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'savages,' or must we banish the word 'savage' from the English language, or at least from scientific discussion? It is not cruelty, alone, that makes a man a savage. It is not nakedness, alone, or 'the naked philosophers of India' would be more savage than the Kurnai in their 'possum-skin cloaks. It is not fetishism that makes a man a savage, or Dr. Johnson would have been as savage as any Birraark; nor is believing in ghosts the test, nor cannibalism, nor infanticide, nor polyandry, nor cruelty to women. If it were so, the Psychical Society, and the crew of the Mignonette, and the Venetian noblesse of Casanova's time, and the unmarried mothers of England, and the married ruffians of England, would all be in the same boat . (or rather canoe) as savages. All this may be granted to Mr. Müller. On the other hand, if any set of human beings are at once cruel, nearly naked, believers in fetish stones and so forth, are worshippers of ghosts, are cannibals, polyandrous, and addicted to infanticide-if they accumulate all or most of these unamiable traits, and add certain mental characteristics and social institutions, then we have perhaps a right to call them savages. Let us take an example of what might be styled, without needless rudeness, a savage of the darkest dye. He is nearly naked. Like Cain, in De Quincey, he 'tools with a stone' for want of metal. He believes sincerely in ghosts. He has no house, and scarcely even a hut. He has no domesticated animals, or very few. He is a cannibal and has even a system of rules as to who may take down whom at dinner'—what joint of the uncle falls to the nephew, and so forth. He has not, and apparently never had, any pottery. He is chiefly governed by a wild sort of 'mediums,' who pretend to converse with the dead, and to be 'levitated' through the air. He is extremely prodigal in his amours, which, however, are regulated by very complicated laws. His science is magic. His art is chiefly tattooing. He has not, and probably never had, the bow and arrow. Perhaps Mr. Müller will admit that this being (a slightly flattered portrait of the ordinary, pre-European, native of Australia) may, without violence to language, be called a savage. So far we have not defined a savage, but we have exhibited a type who deserves the title. We may go further. We do not, at present, say what a savage is, but we do say that the nearly naked, nomadic, stone-tool-using, cannibal, ghost-worshipping, improvident man, without bow or pot, cruel, lustful, and superstitious, and ignorant, is a savage. He has many admirable qualities. People who know him well at home find him truthful, plucky, kind, affectionate, towards persons with whom he is in friendly relations. he has also the peculiarities already enumerated, and these (with other traits to be mentioned later) make savage' the English name for him.

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From this type of savage the lower and less-developed races shade off into lower and higher barbarism up to the conditions of Iroquois

and Maoris, and so on to that of Aztecs, and finally we rise to the level of Egyptians and Homeric Greeks in various degrees of real civilisation. Our argument is, that the mental condition in which the typical savage is proved to be, survives into the higher barbarism and leaves its relics (owing to the conservative influence of religion) in those kinds of myths and superstitions which Greeks undeniably have in common with Australians and Maoris and Bushmen.

As all this may appear too vague, let us state explicitly what we mean by a savage; he cannot be defined in an epigram. A savage is made to do everything that an anthropologist wants him to do,' says Mr. Max Müller. I can only give my word that I have superabundant evidence for all that a savage is said to do in the following page.

(1) In material equipment, the savage is he who employs tools of stone and wood, not of metal; who is nomadic rather than settled; who is acquainted (if at all) only with the rudest forms of the arts of potting, weaving, fire-making, &c.; and who derives more of his food. from the chase and from wild roots and plants than from any kind of agriculture or from the flesh of domesticated animals.

(2) In psychology, the savage is he who (extending unconsciously to the universe his own implicit consciousness of personality) regards all natural objects as animated and intelligent beings, and-drawing no hard-and-fast line between himself and the things in the world-is readily persuaded that men may be metamorphosed into plants, beasts, and stars; that winds and clouds, sun and dawn, are persons with human passions and parts; and that the lower animals especially may be creatures more powerful than himself, and, in a sense, divine and creative.

(3) In religion, the savage is he who (while probably, in certain moods, conscious of a far higher moral faith) believes chiefly in ancestral ghosts or spirits of woods and wells that were never ancestral; prays chiefly by dint of magic; adores inanimate objects, and even appeals to the beasts as supernatural protectors.

(4) In society, the savage is he who bases his laws on the welldefined lines of totemism 23--that is, claims descent from natural objects, and derives from the sacredness of those objects the sanction of his marriage prohibitions, and blood-feuds.


Such, for our purpose, is the savage, and we propose to explain the more senseless' parts in the Greek mythology as 'survivals' of these ideas and customs preserved by religious conservatism and local traditions, or (less probably) borrowed from races which were, or had been, savage.

Let it be observed that this theory commits us to no opinion

25 It seems all but impossible to make some people understand what Totemism means: the curious may consult Professor Robertson Smith's Kinship and Marriage in Arabia.

about the condition of primitive man. We do not deny that he may have been a kind of angel, who fell from Paradise in consequence of an act of disobedience. Still less do we say that modern savages represent primitive man. They are already rich in implements and customs which could only have been slowly developed. We merely say that (however they started) the Greeks either passed through a state answering to that of modern savages or borrowed freely from savages. Their disgusting rites in their mysteries; and their human sacrifices; and their habits of smearing fetish stones with red paint or oil; and their Australian method of laying the ghosts of murdered men; and their use of the 'bull-roarer (the savage chapel bell) and the company of beasts that attended gods themselves often represented in bestial forms and fond of bestial transformations-all these things demonstrate either that the ancestors of the historic Greeks were once savages or that they adopted a crowd of savage customs and institutions.

Our opinion is that they also inherited or borrowed from savages those portions of their mythology which closely correspond with the myths of the most backward races, and which, demonstrably, are the inevitable fruit of the savage psychological conditions. Be it remarked that we have a vera causa, an historically proved mental stage, as the soil whence the myths arose. On the other hand, the historical school of Mr. Max Müller relies on hypothetical and unproved mental conditions, on a supposed delirium of language.

While mythologists have now to a certain extent withdrawn their old tabu on the method of anthropologists, while Mr. Max Müller, for example, shows less distaste' for it in his article on 'Solar Myths' than in his article on Forgotten Bibles,' they still deny that it can cast more than a few rays of collateral light' on mythology.

Naturally we think our method can do more than that, and I go on to offer briefly a few examples of problems which the method may be said either to solve or to place in a novel and interesting light.

(1) In the first place, no puzzle of mythology is older, and none more perplexing, than the worship of the lower animals. In Egypt this was carried to an amazing extent, and one has only to turn to Plutarch 24 to see what a number of contradictory and fanciful explanations were given by native and Greek theologians. The Greeks, as Plutarch himself observes, represented certain gods wholly, or partially, as beasts-bulls, horses, and so forth. But, adds Plutarch, they behave more correctly than the Egyptians, for while the Egyptians take beasts for gods, the Greeks only say that to the gods these beasts are sacred.25 Here Plutarch himself shows his consciousness that the animal-worship of Egypt has an essential connection with the belief which filled Greek temples with images of sacred animals, and Greek myths with tales of gods who assumed bestial shapes.

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Our method explains these facts as survivals of Totemism. Almost all known lower races, from the level of the Australians to that of the Iroquois League, are in one or another stage of Totemism. The stocks of kindred, that is, claim descent from beasts, birds, or other creatures or natural objects. Each stock holds its own ancestral animal sacred, looks to it for aid and protection, and declines to kill it except in case of necessity, though the animal, in some places, is solemnly sacrificed once a year, itself to itself, in a mystical ceremony. Among certain peoples, as in Samoa, we see the process of advance towards the Greek and Syrian view of sacred animals. In Samoa many stocks combine to worship one god, but they do not therefore reject their sacred animals. They allege that in the various beasttotems of their various stocks the one god common to all these stocks is incarnate. It is easy to see how an opinion like this would fill the temples of Apollo and of the Syrian goddess of Lucian, like the temples of the Peruvian deities, with images of various sacred animals.26 In Egypt the usual features of savage Totemism show very much more distinct in the local animal-worships and sacrifices. Professors Sayce and Robertson Smith, sufficient philological authorities, accept this view, as far at least as Egypt is concerned.


If our hypothesis be correct, the greatest puzzle of ancient religion is solved as a survival of a worldwide custom of the lower races. Mr. Max Müller, however, remarks: Totemism is one of those many words that sound so grand and mean so little-at least, so little that is definite.' I cannot say that Totem' sounds very 'grand' to my ear, but Totemism' is as 'definite' as any clause in the latest Reform Bill. Nor do we say that, for example, the Algonkins believed their ancestor and their chief divinity to have been a rabbit or a hare, because their crest was a hare or a rabbit.' We do not pretend to have discovered the origin of Totemism; it is enough for us that the institution is of worldwide distribution among the lower races, and that certain elements of religion and myth among the advanced races are clearly survivals of that institution.

Mr. Max Müller, following Dr. Brinton, attempts to show that one totem-the Great Hare of the Algonkins-was a dawn hero! born of a misunderstood word. But Dr. Brinton's argument will not hold water. The names of the Great Hare are five or six. One of them is Michabo, in which the Doctor finds the root wab. Now wab means hare; but there is another root wab (Dr. Brinton says), meaning 'white.' 27 He goes on: Beyond a doubt this' (wab-white, not wabhare) is the compound in the name Michabo, which therefore means "the Great Light, the Spirit of Dawn."' 28 This beyond a

26 See Custom and Myth, 2nd edition, pp. 102-120: Apollo and the Mouse.' "Myths of the New World, pp. 178-179.

28 Other words meaning 'The Great Hare' are Messou and Missibizi. Where is wab meaning 'light' or anything else in Missibizi and Messou?

doubt' is diverting. The word Michabo is to be converted from 'Great Hare' to 'Great Light;' and there can be no doubt that the conversion is correct, because-though it is directly contrary to all Indian opinion from the earliest known times-it 'lets in' the dawn hero! Dr. Brinton is aware that the very race which believes in the Great Hare has some twenty other totemic animals. He does not dream of pretending that each of these--bear, turtle, trout, crane, wolf, raven, coyote, and what not-is a corruption from a root meaning dawn, or light, or anything of the kind. It is beyond the powers of human credulity to hold that a religion of the forces of nature, of dawn, sun, wind, storm, was degraded, by forgetfulness of the meaning of words, into a worship, literally, of every brute in the Zoological Gardens. Why should such a degradation and confusion have taken precisely the same form, that of animal worship, in Australian, Indian, American, African, Semitic, Egyptian, Asiatic, and Samoyede languages? A cause should bear some kind of proportion to its effects. There may be enumerated at least thirty or forty totemic animals in America. No approach to an explanation of their existence is given by the conjecture that one out of the whole array may have come to honour by a confusion between wab=white and wab=hare. Even if this assertion were correct, Dr. Brinton would not for a moment think of explaining the whole totemic menagerie, and the institution all over the world, as a result of a corruption of language which everywhere, and in every tongue, took the same extraordinary forms. Dr. Brinton, in fact, offers another explanation of the worship of beasts. They were to man not inferiors, but equals, even superiors.' Then, with curious inconsistency, Dr. Brinton writes, "It was not the beast he (man) worshipped, but that share of the omnipresent deity which he thought he perceived under its form.' 29 The omnipresent deity he perceived! And Dr. Brinton has just denied that there is one single instance of monotheism, personal and definite, or dim and pantheistic, to be found on the whole American continent! 30 Yet Mr. Max Müller, following Dr. Brinton on one of his divergent tracks, recognises the Great Hare as 'the not unworthy personification of the purest conceptions Red Indians possess concerning the Father of All.’ Dr. Brinton says, 'The phrases Good Spirit, Great Spirit, are entirely of modern origin, coined at the suggestion of missionaries.' As for the solar theory, as for explaining all symbols and myths by the actions of this orb on nature,' it has, says Dr. Brinton, 'had its bottom pulled from under it. Nowhere has it manifested its inefficiency more palpably than in America.'

Obviously there is not much to be learned by trying to follow the curiously devious trail of Dr. Brinton through the forest of mythology.31

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3. Mr. Max Müller appears to have read Dr. Brinton's Myths of the New World in

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