Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/220

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208
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

from marriage by capture, it is the purpose of this paper to classify. They are numerous, examples being forthcoming from every part of the world, and from peoples in every phase of civilization. This, however, is as might be expected, for it is certain that almost every race of man must have passed through the initial stages which gave rise to the practice. The marriage by capture de facto, it must be observed, is a violent abduction, regarded as an act of hostility. With this class it is not proposed to deal. The hostile abduction is the actuality; and what we are now about to inquire into are the ceremonial abductions, and practices derived therefrom, the symbols of the former reality.

The different forms of survival so blend one into another, and two are so frequently found combined together, that it is impossible to make a classification that will meet every case; but what it is here proposed to do is to group the forms under general heads, from which the more disintegrated varieties may be traced. For this purpose it will be convenient to divide them into two groups, viz.: (1) Forms which precede the consummation of the marriage; (2) forms which follow it. These two groups may again be divided, the first into (a) forms symbolizing a conflict between opposing parties or clans; (b) forms symbolizing a capture of a woman, either by a party or by an individual; and (c) bride-racing; and the second into (d) forms symbolizing an escape or attempt to escape from the husband; and (e) forms limiting social intercourse between the young couple and their relatives by marriage.

The form which approaches nearest to the reality, and which is therefore probably the most archaic, is that in which the bridegroom, assisted by his friends, attempts to seize and carry off the bride, the seizure being resisted by her friends. There is a good deal of violence, and the bridegroom is not always successful. We find a good example of this form in Captain Johnstone's Maoria.[1] Among the New Zealanders an indispensable preliminary to every description of tawa, or expeditio— whether a tawa muru, a tawa to confiscate, a tawa tango, a tawa for carrying off a woman, or a tawa toto, a tawa to kill or destroy—was to send and give notice, otherwise it would have been stigmatized as a koharu, a murder, or act of treachery. The notice once given, the march of the raiding party might follow immediately, or be delayed for an indefinite time, which was sometimes done with the view of throwing the enemy off his guard. In the tawa tango described by Captain Johnstone, a young man of the Ngatiroa tribe had fallen in love with a girl of the Mania tribe, and, as there was no reason to hope that a demand for the hand of the

  1. Pp. 126 et seq.