ill on account of it. The adoe of some former (deceased) magistrate is then called upon to turn away the evil; and when any-one is cursed, he endeavors to ward off the effect of the imprecation by an offering. Adoes are also made and offered to drive off evil spirits or to warn off the spirits of pestilence that may be approaching the village. The occasions for offering are, in fact, innumerable, and persons who suffer much from illness are made poor on account of them.
The adoes are supposed to have originated from above; and the kinds of wood out of which the idols are made are the children, turned into wood, of the divinities which, according to one version of the legends, sprang from chips of wood, and were sent down to heal the diseases of the earth.
Diseases which are supposed to have been produced by curses and enchantments are also met by offerings; but a certain list of disorders, which are caused by a tree that is supposed to have arisen from the spirit of a curse which was uttered by a certain chief against his townsmen—including fevers, disorders of the stomach, and contagious skin-diseases—have to be treated with medicine. The field of superstition is much better tilled by the Niha people than are their rice-fields.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from the Allgemeine Missions-Zeitschrift.
|ANIMALS AS MODIFIED BY ENVIRONMENT.|
PROFESSOR OF ZOÖLOGY IN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY.
THE close connection between animals and their surroundings is generally recognized both by those believing in creation by design and by those holding to evolution. This connection is usually supposed to be restricted to the adaptation of certain organs to specific facts of surrounding environment. Often-quoted examples of such related organs and conditions are the eye and light, and the ear and sound.
In addition to this undoubted adjustment of single organs to individual conditions of environment, there is reason for believing that each natural division of the great animal types, the most fundamental as well as the most trivial, is adapted in the same sense to its own special fact of environment. In other words, all modifications of type have been in the line of adaptation to special conditions; and, where such modifications are
Abstract of a paper on "The Importance of Individual Facts of Environment in the Formation of Natural Groups of Animals," read before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Ann Arbor meeting, 1885.