Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/74

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evidence of the savage institutions in which it is embodied.

The opinion of Mr. Tylor is naturally of great value, as it is formed on as wide an acquaintance as any inquirers can hope to possess with the views of the lower races. Mr. Tylor observes,[1] "We have to inform ourselves of the savage man's idea, which is very different from the civilised man's, of the nature of the lower animals. . . . The sense of an absolute psychical distinction between man and beast, so prevalent in the civilised world, is hardly to be found among the lower races." The universal attribution of "souls" to all things—the theory known as "Animism"—is another proof that the savage draws no hard and fast line between man and the other things in the world. The notion of the Italian country-people that cruelty to an animal does not matter because it is not a "Christian," has no parallel in the philosophy of the savage, to whom all objects seem to have souls, just as men have. Mr. Im Thurn[2] found the absence of any sense of a difference between man and nature a characteristic of his native companions in Guiana. "The very phrase, 'Men and other animals,' or even, as it is often expressed, 'Men and animals,' based as it is on the superiority which civilised man feels over other animals, expresses a dichotomy which is in no way recognised by the Indian. . . . It is therefore most important to realise how comparatively small really is the difference between men in a state of savagery and

  1. Primitive Culture, i. 167–169.
  2. Among the Indians of Guiana (1883), p. 350.