Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/103

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obvious and palpable shapes. If we have not made out, by the evidence of institutions, that a confused credulity concerning the equality and kinship of man and the objects in nature is actually a ruling belief among savages, and even higher races, from the Lena to the Amazon, from the Gold Coast to Queensland, we may despair of ever convincing an opponent. The survival of the same beliefs and institutions among civilised races, Aryan, and others, will later be demonstrated.[1] If we find that the mythology of civilised races here agrees with the actual practical belief of savages, and if we also find that civilised races retain survivals of the institutions in which the belief is expressed by savages, then we may surely infer that the activity of beasts in the myths of Greece springs from the same sources as the similar activity of beasts in the myths of Iroquois or Kaffirs. That is to say, part of the irrational element in Greek myth will be shown to be derived (whether by inheritance or borrowing) from an ascertained condition of savage fancy.

  1. Professor Robertson Smith, Kinship in Arabia, attempts to show that totemism existed in the Semitic races. The topic must be left to Orientalists.