On hunter-gatherers and their
Father Johannes Maringer (The
Gods of Prehistoric Man79 ff.) compared, though not the first (Obermaier
220), the signs on the pebbles of Mas d'Azil with those on the Churingas
or Tjurungas of central Australian tribes. Tjurungas are so-called
"soul stones" or "soul woods", oval or round discs
with incised totem signs. Each child receives its individual tjurunga
at birth, with very specific drawings inside which its soul resides;
boys are allowed to see their tjurunga during initiation ceremonies,
but females do not see theirs during their whole life: they are kept
carefully hidden in the respective holy places. (Crime fans sometimes
come across such places along with Tjurunga in Upfield's "Bony"
stories). Maringer prefers the expression "ancestor stones"
to "soul stones" and finds it "very probable that the
painted pebbles were likewise 'ancestor stones'. This theory is far
more plausible than others that interpret the Azilien pebbles variously
with writing stones, phallic symbols, soothsayer's magic
Game elements and their age (origin, Neolithic)
The "Outline of Prehistory" (25 B) makes it short and registers from Mas d'Azil mainly pebbles painted with dots and lines, which probably served magical purposes".
Let's look at the proposals: Counting stones, graphic signs par excellence, alphabetical signs, religious symbols of the Son, ancestor stones, soothsayerls magic stones, cult or sorcery tiles, or "n u r mere tiles, similar to our dominoes or lotteries." With regard to the latter suggestion, one can only apologetically state that Professor Obermaier simply did not know that domino games require considerable mathematical knowledge, and that he therefore contradicts with these "mere pieces" his opinion, expressed just before, that there was no practical need for higher arithmetical calculations for the population of Azilia. I suggest that such 'explanations' should be understood as magical defences by established cultural experts, spells by which any serious thought can be effectively banished. If Father Maringer already compares the Azilien pebbles with the Tjurungas, and rejects the soothsayerls magic stones far from himself (for special reasons of the Viennese School), what if he once took a thorough look at the real meaning of the Tjurungas, and what if this or that one checked once whether one was confronted with alternatives at all, or whether perhaps fortune-telling stones, counting pebbles, sun symbols, soul stones and tokens do not exclude each other at all. Consider the origin of both totemism - and the Tjurungas are elements of totemism - and the Timean myth of the fixed star soul from the Late Palaeolithic conception of the constellations as lords of the species, Frobenius' interpretation of Franco-Cantabrian rock paintings as "astral animal painting", the role of the "bear's star" in young Paleolithic wild-gatherer cultures, then you will notice of your own accord how inappropriate are the categories of drawers into which one wants to force the Azilian pebbles, and of course not only these.
The acute reason to get involved with the ambiguous pebbles from Late Magdalenia was offered by Wilhelm Gundel and Joseph Needham's explanations of the Dice Oracle of the Alexander novel and of Chinese divination chess, especially Needham's statement: "It is obvious that the throwing of things lent itself to divination as well as to games from the earliest periods"---obviously a 'magical' statement. Which is not to say that the 'throwing' is an unimportant element. To postulate such a statement would be particularly unseemly for members of the German language family: the fact that we now understand a cube to be a cubus because we only know cubic cubes does not change the fact that cube comes from "throwing" and is a strict game word. And of the "cases", the casus (nominative, genitive, etc.) Ernst Sittig has shown in an excellent treatise that they also come from the cube language, or more precisely: from the astragalacal language, just like the names of the Indian ages. (The age of the arrangement of our cases and the origin of their designation as 'cases'.Stuttgart 1931.Cf. Varro 11 10.22, arranges cases on a board) And when nowadays there is talk of equal or unequal 'chances' without intermission, then consider that chance comes from cadentia, again from the falling (cadere) of the thrown astragaloi. For those who know the Greek, it should be noted that dikê may be derived from dikô (from this verb only the aorist form is included); in any case, the ancient glossators always explain dikê as ballô, or throwing. (From the same root discos and diktyon, the fishing net, are said to originate;diskoura = throwing distance of the discos, Il.23.233.Huizinga 131 votes for the derivation of the "right" of throwing, Werner Jaeger was apparently against it).
The Wilhelm Gundel had said (199): "The important astrological teaching of the klêroi or sortes must have originally flowed from a dice oracle, whose components formed a dice board with the cosmic deities and eight different dice. This may go back to ancient times, which did not yet know the concept of a natural law that dictates the course of the planets, but saw spontaneous divine intervention, whim and arbitrariness everywhere. For even the planets are assigned their position at any given time by lot, and as if up in the sky, the oracles of the God on the Pinax dice the current position of the planets.
Defensive spells this too, but what is so particularly irritating about the sentences, not to mention the dreadful use that Gundel makes of our mother tongue? It is not only the stupid arrogance towards an "old time, which does not know the concept of a natural law: we know this term very well, but that has not prevented it from being considered a much acclaimed "dernier cri" to attribute the origin of life on our planet to sheer coincidence, and the familiarity with the concept of a natural law has not prevented the custom of prophesying from cards and by means of the I Ching; anyone who laughs at it out loud has never met a Tarot expert and I Ching connoisseur: one can have quite disturbing experiences.
But apart from that, we should consider a few naked facts:
1) that the first opus in which probability calculations were demonstrably made was the "Liber de Ludo Aleae", the book about the dice game, which Gerolamo Cardano wrote in pieces, beginning around 1537, but which was not published in print until 1663 (Ore 12/). Cardano's treatise on chess has unfortunately been lost.
2)that it is no coincidence that in cultures particularly susceptible to mathematics, if I may say so, such as those of the Indians and the Maya, time cycles of immense length were envisaged: a kalpa lasts a modest 432,000,000 years.
3)that Mr. Gundel knew - as well as we did - that the Hellenistic dice oracles had been preceded by Babylonian astronomy (and of course by Greek astronomy), that the "laws" according to which the planets orbit were thoroughly known long before.
The old astrology, the ancestress of the degenerate nectanebos dice board, is exactly the opposite of a belief in "spontaneous divine intervention, whim and arbitrariness", rather the conviction that everything is regulated by a law, but by a truly inhuman one, that the return of the absolutely same, the Cadentia/Chances Equality, the rising of even the last digit behind the decimal point, is restored only after monstrous periods, while it seems to man that his tiny portion of life, of which he is aware, is at least half directed by irrational coincidences. Martin Nilsson once defined religion as "man's protest against the meaninglessness of events". I would prefer to refrain from whatever definition of religion, but the confidence that events cannot be meaningless, and the hope of eventually getting behind "the" universal law, behind the rules of the great petteutês, seems to me to be not only an innate characteristic of our species, but the basis and driving force of natural science.
Whether you throw seven or eight dice with six sides on a board with 64 squares or even, as in the Heracles oracle in Achaia, four Astragaloi with only four sides on a board with possibly only 30 squares: You, even as a mathematically inexperienced individual, cannot avoid the fact that the combination of numerically limited factors results in a practically unlimited number of schêmata, just as unlimited as the possible positions of planets relative to each other and to the fixed stars at a given hour in a given geographical location. From somewhere, however, from God and the 'immovable eternity', the course of the aya, the throws, and the fabric of the planetary orbits must be transparent, clear, always-shon-da, and thus predictable: the Godhead's living garment already finished, which is woven there on the hurtling loom of time; but Chronos is defined as the "image of the immovable eternity moved according to the multiplicity of numbers".
Has O.F. Raum solved his "problem" (110), namely "whether the peculiar employment of the rolling-target-game in certain ritual situations ... can be due to a universally active genius of combination following similar paths in many localities", or whether diffusion can be expected? In my opinion he has not unravelled it, quite apart from the fact that there can be no talk of "universal". The material is too thin, the compared "ritual situations" are a) too different, b) partially misinterpreted downright, and Raum has not kept to the rolling of his target. We don't do that here either, but we didn't choose this term as a main point in our program.
Detailed questions about diffusion routes can, I think, only be asked (and possibly answered) when one has become reasonably clear about the primary meaning of the whole matter, or, let us say, more cautiously, when one believes to have caught a corner of this meaning. And here it is of utmost importance that the manifold movements "above" are interpreted as the throwing, shooting and throwing of spears, arrows and balls, or expressed in words, in order to then reproduce this activity in more or less "holy" ceremonies. That before such "sacred" use there is the sober invention of spears, bows and arrows and their equally sober use in hunting and warfare is self-evident. It is much more difficult to judge and classify the invention of balls. If it could be proven that the early Paleolithicists - and this is also the opinion of Bushmen, Naskapi, certain Australians, among others - formulated that "above" there was hurling and shooting, then all our games in this field must, according to the P r i n z i p , have their origins in the Mesolithic period. Which of course would not say much about the significance of the individual "sophisticated" and. complicated games. Such a conclusive proof has not yet been provided, but that will change; I only remind you of the mantis stories of the Bushmen --Kaggen / Mantis, which I think is Mercury, likes to move around by following its arrows"--and of the role of the planets in the Serents in South America, where they act as hunting helpers.
As you can see from these, quite inadequate, remarks, I don't care much about distinguishing between rolling target, fixed ball game rings and shooting with a bow, not everyone depends not least on what weapons are available or popular - but the rubber for their balls was supplied by the Mexicans from far away. The Aztecs, for example, had surprisingly little in mind with the bow; the bow is the insignia of the Chichimeca, which was later transferred to the Aztecs, now renamed Mexicans, and that's that; when Tlauicalpantecutli / Venus Morgenstern "shoots", he sets his arrow in motion with the atlatl, the throwing board, i.e. the spear sling, a distinctly Paleolithic instrument. The Polynesians do not use a bow either - we will come back to a weighty exception shortly - which is why they do not believe in the myth of the arrow chain as a means of climbing the heavens.
The Polynesians, as Raum put it, played a pipe and spear game as a "national game", but, as already emphasized, there can be no question of a "r o 11 i n g -target-game". It is the game called "Tika", for which Hans Damm (Das Tika-Spiel der Polynesier.BA 19, 1936, 5-17,p.5) suggested the title "jumping stick", "because the game device is in all cases a stick that is thrown at a throwing point and then jumps over the ground in long sentences. The playgrounds (mostly called marae) were long and narrow (in Fiji sometimes 200-250 m long with a width of 6-7 m) and sometimes had small mounds at both ends of the throwing path as special places to throw the stick. On the Ellice Islands the staff had to pass through a "bull's eye" (mata-tika, i.e. tika-eye) 20 cm in front of the dropping point, and from Hawaii it was reported "that the natives had to pass the staff through several semi-circular hoops built one after the other... which reminded Damm of our croquet (but he calls it criquet). It should be noted that the game was associated with unrestrained betting, and Fornander (VI 200) stated: "The betting sometimes is continued until the girdle at the waist is lost also, and the looser stands strongly naked; then the game ceases. In various variations of the Maui cycle, Tika is played at the moment Maui joins his family, i.e. mother and brothers or both parents and brothers, and in this game Maui destroys or damages the house of the father or mother. For those who don't know Maui: we don't know for sure who it is: it bears the greatest resemblance to the Germanic Thor, the Indian Indra and Heracles, so it is probably an avatar of Jupiter. In any case, Maui usually comes to the Tika game from the so-called "sky", in any case from his foster parents, who raised him as an embryo abandoned or simply lost. The Aukele-nuia-Iku -- "Benjamin" is a girl -- who corresponds to the biblical Joseph, sneaks out (in Hawaii) of the care of the anxious father to meet the brothers who resent him (if he registers, he shoots an arrow into their house); the brothers, just like the Mauis, are organizing "exhibitions", "of all the sporting games known to them, such as wrestling, boxing, to wrestle on all fours, to hide a pebble under piles of kapas, to dance, to roll the stone disc (maika), to jump from high cliffs into the water, to make the spear glide, and various other games" (Fornander V 34). The brothers try to kill the preferred son No.11, the owl, but he breaks several limbs, throws them into the sea and the like (for Tangaroa twins against "Seven dwarf sons of Pinga" s.Gill 118 f.). That this owl is most likely an avatara of Mars is not suitable for a 'joseph', but I cannot change that.
The game with the "jumping
stick", which sometimes has to be driven by fixed half tires
or a "bull's eye", is called tika in Polynesia --on Hawaii:
pahe--, on the Melanesian New Hebrides and in Assam in Northwest India
sika. In Tahiti, however, that is, on the Society Islands, this name
te'a // Damm 14: "The Tahitian te'a belongs to the tika series,
but it is used to describe the archery of the Arii. " // the
ritual archery of the Arii, i.e. of the aristocrats, is named. In
fact, Emory has uncovered no less than four megalithic "archery
platforms" in the Papenoo Valley of Tahiti (Bull. BPB Mus.116,41
ff.,cf. Handy, Bull.79,58 f.). And with this archery competition on
megalithic platforms in Tahiti, considered as "especially holy
exercise", we win the connection to the ritual archery in China,
of which there are more.
"Friedrici, in a work entitled "On the pre-Columbian connections of the South Seas peoples with America", listed a number of geographical parallels which...have the unshakable evidential value of actually existing cultural and thus 'ethnic connections' between Oceania and America. Among these parallels he counts a sports game known in large parts of the South Seas under the name 'tika'... This tika is known to Americans as the 'snow snake' of North American Indian tribes; it has also enjoyed great popularity among Australians as the 'kangaroo rat'. End of the quote from Damm and beginning of a new one, namely from the work of Friedrici.
This is a little too hasty, and Friederici neglected to read Culin (389-420), otherwise he would have found that the "snow-snake" game was not only played by "Iroquois and Huron in the present state of New York and Canada", but by numerous Algonquin tribes in the northeastern woodlands, from the Attaken tribe Takulli in British Columbia, among the Iroquois not only from the Huron but also from the Seneca, whose Ursa Major hunting stories we had looked at, from the Sioux tribes Assiniboin, Dakota, Mandan and Omaha, from the Kiowa, the Pawnee (Caddo) and from the old Californian tribes Pamo and Yokut. Friederici only wanted to compile material.for the South Sea-America connection in general, and that is quite right, but for us the question of age is added, and with that we got onto the mirror-smooth frozen road in no time. In order not to give our fellow citizens any opportunity to gloat, we prefer to withdraw and notice only so much: if both in the "Snow Snake" and the ring-and-rod game on the one hand South Australia - "Smyth 1 352 ff'.for Snow Snake -,on the other hand the northeastern woodland of North America with many Algonkin populations want to be taken into account, then one can smell Young Paleolithic. Both games are very old anyway //hoop-and-pole at Yokut s. Kroeber: Handbook Ind. Calif.539; 846 f. not at Yurok and Hupa,missing in the whole NW of Calif .//
But is it "kosher" to jump with Friederici from the "jumping stick" alias snow snake to the ring and stick game, just with the saying: "If we add the rolling stone or small hoops to the game of the simple snow snake, we have the Chungkee game? Chunkey differs from the hoop-and-pole-game only by the use of a stone instead of a wooden hoop, and is not treated separately by Culin, but among the other hoop-and-pole-games.
To cut a long story short: myths must be taken seriously, traditions must be examined for their original meaning and compared, in which comparison the results of cultural-historical ethnology must be taken to heart, namely those of more recent cultural history, about which a few words still need to be said, because the views on the consecutio temporum have changed.
The many distribution maps, as has already been said, revealed that cultural elements and myths are not distributed somewhat evenly over all continents. Rather, a series of cultural elements is found in one section of Africa, Asia, Oceania and America, and a different set of elements in other corners of the continents. And this finding prompted Leo Frobenius to establish his theory of cultural areas (1898: The Origin of African Cultures; 1902: The West African Cultural Area). We do not want to deal with the fate of the theory of cultural areas, Frobenius himself later distanced himself from these first works; other schools, especially those in Vienna, cheerfully designed their own cultural areas, but the existence of something like cultural areas can hardly be doubted, call them "culture areas" or whatever, assume their five, or more or less. To make layers out of "circles", that was what it was all about; that is, to clarify the historical sequence. There was early agreement on one principle of age determination: what was found in the most inaccessible, inhospitable corners of the earth was found in deserts, in the hottest rainforest, in the coldest fringes of the north and south. What was found there was to be regarded as the oldest in each case, because such quarters would not voluntarily choose a population; in addition, corresponding processes had been observed in historical times, e.g. the displacement of Bushmen and Hottentot by Bantu tribes, which took place under the eyes of the whites. But apart from this principle, which is indeed plausible: how were cultures stratified? It will be said in the words of Professor Father Wilhelm Schmidt, the founder of the Viennese School of Cultural Historical Ethnology (Schmidt Koppers P 31): Ethnology, he said, "had taken its last upswing in the last decades of the 19th century, at a time when the principle of development had come to an almost unrestrained dominance and where, in addition, this principle was conceived and applied according to the views of a blatant materialism, which was also then in bloom. According to these views, the development of the human race would, by and large, have been an ascending one everywhere, leading from the lowest depths to glorious heights. The more awkward a tool, a weapon, the stranger, the more horrible a custom, a social form or institution, a religious belief or ritual, the older it is, the closer it is to the beginning of development.It is easy to see, when thinking about it, that here one simply makes classification series, which were constructed according to quite subjective value judgments, into actual origin and developmental series, without having proved that the order of the individual developmental elements corresponds to reality and that the individual pieces of this series touch each other in time and space in such a way that causal relations between them would have been possible.
But Father Schmidt did not do
much better, for he wanted to prove the primordial monotheism by all
permitted and unpermitted means, but he was right in his rejection
of "blatant materialism", although he himself also stratified
his cultural circles according to economic forms, as if economic forms
were the only criterion for the historical classification of a culture.
The historical order was as follows: hunters and gatherers, since
Ernst Grosse collectively called them "wild-seekers", were
ranked lower, and from them specialized hunters developed here, primitive
woodcutters with tuber cultivation there; the specialized hunters
developed into pastoral nomads, the primitive woodcutters into higher
planters with plough and grain cultivation, and from the mixture of
these two, advanced civilization developed.
It goes without saying that there have been more than just two great waves of cultural expansion; how many of them are still far from being discernible, and not all of them must have taken place through regular "migrations" on a grand scale; it is highly probable that what Arthur Kroeber has christened "stimulus diffusion" has contributed to the spread of cultural elements, and that means an idea, a principle is getting around, for example the principle of planting; crops are then cultivated with means that suit the geographical province: the inhabitants of tropical forests can't do anything with grain or with a plough, they switch to tuber cultivation with a hoe.
There have undoubtedly been many waves of diffusion, great migrations and rather silent stimulus diffusion, much more than any expert today can boast of being able to determine and evaluate their historical sequence and respective range. Excavation findings by prehistorians and archaeologists regularly cause both salutary and painful uncertainty and throw every chronology that was considered reliable the day before out of the question.
These circumstances could deter one from crocheting generous theories. On the other hand, all too fearful consideration of the daily changing historical details shows the tendency not to see the forest for the trees, and in addition, "sacred" traditions and that is. Cosmologies, however, do not change as easily as ceramics or other technological processes, precisely because they are "sacred". And that is why, despite the diversity of the waves of diffusion, we must dare to attempt to distinguish two groups of cosmologies, the Late Palaeolithic and the advanced civilizations, in a rather crude, simplistic manner, because at some point a beginning has to be made, and the fine tuning can be done later on.
Cosmology of the Late Palaeolithic
The stone has been set in motion, i.e. the public interest in prehistoric astronomy, mainly by three people, among whom Gerald Hawkins of the Harvard Observatory is the most popular, because he has spuriously made his way into American television with his "Stonehenge Decoded" (to have as delta paperback); but not all experts agree with his methods and interpretations by far. The Scot Alexander Thom has dealt with all British, partly also French megalithic systems more thoroughly, longer and more comprehensively and continues to do so undauntedly.
A readable summary of Thom's older works together with additions fresh from Germany can be found in Rolf Müller: Der Himmel über dem Menschen der Steinzeit (Heidelberg: Springer 1970, Verständliche Wissenschaft). Hawkins, Thom and Müller deal with partly Neolithic and partly Bronze Age stone settings. Alexander Marshack has dealt with the oldest period, i.e. our Late Palaeolithic, in several articles and in his main work "The roots of civilization. The cognitive beginnings of man's first art, symbol and notation" (New York: McGraw Hill 1972), which is characterized by unsurpassable illustrations. For an impressive bibliography by Elizabeth Chesley Baity, see Current Anthropology 14 (1973) 389 449.
I suppose you are beginning to understand my boundless aversion to language decay - "astra events" is not even the worst thing, and you can see how silly it is to talk about "early man's astronomical interest" if you don't ask about the reason for this interest, which has been burning for thousands of years. Of course, it is most gratifying and grateful that Marshack probably did it, that in Magdalenia they kept books on the phases of the moon and the like, and that countless works on the orientation of cult sites, graves, etc. are published, but where are graves oriented or meridionalized or borealized or occidentalized? In other words, to whom does the establishment of the fact of being orientated, especially of graves, piously serve and what is the point of it, if at the same time the unswerving continued chattering about a realm of the dead in the interior of our planet, which on top of that the scribes call a pancake, since the spherical shape is said to have escaped our ancestors?
But beyond that: rock paintings, excavated bone carvings on so-called
batons etc. cannot be read from the tip of the nose what they mean;
interpretations are more or less arbitrary, which is not to say anything
against Marshack's lunar notes, he is probably right. Meanwhile: do
we really need to frown over excavated Paleolithic remains and guess
what they want to tell us? Or are there not, or have there not been
until recently, populations that have not been affected by the Neolithic
revolution and the Near Eastern urban culture and their heirs at all
or only minimally, i.e., the so-called wild prey in Australia, in northernmost
Asia, in parts of North America, in the South American jungle and on
Tierra del Fuego, in the South African steppes and deserts? Should we
not question these peoples at all costs to find out what our own European
Paleolithicists might have thought?
In earlier centuries, it was self-evident that the tradition of Stone Age people living far away was used to explain their own early traditions. As an example, I will quote you a passage from the four-volume work of the arch-missionary Joseph Francois Lafitau, published in 1724, "Moeurs des Sauvages Américains, comparées aux moeurs des premiers temps11 (after Schmidt Koppers 20):
"I have not been content to know the character of the savages and to inquire about their customs and habits. Rather, I have sought the traces of the most remote antiquity in these habits and customs. I have carefully read those of the oldest writers who have dealt with the customs, laws and practices of the peoples of which they had some knowledge. I have carried out the mutual comparison of these customs, and I confess that, if the ancient authors have provided me with enlightenment to support some happy suppositions concerning the savages, the customs of the savages have provided me with enlightenment to make some things found among the ancient authors easier to understand and better to explain".
Admittedly, in those days it was even easier, and even more so as a Jesuit priest: whoever is forced to believe in the one regular couple, Adam and Eve, cannot help but be a diffusionist. Lafitau and his peers only had trouble with the extremely tight schedule, i.e. with the question when the Indians could have come to the new continent, because that must have happened after the biblical Flood. (Sometimes, as you can see, false assumptions can lead to correct results). Since Lafitau, at the latest, apart from the independent inventionalists, of course, there has been no serious doubt that elsewhere on our planet what belonged to prehistoric Europe was still alive, and the problem was only what had continued to live where, which would have brought us back to cultural circles.
Dame Baity's assertion that recent or historical hunter-killer cultures showed no interest in celestial phenomena is downright wrong, even more wrong than her assumption that no one before Marshack had yet agreed to assume astronomical interest among Mesolithic people. Leo Frobenius suspected such a thing, but he just threw the idea out and did not pursue it further. In his "Cultural History of Africa" published in 1934 he asked with regard to the Magdalenian rock paintings (p.146): "Was it so that these Mesolithicists, when they carved their pictures into the walls of their certainly pious consecration serving underworld, painted pictures of animals, but carried the essence of the stars, the stars, the moon and the sun in their hearts? Shortly afterwards he (ibid.) speaks of the " 'First Art Period' of humanity, in which the artists... let the animals play the role of the stars", later (187, p.a.188) of the "Gestalt world of astral animal painting and animal sculpture... in the middle stone age. The environment of the cult of that time, however, was the underworld, the cave the natural home of the night roll of the starry sky". Frobenius was not on intimate terms of friendship with the German language, but he sensed that the painted animals should not be taken "at their word", not with their zoological form. It remains a mystery to me that nobody but Frobenius apparently came up with this idea, because the researchers involved in Stone Age art have often asked themselves the question as to why the pictures of the polychrome, so-called Franco-Cantabrian large animal style were found in the most inaccessible, dusky parts of the Spanish and French caves, where nobody could look at them and where the sheer act of painting must have been an enormous physical effort. Leakey's explanation (Adam's Ancestors 154) that it is a manifestation of the magico religious is pure blah-blah; it is not without reason that our rules of the game forbid the use of such words, which promptly appear where terms are missing. But let's leave the rock paintings to themselves for now and look around to see what wildlife hunters have to tell us about their most important and oldest representatives, the South African Bushmen, Hermann Baumann said (Vkde 85): "It is amazing how much better the Bushmen know the stars than the negro planters. But even there, neither ethnologists nor historians of natural sciences are able to make sense of the stories and to measure what they indicate.
A model case: the South African ethnologist I. Schapera presents the views of the German missionary Wilhelm Heinrich Immanuel Bleek, who was our most reliable and knowledgeable guarantor for the now completely extinct Kham Bushmen of Cape Province. Khoisan Peoples 174 f.
In Wischnewski's dissertation "Africans and Celestial Phenomena"
(p.51) we read
The so-called "Lord of the Animals", who in literature also
circulates under the name Wild Spirit or Bush Spirit (master, lord,
owner, guardian of the game, maître des animaux, genie des bois,
Paulson in Supernatural Owners) has, in order to put the so-called 'practical'
at the beginning, the function to revive the killed animals from their
bones. This can only work if the bones are unharmed, which is why all
hunter folks make sure that the bones of the game are returned to the
game master intact and bundled, they hang them in trees, bury them in
certain places and the like. "Otherwise", say the Bushmen,
i.e. if you break game bones, "otherwise the light of the starry
sky will fade" (Leo Frob. Cultural History 130). Less catastrophic,
but still bad enough: otherwise the master of the game deprives the
hunter of hunting happiness, he does not send "new" revived
specimens down to earth or he makes the hunter sick". The lord
of the game determines which individual animal must be hunted, sometimes
it is also said, e.g. among the Abkhazians in the Caucasus, that a hunter
cannot hunt an animal that has not been killed and eaten by the lord
of the game and his daughters (Dirr, Anthropos 1925, 140). That the
gamekeeper himself eats animals, is the owner of the bones, and that
"heavenly" bones turn into earthly animals, is also clarified
by the statements of the North Australian Murngin (W. Lloyd Warner:
A Black Civilization. London 1937/1958, 542) about her "Great Father
up there in the sky", who belongs to both halves of the tribe (Dua
and Yiritja) equally: "He looks like an ordinary man but he is
much bigger.Everything everywhere, fish, iguana, kangaroo, opossum,
when he eats them he puts the bones in a pile and does not let them
drop down to earth.if a fish bone dropped down it would make plenty
of fish, or if a kangaroo bone dropped down it would make many kangaroos.
In fact, any animals bone that fell to earth would multiply its species.
As far as the masters of the individual animal species are concerned, which, as already mentioned, are usually regarded as huge specimens of their genus, there are some uncertainties that have crept in, according to which the term "big-animal cult" has come into being, to which our first homo sapiens ancestors are said to have paid homage, first and foremost the much-discussed cult of the bear. Extensive bear rites can be traced back to the Upper Palaeolithic, the editors of the Time Life series "Early Man" date the bear cult without pious shyness into the year 40,000 and can be found among almost all peoples of the northern land masses, starting with the Lapps in the west, up to the Tungus, Kamchadalen, Ainu, up to a large number of North American Algonquin tribes, up to Kwakiutl, Tlingit and Nutka on the northwest coast and some prairie tribes; Traces of bear rites could even be found in the Pueblo Indians and the Maidu of California (Hallowell 77 f., Koppers 1933, 48. no Samoyed and Eskimo, Hallowell 74, Koppers 48). In southern countries, other large hunting animals have taken the place of the bear.
In 1945 the American ethnologist Frank Gouldsmith Speck was able to establish that the bear, honoured and sacrificed by the Canadian Munsee-Mahican with solemn rites, is the messenger and representative of the heavenly bear, of Ursa maior (The celestial bear comes d.own to earth. Reading, Pa. 1945). As is to be expected in our acceleratedly degenerating century, little or no attention has been paid to Speck's results. Rather, 16 years later (1961) a collection of studies on animal lords and bush spirits appeared under the title "The Supernatural Owners of Naturel", which was otherwise very useful as a collection of material. In it the Swedish editor Ake Hultcrantz (60) commented on the unique meaning of the bear: "It cannot in and per se be the bear's dangerousness and strength that has given it this individual position...The cause of the special position of the bear cult is rather to be sough in deep lying historical conditions". The persistence with which one sticks to absurd words like "supernatural" and searches for "deep lying historical conditions" instead of changing to constellations is astonishing, but makes you rather understand in which way your view of cosmology is continuously obstructed. The persistence is all the more astonishing since other relevant works had appeared in the meantime, especially those by Otto Zerries, who has compiled all available South American, and some Central American material on constellations as lords of the species. (Constellations as expression of hunter's mentality. Paideuma 5,1951,220 35; Wild and Bush Spirits in South America; Wiesbaden 1954; Wild Spirits and Hunting Ritual in Central America. Mitt.Mus.Vkde Hamburg 25, 1959,144 50).
There we learn, for example, that the bush chickens are subject to the Orion Belt, the bees to the Pleiades, the ostriches to the Southern Cross, the tapirs apparently Taurus; the Toba (221) see in two stars of Canis maior or Lepus the lord of all armadillos, in the Taulipang the wasps have their master in a Centaurus star, in the Paressi and Bakairi it is generally said that the animals in the sky are the oldest there are (according to vd. Stones, Zerries Paid.222, Bush Ghosts 355). From Guyana. tribes we hear more about these lords of the game and plants, who are also Kuyuha, i.e. father or mother of the genera, the Kuyuha travels at the appropriate time from his star to earth, to a breeding place where he joins others of his kind, "ready to take temporary residence in the newborn or fertile organisms, which he thus endows with life and activity and leaves only with death when he returns to his home in heaven" (Wild Spirits 130) We also learn that "the breeding places of the animals on earth, where the Kuyuha... meet", are given names "which are identical to those of the stars", so that a breeding place of the ostrich Crux australis would then be called usf... There we encounter a kind of "Uranian" geography, which one would actually be inclined to attribute to the Mesopotamians and Egyptians.
Long before such relatively new news could be found in the already mentioned Jesuit missionary Lafitau from the early 18th century (1,360 f. at Hultcrantz 60 A.29), Canadian Algonquin tribes are of the opinion, que chaque espece a dans le ciel ou dans le pays des âmes le type et le modele de toutes les autres, qui sont contenue dans cette espece: ce que revient aux idées de Platon"; "that every species has the type and model of all conspecifics in heaven or in the land of souls, which amounts to the ideas of Platon". The latter comparison is misleading, but not quite as wrong as it sounds.
Also an old German traveller named Lintschotten felt reminded of Plato's theory of ideas in view of the opinions of the Peruvians, i.e. opinions that originate from a pronounced high cultural area (Bastianian; Culturländer des Alten America 1,490,_603,s.a.Zerries: Wildgeister 131 f.).
The Peruvian constellation chuqui chinchay in Quechua language means "excellent jaguar" (Zerries 131), Robert Lehmann Nitsche (ibid.) has declared to be identical with scorpius, additionally some stars in Ophiuchos, Sagittarius, Ara and Triangulum australis, which I do not buy from him for the time being. In addition, however, Lehmann Nitsche indicates (1928,160 f.), "that apparently in some parts of Peru a really living tiger is meant of course a jaguar was held as an earthly representative of the sidereal chuqui chinchay for cult purposes.
Under high-culture influence also the Pawnee and the Cherokee and other populations which will still be to be mentioned stand, but high-culture influence does not mean that everything and every what in such a way influenced tell, originates from the import package, therefore, you are not worried.
Well, this doctrine was not only common property of the American Indians at all levels of culture. This is well illustrated by the impressive spread of the so-called animal reconciliation rites, which were by no means only for the bear; the bear rites are only best known because good publications have been dedicated to them, first and foremost those by Hallowell (Irving H.: Bear Ceremonialism in the Northern Hemisphere. American Anthropologist 28,1926, 1 175).
Without going into the detailed description of such cults, let us highlight
the following points. Especially in Northern Asia, people like to capture
very young bears (Hall 121) and raise them in the settlements. (You
had heard earlier that a living jaguar was kept in Peru for cult purposes).
On the main day of the bear festival the reared bear, or elsewhere the
freshly caught bear, is killed, whereby one talks him constantly well
into it. The dead animal, or only its stripped fur with head, is laid
out in the festival tent on a place of honour in an upright position,
served with the best food and then covered with long apologies. It was
not the generous hosts who killed him, it was quite different people,
if the bear was not to blame for everything. The Giljaks accuse the
toad of killing the bear, the valleys in Kamchatka "the violent
Russians", the Lapps call the Poles and Finns, the Algonquin Ojibway
accuse the "Englishmen". We heard the same from African hunter
peoples in Baumann (Nyama 216, Wild Spirits 232 ff.): "one shifts
the blame on others, calls the killing an accident, emphasizes, for
example, that 'only the ivory of the elephant is needed as a commodity',
that the animal itself gave cause for the killing, etc.". Also
"one reproaches the leopard that he had to be killed because he
had broken the law. Not differently the Guarayu in Brazil deal with
jaguars that have fallen into the trap; they ask the dead jaguar not
to take "revenge on our little one because you have been caught
and killed by your own ignorance. For it was not we who deceived you,
it was you yourself. Our men only set the trap... they never thought
to capture you." (Zerries 139) From the Bugre (=Shokleng = Kaingang)
tribe in Eastern Brazil, which has remained purely hunting, there are
reports of tapir ceremonies which, according to Zerries (Paideuma 8,1962,106),
"are a perfect reminder of the bear ceremonies of the Ainu and
other northern Eurasian peoples. The body of the killed tapir is erected,
i.e. placed on its hind legs (!), sprinkled with 'tapir grass', the
animal's preferred food, and its soul is appeased with kind words, so
that it does not keep the other tapirs away from the hunter. Among the
Selknam on the large Tierra del Fuego island (according to Gusinde 1931,
280,707, near Zerries 1962, 105 6), an impeccable population of hunters,
the hunter says to the hunted fox, whom he skins: "Dear fox, I
am not ill-disposed towards you. I like you and do not want to harm
you. But I need your meat because I am hungry, and for my children I
need your soft fur. Don't be angry with me. One day I will surely catch
one or the other of your relatives, I will skin them as well. With that
I will put together a nice coat and we will eat the meat when we are
hungry. Don't be angry, dear fox, I'm usually very fond of you."
The Lapps are of the opinion that a properly reconciled bear, whose bones have been carefully preserved, "stands up again and can be shot again", and. Rasmussen reported of the Eskimo (in Friedrich 31, n.1): "The fur and the head of my first seal was hidden outside on the ice, so that I should later be able to catch the same seal again ... Water is trickled into the mouth of the dead seal. When he becomes a seal again, he likes to be caught again by the hunter who gave him water. When moving to new hunting grounds, the skulls of the seals should be laid down so that the eye sockets point in the direction of the travel route. Then the souls of the seals you have already caught will follow you, and you will catch them again in the new hunting ground". The Yuracare' in Eastern Bolivia collect all the bones of land animals, birds and fish, "so that the animals of the killed species do not become angry and allow them to be killed again" (Zerries 169).
The bones, as emphasized at the beginning, must be carefully stored, "otherwise," the Bushmen had said, "the light of the starry sky will fade" or the heavenly gamekeeper will not be able to revive them. In North Asia, bear skulls are still sometimes laid out in a special way, yes, the Giljaks lay out real bear cemeteries. And this fact has made experts like Hallowell, Koppers, Friedrich think. (Hall.161 f., A.696, Koppers 52, Friedr. ). Friedrich remarks: "Prehistory in Europe shows remarkable parallels to such bear burials. The Dragon's Hole in the Tamina Valley and other Swiss and Southern German caves //Mixnitz Steiermark, Koppers, Anthropos 27,1932,978 ff.11 from Middle if not Early Stone Age times contain skulls and bones of bears, partly well ordered behind artificially erected walls and embedded in real stone boxes. Among the rock paintings of southern France there are bison, boar, mammoth, wild horse and often the bear, among them a painting in the cave Trois Frères, Arriège, which shows the king of the forests pierced by many arrows and spitting his blood. Let us consider that traces of bear worship can be traced back to Roman times in Gaul and Helvetia...so we cannot exclude the possibility that the culture of hunting and the cult of the bear flourished in Stone Age Europe". Nobody has closed his mind and, as already mentioned, a chronological table in the Time Life series "Early Man" lists the bear cult under the date of 40 000. Among the images of bears carefully counted and described by Othenio Abel (Abel + Koppers: Ice Age Bear Representations and Bear Cults, Palaeobiologica 5,1932, 7 64) in Les Combarelles alone, 20 (p.14), a peculiarity is added in the cave of Montespan (Haute Garonne); one sees there "a bear's trunk modelled in clay (without head, while a real bear's skull was found between the forefeet of this statue), with numerous smaller and larger holes", as if the figure had been shot or struck (Koppers 52). Frobenius later found a similar body made of clay in West Sudan, where a lion or leopard had its fur and head stripped off and slipped over the clay figure. Even later, Jensen heard of a headless animal figure in southern Ethiopia, with which rites that had been kept secret were anxiously linked, but the local farming tribes there had, or had converted the animal: the skin and head of a young bull, i.e. a domestic animal, were slipped over the clay calotte. Amazingly enough, even in East Africa this not very obvious custom has been preserved, even if it is disfigured.
I hope that you will respect the importance of the bear's calotte in
Montespan and the burial of bear skulls and bones in Swiss, southern
German and Austrian caves; in particular, you give us the authority
to derive the recent bear ceremonies and their corresponding rites in
honour of other animals straight from the Upper Palaeolithic. One could
answer the incessant scepticism with Ljungman (in Hultcrantz 83): "To
find a direct proof that the bear festival of the Swedish Laplanders
was moved to the Stone Age is certainly too much to ask for.
So the sun should kill the hare for Kabbo. And there is something else
to report, an experience that Frobenius had with pygmies in the Congo
jungle, and which possibly first caused him to think about "astral
animal painting". (cultural history 127 f. archetype 16 18).
I don't want to throw this interpretation to the wind, but we still have to look for other game lords, those who are not giant specimens of the species, like the aforementioned Bushman God, Mantis, who is so cunning in its creatures, first for his beloved eland the male eland is to be looked for in Procyon (alpha Canis minoris), the corresponding eland cows in alpha beta Geminorum (Wischnewski 71) then for Hartebeest: the male specimen is found in Taurus, the female is marked by Betelgeuse.
We have information from various continents about human-shaped animal lords, about dwarfs, males with feet turned backwards, mixed creatures or insects, e.g. with the Naskapi on Labrador a certain biting fly is the mistress of the fish; animal lords also appear in whirlwinds, fire and other phainomena, and it is almost never possible to tell at first glance who or what it might be.
Among the pleasant exceptions are the Chukchi of Northeast Asia, where the North Star is considered the master of all game (Bogoras:Chuckchee Mythology, 1912, 91). It has boxes (trunks, 96) filled with seals, white whales, walruses, grey and blue foxes, squirrels, rabbits, reindeer, and wolves, and it boasts: " I am ...(a possessor of) the Game Substance. I distribute it among the Lower People... I always look to (the wants of) the Lower People" His oceanic colleague among the Giljaks, the ruler of the sea, whose heavenly location is unfortunately not indicated, is an old man with an ice-grey beard who lives with his wife in a yurt on the bottom of the Sea of Okhotsk. "In the yurt there are a lot of c a s t e n filled with the most diverse fish roe, which he throws into the sea from time to time in handfuls. At certain times he sends out unmissable troops of salmon, without which the giljake would not be able to survive; it is also he who sends out the killer whales to establish order in the sea and to drive all kinds of animals of the sea towards the giljake.11 (Sternberg, ARW 8,253).
Apart from the general owner of the animals, Polarstern, we also hear from a certain Pic vu'cin, a "special owner" of wild reindeer and of land game in general. He is not longer than a finger, and his footprints are those of a mouse. He insists on the strict observance of all old hunting rites and sacrificial rites. The thumb rides on a tiny sled of grass; the sled is sometimes pulled by a reindeer, sometimes by a mouse, and what bears are to man, lemmings are to him: he hunts them down and loads them onto his sled (Paulson: Schutzgeiste 19611 61 f.). Among the Tungus in the Baikal region, a white-haired old man is responsible for the game, and some say that he uses a white stallion to move around, others say that he uses a tiger (82 f.), while the Yenisei Tungus only know that the Lord of the animals lives on the "third cloud" of the upper world (85 f.). During a hunting ceremony the shaman goes on a so-called soul journey to this "Lord of the Taiga and animals" in order to "ask for different game (i.e. the 'souls' of the animals), which the Tungus need for their food" (86). Also with the Yukagiris it belonged to the tasks of the Shamenen, "to travel to the Owners of the Mountains, of the Earth, the Rivers, Lakes, the Ocean, and to the Keepers of the separate species of animals, and, beg them for a plentiful supply of animals during the hunt" (Jochelson with Paulson 56 f.). The Yakuts' aged animal master is considered to be particularly funny and noisy, and the mistress of the fishes accompanying him is said to be characterized by cheerfulness and loquaciousness (91 f.). Among the Buryats the horses have their special lord and protector, called Solbon, and that is the planet Venus (Holmberg, FFC 125, 197 ff.). As we hear from Holmberg, it is said that "the star is a great horse lover who rides across the celestial region with a lasso in his hand. He owns a large group of horses which a servant keeps watch over".
In Central America, that is. in Honduras and Nicaragua, the Tepehuana say of the master of deer and fish that he is a dwarf who rides on a stag; among the Cáhita the chief of the animals is a black dwarf, among the North American Shoshone a dwarf who screams like a toddler and carries bow and arrows, of the Ute only a "little man in the mountains" is spoken of (Haekel, Mitt.Mus.Hamburg 25, 68). With Maya descendants in southern and central Honduras "as the actual patron saint of hunting and fishing, but at the same time also of agriculture ... Xulab, the morning star. One imagines him as a bearded, ugly man... He was the older brother of Kin, the sun, and later became Venus. According to a tradition, Xulab /Venus is the owner of all animals in the world. He keeps deer, peccari, antelope, turkey, in short all quadrupeds and birds in G e h e g e n. so that people can come to him for meat. For his protégés he has planted a large cornfield. The following myth is told about him: Once, at the instigation of a magician, his wife lit up his ugly face at night and laughed along with it, he jumped up and all his animals broke out of their enclosures and scattered in all directions. Enraged, he decided to leave and become the morning star. Before that... he gave the lords of the mountains and valleys, Mam , the dominion over the animals and said: "People can no longer have tame animals. But if they obey my laws, I will give them meat, corn and other plants. My law is this: Before the hunt, people must keep night watch and in the hours before dawn they must burn copal resin for me and ask me for some of my animals. This shall be done when I am still at home and I have not yet risen above the horizon. At the place of the hunt or before they plant a field, they have to smoke copal and pray again, but this time to the Mam's. For the Mam's will now do what I have done so far, namely release the animals from their enclosures into the forest so that they can be easily hunted down by the hunters". As ordered, the hunters pray to Venus before the hunt; one prayer is: "O God, holy star, my grandfather, my grandmother, I will now disturb your heart, I will now disturb your children. As it is your wish, you must give me some of your animals."
"Among the Cuna in Panama, the planet Venus, called Pugsu, is considered a great hunter. "If the Cuna find an entire whale landed on the cliffs, they believe Pugsu killed it... Pugsu is left-handed, therefore left-handed people harpoon best" Zerries, Paideuma 5, 229).
In the Ge tribe of the Serents in Eastern Brazil, "the planets
Mars and Venus appear in human form to the chosen ones, first at night
in a dream, then during the day in the forest or in the steppe, always
in the same place, calling them to themselves and teaching them to become
a good hunter or medicine man, as we hear from Curt Unkel, called Nimuendaju',
(1942, 85 f.The hunter eats as much as possible of the game he captures
after the first vision, but then abstains from eating meat for the rest
of his teaching. But it was during his time of instruction from the
planet Venus (which lasted 12 days, see Zerries: Spirits 21) that Nimuendajú's
guardian killed a surprising amount of game. "The planet Mars personified
in the demon Hieparowawa, appears... "usually appears to a lone
hunter on decency. His disciples paint the entire body black except
for the face, hands and feet, which are painted red, for that is the
appearance of the demon. If they wish to meet him in the forest during
the six days of instruction, they swing a plywood called 'Roar of the
Hieparo wawal, and the demon immediately appears' (Zerries: Spirits
The Serents are suitable for an exogamous two-class organization, and
as many phenomena as possible are classified into these two classes
(or moieties). The moon and night people paint their bodies with series
of longitudinal stripes, but the day and sun class with circles (16
f.). The Sun's followers include the planets Venus and Jupiter, the
Orion Belt and kappa Orionis, " who, strangely enough, is identified
with Adam". The Moon's "most important companion" is
the planet Mars; in addition there are the Pleiades and the vultures,
"considered celestial animals".Where these vultures could
be found is unknown, as unknown as further assignments of stars and
the remaining planets to one or the other class, and Nimuendaju explains
(83):"the bulk of their ancient faith has dropped out of the memory
of the present generation', meant is the pre-war period, today the case
is anyway hopeless-specifically thanks to the vigorous tutoring of missionaries,
who nevertheless could not prevent that Christian personalities were
incorporated into the dual system; Christ is identified with the sun,
Peter with the moon, "and a tailed black demon, who lies in ambush
for the souls of the dead, not with the devil, but with the Pope."
There is only so much to say about the most frequently treated animal lord in literature, the Corupira of the Tupi languages speaking Indians of Brazil and the Amazon region: He usually appears as a small man of 3 feet height; he is "bald, but at the. He is "bald, but all over the rest of his body covered with long hair, with only one eye, with blue or green teeth, large ears, legs without joints, feet always bent backwards and of extraordinary physical strength" (Teschauer, Anthropos 1,1906,26, Zerries 9). Sometimes he rides on a stag, also on a rabbit, but mostly on a bush or wild boar. He always wields a whip or riding crop, with which he chastises the hunters' dogs if necessary, and then ties them up until they die of hunger. What Korupira, just like the Central American Mam, the representatives of Xulab / Venus, particularly resents is that hunters only wound animals instead of killing them properly, allegedly because he, the Korupira, then has the arduous task of finding healing herbs to heal the wounded game. (Zerries 11). He is always receptive to tobacco: if the hunter gives him some, Korupira makes him happy, whereas the gamekeeper of the North Asian Yukagiri prefers brandy (Paulson 60).
In the Sipáia-Tupi (on Xingu. Central Brazil), it is not the camaphari himself who rides a wild boar, but his cousin, who had once taken hold of Kumaphari's huge herd of wild boar, or rather wanted to do so. Originally, all these wild boars had been human, but they had aroused Kumaphari's anger, so he transformed them and locked them into a rock. Said cousin wanted to get hold of these private wild pigs and let them all out of the rocks. As a punishment Kumaphari put him on a wild boar (made from a basket) and appointed him master of this species. "He is a small male that rides on one of the animals of the herd. If you shoot a wild boar, you often hear him warning the others by an alarm call" (Nimuendajú, Anthropos 14/15 (1919/20, 1013 f , Zerries 93) Without drawing hic et nunc conclusions from this, it should be noted that the Sipaia call the Milky Way "wild boar path" (hozabapa,Nimuendaju 1012).
If one cannot help but admit that the "real" animals, the
huge generic specimens to which the souls of the terrestrial animal
species return between their incarnations, are constellations, then
I would like to know what the animal lords are supposed to be who sit
or ride on these animal constellations, if not planets, especially since
we have already encountered Venus and Mars as game and hunting guardian
spirits, in Central America, at the Serents in Eastern Brazil and in
North Asia. The animal constellations they prefer could be precursors
of what were later called "houses" or "hypsomata/exaltations"
of the planets.