Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/45

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THE NON-ARYANS OF ANCIENT INDIA. 41 who ' subjected the black-skin to the Aryan man.' They tell ns of their own ' stormy deities, who rush on like furious bulls and scatter the black-skin.' Moreover, the Aryan, with his finely-formed features, loathed the squat Mongolian faces of the Aborigines. One Vedic poet speaks of the Dasyus or non- Aryans as ' noseless ' or flat-nosed, while another praises his own ' beautiful-nosed ' gods. The same unsightly feature was noticed with regard to- a non-Aryan Asiatic tribe, by the com- panions of Alexander the Great on his Indian expedition, more than a thousand years later. But indeed the Vedic hymns abound in scornful epithets for the primitive races of India, as ' disturbers of sacrifioes,' ' gross feeders on flesh,' ' raw-eaters.' ' lawless,' ' not-sacrificing,' ' without gods,' and ' without rites.' As time went on, and these rude tribes were driven back into the forest, they were painted in still more hideous shapes, till they became the ' monsters ' and ' demons ' of the Aryan poet and priest. Their ancient race-name, Dasyu, or * enemy,' thus grew to signify goblin or devil, as the old Teutonic word for enemy or 'the hater' (modern German feind) has become the English ' fiend.' More Civilized non-Aryan Tribes. — Nevertheless all the non-Aryan tribes of ancient India could not have been savages. We hear of wealthy Dasyus or non-Aryans ; and the Vedic hymns speak of their ' seven castles ' and ' ninety forts.' The Aryans afterwards made alliance with non- Aryan tribes ; and some of the most powerful kingdoms of India were ruled by non- Aryan kings. Nor were the non- Aryans devoid of religious rites, or of cravings after a future life. ' They adorn,' says an ancient Sanskrit book, ' the bodies of their dead with gifts, with raiment, with ornaments; imagining that thereby they shall attain the world to come.' These ornaments are the bits of bronze, copper, and gold which we now dig up from beneath their rude stone monuments. In the Ramayana, the Sanskrit epic which narrates the advance of the Aryans into Southern India, a non-Aryan chief describes his race as "of fearful swiftness, unyielding in battle, in colour like a dark-blue cloud.' The non-Aryans as they are. — Let us now examine these primitive peoples as they exist at the present day. Thrust