Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/324

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288 On the Alleged Evidence for

custom by which the bride wore a false beard in the marriage chamber. This is one of those curious ceremonial assump- tions of the opposite sex which occur in connection not only with the sex-tabu itself, but with tabus in general, — in fact whenever the spiritual atmosphere is felt to be rather electrical. So, not only in Greece,^^ but among the patrili- near Mohammedan Bangola of Northern Africa, we find male mourners wearing female attire in the dangerous presence of the dead.

The Opuntian Locrians.

Polybios, XII., v. i6, gives us the following important information, — iravra to. Sia Trpoyovcov evSo^a Trap avroi? airo Twv yvvaiKwv ovk airo toov avSpoiiv (" all their hereditary nobility came from their women, not their men "). This certainly looks at first sight like matrilinear inheritance of rank, but the next sentence shows that no such inference is necessary, — olav evOeoog, evyeveig irapa cr(pi(n vofxi^ecrOaL Tovg airo rcov eKarov oIklwv Xeyojuevovg (" Take for instance the fact that the members of the Hundred Houses are considered noble"). These Hundred Houses were those which supplied the yearly maiden tribute to Athena of Ilion, (u. Lykophron 1141 et seq. and Holzinger's note ad loc). Their only patent of nobility seems to have been the prestige conferred on them by the sacred character of the women eligible for this rather unpleasant honour. When some of these women emigrated with other colonists to Italy they not unnaturally founded a nobility there. Poly- bios, be it noted, although telling us that the nobility in question was hereditary {Sia Trpoyovwv), says, not that it descended through, but that it came from {citto) the women, i.e. the men of each successive generation were nobles

^^ It has been suggested absurdly enough, that men dressed as women because only women were akin to the dead under mother-right ; as if a brother, for nstance, were not akin to his sister by that or any other system !