Researches into the Early History of Mankind and the Development of Civilization/Chapter 10

CHAPTER X.

SOME REMARKABLE CUSTOMS.

It has long been an accepted doctrine that among the similar customs found prevailing in distant countries, there are some which are evidence of worth to the ethnologist. But in dealing with these things he has to answer, time after time, a new form of the hard question that stands in his way in so many departments of his work. He must have derived from observation of many cases a general notion of what Man does and does not do, before he can say of any particular custom which he finds in two distant places, either that it is likely that a similar state of things may have produced it more than once, or that it is unlikely—that it is even so unlikely as to approach the limit of impossibility, that such a thing should have grown up independently in the two, or three, or twenty places where he finds it. In the first case it is worth little or nothing to him as evidence bearing on the early history of mankind, but in the latter it goes with more or less force to prove that the people who possess it are allied by blood, or have been in contact, or have been influenced indirectly one from the other or both from a common source, or that some combination of these things has happened; in a word, that there has been historical connexion between them.

I give some selected cases of the Argument from Similar Customs, both where it seems sound and where it seems unsound, before proceeding to the main object of this chapter, which is to select and bring into view, from the enormous mass of raw material that lies before the student, four groups of worldwide customs which seem to have their roots deep in the early history of mankind.

It is a remarkable thing to find in Africa the practice which we associate exclusively with Siam and the neighbouring coun- tries, of paying divine honours to the pale-coloured, or as it is called, the "white" elephant. A native of Enarea (in East Africa, south of Abyssinia) told Dr. Krapf that white elephants, whose hide was like the skin of a leper, were found in his country, but such an animal must not be killed, for it is considered an Adbar or protector of man and has religious honours paid to it, and any one who killed it would be put to death.[1] There may be a historical connexion between the veneration of the white elephant in Asia and Africa, but the habit of man to regard unusual animals, or plants, or stones, with superstitious feelings of reverence or horror is so general, that no prudent ethnologist would base an argument upon it, and still less when he finds that in Africa the albino buffalo shares the sanctity of the elephant.

On the other hand, a custom prevalent in two districts comparatively near these may be quoted as an example of sound evidence of the kind in question. In his account of the Sulu Islands, north-east of Borneo, Mr. Spenser St. John speaks of a superstition in those countries, that if gold or pearls are put in a packet by themselves they will decrease and disappear, but if a few grains of rice are added, they will keep. Pearls they believe will actually increase by this, and the natives always put grains of rice in the packets both of gold and precious stones.[2] Now Dr. Livingstone mentions the same thing at the gold diggings of Manica in East Africa, south of the Zambesi, where the natives "bring the dust in quills, and even put in a few seeds of a certain plant as a charm to prevent their losing any of it in the way."[3] The custom was probably transmitted through the Mahometans, who form a known channel of connexion between Africa and the Malay Islands, but its very existence alone would almost prove that there must have been a connecting link somewhere.

Intercourse between Asia and America in early times is not brought to our knowledge by the direct historical information by which, for instance, distant parts of Asia and Africa are brought into contact; still there is indirect evidence tending to prove Asiatic influence far in the interior of North America, and the following may, perhaps, be held in some degree to confirm and supplement it. Johannes de Piano Carpini, describing in 1246 the manners and customs of the Tatars, says that one of their superstitious traditions concerns "sticking a knife into the fire, or in any way touching the fire with a knife, or even taking meat out of the kettle with a knife, or cutting near the fire with an axe; for they believe that so the head of the fire would be cut off."[4] The prohibition was no doubt connected with the Asiatic fire-worship, and it seems to have long been known in Europe, for it stands among the Pythagorean maxims, "πῦρ μαχαίρᾳ μὴ σκαλεύειν," "not to stir the fire with a sword," or, as it is given elsewhere, σιδήρῳ, "with an iron."[5] In the far north-east of Asia it may be found in the remarkable catalogue of ceremonial sins of the fire-revering Kamchadals, among whom "it is a sin to take up a burning ember with the knife-point, and light tobacco, but it must be taken hold of with the bare hands."[6] The following statement is taken out of a list of superstitions of the Sioux Indians of North America. "They must not stick an awl or needle into . . . a stick of wood on the fire. No person must chop on it with an axe or knife, or stick an awl into it. . . . Neither are they allowed to take a coal from the fire with a knife, or any other sharp instrument."[7] Against the view that these remarkable coincidences prove historical connexion between the races they occur among, the counter-argument will be this, has there generated itself again and again in the world, in connexion with the idea of fire being a living animal, a prohibition to wound the sacred creature?

The first of the four groups of customs, selected as examples of an argument taking a yet wider range, is based upon the idea that disease is commonly caused by bits of wood, stone, hair, or other foreign substances, having got inside the body of the patient. Accordingly, the malady is to be cured by the medicine-man extracting the hurtful things, usually by sucking the affected part till they come out. Mr. Backhouse describes the proceedings of a native doctress in South Africa, which will serve as a typical case. A man was taken ill with a pain in his side, and a Fingo witch was sent for. As she was quite naked, except a rope round her waist, the missionary who lived in the place declined to assist at the ceremony himself, but sent his wife. The doctress sucked at the man's side, and produced some grains of Indian corn, which she said she had drawn from inside him, and which had caused the disease. The missionary's wife looked in her mouth, and there was nothing there; but when she sucked again and again, there came more grains of corn. At last a piece of tobacco-leaf made its appearance with the corn, and showed how the trick was done. The woman swallowed the tobacco first to produce nausea, and then a quantity of Indian corn, and by the help of the rope round her waist, she was able so to control her stomach as only to produce a few grains at a time.[8] In North and South America, in Borneo, and in Australia, the same cure is part of the doctor's work, with the difference only that bones, bits of wood, stones, lizards, fragments of knife-blades, balls of hair, and other miscellaneous articles are produced, and that the tricks by which he keeps up the pretence of sucking them out are perhaps seldom so clever as the African one.[9] In Australia the business is profitably worked by one sorcerer charming bits of quartz into the victim's body, so that another has to be sent for to get them out.[10] It has been already mentioned that in the North of Ireland the wizards still extract elf-bolts, that is, stone arrow-heads, from the bodies of bewitched cattle.[11] Southey, who knew a great deal about savages, goes so far as to say of this cure by sucking out extraneous objects, as practised by the native sorcerers of Brazil, that "their mode of quackery was that which is common to all savage conjurors;"[12] at any rate, its similarity in so many and distant regions is highly remarkable. It is to be noticed that, in this special imposture, we have in the first place the idea that a disease is caused by some extraneous substance inside the body. Among possible motives for this opinion, it has to be borne in mind that in certain cases it is the true one, as where the savage surgeon really cures his patient by extracting some splinter or fragment of stone arrow-head, or other peccant object really imbedded in his flesh. But beyond this, we have the belief turned to account in remote parts of the world by the same knavish trick, which it is hard to imagine as growing up independently in so many distant places.

In the civilized world, the prohibition from marrying kindred has usually stopped short of forbidding the marriage of cousins german. It is true that the Roman Ecclesiastical Law is, at least in theory, very different from this. Hallam says, "Gregory I. pronounces matrimony to be unlawful as far as the seventh degree, and even, if I understand his meaning, as long as any relationship could be traced, which seems to have been the maxim of strict theologians, though not absolutely enforced."[13] But this disability may be reduced by the dispensing power to the ordinary limits; and in practice the Society of Friends go farther than the Canon Law, for they really prohibit the marriage of first cousins. If, however, we examine the law of marriage among certain of the middle and lower races scattered far and wide over the world, a variety of such prohibitions will be found which overstep the practice, and sometimes even approach the theory of the Roman Church. The matter belongs properly to that interesting, but difficult and almost unworked subject, the Comparative Jurisprudence of the lower races, and no one not versed in Civil Law could do it justice; but it may be possible for me to give a rough idea of its various modifications, as found among races widely separated from one another in place, and, so far as we know, in history.[14]

In India, it is unlawful for a Brahman to marry a wife whose clan name or gotra (literally, " cow-stall") is the same as his own, a prohibition which bars marriage among relatives in the male line indefinitely. This law appears in the Code of Manu as applying to the three first castes, and connexions on the female side are also forbidden to marry within certain wide limits. The Abbé Dubois, nevertheless, noticed among the Hindus a tendency to form marriages between families already connected by blood: but inasmuch as, according to his account, relatives in the male line go on calling one another brother and sister, and do not marry, as far as relationship can be traced, were it to the tenth generation, and the same in the female line, the very natural wish to draw closer the family tie can only be accomplished by crossing the male and female line, the brother's child marrying the sister's and so on.[15]

The Chinese people is divided into a number of clans, each distinguished by a name, which is borne by all its members, and corresponds to a surname, or better to a clan-name among ourselves, for the wife adopts her husband's, and the sons and daughters inherit it. The number of these clan-names is limited; Davis thinks there are not much above a hundred, but other writers talk of three hundred, and even of a thousand. Now, the Chinese law is that a man may not marry a woman of his own surname, so that relationship by the male side, however distant, is an absolute bar to marriage. This stringent prohibition of marriage between descendants of the male branch would seem to be very old, for the Chinese refer its origin to the mythic times of the Emperor Fu-hi, whose reign is placed before the Hea dynasty, which began, according to Chinese annals, in 2207 B.C. Fu-hi, it is related, divided the people into 100 clans, giving each a name, "and did not allow a man to marry a woman of the same name, whether a relative or not, a law which is still actually in force." There appear to be also prohibitions applying within a narrower range to relation on the female side, and to certain kinds of affinity. Du Halde says, that "persons who are of the same family, or who bear the same name, however distant their degree of affinity may be, can- not marry together. Thus, the laws do not allow two brothers to marry two sisters, nor a widower to marry his son to the daughter of a widow whom he marries."[16]

In Siam, the seventh degree of blood-affinity is the limit within which marriage is prohibited, with the exception that the king may marry his sister, as among the Incas, the Lagide dynasty, etc., and even his daughter.[17] Among the Land Dayaks of Borneo the marriage of first cousins is said to be prohibited, and a fine of a jar (which represents a considerable value) imposed on second cousins who marry.[18] In Sumatra, Marsden says that first cousins, the children of two brothers, may not marry, while the sister's son may marry the brother's daughter, but not vice versâ.[19] In the same island, it is stated, upon the authority of Sir Stamford Raffles, that the Battas hold intermarriage in the same tribe to be a heinous crime, and that they punish the delinquents after their ordinary manner by cutting them up alive, and eating them grilled or raw with salt and red pepper. It is stated distinctly that their reason for considering such marriages as criminal is that the man and woman had ancestors in common.[20] The prohibition of marrying a relative is strongly marked among tribes of the Malay Peninsula.[21]

Among the Tatar race in Asia and Europe, similar restrictions are to be found. The Ostyaks hold it a sin for two persons of the same family name to marry, so that a man must not take a wife of his own tribe.[22] The Tunguz do not marry second cousins; the Samoieds " avoid all degrees of consanguinity in marrying to such a degree, that a man never marries a girl descended from the same family with himself, however distant the affinity;" and the Lapps have a similar custom.[23] Even among the Semitic race, who, generally speaking, rival the Caribs in the practice of marrying "in and in," something of the kind is found; the tribe Rebua always marries into the tribe Modjar, and vice versâ.[24]

In Africa, the marriage of cousins is looked upon as illegal in some tribes, and the practice of a man not marrying in his own clan is found in various places.[25] The custom in Aquapim is especially suggestive; two families who have fetishes of the same name consider themselves related, and do not intermarry.[26] Munzinger, the Swiss traveller in East Africa, suggests Christian influence as having operated in this direction. The Beni Amer, north of Abyssinia, follow the rules of Islam, cousins often marrying; "the Beit Bidel and the Allabje, on the other hand, mindful of their Christian origin, observe blood-relationship to seven degrees."[27] In Madagascar, Ellis says that "certain ranks are not permitted under any circumstances to intermarry, and affinity to the sixth generation also forbids intermarriage, yet the principal restrictions against intermarriages respect descendants on the female side. Collateral branches on the male side are permitted in most cases to intermarry, on the observance of a slight but prescribed ceremony, which is supposed to remove the impediment or disqualification arising out of consanguinity."[28]

Among the natives of Australia, prohibitory marriage laws have been found, but they are very far from being uniform, and may sometimes have been misunderstood. Sir George Grey's account is that the Australians, so far as he is acquainted with them, are divided into great clans, and use the clan-name as a sort of surname beside the individual name. Children take the family name of the mother, and a man cannot marry a woman of his own name, so that here it would seem that only relationship by the female side is taken into account. One effect of the division of clans in this way, is that the children of the same father by different wives, having different names, may be obliged to take opposite sides in a quarrel.[29] Mr. Eyre's experience in South Australia does not, however, correspond with Sir George Grey's in the West and North-West.[30] Collins believed the custom to be for a native to steal a wife from a tribe at enmity with his own, and to drag her, stunned with blows, home through the woods; her relations not avenging the affront, but taking an opportunity of retaliating in kind. It appears from Nind's account, that in some districts the population is divided into two clans, and a man of one clan can only marry a woman of another.[31] In East Australia, Lang describes a curious and complex system. Through a large extent of the interior, among tribes speaking different dialects, there are four names for men, and four for women, Ippai and Ippata, Kubbi and Kapota, Kumbo and Buta, Murri and Mata. If we call these four sets A, B, C, D, then the rule is that a man or woman of the tribe A must marry into B, and a member of the tribe C into D, and vice versâ, but the child whose father is A, takes the name of D, and so on; A's = D; B's = C; C's = B; D's = A; and the mother's name answers equally well to give the name of the child, if the mother is of the tribe B, her child will belong to the tribe D, and so on.

This ingenious arrangement, it will be seen, has much the same effect as the Hindoo regulations in preventing intermarriage in the male or female line, but allowing the male and female line to cross; the children of two brothers or two sisters cannot marry, but the brother's child may marry the sister's. Lang, however, mentions a furthur regulation, probably made to meet some incidental circumstances, as, so far as it goes, it stultifies the whole system; A may also marry into his or her own tribe, and the children take the name of C.[32]

In America, the custom of marrying out of the clan is frequent and well marked. More than twenty years ago, Sir George Grey called attention to the division of the Australians into families, each distinguished by the name of some animal or vegetable, which served as their crest or kobong; the practice of reckoning clanship from the mother; and the prohibition of marriage within the clan, as all bearing a striking resemblance to similar usages found among the natives of North America. The Indian tribes are usually divided into clans, each distinguished by a totem (Algonquin, do-daim, that is "town mark"), which is commonly some animal, as a bear, wolf, deer, etc., and may be compared on the one hand to a crest, and on the other to a surname. The totem appears to be held as proof of descent from a common ancestor, and therefore the prohibition from marriage of two persons of the same totem must act as a bar on the side the totem descends on, which is generally, if not always, on the female side. Such a prohibition is often mentioned by writers on the North American Indians.[33] Morgan's account of the Iroquois' rules is particularly remarkable. The father and child can never be of the same clan, descent going in all cases by the female line. Each nation had eight tribes, in two sets of four each.

1. Wolf, Bear, Beaver, Turtle.
2. Deer, Snipe, Heron, Hawk.

Originally a Wolf might not marry a Bear, Beaver, or Turtle, reckoning himself their brother, but he might marry into the second set, Deer, etc., whom he considered his cousins, and so on with the rest. But in later times a man is allowed to marry into any tribe but his own.[34] A recent account from North-West America describes the custom among the Indians of Nootka Sound; "a Whale, therefore, may not marry a Whale, nor a Frog a Frog. A child, again, always takes the crest of the mother, so that if the mother be a Wolf, all her children will be Wolves. As a rule, also, descent is traced from the mother, not from the father."[35]

The analogy of the North American Indian custom is therefore with that of the Australians in making clanship on the female side a bar to marriage, but if we go down further south into Central America, the reverse custom, as in China, makes its appearance. Diego de Lauda says of the people of Yucatan, that no one took a wife of his name, on the father's side, for this was a very vile thing among them; but they might marry cousins german on the mother's side.[36] Further south, below the Isthmus, both the clanship and the prohibition reappear on the female side. Bernau says that among the Arrawaks of British Guiana, "Caste is derived from the mother, and children are allowed to marry into their father's family, but not into that of their mother."[37] Lastly, Father Martin Dobrizhoffer says that the Guaranis avoided, as highly criminal, marriage with the most distant relatives, and, speaking of the Abipones, he makes the following statement:—"Though the paternal indulgence of the Roman Pontiffs makes the first and second degrees of relationship alone a bar to the marriage of the Indians, yet the Abipones, instructed by nature and the example of their ancestors, abhor the very thought of marrying any one related to them by the most distant tie of relationship. Long experience has convinced me, that the respect to consanguinity, by which they are deterred from marrying into their own families, is implanted by nature in the minds of most of the people of Paraguay," etc.[38]

In the study of this remarkable series of restrictions, it has to be borne in mind that their various, anomalous, and inconsistent forms may be connected with interfering causes, and this one in particular, that the especial means of tracing kindred is by a system of surnames, clan-names, totems, etc. This system is necessarily one-sided, and though it will keep up the record of descent either on the male or female side perfectly and for ever, it cannot record both at once. In practice, the races of the world who keep such a record at all have had to elect which of the two lines, male or female, they will keep up by the family name or sign, while the other line, having no such easy means of record, is more or less neglected, and soon falls out of sight. Under these circumstances, it would be quite natural that the sign should come to he considered rather than the reality, the name rather than the relationship it records, and that a series of one-sided restrictions should come into force, now bearing upon the male side rather than the female, and now upon the female side rather than the male, roughly matching the one-sided way in which the record of kindred is kept up. In any full discussion, other points have to be considered, such as the wish to bind different tribes together in friendship by intermarriage, and the opinion that a wife is a slave to be stolen from the stranger, not taken from a man's own people.

There is a good deal in this last consideration, as we may see by the practice of the Spartan marriage, in which, though the bride's guardians had really sanctioned the union, the pretence of carrying her off by force was kept up as a time-honoured ceremony. The Spartan marriage is no isolated custom, it is to be found among the Circassians,[39] and in South America.[40] Williams says that on the large islands of the Fiji group, the custom is often found of seizing upon a woman by apparent or actual force, in order to make her a wife. If she does not approve the proceeding, she runs off when she reaches the man's house, but if she is satisfied she stays.[41] In these cases the abduction is a mere pretence, but it is kept up seemingly as a relic of a ruder time when, as among the modern Australians, it was done by no means as a matter of form, but in grim earnest. A few more cases will illustrate the stages through which this remarkable custom has passed, from the actual violent carrying off of unwilling women, down to the formal pretence of abduction kept up as a marriage ceremony. Among the Kols of North-East India, in public market, a young man with a party of friends will carry off a girl, struggling and screaming, but no one not interested interferes, and the girl's female friends are apt to applaud the exploit.[42] The Mantras of the Malay Peninsula, on the wedding-day, give the bride a start, and then the bridegroom must catch her or forfeit her. The course is sometimes round a ring, but sometimes there is a fair chase into the forest, whence an unwelcome lover may well fail to bring back an unwilling bride.[43] Among the Esquimaux of the last century, the form of bride-lifting was in use, nor was its serious meaning forgotten, for sometimes a Greenlander desirous of a second wife, would simply pounce upon an unprotected female, or with his friends' help carry off a girl from a dance. The form still continues; among the Itiplik tribe it has been recently remarked that there is no marriage ceremony further than that the lad has by main force to carry off the kicking and screaming girl, who plays the Sabine bride as though the marriage were not an arranged affair.[44] In modern China, the capture of the bride is recognized as something more than a form. Should the parents of a betrothed damsel delay unconscionably to fulfil the contract, it is a recognized thing for the husband elect to carry off his bride by main force, and indeed the very threat of this proceeding generally brings the old people to a surrender.[45] The Spartan marriage has lasted in other European districts into modern centuries. In Slavonic countries, though sunk to mere ceremony, it is not forgotten.[46] In Friesland the memory of it is kept up by the "bride-lifter" who lifts the bride and her bridesmaid upon the waggon. As for our own country, it was retained in the marriage customs of mock combats and spear-throwing in Wales and Ireland into the last centuries.[47]

Lastly, restrictions from marriage are occasionally found applied to cases where the relationship is more or less imaginary; as in ancient Rome, where adoption had in some measure the effect of consanguinity in barring marriage; or among the Moslems, where relation to a foster-family operates more fully in the same way; or in the Roman Church, where sponsorship creates a restriction from marriage, even among the co-sponsors, which it requires a dispensation to remove. Again, two members of a Circassian brotherhood, though no relationship is to be traced between them, may not marry,[48] and even among the savage Tupinambas of Brazil, two men who adopted one another as brothers were prohibited from marrying each other's sisters and daughters.[49] But such practices as these may reasonably be set down as mere consequences of the transfer both of the rights and the obligations of consanguinity to other kinds of connexion, and so do not touch the general question.

To consider now the third group of customs, it is natural enough that there should be found even among savage tribes rules concerning respect, authority, precedence, and so forth, between fathers- and mothers-in-law and their sons- and daughters-in-law. But with these there are found, in the most distant regions of the world, regulations which to a great extent coincide, but which lie so far out of the ordinary course of social life as understood by the civilized world, that it is hard even to guess what state of things can have brought them into existence.

Among the Arawaks of South America, it was not lawful for the son-in law to see the face of his mother-in-law. If they lived in the same house, a partition must be set up between them. If they went in the same boat, she had to get in first, so as to keep her back turned towards him. Among the Carib, Rochefort says, "all the women talk with whom they will, but the husband dares not converse with his wife's relatives, except on extraordinary occasions."[50] Further north, in the account of the Floridan expedition of Alvar Nuñez, commonly known as Cabeça de Yaca, or Cow's-Head, it is mentioned that the parents-in-law did not enter the son-in-law's house, nor he theirs, nor his brothers'-in-law, and if they met by chance, they went a bowshot out of their way, with their heads down and eyes fixed on the ground, for they held it a bad thing to see or speak to one another; but the women were free to communicate and converse with their parents-in-law and relative.[51] Higher up on the North American continent, customs of this kind have often been described. In the account of Major Long's Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, it is observed that among the Omahas the father- and mother-in-law do not speak to their son-in-law, nor mention his name, nor look in his face, and vice versâ[52] Among the Sioux or Dacotas, Mr. Philander Prescott remarks on the fear of uttering certain names. The father- or mother-in-law must not call their son-in-law by name, and vice versâ, and there are other relationships to which the prohibition applies. He has known an infringement of it punished by cutting the offender's clothes off his back and throwing them away.[53] Harmon says that among the Indians east of he Rocky Mountains, it is indecent for the father- or mother-in law to look at, or speak to, the son- or daughter-in-law.[54] Among the Crees, it is observed by Richardson that while an Indian lives with his wife's family his mother-in-law must not speak to or look at him, and it is also an old custom for a man not to eat or to sit down in the presence of his father-in-law.[55]

In some parts of Australia, the mother-in-law does not allow the son-in-law to see her, but hides herself if he is near, and if she has to pass him makes a circuit, keeping herself carefully concealed with her cloak. Also, the names of a father- or mother-in-law and of a son-in-law are set down among the personal names which must not be spoken.[56] In the Fiji Islands prohibition of speech between parents-in-law and children-in-law has been recorded.[57] Among the Dayaks of Borneo, a man must not pronounce the name of his father-in-law, which custom Mr. St. John, who mentions it, interprets as a sign of respect.[58] On the continent of Asia, among the Mongols and Calmucks, the young wife may not speak to her father-in-law nor sit in his presence,[59] but farther north, among the Yakuts, Adolph Erman noticed a much more peculiar custom. As in other northern regions, the custom of wearing but little clothing in the hot, stifling interior of the huts is common there, and the women often go about their domestic work stripped to the waist, nor do they object to do so in the presence of strangers, but there are two persons before whom a Yakut woman must not appear in this guise, her father-in-law and her husband's elder brother.[60] In Africa, among the Beni Amer, the wife "hides herself, as does the husband also, from the mother-in-law;" while among the Barea the wife "hides herself from her father-in-law, according to custom, which herein agrees with that of the aristocratic peoples."[61] The prohibition of look and speech between a man end his mother-in-law is found again in Ashanti, and in the district of the Mpongwe.[62] Farther south, in Zululand, the Australian customs recur with all their quaint absurdity. The Kafir and his mother-in-law will not mention one another's names nor look in one another's faces, and if the two chance to meet in a narrow lane they will pretend not to see each other, she squatting behind a bush, he holding up his shield to hide his face. The native term for these customs is "being ashamed of the mother-in-law."[63] The Basuto custom forbids a wife to look in the face of her father-in-law till the birth of her first child,[64] and among the Banyai a man must sit with his knees bent in presence of his mother-in-law, and must not put out his feet towards her.[65]

Of this curious series of customs, I have met with no interpretation which can be put forward with confidence. Their object seems to be in general the avoidance of intercourse or connexion between parents-in-law and children-in-law, some- times to such an extent that one person may not look at the other, or even pronounce his or her name. But the reasons for this avoidance are not clear.[66] It is possible that a fuller study of the law of tabu may throw some light on the matter. The extraordinary summary of Fijian customs given by the Rev. Thomas Williams, may be here quoted in full; it is probably to be understood as taking in occasional or local practices. "A free flow of the affections between members of the same family is further prevented by the strict observance of national or religious customs, imposing a most unnatural restraint. Brothers and sisters, first cousins, fathers- and sons-in-law, mothers- and daughters-in-law, and brothers- and sisters-in-law, are thus severally forbidden to speak to each other, or to eat from the same dish. The latter embargo extends to husbands and wives,—an arrangement not likely to foster domestic joy." Elsewhere the same author says, "in some parts, the father may not speak to his son after his fifteenth year."[67] Reading this, we can hardly pass unnoticed the assertion that among the Veddas of Ceylon, a father will not see his daughter, nor a mother her son, after they have come to years of maturity.[68]

The fourth and last group of customs has long been under notice, and lists have even been made of countries where practices belonging to it have been found.[69] One of these practices has an existing European name, the couvade, or "hatching," and this term it may be convenient to use for the whole set. By working up the old information with the aid of some new facts, I have endeavoured to give an account, not only of the geographical distribution of the couvade, but of its nature and meaning. The most convenient way of discussing it is first to examine the forms it takes in South America and the West Indies, the district where it is not only developed to the highest degree, but is also practised with a clear notion of what it means; and afterwards to trace its more scattered and obscure appearances in other quarters of the world.

The following account is given by Du Tertre of the Carib couvade in the West Indies. When a child is born, the mother goes presently to her work, but the father begins to complain, and takes to his hammock, and there he is visited as though he were sick, and undergoes a course of dieting which would cure of the gout "the most replete of Frenchmen. How they can fast so much and not die of it," continues the narrator, "is amazing to me, for they sometimes pass the five first days without eating or drinking anything; then up to the tenth they drink oüycou, which has about as much nourishment in it as beer. These ten days passed, they begin to eat cassava only, drinking oüycou, and abstaining from everything else for the space of a whole month. During this time, however, they only eat the inside of the cassava, so that what is left is like the rim of a hat when the block has been taken out, and all these cassava rims they keep for the feast at the end of forty days, hanging them up in the house with a cord. When the forty days are up they invite their relations and best friends, who being arrived, before they set to eating, hack the skin of this poor wretch with agouti-teeth, and draw blood from all parts of his body, in such sort that from being sick by pure imagination they often make a real patient of him. This is, however, so to speak, only the fish, for now comes the sauce they prepare for him; they take sixty or eighty large grains of pimento or Indian pepper, the strongest they can get, and after well mashing it in water, they wash with this peppery infusion the wounds and scars of the poor fellow, who I believe suffers no less than if he were burnt alive; however, he must not utter a single word if he will not pass for a coward and a wretch. This ceremony finished, they bring him back to his bed, where he remains some days more, and the rest go and make good cheer in the house at his expense. Nor is this all, for through the space of six whole months he eats neither birds nor fish, firmly believing that this would injure the child's stomach, and that it would participate in the natural faults of the animals on which its father had fed; for example, if the father ate turtle, the child would he deaf and have no brains like this animal, if he ate manati, the child would have little round eyes like this creature, and so on with the rest."[70]

The Abate Gilij, after mentioning the wide prevalence of the fasting of the father on the birth of the child, among the tribes of the east side of South America, goes on as follows:—"But I know not if the cause is equally well known, why the Indians fast in such manner. I in the very beginning of my stay among them had the opportunity of discovering it, and this was how it happened. A fortified house having to be built for the soldiers to live in, as was usual for the defence not of the missionaries alone, but also of the reduced Indians, the Tamanacs, they being still gentiles, were summoned by the corporal Ermengildo Leale to work at it, and it was noticed that a certain Maracajùri, when the work was done, went away fasting, without even tasting a mouthful. 'What, has he no appetite?' asked Leale in surprise. 'To be sure he has,' rejoined the other Indians, 'but his wife has had a child to-day, so he must not make use of these victuals, for the little boy would die.' 'But when our wives are brought to bed,' said the corporal, 'we eat more abundantly and more joyously than usual, and our children do not die of it.' 'But you are Spaniards,' the fools replied, 'and if your eating does no harm to your babies, you may be sure, nevertheless, that it is most hurtful to ours.' It may be easily imagined what laughter there was at this absurd notion. 'But not only the father's food,' the Tamanacs went on to say, 'but even killing fish or any other animal on such days, would do harm to the children.' When I knew of this nonsense, I set myself to work to seek out the motive of it, and taking aside one of the most reasonable of the savages: 'tell me,' I said, 'as the Spaniards do not fast at the birth of their children, for what reason do you fast at such a joyful moment?' 'The child is ours, and proceeds from us,' replied the savage, 'and the cooked food used by grown folks, which is profitable for us at other times, would now do the little children harm, if we ate it.' So I observed a sort of identity which he supposed to exist between father and son," etc. The missionary goes on to relate how he cured the Indian of the delusion, by showing that to give him a thrashing would have no effect on his child.[71]

Among the Arawaks of Surinam, for some time after the birth of his child, the father must fell no tree, fire no gun, hunt no large game; he may stay near home, shoot little birds with a bow and arrow, and angle for little fish; but his time hanging heavy on his hands, the most comfortable thing he can do is to lounge in his hammock.[72] Of the couvade among the fierce equestrian tribe of the Abipones, whose home lay south of the centre of the continent, the Jesuit missionary Dobrizhoffer gives a full account. "No sooner do you hear that the wife has borne a child, than you will see the Abipone husband lying in bed, huddled up with mats and skins lest some ruder breath of air should touch him, fasting, kept in private, and for a number of days abstaining religiously from certain viands; you would swear it was he who had had the child . . . . I had read about this in old times, and laughed at it, never thinking I could believe such madness, and I used to suspect that this barbarian custom was related more in jest than in earnest; but at last I saw it with my own eyes in use among the Abipones. And in truth they observe this ancestral custom, troublesome as it is, the more willingly and diligently from their being altogether persuaded that the sobriety and quiet of the fathers is effectual for the wellbeing of the new-born offspring, and is even necessary. Hear, I pray, a confirmation of this matter. Francisco Barreda, Deputy of the Royal Governor of Tucuman, came to visit the new colony of Conceiçam in the territory of Santiago. To him, as he was walking with me in the courtyard, the Cacique Malakin came up to pay his respects, having just left his bed, to which he had been confined in consequence of his wife's recent delivery. As I stood by, Barreda offered the Cacique a pinch of Spanish snuff, but seeing the savage refuse it contrary to custom, he thought he must be out of his mind, for he knew him at other times to be greedy of this nasal delicacy; so he asked me aside to inquire the cause of his abstinence. I asked him in the Abiponian tongue (for this Barreda was ignorant of, as the Cacique was of Spanish), why he refused his snuff to-day? 'Don't you know?' he answered, 'that my wife has just been confined? Must not I therefore abstain from stimulating my nostrils? What a danger my sneezing would bring upon my child! 'No more, but he went back to his hut to lie down again directly, lest the tender little infant should take some harm if he stayed any longer with us in the open air. For they believe that the father's carelessness influences the new-born offspring, from a natural bond and sympathy of both. Hence if the child comes to a premature end, its death is attributed by the women to the father's intemperance, this or that cause being assigned; he did not abstain from mead; he had loaded his stomach with water-hog; he had swum across the river when the air was chilly; he had neglected to shave off his long eyebrows; he had devoured underground honey, stamping on the bees with his feet; he had ridden till he was tired and sweated. With raving like this the crowd of women accuse the father with impunity of causing the child's death, and are accustomed to pour curses on the unoffending husband."[73]

We have laid open to us in these accounts a notably distinct view, among the lower races, of a mental state hard to trace among those high in the scale of civilization. The couvade implicitly denies that physical separation of "individuals," which a civilized man would probably set down as a first principle, common by nature to all mankind, till experience of the psychology of the savage showed him that he was mistaking education for intuition. It shows us a number of distinct and distant tribes deliberately holding the opinion that the connexion between father and child is not only, as we think, a mere relation of parentage, affection, duty, but that their very bodies are joined by a physical bond, so that what is done to the one acts directly upon the other. The couvade is not the only result of the opinion which thus repudiates the physical severance that seems to come so natural to us: and this opinion again belongs, like Sorcery and Divination, to the mental state in which man does not separate the subjective mental connexion from the objective physical connexion, the connexion which is inside his mind from the connexion which is outside it, in the same way in which most educated men of the higher races make this separation. A few more cases will further illustrate the effects of such a condition of mind. Not only is it held that the actions of the father, and the food that he eats, influence his child both before and after its birth, but that the actions and food of survivors affect the spirits of the dead on their journey to their home in the after life. Among the Land Dayaks of Borneo, the husband, before the birth of his child, may do no work with a sharp instrument except what is necessary for the farm; nor may he fire guns, nor strike animals, nor do any violent work, lest bad influences should affect the child; and after it is born the father is kept in seclusion indoors for several days, and dieted on rice and salt, to prevent not his own but the child's stomach from swelling.[74] In Kamchatka, the husband must not do such things as bend sledge staves across his knee before his child is born, for such actions do harm to his wife.[75] In Greenland, not only may a woman after the birth of a child only eat fish and meat taken by her husband, but the husband must for some weeks do no work and follow no occupation, except the procuring of necessary food, and this in order that the child may not die. When a Greenlander dies, his soul starts to travel to the land of Torngarsuk, where reigns perpetual summer, all sunshine and no night, where there is good water, and birds, fish, seals, and reindeer without end, that are to be caught without trouble, or are found cooking alive in a huge kettle. But the journey to this blessed land is difficult, the souls have to slide five days or more down a precipice all stained with the blood of those who have gone down before. And it is especially grievous for the poor souls when the journey must be made in winter or in tempest, for then a soul may come to harm, and suffer the other death, as they call it, when it perishes utterly, and nothing is left. And this is to them the most wretched fate; and therefore the survivors, for these five days or more, must abstain from certain food, and all noisy work except their necessary fishing, that the soul on its dangerous journey may not be disturbed or come to harm.[76] But perhaps no story on record so clearly shows how deeply the idea of these imaginary ties is rooted in the savage mind, as one told by Mr. Wallace in his South American tour:— "An Indian, who was one of my hunters, caught a fine cock of the rock, and gave it to his wife to feed; but the poor woman was obliged to live herself on cassava-bread and fruits, and abstain entirely from all animal food, pepper, and salt, which it was believed would cause the bird to die." The bird died after all, and the woman was beaten by her husband for having killed it by some violation of the rule of abstinence.[77]

An attempt to account for the couvade has been made by Bachofen, in his remarkable treatise on that early stage of society when the rule of kinship on the mother's side prevailed, which in the course of ages has been generally superseded by the opposite rule of kinship on the father's side. The couvade, in his view, belonged to the period of this great social change, being a symbolic act performed by the father for the purpose of taking on himself the parental relation to the child which had been previously held by the mother. If, however, we look closely at the details of the practice among American tribes, who seem to have it near the original state, we shall hardly find them fit with such a theory. Cases like that of the Greenlanders, where both the husband and the wife are put under treatment, often appear in South America. Among the Macusis of Guiana, who may stand as the example, the father after the birth of the child hangs up his hammock beside the mother's, and keeps with her the weeks of seclusion. During this time, neither husband nor wife do any work; he may not bathe nor take his weapons in hand; both may only quench their thirst with lukewarm water, and eat cassava-porridge; they are even forbidden to scratch themselves with their nails, a bit of rib of palm-leaf being hung up to use instead. The transgression of these ordinances would cause death or lifelong sickness to the child. All this agrees perfectly with the couvade being sympathetic magic, but there is no transfer of parentage from the mother to the father. Still more adverse to Bachofen's notion, is the fact that these Macusis, so far from reckoning the parentage as having been transferred to the father by the couvade, are actually among the tribes who do not reckon kinship on the father's side, the child belonging to the mother's clan. So among the Arawacs, though the father performs the couvade, this does not interfere with the rule that kinship goes by the mother. Nor is there much in these practices which can be construed as a pretence of maternity made by the father. What he does is to go through a dietetic course for the sympathetic benefit of the child, and his doing so may naturally become, as is said to be the case among the Mundrucus, a legal symbol, an act of recognition on his part that he is the father. To understand the whole circumstances, under which the couvade is practised in the world, it is evident that the original magical explanation, sound as it seems to be in itself, is incomplete, and must be supplemented by other reasons to account for the stress it often lays on the paternal, rather than the maternal relation. It is not impossible that in such cases it may have come to serve in something like the way suggested by Bachofen, as a symbol belonging to the rule of male kinship.[78]

It has further to be noticed that certain forms of the couvade involve actually giving over the parentage to the father, and leaving the mother out of the question. This was an ancient Egyptian idea, as Southey points out when mentioning its most startling development in the practice of the Tupinambas of Brazil, who would give their own women as wives to their male captives, and then, without scruple, eat the children when they grow up, holding them simply to be of the flesh and blood of their enemies. It is strange that writers who have spoken of the couvade during the half-century since Southey wrote, and have even quoted him, should have so neglected the contribution he made to the psychology of the lower races in bringing forward as the source of this remarkable practice at once the Egyptian, and American theory of parentage, and the belief in bodily union between father and child.[79] Nor is the doctrine of special parentage from the father unknown to the Aryan race. We may take it up in the Hindu code of Manu, which compares the mother to the field bringing forth the plant according to whatever seed is sown in it. The idea is conspicuous in the Eumenides of Æschylus, where the very plea of Orestes is that he is not of kin to his mother Klytemnestra, and the gods decide that she who bears the child is but as a nurse to it. Lastly, we may leave it in the hands of Swedenborg, who declares that the soul, which is spiritual and is the real man, is from the father, while the body, which is natural and as it were the clothing of the soul, is from the mother. Here, he tells us, we may see the reason why the mind and disposition of the father is communicated to the children for generations.[80] Which seems a somewhat lopsided argument.

To trace now the geographical distribution of the couvade in other parts of the world. The fasting observed in South America and the West Indies is not general; repose, careful nursing, and nourishing food being the treatment usual for the imaginary invalid. Venegas mentions this kind of couvade the Indians of California;[81] Zucchelli, in West Africa;[82] Captain Van der Hart, in Bouro, in the Eastern Archipelago.[83] The country of Eastern Asia where Marco Polo met with the practice of the couvade in the thirteenth century, appears to be the Chinese province of West Yunnan,[84] so that the widow's remark to Sir Hudibras is true in a geographical sense,—

"For though Chineses go to bed,
And lie-in in their ladies' stead."

But it does not at all follow from this that the couvade was practised among the race ethnologic ally known to us as the Chinese. The people among whom Marco Polo found it were probably one of the distinct and less cultured races within the vast Chinese frontier, for it has been noticed among the mountain tribes known as the Miau-tsze, or "Children of the soil," who differ from the Chinese proper in body, language, and civilization, and are supposed to be, like the Sontals and Gonds of India, remnants of a race driven into the mountains by the present dwellers in the plains. A Chinese traveller among the Miau-tsze, giving an account of their manners and customs, notices, as though the idea were quite strange to him, that "In one tribe it is the custom for the father of a new-born child, as soon as its mother has become strong enough to leave her couch, to get into bed himself, and there receive the congratulations of his acquaintances, as he exhibits his offspring."[85] To the districts mentioned in the first edition of this work, I have to add another, South India. The account, for which I have to thank Mr. F. M. Jennings, describes it as usual among natives of the higher castes about Madras, Seringapatam, and on the Malabar Coast. It is stated that a man, at the birth of his first son or daughter by the chief wife, or for any son afterwards, will retire to bed for a lunar month, living principally on a rice diet, abstaining from exciting food and from smoking; at the end of the month he bathes, puts on a fresh dress, and gives his friends a feast. The people of this district of India may be described as mainly of the indigenous Dravidian stock, more or less mixed with Aryan Hindu. They are Hinduized to a great degree in religion and habits, but preserve some of their earlier customs, among which the couvade, which is not known as an Aryan Hindu practice, must probably be counted.[86] An ancient Asiatic people recorded to have practised the couvade are the Tibareni of Pontus, at the south of the Black Sea, among whom, when the child was born, the father lay groaning in bed with his head tied up, while the mother tended him with food, and prepared his baths.[87]

In Europe, the couvade may be traced up from ancient into modern times in the neighbourhood of the Pyrenees. Above eighteen hundred years ago, Strabo mentions the story that among the Iberians of the North of Spain the women, "after the birth of a child, tend their husbands, putting them to bed instead of going themselves;"[88] and this account is confirmed by later mentions of the practice." In Biscay," says Michel,[89] "in valleys whose population recalls in its usages the infancy of society, the women rise immediately after child-birth, and attend to the duties of the household, while the husband goes to bed, taking the baby with him, and thus receives the neighbours' compliments." It has been found also in Navarre,[90] and on the French side of the Pyrenees. Legrand d'Aussy mentions that in an old French fabliau the King of Torelore is "au lit et en couche " when Aucassin arrives and takes a stick to him, and makes him promise to abolish the custom in his realm. And the same author goes on to say that the practice is said still to exist in some cantons of Béarn, where it is called faire la couvade.[91] Lastly, Diodorus Siculus notices the same habit of the wife being neglected, and the husband put to bed and treated as the patient, among the natives of Corsica about the beginning of the Christian era.[92]

The ethnological value of the four groups of customs now described is not to be weighed with much nicety. The prohibitions of marriage among distant kindred go for least in proving connexion by blood or intercourse between the distant races who practise them, as it is easy to suppose them to have grown up again and again from like grounds. But it is hard to suppose that the curiously similar restrictions in the intercourse between parents-in-law and their children-in-law can be of independent growth in each of the remote districts where they prevail, and still more difficult to suppose the quaint trick of the cure by the pretended extraction of objects from the patient's body to have made its appearance independently in Africa, in America, in Australia, in Europe. In such cases as these there is considerable force in the supposition of there being often a historical connexion between their origin in different regions. Thus, the isolated occurrences of a custom among particular races surrounded by other races who ignore it, may be sometimes to the ethnologist like those outlying patches of strata from which the geologist infers that the formation they belong to once spread over intervening districts, from which it has been removed by denudation; or like the geographical distribution of plants, from which the botanist argues that they have travelled from a distant home. The way in which the couvade appears in the New and Old Worlds is especially interesting from this point of view. Among the savage tribes of South America it is, as it were, at home in a mental atmosphere at least not so different from that in which it came into being as to make it a mere meaningless, absurd superstition. If the culture of the Caribs and Brazilians, even before they came under our knowledge, had advanced too far to allow the couvade to grow up fresh among them, they at least practised it with some consciousness of its meaning; it had not fallen out of unison with their mental state. Here, then, we find covering a vast compact area of country, the mental stratum, so to speak, to which the couvade most nearly belongs. But if we look at its appearances across from China to Corsica, the state of things is widely different; no theory of its origin can be drawn from the Asiatic and European accounts to compete for a moment with that which flows naturally from the observations of the American missionaries, who found it not a mere dead custom, but a live growth of savage psychology. The peoples, too, who have kept it up in Asia and Europe seem to have been not the great progressive, spreading, conquering, civilizing nations of the Aryan, Semitic, and Chinese stocks. It cannot be ascribed even to the Tatars, for the Lapps, Finns, and Hungarians appear to know nothing of it. It would seem rather to have belonged to that ruder population, or series of populations, whose fate it has been to be amalgamated with and shaped by the stronger races, or driven from their fruitful lands to take refuge in mountains and deserts. The retainers of the couvade in Asia are the Miau-tsze of China, the Hiuduized people of Southern India, and the savage Tibareni of Pontus. In Europe, they are the inhabitants of districts near the Pyrenees, a region into which the Basques seem to have been driven westward and westward by the pressure of more powerful tribes, till they came to these last mountains with nothing but the Atlantic beyond. Of what stock were the original barbarian inhabitants of Corsica, we do not know; but their position, and the fact that they, too, had the couvade, would fit with an idea not unknown to ethnologists, of their having been a branch of the same family, who escaped their persecutors by putting out to sea, and settling in their mountainous island.

When we find such a custom as the couvade lying isolated in several districts of a continent, it is useful thus to suggest its perhaps serving as a clue to some past connexion between tribes who practise it. But this is very different from rashly assuming that it must necessarily be proof of such historical connexion, that for instance the ancient Corsicans and Tibareni and the modern Bearnese and Miau-Tsze must somehow have borrowed or inherited the habit from a common source. Again, it has been seen that most various races of mankind, black, brown, yellow, white, have among them peoples who practise the couvade in one or other of its forms. It would be most unreasonable to attempt to give an acquired custom like this any direct bearing on the argument as to a common descent of these races from one original stock, a problem which has to be worked out on more deep-lying and primitive characters of man's bodily and mental structure. Like other magical fancies, the couvade seems to belong to certain low stages of the reasoning process in the human mind, and may for all we know have sprung up at different times and places.

Since the first publication of this work, the curious fact has been noticed that in Germany a group of peasant superstitions have made their appearance, closely analogous in principle to the couvade, though relating not to the actual parents of the child but to the godparents. It is believed that the habits and proceedings of the godfather and godmother affect the child's life and character. Particularly, the godfather at the christening must not think of disease or madness lest this come upon the child; he must not look round on the way to the church lest the child should grow up an idle stare-about; nor must he carry a knife about him, for fear of making the child a suicide; the godmother must put on a clean shift to go to the baptism, or the baby will grow up untidy, &c. &c. It does not seem impossible for us to enter into the train of thought that set these notions going, they are what might arise from exaggerating into magical sympathy the reasonable thought that such as the godfather is, such the godchild is likely to be. Popular magic is one of the subjects in which the intellect of the peasant is least removed from that of the savage, both representing early stages in the development of mind.[93]

  1. Krapf, p. 67.
  2. St. John, vol. ii. p. 235.
  3. Livingstone, p. 638.
  4. Vincentius Beluacensis, 'Speculum Historiale,' 1473, book xxxii. c. vii.
  5. Diog. Laert. viii. 1, 17. Plut. 'De Educatione Puerorum,' xvii. "In the Nijegorod Government it is still forbidden to break up the smouldering remains of the faggots in a stove with a poker; to do so might be to cause one's 'ancestors' to fall through into hell," Ralston, 'Songs of the Russian People,' London, 1872, p. 120. [Note to 3rd Edition.]
  6. G. W. Steller, 'Beschreibung von dem Lande Kamtschatka;' Frankfort, 1774, 274.
  7. Schoolcraft, part iii. p. 230.
  8. Backhouse, 'Africa,' p. 284. Andersson, p. 329.
  9. Long's Exp , vol. i. p. 261. Klemm, C. G., vol. ii. pp. 169, 335. St. John, vol. i. pp. 62, 201. Lang, 'Queensland,' p. 342. Eyre, vol. ii. p. 360.
  10. Grey, Journals, vol. ii. p. 337.
  11. Wilde, Cat. R. I. A., p. 19.
  12. Southey, 'Brazil,' vol. i. p. 238.
  13. Hallam, 'Middle Ages,' ch. vii. part ii. See Du Cange, s. v. "generatio."
  14. Since the collection of the present evidence, Mr. J. F. M Lennan has published his important treatise on 'Primitive Marriage' (Edinburgh, 1865). In this work, the first systematic and scientific attempt to elicit general principles from the chaotic mass of details of savage law, he endeavours to trace the origin of the marriage-laws of the lower races, and to point out their effects still remaining in the customs of civilized nations. His classification of peoples as "endogamous" or "exogamous," according to their habit of marrying within or without the tribe or clan, is of great value in simplifying this most difficult and obscure problem. [Note to 2nd Edition.]
  15. Dubois, vol. i. p. 10. Mauu, i.i. 5. See Coleman, p. 291.
  16. Davis, vol. i. p. 264. Purchas, vol. iii. pp. 367, 394. Goguet, vol. iii. p. 328. Du Halde, Descr. de la Chine; The Hague, 1736, vol. ii. p. 145. De Mailla, vol. i. p. 6.
  17. Bowring, vol. i. p. 185.
  18. St. John, vol. i. p. 198.
  19. Marsden, p. 228.
  20. Letter of Raffles to Marsden, in Dr. W. Cooke Taylor, The Nat. Hist. of Society, vol. i. pp. 122–6.
  21. Journ. Ind. Archip., vol. i. p. 300. Tr. Eth. Soc., vol. iii. p. 81.
  22. Bastian. vol. iii. p. 299.
  23. Klemm, C. G., vol. iii. p. 68. Acc. of Samoiedia, in Pinkerton, vol. ii. p. 532. Richardson, 'Polar Regions,' p. 345.
  24. Bastian, l. c.
  25. Casalis, p. 191. Backhouse, 'Africa,' p. 182. Burton in Tr. Eth. Soc., 1861, p. 321. Du Chaillu, p. 338.
  26. Waitz, vol. ii. p. 201, see 355 (Zulus).
  27. Munzinger, p. 319.
  28. Ellis, 'Madagascar,' vol. i. p. 164.
  29. Grey, 'Journals,' vol. ii. pp. 225–30
  30. Eyre, vol. ii. p. 330.
  31. Collins, vol. i. p. 559. Klemm, C. G., vol. i. pp. 233, 319.
  32. Lang, p. 367.
  33. Schoolcraft, part i. p. 52; part ii. p. 49. Loskiel, p. 72. Talbot, Disc. of Lederer, p. 4. Waitz, vol. iii. p. 106.
  34. L. H. Morgan, 'League of the Iroquois,' 1851, p. 79. This author has since, in two important works, attempted the task not only of tracing the position of the clan or gens in the history of society, but of framing a general theory of systems of marriage and kinship. See his 'Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity' (Smithsonian Contributions), Washington, 1871, and 'Ancient Society,' New York and London, 1877. [Note to 3rd Edition.]
  35. Mayne, Brit. Columbia, p. 257.
  36. Landa, p. 140.
  37. Bernau, p. 29.
  38. Dobrizhoffer, vol. i. p. 63; vol. ii. p. 212. See Guuiilla, Hist. Nat., etc., de l'Orenoque; Avignon, 1753, vol. iii. p. 269.
  39. Klemm, C. G., vol. iv. p. 26.
  40. Wallace, p. 497. See Perty, p. 270.
  41. Williams, vol. i. p. 174.
  42. Dalton, Kols, in Tr. Eth. Soc., vol. vi. p. 27; see also Shortt, Jeypore, ibid. p. 266.
  43. Bourien, ibid., vol. iii. p. 81.
  44. Cranz, Grönland, p. 209. Hayes, 'Open Polar Sea;' London, 1867, p. 437.
  45. Doolittle, Chinese, vol. i. p. 104.
  46. Hanusch, 'Slaw. Mythus;' p, 344.
  47. Brand, vol. ii. p. 139, 147; E. J. Wood, 'The Wedding Day in all Ages,' vol. ii. Mr. M'Lennan (see above, p. 281) takes the same view as I have done of the import of the Spartan marriage, which he calls the "form of capture," as indicating previous habit of bride-capture in earnest. He argues from the wide distribution of the form, that the reality was prevalent in early social conditions of the human race. I have added several cases to those mentioned in the first edition of this work, and the whole should be added to Mr. M'Lennan's collection to represent the general evidence of the subject, which is one of much importance in the history of mankind.
  48. Klemm, C. G., vol. iv. p. 24.
  49. Southey, vol. i. p. 250.
  50. Klemm, C. G., vol. ii. p. 77. Rochefort, Hist. Nat., etc., des Iles Antilles; Rotterdam, 1665, p. 545.
  51. Alvar Nuñez, in vol. i. of 'Historiadores Primitives de Indias;' Madrid, 1852, etc., chap. xxv.
  52. Long's Exp. vol. i. p. 253.
  53. Schoolcraft, part ii. p. 196.
  54. Harmon, p. 341.
  55. Franklin, 'Journey to the Shores of the Polar Sea;' London, 1823, pp. 70–1. See Waitz, 'Anthropologie;' vol. iii. p. 104.
  56. Stanbridge in Tr. Eth. Soc., vol. i. p. 289; Oldfield, ibid., vol. iii. p. 251. Eyre, vol. ii. p. 339.
  57. Williams, vol. i. p. 136.
  58. St. John, vol. i. p. 51.
  59. Klemm, C. G , vol. iii. p. 169.
  60. Ermman, E. Tr., vol. ii. p. 420.
  61. Munzinger, pp. 325, 526.
  62. Waitz, vol. ii. p. 201.
  63. J. G. Wood, 'Nat. Hist. of Man; Africa;' p. 87.
  64. Casalis, p. 201.
  65. Livingstone, p. 622.
  66. See St. John, Harmon, and Franklin, locis citatis.
  67. Williams, 'Fiji,' vol. i. pp. 136, 166. See Mariner, vol. ii. p. 147.
  68. Tr. Eth. Soc., vol. iii. p. 71.
  69. M'Culloh, Researches; Baltimore, 1829, p. 99. Waitz, vol. i. p. 294; E. Tr., p. 257. Humboldt & Bonpland, Tr., vol. vi. p. 333. Lafitau, vol. i. p. 49.
  70. Du Tertre, Hist. Gén. des Antilles habitées par les Français; Paris, 1667, vol. ii. p. 371, etc. See Rochefort, Hist. Nat. et Mor. des Iles des Antilles; Rotterdam, 1665, 2nd ed. p. 550. It seems from his account that the very severe fasting was only for the first child, that for the others being slight.
  71. Gilij, 'Saggio di Storia Americana,' vol. ii. p. 133, etc.
  72. Quandt, in Klemm, C. G. voL ii. p. 83.
  73. Dobrizhofier, 'Historia de Abiponibus;' Vienna, 1784, vol. ii. p 231, etc. For other South American accounts of the couvade, see Biet, Voy. de la France Equinox., p. 389. Fermin, Descr. de Surinam; Amsterdam, 1769, p. 81. Tschudi, 'Peru,' vol. ii. p. 235. Purchas, vol. iv. p. 1291. Spix & Martius, pp. 1186, 1339. Ploss, 'Das Kind,' vol. i. p. 131
  74. St. John, vol. i. p. 160. Tr. Eth. Soc., 1863, p. 233. Compare the eight days' fast in Madagascar of the fathers whose children were to be circumcised. Voy. of François Cauche, p. 51, in Rel. de Madagascar, etc.; Paris, 1651. See also Yate, 'New Zealand,' p. 82.
  75. Klemm, C. G., vol. ii p. 207. Steller, 'Kamchatka,' p. 351. The Lapp superstition against putting a handle to an axe in the house of a lying-in woman, or tying knots in her garments, is similar. See Leems in Pinkerton, vol. i. p. 483.
  76. Crauz, pp. 275, 258.
  77. Wallace, p. 502. For other connected practices, see p. 501. Spix and Martius, pp. 381, 1186.
  78. The above remarks on Bachofen's views are newly inserted in the present edition. See J. J. Bachofen, 'Das Mutterrecht,' Stuttgart, 1861, pp. 17, 255, etc.; Martius, 'Beiträge zur Ethnographie und Sprachenkunde Amerikas,' vol, i. pp 427, 441, 511, 643, 690; Sir E. Schomburgk, 'Travels in British Guiana;' Beruau, 'British Guiana,' p. 29. For further evidence and argument in support of the sympathetic-magical explanation of the couvade, see Bastian's important paper on Comparative Psychology in the 'Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie,' vol. v. (1867), and the elaborate dissertation on the couvade in Ploss, 'Das Kind, in Branch und Sitte der Völker,' Stuttgart, 1876, vol. i. p. 125, etc. [Note to 3rd Edition.]
  79. Diod. Sic. i. 80. Southey, vol. i, pp. 227, 248. Compare Spix and Martius, p. 1339, and Martius, p. 392.
  80. Manu, ix. 31–40. J. F. M'Lennan in Fortnightly Rev., Apr. 15, 1866. Swedenborg, 'The True Christian Religion;' 103.
  81. Venegas, vol. i. p. 94; Bancroft, 'Native Races of Pacific States,' vol. i. pp. 391, 585.
  82. Zucchelli, p. 165.
  83. C. v. der Hart, 'Reize rondom het eiland Celebes;' 'Sgravenhage, 1S53, p. 137.
  84. Marco Polo, Latin ed., 1671, lib. ii. c. xli. Marsden's Tr.; London, 1813, p. 434.
  85. W. Lockhart, in Tr. Eth. Soc. 1861, p. 181. Rochefort (p. 550) sets down the Japanese as practising the couvade; and the same bare mention appears in later writers, who, perhaps, merely followed him. Is his statement based on proper evidence, or simply a mistake?
  86. The details are from a nurse, born of English parents in India, and acquainted with native habits. [Note to 2nd Edition.]
  87. Apoll. Rhod. Argonautica, ii. 1009. C. Val. Flacc. Argon., v. 148.
  88. Strabo, iii. 4, 17.
  89. Michel, 'Le Pays Basque;' Paris, 1857, p. 201. A. de Quatrefages, in Rev. des Deux Mondes, 1850, vol. v. It is now declared by Vinson that the couvade has not been found among the modern Basques, the allusions in writers of the last two centuries always referring to the Béarnais. See Wentworth Webster, 'Basque Legends,' London, 1877, p. 232. [Note to 3rd Edition.]
  90. Laborde, 'Itinéraire de l'Espagne;' Paris, 1834, vol. i. p. 273.
  91. Legrand d'Aussy, 'Fabliaux du XIIe et XIIIe Siècle,' 3rd ed.; Paris, 1829, vol. iii. "Aucassin et Nicolelte." Rochefort, l. c. [Faire la couvade, to sit cowring, or skowking within doors; to lurke in the campe when Gallants are at the Battell; (any way) to play least in sight (Cotgrave).]
  92. Diod. Sic. v. 14.
  93. The above paragraph, now first inserted, will serve to remove a misapprehension which I notice in Sir John Lubbock's 'Origin of Civilization,' chap, i., where he mentions me as "regarding it (the couvade) as evidence that the races by whom it is practised belong to one variety of the human species." Some want of clearness in my remarks must have led him to read them in a sense so wide of their intention. For particulars of the German superstition as to godfathers and godchildren, see Wuttke, 'Deutsche Volksaberglaube,' 2nd edition, Berlin, 1868, p. 364; their analogy with the couvade was pointed out by Bastian in the paper already referred to. [Note to 3rd Edition.]