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Among all these Brahmana myths of the part taken by Prajapati in the creation or evoking of things, the question arises who was Prajapati? His rôle is that of the great Hare in American myth; he is a kind of demiurge, and his name means "The Master of Things Created," like the American title of the chief Manitou, "Master of Life."[1] Dr. Muir remarks that, as the Vedic mind advances from mere divine beings who "reside and operate in fire" (Agni), "dwell and shine in the sun" (Surya), or "in the atmosphere" (Indra), towards a conception of deity, "the farther step would be taken of speaking of the deity under such new names as Visvakarman and Prajapati." These are "appellatives which do not designate any limited functions connected with any single department of Nature, but the more general and abstract notions of divine power operating in the production and government of the universe." Now the interesting point is that round this new and abstract name gravitate the most savage and the crudest myths, exactly the myths we meet among Hottentots and Nootkas. For example, among the Hottentots it is Heitsi Eibib, among the Huarochiri Indians it is Uiracocha, who confers, by curse or blessing, on the animals their proper attributes and characteristics.[2] In the Satapatha Brahmana it is Prajapati who takes this part, that falls to rude culture-heroes of Hottentots and Huarochiris.[3] How Prajapati made experiments in a kind of state-aided evolution, so to speak,

  1. Bregaigne, iii. 40.
  2. Avila, Fables of the Yncas, p. 127.
  3. English translation, ii. 361.