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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 blood— which 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.

father's blood'; the father 'fondly believing, that the same degree of courage which he had himself displayed, was by these means transmitted to his son.'" Here it is evident that the voluntary transfusion of blood is deemed more potent to the strengthening of personal character, than is the transmission of blood by natural descent.

In South Africa, among the Amampondo, one of the Kaffir tribes, it is customary for the chief, on his accession to authority, "to be washed in the blood of a near relative, generally a brother, who is put to death on the occasion, and his skull used as a receptacle for his blood." In order to give more life and more character than the ordinary possession to the newly elevated chieftain, the family blood is withdrawn from the veins of one having less need of it, that it may be absorbed by him who can use it more imposingly.

In the Yoruba country, in Central Africa, "when a beast is sacrificed for a sick man, the blood is sprinkled on the wall, and smeared on the patient's forehead, with the idea, it is said, of thus transferring to him the [divinely] accepted victim's life." Life is life, and whether that life be in the blood of one organism or

1 Edwards's Hist. of Brit. West Ind., I., 47; cited in Spencer's Des. Soc., VI., 36. 2 Shooter's Kafirs of Natal, p. 216.



of another, of man or of an inferior animal, its transference carries with it all that life includes. That seems to be the thought in Yoruba; and, as all life is of supernatural origin and preservation, its transference can be by a touch as easily as by any other method.1


Because blood, as life, belongs to, and, in a peculiar sense, represents, the Author of life, blood has been counted a means of inspiration. The blood of the gods, in myth and legend, and again the blood of divinely accepted sacrifices, human and animal, in ancient and modern religious rituals, has been relied on as the agency whereby the Author of life speaks in and through the possessor of that blood.

The inspiring power of blood is a thought that runs all through the early Norseland legends. Thus, Kvaser, according to the Scandinavian mythology, was a being created by the gods with preternatural intelligence. Kvaser traversed the world, teaching men wisdom; but he was treacherously murdered by the dwarfs. Fjalar and Gala. The dwarfs let Kvaser's blood run into two cups and a kettle. "The name of the kettle is Odrærer, and the names of the cups are Son and Bodn. By mixing up his blood with honey, they

1See Tylor's Prim. Cult., II., 382, referring to Bastian's Psychologie.

composed a drink of such surpassing excellence, that whoever partakes of it acquires the gift of song."" And that was the origin of poetry in the world; although there have been a good many imitations of the real article since that day.

So, again, in the Elder Edda, the hero Sigurd killed Fafner, at the instigation of Fafner's brother Regin. Regin cut out the heart of his brother, and gave it to Sigurd to roast, while he drank the blood of the murdered one. Touching the bleeding heart with his fingers, and then putting his fingers into his mouth, Sigurd found that he was now able to understand the voice of birds; and thenceforward he was a hero inspired. Afterwards he gave his bride, Gudrun, "to eat of the remnant of Fafnir's heart; so she grew wise and great-hearted.” 3

Down to the present time, there are those in the far East, and in the far West, who seek inspiration by blood-drinking. All along the North Pacific coast, the shamanism of the native tribes shows itself in a craving for blood as a means and as an accompaniment of preternatural frenzy. The chief sorcerer, or medicine-man, has his seasons of demoniacal posses

1 See Anderson's Norse Mythol., p. 247.

2 Ibid., p. 380; Lettsom's Nibel. Lied, Preface, p. ix.; Cox and Jones's Pop. Rom. of Mid. Ages, p. 254 f.

3 Pop. Rom. of Mid. Ages, p. 260; also Nib. Lied, p. x.



sion, when he can communicate with the powers of the air. At such times he is accustomed to spring upon the members of his tribe, and bite out from their necks or bodies the bleeding flesh, as a help to inspiration and debauch. None would venture to resist these blood-thirsty assaults; but the scars which result are always borne with pride.1

Another phase of this universal idea is reported by a recent traveler in the Himalayan districts of India; where, as he thinks, the forms of religion ante-date in their origin those of Hindooism, or of Brahmanism, and "have descended from very early ages." When a favor is sought from a local divinity, "it is the chela [or primitive seer] who gasps out the commands of the deoty [the deity'], as he [the chela] shivers under the divine afflatus, and [under] the vigorous application of the soongul, or iron scourge." But before the chela can have "the divine afflatus" he must drink of living blood. Thus, this traveler witnessed an appeal to the snake-god, Kailung Nag, for fine weather for the sowing of the crops. The sacrificial sheep was procured by the people; the ceremonies of wild worship, including music, dancing, incense-burning, and bodily flagellations, proceeded. "At length, all being ready, the head of the victim was struck off with an

1 See Bancroft's Native Races, III., 150; Brinton's Myths of New World, p. 274 f.; Jackson's Alaska, p. 103 f.

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