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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/847

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829
THE ORIGIN OF ART.

in the lower stages of its development distinguishes poorly between subjective representations and objective results, and that both give rise to the same ideas. For instance, a savage seeing one of his family in a dream can not imagine that the image is independent of the organic substance of the personage in question; and he will see the same relation between the two as between a body and its image reflected from the surface of the water. Thus the Basutos think that if the shadow of a man is projected upon the water the crocodiles will obtain possession of the man. A similar identification may be pushed to the point that some tribes are known which use the same word to designate the soul, the image, and the shadow. This is the essential fact to be taken into consideration in order to regard primitive design in its real meaning, and to restore the conditions of the medium in which it originated. If we suppose such a material relation between the image and the object as there is between the shadow and the object, it becomes evident that the savage should deport himself in the same way toward the image, the shadow, and the object. From his point of view the image and the object it represents are in close relation, and in acting upon the one he would be acting in the same way upon the other. By virtue of this way of thinking the savage is convinced that harm done to the image passes to the object, or that in acting upon the copy we attack the original.

Proofs are numerous to demonstrate the importance which savages attribute to this mode of action on the original. Waitz tells, following Denghame, that it was dangerous in a certain tribe of West Africa to paint the portraits of natives, because they were afraid that a part of their soul would pass, by some necromancy, into the image. Sir John Lubbock notices the fear of their portrait entertained by savages—and the more like the portrait, the greater the danger to the original was supposed to be. Dr. Kane got rid of the Indians one day when they were making themselves troublesome to him by beginning to paint their portraits. Catlin relates an incident, at the same time sad and comic, of his drawing the profile of a chief named Matochiga, when the Indians around him seemed all at once very much moved. "Why did you not draw the other half of his face?" they asked; "Matochiga was never ashamed to look a white man in the face." Matochiga did not appear to have taken offense till then, when one of the Indians came up to him and, laughing, said, "The Englishman knows very well that you are only half a man, and he has only drawn half of your face because the other is worth nothing." A fatal quarrel followed this expression, and Matochiga was killed by a bullet which struck him on the side of the face that had not been drawn.

Charlevoix says that the Illinois and other Indian tribes made