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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/677

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ANTHROPOID MYTHOLOGY.

that a branch of the tribe of Ad rebelled against its prophets, and God changed them into Nesnâs, that is, into creatures with one hand and one leg, which hop like the birds and eat grass like the cattle. They say that this race has died out, and that such creatures of the kind as are found now are of a different creation (are not changed men). Common people call apes Nesnâs."

The ancient Egyptians did not represent the ape as a caricature of man, but idealized it and paid it religious honors, as they did to many other animals. A cynocephalus was kept and worshiped in the temple at Hermopolis, while a cercopithecus was honored at Thebes. Mummies of apes have been found in both of these cities. The ape also has its place in the hieroglyphics as the representative of the sound "en," and is called ein in Coptic. The god Anubis, who, at the judgment of the dead in Amenti (or the land of death), put the heart of the deceased in the balance of justice in order to report the result to Thoth, is figured with the head of a cynocephalus, or dog-faced baboon. Thoth himself generally appears associated with the attribute of the cynocephalus, the emblem of the dog-star. The temple of Queen Hatasu, at Der-el-bahri, is adorned with inscriptions relating to a grand expedition into the balsam-bearing land of Punt, the Egyptian Ophir, in which the offerings sent by the king of that country are described: "The transports were loaded to the full with the wonderful products of the land of Punt, and the various building-woods of the godly land, with heaps of balsams of incense, with green incense-trees, with ebony, with ivory, adorned with sold from the land of Amu, with liquorice-wood, chefit-wood, with frankincense, holy balsams, and eye-paints, with cynocephaluses and baboons and greyhounds, and with leopard-skins. Never was the like brought to any king of Egypt since the world has stood." According to Brugsch. the incense-trees stood on the decks of the vessels, and the apes, let loose, gamboled in the rigging, to the threat delight of the sailors.

In the Indian Râmayana, where the animals are praised as allies of Rama, apes are depicted in groups, under the direction of a king who obeys the nods of Rama. They are not, however, introduced as idealized apes, changed men or incarnate demons, but as veritable apes with all their less pleasant peculiarities realistically portrayed. A favorite figure of the poem is Hanuman, the fool of the serious drama, around whom a fabulous atmosphere has already gathered. In him may be recognized the Hulman of the Hindoos, the Mandi of the Maiabars, the sacred ape, Semnopithecus entellus. He is an Atlas, who bears mountains on his shoulders. A child of the wind and the air. he affords the most agreeable symbolism of the simian character. Like a rash child, he tried to go up to the sun, and still carries a remembrancer of his mishap in the deformity of his lower jaw, which is longer than the upper one. With his foolhardy, comic ways, he cheered and comforted Rama's beloved wife Sita, and helped deliver her from the