Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/269

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Reviews. 231

account the bonds of relationship which unite the individuals observing a given alimentary taboo and the legends concerning it. It would be possible then to essay an answer to the ques- tion whether the Malagasy on this point are " nearer to the Bantu or to the Maiayo-Polynesian."

By the latter expression I understand him to admit that the Bantu were, or have been at a comparatively recent date, tote- mistic. He does me the honour, a few pages earlier, to cite and controvert the argument by which, in my presidential address to the Folk-lore Society in January, 1901, I sought to trace the evolution of totemism into ancestor-worship among the Bantu of South Africa. Having first proved the existence of remains of totemism among the various branches of the race, I sought for the path by which ancestor-worship had been reached. I found it in the growth of the patriarchal power, which had effaced the ties of mother-right and, acting upon the belief in transformation and impermanence of form, which is one of the elements of totemism, had ministered to the reverence accorded to a deceased chief, by enabling him to be recognised first in the form of the totem animal and afterwards, as totemism slowly decayed, in some other form.

M. van Gennep denies my statement that a chief is not wor- shipped in his lifetime, and declares my argument to be ruined at its very basis, because it is easy to conceive the direct for- mation of a cult of deceased chiefs without the intervention of totemism. I did not, however, say that a chief was not wor- shipped, but that a father was not worshipped in his lifetime, the problem being how to account for the worship not of deceased chiefs but of ancestors. True, I treated the worship of deceased chiefs as being ancestor-worship on a larger scale, though I never suggested that the chief was regarded (as M. van Gennep seems to have understood me to do) literally as the father of his people, but only as being so " in a sense," that is, by analogy. No doubt, among some of the Bantu tribes the chief does receive in his lifetime the ascription of super- natural power, and what amounts to worship. If it be held a fair inference from my argument that this was denied, then I must admit that the reasoning of the address was insufiiciently