Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/414

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names with Europeans, as a proof of brotherly feeling. This, which is a widely-diffused practice, arises from the belief that the name is a part of the individual. Possessing a man's name is equivalent to possessing something that forms a portion of his being, and enables the possessor to work mischief to him; and hence, among numerous peoples, a reason for studiously concealing names. To exchange names, therefore, is to establish some participation in one another's being, and at the same time to trust each with power over the other, implying great mutual confidence.

It is a usage among the people of Vate, "when they wish to make peace, to kill one or more of their own people, and send the body to those with whom they have been fighting to eat;" and, in Samoa, "it is the custom, on the submission of one party to another, to bow down before their conquerors, each with a piece of fire-wood and a bundle of leaves, such as are used in dressing a pig for the oven" (bamboo-knives being sometimes added), "as much as to say, 'Kill us and cook us, if you please.'" These facts I name because they clearly show a point of departure from which there might arise an apparently artificial ceremony. Let the traditions of cannibalism among the Samoans disappear, and this surviving custom of presenting fire-wood, leaves, and knives, as a sign of submission, would, in pursuance of the ordinary method of interpretation, be taken for an observance deliberately devised.

That peace should be signified among the Dakotas by burying the tomahawk, and among the Brazilians by a present of bows and arrows, may be cited as instances of what is in a sense symbolization, but what is in origin a modification of the action symbolized; for cessation of fighting is necessitated by putting away weapons, or by giving weapons to an antagonist. If, as among the civilized, a conquered antagonist delivers up his sword, the act of so making himself defenseless is an act of personal submission; but eventually it comes to be, on the part of a general, a sign that his army surrenders. Similarly, when, as in parts of Africa, "some of the free blacks become slaves voluntarily by going through the simple but significant ceremony of breaking a spear in the presence of their future master," we may properly say that the relation thus artificially established is as near an approach as may be to the relation established when an enemy, whose weapon is broken, is made a slave by his captor: the symbolic transaction simulates the actual transaction.

An instructive example comes next. I refer to the bearing of green boughs as a sign of peace, as an act of propitiation, and as a religious ceremony. As indicating peace the custom occurs among the Araucanians, Australians, Tasmanians, New Guinea people, New Caledonians, Sandwich-Islanders, Tahitians, Samoans, New-Zealanders; and branches were used by the Hebrews also for propitiatory approach (2 Maccabees xiv. 4). In some cases we find it employed to