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MATELICA


41


MATERIALISM


are Mataco in Argentina and Nocten (corrupted from their Chiriguano name) in Bolivia. From 60,000 (estimated) in the mission period tliey are now re- duced to about 20,000 souls. In 1690 Father Arc6, from the Jesuit college of Tarija, attempted the first mission among the Mataguayo and Chiriguano, but with little result, owing to their wandering habit. "Houses and churches were built, but the natives poureil in and out, like the water through a bottom- less barrel", and, at last, weary of the remonstrances of the missionaries, burned the missions, murdered several of the priests, and drove the others out of the covmtry. At a later period, 1756, the Jesuit mission of San Ignacio de Ledesma on the Rio Grande, a southern head stream of the Vermejo, was founded for Toba and Mataguayo, of whom 600 were enrolled there at the time of the expulsion of the order in 1767.

About the end of the eighteenth century the Fran- ciscans of Tarija undertook to restore the mission work in the Chaco, founding a number of establish- ments, among which were Salinas, occupied by Mata- guayo and Chiriguano, and Centa (now Oran, Salta province), occupied by Mataguayo and Vejoz, the two missions in 1799 containing nearly 900 Indians, with 7300 cattle. With the decline of the Spanish power these missions also fell into decay and the Indians scattered to their forests and rivers. In 1895 Father Gionnecchini, passing by the place of the old Centa mission, found a cattle corral where the church had been. An interesting account of the present condi- tion of the wild Mataco is quoted by Quevedo from a letter by Father Alejandro COrratlo, Francis- can, Tarija. Their houses are light brush structures scattered through the forests, hardly high enough to allow of standing upright, and are abandoned for others .set up in another place as often as insects or ac- cumulation of filth make necessary. The only fur- niture is a W'Ooden mortar with a few earthen pots, and some skins for sleeping. Men and women shave their heads and wear a single garment about the lower part of the body. The men also pluck out the beard and paint the face and body. They live chiefly upon fish and the fruit of the algarroba, a species of mesquit or honey -locust, but will eat anything that is not poisonous, even rats and grasshoppers. From the algarroba they prepare an intoxicating liquor which rouses them to a fighting frenzy. Their principal ceremony is in connexion with the ripening of the algarroba, when the priests in fantastic dress go about the trees, dancing and singing at the top of their voices to the sound of a wooden drum, keeping up the din day and night. A somewhat similar ceremony takes place when a young girl arrives at puberty. Every- thing is in common, and a woman divides her load of fruits or roots with her neighbours without even a word of thanks. They recognize no authority, even of parents over their children. The men occupy them- selves with fishing or occasional hunting, their arms being the bow and club. The women do practicallyall the other work.

Marriage is simple and at the will of the young peo- ple, the wife usually going to live with her husband's relatives. Polygamy and adultery are infrequent, but divorce is easy. The woman receives little attention in pregnancy or childbirth, but on the other hand the father conforms to the couvade. Children are named when two or three years old. Abortion is very fre- quent; infanticide more rare, but the infant is often buried alive on the breast of the dead mother.

Disease is driven off by the medicine men with sing- ing and shaking of rattles. They believe in a good spirit to whom they seem to pay no worship; and in a malevolent night spirit, whom they strive to pro- pitiate. They believe that the soul, after death, enters into the body of some animal. The best work upon the language of the Mataco tribes is the grammar and dictionary of the Jesuit missionary,


Father Joseph Araoz, with Quevedo's studies of the Nocten and Vejoz dialects, from various sources.

Araoz. Grammar and Dictwnary; Brinton, American Race (NewYork, 1891) ; Charlevoix, Hist.du Paraguay, 3 vols. (Paris, 1756),Eng. tr.,2 vols. (London, 1769); Hervas, Ca(d%o de (as Lenguas, I {.Madrid, 1800) ; Lozano, Descripcion Chorographica del Gran Chaco {Cordoba, 1733); Page, La Plata, the Argen- tine Con federatwn and Paraguay (New York, 1859); Pellescbi. OUo Men nel Gran Ciacco (Florence. 1881). tr.. Eight Months on the Gran Chaco (London, 1886); Quevedo, Lenguas Argen- tinas (Dialecto Nocten, Dialecto Vejoz) in Bol. del InstUuto Geogrdfico Argentina, XVI-XVII (Buenos Aires, 1896).

James Mooney.

Matelica. See Fabriano and Matblica, Diocese

OF.

Mater, a titular bishopric in the province of Byzan- tium, mentioned as a free city by Pliny under the name of Matera (Hist, natur., V, iv, 5). Mgr. Toulotte (" G<5ographie de I'Afrique chr^tienne", proconsu- laire, 197) cites only two occupants of this see: Rusti- cianus, who died .shortly before 411, and Quintasius, who succeeded him. Gams (Series episcoporum, 467) mentions four: Rusticianus, Cultasius for Quintasius, Adelflus in 484, and Victor about the year 556. Mater is now known as Mateur, a small town of 4000 inhabi- tants, in great part Christian, and is situated in Tunis. The modern town is encircled with a wall, with three gates ; it is situated on the railway from Tunis to Bi- zerta, not far from the lake to which it has given its name.

S. Vailhe.

Matera. See Acerenza, Archdioce.se of.

Materialism. — Astheword itself signifies, Material- ism is a philosophical system which regards matter as the only reality in the world, which undertakes to explain every event in the universe as resulting from the conditions and activity of matter, and which thus denies the existence of God and the soul. It is diamet- rically opposed to Spiritualism and Idealism, which, in so far as they are one-sided and exclusive, declare that everything in the world is spiritual, and that the world and even matter itself are mere conceptions or ideas in the thinking subject. Materialism is older than Spiritualism, if we regard the development of philosophy as beginning in Greece. The ancient In- dian pliilosophy, however, is idealistic; according to it there is only one real being, Brahma; everything else is appearance, Maja. In Greece the first attempts at philosophy were more or less materialistic; they as- sumed the existence of a single primordial matter — water, earth, fire, air — or of the four elements from which the world was held to have developed. Ma- terialism was methodically developed by theAtomists. The first and also the most important systematic Materialist was Democritus, the " laughing philoso- pher ". He taught that out of nothing coincs nothing; that everything is the result of combination and divi- sion of parts (atoms) ; that these atoms, separated liy empty spaces, are infinitely numerou.s and varied. Even to man he extended his cosmological Material- ism, and was thus the founder of Materialism in the narrow sense, that is the denial of the soul. The soul is a complex of very fine, smooth, round, and fieiy atoms: these are highly mobile and penetrate the whole body, to which tliey impart life. Empedocles was not a thorough-going .Materialist, although h(^ re- garded the four elements with love and hatred as the formative principles of the universe, and refused to recognize a spiritual Creator of the world. Aristotle reproaches the Ionian philosophers in general with attempting to explain the evolution of the world with- out the Nous (intelligence); he regarded Protagoras, who first introduced ;i sjiiritual principle, as a .sober man among the inebriated.

The Socratic School introduced a reaction against Materialism. A little later, however. Materialism found a second Democritus in Epicurus, who treated the system in greater detail and gave it a deeper foun-