Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/450

This page has been validated.

ples; and, similarly, that in Dahomey, where the women are as much warriors as the men, they are so regarded that, in the political organization, "the woman is officially superior." On contrasting these exceptional cases with the ordinary cases, in which the men, solely occupied in war and the chase, have unlimited authority, while the women, occupied in gathering miscellaneous small food and carrying burdens, are abject slaves, it becomes manifest that diversity of relations to surrounding actions initiates diversity of social positions. And, as we before saw, this truth is further illustrated by those few uncivilized societies which are habitually peaceful, such as the Bodo and Dhimáls of the Indian hills, and the ancient Pueblos of North America—societies in which the occupations are not, or were not broadly divided into fighting and working, and severally assigned to the two sexes; and in which, along with a comparatively small difference in the activities of the sexes, there goes, or went, small difference of social status.

So is it when we pass from the greater or less political differentiation which accompanies difference of sex to that which is independent of sex—to that which arises among men. Where the life is permanently peaceful, definite class-divisions do not exist. One of the Indian Hill-tribes, to which I have frequently referred as exhibiting the honesty, truthfulness, and amiability accompanying a purely industrial life, may be instanced. Hodgson says, "All Bodo and all Dhimáls are equal—absolutely so in right or law—wonderfully so in fact." The like is said of another peaceful and amiable Hill-tribe: "The Lepchas have no caste distinctions." And among a different race, the Papuans, may be named the peaceful Arafuras as displaying a "brotherly love with one another," and as having no divisions of rank.


As, at first, the domestic relation between the sexes passes into a political relation, such that men and women become, in militant groups, the ruling class and the subject class, so does the relation between master and slave, originally a domestic one, pass into a political one as fast as, by habitual war, the making of slaves becomes general. It is with the formation of a slave-class that there begins that political differentiation between the regulating structures and the sustaining structures which continues throughout all higher forms of social evolution.

Kane remarks that "slavery in its most cruel form exists among the Indians of the whole coast from California to Behring's Straits, the stronger tribes making slaves of all the others they can conquer. In the interior, where there is but little warfare, slavery does not exist." And this statement does but exhibit, in a distinct form, the truth everywhere obvious. Evidence suggests that the practice of enslavement diverged by small steps from the practice of cannibalism. Concerning the Nootkas, we read that "slaves are occasionally sacri-