Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/115

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
105
OLD CUSTOMS OF LAWLESSNESS..

Shoes were made from the thicker hides. The Hereros wore sandals with long points in front and behind, projecting beyond the foot. The Namaquas wore something more nearly approaching shoes, in which they attached the upper leather to the sole with a narrow strap. The work being done by the eye, without measuring or fitting, it often happened that the shoes of a pair were of different sizes and shapes. I have never seen anything made of bone in South Africa except little mat-needles among the Namaquas, mouth-pieces of pipes, and snuff-boxes. The Namaquas also make pipes from serpentine. Small bones are worn as ornaments and amulets; and little children sometimes have a few bones hanging from their belts for playthings.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from Das Ausland.


Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Flare Left - 12px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 5px.svg Rule Segment - Circle - 6px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 5px.svg Rule Segment - Flare Right - 12px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg


OLD CUSTOMS OF LAWLESSNESS.

By Herr M. KULISCHER.

GRIMM tells, in his "Legal Antiquities of Germany," of a peculiar custom which existed, in the duchy of Carinthia, during the election of a new duke, till a comparatively recent period. So long as affairs continued unsettled, relates the narrative from which he quotes, the Gradnecks had the right, which had come down to them from of old, to mow as much hay as they could, robbers to plunder, and pirates to ravage the land at will with impunity, unless peace was made with them. Leoben states that this custom arose in the time of Charlemagne, about a. d. 790, under Duke Ingo, but further than that its origin is still in the dark. It is impossible to explain the existence of so barbarous a practice as this, by reference to any motive of expediency, as we are usually able to do with the phenomena of political and social life. An outbreak of outrage could evidently respond to no real social want; least of all a usage that must have been destructive, for the time being, of all fundamental conditions of social life, and of the material well-being of the population, and that could not have failed to be detrimental to the maintenance of social order when law was supposed to be again in force. The case is evidently one of a survival from a former period, a relic, perhaps, of some older condition of society. We may probably find a little light concerning its origin in the study of some of the savage tribes of the present time, who are believed by many anthropologists to be living in the same grades of civilization which the ancestors of modern civilized nations have passed through.

We learn from African travelers of the existence by custom, in some of the West African states, of a general anarchy and tolerated hostility during the interregnum between the death of a king and the