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LOST BLOOD RESTORED.
bound to drink of it, at the moment the victim breathes his last." The forfeited life of the murderer here seems to be surrendered to, and formally appropriated by, the family, or clan, which he had, to the same extent, depleted of character and life.
A practice not unlike this is reported of the Australians, in their avenging the blood of a murdered person. They devour their victims; who are selected from the tribe of the murderer, although they may be personally innocent of the murder. The tribe depleted by the murder replaces its loss by blood—which is life from the tribe of the murderer. Indeed, "when any one of a tribe [in New South Wales] dies a natural death, it is usual to avenge [or to cancel] the loss of the deceased by taking blood from one or other of his friends." In this way, the very life and being of those whose blood is taken, go to restore to the bereaved ones the loss that death has brought to them.
Strange as this idea may seem to us, its root-thought, as a fact, is still an open question in the realm of physiological science. The claim is positive, in medical works, that insanity has been cured by the transfusion of a sane man's blood;2 that a normal mind has been
1 Trans. of Ethn. Soc.,II., 246, and Angas's Austr. and New Zeal., I., 73, 227, 462, cited in Spencer's Des. Soc. III., 26.
2 See Dict. Méd. et Chir. Prat., Art. "Transfusion"; also Roussel's Transf. of Blood, pp. 78–88.
restored, through a normal life gained in new blood. Moreover, the question, how far the nature, or the characteristics, of an organism, are affected, in blood transfusion, by the nature, or the characteristics, of the donor of the transfused blood, is by no means a settled one among scientists. Referring to a series of questions in this line, propounded by Robert Boyle, more than two centuries ago, Roussel has said, within the past decade: "No one has been able to give any positive answers to them, based upon well-conducted operations"; and, "they still await solution in 1877, as in 1667."1
4. LIFE FROM ANY BLOOD, AND BY A TOUCH.
Because blood is life, all blood, and any blood, has been looked upon as a vehicle of transferred life. And because blood is life, and the heart is a fountain of blood, and so is a fountain of life,—a touch of blood, or, again, the minutest portion of a vital and vivifying heart, has been counted capable of transferring life, with all that life includes and carries; just as the merest cutting of a vine, or the tiniest seed of the mightiest tree, will suffice as the germ of that vine or that tree, in a new planting. The blood, or the heart, of the lower animals, has been deemed the vehicle of life. and strength, in its transference; and a touch from 1 Transf. of Blood, p. 19.
THE COURAGE OF AN OX.
either has been counted potent in re-vivifying and in improving the receiving organism.
Thus, for example, Stanley, in the interior of Africa, having received "a fine, fat ox as a peace-offering," from "the great magic doctor of Vinyata," when making a covenant of blood with him,' was requested to return the heart of the ox to the donor; and he acceded to this request. After this, Stanley's party was several times assailed by the Wanyaturu, from the neighborhood of Vinyata. Thereupon his ally Mgongo Tembo explained, says Stanley, "that we ought not to have bestowed the heart of the presented ox upon the magic doctor of Vinyata; as by the loss of that diffuser of blood, the Wanyaturu believed we had left our own bodies weakened, and would be an easy prey to them."2
Another modern traveler in Equatorial Africa finds fresh bullock's blood counted a means of manhood. While the young Masâi man is passing his novitiate into warrior life, he seeks new strength by taking in new blood. Having employed medical means to rid his system of the remains of all other diet, says Thompson, the novice went to a lonely place with a single attendant; they taking with them a living bullock. There" they killed the bullock, either with a blow from a rungu, or by stabbing it in the back of 1 See page 20, supra. 2 Thro. Dark Cont., I., 123-131.
the neck. They then opened a vein and drank the blood fresh from the animal." After this, the young man gorged himself with the bullock's flesh.1 And whenever the Masâi warriors "go off on war-raids they also contrive to eat a bullock [after this fashion], by way of getting up their courage."2
Again, it is said that Arab women in North Africa give their male children a piece of the lion's heart to eat, to make them courageous. And an English traveler in South Africa1 describing the death of a lion shot by his party, says: "Scarcely was the breath out of his body than the Caffres rushed up, and each took a mouthful of the blood that was trickling from the numerous wounds; as they believe that it is a specific which imparts strength and courage to those who partake of it."
That the transference of life, with all that life carries, can be made by the simplest blood-anointing, as surely as by blood absorption, is strikingly illustrated by a custom still observed among the Hill Tribes of India. The Bheels are a brave and warlike race of mountaineers of Hindostan. They claim to have been, formerly, the rulers of all their region; but, whether by defeat in war, or by voluntary concession, to have 2 Ibid., p. 452.
1 Thompson's Thro. Masâi Land, p. 430.
3 Shooter's Kafirs of Natal, notes, p. 399.
H. A. L., in Sport in Many Lands.
THE ROYAL BLOOD.
yielded their power to other peoples-whom they now authorize to rule in their old domain. "The extraordinary custom, common to almost all the countries [of India] that have been mentioned," says Sir J. Malcolm,1 "of the tika, or mark that is put upon the forehead of the Rajput prince, or chief, when he succeeds to power, being moistened with blood taken from the toe or thumb of a Bhill, may be received as one among many proofs of their having been formerly in possession of the principalities, where this usage prevails.
The right of giving the blood for this ceremony, is claimed by particular families; and the belief, that the individual, from whose veins it is supplied, never lives beyond a twelvemonth, in no degree operates to repress the zeal of the Bhills to perpetuate an usage, which the Rajput princes are, without exception, desirous should cease." The Bheels claim that the right to rule is vested in their race; but they transfer that right to the Rajpoot by a transfer of bloodwhich is a transfer of life and of nature. Thus the Bheels continue to rule-in the person of those who have been vivified by their blood.
So, again, among the ancient Caribs, of South America, as soon as a male child was brought into the world, he was sprinkled with some drops of his
1 See Trans. Royal Asiat. Soc., I., 69; cited in Spencer's Des. Soc., V., 26 f.