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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/753

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POLITICAL HEADS—CHIEFS, KINGS, ETC.

ters of Vol. I were set forth at length the proofs, past and present, furnished by many places and peoples, of this genesis of gods from propitiated ghosts. Here there remains to be pointed out the strengthening of political headship inevitably thus effected.

Descent from a ruler who when alive was distinguished by superiority, and whose ghost, specially feared, comes to be propitiated in so unusual a degree as to distinguish it from ancestral ghosts at large, exalts and supports the living ruler in two ways. In the first place, he is assumed to inherit from his great progenitor more or less of the character, apt to be considered supernatural, which gave him his power; and, in the second place, making sacrifices to this great progenitor, he is supposed to maintain such relations with him as insure divine aid. Passages in Canon Callaway's account of the Amazulu show the influence of this belief. It is said, "The itongo [ancestral ghost] dwells with the great man, and speaks with him"; and then it is also said, referring to a medicine-man: "The chiefs of the house of Uzulu used not to allow a mere inferior to be even said to have power over the heaven; for it was said that the heaven belonged only to the chief of that place." These facts yield us a definite interpretation of others, like the following, which show that the authority of the terrestrial ruler is increased by his supposed relation to the celestial ruler; be the celestial the ghost of the remotest known ancestor who founded the society, or of a conquering invader, or of a superior stranger.

Of the chiefs among the Kukis, who are descendants of Hindoo adventurers, we read: "All these rajahs are supposed to have sprung from the same stock, which it is believed originally had connection with the gods themselves; their persons are therefore looked upon with the greatest respect and almost superstitious veneration, and their commands are in every case law." Of the Tahitians Ellis says: "The god and the king were generally supposed to share the authority over the mass of mankind between them. The latter sometimes impersonated the former. . . . The kings, in some of the islands, were supposed to have descended from the gods. Their persons were always sacred." According to Mariner, "Toritonga and Veachi (hereditary divine chiefs in Tonga) are both acknowledged descendants of chief gods who formerly visited the islands of Tonga." And, in ancient Peru, "the Inca gave them (his vassals) to understand that all he did with regard to them was by an order and revelation of his father, the Sun."

This reënforcement of natural power by supernatural power becomes extreme where the ruler is at once a descendant of the gods and himself a god; a union of attributes which is familiar among peoples who do not distinguish between the divine and the human as we do. It was thus in the case just instanced—that of the Peruvians. It was thus with the ancient Egyptians. The monarch "was the rep-