Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/412

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a Comanche that, "seizing me in his brawny arms while we were yet in the saddle, and laying his greasy head upon my shoulder, he inflicted upon me a most bruin-like squeeze, which I endured with a degree of patient fortitude worthy of the occasion." So, too, Snow says the Fuegian "friendly mode of salutation was anything but agreeable. The men came and hugged me, very much like the grip of a bear."

Discharging itself in muscular actions which, in cases like the foregoing, are directed to an end, feeling in other cases discharges itself in undirected muscular actions. The resulting changes are habitually rhythmical. Each considerable movement of a limb brings it to a position at which a counter-movement is easy; both because the muscles producing the counter-movement are then in the best positions for contraction, and because they have had a brief rest. Hence the naturalness of striking the hands together or against other parts. We see this as a spontaneous manifestation of pleasure among children; and we find it giving origin to a ceremony among the uncivilized. Clapping of the hands is "the highest mark of respect" in Loango; and it occurs with kindred meaning among the Coast Negroes, the East Africans, the Dahomans. Joined with other acts expressing welcome, the people of Batoka "slap the outsides of their thighs;" the Balonda people, besides clapping their hands, sometimes "in saluting drum their ribs with their elbows;" while among the Coast Negroes and in Dahomey, snapping the fingers is one of the salutes. Rhythmical muscular motions of the arms and hands, thus expressing pleasure, real or pretended, in presence of another person, are not the only motions of this class: the legs come into play. Children often "jump for joy," and occasionally adults may be seen to do the like. Saltatory movements are therefore apt to grow into compliments. In Loango "many of the nobility salute the king by leaping with great strides backward and forward two or three times and swinging their arms." The Fuegians also, as the United States explorers tell us, show friendship "by jumping up and down."[1]

Feeling, discharging itself, contracts the muscles of the vocal organs, as well as other muscles; so that, along with bodily motions signifying pleasure, there go sounds, loud in proportion as the pleasure is great. Hence shouts, indicating joy in general, indicate the joy produced by meeting one who is beloved, and serve to give the appearance of joy before one whose good-will is sought. Among the

  1. In his "Early History of Mankind" (second edition, pp. 51, 52), Mr. Tylor thus comments on such observances: "The lowest class of salutations, which merely aim at giving pleasant bodily sensations, merge into the civilities which we see exchanged among the lower animals. Such are patting, stroking, kissing, pressing noses, blowing, sniffing, and so forth. . . . Natural expressions of joy, such as clapping hands in Africa, and jumping up and down in Tierra del Fuego, are made to do duty as signs of friendship or greeting." Mr. Tylor does not, however, indicate the physio-psychological sources of these actions.