Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/663

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EVOLUTION OF CEREMONIAL GOVERNMENT.

fifteen thousand Bulgarian captives of sight, "the nation was awed by this terrible example."

Just adding that the bearing of a mutilation, thus becoming the mark of a subject race, survives as a token of submission when the trophy-taking which originated it has disappeared, let us now note the different kinds of mutilations, and the ways in which they severally enter into the three forms of control—political, religious, and social.

 

When the Araucanians on going to war send messengers summoning confederate tribes, these messengers carry certain arrows as their credentials; and, "if hostilities are actually commenced, the finger or (as Alçedo will have it) the hand of a slain enemy is joined to the arrows"—another instance added to those already given, in which hands cut off are brought home to show victory.

We have proof that in some cases living vanquished men, made handless by this kind of trophy-taking, are brought back from battle. King Osymandyas reduced the revolted Bactrians; and "on the second wall" of the monument to him "the prisoners are brought forward: they are without their hands and members." But, though a conquered enemy may have one of his hands taken as a trophy without much endangering his life, loss of a hand so greatly diminishes his value as a slave that some other trophy is naturally preferred.

The like cannot, however, be said of a finger. That fingers are sometimes carried home as trophies we have seen; and that conquered enemies, mutilated by loss of fingers, are sometimes allowed to live as slaves, the Bible yields proof. In Judges i. 6, 7, we read: "Adoni-bezek [the Canaanite] fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great-toes. And Adoni-bezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me." Hence, then, the fact that fingers are, in various places, cut off and offered in propitiation of living rulers, in propitiation of dead rulers, and in propitiation of dead relatives. The sanguinary Feejeeans, extreme in their loyalty to cannibal despots, yield sundry illustrations. Describing the sequence of an alleged insult, Williams says: "A messenger was. . . . sent to the chief of the offender to demand an explanation, which was forthwith given, together with the fingers of four persons, to appease the angry chieftain." Again, on the occasion of a chief's death, "orders were issued that one hundred fingers should be cut off; but only sixty were amputated, one woman losing her life in consequence." And once more: a child's hand "was covered with blood, which flowed from the stump where, shortly before, his little-finger had been cut off, as a token of affection for his deceased father." This propitiation of the dead by offering amputated fingers occurs elsewhere. When, among