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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/206

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

to make some effort to change this condition of things? Perhaps half the money now spent on superfluities, if devoted to a better system of ventilation, might very sensibly improve the health and increase the happiness of the community.

 

DRESS AND ADORNMENT.

IV. RELIGIOUS DRESS.

By Prof. FREDERICK STARR.

UNDER this subject we shall consider a variety of different matters—the dress of religious officers; the dress of worshipers; the dress of victims; the garb of mourners; amulets and charms; and the religious meaning of mutilations.

In any society we need to know four individuals only—the babe, the woman, the priest, and the dead man. If we know these, we know the community. The ethnographer usually seeks for the average man in any tribe; we believe he would better seek to know these four. Of the four the priest is usually the most remarkable. PSM V40 D206 Necklace of sorcerer.jpgFig. 1.—Necklace of Sorcerer. Zululand. What an influence the shaman or the medicine-man wields in every community where he exists! His power is largely due to the terror which he causes, and to add to this he makes use of every auxiliary. Thus in his dress he aims at the wild and grotesque. By it he seeks to mark himself off as distinct from common men, and, although it may often be rich and costly, it must at the same time strike terror. The Kaffir sorcerer wears the ordinary kilt, but puts a gall-bladder in his hair and winds a snake's skin about his shoulders. A "queen of witches" wore large coils of entrails stuffed with fat about her neck, while her hair was