Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/144

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Savage fancy, curiosity, and credulity illustrated in nature myths—In these all phenomena are explained by belief in the general animation of everything, combined with belief in metamorphosis—Sun myths, Asian, Australian, African, Melanesian, Indian, Californian, Brazilian, Maori, Samoan—Moon myths, Australian, Muysca, Mexican, Zulu, Macassar, Greenland, Piute, Malay—Thunder myths—Greek and Aryan sun and moon myths—Star myths—Myths, savage and civilised, of animals, accounting for their marks and habits—Examples of custom of claiming blood kinship with lower animals—Myths of various plants and trees—Myths of stones, and of metamorphosis into stones, Greek, Australian, and American—The whole natural philosophy of savages expressed in myths, and survives in folk-lore and classical poetry, and legends of metamorphosis.

The intellectual condition of savages which has been presented and established by the evidence both of observers and of institutions, may now be studied in savage myths. These myths, indeed, would of themselves demonstrate that the ideas which the lower races entertain about the world correspond with our statement. If any one were to ask himself, from what mental conditions do the following savage stories arise? he would naturally answer that the minds which conceived the tales were curious, indolent, credulous of magic and witchcraft, capable of drawing no line between things and persons, capable of crediting