« PrécédentContinuer »
Of the close and binding nature of this blood-compact, among the Timorese, the observer goes on to say: "It is one of their most sacred oaths, and [is] almost never, I am told, violated; at least between individuals." As to its limitless force and scope, he adds: “One brother [one of these brother-friends in the covenant of blood] coming to another brother's house, is in every respect regarded as free [to do as he pleases], and [is] as much at home as its owner. Nothing is withheld from him; even his friend's wife is not denied him, and a child born of such a union would be recognized by the husband as his; [for are not-as they reason these brother-friends of one blood-of one and
the same life?]”1
The covenant of blood-friendship has been noted also among the native races of both North and South America. A writer of three centuries ago, told of it as among the aborigines of Yucatan. "When the Indians of Pontonchan," he said, "receive new friends [covenant in a new friendship]. as a proof of [their] friendship, they [mutually, each], in the sight of the friend, draw some blood from the tongue, hand, or arm, or from some other part [of the body]."2
1 Forbes's A Naturalist's Wanderings in the Eastern Archipelago, P. 452.
2 Peter Martyr's De Rebus Oceanicis et Novo Orbe, p. 338; cited in Spencer's Des. Soc. II., 34.
And this ceremony is said to have formed "a compact
In Brazil, the Indians were said to have a rite of brotherhood so close and sacred that, as in the case of the Bed'ween beyond the Jordan,2 its covenanting parties were counted as of one blood; so that marriage between those thus linked would be deemed incestuous. "There was a word in their language to express a friend who was loved like a brother; it is written Atourrassap ['erroneously, beyond a doubt,' adds Southey, 'because their speech is without the r']. They who called each other by this name, had all things in common; the tie was held to be as sacred as that of consanguinity, and one could not marry the daughter or sister of the other."3
A similar tie of adopted brotherhood, or of close and sacred friendship, is recognized among the North American Indians. Writing of the Dakotas, or the Sioux, Dr. Riggs, the veteran missionary and scholar, says: "Where one Dakota takes another as his koda, i. e., god, or friend, [Think of that, for sacredness of union- god, or friend'!] they become brothers in each other's families, and are, as such, of course unable to intermarry." And Burton, the famous traveler, who
1 See Bancroft's Native Races of the Pacific Coast, I., 741.
2 See page 10, supra.
Lynd's History of the Dakotas, p. 73, note.
made this same tribe a study, says of the Dakotas: "They are fond of adoption, and of making brotherhoods like the Africans [Burton is familiar with the customs of African tribes]; and so strong is the tie that marriage with the sister of an adopted brother is within the prohibited degree."
Among the people of the Society Islands, and perhaps also among those of other South Sea Islands, the term tayo is applied to an attached personal friend, in a peculiar relation of intimacy. The formal ceremony of brotherhood, whereby one becomes the tayo of another, in these islands, I have not found described; but the closeness and sacredness of the relation, as it is held by many of the natives, would seem to indicate the inter-mingling of blood in the covenanting, now or in former times. The early missionaries to those islands, speaking of the prevalent unchastity there, make this exception: "If a person is a tayo of the husband, he must indulge in no liberties with the sisters or the daughters, because they are considered as his own sisters or daughters; and incest is held in abhorrence by them; nor will any temptations engage them to violate this bond of purity. The wife, however, is excepted, and considered as common property for the tayo. Lieutenant Corner [a still earlier voyager] also added, that a tayoship formed 2 See page 54, supra.
1 Burton's City of the Saints, p. 117.
ALL THE WORLD AKIN.
between different sexes put the most solemn barrier against all personal liberties." Here is evidenced that same view of the absolute oneness of nature through a oneness of blood, which shows itself among the Semites of Syria, among the Malays of Timor,3 and among the Indians of America.1
And so this close and sacred covenant relation, this rite of blood-friendship, this inter-oneness of life by an inter-oneness of blood, shows itself in the primitive East, and in the wild and pre-historic West; in the frozen North, as in the torrid South. Its traces are everywhere. It is of old, and it is of to-day; as universal and as full of meaning as life itself.
It will be observed that we have already noted proofs of the independent existence of this rite of blood-brotherhood, or blood-friendship, among the three great primitive divisions of the race-the Semitic, the Hamitic, and the Japhetic; and this in Asia, Africa, Europe, America, and the Islands of the Sea; again, among the five modern and more popular divisions of the human family: Caucasian, Mongolian, Ethiopian, Malay, and American. This fact in itself would seem to point to a common origin of its various manifestations, in the early Oriental home of the now scattered peoples of the world. Many references to
1 Miss. Voyage to So. Pacif. Ocean, p. 360 f.
* See page 10, supra. 3 See page 54, supra. See page 55 f., supra.
this rite, in the pages of classic literature, seem to have the same indicative bearing, as to its nature and primitive source.
6. LIGHT FROM THE CLASSICS.
Lucian, the bright Greek thinker, who was born and trained in the East, writing in the middle of the second century of our era, is explicit as to the nature and method of this covenant as then practised in the East. In his "Toxaris or Friendship,"1 Mnesippus the Greek, and Toxaris the Scythian, are discussing friendship. Toxaris declares: "It can easily be shown that Scythian friends are much more faithful than Greek friends; and that friendship is esteemed more highly among us than among you." Then Toxaris goes on to say: "But first I wish to tell you in what manner we [in Scythia] make friends; not in our drinking bouts as you do, nor simply because a man is of the same age [as ourselves], or because he is our neighbor. But, on the contrary, when we see a good man, and one capable of great deeds, to him we all hasten, and (as you do in the case of marrying, so we think it right to do in the case of our friends) we court him, and we [who would be friends] do all things together, so that we may not offend against friendship, or seem Toxaris, chap. 37.
1Opera, p. 545.