassung der heutigen Juden," iv, p. 175. 3 Wachsmuth, "Das alte Griechenland im neuen,' p. 120; Bent, "The Cyclades," p. 221.

4 Turner, "Samoa," p. 145.

5 Monier Williams, "Religious Life and Thought in India," pp. 283, 288.

6 Gray, "China," I, p. 305.

7 Pollux, viii, 65; Hesychius and Suidas, s.v. åpdáviov; cf. Wachsmuth, op. cit., p. 109.

an enemy of the tribe as well as when he was a member of it. Thus when a Pima Indian slays an Apache, he has to undergo a strict and solitary purification in the woods for sixteen days.1 Similarly, Bechuana warriors returning from battle wash themselves and their weapons with solemn ceremony. Again, since the savage has no hesitation in deciding affirmatively the question whether animals have souls, purification is found to be practised for the slaughter of beasts as well as of men. Thus a Damara hunter returning successful from the chase takes water in his mouth and ejects it three times over his feet and also in the fire of his own hearth. Amongst the Koossa Kaffirs the first man who receives a wound in a fight with a lion is made "unclean" by it, though at the same time he is regarded as a hero. The idea plainly is, that by wounding this man first the lion showed that he had an especial grudge at him, and this grudge the lion's ghost will not be likely to forget. Hence, following the usual Kaffir mode of purification, the man is shut up in a small hut, away from every one else for four days, after which he is purified; and, having now given the slip to the ghost, he is marched back to the village, surrounded by a guard of honour. My interpretation of this custom will not seem extravagant when we remember the punctilious politeness with which a savage treats the spirits of the beasts he has killed." The second kind of purification to which I will here refer is the passing of men and cattle through the need-fire during the prevalence of a plague. This custom is explained most simply by supposing that people thereby intended to interpose a barrier between themselves and their cattle on the one side and the maleficent spirits of the plague on the other. One more kind of purification-that of women after childbirth-will be referred to in the course of this paper.

Such, then, are some of the modes of excluding or barring the ghost. Before quitting the subject, however, I wish to observe that as the essence of these proceedings was simply the erection of a barrier against the disembodied spirit, they might be, and actually were, employed for barring spirits in other connections. Thus, for example, since to early man death means the

1 Bancroft, "Native Races," I, p. 553. For the enmity of the Pimas and Apaches, see id. P. 542.

2. Fritsch, "Die Eingeborenen Süd-Afrika's," p. 201.

3 C. J. Andersson, "Lake Ngami," p. 224.

Lichtenstein, "Travels in Southern Africa," I, p. 257 sq.

5 Tylor" Primitive Culture," I, p. 468 sq.

See Grimm," Deutsche Mythologie," p. 503, sqq.; Tylor, "Early History of Mankind," p. 256 sq.; W. Mannhardt, "Der Baumkultus der Germanen und ihrer Nachbarstämme," p. 518 sqq.; U. Jahn, “Die deutschen Opfergebraüche bei Ackerbau und Viehzucht," p. 26 sqq.




departure of the soul out of the body, it is obvious that the very same proceedings which serve to exclude the soul after it has left the body, i.e., to bar the ghost, may equally well be employed to bar the soul in the body, i.e., to prevent its escaping; in other words, they may be employed to prevent a sick man from dying, in fact they may be used as cures. Thus the Chinese attempt to frighten back the soul of a dying man into his body by the utterance of wild cries and the explosion of crackers, while they rush about with extended arms to arrest its progress. The use of water as a cure is perhaps best illustrated by the Circassian treatment of the sick. It is well known that according to primitive man the soul of a sleeper departs from his body to wander far away in dreamland; indeed the only distinction which early man makes between sleep and death is that sleep is a temporary, while death is a permanent absence of the soul. Obviously then, on this view, sleep is highly dangerous to a sick man, for if in sleep his soul departs, how can we be sure that it will come back again? Hence in order to ensure the recovery of a sick man one of the first requisites is to keep him from sleeping. With this intention the Circassians will dance, sing, play, and tell stories to a sick man by the hour. Fifteen to twenty young fellows, naturally selected for the strength of their lungs, will seat themselves round his bed, and make night hideous by singing in chorus at the top of their voices, while from time to time one of them will create an agreeable variety by banging with a hammer on a ploughshare which has been thoughtfully placed for the purpose by the sick man's bed. But if, in spite of these unremitting attentions, the sick man should have the misfortune to fall asleep-mark what follows-they immediately dash water over his face. The intention of this latter proceeding can hardly be doubtful: it is a last effort to stop the soul about to take flight for ever. So among the Abipones, a dying man

1 Huc, "L'Empire Chinois," II, p. 241 sqq.

2 Klemm, "Culturgeschichte," IV, p. 34 sq.

3 The reason for throwing water on the face is that the soul is usually thought to issue either by the mouth or the nose. The Romans, Franks, Germans, English, Slavonians, Mexicans, and Quichés believed that it issued through the mouth (Ovid, "Met," xii, 424 sq., where the man is dying of a wound in the breast Paulus, "Historia Langobardorum, iii, 34; Wuttke, "Deutscher Aberglaube,” §60; Grimm, "Deutsche Mythologie," p. 690 sq.; id., "Deutsche Sagen," 461; Dyer, "English Folk-lore,” p. 214; Grohmann, “Aberglauben und Gebraüche aus Böhmen und Mähren," pp. 60, 194; Tylor. "Primitive Culture," II, p. 29; Bancroft, "Native Races,” III, p. 315, cf. II, p. 799). The ancient Greeks believed that the soul issued through the mouth or through a gaping wound (Homer, “Iliad,' ix, 409; xiv, 518; xvi, 505; cf. Buchholz, "Die Homerischen Realien," II, ii, 284 sqq). The modern Greeks believe that Charos, the Death-god, draws the soul out of the mouth; but if the man is wicked or resists his fate, Charos (so say the Arachobites) cuts open his breast with a sword, for the soul has its seat

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