Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/416

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tunate bridegroom undergoes the ordeal of whipping by the relations of his bride, in order to test his courage. . . . If the happy husband wishes to be considered a man worth having, he must receive the chastisement with an expression of enjoyment, in which case the crowds of women in admiration again raise their thrilling cry." Here, instead of the primitive abduction violently resisted by the woman and her relatives—instead of the actual capture required to be achieved, as among the Kamtchadales, spite of the blows and wounds inflicted by "all the women in the village"—instead of those modifications of the "form of capture" in which, along with mock pursuit, there goes receipt by the abductor of more or less violence from the pursuers; we have a modification in which the pursuit has disappeared, and the violence is passively received. And then there arises the belief that this castigation of the bridegroom is a deliberately chosen way "to test his courage."

These facts are not given as adequately proving that, in all cases, ceremonies are modifications of actions which had at first direct adaptations to desired ends, and that their apparently symbolic characters result from their survival under changed circumstances. Here I have aimed only to indicate, in the briefest way, the reasons for rejecting the current hypothesis that ceremonies originate in conscious symbolization, and for justifying the belief that we may in every case expect to find them originating by evolution. This expectation we shall hereafter find abundantly fulfilled.


A chief reason why little attention has been paid to phenomena of this class, all-pervading and conspicuous as they are, is that while to most social functions there correspond structures too large to be overlooked, functions which make up ceremonial control have correlative structures so small as to seem of no significance. That ceremonial government has its special organization, just as the political and ecclesiastical governments have, is a fact habitually passed over, because, while the last two organizations have developed, the first has dwindled—in those societies, at least, which have reached the stage at which social phenomena become subjects of speculation. Originally, however, the officials who direct the rites expressing political subordination have an importance second only to that of the officials who direct religious rites; and the two officialisms are homologous. To whichever class belonging, these functionaries conduct propitiatory acts: the visible ruler being the propitiated person in the one case, and the ruler no longer visible being the propitiated person in the other case. Both are performers and regulators of worship—worship of the living king and worship of the dead king. In our advanced stage the differentiation of the divine from the human has become so great that this proposition looks scarcely credible. But on going back through stages in which the attributes of the conceived deity