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perhaps, more correctly, a wild expression of countenance," which makes it clear to the reader that what stimulates the passion of these women is not the lines of beauty in the [never-washed] faces of these men, but the unbeautiful aspect peculiar to a wild hunter, ferocious warrior, and intrepid defender of his home. Their admiration, in other words, is not esthetic, but instinctively utilitarian.
We come now to the principal argument of Westermarckthe alleged fact that in all parts of the world the desire for self-decoration is strongest at the beginning of the age of puberty, the customs of ornamenting, painting, mutilating, and tattooing the person being practised most zealously at that period. This argument is as futile as the others, for several reasons. In the first place, it is not true that in all parts of the world self-decoration is practised most zealously at that period. More frequently, perhaps, it is begun some years earlier, before any idea of courtship can have entered the heads of these children. The Congo cannibals begin the process of scarring the face at the age of four. Dyak girls are tattooed at five. The Botocudos begin the mutilating of children's lips at the age of seven.3 Eskimo girls are tattooed in their eighth year, and on the Andaman Islands few children are allowed to pass their eighth year without scarification.5 The Damaras chip the teeth with a flint "when the children are young.' 996 The female Oraons are "all tattooed in childhood." The Tahitians began tattooing at eight.8 The Chukchis of Siberia tattoo girls at nine; and so on in various parts of the world. In the second place, of the divers personal decorations" indulged in by the lower races. it is only those that are intended to be of a permanent character (tattooing, scarring, mutilating) that are made chiefly
Roth, II, 83.
4 Boas, Bur. Ethnol., 1884-88, 561. • Ga'ton, 148.
Waitz-Gerland, VI., 30.
(though by no means exclusively)1 about or before the age of puberty.
All the other methods of "decorating" described in the preceding pages as being connected with the rites of war, superstition, mourning, etc., are practised throughout life; and that they constitute by far the greater proportion of "ornamentations" is evidenced by the citation I have already made, from Brough Smyth, that the ornamentation of their persons was considered important by Australians only in connection with such ceremonies, and that "in ordinary life little attention was given to the ornamenting of the person"; to which much similar testimony might be added regarding other races; such as Kane's (184), regarding the Chinooks: "Painting the face is not much practised among them, except on extraordinary occasions, such as the death of a relative, some solemn feast, or going on a war-party;" or Morgan's (263), that the feather and war dances were "the chief occasions" when the Iroquois warrior "was desirous to appear in his best attire," etc.
Again, even if it were true that "the desire for self-decoration is strongest at the beginning of the age of puberty," it does not by any means follow that this must be due to the desire to make one's self attractive to the opposite sex. Whatever their desire may be, the children have no choice in the matter. As Curr remarks regarding Australians (II., 51), "The male must commonly submit, without hope of escape, to have one or more of his teeth knocked out, to have the septum of his nose pierced, to have certain painful cuttings made in his skin, before he is allowed the rights of manhood." There are, however, plenty of reasons why he should desire to be initiated. What Turner writes regarding the Samoans has a general application:
“Until a young man was tattooed, he was considered in his minority. He could not think of marriage, and he was con
To take three cases in place of many: Carl Bock relates (67) that among some Borneans tattooing is one of the privileges of matrimony and is not alloved to unmarried girls. D'Urville describes the tattooing of the wife of chief Tuao, who seemed to glory in the "new honor his wife was securing by these decorations." (Robley, 41.) Among the Papuans of New Guinea tattooing the chest of females denotes that they are married. (Mallery, 411.)
stantly exposed to taunts and ridicule, as being poor and of low birth, and as having no right to speak in the society of men. But as soon as he was tattooed he passed into his majority, and considered himself entitled to the respect and privileges of mature years. When a youth, therefore, reached the age of sixteen, he and his friends were all anxiety that he should be tattooed."
No one can read the accounts of the initiatory ceremonies of Australian and Indian boys (convenient summaries of which may be found in the sixth volume of Waitz-Gerland and in Southey's Brazil, III., 387-88) without becoming convinced that with them, as with the Samoans, etc., there was no thought of women or courtship. Indeed the very idea of such a thing involves an absurdity, for, since all the boys in each tribe were tattooed alike, what advantage could their marks have secured them? If all men were equally rich, would any woman ever marry for money? Westermarck accepts (174) seriously the assertion of one writer that the reason why Australians knock out some of the teeth of the boys at puberty is because they know "that otherwise they would run the risk of being refused on account of ugliness." Now, apart from the childish supposition that Australian women could allow their amorous inclinations to depend on the presence or absence of two front teeth, this assertion involves the assumption that these females can exercise the liberty of choice in the selection of a mate-an assu sumption which is contrary to the truth, since all the authorities on Australia agree on at least one point, which is that women have absolutely no choice in the selection of a husband, but have to submit in all cases to the dispositions made by their male relatives. These Australian women, moreover, perversely act in a manner utterly inconsistent with the theory of sexual selection. Since they do not choose, but are chosen, one would naturally expect, in accordance with that theory, that they would decorate themselves in order to "stimulate the passion" of the desirable men; but they do no such thing.
It is significant that Westermarck (179) though he refers to page 90 of Turner, ignores the passage I have just cited, though it occurs on the same
While the men are apt to dress their hair carefully, the women "let their black locks grow as irregular and tangled as do the Fuegians" (Grosse, 87); and Bulmer says they "did little to improve their appearance;" while such ornaments as they had "were not much regarded by the men." (Brough Smyth, I., 275.)1
One of the most important reasons why young savages approaching puberty are eager to receive their "decorations" remains to be considered. Tattooing, scarring, and mutilating are usually very painful processes. Now, as all who are familiar with the life of savages know, there is nothing they admire so much as courage in enduring torture of any kind. By showing fortitude in bearing the pain connected with tattooing, etc., these young folks are thus able to win admiration, gratify their vanity, and show that they are worthy to be received in the ranks of adults. The Sea Dyaks are proud of their scars, writes Brooke Low. "The women often prove the courage and endurance of the youngsters by
placing a lighted ball of tinder in the arm and letting it burn. into the skin. The marks . are much valued by the young men as so many proofs of their power of endurance." (Roth, II., 80.) Here we have an illustration which explains in the most simple way why scars please both the men and the women, without making necessary the grotesque assumption that either sex admires them as things of beauty. To take another case, equally eloquent: Bossu says of the Osage Indians that they suffer the pain of tattooing with pleasure in order to pass for men of courage. If one of them should
Australia is by no means the only country where the women are less decorated than the men. Various explanations have been offered, but none of them covers all the facts. The real reason becomes obvious if my view is accepted that the alleged ornaments of savages are not esthetic, but practical or utilitarian. The women are usually allowed to share such things as badges of mourning, amulets, and various devices that attract attention to wealth or rank; but the religious rites, and the manifold decorations associated with military lifethe chief occupation of these peoples-they are not allowed to share, and these, with the tribal marks, furnish, as we have seen, the occasion for the most diverse and persistent "decorative" practices.
have himself marked without having previously distinguished himself in battle, he would be degraded and looked upon as a coward, unworthy of such an honor. (Mallery, 1889–90, 394.)
Grosse is inclined to think (78) that it is in the male only that courage is expected and admired, but he is mistaken, as we may see, e.g., in the account given by Dobrizhoffer (II., 21) of the tattooing customs of the Abipones, whom he studied so carefully. The women, he says, "have their face, breast, and arms covered with black figures of various shapes, so that they present the appearance of a Turkish carpet." "This savage ornament is purchased with blood and many groans." The thorns used to puncture the skin are poisonous, and after the operation the girl has her eyes, cheeks, and lips so horribly swelled that she "looks like a Stygian fury." If she groans while undergoing the torture, or shows signs of pain. in her face, the old woman who operates on her exclaims, in a rage: "You will die single, be assured. Which of our heroes would think so cowardly a girl worthy to be his wife?" Such courage, Dobrizhoffer explains further, is admired in a girl because it makes her "prepared to bear the pains of parturition in time." In some cases vanity supplies an additional motive why the girls should submit to the painful operation with fortitude; for those of them who are most pricked and painted you may know to be of high rank.”
Here again we see clearly that the tattooing is admired for other than esthetic reasons, and we realize how foolish it is to philosophize about the peculiar "taste" of these Indians in admiring a girl who looks like "a Turkish carpet" or "a Stygian fury." If they had even the rudiments of a sense of beauty they would not indulge in such disgusting disfigure
MUTILATION, FASHION, AND EMULATION
Grosse declares (80) that "we know definitely at least, that tattooing is regarded by the Eskimo as an embellishment." He bases this inference on Cranz's assertion that Eskimo mothers tattoo their daughters in early youth "for fear that