Page:American Anthropologist NS vol. 1.djvu/631

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��566 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST [n. s., i, 1899

Japan, in addition to lesser writings of standard value ; while other contributors have added their quota to the growing literature of the subject. Some of the contributions are primarily descriptive, with an undertone of theory governing the arrangement ; others, like the memoir under notice, are essentially descriptive and comparative, the arrangement being shaped by the relations brought out through ex- tended comparison. Collectively, the publications, especially those of Messrs Culin and Cushing, have reduced the chaos of primitive games to fairly satisfactory order, and have furnished an apparently sound basis for further inquiry. In detail, Chess and Playing-Cards is a catalogue of games and implements for divination exhibited at the Atlanta Exposition of 1895 ; in substance, it is the richest contribution thus far made to game-science — and that despite the fact that many of the most significant relations are left to be read between lines of too- condensed description.

The science of games began with the discovery that the gaming of primitive peoples is primarily divinatory or sortilegic ; it took final shape through the further discovery that most of the divinatory devices are traceable to that fecund seed of intellectual product, the arrow. The first of these discoveries defined the dynamic or actional basis of gaming, while the second indicated the sequential or developmental basis ; and the two afforded means for marshalling the facts in logical order and perceiving previously obscure relations. Proceeding on the basis afforded by these discoveries, it became easy to trace the intellec- tual history of gaming as a manifestation of esthetic and sophic activ- ities ; to follow the early rise and extraordinary extension of the sortilegic factor, and its tardy recognition as an expression of chance ; and to take note of the sluggish growth of skill to the point at which this factor became appreciably potent, and its rapid waxing thence- forward as the chance element waned. Fortunately for students, the earlier developmental stages are not completely lost in the mists of antiquity like those of certain other human activities, but are found in all their various steps and degrees among living peoples, as Director Culin's collections clearly show.

Long before the recognition of the dynamic and sequential bases of gaming, the attention of students was caught by similarities in the gam- ing devices of widely separated peoples, and these similarities were among the activital coincidences at first regarded as evidences of ances- tral unity ; but recent researches tend to clear up the confusion on this point. The extended comparisons indicate, indeed, that the games of higher culture are derived from those of lower culture, and either

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