Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/742

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chiefs it is said that "with the war their power ceases." Among the Sound Indians the chief "has no authority, and only directs the movements of his band in warlike incursions."

As observed under another head, this primitive insubordination has greater or less play according as the environment and the habits of life hinder or favor coercion. The Lower Californians, above instanced as chief-less, Baegert says resemble "herds of wild swine, which run about according to their own liking, being together to-day and scattered to-morrow, till they meet again by accident at some future time." "The chief among the Chipewyans are now totally without power," says Franklin; and these people exist as small migratory bands. Of the Abipones, who are "impatient of agriculture and a fixed home," and "are continually moving from place to place," Dobrizhoffer writes, "they neither revere their cacique as a master, nor pay him tribute or attendance as is usual with other nations." The like holds under like conditions with other races remote in type. Of the Bedouins Burckhardt remarks, "The sheik has no fixed authority"; and, according to another writer, "A chief who has drawn the bond of allegiance too tight is deposed or abandoned, and becomes a mere member of a tribe, or remains without one."

And now, having noted the original absence of political control, the resistance it meets with, and the circumstances which facilitate evasion of it, we may ask, What causes aid its growth? There are several; and chieftainship becomes settled in proportion as they cooperate.


Among the members of the primitive group, slightly unlike in various ways and degrees, there is sure to be some one who has a recognized superiority. This superiority may be of several kinds, which we will briefly glance at.

Though in a sense abnormal, the cases must be noted in which the superiority is that of an alien immigrant. The head-men of the Khonds "are usually descended from some daring adventurer" of Hindoo blood. Forsyth remarks the like of "most of the chiefs" in the highlands of Central Asia. And the traditions of Bochica among the Chibchas, Amalivaca among the Tamanacs, and Quetzalcoatl among the Mexicans, imply kindred origins of chieftainships. Here, however, we are mainly concerned with superiorities arising within the tribe.

The first to be named is that which goes with seniority. Though age, when it brings incapacity, is often among rude peoples treated with such disregard that the old are killed or left to die, yet, so long as capacity remains, the greater experience accompanying age generally insures influence. The chief-less Esquimaux show "deference to seniors and strong men." Burchell says that, over the Bushmen, old men seem to exercise the authority of chiefs to some extent; and