The Drama of Savage Peoples

Cover of book The Drama of Savage Peoples
Categories: Nonfiction

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER VI DRAMAT


IC WAR CEREMONIES IN the preceding chapters we have discussed at length the ways and means that savage man has adopted for dealing with the spirit world. Through the plant and the animal ceremonies he hopes to keep up the supply of the important elements of his daily sustenance. By coercing the spirits ruling the sun and rain, he endeavors to obtain an equilibrium between these two essential factors of life. However, we have not as yet mentioned some of the means by which, on certain occasions, the primitive man endeavors to secure the assistance of the spirits in dealing with human beings like himself. We have left this until now because it does not play such an important part in savage life. As a rule the man of low culture feels better able to cope alone with individuals of his own kind whom he can see and hear than he does with that vast unseen horde of spirits about him. His relationship with his fellowman is not so dependent upon the aleatory, the unreckonable element, asare his dealings with the members of the other world. Hence it is only under extraordinary circumstances that a man will call upon the gods for help in dealing with human beings, for he relies largely on past experience to help him. However, if there is a man whom, for some reason, the savage does not want to attack alone, he has recourse to sympathetic magic, by means of which he hopes to bring about his enemy's death or downfall. If he wishes to find the whereabouts of some enemy whom he thinks has done him a wrong, he asks the spirits to tell him. While these appeals are in a way dramatic, in that they are imitative, yet they lack definite human action and for that reason are only mentioned in passing. There is, however, one method employed by man in dealing with his own kind which is...

The Drama of Savage Peoples
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