Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/29

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19
EVOLUTION OF CEREMONIAL GOVERNMENT.

genesis of royal titles. The King of Ashantee has among his glorifying names "Lion" and "Snake." In Dahomey, titles thus derived are made superlative: the king is "the Lion of Lions." And in a kindred spirit the King of Usambara is called "Lion of Heaven:" a title whence, should this king undergo apotheosis, myths of sundry kinds may naturally result. From Zulu-land, along with evidence of the same thing, there comes an illustration of the way in which names of honor derived from imposing objects, animate and inanimate, are joined with names of honor otherwise derived, and pass into certain of those forms of address lately dealt with. The titles of the king are—"The noble elephant," "Thou who art forever," "Thou who art as high as the heavens," "Thou who begettest the men," "The black one," "Thou who art the bird who eats other birds," "Thou who art as high as the mountains," "Thou who art the peacemaker," etc. Shooter shows us how these Zulu titles are used, by quoting part of a speech addressed to the king—"You mountain, you lion, you tiger, you that are black. There is none equal to you." Further, there is proof that names of honor thus originating pass into titles applied to the position occupied, rather than to the occupant considered personally; for Shooter says that a Caffre chief's wife "is called the Elephantess, while his great wife is called the Lioness."

Guided by such clews we cannot miss the inference that the use of animal-names as names of honor, traceable in the records of extinct historic races, similarly arose. If we find that now in Madagascar one of the king's titles is "Mighty Bull," and are reminded by this that to the conquering Rameses a like laudatory name is given by defeated foes, we can scarcely avoid suspecting that, from animal-names thus given to kings, there result the animal-names given as names of honor to deities; so that Apis in Egypt becomes an equivalent for Osiris and the Sun, and so that Bull similarly becomes an equivalent for the conquering hero and Sun-god Indra.

With titles derived from imposing natural objects and powers, it is the same. We have seen how among the Zulus the hyperbolic compliment to the king—"Thou art as high as the mountains"—passes from the form of a simile into the form of a metaphor when he is addressed as "you Mountain." And that the metaphorical name thus used sometimes becomes a proper name, proof comes to us from Samoa, where "the chief of Pango-Pango being now Maunga, or Mountain, that name must never be used in his presence." There is evidence that among the ruder ancestor-worshipers divine titles are similarly derived. The Chinooks and Navajos and Mexicans in North America, and the Peruvians in South America, regard certain mountains as gods; and since these gods have other names, the implication is that in each case an apotheosized man had received in honor either the general name Mountain, or the name of a particular mountain, as has happened in New Zealand. From complimentary comparisons to the sun, there re-