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repeat before it [the corpse] some of the tender scenes which happened during their life time, and wiping the blood which the shark's teeth has drawn, deposit the cloth on the tupapow as the proof of their affection."1

In illustration of this custom, the same writer says, in the course of his narrative: "When we had got within a short mile of the Isthmus, in passing a few houses, an aged woman, mother to the young man who carried my linen, met us, and to express her joy at seeing her son, struck herself several times on the head with a shark's tooth, till the blood flowed plentifully down her breast and shoulders, whilst the son beheld it with entire insensibility [he saw in it only the common proof of his mother's devoted love]. . . The son seeing that I was not pleased with what was done, observed coolly, that it was the custom of Otaheite."

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This custom is again referred to by Mr. Ellis, as observed by him, in the Georgian and the Society Islands, a generation later than the authority above cited. He speaks of the shark's tooth blood-letter as employed by men as well as by women; although more commonly by the latter. He adds another illustration of the truth, that it is the blood itself, and not any suffering caused by its flowing, that is counted the proof of

1 First Miss. Voyage to the So. Sea Islands, pp. 352-363.

2 Ibid., p. 196.

affection, by its representing the outpoured life, in pledge of covenant fidelity.

Describing the scenes of blood-giving grief over the dead bodies of the mourned loved ones, he says: "The females on these occasions sometimes put on a kind of short apron, of a particular sort of cloth; which they held up with one hand, while they cut themselves with the other. In this apron they caught the blood that flowed from these grief-inflicted wounds, until it [the apron] was almost saturated. It was then dried in the sun, and given to the nearest surviving relatives, as a proof of the affection of the donor, and was preserved by the bereaved family as a token of the estimation in which the departed had been held.”1 There is even more of vividness in this memorial than in that suggested by the Psalmist, when he says:

"Put thou my tears into thy bottle." 2

There would seem to be a suggestion of this same idea in one of Grimm's folk-lore fairy tales of the North. A queen's daughter is going away from her home, attended by a single servant. Her loving mother would fain watch and guard her in her absence. Accordingly, "as soon as the hour of departure had arrived, the mother took her daughter into a chamber, and there, with a knife, she cut her [own] finger with 2 Psa. 56: 8.

1 Ellis's Polynesian Researches, I., 529.



it, so that it bled. Then she held her napkin beneath, and let three drops of blood fall into it; which she gave to her daughter, saying: 'Dear child, preserve this well, and it will help you out of trouble.'" That blood represented the mother's very life. It was accustomed to speak out in words of counsel and warning to the daughter. But by and by the napkin which held it was lost, and then the power of the young princess over her mother's servant was gone, and the poor princess was alone in the wide world, at the mercy of strangers.

Acting on the symbolism of this covenanting with another by the loving proffer of one's blood, men have reached out toward God, or toward the gods, in desire for a covenant of union, and in expression of fidelity of devotedness, by the giving of their blood God-ward. This, also, has been in the East and in the West, in ancient days and until to-day.

There was a gleam of this in the Canaanitish worship of Baal, in the contest between his priests and the prophet Elijah, before King Ahab, at Mount Carmel. First, those priests shed the blood of the substitute bullock, at the altar of their god, and "called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, But there was no voice, Then they grew more earnest

saying, O Baal, hear us!

nor any

that answered."

1"The Goose Girl," in Grimm's Household Tales.

in their supplications, and more demonstrative in their proofs of devotedness. "They leaped [or, limped] about the altar which was made. And they

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cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lances, till the blood gushed out upon them." Similar methods of showing love for God are in vogue among the natives of Armenia to-day, Describing a scene of worship by religious devotees in that region, Dr. Van Lennep says: "One of them cuts his forehead with a sword, so that 'the blood gushes out.' He wears a sheet in front, to protect his clothes, and his face is covered with clots of blood."2 Clearly, in this case, as in many others elsewhere, it is not as a means of self-torture, but as a proof of self-devotedness, that the blood is poured out-the life is proffered -by the devotee, toward God.

Among the primitive peoples of North and of South America, it was the custom of priests and people to draw blood from their own bodies, from their tongues, their ears, their noses, their limbs and members, when they went into their temples to worship, and to anoint with that blood the images of their gods. The thorns


1 Kings 18: 26–28. 2 Van Lennep's Bible Lands, pp. 767-769.

3 See Herrera's Gen. Hist. of Cont. and Isl. of America, III.,


209 216, 300 f.; Clavigero's Hist. of Mex., Bk. VI., chaps. 22, 38; Montolinia's Hist. Ind. de Nueva España, p. 22; Landa's Relat, Yucatan, : XXXV.; Ximenez's Hist. Ind. Gautem., pp. 171-181; Palacio's San



of the maguey-a species of aloe-were, in many regions, kept ready at places of sacrifice, for convenient use in this covenant blood-letting.1 A careful student of these early American customs has said of the obvious purpose of this yielding of one's blood in worship, that it "might be regarded as an act of individual devotion, a gift made to the gods by the worshiper himself, out of his own very substance [of his very life, as in the blood-covenant]. The priests in particular owed it to their special character [in their covenant relation to the divinities], to draw their blood for the benefit of the gods [in renewed pledge to the gods]; and nothing could be stranger than the refined methods they adopted to accomplish this end. For instance, they would pass strings or splinters through their lips or ears, and so draw a little blood. But then a fresh string, or a fresh splinter, must be added every day, and so it might go on indefinitely; for the more there were, the more meritorious was the act; pre


Salv. and Hond. (in Squier's Coll., I.) 65 ff., 106, 116; Simon's Ter. Not. Cong. Tier. Firm. en Nue Gran. (in Kingsborough's Antiq. of Mex., VIII.) 208, 248; all cited in Spencer's Des. Soc. II., 20–26, 28, 33. See, also, Bancroft's Native Races of Pacif. Coast, I., 665, 723; II., 259, 306, 708, 710.

1 Serving the purpose of the Otaheitan shark's teeth. See page 86 f., supra.

2 Réville's Native Religions of Mexico and Peru, p. 84 f.

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