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pressure, yielding. Dr -- declares the superstition to be prevalent in all the isolated districts of southern Rhode Island, and that many instances of its survival can be found in the large centers of population. In the village now being considered known exhumations have been made in five families, in the village previously named in three families, and in two adjoining villages in two families. In 1875 an instance was reported in Chicago, and in a New York journal of recent date I read the following: "At Peukuhl, a small village in Prussia, a farmer died last March. Since then one of his sons has been sickly, and believing that the dead man would not rest until he had drawn to himself the nine surviving members of the family, the sickly son, armed with a spade, exhumed his father and cut off his head.” It does not by any means absolutely follow that this barbarous superstition has a stronger hold in Rhode Island than in any other part of the country. Peculiar conditions have caused its manifestation and survival there, and similar ones are likely to produce it elsewhere. The singular feature is that it should appear and flourish in a native population which from its infancy has had the ordinary New England educational advantages ; in a State having a larger population to the square mile than any in the Union, and in an environment of remarkable literacy and culture when compared with some other sections of the country. It is perhaps fortunate that the isolation of which this is probably the product, an isolation common in sparsely settled regions, where thought stagnates and insanity and superstition are prevalent, has produced nothing worse.
In neighboring Connecticut, within a few miles of its university town of New Haven, there are rural farming populations, fairly prosperous, of average intelligence, and furnished with churches and schools, which have made themselves notorious by murder, suicides, and numerous cases of melancholia and insanity.
Other abundant evidence is at hand pointing to the conclusion that the vampire superstition still retains its hold in its original habitat-an illustration of the remarkable tenacity and continuity of a superstition through centuries of intellectual progress from a lower to a higher culture, and of the impotency of the latter to entirely eradicate from itself the traditional beliefs, customs, habits, observances, and impressions of the former.
It is apparent that our increased and increasing culture, our
appreciation of the principles of natural, mental, and moral philosophy and knowledge of natural laws has no complete correlation in the decline of primitive and crude superstitions or increased control of the emotions or the imagination, and that to force a higher culture upon a lower, or to metamorphose or to perfectly control its emotional nature through education of the intellect, is equally impossible. The two cultures may, however, coexist, intermingling and in a limited degree absorbing from and retroacting favorably or unfavorably upon each other--trifling aberrations in the inexorable law which binds each to its own place.
The most enlightened and philosophic have, either apparent or secreted in their inmost consciousness, superstitious weaknesses—negative, involuntary, more or less barbaric, and under greater or lesser control in correspondence with their education, their present environment, and the degree of their development, in the control of the imagination and emotions. These in various degrees predominate over the understanding where reason is silent or its authority weakens.
Sónya Kovalevsky (1850-1890), one of the most brilliant mathematicians of the century, who obtained the Prix-Bordin from the French academy," the greatest scientific honor ever gained by a woman," " whose love for mathematical and psychological problems amounted to a passion," and whose intellect would accept no proposition incapable of a mathematical demonstration, all her life maintained a firm belief in apparitions and in dreams as portents. She was so influenced by disagreeable dreams and the apparition of a demon as to be for some time thereafter obviously depressed and low-spirited.
A well known and highly cultured American mathematician recently said to me that his servant had seven years ago nailed a horseshoe over a house door, and that he had never had the courage to remove it.
There is in the Chemnitzer-Rocken Philosophie, cited by Grimm, a register of eleven or twelve hundred crude superstitions surviving in highly educated Germany. Buckle declared that "superstition was the curse of Scotland," and in this regard neither Germany nor Scotland are singular.
Of the origin of this superstition in Rhode Island or in other parts of the United States we are ignorant; it is in all probability an exotic like ourselves, originating in the mythographic period of the Aryan and Semitic peoples, although legends and superstitions of a somewhat similar character may be found among the American Indians.
The Ojibwas have, it is said, a legend of the ghostly man-eater. Mr Mooney, in a personal note, says that he has not met with any close parallel of the vampire myth among the tribes with which he is familiar. The Cherokees have, however, something analogous. There are in that tribe quite a number of old witches and wizards who thrive and fatten upon the livers of murdered victims. When some one is dangerously sick these witches gather invisibly about his bedside and torment him, even lifting him up and dashing him down again upon the ground until life is extinct. After he is buried they dig up the body and take out the liver to feast upon. They thus lengthen their own lives by as many days as they have taken from his. In this way they get to be very aged, which renders them objects of suspicion. It is not, therefore, well to grow old among the Cherokees. If discovered and recognized during the feast, when they are again visible, they die within seven days.
I have personal experience of a case in which a reputed medicine-man was left to die alone because his friends were afraid to come into the house on account of the presence of invisible witches.
Jacob Grimm * defines superstition as a persistence of individual men in views which the common sense or culture of the majority has caused them to abandon, a definition which, while within its limits sufficiently accurate, does not recognize or take account of the subtile, universal, ineradicable fear of or reverence for the supernatural, the mysterious, and unknown.
De Quincey has more comprehensively remarked that “superstition or sympathy with the invisible is the great test of man's nature as an earthly combining with a celestial. In superstition is the possibility of religion, and though superstition is often injurious, degrading, and demoralizing, it is so, not as a form of corruption or degradation, but as a form of non-development.”
In reviewing these cases of psychologic pre-Raphaelitism they seem, from an economic point of view, to form one of the strongest as well as weirdest aguments in favor of a general cremation of the dead that it is possible to present. They also remind us of the boutade of the Saturday Review, “that to be really mediaval, one should have no body; to be really modern, one should have no soul ;” and it will be well to remember that if we do not quite accept these demonic apparitions we shall subject ourselves to the criticism of that modern mystic, Dr Carl du Prel, who thus speaks of those who deny the miraculousness of stigmatization: “For these gentlemen the bounds of possibility coincide with the limits of their niggardly horizon; that which they cannot grasp either does not exist or is only the work of illusion and deception.”
* Teutonic Mythology.
HONEY SUPERSTITIONS.—Honey is believed to have power over spirits because honey is one of the earliest foods, yields an intoxicating drink, has many healing virtues, and prevents corruption. Old honey is a cure for cough, wind, and bile. It also increases strength and virility. Honey is used by the Hindus for washing their household gods. The Dekhan Brahman father drops honey into the mouth of his new-born child. Among higher class Hindus, especially among Brahmans, when a child is born honey is dropped into its mouth from a gold spoon or ring. Among Dekhan Hindus, when the bridegroom comes to the bride's house honey and curds are given him to sip. This honey-sipping is called madhuparka ; its apparent object is to scare evil from the bridegroom. Honey is considered by the Hindus a great cleanser and purifier. It is also the food of their gods. In Bengal the Braham bride has part of her body anointed with honey. How highly the early Hindus valued honey appears from the hymn, “Let the winds pour down honey, the rivers pour down honey, may our plants be sweet. May the night bring honey, and the dawn and the sky above the earth be full of honey! This intense longing is probably for honeyale, madhu, or mead. In Africa an intoxicating drink is made from honey. The Feloops of West Africa made a strong liquor out of honey, and the Hottentots are fond of honey beer. Mead made from honey was the favorite drink of the Norsemen. In England honeysuckle still keeps off witchcraft.-J. J. Campbell in Indian Antiquary, Bombay, September, 1895.
A CONTRIBUTION TO ETHNOBOTANY
J. WALTER FEWKES
In the year 1891, at my suggestion, the late J. G. Owens began a collection of data relating to Tusayan ethnobotany. It was my intention to prepare with him an elaborate memoir on the foods and food resources of the Hopi Indians, but the death of this talented young student prevented the completion of our work together. Since his death, however, my interest in the subject has not flagged, but I have found the accumulation of material* so vast that an extensive article would be necessary to present the subject in anything like a complete form. The portion dealing with maize and food products from it would alone fill a volume, and the various kinds of animal foods would take many pages to adequately discuss. The present article is offered as a contribution to the study of a few Tusayan plants, and is more or less preliminary in nature.
The specimens were identified for me by the late Dr Sereno Watson, of Harvard University, and have been deposited in the herbarium of that institution. I have had the aid of the late Mr A. M. Stephen in some of the etymological suggestions, but in many instances it has been quite impossible to arrive at any satisfactory analysis of the components of Hopi names of plants. It may seem strange to the reader that I have picked out a few of the plants used by the Hopi for alimentary, medicinal, and other purposes and omitted others equally important. It is not my intention to offer a monograph of the subject, nor would the limits of an Anthropologist article allow it. I simply wish to call attention to the interesting field of ethnobotany which the Hopi Indians furnish the ethnologist, leaving the more systematic and exhaustive discussion to a memoir which I have in preparation. The reason I have chosen the food plants instead of food animals will be patent when we call to mind that the Pueblos are and have been agriculturists, so far as our knowledge of them goes. They took to agricultural products rather than to flesh for their subsistence. I believe they have employed for food as large a
*Parts of this material were collected while at work for the Hemenway expedition and portions as special ethnologist of the Smithsonian Institution.