Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/569

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EVOLUTION OF CEREMONIAL GOVERNMENT.

This last instance introduces us to yet another kind of trophy. Along with the heap of hands thus laid before the king, there is represented a phallic heap; and an accompanying inscription, narrating the victory of Meneptah I. over the Libyans, besides mentioning the "cut hands of all their auxiliaries," as being carried on donkeys following the returning ai-my, mentions these other trophies as taken from men of the Libyan nation. And here a natural transition brings us to trophies of an allied kind, the taking of which, once common, has continued in the neighborhood of Egypt down to modern times. The great significance of the account Bruce gives of a practice among the Abyssinians must be my excuse for quoting part of it. He says:

"At the end of a day of battle, each chief is obliged to sit at the door of his tent, and each of his followers, who has slain a man, presents himself in his turn, armed as in fight, with the bloody foreskin of the man he has slain. . . . If he has killed more than one man, so many more times he returns. . . . After this ceremony is over, each man takes his bloody conquest, and retires to prepare it in the same manner the Indians do their scalps. . . . The whole army . . . on a particular day of review, throws them before the king, and leaves them at the gate of the palace."

Here it is noteworthy that the trophy, first serving to demonstrate a victory gained by the individual warrior, is subsequently made an offering to the ruler, and further becomes a means of recording the number slain—facts verified by the more recent French traveler d'Hericourt. That like purposes were similarly served among the Hebrews, proof is yielded by the passage which narrates Saul's endeavor to betray David when offering him Michal to wife: "And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies;" and David "slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and gave them in full tale to the king."

 

Associated with the direct motive for taking trophies there is an indirect motive, which probably aids considerably in developing the custom. Numerous facts unite to prove that the unanalytical mind of the savage thinks the qualities of any object reside in all its parts; and that, among others, the characteristics of human beings are thus conceived by him From this we found there arise such customs as swallowing parts of the bodies of dead relatives, or their ground bones in water, with the view of inheriting their virtues; devouring the heart of a slain brave to gain his courage, or his eyes in the expectation of seeing further; avoiding the flesh of certain timid animals, lest their timidity should be acquired. A further implication of this belief that the spirit of each person is diffused throughout him is, that possession of a part of his body gives possession of a part of his spirit, and, consequently, a power over his spirit: one corollary