Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/452

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4i6 Lord Avebury on Marriage,

in 1 83 1, while his name appears in no Scripture lesson-book known to be earlier than the Rev. Mr. Ridley's Gurri Kami- laroi, 1856, — (my copy I gave to Mr. Tylor), — the ingenious conjecture of the great anthropologist is erroneous. Lord Avebury writes (p. 163), — "Mr. Lang may challenge (Mr. Tylor's) opinion as that of an anthropologist, however distinguished, whose theories a large part of his book is occupied with controverting." I don't "challenge," — I prove my case. If Hale's mention of Baiame " in the year 1840" be " the earliest," his mention avers that Baiame was being worshipped when the missionaries arrived at Wellington. Consequently Baiame is not a word coined by a missionary in 1856.

As to my challenging Mr. Tylor's theories, my own are due to his great book, though mine are, in one or two points, modifications of those of our leader. The chief modification is this : — Like Mr. Howitt, and before Mr. Howitt, I saw and said that the superior being of most savage religions is not envisaged by his people as a " spirit," but simply as an anthropomorphic zvesen. Thus his origin is not " animistic." Here I part company with Mr. Tylor. Secondly, I entirely agree with Mr. Tylor when he asks " Among low tribes who have been in contact with Christianity or Mohammedanism, how are we to tell to what extent, under this foreign influence, dim uncouth notions of divine supremacy may have been developed into more cultured forms or wholly foreign ideas have been planted " ? ^s

But I reply to the question, we must study each case critically by itself, remembering, in Mr. Tylor's words, " how closely allied are many ideas in the rude native theologies of savages to ideas holding an immemorial place in the religions of their civilised invaders." '^'^ I maintain that, when such ideas of savages are reported by laymen before the arrival of missionaries, and when absence of European

^ Pri??iitive Culture, vol. ii., p. 333. "^^ Op. cit., p. 334.