Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 17, 1906.djvu/33

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Presidential Add^-ess. 23

think of Langued'oc. The next step is for the groups to accept their neighbours' nicknames. They do not accept them to-day, but we know the Christians did, and so did the Whigs and Tories ; Mr. Lang also thinks that savages would not resent such nicknames, as English villagers do, because they thought differently of nature. The English villager resents the nickname of Mouse, because he does not think nobly of mice ; but "the savage does think nobly of all animals,"^ and, therefore, would not resent it. He in fact thinks that he is identified with the subject of his name, and under the protection of Mouse, Scorpion, or what not. Mr. Lang further adds that the commonness of animal or plant names may be accounted for by the fact that they are readily acted in pantomime ; and the totem is often indicated by strangers meeting, in pantomime.

Let us admit that this at least is a vera causa\ it has its uncertainties, true: for why should one nickname stick, when by the hypothesis each group would be likely to invent its own names for all the other groups . If we were dealing with clans, tribes, or nations, we might assume only two to exist ; but it is absurd to assume only two sultans and two hareems. In case of any marked peculiarity, of course, the case is different ; our own surnames often come from this source, as the Roman surnames often did, and I can add another instance from my own knowledge. Years ago, there lived in the island of Cos an old man, who was con- tinually using the phrase kol ttokq, 'however.' It became his nickname, and his son has inherited it, for he now bears the name of Thomas Kepokas (KaiiroKag). But there are a great number of totem names which are difficult or impossible to explain on this hypothesis. However, let us assume it for the present. Mr. Lang now makes a jump from the sultans to more fully

'^Secret of the Totem, p. 131.